If you know me personally, you’re probably privy to the fact that I’m not exactly enamored with the good ol’ US of A–maybe I’ve only mentioned it in passing, or perhaps you’ve heard my harangue about the dissonance between my values and those of the average American (…but I’ll save that for another day)–in any case, spend a little bit of time with me and it’ll quickly become apparent that I’m happiest when exploring foreign locales rather than the motherland.
That said, however, I do have a special affinity for a few places around the US. I’ve had trysts with many a city in this great country over the years, and I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to revisit some of my old flames this summer, as well as a few cities I’m not as well-acquainted with, before I head off on my next overseas adventure.
August and September are shaping up quite nicely so far, and my summer travel itinerary looks a little something like this:
Stop #1: Portland, OR – I’ve lived in Washington most of my life and have never once made it to Portland aside from passing through on my way to California. This summer I plan to rectify this ghastly offense and spend a long weekend touring Portland’s countless cafes and breweries. A friend of mine currently resides in this veritable west coast Williamsburg where she spends most of her time studying or working in a lab, so we’ll have a chance to shake up both of our lives as she steps out into the light of day (kidding!) to show this Portland newb around her current port of call (thanks in advance, Daicia!). If you’ve got any suggestions for a Portland first-timer, I’m all ears!
Stop #2: New York City – Dear god, just typing the name of this place makes my heart race and my palms sweat in delicious anticipation. I said goodbye to NYC back in August of 2011, so it seems appropriate to pick up where we left off on our last summer fling. I wonder how three years apart has affected our relationship–something tells me we’ll fall right back in love. A few old haunts I plan to visit: The Frying Pan, the High Line, Central Park (duh), SHAKE SHACK, and my favorite little bar on the lower east side, Pianos.
Stop #3: San Francisco, CA – As a graduate of UC Berkeley, the Bay Area feels like a second home to me. I’ve only managed to visit San Francisco twice since graduating in 2009, both times planning my trip to coincide with Bay 2 Breakers (a massive foot race/excuse for San Franciscans to dress in ridiculous costumes and drink in public) in late May. This trip will be a little different, as I’m reuniting with some friends from Thailand as well as friends from university, and hopefully a little warmer. Mark Twain wasn’t kidding when he famously stated: “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco;” but Indian summers are typical of northern California so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t need a thick parka for the evenings this time around. On my SF to-do list: picnic in Golden Gate park, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, and indulge in at least one bottomless mimosa brunch.
Stop #4: Los Angeles, CA – Admittedly, I haven’t spent much time in the City of Angels. I’ve always been a bigger fan of northern California (my Californian friends forced me to choose a side when I was in college) and haven’t had many opportunities to explore the southern half of the state. However, it IS much less expensive to fly to other countries from LA than from, say, Seattle or San Francisco, which is why it’ll most likely be my last stop stateside before I head abroad. As with every other city I’m visiting this summer, I’m lucky enough to have several friends (many of which I haven’t seen in years) who have kindly offered me couch space while I breeze on through. Once again, knowing next-to-nothing about what there is to do or see in LA, suggestions are welcome! Beach time is the only given at this point.
Where are you headed this summer? Let me know in the comments and let’s connect!