I’m not a trip report guy. Not usually a fan of ‘em. But I did do less hoarding this year, so here’s my moment to remember some trips. As usual, the ol’ schedule was crazy, so long weekend domestic travel continues to be the name of the game. As the year comes to a close, here were my Top 10 favorite domestic trips of the year (in order):
- Maui – It was great to discover Kauai, but it was a strangely emotional experience leaving Maui. What can I say? That damn island is my absolute favorite place on the planet. Flying there and staying at the Andaz for free is enough to make anyone feel grateful. And, in Maui, I am so very grateful.
- New Orleans – That Maui trip was my 3rd time there. The week in New Orleans was my first. And, man, what a city! There are a couple things I believe to be true about “The Big Easy.” First, it’s the most special city in America. Why? Because if it went away, there’s nothing to replace it with. Second, there is no better food anywhere. Honestly, I don’t know how it’s possible to live there and be in shape. I would happily move to New Orleans. And would soon become a jolly fat guy.
- Lake Tahoe – My second time there. I love North Tahoe and like the Hyatt. Never visited in the snow, but really enjoy the “warmer season.” Great hikes, clean air, and the friendliest people in America. This section of Nevada should teach kindness classes to the rest of the country. If you live in any of these first 3 cities, I’m crazy jealous right now.
- Park City – Never, ever thought I’d be a fan of Utah. Well, I was wrong. This is one adorable little town. Again, I was there for the warmer off-season. My favorite meal of the year was in Maui at Morimoto’s sushi restaurant. Number 2 was Green Goddess in New Orleans (poached eggs, wild mushroom gravy, grits, sweet potato biscuits, etc). Number 3 was here in Park City at Goldener Hirsch (schnitzel with panna cotta for dessert). Ok, I need some food. Like right now.
- Encinitas – San Diego has never been my favorite place. But the beach towns outside of the city (Encinitas, Carlsbad, Cardiff) are incredible. Luckily, this is road trip distance for me, so I plan to do a lot more exploration.
- Dana Point – I was here for just one night. Wow, you rich Orange County people sure know how to live. Add some zeroes to my bank account and I’d love to join the fun.
- Morgantown – Like all Indian men out there, I was raised in West Virginia. Ok, that might not be true. Anyway, I do love my hometown. Went to my 20th high school reunion in 2014 and got another reminder. I was very lucky to grow up with a great group of people.
- Charlotte – This wasn’t my favorite city (no offense to Charlotte readers) but it was a very special group. I spent the weekend with some very close friends and we tore this boring city up. Ok, that was meanish.
- Scottsdale/Phoenix – Again, this was an incredible group of friends in a pretty bland town. These last two are all about the company…not much to be said about the locations.
- Las Vegas – Well, someone’s gotta come in last. The good news? I love to gamble. Wait, that might be the bad news. Anyway, the strip isn’t really my scene. Positives? It’s a fun city for a weekend. I loved hanging out in sportsbooks and enjoyed discovering the lake this year…just not sure how much of a Vegas guy I am.
What a year of travel…these American discoveries were made possible by the magic of miles and points!