Last year was a big year of travel for us. Each year we seem to have the same new years resolution though. Which is more travel of course! And the planning has already kicked in for 2016. We have loved sharing just a small sample of our travels on our blog with you and here are the top fifteen most read stories for 2015.
Utah’s National Parks – where the ground rises before you to majestic peaks of multiple colours; where it bottoms out to vast valleys and canyons below your feet; where it turns watering holes into rapid rivers around the next corner; where the 4am wake-up calls to witness the birth of a new day is worth every second – and all this can be found in just one park.
Here we are at the end of another year, and what a year it was! Our 2013 goal of more travel was certainly achieved and it was a resolution we didn’t mind keeping! We wrote about just some of those wonderful travel experiences here, and reflecting back we thought we’d take a quick look at some of our most popular blogs to date. Here is a look at some of the highlights of 2013.
Travelling can be a rewarding experience while supplying a lifetime of great memories. But being in a new city and not knowing your way around can turn a potentially great holiday into a stressful situation. Travelling is so much more than just booking a flight and walking around. It takes careful planning and preparation to ensure you maximise your time and money. So to ensure an easy start to your vacation (local speak for ‘holiday’) consider these practical tips for getting around in the U.S.A.
Driving through the wild Wasatch Mountains only an hour and half drive from picturesque Salt Lake City, Utah, we turned off the unpaved road into Scare Canyon. This dusty one car lane meandered through the forest and deep into the thick woods where we were greeted by the charming A-frame log cabin we were to call home for the next three days. It’s rustic out here with no running water, no electricity and just the stars to guide us. I was in love already…
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is possibly the most impressive site that I’ve ever seen. President Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in preserving this national park over a hundred years ago. Said to be over 17 million years old, the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is probably one of my all time favourite destinations in America.
America is the theme park capital of the world. With over 120 million people, or five times the Australian population visiting a theme park every year, this can mean long lines and wait times. So why wait? Most parks now offer VIP tours and passes to help you skip the queues.
Sometimes, a name is just a name, and other times it speaks volumes about a city or town. From the wacky, to the downright unfortunate, these 10 towns make quite a name for themselves.
10. Nothing, Arizona
What can one say about a town named Nothing? Rumoured to be founded in 1977 by ‘a bunch of drunks’, its total population is four. Situated 100 miles northwest of Phoenix, Nothing consists of a gas station and a scrap metal yard. On the bright side, this town has zero percent unemployment; they all work in the gas station! Don’t blink, you might just miss it.
9. Hellhole Palms, California
Located in sunny California, Hellhole Palms grows, you guessed it, palm trees. That’s it. No one lives in Hellhole Palms, but for some reason it has its very own special place on the map.
8. Belchertown, Massachusetts
You can’t help but get a bit gassy at the mere mention of Belchertown. It was once known as Cold Springs, but someone in his or her wisdom thought the name Belchertown would be a more suitable name. A section of Springfield, Massachusetts, the area has a population of 15,000 and is only 55 square miles in size (143km).
7. Hell, Michigan
George Reeves founded Hell soon after Michigan gained statehood in 1837. When he was asked what the name of the town should be, he famously quipped “I don’t care, you can name it hell for all I care.” Well, the name stuck! Always the entrepreneur, George owned and operated a saw mill, gristmill, distillery and store/tavern. He needed to do something with all the extra wheat growing in the surrounding fields so he turned it into whiskey and opened his own tavern. He may have been an old grump, but he was one ‘Hell’ of a business man.
6. Accident, Maryland
Located in Garrett County, Maryland, it’s it’s not quite clear how Accident got its name. As if its name weren’t bad enough, the townspeople are referred to as ‘accidental’. According to the last U.S. census in 2010, the population of Accident was approximately 325, with a median age of 34 years.
5. Nameless, Tennessee
When this town applied to the federal government for a post office, the box for city name was left blank on the application. Receipt of the application was returned with ‘Nameless’, written in the box for town name.
4. Bummerville, California
Bummerville is an unincorporated community in California without any record of residents and no known reason to be included on the map. But here it is anyway. Most people seem to feel more comfortable living in nearby West Point. Now that’s a bummer!
3. Kickapoo, Texas
They’re the butt of many jokes, but hey, Kickapoo has its very own airport and is home to one of the nine kick-ass Air Force Space Surveillance Systems. Is it wrong that we want to visit?
2. Pee Pee, Ohio
Pee Pee’s name comes from the creek of the same name, which is rumoured to come from the initials of an Irish settler. Thankfully the Irish settler’s name wasn’t Patrick Uleary! There are approximately 10,000 Pee Pees in this little hamlet, and I’m sure it’s a lovely place to visit.
1. Unalaska, Alaska
The top spot of unusual names has to go to Unalaska which is located in, where else, but Alaska. Located way off the snow shovelled track in the remote areas of Alaska, the town interestingly has the largest fisheries port in the U.S.A. measured by volume of fish caught. Unalaska is also home to the television series Deadliest Catch.
And that rounds out our top 10. Do you know of other locations in the U.S.A. or your own country with unusual or different names? Let us know below in the comments field.
One of the best times to visit the U.S.A. is around the time of Independence Day celebrations on 4 July. With summer in full swing the country enjoys this holiday outdoors – and what better way to enjoy it than with family, friends and fellow countrymen.
It’s day 5 of our 12 days of ‘where in the US would I love to spend Christmas and we’re in a city that is closer to my heart than any other. I’ve spent more time here than anywhere else in the U.S. – a city dotted with quaint neighbourhoods and cultural enclaves, great food (one of my favourites being the deep dish pizza), shopping on the Magnificent Mile and of course a Great Lakes coastline….
What better way to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit than a visit to one of America’s inspiring national treasures – the beautiful sights that make up the U.S. National Parks System.
The National Park System includes national monuments, battlefield parks and old homesteads and buildings that tell the stories of America’s past. Of course the park system also includes the beautiful natural wonders of the country and in this list we will take a glimpse at several of the places that we have come to love – vast areas of immense beauty that must be seen to comprehend and truly appreciate.
Hawaii and mainland USA are set to become more accessible for Queenslanders. From 28 November 2012, Hawaiian Airlines will become the first US airline to fly to Queensland when they commence non-stop service between Brisbane and Honolulu. Offering three departures per week every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evening, the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft will return to Brisbane with an early afternoon departure from Honolulu.
One of the smallest of the fifty states, Hawaii is a cosmopolitan destination offering modern elements with historic flair. Hawaii’s diverse elements have formed a unique South Pacific culture that beckons, whose people are eager to welcome visitors with that famous Aloha Spirit.