Lifestyle March 2021

Jen Fairbanks’ Pre Pandemic Travels

I like to travel… Well, I liked to pre-pandemic travel. Saying you travel right now, is forbidden, even though 50% of America pretends that COVID doesn’t exist. But listen, we’ve come to the realization that this is our new America. Those of us who wear masks everywhere, continue to wash our hands, and stay home more than go out, have to just find different ways to enjoy the world. Since the pandemic started, I’ve cancelled a Vegas trip, a Hawaii trip, and a New York trip, so it’s not lost on me that the world isn’t the same. I’ve visited Vegas twice, to a ghost town, and stayed in a house owned by my parents. But ya’ll, I miss exploring. So, this is about as good as it gets, reliving my past travels, talking about the things I used to love about new places, and pretend someday “normal” will return. (At this rate, we’ll never travel abroad again)

California Coast (Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo) My trips to California were as typical as it always is for a tourist. The trip is heavily Los Angeles centered, where you get let down that Sur doesn’t look like it did on Vanderpump Rules, and the amount of trash on Hollywood BLVD makes it look like a dump. That, coupled with the tourism centered beaches, and gated communities makes LA basically a worthless vacation, let’s be honest. But, moving north on PCH is not only a beautiful drive, but a couple hours away is San Luis Obispo. It’s a little town, off the coast, hidden in the mountains, with a small town feel and California weather. We ate great food, walked the sidewalks, visited the “gum wall” and made plenty of stops on the way there and back to see the “pretty” parts of California.

Nashville, Tennessee More than likely known for it’s country music and Bachelorette parties, Nashville has some hidden gems for those of you who don’t want to drink at every country bar on Broadway. There are lots of “historical” buildings a few blocks off the big main “strip”, and even further out has tons of local boutiques, a few photo walls (that aren’t just the normal Nashville Wings), and a bunch of trendy restaurants.

Nassau, Bahamas When thinking Bahamas, you think hurricanes, and also that Mary Kate and Ashley movie. Though, in reality, it’s an island riddled with history and poverty. A lot of the island isn’t beautiful, and it’s very hard to travel through for safety. At the same time, there are historical building, and hidden gems all around that make it worth the trip. (We were only here for one day, because this was a part of a cruise) The beaches are a bit of a drive, but you travel by taxi or bus, and they’ll bring you to tourist safe beach areas (if there’s not a beach connected to your resort). Now, I’ll say this island is definitely a good “travel area” if you’re at a resort, but I would not recommend visitng the island itself, for an

Scottsdale, Arizona I really could never imagine a place on the planet, like Scottsdale. It’s the first time in my life, where I’ve felt like “home”. It was crazy, to feel like you belonged somewhere, so specific, at that exact time. Scottsdale itself is beautiful, with sunshine, palm trees, and mountains. It’s weather is pretty much perfect, all the time, and there’s so much to do. There’s amazing restaurants and the best vibe in Old Town Scottsdale. There’s hiking, IN and around Scottsdale. The botanical garden is amazing too. And most importantly, the entire city is an Instagrammer’s paradise. I’d move tomorrow.

New York City I loved NYC because there’s just so much to do. When we went, it was a lot of walking, because it’s truly people’s place to live, so things to see aren’t all just in the same place. Those of you who live or have lived in New York, hate the people like me, because I just like to look at things, and I’m constantly in the way. I went to Good Morning America, where I met Robin Roberts, who has been literally my dream of meeting since I was about twelve, and I almost died so there’s that. It’s cool to be connected to the shows you see on TV (like SNL), or seeing Broadway shows (which, I chose to stay in bed and eat instead). New York has something for everyone, even if it’s just their pizza.

Cayman Islands The Cayman Islands were part of the cruise that I’d gone on, so we only stayed here for a day. It was brightly colored, and even going in at the island, it was beautiful. It was a different vibe from when we visited the Bahamas. It’s obviously a tourist destination, and that’s how many of the locals make their money, but we traveled into the island a ways, and it was still lush and green and beautiful. This is definitely a place you’d only visit if you were at a resort, but a quick Google search shows that there’s some really nice all-inclusives on the little island.

Colorado Springs I mean, I just needed to add this to the list for the views, not for the reason I was there. I mean, truthfully, I wouldn’t say “Go to Colorado Springs, because there’s a really nice road, near a Fuzzy’s Tacos, where you can lay in a bed and sign divorce papers”… Alas, there’s a ton of things you can do there. Garden of the Gods in an unreal state park with beautiful views, there’s hiking, tons of local shops, and if you go- you must eat at The Golden Bee. Easily the best vibes for a little Colorado Dinner Spot.

Everywhere Else. I mean, I know I’ve done the travel thing, live in multiple states thing, and even the “why are you making me road trip here” thing, but if you’re looking for little getaways, my honorable mentions may be for you. Des Moines, Iowa has lots of activities, and some cute restaurants. Chicago is my favorite big city, and sometimes I wish I lived there. Milwaukee is a great weekend trip, filled with breweries and lots of beer. I loved visiting Louisville, and there’s even a fun CASTLE (yes, from a Vanderpump Rules wedding) that you can visit. I didn’t love visiting Philly, except for the Cheesesteak, which, I guess was the main thing that Philly had to offer anyway. I also didn’t particularly love Baltimore, but it was wet & cold, so maybe it needs a second chance…

Other than that, I’m excited for traveling again. First on my list is Miami, and then hopefully we hit herd immunity so I can spend my dirty 30 in Las Vegas.

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