a small selection of my squished pennies
When I travel, there are certain things I look for to “collect” as a souvenir. Usually these things are small and cheap since we don’t have much space and are on a tight budget. Here are my top 5 favorite travel souvenirs.
1. The first thing is usually the hardest to find – penny squishing machines. I love collecting squashed pennies from all the places we travel. I’ve been picking them up ever since I was a little kid and am actually thinking about buying a special jar to put them all in. Right now most of them are in the books you can buy, but I would love a more general way to display them since I don’t go through the books very often. The new tokens that are turning up in National Parks are becoming a part of this collection as well.
2. Postcards. Traditional, easy to find and usually sold 5 for a dollar, Postcards are a great way to remember your trip. They are great for scrapbooking, making a collage or even tucking into photo albums.
3. Christmas Ornaments. On our very first road trip, when we got all the way to California, we celebrated by buying our first Christmas ornament. We didn’t have an apartment, or a tree, but we knew that someday we would have both and would want to remember our first time to the West Coast. Ever since then we’ve been collecting ornaments everywhere we go. We try to find unique ornaments that really represent the destination and every Christmas we decorate our tree and remember our adventures.
What do you collect when you travel?
Visiting Vermont / New Hampshire with no intention of skiing or spending much money means … random driving and mini adventures. A couple weeks back we went to visit family in southern Vermont and ended up on a day trip to Keene, New Hampshire and random driving across Vermont in search of antiques shops (which we never really found).
It was nice to stop at Hogback Mountain for a minute and I was incredibly excited to find a Penny squashing machine inside the gift shop! Mostly, though, we drove both East and West and stopped in a few small towns to browse. Next visit I think we’ll go North in search of adventure.
Any recommendations for places to visit in southern Vermont?
Last week or so I had a moment of “if they can do it why can’t I”. These moments are often bittersweet for me; especially since I get the winter blues really bad. This winter has been particularly hard on me and I needed inspiration.
Through twitter I found out about Roadtrip Nation and spent an entire weekend watching Season 10 (the only one available for free), totally involved in the idea and inspired by what was going on.
Roadtrip Nation is a public television series, a reality TV show and an awesome movement all in one. Three strangers are chosen to drive the country in a big green RV and interview professionals in their field who are unique or have taken a different route than what was expected of them. The season I watched was focused on scientists and education, but still held my interest. One of the first people they interviewed is a gentleman who uses science to predict the weather and what waves will be like for a surfing website. How awesome is that?
The travelers were “just getting out of college age”, which I suppose makes sense, but I was still able to relate since I seem to be in Generation Stuck. Any other 30-somethings feeling that way? I also related because I want to travel more. And I love road trips. But it was also interesting to hear advice from folks who took a different path than what was expected and turned out okay. It gave me hope.
The interesting thing is that they are casting for a season based around designers right now. I’m not interested in being on TV at all and I’m not really in a place where I could even apply, but I can’t wait to watch the season when it airs. It will probably hit home even more for me and maybe it will fill me with awesome ideas and inspiration. I hope it’s available to watch online since we don’t have a TV.
I haven’t really had time to explore the website fully, but I’m intrigued by the fact that there are independent road trips too. Next time I need inspiration, I’m sure I’ll explore the site more and see what it has to offer.
Have you seen Roadtrip Nation? What do you think about it?
A couple weeks ago, I posted about our favorite Tools for planning an American roadtrip , and now that the trip is over I’d like to go back over a few of those and add a few unexpected treasures.
Last time I mentioned TripAdvisor. I love the website, so I downloaded the app for this trip hoping it would make things easier. In many ways, it was a great app. And quick. However, one major problem was that there were no phone numbers listed in the app for the hotels. It was also near impossible to search for just campgrounds without googling them with the term tripadvisor. I would love for this app to be a little more “all in one” so that I didn’t have to go elsewhere for additional information that I needed.
Now let’s talk about one of my addictions. I love squished pennies. Or flattened pennies. Whatever you want to call them. I love them. I get them whenever I can find them and plan on buying a special jar or bowl to put them in. I have a couple of the books, but getting them in and out of it is difficult and annoying. Anyway, my point being that Penny Collector has an app! It’s not perfect, but it allowed us to search the area we were in and find penny squishers we might not have found otherwise, which made me happy.
