Travel Addiction

My name is Carlie and I am a travel addict. 

It feels good to get that out.

This time last year I made a list of a few destinations I wanted to experience in 2017. You can read the original post here.

Let’s review what did and didn’t happen.

  1. New Orleans  – checknola-bound_new-orleans-in-24-hours
  2. Overlanding the TransAmerican Trail – didn’t happen =(
  3. Camelback Mountain Resort and Waterpark– checkCamelback Mountain Resort
  4. Pensacola, Florida – checktripadvisor-vs-local-top-5-things-to-do-in-pensacola-florida
  5. Washington – check; Alaska – didn’t happen =(IMG_0526

So these were what I planned to do for 2017. As you can see, most of my plans did happen! Some didn’t. But I was able to add some destinations that weren’t on my original list! Such as:

  1. Corpus Christi, TexasCorpus Christi feature image
  2. San Antonio, TexasSan Antonio Feature image
  3. OBX, North Carolina
  4. Road trip: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New HampshireNew England road trip
  5. Big Bend National Park-TexasOV7nQXjiQpKRO0NcNq+eSA

2017 was a great year of traveling for me. I experienced so much more than I thought I would and it inspired a few of my travel goals for 2018.

2018 goals

  • Visit 30 states before I turn 30 in NovemberF45A4A34-5770-4E22-9A31-15F8D2B0997D
    • I was able to check off 7 states I never visited before in 2017. I have now visited 23 states in the USA, so I hope to visit 7 more states to bring my total to 30 states before my birthday.
    • March 2018- Spring Break Road trip Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas
    • Moving We may be moving again this summer. Wherever we end up should give me the opportunity to add another state to my list. Will it be Mississippi? Will it be New Mexico? We shall see.
    • Nevada Long weekend in Vegas? I’m hoping I can make this happen.
    • New York: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Weekend Vermont– since I’ll be in the area
  • Learn Latvian in LatviaMy husband is from Latvia. He lived there until he was a teenager and Latvian is his first language. We’re approaching 8 years together and I’ve always said I wanted to learn the language. This is the year I make it happen!
    • The University of Latvia offers a free intensive language course over the summer. So I’m hoping to make the journey to Latvia to spend 3 weeks finally making strides towards learning the languange of his people!
  • Dirty Thirty Cruise
    • I didn’t get to take a cruise in 2017, which is one of my favorite ways to vacay. I’m due. And I’d love to relax in Mexico with a margarita for my thirtieth birthday.

Do you have travel goals for 2018?

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NOLA Bound: 24 Hours in New Orleans

nola-bound_new-orleans-in-24-hoursYou guys! I LOVE New Orleans. Have you been? So much fun!

Before going to NOLA, as it is lovingly referred to by the cool crowd, I only pictured Bourbon Street, Boobs and Beads when thinking of New Orleans. But there is literally so much more to offer! Now don’t get me wrong, Bourbon St. is a good time, but I’m not really much of a partier, so I was good with walking up and down it one time and one night of having a few drinks. If you want to do it more-DO IT!, if you don’t, there’s tons of other places and things to do.

We headed off to New Orleans to return my brother in law to the airport after his brief, but fun visit. Being the bums that we are, we left later than we anticipated, but we were in New Orleans around 3pm to check into our hotel. Unfortunately and fortunately there were issues with our room at the Hotel Chateau and they moved us to their sister hotel Hotel Royal. Both of these establishments are boutique hotels and have beautiful courtyards. I’m a sucker for boutique hotels after working in one in Lewes, Delaware for over a year.

They also upgraded us to their top floor and a suite with a balcony. Some pictures from our room:

Once the room debacle was resolved we headed out to explore and grab some grub before our haunted walking tour around the French Quarter. Since we only had a short time here, we stayed in the French Quarter and all within walking distance of the hotel. I really wanted to get adventurous with my meal selection so I wanted to find somewhere to enjoy crawfish and alligator. We set out to Bourbon St.

Wait…wait.. What am I doing? Let’s process this in list form.

The top 5 things we did in NOLA in 24 hours:

  1. Cafe Du Monde– Beignets! Beignets, also known as heaven. We got beignets from Cafe Du Monde and they were amazing! They’re like if donuts and funnel cake had a baby. And they were so inexpensive! 3 beignets for like $2.63 or something like that! So many exclamation points! Because I’m that excited about beignets!cafedumonde
  2. Witches Brew Tours– We did a 4 in 1 tour by Witches Brew Tours, $20 bucks if you’re military or a student or $25 full price. Orrrrrrrrrrr, look on groupon and you can get an even better deal. Groupons have to be booked at least 48 hours in advance though, so plan accordingly. I loved walking around the French Quarter and getting to hear the TRUE stories of murders, torture, voodoo and more. There were so many groups walking around from different companies, so you have options, but I thought ours was really good! My favorite story was about Madam Lalaurie. Crazy stuff.img_7689
  3. Grubbing– We had dinner at a restaurant called Remoulade on Bourbon St. Very yummy. I got a sampler platter that had gumbo, a crawfish pie, and jambalaya. I didn’t get to sample any alligator like I wanted, but I still highly recommend. The next day we had breakfast at Ruby Slipper. There are a few of these throughout New Orleans and even one in Pensacola. Excellent breakfast. I had the eggs benedict and since I couldn’t decide between all the different delicious options I did a pick two. Let’s all appreciate some Nawlins food:


