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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

My Baltimore Wish List

We're getting closer and closer to our trip and we'll have a whole day to spend in Baltimore on a layover. Neither of us have ever been there, so we found a place to store our luggage for the time we'll be in the city and then we're going to focus on exploring the Inner Harbor, since that won't require us to have a car or use rideshare more than getting there and getting back to the airport.

We're getting closer and closer to our trip and we'll have a whole day to spend in Baltimore on a layover. Here's my wish list.
photo credit

This isn't the first time we've done a long layover where we've used it as a full vacation day. We did this in San Francisco, on our way to Philadelphia. We won't have as much time in Baltimore, but I think 8 hours should be enough to sightsee and get some delicious food. Here's my ambitious wish list:

American Visionary Museum

When I asked for suggestions in a group of friends for where their favorite must-do places were in Baltimore, several people said, unequivocally, this was their top choice. Started by an artist using unconventional materials to create something cool and wanting to showcase them, the AVM exhibits that wild, weird, and unique art that you don't really see in most museums, and I'm into that.

Pride of Baltimore and Federal Hill Park

We love ships. I'm not sure why, but we do. I think I'm fascinated by people who choose to devote their lives to sailing around the world on what is usually a very uncomfortable mode of transportation, due to cramped living quarters and hard labor. This is a reproduction of a ship that sank in the 1800s and is used for maritime education, not just in Baltimore. It may not be in the harbor when we're there, but if it is, you know we're going to appreciate it.

Across the street is Federal Park that has both a Civil War cannon and a war memorial, but also has reviews that say it's a great place to walk your dog. Seems pretty chill, and free.

Baltimore Heritage Walk & Baltimore Visitor Center

On our way around the harbor, we're going to stroll the Baltimore Heritage Walk. I'm not sure what to expect, but since we're already going this way, might as well check it out, learn some stuff, and get some lovely harbor views. 

The Visitor Center is always a great place to learn a little bit more about the city you're in and you can usually find discounts for attractions and activities.

Top Of The World

If you've been following me for a while, you know how we adore going up in tall buildings and landmarks to get the lay of the land. Up on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, visitors get a 360-degree view of the city, and for just $8 per person, it's also budget-friendly.

Visit Baltimore sign

Literally, right next to Top Of The World is a park with the Visit Baltimore sign, with the harbor right behind it. I know this is one of those basic B tourist attractions, but I love these signs, so call me basic if you must. They make wonderful vacation photos. 

Baltimore Harbor ships

A maritime museum in a collection of ships along the harbor, included in one admission ticket. Just $19.95 gets you into all ships that are open and you don't even need to visit them all on the same day. There's no greater way to learn about the history of a destination than by exploring actual pieces of their history. 

Lobster rolls

Did you even visit Baltimore if you don't have a lobster roll? Well, probably, but I'm not about to find out. This sounds like a great, filling late-lunch/early dinner before getting back on the plane, but also light, so we're not overfull and can sleep. I was told I couldn't leave without trying Maryland lobster.

Other things

If there's time, we'll try to get to a few other things, including Edgar Allen Poe's grave and an old lighthouse on the harbor. 

I also want to check out BWI's observation gallery. We get in very early in the morning, so that seems like a good stop before we head out to enjoy the city. I hope to also get in some art peeping before getting back on the plane, since the airport is full of gallery walls and individual pieces, including a huge Chesapeake Bay blue crab made of stained glass.

Have you been to Baltimore? If so, what are your must-see, must-do, or must-eat recommendations?

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

4 Things You'll Need when Embarking on Your Adventure Travel Expedition

If you're planning on embarking on an adventure travel expedition, there are a few things you'll need to make sure you have packed. From proper clothing and gear to necessary documents and supplies, here is a list of four items you won't want to be without when traveling off the beaten path as well as some handy information on how to pack before setting off on your adventure.

1) Proper clothing

The first thing you'll need to make sure you have when embarking on an adventure travel expedition is the proper clothing. Depending on your destination, you'll want to pack a variety of items that will keep you comfortable in different climates and weather conditions. From hats and sunglasses to rain gear and hiking boots, be sure to pack clothing that will protect you from the elements.

If you're traveling to a cold climate, don't forget to pack plenty of layers. Thermals, wool socks, and a warm coat will help you stay cozy in even the most frigid temperatures. And if you're headed someplace with lots of bugs, be sure to bring along bug spray and mosquito netting. Finally, no matter where your travels take you, be sure to pack clothing that is comfortable and appropriate for the activities you'll be doing.

