Page 2 of CStephens Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Massachusetts » Boston March 3rd 2016

I've never flown Turkish Airlines before. As it turns out, it's super nice. Not only are the seats comfortable and the staff very accommodating, but the food is delicious and the free wine doesn't hurt. They even had actual chefs and menus on board, which was awesome. Their movie selection was absurd (almost every Oscar nominee this year, as well quite a few non-English ones). The downside: nine hours, two seats over from a baby. The upside: I made it to Istanbul alive and not TOO tired!... read more

North America » United States » Massachusetts » Boston August 30th 2015

Home again, home again, jiggity jig. All went smoothly in our travels. Michigan was decently fun. And, as promised, some stats: 3700 miles 64 hours 11 states 17 days Best places: Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Minneapolis Honorable Mentions: Denver Not worth your time (sorry to anybody from there): Albuquerque, Mt. Rushmore, Cheyenne Dishonorable mention: Mojave Desert. I'm sorry, but 117o is just not cool (pun intended) Coolest things to do: Swim in random reservoirs and lakes we happened across, drive the Trail Ridge Road, win money in Vegas Best food: Buffalo. South Dakota wins one Until my next trip, thanks for reading!... read more
Bye, Gladys!

North America » United States » Michigan » Ludington August 25th 2015

So here's a fun thing: the town we're in is so small that it's not listed on this website. Ludington is close, but the house is in Free Soil. Anyway, we got up early today and drove to Manitowoc, WI. From there, we took a four-hour ferry ride across Lake Michigan to Ludington. The ferry is pretty nice: cars down below, people up top. It has a tiny arcade, a movie room, staterooms if you'd like, plenty of seating, bingo, trivia, and two cafes and two bars. Not incredible, but more than enough for four hours. Better than a six hour plane ride! On arriving, we went to dinner at a nearby restaurant, and then went back to the house, where we have four days of rest and relaxation before heading off our separate ways! There's ... read more

North America » United States » Minnesota » Minneapolis August 24th 2015

After a slow morning, we got up and moving on a mission: to see some artsy stuff, and check out the biggest mall in the country. We started at Mall of America. It's about a 20 minute drive outside the city, but good lord is it immense. You walk in, and the central courtyard has a full amusement park. It's not just one roller coaster, it's three. And two dozen other rides. Of course, there's a couple hundred stores and cafes, an arcade, a kids area, and about 11 parking lots. And a hotel. I literally can't even explain it. We just wandered around, played some in the arcade, window shopped, did a little actual shopping, and then just laughed about there being an actual amusement park in a mall. When we got back to the ... read more
Sculpture swing thing
Cool netting

North America » United States » Minnesota » Minneapolis August 23rd 2015

Lots and lots of nothing. That was today. We drove, for 10 hours, seeing nothing but fields. One segment was almost 400 miles, another more than 150. There was little exciting or special. We did stop by Sioux Falls for lunch, where we got sushi. Walking out, Serena and I went to the car, turned around, and Laura and Amit were gone. We spent 15 minutes looking for them and it turns out Laura was craving ice cream and just headed across the road, no warning. And then they were just waiting over there. There's a small chance I may have driven over to get them, and then driven off as they reached for the door. Eye for an eye? Anyway, we got in late, but did finally get to our Airbnb. For this city, Serena ... read more

North America » United States » South Dakota » Keystone August 22nd 2015

Don't bother going to Mt. Rushmore. Really. Some national parks or monuments are worth it. The grandeur puts you in awe. Grand Canyon is one: you cannot imagine its immensity, even in front of it, but less so through a picture. Mount Rushmore? What you see is what you get. Your imagination is all you need. We were in and out of the park in less than 2 hours. There is little to do there, and not a lot to see besides the mountain. Sure, it's cool. But really not worth a trip. We also went in to see Rapid City, the city nearby, and get lunch. We found a dinosaur park that was just a bunch of giant dinosaurs on a hill. To a bunch of nerdy 20-somethings, it was AWESOME. What was also cool ... read more
From up closer
Crazy Horse monument-to-be (and completed face)

North America » United States » South Dakota » Keystone August 21st 2015

We're back! I know it's been a very (very) long hiatus, and most likely the only people to read this will be those who get the emails and those who they alert, but I figured I'd put my last few entries up tonight, just in case. Also, for those family members I haven't yet seen. Today, we drove. We drove for about 10 hours, to be precise, with only a handful of stops. The first 2-3 hours were, in fact, the best driving on the planet. Look it up. Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved road in the country, peaking at a bit over 12,000 feet, and it is curvy and windy, breezy and windy. Parts are above the tree line, views are out of this world, and the second half can be coasted in ... read more
We stopped for a short walk and a photo. Wow.
Hi Gladys!
That beautiful speed limit

North America » United States » Colorado » Grand Lake August 20th 2015

After a wonderful night catching up with my family, we took advantage of the chance to sleep in late in comfortable beds. I got up around, I would guess, 9:00, and went for a nice run around the golf course near their house. Bad idea. The air at that level, combined with not having run for about a week and a half (but given how much we've been doing, it feels like a month and a half), made the run extremely difficult and tiring. I did enjoy the water waiting for me when I got back, though! After breakfast and packing up, we headed into downtown Denver for a couple hours, because we did, of course, need to see the major city we were staying near. It's actually very much a city I could see myself ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado » Centennial August 19th 2015

Today was quite an interesting (and sometimes annoying) one. We woke up and got moving around 9, with two stops planned on our drive: one at a hot spring, one for a hike. I only got Laura moving by threatening that we wouldn't stop at the hot spring if we didn't get moving by 10:30. Well, as it turns out, we didn't actually get out until 10:45, and I did accidentally keep my promise. It turns out, all the good hot springs on the east side of the Rockies - where we were driving - are owned by resorts. The hike-in ones are all in the center and west, several hours off our path. So alternatively, I looked for swimming holes and found 2 that were doable. Except that one was closed due to a wildfire ... read more

North America » United States » New Mexico » Albuquerque August 18th 2015

Although I'm glad we got to visit Albuquerque, I don't think I see myself coming back anytime soon. It was cool, and our Airbnb host was amazing, but it's just not really my style (read: too hot. Among other issues). Regardless, we did do some pretty cool stuff. We started by visiting Old Town, which did have some neat shops. A soap shop, an olive oil store, and some cafes and art stores were among the group we walked by. We found a really cool fro-yo place that was self-serve, but priced by size rather than weight, which was wonderful for our wallets, if not our waistlines. From there, we drove to the Rio Grande State Park, where we walked along the Rio Grande for a bit, and sat in a nice little pond-overlook-room and watched ... read more
The gorge

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