My Top 5 Travel Adventures of 2010

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Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Ore., April 25, 2010

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Ore.

It’s true. The older you get the faster time flies and such was the case with 2010. Over the past year, I had some amazing experiences and opportunities but here are my top 5 travel adventures of 2010. Hope you enjoy this amble down memory lane.

Pacific Northwest Girlfriends Getaway – April/May
Yeah, I was disappointed when the Icelandic volcano changed travel plans for my 40th birthday celebration but, the trip to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Portland and Victoria) turned out to be amazing! ZeldaMae and I ate our way through the region including a visit to the Portland Farmers Market (video), taking a chocolate tour of Seattle and eating a delish breakfast in Victoria at the Blue Fox Cafe. And since we were in the area, we traveled to Forks, Wash., for a self-guided Twilight tour. Importantly, I got to tiptoe through fields of vibrant tulips during the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Ore.

Victoria Totem Pole

Totem Pole in Victoria, B.C.

Weekend Getaway to Jacksonville and Paddling with Kayak Amelia – July
A company who gives you homemade chocolate chip cookies is always going to be remembered and such is the case with paddling outfitter, Kayak Amelia. I picked up a gift certificate at a silent auction for a weekend getaway to Jacksonville which included a kayaking trip for two people with the outfitter and stay at Spring Hill Suites Jacksonville Airport.

Sunset at Singleton's Seafood Shack, Mayport, Florida

Sunset at Singleton's Seafood, Mayport, Fla.

I trotted off to Northeast Florida, alone, and enjoyed a seafood dinner at Singleton’s Seafood (Note: Not the best dining experience I’ve had; the hostess seemed put off when I told her I needed a table for one and I was placed at a table with the trash can DIRECTLY behind me meaning I had to smell decomposing seafood, hear it being dumped as servers threw away what guests didn’t eat and was fearful trash would splatter on me). Food was okay and sunset incredible. (I based this dinner choice on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and have to say I was disappointed.)

Paddling with Kayak Amelia, Stop for a Swim at Little Talbot Island State Park, Florida

Paddling with Kayak Amelia Near Jacksonville, Fla.

The silver lining of the trip was the excellent care provided by Kayak Amelia staff and the amazing trip they provided. It was a morning paddle in Little Talbot Island State Park which included a stop off at a beach for swimming and munching on freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. My fingers were wet with salt water which added a nice dimension in flavor to the chocolate chip cookies.

Driftwood and Rocks? at Blackrock Beach - Big Talbot Island State Park, Florida

Blackrock Beach at Big Talbot Island State Park, Fla.

After the paddle I went exploring into Big Talbot Island State Park and Blackrock Beach for an amazing setting I didn’t think was possible in Florida. I was on a rocky coast accented with ghost trees and hints of human civilization. At night I rested my tired head (which was suffering from an awful sinus infection) at the Spring Hill Suites Jacksonville Airport hotel which was clean, modern and had a tasty breakfast and great swimming pool. I’d definitely consider staying there again.

Five Things I Learned from Attending Star Wars Celebration V – August
In a galaxy far, far away…oh, wait. I didn’t have to travel very far to attend Star Wars Celebration V, just had to head over to Orlando for a day of overwhelming galactic nostalgia and fun. What did I learn?

1. Star Wars speed dating taught me I’m not geeky enough (and I’ve accepted that’s not a bad thing);
2. You’re never too old to dress up or play with toys, er, “action figures”;
3. Mom was right, shouldn’t have taken Star Wars action figures out of their containers back in the 1970s because they are worth something today;
4. Guys still go crazy over Slave Leia costumes, no matter how many curves a gal has;
5. One day at a Star Wars convention is not enough time. If I attend another one, it’ll be for a minimum of three days.

LEGO-Droids

LEGO Droids, Star Wars Celebration V, Orlando, Fla., Aug. 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear – October
I’m not one who joins things and I really don’t enjoy group activities but being part of Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity on Oct. 30, 2010, in Washington, D.C., was well, insane! And I mean that in a good way.

Hundreds of thousands of people were there but importantly, I connected with a few I knew. Ironically, the only person I saw during the rally works in the same office building as I and had no clue she’d be there! How random. I also connected with a fellow Yellowstone pal who I haven’t seen in a decade? Maybe longer? And Cordelia (of the travel blog Cordelia’s Journey). Tom (Yellowstone pal), his friend John and I enjoyed Ethiopian food during this trip, something I’ve wanted to taste for a long time.

So did we restore sanity that Saturday in October? *sigh* I don’t think so but I should keep an open mind.

Rally for Sanity Oct 2010 Bananas

Sanity is A-Peeling. Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Oct. 30, 2010, Washington, D.C.

Cumberland Island National Seashore – November
Although this was a day adventure, my visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore was simply magical. I wasn’t sure whether I’d see the famed wild horses but I did so everything else I saw bonus gravy including Dungeness Ruins, the beach and the whimsical live oak trees at Sea Camp Beach. Would I visit again? Absolutely because I’m guessing no two visits are ever the same, plus, I’ve only scratched the surface in exploring the exclusive island.

Wild Horses at Dungeness, Cumberland Island National Seashore

Wild Horses at Dungeness, Cumberland Island National Seashore

So tell me, what travel adventures did you have in 2010?

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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2 Comments

  1. Very impressive, Jen. :)Looks like you had a great time. I loved Florida’s West Coast-some great places!

  2. Great post Jen….The post shows that you have a great time here in all these destinations…

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