2) Gear

In addition to clothing, there are a few other essential items you'll need to pack for your adventure travel expedition. If you're planning on doing any hiking or camping, be sure to bring along a good tent, sleeping bag, backpack, and a water bottle that’s in stock. You'll also want to make sure you have a flashlight, matches, and a first aid kit.

A good tent will protect you from the elements and give you a place to sleep at night. A sleeping bag will keep you warm, while a backpack will help you carry all your supplies. A flashlight will come in handy if you find yourself in the dark, and matches can be used to start a fire for warmth or cooking. Finally, a first aid kit is an essential item for any traveler, as it can help you deal with minor injuries and illnesses.

When packing your first aid kit, be sure to include items like bandages, antibiotic ointment, and pain relievers. You should also pack any prescription medications you take, as well as over-the-counter remedies for common ailments like diarrhea and motion sickness. By packing a few essential items, you can be prepared for anything your adventure travel expedition throws your way.

If you're traveling by bicycle or motorcycle, be sure to pack all the necessary gear for your mode of transportation. And if you're headed off the beaten path, don't forget to bring along a GPS unit and map. No matter what type of adventure you're embarking on, be sure to have the proper gear before setting out.

3) Documents and supplies

When traveling abroad, it's important to have all the necessary documents and supplies. Be sure to bring your passport and any other required travel documents. It would be best if you also packed a supply of cash, as well as traveler's checks or a credit card for emergency expenses.

It's also a good idea to bring along copies of important documents like your passport and insurance information. And if you're traveling with medication, be sure to bring along enough for the entire duration of your trip. By packing essential documents and supplies, you can be prepared for anything that comes up while on your adventure travel expedition.

Also, don't forget to bring along a few basic items like toiletries and a change of clothes. These items can come in handy if your luggage is lost or delayed. By packing a few essentials, you can make sure you're prepared for anything that comes up on your adventure travel expedition.

4) Food and water

No matter where you're traveling, it's important to pack enough food and water for the entire duration of your trip. If you're traveling to a remote area, be sure to bring along dehydrated or canned foods that don't require cooking. And if you're headed someplace with limited resources, be sure to pack enough water for everyone in your party.

By packing enough food and water, you can ensure that everyone at your party has enough to eat and drink. No one wants to go hungry or thirsty while on an adventure travel expedition. So be sure to pack enough food and water to keep everyone at your party happy and healthy.

When packing food and water, it's also important to consider any special dietary needs. If someone in your party has allergies or a special diet, be sure to pack accordingly. By packing food and water that everyone can eat and drink, you can make sure that everyone in your party has a great time on your adventure travel expedition. Packing the right food and water can mean the difference between an enjoyable trip and a disaster. So be sure to pack enough of both to keep everyone at your party happy and healthy.

How to pack

Now that you know what to pack for your adventure travel expedition, it's time to start packing. When packing for an adventure travel expedition, be sure to pack light. You don't want to be weighed down by a lot of gear, as this can make your trip more difficult. So instead, focus on packing the essentials that you'll need for the duration of your trip.

By packing light, you can be sure that you have enough room in your backpack for all the essential items. And by bringing along only the essentials, you can save yourself from having to carry around a lot of unnecessary weight. So when packing for your next adventure travel expedition, be sure to keep these tips in mind and pack accordingly.

If you remember these four things when you're packing for your next adventure travel expedition - proper clothing, gear, documents, and food & water - you can be sure that you have everything you need for a successful trip. So get out there and start planning your next adventure travel expedition today!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Traveling Over the Halloween Season

If you're like me, you love to see holidays in other countries and even other states. We've traveled over Halloween several times and would definitely recommend it. Are you looking to get away this fall? Do you want to celebrate Halloween/Samhain/spooky season while you're on your trip? Here are some of the best places to visit:

Are you looking to get away this fall? Do you want to celebrate Halloween/Samhain/spooky season while you're on your trip? Check out these places:
photo credit

In 2006, when we visited London over Halloween, it wasn't that big of a holiday, and now it's huge. We've also gone to Disneyland Paris for their Halloween party and the difference there is very interesting. Although Halloween isn't a big holiday in France, Disney puts on a very different sort of party. The decorations are spookier. There are scarecrows with pumpkin heads roaming the park. The kids who dress up are all something with blood added to them: bloody ballerina, bloody baseball player, bloody witch. I find this hilarious, but they also probably think it's supposed to be a scary holiday, and this is their way of getting their costume to fit that theme. The parade there is fantastic, as are the other Disney Halloween parades in the states. You can't beat one that begins with the Headless Horseman galloping by with his head under his arm. It's perfection.

