One day at work my boss comes up to me and asks if I want to join in a work trip to London to showcase our game and announcement trailer. (I had spent quite some time and effort putting the trailer together and trying to polish as much of the animation as I could, so he thought it would be nice that I got to see it while it at its world premier!) Even though I already had plans to go to Mexico AND Japan in the same month, the timing worked that I could do ALL THREE. So heck yea. I jumped on that!
The caveat was that I would only have around one full day of exploring the city. Still, I love traveling and I love engaging with fans, so it still sounded like an amazing opportunity!
So just one day after returning to Boston from Mexico for a wedding, I headed right back to the airport to jump 'across the pond', as they say.
As the leaves outside my window begin to turn fiery orange, it's a sudden reminder that winter is once again fast approaching. Meaning it's almost time to be stuck indoors for the following 5 months! DX
Which means... I have to get as much traveling in as possible before that first snowfall hits!
One place on my list of locations to explore was Rhode Island.
One neat thing about living on the East Coast is that all the neighboring states are super accessible for day or weekend trips. Providence, Rhode Island, is only about an hour drive from Boston, so I figured that would be an easy place to check out. I had heard about this "WaterFire" event that the city holds every few weeks, so I planned the trip to line up with that.
Since we probably wouldn't be exploring Rhode Island much after this, I added 2 more stops to our trip, so the final itinerary came out as follows :
New Orleans, Louisiana, also known as NOLA.
A fascinating history of murder, mystery, vampires and voodoo.
Where homes can grow fresh fruit all year round, and where our host reminds us that "you can't drink all day unless you start in the morning".
I have to say, I didn't know the slightest thing about Ireland before I went. (I had to watch some youtube videos to learn about how it's a different country than Northern Ireland, which lead me down a rabbit hole trying to understand what countries make up the UK.)
The Irish are a friendly, loud, and energetic bunch. It was quite refreshing to be in a place where people smile and say "good day" when you walk by instead of trying to avoid eye contact with you like people do in U.S. cities. People there remain very close (emotionally and spatially) to their families, another nice change from the U.S. They never seem to be in a rush, they don't blare car horns, and they drink A LOT... A LOT A LOT!!!
Suffice to say they are fun people and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. :)
10 Days on the Emerald Isle
It would have been wonderful to stay a bit longer, but 10 days was what I got, and I won't complain about that. Here's a quick glance at where we went during our trip :
As you can see by the map, we visited 7 different towns, starting in Dublin and going south through Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains, through Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Killarney, around the Ring of Kerry (and Skellig's Ring), up and around to the Aran Islands, back to Galway, and then returning to fly out of Dublin.
So, let's jump right in!
This year was my first ever visit to the Grand Canyon!
Everyone always says how photos can't do some sights (like the Grand Canyon) justice, and they are exactly right. No photo can properly convey the majesty and mystery of that place.
The Grand Canyon is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, not only for it's spectacular view, but because it contains extremely old rocks dating back billions of years. There's a lot of interesting history within the geology of the canyon, but I'm more interested in the wildlife and the views. ^^
Day 8 : Custer to Sioux Falls
Day 8 was another 400 mile drive, seeing Mt. Rushmore in the morning, driving through Badlands National Park, and ending in Sioux Falls.
So there we were, on the road driving towards Mt. Rushmore when we see a bunch of signs for Crazy Horse monument. Initially we drive past it, but after more googling and reading about it, we decided to turn the car around and just peek in to see what it's all about.
Day 4 : Boise to Yellowstone
Today's drive would be around 400 miles.
I had lived in California for the past 8 years, and I did visit Portland not too long ago, so Idaho was the first 'new' state for me.
Day 1 : Pleasant Hill, CA to Lake Tahoe.
Ahhh, the beginning of a new adventure!!!!
I was so filled with excitement, it was going to be hard to contain it in a car for the next 2 weeks.
It was a typical bright, autumn morning in northern California, and we were about to begin the longest drive either of us have ever done : California to Boston.
Here was the 12 day plan :
Since I already planned out the major attractions for each day and plotted the cities we would sleep in, all that was left to do was follow it and enjoy ourselves.
We crammed a rental car full of our rolleybags, a guitar, 6 houseplants, my computer, and some miscellaneous things that didn't make it into the uhaul box I shipped out ahead of time from Los Angeles.
Day one involved driving only 180 miles, (a nice, slow start!), ending in Lake Tahoe.
A few weeks ago, I shoved all my stuff into a uhaul box, (the kind where they do all the driving for you), rented a car, and began a trip I've always wanted to do : a drive across the country!!
Here's the route I took (starting in the San Francisco bay area and ending in Boston) :
Highlights included a few national parks like Yellowstone, Crater Lake, a lot of beautiful landscapes and some famous sights like Mount Rushmore.
We ended the trip with a solid 4,524 miles on the car!
That's right! I'm packing up all my things and moving across the country. :)
These last 3 years in Los Angeles have been absolutely incredible. The city has so much energy and fun people, but too many dang cars!
I've accepted a job at a small indie studio out in Boston. In 3 days I'll be getting into a car and leaving LA for the last time!
Sophie is a video game developer who has a variety of passions including yoga, traveling, and photography.