Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Where have you been this year, Mary?

Roughly in order visited, here are the places - other than London! - where we've spent a night or more this year. This misses places when we stayed nearby; we were in Seattle but stayed in Kirkland, in almost every area of the bay but stayed in SF, San Jose and Campbell... * means we spent more than one night there, + means we visited multiple times and underlined places are those I hadn't stayed in before...

Springdale, UT *
Las Vegas, NV *+
Mojave, CA
Paso Robles, CA +
Cambria, CA
Campbell, CA *+
Barcelona, Spain *
(we didn't spend the night as we drove through it, but on the way we stopped in Perpignan and Dijon)
Calais, France
Orlando, FL *
Cincinnati, OH *
Ashland, KY
Lexington, VA
Sparta, NC
Brevard, NC
Charleston, SC
Saint Augustine, FL
Melbourne, FL
Laguna Beach, CA *
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA *
Santa Monica, CA *+
Atascadero, CA
New Orleans, LA *
Dublin, Ireland *
Bellevue, WA *
Kirkland, WA *+
Furnace Springs, CA
Palm Springs, CA *+
Palm Desert, CA *
San Francisco, CA *+
St Clement, Jersey *+
San Jose, CA *+
Mariposa, CA *
Lee Vining, CA *
Malvern Wells, Hertfordshire
Hay-on-Wye, Powys
Los Angeles, CA *+
Portland, OR *
McMinnville, OR
Coos Bay, OR
Eureka, CA

Countries: USA, Spain, France, Ireland, Jersey

US States visited: Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Utah, California, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Louisiana, Missouri (just the runway)

US States visited for the first time this year: West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri


Airlines flown this year: Virgin Atlantic, BMI, British Airways, Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest, FlyBe, Virgin America (first time and we loved it)

US National Parks visited: Zion, Death Valley, Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains, Canaveral National Shoreline, Yosemite, Alcatraz Island, Mount Rainier

Highest point: Tioga Pass 9,945 (the highest accessible by car pass in California) (not higher than we've been before, but on a new road to us - the 120)

Places we finally got to after years of going right past: Alcatraz

Adverse weather conditions: stranded in Barcelona (volcanic ash), Tioga Pass closed after we drove over it (early snow), the storm we were a day ahead of all the way down from Seattle, the minor snowpocalypse in London (more iced in than snowed in)

Ferries taken: Condor (Poole-St Helier-Weymouth), P&O (Calais-Dover), Washington State Ferries (Clinton-Mukilteo), the ferry across the Mississippi from New Orleans and back

Craziest road trip taken: a toss up between the week we spent driving back from Ohio to Florida having just flown there - Cincinnati to Fort Lauderdale via the Blue Ridge Parkway and down the Florida coast - and the 13-hour drive from Perpignan to Calais to escape Barcelona after the volcano so we could fly to Orlando.
Saner road trips taken: Las Vegas to Palm Springs (via Death Valley), Seattle to San Jose (via the Willamette Valley, Portland and the Oregon coast)

Wine areas tasted in: Paso Robles, Washington, Willamette Valley, Santa Cruz mountains, Lodi, Livermore

New cuisine of the year: New Orleans (beignet! crawfish boil! better shrimp and grits!). - or food carts in Portland. We also had our first full molecular gastronomy menu at Baume in Palo Alto and sous vide at Republica in Seattle.

Previously unexpected food discovery of the year: good chinese food in Ohio

Previously unexpected alcohol discovery of the year: I like American winter ales and some pumpkin ales (Elysium)

Old favourites that are still as good: Original Joes in San Jose, Tamarine in Palo Alto, Enoteca Turi in Putney

Donuts of the year: Top Pot in Bellevue narrowly beats Cafe du Monde in N'Orleans due to the variety - the robot donut maker in Pike Place Market and the cafe on St Catherine's breakwater always get an honourable mention

Best grilled cheese: tillamook sourdough the bakery in McMinneville OH

Friends seen: never enough!
Tags: annual, beer, food, travel, wine

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