I'd love to spend Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts or visit any of the Christmas markets in Europe. Have you traveled for any holidays on your vacations? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How To Avoid Jet Lag

So, it's been 3 years since I've traveled far enough to have to deal with jet lag in any form. We'll be doing a double jump this time: Spending the day in Baltimore (a 3-hour time difference) then heading on to Paris (a 9-hour time difference). This means I need a good strategy for our flights. 

Knowing how I've been able to avoid jet lag in the past is going to be a big help for us on this trip & we've already talked strategies.

Knowing how I've been able to avoid jet lag in the past is going to be a big help for us on this trip, as Eric and I have already talked about our ideal flight plans.

If nothing else, we know how to sleep on a plane

Adjust Your Schedule
The sooner you can get on your new schedule, the better. If you can do so before you leave home, that's optimal, but if you have to work and can't really do that, then start on your plane ride. Immediately set your watch to what the local time will be and do what you normally do at that time. If it's time to sleep, then sleep, but if it's not, make yourself stay awake as much as possible. I take a quick nap, but occupy myself reading, watching a movie, playing a game or coming up with new post ideas (maybe you journal instead). If you are traveling with someone, break out a card game and make them play with you. In other words, keep your brain busy. 

When you get to your destination, stay on schedule. If it's daytime, do some sightseeing. If it's nighttime, then go to bed. Simple! And don't forget to eat on time. Have problems getting on a new schedule? Try a time adjusting app!

Since we'll be flying overnight, our plan is to stay up on our Portland to Seattle leg, then sleep as much of the flight from Seattle to Baltimore as possible, since we'll be arriving at 6am. 5-6 hours is just enough sleep to be awake and not feel like we're going to drag in the middle of the day. We'll have something like 8 hours to walk around and sightsee, giving us the exercise we need to tire us out. 

The flight from Baltimore to Iceland (where we basically have enough time to change planes) is 6 hours. We'll be flying on a budget airline without any extras, so napping most of that flight shouldn't be difficult and fairly ideal. The next 3 1/2 hours to Paris are a toss-up. I will use part of that time to eat something and maybe zone out listening to a podcast or audio book.

Stay Hydrated
Not getting enough liquids in your body can cause you to be sluggish. Bring a big bottle of water with you on the plane, avoid dehydrating drinks like soda and alcohol, and continue drinking extra of water for the first couple of days of your trip. This can also keep you from getting sick. A great alternative to water is tomato juice. It's known to be one of the best beverages for flying, because it's hydrating and full of vitamins. If you're thinking this sounds super gross, just try it. The altitude from flying dulls your taste buds a bit, so it's actually tastier than you think.

Because we have to pay for any of our beverages or snacks on Play!, we'll be bringing two reusable insulated water bottles. I'll be drinking a lot of water on the plane, possibly with flavoring, because it's easy and hydrating, and if I don't drink it all on the plane, it travels fine. 

Eat Light and Healthy
Eating is really important, but you don't want to eat a huge meal before getting on the plane. You also don't want to eat fried and junk food. Find something light and healthy (or as much as possible) to eat before your flight that'll keep your going, but not weigh you down and make you sleepy. You'll also want to bring snacks. Protein-packed, healthy foods like nuts or fruit are great options. If you want to know more about a jet lag "diet", see my post here

I've already decided we'll be bringing a bag of snacks with us on our trip, including an insulated container of cheese and fruit. I might grab a few bananas in Baltimore, but we'll also be nomming on some lobster rolls before we get back on the plane. Those should be light-ish, but filling enough to get us through to another decent meal...that we'll have to snag on our way between flights, and probably eat on the plane. 

We'll be arriving in Paris at local lunch time and may grab a light meal before we get on the train to our rental, before we leave the airport. A quick sushi lunch may be perfect and should keep us energized until dinnertime, since we have tickets to a museum when we get in and hope to hit up another small one after. After dinner, we will probably call it a night and go back to our place to chill for the rest of the evening.

I've lost almost a whole day from jet lag in the past. What's your worst experience with jet lag?

Saturday, August 20, 2022

What To Do In Paris, France

By now, you all know I'm headed to Paris next month. While you've seen my personal wish list, I thought maybe you'd like to see what others consider essential, especially for first-timers. As you'll see in this infographic, even on this, our third trip, we still won't have managed 100% of the "essential". Checks are things we've already done and circles are things we plan on doing.

