2018 is gonna be the coolest, I can feel it. I do wanna show some major love to 2017 though. You were a blast honey. I learned so much. In February, I didn’t know how to write a blog post and today this is my 40th. Here are my worst and best travel moments of 2017…
Worst: A Scene in Seattle
In May, we took a family trip to Seattle. (Let me know in the comments if you're obsessed with Greys too) It was our last day there and we were lowkey waiting for our lunch at an outside table in Post Alley. Then, a random guy in his 50’s came over to us and started to turn one of our tables over. After that, he told my sister to start running and get away from us. My mom is a therapist, so she tried to reason with him. When my sister didn’t react, he started to cuss at us, smacked my dad in the head, and ran off. Like what the hell lol. Crazy bizarre.
You might also like: My Seattle Bucket List
Worst: Cabin 10 in the Woods
I’m obsessed with growth. I often try to throw myself in ridiculous situations to be uncomfortable and learn something. So, I booked a cabin in the woods for two nights by myself. This was my biggest mistake of 2017.
The first night in the cabin, I sat at the kitchen table trembling with fear. Did I tell you I’m afraid of the dark too? Well, kinda. Okay actually I usually sleep with a light and the tv on, so I should shut up. Back to the kitchen table. I wrote in my journal for hours- paralyzed to look up from my notebook. Afraid of what I might see out a window. Afraid of what might show up on the staticky tv screen. Afraid of who else might have keys to this cabin. Why didn’t I book one night? That’s growth. Why didn’t I take at least one person? That’s progress. Why didn’t I try sleeping in my OWN room with the lights off? That’s something. I’m ridiculous.
Thankfully, a REMARKABLE friend came to my rescue and drove hours to comfort my biggest demon: overthinking. I still could barely sleep. I couldn’t settle down. All my bones ached, it was as if they were coated in anxiety too. Pace means everything when you’re looking to grow.
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Worst: Were You in There the Whole Time?
So, I turned 21 in October. That’s the story.
Jk, anyway, my parents and I left for North Carolina at 4am THE MORNING AFTER MY 21st BIRTHDAY. As you can imagine, the night before included a nice dinner and a little bar hopping. I thought I had it under control. I threw up twice before my parents picked me up and was like yeah this is gonna be just fine lol.
Fast forward to our first flight, which was an hour and forty minutes. I was in hell. I was nauseous, pissed off, and light headed, but I was not about to throw up on that airplane. I will not be that girl. Then my parents would be right. They warned me routinely that they would not babysit a hungover kid in an airport lol.
Well, with 20 minutes left of the flight, I thought I had made it. Then we started to descend. I ran to the bathroom and threw up everrrywhere. I cleaned it up and tried to head back to my seat. Although, when I tried to open the door, the flight attendant slammed it back shut. I was like what the hell I guess I am supposed to land in here? Is that protocol? I held onto the walls, I mean what else do you hold onto? I’m sure people do this all the time if she won’t let me come out.
We landed, and I tried the door again. She slammed it shut a second time! What the flying flapjack. WHAT is she pissed at me? Am I gonna get her fired?! So, I was like maybe I needa wait until the seat belt sign turns off? I wait, hear it, and try again. I KID YOU NOT SHE SHUTS IT AGAIN. What the hell!! You saw me run in here lady!! I wait a minute and try to open it as fast as possible. Finally, I could step out. Her jaw drops and she says, “Were you in there the whole time? That door always swings open on its own!”
You might also like: Five Good Eats on the Outer Banks of NC
Best: Trespassing + Cold Rapids
Who likes Juicy J? Alright cool so I went with some friends to Denver to see him and it was insanely fun. I almost threw up that night too. Beside the point, but you like need to hit a show at the Fillmore Auditorium, it was a freakin’ dream.
