Quite the traipsing around the USA this summer – in a handful of weeks I visited rural Alabama, New York City, Dallas/Fort Worth, and, Houston.
I was shocked with how absolutely beautiful north east Alabama was – the waterfalls, hiking, and, other geographical features were so much fun to enjoy. I was in Alabama for work but there was some down time so we went hiking, I feel so fortunate because I don’t think I’ve ever heard ANYONE say “Alabama is mountainous and beautiful.” Once again, I enjoyed being the rural parts of the USA where things are made. It was fun to chit-chat with the locals, learn about the area, and enjoy their hometowns. I had no idea the Talladega Forest was so beautiful and mountainous. It was very special to have the chance to go through. The food was great, the hospitality was great, and, the scenery was great too! I actually want to go through north east Alabama again some day.
New York City, Dallas / Fort Worth, and Houston all happened in a whirlwind and was all work related. I’ve been to all these places in the past but this time was a bit different. The forest fire smoke plaguing the twin cities was in New York City too. It made for some rather beautiful sunsets and was a neat juxtaposition for the skyline. I spent quite a bit of time walking in NYC – I walked the Brooklyn Bridge, walked around Chinatown, and, even managed to walk into LaGuardia international airport. I think LaGuardia might be the only international airport I’ve ever visited where a person can walk into the airport. I thought my google maps directions were wrong but then I saw others walking into the airport and figured, “why not?”.
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge was a surreal experience. Last time I walked the bridge it was 2013 or so, and, my trip to NYC wasn’t work related so I had more time to goof around. Individuals taking selfies and generating other social media content on the bridge is extremely common now; so common it’s impossible to NOT be in someone’s photo / video / post. It was surprisingly difficult to walk across the bridge and get around everyone taking pictures and videos of themselves. Oh well. Chinatown was neat. I really wanted to get some real Chinese food and thought I picked an a good restaurant. Whatever I ordered ended up being unpalatable. Kind of surprising considering the ratings. Eating the delicious NYC pizza multiple times was absolutely fabulous – it was sooooo wonderful to eat actual, delicious, yummy, NYC pizza.
Texas was Texas and boy was Texas hot. Every time I walked outside it felt like I was getting hit in the face with hot oven air when checking cookies. It was uncomfortable. The BBQ was so fabulous and I finally visited a Bucee’s. I had no idea Bucee’s was more than a gas station, it’s like a destination. It’s possible to get just about anything in a Bucee’s, and, I found the holy grail in Bucee’s – they make their own banana pudding. HOLY SHITBALLS it was wonderful.
I ended up making a spontaneous trip to Houston because Delta Airlines is a terrible airline and cancelled my flight. It turns out the only real way for me to get back around the time I was supposed to get back to Minnesota from my work trip was by driving five hours from DFW to Houston. It sucks being locked in a Delta hub because this is about the 1,000th issue I’ve had with Delta, and, while I fly a lot with Delta, I don’t fly enough with Delta for Delta to care about me.
So that’s about it. The work trips were pretty great! It’s wonderful to shoehorn in some sightseeing when traveling for work, it makes it all worth it.
Enjoy the photos!