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  • Writer's pictureLara Draxler

2019 Travel recap and recommendations

As I look back, last year was such a great year for us. Especially now that we are kind of stuck and can't travel, I can't believe how much I took for granted! I am SO thankful we got to go so many fun places last year.

exploring Charleston, SC

Last year's travel highlights included:

  • celebrating our one year anniversary in Charleston, SC (splurge trip last year). We stayed at the Indigo Inn (affordable B&B IN the historic district of this beautiful southern city. We did rent a car but were able to walk almost everywhere we wanted.) Because we are FOODIES, most of our budget went to eating out.

  • My favorite meals by far were at Jestine's Kitchen (southern comfort food), Peninsula Grill (high class cuisine, FABULOUS atmosphere and service, delightful coconut cake and champagne pairing), Hall's Chophouse (best prime rib I have ever tasted), Poogan's Back Porch (best biscuit), Magnolias, and High Cotton. My goodness this city has THE BEST food!! I ate my weight in shrimp and Chuck wanted to try shrimp and grits everywhere we went!

  • Best tourist activities in Charleston for us: harbor cruise, carriage ride with a guided tour full of stories and southern charm, visiting the Charleston Museum (the oldest museum in the US), touring the docked USS Yorktown (WW2 era aircraft carrier), and Middleton Place plantation.

  • Bonus kids marched in the parades at Disney World last summer with the Glenwood City High School band. Chuck and I went along as chaperones and had an AMAZING time. This was THE most frugal way a family of 5 could go to Disney together in my opinion. We got to watch the kids' amazing performance on Main Street in the afternoon parade and we got to tour the parks as a family.

  • leading a team from our church to with with Living Water International to drill a well for a community in need of clean water in Honduras. This was the second time for me in Honduras and Chuck's third. The people are so kind and hospitable. Serving together to help those in need is something Chuck and I both love. Also, if you want to have an adventure, see the world, help others, and travel economically, humanitarian travel is great for that (more to come on that topic later)

  • I traveled to TN twice (we always go for a holiday visit and I went again last summer for a long visit with family)

  • Chuck and I marked a weekend trip to Grand Marais, MN and Thunder Bay, Canada off our bucket list last summer. I REALLY want to go back to Canada! This was an extremely affordable road trip. We stayed at a Best Western in Grand Marais and found the most delightful supper club which offered a FABULOUS and frugally priced dinner. It was called the Naniboujou Inn. I also loved eating at Sven & Ollie's pizza and having lots of yummy coffee from Java Moose.

  • Once we got to Canada, we drove into Thunder Bay. I must say, I wasn't HUGELY wild about the city, but we did stay at a very cool old inn housed in an old courthouse called the Courthouse Inn. We got a suite for around $100 per night. It was SO nice. They also had a lovely hot breakfast provided. We enjoyed eating poutine and getting out to Kakabeka Falls and exploring the waterfalls and woods of Ontario. This was amazingly beautiful. On our way back into town we found a roadside ice cream stand selling strawberry rhubarb ice cream sundaes which were DIVINE. We ate a modern restaurant in Thunder Bay. The food was delicious and focused on Canadian fare (Lake Superior fish and fowl). It was called the Silver Birch. I thought it was an excellent value for the price as well.

  • I also enjoyed an amazing family trip to Disney in October with my sister and nephews. We hit all the highlights of the parks and attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party. Again, Disney is probably my favorite US destination. There is so much to do for visitors of all ages. I loved the fall themed visit and cannot wait to return.

Wow. This concludes my epic travel story! I realize that I have been so many amazing places in my 35 years. I am so excited to return to "normal" after this quarantine and start adventuring again. Moving forward, I will chronicle every trip, date night, etc. as they occur. Adventure is OUT THERE!

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