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Summer of Travel - East Coast Edition

I'm back on the road in the USA! After seven months spent mostly in Latin America (see my Ecuador, Argentina, and Panama posts) - with a brief interlude in Manhattan - I have returned to the United States for the summer so I can scale some of the highest peaks in the country back in Colorado. But I have a number of other destinations in mind too. Over the four months that I'm here, I'll be visiting more than a dozen places, sometimes for just five days and sometimes for seven whole weeks. I'm wrapping up my first month in the country of my birth, in which my east coast friends and family were lovely enough to let me mooch off them for accommodation and food. Here's what I've been up to. 

Baltimore, Maryland

This was my fourth time or fifth time visiting Charm City. Last year, my friends bought a beautiful brick townhome in the Otterbein neighborhood, just four blocks from the inner harbor. So, I was excited to go see the renovations they've done and all the gardening my friend has done on their charming rooftop space. All the best parts of Baltimore are walkable from their house, including everything along the harbor and all the great restaurants and shops in the Fed Hill neighborhood. We had friends over for Memorial Day, played with the kinetic toys at the Visionary Arts Museum, heard the vocalist Teresa Ferrara put the written word to music at the stately Peabody Library, and saw the Orioles score three home runs in the 6th against the Marlins. It was a great week!

Washington, DC

This was probably my twelfth or thirteenth time visiting the nation's capital, so I opted out of all the touristy things. Instead, a lovely friend of mine who needed to head out of town for a few weeks let me crash at her gorgeous apartment in the yuppie fantasy land of Navy Yard, or really The Yards. It's this area by the Nationals baseball stadium that appears to have been bought up by a single company determined to extract as much money as possible from anyone who steps foot in their domain. As their website says, The Yards isn’t simply about living in a single building – it’s about a complete way of life. Everything that young, upwardly mobile professionals is in a less than one mile stretch along the river front: luxe apartment buildings, wineries, breweries, fine dining, casual dining, brunch spots, ice cream, a grocery store, salons/barbers, multiple boutique gyms, kayaking, bike rentals, running trails, baseball, free outdoor summer events, dog parks, uber friendly concierges in all the apartment buildings. There's honestly no reason to ever leave that tiny area, unless you get tired of the military playing Call to Post on the bugle at sunset every day. Yes, there is a real navy presence still in Navy Yard.

I did actually leave The Yards a few times to go work at the Splunk office in Tysons Corner (in McLean, Virginia) to meet my new boss and the few other folks floating around. But mostly I stepped into the shoes of my friend for the week, living life in a bubble along the Anacostia River. I can see the appeal for a short while but it was so strange to think of my friend living there when where she resides most in my mind is on the top of a 14,000 ft mountain in Colorado. Although neither of us want to move back to Colorado and we'll likely not live in the same place together again, I did, happily, get to spend one evening (dinner at Due South) and morning (breakfast at Yellow) with her (and her adorable Samoyed) before she had to leave. 

Buffalo, New York

My stay in Buffalo was split into two parts - two days in early June and five days at the end of June, with a Vegas trip in between.  
  • I went to my 25th high school reunion, and got to see some high school friends outside of that.
  • I bought a car. I didn't get the Bronco I wanted because Ford still has too many production issues and it would have been impossible to get a custom one guaranteed delivery in exactly the five day window I needed it. I bought an older SUV (with a ton of features - like a sunroof and heated seats - that make me happy) that didn't break the bank so I can still get my Bronco at some point in the future when I'm more settled.
  • I saw my baby sister (and her household of birds, dogs, and rabbits) and my brother who both live locally, and I even saw my brother and his whole family who were visiting from Kansas City. Our stays overlapped just half a day, but it was nice to see my crazy niece and nephew again.