Okay, so cold rapids. One of my coworkers told me about this bomb place called “Rainbow Falls.” My friend Zo and I decided to give it a try. I used maps to find it and that was a nightmare, but it did give me a general location. Somehow, we found ourselves trekking a half mile upstream in cold rapids. Two pairs of wet leggings later, we stood in front of the graffiti bridge that was home to the falls. This place was so rad. The bridge was covered in graffiti, but like the best kind that just worked together. It was like nothing I've ever seen before and now is my favorite spot in Colorado hands down.
After we spent an hour taking photos and climbing around, we decided to find a better exit. As we started down a sidewalk path, two cops started to shout at us, “You’re trespassing! You can’t be here!” Pretty sure I kept saying, “We aren’t from here,” and started walking real fast back to the car. Lol, we couldn’t find the entrance in the first place, so we didn’t even know the park was closed. Probably shouldn’t have told you that, I would’ve sounded way cooler.
You might also like: Five Places I Dig in Colorado
Best: There's Big Snakes Up by Valentine
It was 6am and I had just left scary cabin 10. I had originally planned to stop at Smith Falls in Valentine and then head to the Badlands from there. However, the trip to Valentine added a few hours to my trip and I just wanted the comfort of a hotel room already. Plus, I remember a friend in high school saying, “There’s big snakes up by Valentine.” Lol my overthinking for ya. You best believe this statement didn’t leave my head the whole day. Yet, if I went straight to the Badlands I wouldn’t be able to check in to my hotel for like six hours. Valentine it was.
So, I drove to Valentine and tracked down this waterfall. The path was a little confusing and spooky. I finally found the notorious bridge over the Niobrara and that was a sure sign I was going the right way. Eventually, I met a scary winding wood deck that said, “Smith Falls This Way.” I kid you not, this deck was in some deep woods. Woods like cabin 10. Woods that made me think “big snakes big snakes big snakes” every step.
However, when I saw that waterfall, every fear melted away. I was alone there, face to face with one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen. It was in Nebraska, my state, and my roots. That moment, for the first time, I felt like a real travel blogger. Which is crazy, because I was so close to home. I can’t tell ya how long I stared at that gushing port of life. It was like God was saying, “You’re doing it right Lo.”
You might also like: Seven Tips for Visiting Smith Falls in Nebraska
Best: A Breakfast Club Moment
I haven’t had a bad day in a long time. This trip to Oklahoma was cold and windy, but it didn’t impact a single ounce of fun. After a full day of exploring Oklahoma City, Josh (a bff of mine) and I drove to Hefner Lake. This was the prime spot to watch the sunset, from what I had read on Pinterest. Pinterest was sooo right. It was such a nice night, the wind died down, and you could see the city center from afar.
I felt like I was in North Carolina sitting up on that wall. I couldn’t believe Oklahoma could make me feel something. I was falling in love with every state I visit, how is that possible? Then it hit me. God designed this place and every place Lo, what do you mean how is it possible? It was a true Breakfast Club moment.
You might also like: Winter Checklist for Oklahoma City
As always, God is TOO good. I am ecstatic to learn what's gonna happen next. Until then, I'm stoked to see how the next 24 hours goes. Life is real fun. 12 months flies by fast.
*What are you planning in 2018?
3784 Caratoke Highway
Oh, this sweet place. In October, I made my third trip to this incredible rustic market. During each visit, we discover a new jam, dip, or candy we must try. Did I mention that they let you try almost everything?
Anytime we head to the Outer Banks, you can find my family stopping here for treats that make for great beach snacks. I wanted to dedicate a whole post to this place, because this is the place. When I step in here, I always think, "Wow these people are doing it so right."
You'll feel it too. The friendly smiles. The help a blink away. The warm colors of pumpkin and dark jam. The personal touches in decoration. The joy of shopping both inside and outside. Southern hospitality is absolutely a real thing at Morris Farm.
This place first started when Walton and Ginger Morris began to sell sweet corn out of their pick-up in 1982. There may be quite the expansion today, but the heart of those two blanket over their products, service, and farm.
If you are ever on Caratoke Highway in North Carolina, pull over and have the farmers market experience of a lifetime.
*Do you have a North Carolina favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
Travel bucket list:
Countries visited: 5
states left: 11