2015 has been one of the most challenging but best years by far. I’ve learned a wealth of knowledge, met some new people and traveled the country. I think I traveled more this year than I ever have before. I wanted to recap some of the most memorable places, best restaurants and favorite shopping experiences this year and share my experience with you guys.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee/Savannah, Georgia/(Weekend Road Trip)
Mothers Day weekend my mother and I decided we wanted to road trip and get away from the city. Little did we know we would be traveling north one day and down south the next. That Saturday we traveled about 4 hours up to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Pigeon Forge was packed with people traveling in from everywhere. The Island in Pigeon Forge and its huge Ferris wheel was a great place to peruse gift shops and take in all of the great music and lights.
That Sunday, she and I decided to travel to Savannah, Georgia to enjoy some of the some of the most beautiful historic buildings, scroll the Savannah boardwalk, take shots of daiquiri at Wet Willies and eat some good ole southern food at Paula Deen’s restaurant The Lady and Sons. Because it was mothers day, they had a buffet style dinner with never ending greens, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and so much more. We were so stuffed, we could barely travel back to Atlanta.
For a really long time I have been wanting to travel to Texas. This past summer, I received the opportunity to vacay to Dallas, Texas. Of course I took the opportunity! I was super excited and really didn’t know what to expect. All I could imagine were cowboy boots and dust balls bouncing across dirt roads. While I wasn’t completely wrong about the cowboy boots, there definitely weren’t dirt roads with dust balls bouncing across them. Anyways, Dallas was a beautiful city with amazing houses, houses that would be considered mansions here in Atlanta. The land was very flat and it looked as if you could see where the ground met the sky. I got the opportunity to see my first rodeo show, visited the Cowboys stadium and the best part of it all was having the opportunity to worship with Bishop T. D. Jakes and the Potters Touch Family.
New York (Brooklyn, Harlem, Queens and surroundings cities)
Who doesn’t love New York? I’ve been to New York several times but this time was extremely special for me. I celebrated my birthday and Thanksgiving in New York with my grandmother and my mother. There is no better time to visit New York than around the holidays. There is absolutely so much stuff to do. While visiting New York, we lived in New Jersey and commuted back and forward between the two cities. During the holiday season, New York is extremely busy and therefore I planned our festivities and made reservations well before we arrived to the city. Our first biggest event was visiting the Wendy Williams show. Both my mother and my grandmother absolutely love Wendy and were super excited to be on the show. We also went to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular where we had the opportunity to see the Rockettes put on an awesome Christmas performance. Thanksgiving day was the most eventful day for us. We attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, had the opportunity to make Thanksgiving dinner for less fortunate families at a local church and then we had the opportunity to eat Thanksgiving dinner ourselves at the famous Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem. We topped our trip off with a little Black Friday shopping of course.
New Jersey (Jersey City, Newark, Atlantic City, etc.)
I’ve always heard people talk about Atlantic City and all of the casinos they have there but I guess because I’ve never been of age, I had no desire to visit the city. Since I am now of age, I had to visit! The best thing about Atlantic City was the beautiful beach. While the experience was fun, sitting at casino slot machines for hours was not something I would want to do again. Obviously I didn’t win any isn’t much to do in Newark, New Jersey other than to shop because of tax free, so that’s what we did of course. We also perused around other cities such as Jersey City and everything in between.
California (Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc.)
To top off my 2015, I had to visit LA. Los Angeles for Christmas was the best idea that my sister could have ever come up with. My sister and I have gotten tired of doing Christmas the same way every single year. It was time to switch things up a little. Los Angeles was definitely an experience! It was my first time flying by myself and while I must admit I was a little nervous, I must say that getting through the airport without luggage, children, grandparents, siblings and mothers was a breeze. I think I’m going to start flying separate from the crowd for now on.
First stop was Venice beach. The water in Los Angeles was amaze balls! There is always something so calming about the water. I wished it was a little warmer so that I was actually able to dive in. Anyways, next up was Disneyland and shopping in Anaheim. DisneyWorld might be bigger and better but Disneyland was a great experience because the crowd was smaller. Between the Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood tours, Stout Burgers and Beers and so much more, California left me with the excitement of coming back to see everything else it has to offer.
2015 has definitely been a blessed journey where I have not only learned a lot about my surroundings but a ton about myself. I am more than grateful for all the opportunities that God has blessed me with. Both good and not so good have contributed to the better version of me that I will be taking into the new year. 2016 journeys will be over the top. I can feel it!