Thursday, January 23, 2014

Travel Faves: My Most Memorable Experiences For 2013

I'm so sorry that's it's been so long since my last post but I was hunkered down writing my book, which was due yesterday. Now that it's at the publisher's, I can get back to my routine, which includes traveling and writing about it. I'll write a post about my book closer to the publication date but I really wanted to look back at all the wonderful places I visited in 2013 before I start my 2014 travels. My travel schedule was really busy last year but these are the places that I loved. Oaxaca, Mexico was one of them, that's Santa Cruz Bay pictured above. The nine bays of Huatulco, Mexico are breathtaking, it was a dicey experience for me to see all of them, since I was in a boat for hours and suffered from seasickness but it was totally worth it.

This is the last bay, St. Augustine. I sampled fresh guacamole (they literally went to pick the avocados) in a beach cafe and climbed the top of the hill that overlooks the bay, to the local church. I promise I'll do more posts on Oaxaca soon.

Jamaica, of course, was an unforgettable time, especially since I kicked off the year there. I visited a Rastafarian village in Montego Bay and they insisted that I join in with the band.

The Gaspe' Peninsula offers some of the most stunning views in Quebec. Everywhere I turned, there was another scene that begged to be photographed.

Galena, Illinois has always been one of my favorite local towns. We still have bottles of wine from this lovely vineyard.

Puerto Vallarta was a whirlwind of sensory overload. The vistas, the food, the colors all seep into your mind.

This is a shot of another Huatulco bay because one image out of nine awe-inspiring choices is just not enough. I can't remember the name of this bay, the book has chewed up most of my brain but I will find my notes and write a proper post about it.

Panama was non-stop excitement, from the canal, to the Embera village, to the rain forest pictured above.

My beautiful St. Lucia never disappoints and I captured loads of pictures of the dramatic panorama of the Pitons, above.

Toronto has always been a favorite of mine although the TBEX conference turned it into a hectic dash from one corner of the city to the next. My food tour of Chinatown by a local chef was a great highlight.

Door County, Wisconsin is gorgeous all year round but I was "lucky" to visit when eight inches of snow fell. I snowshoed, snowmobiled and even zip-lined against this dazzling scenery.

This is another view of Door County's frozen beauty.

I like to visit unexplored places when I travel in the U.S. and Eatonville, Florida certainly fits that category. It was the home of one of my favorite authors, Zora Neale Hurston. Zora wrote about Eatonville so much that a lot of people think it's a fictional town. The Zora Festival  celebrates Zora's literary accomplishments as well as the town's charm.

At the Zora Fest, I sampled a lot of things but fried Oreos, Twinkies or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were not featured in my sampling. They were actually sold out. I guess fried sugar really is a quintessential American experience. What trips did you love last year?