Category Archives: Travel

NYT: The 45 Places to Go in 2012

What’s on your travel list for this year?  The places that I’ve checked off so far (including weekend getaways): Mexico City, Woodstock, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, San Antonio and Austin.  St. Augustine, FL and California to come.

Even though it’s almost May, there’s plenty of time to plan your trip (or trips) for 2012!  Let the New York Times help.  Check out their article, The 45 Places to Go in 2012.

1. Panama
Go for the canal. Stay for everything else.

2. Helsinki, Finland
Design. Design. Design. Aesthetics fuel a new cool.

3. Myanmar
Back on the tourist map after being off-limits for years.

4. London
The Olympics! The Queen! Charles Dickens turns 200!

5. Oakland, Calif.
New restaurants and bars beckon amid the grit.

6. Tokyo
With some tourists slow to return, greater opportunities for those who do.

7. Tanzania
Coming into its own as an upscale safari destination.

8. Chilean Patagonia
Proof that adventure doesn’t have to mean roughing it.

9. Lhasa, Tibet
New luxury hotels bring respite — and controversy.

10. Havana, Cuba
The Cuban capital is once again within Americans’ reach.

11. Moscow
New cultural venues add a dash of the sacred and profane.

12. Glasgow
Zaha Hadid takes on a Scottish waterfront.

13. Puebla, Mexico
International mole festival. Need we say more?
Read this weekend’s 36 Hours in Puebla, Mexico as an inspiration for your trip.

Photo credit: Adriana Zehbrauskas

14. San Diego
With breweries and brewpubs, a sunny heaven for suds lovers.


15. Halong Bay, Vietnam
New ways to visit a natural wonder in Southeast Asia.

16. Florence, Italy
A Renaissance city gets a contemporary kick.

17. St. Vincent
A new resort may put this Caribbean island on the map.

18. Moganshan, China
Luxury in the former mountain hideaway of Shanghai gangsters.

19. Birmingham, England
Could England’s second city be first in food?

20. Space
The final frontier now has a ticket agent.

Click here for #21-45

Doorways of Santa Fe

I’m finally starting to upload and edit my pictures from my trip.  I’m posting them on my photo website – http://www.shereewu.com.  Here are my two favorite doors from Santa Fe.  To view the rest, click here.

 

Sunday, March 25th

7:00am
It’s all over!  NOOOO.  I’m on a flight to Chicago.  K had a 6am flight back to DC.  I’ll miss that girl.  But we had a great trip together.  Our first vacation, just the two of us ever.  We’ve known each other for almost 20 years!

12:00pm
I’m sitting in the plane heading back to NY.  I feel the difference already.  The people are more ‘uptight’ and not as relaxed.  They’re all in a hurry to get somewhere.  NOOOOOO.

3:00pm
I’m back in my apt.  J is here.  It’s a nice welcome home.  Time to make some bracelets (I sold 4 while I was on vacation), do some laundry and get ready for the week ahead.  NOOOOOO.

10:00pm
I’m a lucky girl.  Traveling enables me to see life outside of the NYC bubble.  New Mexico was calm and serene, artsy and cultural, rich and poor.  Texas was friendly, lush & green, spacious, lively.  I felt like friendly Sheree when I was away.  I looked people in the eye and smiled at them.  Said hello to strangers.  Smiled when I was walking.  Was in no rush to be anywhere.

Hopefully some of this carries over to my normal life.  What a great week it’s been.  Can’t wait till my next adventure! Thanks for following me 🙂

Big XOXOs

Saturday, March 24th

10:00am
My last day of vaca!  It’s overcast outside.  We’re sad 😦

11:00am
Off to the spa to relax.  We take advantage of the steam room, whirlpool, relaxation room and pool.

12:30pm
Finally!  The sun’s out!  Like kids, we run over to the water park.  Hello, lazy river and water slides.  When was the last time you hung out on an inner tube w/ your bestie?  Loved soaking up some sun with K.

6:00pm
We pack it all up and head to downtown San Antonio to check out the River Walk.  We do a drive by and see River Walk but with some guy screaming $2 margaritas, we just didn’t seem to enticed to find a parking spot and wander around.  It felt touristy like Times Square.  Now that I’ve been back and talked to people about my travels, they tell me San Antonio is very artsy, cultural and quaint and now I wish I would have given it a chance!

9:00pm
Dropped off the rental car and the 1,000 bugs that I killed along the way.  RIP bugs.

9:30pm
Dinner at a local place called Hofbrau.  They have giant margaritas for $12.  The glass is gigantic and they top it with a bottled beer, red bull, orange soda – whatever the “garnish” is.  We stuff ourselves with some Texan munchies and people watch.  We enjoy our last night of vaca together.

Friday, March 23rd

11:30am
We’re at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.  There are some little gardens to wander around.  We don’t have a ton of time here so can’t explore the hiking trails surrounding the grounds.  We do head to the wildflower fields.  While they don’t go on for miles and miles like I imagined there are pops of Bluebells, the Texas state flower, and a cool underground cave to explore.

1:00pm
K and I parked on the street and are meeting our group for the Austin Eats Food & Bike Tour.  We figured this would be a great way to see the city.

1:15pm
One beer down and a 1/4 of a cheese steak too.  We met the group in a food truck lot.  There are 6 trucks serving items from fish & chips to cheese steaks, ice cream to waffles.  There are 12 of us total.  Andy is the owner and our guide for the day.  He quit his corporate job a year ago to start Austin Eats which leads groups for tours around the city.  This is his first bike tour.  Woohoo!  We might be featured in Budget Traveler too!

2:00pm
Love Balls.  That’s the name of the second place.  A Japanese food truck serving sticky rice cakes filled with all things like octopus and tomato & mozzarella.  Goes down nice with a Sapporo beer.

2:10pm
We hop on our bikes and start the riding part of the tour.  It’s pretty warm out, especially compared to my 30 degree New Mexico days, 75 and sunny.

2:30pm
Stop #3 is a Brazilian place where we eat a chicken stroganoff dish and cheese bread.  Everyone is so friendly here in Austin.  Hipster too.  Tattoos everywhere.  People are exercising too.  Many of them running w/ no shirts on.  Hubba hubba.

3:00pm
Texas BBQ.  We stop at a place where 2 cops are eating.  They’re pretty friendly and chat with us.  Funny thing is that they’re both from the East Coast – NY state and NJ.  We have some delicious brisket and ribs.  I could stay here all day.

3:30pm
Stop #5 is a french bistro.  This place is adorable and they even have a garden out back with a fig tree.  We sample a cheese board, duck liver pate, home made breads, hummus and proscuitto.  I get a bellini that’s $2!  $2!  I can’t believe it.

4:00pm
A little Argentinian food at a restaurant called Buenos Aires.  Pork tenderloin with a chimichurri sauce complemented by a glass of red wine.  I could hang out here for awhile.  All the restaurants we’ve been too have a great feel – atmosphere, service, food are all superb.

4:30pm
Last stop is at Cool Haus an ice cream sandwich truck!  We have scotch flavored ice cream with lucky charms paired with a red velvet cookie.  I contemplate getting more.  I love food!

5:45pm
Our tour comes to an end.  We bid farewell to Andy and the rest of the peeps we’ve met today.  This is a MUST DO if you come to Austin.  Everyone was so nice and hospitable.  A truly memorable experience.

6:30pm
K and I stop at the original Whole Foods.  We both pick up a pair of Tom’s, a nice souvenir from hipster Austin.

8:00pm
After eating and sipping all day, we call it an early night and veg.  This trip is exactly what I’ve needed.