Another Unexpected Treasure that isn’t an app was my Keene hiking shoes. I initially bought these for our honeymoon last year and wore them all around Disney World. It was like having sandals on without having to worry about them falling off/being open toe, but I did get a couple blisters on my heel. This time around they were much better, maybe I’ve broken them in. I threw them on one day because I didn’t want to lace my other shoes and ended up wearing them for the rest of the trip. Super comfortable for long distance driving, but also wonderful for climbing stairs and walking around Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower and other stops we made. We didn’t really go hiking, but there was a lot of climbing and walking a few of the days. Now I’m obsessed with them and want to wear them every day.
Do you find unexpected treasures that help out on your roadtrips mid-trip too?
If you are following me on twitter or instagram, you already know that we went on a grand one week adventure very recently. I’ve decided to focus on this most recent trip next on my Destination Wednesday posts because there are far fewer photos to sort than our Away we Go trip and quiet honestly that trip still intimidates me a bit. So, starting either next week or the week after I will get into more detail about our Great Wide Open roadtrip 🙂 !
Visit my instagram page for more collages of the trip, but for now here is a taste of what we saw!
Welcome to Part 2 of our Road Trip to Syracuse series! Last week I showed you some photos from Green Lakes and around Syracuse and Liverpool. Below you’ll find some of my favorite photographs from our time at the Great New York State Fair 🙂
(1.) The Great Potato Booth (only a dollar, any toppings you want) and the Rainbow Milk Bar (25 cents a cup!) are two of my favorite traditions at the New York State Fair. Also, delicious.
(2.) I also love the sand sculpture – this year it was their logo and representations of things you’ll see at the fair. There was even a little roller coaster 🙂
(3.) this pig was super sleepy and cute
(4.) Midway madness! note the sign that says “crazy fried things”. They had deep fried bubble gum which just sounds gross. I stuck to deep fried mac and cheese, deep fried oreos and other delicious things.
(5. and 6.) I love seeing the Birds of Prey show and taking photos of the cuties like these two.
(7.) I was OBSESSED with photographing this fun house. Totally awesome and creepy. I love the 50’s theme, but the paint job is … not great, which makes it awesome. I think this is my favorite photograph from this trip and can’t wait to make things with it.
(8.) We stayed for the Happy Together concert which featured a lot of cool bands from the ’60’s and made us happy.
(9.) Matt and I towards the end of the day. Do we look tired?
Despite the crazy thunderstorms at night, we had a really good trip to New York. It was a fun weekend and a great escape. We were able to fit in everything we wanted to do from rowing a boat on the lake to eating all the deep fried deliciousness we could. Just looking at the photos makes me happy and I can’t wait to get back to Green Lakes at some point in the next few years.
What’s your favorite thing about your local state or town agricultural fair?
Every few years we join my parents on a camping trip to Green Lakes State Park near Syracuse New York and spend a day on the lake and another day at the New York State Fair. I love this trip every time. Camping at Green Lakes has been a tradition for me and my parents all of my life and I love including Matt in on our tradition. Also, this trip features several of my favorite things: driving through the mountains, camping, fried foods, and a state fair. Here are a handful of my favorite photos from part one of our trip. Next week I’ll feature the State Fair part of our trip.
(1.) On our way up, we stopped for gas and saw a bear attacking a phone booth (2.) Our campsite, featuring our brand new wedding gift tent (3.) I love the color of the lake at Green Lakes (4.) Fairy Tale Eggplants at a Farmer’s Market (5.) Old Barber Pole next to a theater (6.) There was an unplanned stop to the Salt Museum (7.) Watching the storm roll in (there were amazing thunderstorms two of the three nights we camped) outside the Salt Museum (8.) No trip to Syracuse/Liverpool is complete without a trip to Heid’s for a hot dog (or coney) (9.) My view from the boat we took out on the lake – again with the gorgeous colors.
Not photographed – we watched Wreck-it-Ralph at the campground one night, which was fun, and saw a giant toad outside afterwards. We also saw a woodchuck, deer and rabbit. And a lot of runners. The park is home to high school running teams over Labor Day weekend for some reason.
Have you taken a trip to Green Lakes? What’s your favorite thing about the park?