https://flic.kr/p/6eueng

This month, I'll be taking part in the Blogging A to Z April Challenge. Each day during the month of April (except Sundays), I'll be submitting a post beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. My theme for the month is "Oh the Places You'll Go!". Basically a look at some of the places I have been, along with a handful of places I would still like to visit. With that being said, today's destination is the West Coast of the United States!

I had a few different ideas for W. Initially I was going to write about Waterbury, Connecticut because I lived there for a few years with my dad while I was in college. However, I didn't have a ton of good memories from living there and I didn't want to depress you all. Then I considered Willits, California because I worked at a summer camp not too far from there. It was a beautiful place and I'll always remember it as a turning point in my life, but I'm sure I'll speak about it in another post sometime.

For this one, I eventually settled on the West Coast. I know it sounds vague, but it was just so hard to pick one place. I grew up on the East Coast of the US, so I always viewed the West Coast as this mysterious and beautiful part of the country. In a way, I could really understand how Lewis and Clark must have felt before they left to go explore that part of the country.

So far I've had the chance to visit Northern California and a small piece of Oregon, but there are a TON of places west of the Mississippi that I still want to see. Here are the top five West Coast destinations I'd still like to see.

The Grand Canyon

https://flic.kr/p/9SHVVX


Seattle

https://flic.kr/p/pNyDuA


San Diego

https://flic.kr/p/boSPj7


Yellowstone

https://flic.kr/p/pg3VkM


The Pacific Coast Highway

https://flic.kr/p/9DyNuU


We're starting to wind into the final days of the A to Z Challenge. Tomorrow should be my biggest challenge because I don't have an X destination in mind yet. Stay tuned to see what I come up with!
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACentral_Library_of_Vanderbilt_University.JPG

This month, I'll be taking part in the Blogging A to Z April Challenge. Each day during the month of April (except Sundays), I'll be submitting a post beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. My theme for the month is "Oh the Places You'll Go!". Basically a look at some of the places I have been, along with a handful of places I would still like to visit. With that being said, today's destination is Vanderbilt University!

Coming up with a post for V was probably the easiest thing I've had to do for this whole challenge. Vanderbilt is always the first place that comes to mind whenever I hear the letter.

I'm a proud Vanderbilt alum. I started attending the college in the fall of 1995 and obtained my bachelors degree in Psychology in 2000. It wasn't always an easy journey, but it was worth every minute of it. By the time I walked across the stage at graduation, I knew that I had become a much more mature person. I'll always be thankful for that.

While I was there, I managed to make friends that I'm still close with to this very day. In fact, I often tell people that I didn't just make friends at college...I made family. We helped each other through our toughest times, and celebrated our successes together. I'm not sure where I'd be without any of them.

One thing that a lot of people find hard to believe is that I haven't been back to visit campus since I graduated in 2000. Although I'll always consider it one of the most beautiful places in the country, I kind of want to remember it as it was back then. I'll always have great memories of living on campus with my friends, and I don't ever want to tarnish those. Maybe one day I'll have a chance to bring my daughter back, but until then I'll just hold onto the memories.

No matter what, I'll always be a Commodore. Anchor down!
https://flic.kr/p/cD5cvQ

This month, I'll be taking part in the Blogging A to Z April Challenge. Each day during the month of April (except Sundays), I'll be submitting a post beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. My theme for the month is "Oh the Places You'll Go!". Basically a look at some of the places I have been, along with a handful of places I would still like to visit. With that being said, today's destination is the USS Yorktown!

When I was in the Cub Scouts, my troop took a trip out to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina in order to tour the USS Yorktown, a retired Navy aircraft carrier. As part of the tour, our troop leader also managed to set it up so that we could spend the night on the ship as well. To this day, it is still the coolest place I have ever laid my head for the night.

A few things that I remember about the trip/tour:

  • Aircraft carriers are HUGE. I mean everyone knows they are big, but take how big you think they are and multiply it by three. The deck of the ship gets a lot of attention, but the inside of the ship felt like a shopping mall as well.
  • The bunks were interesting. If you need a ton of space in order to sleep, you'd never make it in the Navy. I just remember there being lots of welded metal walls and narrow doorways. It felt small back then so I can't even imagine what it would feel like now.
  • The amount of history in the ship was pretty amazing. It was set up as a living museum, so we had a chance to watch videos while we were on board. We kept having to pinch ourselves that the actual boat we were on had been in battle during World War II and the Vietnam War.

If you ever get to Charleston, I suggest stopping by Patriot Point for a tour. And if you can sneak your way into a Boy Scout group, I think they still arrange overnight experiences.
https://flic.kr/p/oBoiiP

This month, I'll be taking part in the Blogging A to Z April Challenge. Each day during the month of April (except Sundays), I'll be submitting a post beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. My theme for the month is "Oh the Places You'll Go!". Basically a look at some of the places I have been, along with a handful of places I would still like to visit. With that being said, today's destination is Toronto, Ontario!

Who travels to colder places when Spring Break comes around? Yeah I know not many people do, but that's exactly what I did when I was a junior in college.

At the time I was in a long distance relationship with a girl that lived in Toronto. Instead of packing up and heading to Florida like everyone else, I took my chances with our neighbors to the north in Canada.

I had visited Toronto with my family when I was a lot younger, but I didn't really remember anything about it. This trip gave me a chance to experience it as a young adult, and it was my first time out of the country on my own as well. I'll never forget how nervous I was going through customs even though I didn't have anything to worry about.

It ended up being a real cool trip though. I got a chance to go to the top of the CN Tower. I also went to a Toronto Raptors basketball game. It was definitely cold, but I dealt with it and still had a good time.

The people were all extremely nice to me while I was there. I've lived around plenty of polite people in my life, but Canadians take the cake. They also had clean subways...strange I know, but it was pretty amazing to me.

If I had to make a ranking of my top five cities that I've ever visited, Toronto would definitely make the list.