Packed Suitcase | Experience
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Experience

I sit in a stone nook inside a very warm, dimly-lit room. In my nook, I'm secluded as I stare, transfixed, at the glittering walls that surround me. Blue mosaics sparkle as tiny overhead lights slowly change from white, to blue, to green. The scent of lavender dances all around me, pulling

I created my 55 Places Bucket List in 2008, long before I heard of Volt Restaurant and chef Bryan Voltaggio. Like many others, I jumped on the Volt bandwagon after Voltaggio's successful 2009 run on Top Chef, where he was runner-up to his younger brother, Michael. Both supremely talented, Bryan's thoughtful precision battling

Growing up, I visited Maryland's Calvert County beaches just one time each summer. My great-Uncle Tip and great-Aunt Ann would host dozens of guests to celebrate summer in a most traditional Maryland way: a crab feast! It was so long ago that my memories are hazy. Images float to mind, of picnic

Last Thursday, I spent the night sprawled out on a row of benches in Toronto's Pearson Airport. Would you believe it was my first time sleeping in an airport? Considering how much travel I've done in my lifetime, that's no small feat! But there's a first time for everything, and this time, the

I’ve just returned home after a food-and-music-fueled weekend away in New Orleans. This was not my first visit to the Big Easy, but this trip marked my first time at one of this city's biggest draws: the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Jazz Fest, as it’s colloquially called, has been

I've done some crazy things over the course of my life. I've jumped out of a tiny pink plane at 15,000 feet in New Zealand. I've climbed to the top of Mayan pyramids and (inadvertently) swam with a shark. But, sometimes life is all about knowing your limits... and recently, my

Just remember: Only eat oysters in months that end with "R." - Captain Ed Farley A couple weeks ago, I traveled to St. Michaels, Maryland for the weekend. Despite being a Maryland girl, born and bred, this was my very first visit to this charming waterfront town. It was arranged to

I grasped the small shot of rum that was handed to me with delicate care. I took a whiff and listened, transfixed, to the instructions that I was being told: Now, here’s what I want you to do… I want you to take the whole shot into your mouth, but do not swallow

I've been talking about doing a Philadelphia Cheesesteak Taste Test for years. Living right outside of Washington, DC (a mere 2 1/2 hours away) it should have been an easy weekend activity to do. But year after year has gone by, and no Philly cheesesteaks. Until now! As part of October's Local

Starting a campfire is one of the most primal things a person can do. Too bad it can also be incredibly difficult! On this past weekend's camping trip, part of my Local Travel extravaganza, after many failed attempts, I learned how to start a fire. Here's what worked for me: Essential supplies: Fire

As a kid, I was fascinated with the concept hidden passageways and the thought that there could be a whole world of secret doings behind an otherwise ordinary facade. I've never found a hidden passageway of my own... until one recent night in DC I stepped through a secret doorway

[caption id="attachment_2649" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image by Frank Wilson[/caption]   I stumbled across a marked-up essay from 1997 as I was cleaning out a dusty and over-filled cabinet. Sitting on my floor, papers littered all around me, I was transfixed as I re-read it to myself. The assignment was simple- "Write a descriptive essay." While