  4. Voodoo Authentica– On our walking tour we learned a little bit about voodoo and I was hooked! If you don’t know much about voodoo, I highly recommend taking some time to learn more, it was such an interesting history and we were advised to make any purchases from the store Voodoo Authentic as it is owned by direct descendants of Marie Laveau. I’m super excited about the voodoo doll I purchased and one for my bestie to have at her home too. It’s not quite this large, but it’ll do. img_7693
  5. Music– There is literally music playing ALL THE TIME! Walking down any street and suddenly there’s a 2-6 piece band playing some great tunes on the sidewalk. You don’t HAVE to go to Bourbon St. So slow down, stop, listen, enjoy. Put your phone away. It’s called culture and it doesn’t live in social media. Believe me, I’m still struggling with getting away from social media, so I’m not judging. But there’s so much more out there! img_7691

I think one of the greatest ways we can combat intolerance is to travel. Experience lives and cultures outside of our own. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day stuff and always being surrounded by people who look like us, or talk like us, or have the exact same experiences as us. This is what breeds misunderstandings. The world is such a wondrous place and diversity is what makes it magnificent. Take a trip somewhere different this year. Get out of your comfort zone. Get out of your timezone. You don’t even have to go to a different country to experience a different culture. You’ll be surprised at how much you just might like it.

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Travels with Carlie in 2017

img_7391Holy Hell 2016! You certainly gave everyone a run for their money. But you’ve been put to bed, like the bitch you are and now let’s look to 2017.

Growing up poor. Not such a novelty thing. Anyone who knows what it’s like to pay for groceries with food stamps- when they were still printed on paper-knows you don’t get grand vacations. I was raised in Sussex County in Delaware. (Shout out to the 302). No particular town, we bounced around a bit, another side effect of poverty and finding cheap rent. Due to this upbringing I didn’t get to travel or exposure to other places. This changed in 2010. I was in a new relationship with the man who would become my husband and I wanted to do something special for our upcoming anniversary. And then I had a lightbulb moment. You’re an adult with a big girl job. You can literally go anywhere-other than Cuba or North Korea. So I started to do some research on cruises, looked up what I needed to get a passport, and thus was the start of my love of travel.

Since 2010 I have traveled 4 continents, 16 countries, 17 states and countless cities.

A quick map of my travels


You can build your own here.

There is way too much gray on those maps in my opinion. One of the great struggles with loving to travel, besides budget, would have to be deciding where to go! I’ve been to so many marvelous places, I struggle with wanting to go back and also experiencing something new. 2017 will be about mixing the two. So here are my five travel picks for 2017! Hopefully there will be more, but these will definitely be the minimum!

  1. New Orleans- One of the perks of moving to the panhandle of Florida? We’re only a 3 hour drive from New Orleans, Louisiana. This is a destination I’ve had on my list for awhile and now it is conveniently within my reach! I’ve already scoured some things to do on trip advisor and also have a recommendation on an apartment to rent while we are there! We’ll be going in early March for anyone interested in joining! Itinerary will be forthcoming.fullsizeoutput_7df
  2. Overlanding The TransAmerican Trail: North Carolina to Arkansas- My husband has found a new love in overlanding. For those who aren’t familiar this is when you drive roads and trails, off the beaten path in a self sustainable vehicle. Prepare yourself to commune with nature, get a little dirty and get a little stuck. There’s a path that runs the width of North America and we’d like to tackle it. Unfortunately it takes multiple weeks to complete it, which we won’t be able to do all at once, so we will be doing it in portions. We set out with the intention of doing this in the next month or two, but then we were slapped in the face with the realization that while we live in a vacuum of decent and warm weather in Florida, the rest of the country experiences this thing called Winter. So it will have to wait until the Spring or Summer depending on the husband’s training schedule. I can’t wait to see parts of the US that can be challenging to reach and aren’t typically visited. 

    The husband standing proud on our first overlanding adventure at the Eglin AFB
  3. Camelback Mountain Resort and Waterpark- This will be our second time visiting this resort. It’s located in Tannersville, PA. We went last year and shared a suite with my brother and his family. This year we will be sharing two suites with my brother’s family and my sister’s family. I’m so excited! We’ll be partaking in snow tubing and the indoor waterpark for three lovely days with family I haven’t seen in many months. It’s a great time! mc-camelback-lodge-aquatopia-indoor-waterpark-0329-20150328
  4. Pensacola, Florida- Wait. This is where you live Carlie. It is! But I’m new, and there’s tons of stuff to do here and the surrounding areas that I can’t wait to geek out and get all touristy in my new home. I want to do to an ice hockey game, a baseball game when it’s in season, walk EVERY street downtown, I hear there’s a dinosaur park, a zoo, and of course ALL the restaurants. 
  5. Washington & Alaska- We will definitely be going to Washington state, specifically Seattle to visit my brother-in-law, and I’m desperately trying to make it a two-for-one and squeeze in Alaska too. I’m dying to do an Alaskan cruise, but I don’t know if the budget will be able to fit in all of these amazing destinations. Alas, Alaska you may have to be postponed to 2018, but I sincerely hope not. Maybe I’ll start a gofundme page 😉 Just kidding…. maybe…

    Stolen from the brother-in-law’s instagram. Hope he doesn’t mind. How awesome does this look though?!

So that is what I’m looking forward to in 2017. There may be a move to Texas also, but thanks to life in the Navy, we won’t know about that for a few more months.

What are your travel goals for 2017?

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