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Best & Worst Vacations

October 07, 2014

">I'm going to be honest. It was a lot easier to come up with my worst vacation experience than my best one. In writing this prompt I also realize that I don't have photos from some of my older trips. My high school graduation present/trip to NYC in 1999 is a perfect example. Let's start with what happens when travel goes wrong.

New Orleans - December 2012

We got married on November 10, 2012 and at the time I was still a teacher. One of the disadvantages of following a school year schedule is that it is tough to get a block of time to go on a long honeymoon during the school year. I wanted to get married outside and that just wasn't happening in hot, humid Florida weather. So we decided to take a mini honeymoon for logistical and financial reasons. I had originally suggested Savannah, GA but T wasn't feeling it so somehow we both came up with the idea of New Orleans. We got great feedback from friends who said that we would just love it there. Seriously we didn't hear a single person say anything negative about New Orleans. I quickly went into my research mode that I go into before any trip. We left Orlando armed with things to do and places to eat authentic gumbo. The trip started off with a rude valet driver who gave us unnecessary attitude and only went downhill from there.  My apologies to anyone from New Orleans, I thought I would love your city, but it just didn't make a connection with us. We can look back at it now and often make the joke that we need a honeymoon re-do. 

T and I feel that we made it to Bourbon Street 10 years too late. As someone in my early 30's the appeal of open containers and peep shows had clearly moved on along with my drinking tolerance. We did find a cool dive bar called The Boondock Saint that wasn't awash with drunk 20 year olds. You gotta love any bar that has a dog on the bar stool. I did enjoy strolling the shops and restaurants on Magazine Street. If I ever return to New Orleans I will probably just hang out on Magazine Street and skip the mess on Bourbon. You never know how you will react when you visit a new place. Some places capture your heart in an instant, some leave you indifferent, and some just don't make a connection with you. New Orleans was like that for me. I thought I would like it due to everything I had seen in pictures and television, but the city and I just didn't make a connection.

Key West, FL 

Key West is often called the real and quirky side of Florida. People come from all over the country to Florida to reinvent themselves, Key West is where Floridians go.  From the first time I drove across the Seven Mile bridge that is the only way to drive into the Keys I quickly felt like I was home. The vibe down there is casual, laid-back, and accepting. This is Florida with no pretense. You will find no theme parks here. T and I started going there early in our relationship and then started making yearly spring trips to the Keys. He even proposed at our favorite place (Pepe's Cafe) on one of our trips.  

Puerto Rico

I grew up going to Puerto Rico every few years since both of my parents are from the island. I have been all around the island from the crowded streets of San Juan, to the east side of the island to visit El Yunque rain forest, to the mountains in the middle, and the beauty of the beaches of the south. It requires no passport since Puerto Rico is United States territory, but I love that it still retains its culture and traditions. It also gets bonus points for allowing me to speak in Spanish and not giving any of those "You don't look Hispanic" comments I get way too often. 

The Daily Tay


  1. I'm SO glad I'm not the only one that didn't love NOLA!

    Your trip to Key West looked gorgeous though, I do want to go there someday!

  2. I'm on the fence about NOLA. I'm sure it's fun in the way that being in any new place is but after I heard about filthy bars and toilets I wasn't so sure. I want to go someday just to go but it's definitely not a priority any time soon. It sucks to spend money and not really enjoy a place all that much so hopefully that doesn't happen again.

  3. I felt the same way about St. Pete Beach in Fl. I felt like I was home!