While you've seen my personal Paris wish list, I thought maybe you'd like to see what others consider essential, especially for first-timers.
photo credit

Obviously, there are so many more things to do in Paris, besides all the touristy things listed. I love looking for off-the-beaten-track activities, like the Sewer Museum that I just bought tickets for. It's a museum in a working sewer, which sounds gross, but it looks clean and quite cool, despite people saying it has a smell. I'd be surprised if it didn't. 

What things have you always wanted to visit Paris to see, do, or eat?

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

My 2022 Paris Wish List

I'm packing for Paris right now and working on my itinerary for my short-ish trip. We snatched up a great deal on a flight to Paris last year and decided to use it as an opportunity to hit up Disneyland Paris again. The last time we visited France was in 2013, and we shared that trip with DLP then, too. It was only two days, and we did a lot of regular touristy things in the city. This visit, we have 3 1/2 days in Paris proper to do things we've had on our list over the last decade.

We're on our way to Paris! We have 3 1/2 days in Paris proper to do things we've had on our list over the last decade.

Our wish list is probably longer than this, but I'm looking forward to getting back to a few places I want to explore again and checking out other neighborhoods that I missed before.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Eiffel Tower

Yes, we've been here before, but it's always nice to commemorate your visit with a photo from atop a cool structure. I love everything about the Eiffel Tower, and while I haven't been able to book tickets in advance, I have hope that we can get there in the morning and take a trip up, grab brunch in the lounge, and then move on with our day of walking along the Seine and enjoying gardens and the Champs Elysees. 

Photo by Vince Duque on Unsplash

Canal Saint-Martin

We've traveled down the Seine, but we love a canal. Just walking around this historic area sounds awesome to me, but if I have a chance to take a little jaunt down the canal, we're definitely doing it.

Nicolas Flamel's House

He may not have actually made the elixir of life, but after his wife Pernelle died, he had this stone home built for both his alchemist experiments and as a home for those seeking shelter. It's now the oldest stone building in Paris and has been converted into a posh restaurant.

Photo by Fatemeh Alizadeh on Unsplash


I don't know why we've never visited this before, but we both decided it was something we definitely should check out. Cool architecture is always on our list and I don't entirely know what to expect from the Pantheon, but we will wear our hiking shoes and find out, since we have tickets to visit.

Photo by Divya M on Unsplash

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

On our first trip to Paris, in 2006, I learned about jet lag the hard way, but Eric also took it upon himself to plan a cool afternoon for us when I was sleeping for a thousand hours. He took me to Pere Lachaise and I fell in love with it. I know that sounds weird (he definitely knows me well), but it is such a love letter to departed relatives that it's hard to feel sad there. It's beautiful and we'll be staying about half a mile away from it, so we're going to spend a nice morning strolling the streets of the cemetery.

Photo by Anya Petrovic on Unsplash

Luxembourg Gardens

These gardens seem to be outside all the neighborhoods we visited both times and got missed out for things like Versailles. Now I'm looking for beautiful places that are also free and help us really discover the different sides of Paris. Their gardens have always been some of my favorite spaces.

Photo by Heriberto Murrieta on Unsplash


I know this is usually on everyone's list, and we probably would have skipped it this time, too, but we're taking the Montmartre tiny train around the neighborhood and then taking the funicular up to the top of some of their tallest steps, where the Sacre-Coeur waits. There will be 300 steps to the top of it to see the view, so I think I get a pass for not wanting to walk up another 222. I'll walk down though. Maybe. 

Museum of Hunting and Nature

Ever since I read this article about Wes Anderson's Paris, I've been dying to visit this museum. I adore a colorful Wes Anderson vibe and unusual artwork. Some of the best museums we've ever visited have been off the beaten path, smaller museums that are niche. One of my favorites was the Wallace Collection in London, which also had an amazing and affordable afternoon tea.

Carnavalet Museum

This is another museum I've never heard of, but it's free and close to where we're staying, so I'm down for learning more Parisian history, especially in a city that has very few free or budget-friendly museums. Even when they are, they are time-consuming, since you end up waiting for hours to get in. This is one of the reasons we've never visited the Louvre. 

A few other things I have on my list for if we have enough time:

And, clearly, we have eating a lot of delicious food on our list. We appear to be staying in an area with some lovely brunch spots (the 11th arrondissemont) and what appear to be upscale vegan eateries. I'm very excited. If you're excited to see our travels, too, follow me on Instagram. Otherwise, I'll do as many posts as I can after the fact. 

Have you been to Paris? If so, what are some of your must-dos, including budget-friendly dining? Let me know in the comments.
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