Exploring Mexico's History at the National Museum of Anthropology www.casualtravelist.com

Exploring Mexico’s History at the National Museum of Anthropology

I have to admit museums can be hit or miss for me. When I’m in one of the world’s great cities it takes a lot for me to dedicate a few hours to a museum when I could be out exploring. While researching what I should do in Mexico City more than a few people, including some of the most well-traveled bloggers I know as well as some locals I met, recommended that I make a stop at the National Museum of Anthropology my interest was piqued. I expected to learn about Mexico’s pre-Hispanic cultures. but what I found here was so much more than your typical museum. With a location in Mexico Citys Chapultepec Park, a strikingly modern exterior, and a collection of artifacts far beyond my imagination; Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology deserves a place among the world’s great museums.

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The Best Places in the World to See Cherry Blossoms www.casualtravelist.com

The Best Places in the World to See Cherry Blossoms

After a long, gray winter it seems like everyone is ready for spring. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the world awakes with blooms of every color. The most celebrated sign of spring is the arrival of the cherry blossoms, whose blooms vibrantly paint cities in shades of pink and white drawing visitors from far and wide. I asked a bunch of my travel blogging friends for their favorite places to view the blossoms; while Japan and and the Washington DC area were popular choices there are a few surprises here as well. Here are the best places inn the world to see cherry blossoms. Read More

Travel Confessions: I went to Mexico City and Ended Up Getting Starbucks and Pizza

Guys, I have a confession to make. I went to Mexico City with full intentions of eating nothing but tacos (and a handful of chapulines if I was feeling particularly brave) and drinking nothing but mezcal and agua fresca, but somehow had a day where I ended up getting Starbucks and pizza. Through this blog I encourage everyone to get out and explore the world; get to know cultures different from your own, taste local delicacies, and experience things you can’t do back home. Like most of you, I have limited time off and try to show how to make the most of a short trip or long weekend. I typically spend hours researching a trip, knowing exactly what I want to do and where to go while allowing for a little spontaneity here and there. I’m usually pretty successful at this, returning from a trip with a camera full of pictures, a handful of memories and temporary too tight pants syndrome from days of devouring the local cuisine.

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Girlfriend Getaways: Skiing at Wintergreen Resort,Virginia www.casualtravelist.com

Girlfriend Getaways: Skiing at Wintergreen Resort, Virginia

My friend Heather and I had been talking about a girls getaway for a few months and the stars aligned for an early February trip. We bandied about a few ideas but when she mentioned that she wanted to try her hand at skiing I had the perfect place in mind-Wintergreen Resort.

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Whale Watching in Virginia Beach

“Whale watching in Virginia Beach?”

The looks from my friends were incredulous as I told them about my experience whale watching a few years ago. Every winter, from December to March, several pods of humpback whales migrate from their summer homes of the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia and spend the winter months feeding in the rich waters where the Chesapeake Bay opens into the Atlantic Ocean. Whale sightings have been plentiful and frequent the past few years but despite this,  one of Virginia’s greatest winter experiences remains a secret even to many locals. On a clear but chilly January weekend I brought my friends down to the Virginia Aquarium for a winter wildlife boat trip so they could see the whales for themselves.

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A Winter Weekend in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

“Four score and seven years ago……..”

This famous speech from Abraham Lincoln is the introduction to Gettysburg most of us get in elementary school. Lincoln’s speech and the events that inspired them also inspire many people to visit this area of southern Pennsylvania. With a year round population of only 7,000 people Gettysburg has a staggering 4 million visitors a year with the bulk of them coming in the spring and summer. Winter? Well, that’s another story. On a quick weekend trip in January we practically had Gettysburg to ourselves. No traffic clogging the bucolic country roads and no fighting the crowds at the monuments. A weekend is just long enough to get a taste of Gettysburg, with one day focused on Gettysburg’s past and one day focused on Gettysburg’s present.

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A day of learning at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida-www.casualtravelist.com

A Day of Learning at Big Cat Rescue

Every year during the holidays we head south to Florida, to sunny Tampa where we get to celebrate Christmas with Steve’s family with palm trees and 80 degree weather replacing pine trees and snow. Of course one of my favorite parts of our yearly Florida trip is spending time with my niece Morgan, a super fun kid who is growing up far too fast for my liking. When it came time for our girls’ day adventure we had tons of options, after all Tampa is famous for its white sand beaches and theme parks. This year, our choice was completely up to Morgan and she had one place in mind-Big Cat Rescue.

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Where to Travel in 2017- Top Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Destinations www.casualtravelist.com

Where to Travel in 2017- Top Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Destinations

If you’re anything like me as soon as the fireworks and celebrations of New Year’s end the search for where to go in the coming year begins. I reached out to the travel blogging community for their suggestions on the top destinations for 2017 and the response was overwhelming. The 34 destinations on this year’s list span the globe; from Antarctica to the Azores, Fiji to Finland, Malawi to Mongolia these places will surely inspire your wanderlust. Without further ado, here is where to travel in 2017. Read More

The Casual Travelist Turns 3-Yet Another Year of Adventure Near and Afar

As we all celebrate the start of a new year January 1 also marks the anniversary of when I first hit publish here at the Casual Travelist. I started writing three years ago as part of the healing process after my Mom passed away from early-onset Alzheimer’s and every day I’m amazed and grateful for all of you that have chosen to stop by my little corner of the internet. The past three years have been filled with opportunities and adventures that I couldn’t have imagined when I started writing but what I cherish the most is all of the new friends, both in person and online, that I’ve made along the way. You guys really are the best.

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My Best Travel Moments of 2016

If you’re like me right about now you’re wondering just how the past year flew by so fast. I managed to make my goal of traveling at least once a month over the past year,all while working full time. Three countries, seven states and a whole lot of exploring Virginia provided a year’s worth of adventure. Without further ado, here are my best travel moments of 2016.

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