Anyone else feel like summer went by in about five seconds? I wish I could've hit the pause button a few times, but alas, here we are with the end of unofficial summer upon us.
Even though I love September and its many travel possibilities, I am mourning the end of that time of year that brings to mind sunny days on the water, barbecues, beach days and warm breezy nights. Don't go, summer, don't go. But if you must, let's reminisce, shall we?
Just as I did last year, I'm rounding up some of my favorite travel moments from summer '17. This summer was unusual for me, in that the first half felt like trip after trip and plane after plane, and then the second half was mostly spent with me staying dormant in New York and the surrounding areas. Not gonna lie, I am ready to get back on a plane, but it was fun being still and all for a few weeks.
That said, here are some travel moments that stood out to me from this summer, and for the purposes of this blog, I'm considering summer to be from Memorial Day to Labor Day (sorry, Bali, you don't count):
Eating My Way Around Japan
Japan is a place that's long been on my bucket list so to actually get there was amazing. I really enjoyed my time there and had so many observations and impressions of what's a very fascinating culture. But if I had to name one thing I loved the most about Japan, it's the food. I have no shame admitting I ate my way around Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, and it was glorious. Weeks later I'm still thinking about the sushi, the ramen, the gyoza, the gyudon... you get the point.
My Cooking Class with Rocky Mountaineer
Does it count as a travel moment if you didn't physically travel but instead traveled through an immersive cooking class? I'm going to make it count. Over the summer, I was invited to take part in a private cooking class with Rocky Mountaineer to experience their Canadian-inspired cuisine being served on their luxury rail line. The meal — which included goat cheese and heirloom tomato salad, roasted salmon with herb risotto and lots of chocolate — was wonderful, thanks in part to our amazing executive chef, Jean Pierre Guerin. It was a fun and delicious way to experience some of what Rocky Mountaineer has to offer.
Celebrating My Friend's Wedding in Savannah
One of my closest friends got married in Savannah this summer, and it was so lovely, not only because it was one of my closest friends and I was excited for her to marry the love of her life but also because I got to experience a city that's long been on my bucket list. I visited Charleston last year and knew I also wanted to get to Savannah. Overall I preferred the latter city, with its Spanish moss trees, beautiful streets (hey, Jones Street!) and comfortable southern hospitality. Not to mention the great food that was eaten (hey, Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room). Thanks for the fun times, Savannah!
Attending the Montreal Jazz Festival for the Fourth Time
Anyone who's either read this blog or been around me for a period of time knows I love Montreal – LOVE Montreal. I've been five times, four of those times during the Jazz Festival. The energy of the city is just so amazing during this time, and there are so many other things going on, not just the jazz festival. This latest trip to Montreal was as much fun as my previous trips. Though I didn't get to see Joss Stone perform like my last visit, I still had a great time listening to live music, walking around the city and practicing my French.
Eating Cheese, Drinking Wine and Enjoying Lake Life in the Quebec's Eastern Townships
Another favorite travel moment that involves food! During my past Montreal trips, I usually stayed in the city, with the exception of one time when I combined Montreal with Quebec City. This last trip, I ventured out again, this time to the Eastern Townships. Located a little more than an hour outside of the city, the Eastern Townships are a collection of towns with beautiful mountains, farmland, wineries, fromageries and lakes. It's peaceful and the perfect complement to city life in Montreal. In fact, a number of people keep summer homes on the lakes in the Eastern Townships. If only we could all keep a summer home on the lakes in the Eastern Townships. For those who can only visit, it's the perfect place to indulge your cheese and wine addiction, which is basically what I did.
Lobster Roll-ing in Sag Harbor
Most recently, I did a quick trip to the Hamptons with my sister, mostly to check out a pop-up restaurant in East Hampton. But I have to say it was the lobster roll that was the highlight of my time in the Hamptons. Before we left, my sister wanted to have a lobster roll because nothing says summer like a lobster roll, so I did some digging on Yelp and found Harbor Market & Kitchen in Sag Harbor, which ended up having one of the best rolls I've ever had. Combined with the charm of the town itself, it was a great way to commemorate summer.
Well, as you can see, many of my favorite travel moments from the summer were actually more like food moments, but so often my favorite food moments are linked to my travel experiences. It's one of the things I love most about travel.
As for the rest of the year, I still have five more countries in three continents ahead of me, so look out for more favorite travel moments ahead 😀