Finally sitting here to recap my latest long trip! I’ve decided to break it into small installments focusing on the highlights or it’ll be too much and would end up being a novella lol. So part one is all about the first week of the adventure. Road tripping down to FL before a week long Caribbean cruise to ring in the new year!
We (my mom and I and my travel bears hehe) set out right on Xmas eve. We had our little dinner and gift exchange celebration the night before and on Dec 24 we packed the rental car, my mom prepared a special festive dinner and snacks for the road and we left home towards Albany. There is not a lot to do/see on Xmas eve and Xmas day since everything is closed! But, we did find out about this holiday light show they put on for cars to drive by in Albany which was perfect, festive, new for us and happening at night! So we didn’t have to leave home too early or rush on our way there😀 The lights were fun although the "trail" was too short in my opinion 🙁and we were a bit disappointed that there was nothing else to see that night after the car excited the loop of lights. But we had fun anyway 😃 and I was grateful there was at least something to do that offered photo ops haha.
The next day after opening gifts from Santa (New 3DS thank you!!) We headed towards what we thought was our next stop in NJ, but as it turned out the only thing to do that day somewhat in the area-ish was in Brookline... So back to New York we went to finally check out a movie-like neighborhood covered in holiday lights and displays! It was so fun and a good walk, much needed after two days in the car. Plus I've always wanted to see one of those neighborhoods that go all out and only seem to exist in my screens 😜The day after was a longer drive down to Baltimore both on miles and traffic. Who would have thought traffic could be so bad the day after Xmas! We were so bored moving at like 10mph, we ended up just pulling into Delaware’s visitor center while the traffic cleared a bit. The unscheduled stop and crazy traffic made our Baltimore arrival a really late one (for normal business hrs that is.) So we just had time to check Ripley’s Odditorium on the harbor and have dinner in the same area. It’s such a fun area that it was worth it anyway. And we learnt about Baltimore’s own Nessie-like legend, Chessie the Sea Monster 😆
We had about 24hrs or so in Baltimore, so next morning, by googling what we wanted to do (apparently google suggest self-tours with all its routes for you, who knew?) we modge-podged our own "tours" to see as much as possible, even if it was just driving through to take a picture on some spots. We had fun, but if you’re not going shopping or have time to go to the museums, a big city has just so much appeal before it's just another city... The best area was definitely the harbor and we found out as we were leaving they had little Chessie boats to explore the bay, just for that I’d like to go back.
The one museum we did get to see was the Geppi's museum which is all pop culture and had a lot of Disney history and a special exhibit on Alice in Wonderland! It was so fun to get to see comics, toys and random items from every decade!! I wanted all the disney ones!!! Especially the 50s ones, why don’t we have cool toys like that anymore? 😞
Next stop was Richmond VA, and since we only had that day for it and in previous years we had already done the city, we decided to explore new areas which landed us in the Maymont gardens and mansion. It was gorgeous and very much needed. The weather was fantastic, there were animals and lost of nature all around to walk and reconnect with, and the mansion has Italian and Japanese gardens, which I can only imagine how they must look during any other season. Also if you plan your visit in advance you can get tickets to see the inside of the mansion just as it was in the 1800s 😀 So fun! As it was, it was tourists season and so crowded we only got to check out the servants quarters, but even that was impressive and fun. I love seeing old timey stuff hehe. We spent the first half of our VA day there. After Maymont, looking for something photography-worth it and still in the festive spirit we went to the Lewis Ginter Botanical garden and OMG! It’s the best botanical garden I’ve been to, at least the way they dressed it up for the holidays made me like it better than the NY(Bronx) one, it’s ranked 4th in the country and now I NEED to go find the first three. It was amazing! We went at night for their special holiday lights display, but having just done something similar in Boston before the trip I could see the huge contrast and just wow!
After the botanical garden closed we were on our way to somewhere in SC lol, that was just a sleep stop and we spent the whole next day on the road on our way to Savannah. We barely made it to dinner on River Street at what used to be our favorite place there, which is still pretty good, but the fried green tomatoes were much better the last time we were there, and played a little taking pictures around the street, getting the most amazing pralines and stretching our legs.
The morning of the 30th we went to visit Forsyth park and Wormsloe since we had never given ourselves the time, grabbed breakfast at my new favorite place, a small vegan spot called Sentient Bean and headed down to Cocoa beach for our last night on land! Unfortunately after Savannah the whole day was spent on the road, and had such an early morning the next day and had to re-arrange our luggage deciding what went on the cruise and what stayed, doing our nails for the new year, etc that all I saw of Cocoa beach was the hotel room lol.
Next morning super early, we took the 20min drive to port canaveral to sail away on the Disney Fantasy and straight into 2017😃 More on that on the next post.
*For more pictures and random trip details from my traveling bear's perspective you can follow their insta account. If you scroll down enough you'll see the trip day to day. If you scroll down to Xmas in Manhattan you've gone too far 😜