2010 was a great year of travel for me. It started with a wonderful wintery visit to Portland, Maine. I’ve not been that far north before! Portland was a cute maritime town with lots of wonderful places to eat! Fore Street Restaurant is the restaurant that any visitor must eat at when in Portland. Friendly staff and service. Food was just amazing and fresh! I had the best dark and stormy cocktail, ginger ale and rum. Portland is also home to Dean’s Sweets,one of the best place for artisan truffles I’ve ever consumed, and made by an architect! When you are in Portland, you must stop in and pick up a batch! My favorite flavors include: Scotch, chocolate stout, hot cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger.
But the main travel that took place in 2010 was a 2 week tour England! It was a wonderful trip to go around England and visit
cities and towns by car. We struggled at first getting used to driving on the “wrong” side of the road and then understanding
their road signs which were (in my opinion) few and far in between. Weather couldn’t have been better. Only one day did it drizzle but the rest was very pleasant and sunny. The highlight of the trip for us was noticing the famed Stonehenge along a motorway while we were on our way to Devon. It was so surreal to recognize the ruins of Stonehenge so close to the motorway. Stonehenge was on our list of places to visit but we were not planning to make this visit so soon along our itinerary. We did not hesitate to make this detour.
The personal highlights for me of this trip to England was visiting Devon and Cornwall, and staying at the Bovey Castle. It was there where I was first introduced to clotted cream fudges. I can still feel and taste these delectable treats melting in my mouth! I also had a wonderful afternoon tea experience at Bovey Castle with a pot of mint tea and the tiered stand of sandwiches with the curst cut off, scones with jam and devonshire cream, and pastries.
Another highlight of the trip, which I enjoyed was my first ever travel contest, where blog readers and Twitter followers guessed where I was while traveling around England. Winners who guessed correctly received a personalized postcard of the particular destination. There were plenty of opportunities to win and I sent out a lot of postcards on this trip! This is something I plan to continue to do in my future travels. This contest has also inspired me to send myself a postcard with a personal note to collect in my travel scrap book for my next trip.
York was a pleasant surprise and I ended up liking it more than I had anticipated. I would have liked to explore the other parts of Yorkshire but the couple of days we spent in York were really nice because we weren’t running around seeing everything. We had also spent a lovely morning/early afternoon at Castle Howard.
As I had mentioned earlier, the weather was incredible while we were in England. When we got to London, it was unseasonably HOT! We spent the last few days in London and I must admit, it went by quickly. We hit a lot of museums and churches but it wasn’t the only thing we did. We took in a bit of theater at the Shakespeare’s Globe to see Macbeth. The thrilling performance had inspired me to reconsider Shakespeare.
While in London, I met up with a couple of wonderful people who I got to know from the social media tool called Twitter. It was interesting getting acquainted with them virtually on Twitter. Getting to know them in person was a positive experience, and in fact, has made our friendship feel more real if you know what I mean…
As most people who own the iPhone, they are aware of using the iPhone without wifi is very costly so what is one to do when they way to stay socially connected while on the go? Well, I looked into various options and found one that best suited my needs and that is with a mobile wifi device from Fonmigo. I also carry a regular cell phone. I bought a local SIM card to use with my cell phone to make calls locally and back home without incurring crazy charges. There are lots of mobile carriers available in cities and towns so you don’t need to worry about finding one.
One of the things I enjoyed about the trip to England was the preparation, organization, and arrangements I made to make this trip as successful as it was. There are things I would change in the organization now that I know, but because we had a lovely taste of England, there is a great chance of returning and revisiting certain places we didn’t spend enough time exploring but that won’t be in 2011.