Destination Wednesday: Top 3 Favorite Travel Souvenirs

destination wednesday by fallenpeach

squished pennies photo by fallenpeach

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?

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Destination Wednesday: Vermont and New Hampshire

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).

Vermont Window in Window photograph by fallenpeach

Life is Sweet Keene New Hampshire Photograph by fallenpeach

Kiplings Restaurant Vermont photograph by fallenpeach

Lines in Keene New Hampshire photograph by fallenpeach

Hogback Mountain in Vermont photograph by fallenpeach

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?

Have you Heard Of : Roadtrip Nation ?

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?

Road Trip to Syracuse Part 2: The Great New York State Fair

destination wednesday by fallenpeach

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 🙂

New York State Fair Baked Potato and Milk Traditions photograph by fallenpeach

New York State Fair 2013 Sand Sculpture photograph by fallenpeach

Sleepy Pig at the New York State Fair 2013 photograph by fallenpeach

Midway at the New York State Fair photograph by fallenpeach

Bird of Prey photograph by fallenpeach

Cute Lil Owl at the New York State Fair photograph by fallenpeach

1950's Fun House at the New York State Fair photograph by fallenpeach on etsy

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Lindsey & Matt of fallenpeach

(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?

Road Trip to Syracuse New York 2013, part 1

destination wednesday by fallenpeach

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.

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(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?

Destination Wednesday: New York City Birthday Adventure 2013

destination wednesday by fallenpeach

NYC chrysler building photo by fallenpeach

On Sunday July 14th we celebrated my birthday (a bit late) with a wonderful NYC adventure. Matt had surprised me with tickets to see Newsies on Broadway and we’d been planning the day out for at least a week. The last time we were in the city it had been freezing cold, this time was not quite but almost the total opposite. There was a nice breeze, when you could catch it, but the muggy temperatures were a bit overwhelming at times.

Our first stop was supposed to be a Street Fair on Lexington, but when we arrived at the location there was absolutely positively no street fair. I had taken a photo of the computer screen with the address and we had it right, but no street fair. Instead we walked a bit farther in that direction and visited the Horace Greeley Statue since we were about to go see Newsies. Alas, we didn’t know there were TWO statues of the man and went to the closest, but not the one we wanted to see. It was still a nice little park though. Next time we will actually go to Newspaper Row.

Horace Greeley Statue photograph by fallenpeach

From there we moved on to Times Square and were totally touristy by wandering Toys R Us, the Disney Store and sitting for a while on the big red steps over TKTS. It was nice to not feel rushed. We didn’t over plan the day, so we had time to just relax and enjoy the madness. I absolutely loved going up the escalator in the Disney store, see below for reason!

NYC Disney Store photo by fallenpeach

Minions Poster in NYC photo by fallenpeach

Also, there were Minions! Lots of minion posters made me happy.

For lunch we went to Virgil’s BBQ and from the moment we walked in I was happy. Cool, quiet and good music. For a restaurant just off of Times Square at lunch time, Virgil’s was surprisingly quiet and a great meal. The hush puppies (one of my most favorite things) were amazing, and they had Boylan’s Soda (orange for me!). For lunch I had hot dogs with cheese and fries, which were also delicious and Matt had a beef brisket sandwich which he said was incredible. We’ll definitely be back.

Hush Puppies at Virgils photo by fallenpeach

We ate lunch a little later than planned, but it worked out because we were able to get in line for the show not too long after. They brought out the merchandise (try saying that without an exaggerated New York accent after watching Newsies) and I bought a program and a tote bag. I have programs for nearly every single Broadway show I’ve seen. It’s my thing from when I was a kid. I’m only missing two (The Sound of Music and the Beach Boys musical) because the shows weren’t around long enough to print them. I have the Playbills though!

Newsies on Broadway photo by fallenpeach

Ah, the show itself. They made some random song lyric changes, changed around a character or two and Jack was no longer a cowboy. But the show was fun, the staging was awesome and the voices were good. I liked some of the changes and additions and disliked others. I wish the actor playing Jack had been a little less “angry young man” too. But I liked the show. Was it the best show from a movie ever? No, not really. But it was good and I had fun, which is the important thing. I particularly loved the sets. There were three sets of fire escapes that moved around the stage and were used to really good effect. There was a really cool old fashioned cartoon like chase going on on them at one point too. I loved that they used digital projections for some backdrops and for showing the newsies putting together their paper at the end.

Walking back to Grand Central I saw the sun shining through the trees of Bryant Park and was happy.

Bryant Park NYC photo by fallenpeach

All in all, a fun day in New York City.

Matt and Lindsey of Fallenpeach

When’s the last time you went to New York? What did you do there?

Destination Wednesday: Hello America Roadtrip Roundup

destination wednesday by fallenpeach

Destination Wednesday started with an idea – an idea to share my memories of our roadtrips – beginning with the one that started them all. Over the past few months I’ve been sharing blog posts from our first America Roadtrip, which we called Hello America 2009 and lasted two weeks.When we started planning Hello America, Matt and I had been dating for less than a year. It was an ambitious trip to take together, but we never doubted that it would be amazing. And it was.

matt and lindsey in san francisco by fallenpeach

this is us in front of our hotel in San Francisco

From the Hello America blog, circa 2009:

We’ve arrived back home. It was pouring rain for the vast majority of today and we’re mostly just glad to be out of the rain.

I kind of wanted to just keep going – maybe up to Canada and then down to Vermont and then back to Gatlinburg and then who knows… but sadly our funds are not bottomless and I have to return to work tomorrow. 😦

That was the best adventure I’ve had and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. The things I saw and experienced made me speechless and I’m so so so glad that we went on this trip. ” – Lindsey, April 20, 2009

Those few sentences say it all. We just wanted to keep going. Keep driving, keep adventuring. The spark of our next trip was just that at this point, but from the moment we got home we were subconsciously planning our next grand adventure.

Starting next Wednesday I’ll be posting about smaller adventures leading up to our second grand American Road Trip ( called Away We Go).

What’s the biggest adventure you’ve been on?

In case you missed any of my posts about Hello America 2009, I’m linking to all of the entries for this trip here:

1. Loveland Castle, Ohio

2. Chicago, Ilinois

3. Alliance Nebraska and Carhenge

4. San Francisco, California

5. Big Basin Redwood State Park, California

6. California Coastline – CA1

7.Las Vegas, Nevada

8.Out West

9.Memphis, Tennessee

10.Gatlinburg, Tennessee