Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The License Plate Game

I was inspired by Amanda Talar’s blog post today since I too was just thinking of license plates – only my thoughts were less gumshoe and more nostalgic.
I had just dropped off my boyfriend at his house. His truck died on Friday and so he spent today looking for a new vehicle.
As I was leaving his neighborhood, I noticed a car with a California license plate. They have one of those simple yet unique and distinguishable plates with cursive red lettering. I like theirs a lot more than ours, especially with the new mustard yellow background. Yuck.
I saw a lot of license plates this past summer. Though, I still have not counted them up, I’m pretty sure my road trip crew and I did not get all 50 states’ plates photographed. But I think we came close.

Being the outdoorsy person that I am – or like to think I am – I’d say my favorite was Utah’s plate which features their iconic delicate arch in the Arches National Park. We went there but did not do the six-mile hike to see the arch. I’d like to go back to see the arch with the Rockies in the background instead of just seeing it from a nearby trail as we did.
But, my favorite license plate-related memory from the summer (and maybe ever, even surpassing the myriad of license plate car games in my youth) was when my ’08 Nissan Sentra finally arrived in California. Following I-90 to Montana, south to Colorado, over to Utah, through Nevada and finally into California, we had gone more than 3,700 miles.
It was a little disheartening when we drove into Santa Cruz and the sunny day along the state’s Route 1 had turned overcast. But then, as I was feeding the meter in front of a souvenir shop, a little boy and his father walked by and the boy said, “Wow! New York!”
It made me think of my childhood and one day hoping to go across the country, and seeing cars from the west coast as a kid only reinforced that hope.
I guess now I hope that a little girl (or a little boy) sees that car from California in my boyfriend’s neighborhood and has that same exclamation and that same dream.
I just hope when they go, they either have a very diverse iPod music selection or that “California Gurls” is not as popular on the radio.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


As another winter squall is about to cover us - either in snow or ice - I wanted to start thinking happy, warm thoughts. My mind went to my summers spent lifeguarding at the Sand Lake Town Beach, and then I saw this fun list of beaches in famous, or at least quasi-famous, movies.
Not only did it take my mind off the weather, it gave me a new appreciation for writing the names of beaches that are in foreign languages (I'm looking at you Phi Phi Leh Beach).
If you think about it, how iconic is The Beach's backpacker's beach where Leo nearly goes crazy to get to and then does go crazy when he's shunned from it.
Or the beach where the famous Captain Jack Sparrow exclaims (and haven't we all said this at some point) "But, why is the rum gone?!" How cool would it be to actually say that, after drinking rum, on that beach?
I'm not as big of a fan of these rocky beaches, like in Twilight. Meh.

Phi Phi Leh, Thailand (The Beach)
Petit Tabac, Grenadines (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Kastani Beach, Greece (Mamma Mia)
Lumahai Beach, Hawii (South Pacific)
Cape St. Francis, South Africa (The Endless Summer)
Devil's Beach, Fiji (The Blue Lagoon)
Leo Carrillo Beach, California (Karate Kid)
Halona Cove, Hawaii (From Here to Eternity)
One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas (Casino Royale)
Indian Beach, Oregon (Twilight)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheap airfare....kinda....

Email had never made me as excited as I was when I read this: New York City to Dublin from $480 Round Trip. That was exactly the amount I was hoping to pay and the amount all my friends said I was crazy to even attempt to budget for. But there it is.

Only's for winter travel through March and the trip I'm looking to buy airfare for is in August/September. Dang!

Along with this, I was a little confused as to how to go about and claim the ticket, which I used airfarewatchdog's email alert to find. I followed the link and the prices were low but not the $480 figure. I then tried to use links to Orbitz (which airfarewatchdog said had the fare) and Delta (the fare's carrier). No luck yet.

I'm not too worried since I'm not planning to buy this particular deal. But I am worried about how this might affect my eventual purchase.

But, this gives me hope that my airfare dream price Does exist.

I guess I'll keep sniffing around...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Let the Olympic Travel Planning Begin…

I don’t know about you, but ever since I heard the 2012 Summer Olympics were going to be held in London I knew I wanted to go. These thoughts resurfaced today when I saw the Olympic schedule had been announced.
College friends and I had made a pact to go. But now, years and years have passed and I’m not too sure where those plans stand (since all of those friends are going to be married by the end of this summer, one of them is the friend getting married in Northern Ireland this fall).
In my social heyday, I always prided myself on sticking to plans no matter what – even if it meant driving in five inches of snow in the Adirondack Mountains or attending six parties in one night (both of which I have done).
Throughout these years since the pact, I added my own promise to myself: that I would attempt to swim the 21-miles of the English Channel while I was over in England for the Olympics.
But, like with my friends, things have changed. During my recent swimming training, my left arm hurts pretty consistently. I’m hoping some stretches and exercises that a trainer recommended will help eventually.
So, much like a javelin thrown into the air by an Olympian with all the hopes that it will go far enough…I’m just not sure where I’ll be or where I’ll land come next summer.
But, I really hope I can go the distance.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Region's Most Romantic Restaurants

We apparently live less than a three hour drive from two of the
country’s most romantic restaurants, according to a Travel Yahoo
The Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont (interesting name, by
the by) was in the top 5 and The River Café in New York City made the
top 10.
The article read: “Glassmaker Simon Pearce’s restaurant, housed in a
restored mill overlooking the falls of Vermont’s Ottauquechee River
and its covered bridge, is a food destination worth its out-of-the-way
address. The exposed-brick and blond wood terrace dining room—hanging
over the falls—is open and airy in the summer and fully glass-encased
during winter.”
It also recommended asking for Table #5 which is a table for two over
the river. I have a feeling those two seats will see a lot of action
tonight (and for a while) thanks to the article.
And, for the River Café: “Ignore all the marriage proposals taking
place around you: the real romance here is the iconic New York City
view, looking out to the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. But
unlike some view-focused restaurants, the American menu lives up to
its iconic surroundings (and has a Michelin star to prove it),
featuring stone crabs from Florida, chicken from the Pennsylvania
Amish, beef from Nebraska, and foie gras from the Hudson Valley.”
Others that made the list included: River’s End in California’s Sonoma
County, The Beach House in Kauai, Hawaii, La Provence in New Orleans,
the Eiffel Tower restaurant in Las Vegas, Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro in
Aspen, The Stonehouse in Santa Barbara, Everest in Chicago, Quiessence
in Phoenix, and the River Café in New York City.
Considering we are so close to two of these, makes me feel like we
live in a pretty romantic region.
If you don’t want to travel too far for romance, however, some of my
favs in the area include the Minissale Wine Cellar Café on 14th Street
in Troy and Paolo Limbardi’s Ristorante in Wynantskill.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Best Day of the Week to Buy a Plane Ticket

Until the other day when I was at a friend's birthday party at Bomber's in Albany, I never even thought there was an ongoing battle over which day was the best for airfare. I thought it was Tuesday.

My logic behind it was a little skewed, I'll admit. I think I heard it was Tuesday from my boss.

But while enjoying the festive ambiance at the always-crowded burrito bar, one of my friends countered my view and said she always thought it was Wednesday.

Well, this discussion apparently has been on other people's minds too lately since there was a story on Yahoo News about it today.

Honestly, after reading the article I'm even more confused. It said something about new prices on Thursdays too and Mondays.

But, it did say that a study done showed that Tuesdays most consistently had the cheaper prices.

I'll give the other days a chance too, especially now that I am on the hunt for cheap Ireland and Northern Ireland flights for a friend's wedding in September.