Bitten by the Travel Bug

This week’s obsession: Travel!

travel

The mister and I during a past visit to San Antonio — yes, that is a rubber band gun….what?

Wow do I have the travel bug. A friend whom I traveled with in college just got back from a tour of Asia and we got to catch up yesterday. The travel bug bit deep as I listened to her stories about learning a new culture, visiting new sites and tasting new foods. Thankfully, my travel bug can be slightly cured this week because I am off to San Antonio for work conference. I’m truly a bit more excited than I should be.

Due to this week’s busy schedule, my blog posts may be sparse but I will try to at least show you my trip in snippets while on the road. Earlier in the week, I’d like to talk about travel preparation. I’m a nut for organizing and planning when I’m really excited about a trip. Typically, I like to have a few choices of places to go, see and eat but I like to leave it fairly loose so we can spontaneously visit something we see.

Preparing: Where to Eat

To me, traveling and food go hand in hand. I love traveling to new places and trying out the local fare from restaurants you can only find in that spot, to regional dishes and local brews that are unique to the area. I pretty much refuse to go to a place to dine if I have access to it in my regular life. Don’t even try to take me to a McDonalds… unless it is the only thing available on a long stretch of highway or if it is for breakfast because though we all hate to admit it, but those fake eggs in the Sausage McMuffin are kind of delicious .

That said, where do you get ideas?

Of course, you should always check with friends and most importantly, locals. We have friends in San Antonio and have been to a couple of their favorite places to grub and they have been delicious. You can never go wrong with a good recommendation. If you don’t know anyone in your city, turn to the interwebs.

Yelp and Urban Spoon

I’m a major Yelp enthusiast. The ratings function has rarely led me wrong. If we are in part of town and wonder where to eat, Yelp is the first place I turn to see what has rated well nearby. I was warned that Yelp is rarely used in our part of town, which bums me out. I wish more people here would use it. Outside of our area, Yelp is a must. While Yelp is for a bit of everything, Urban Spoon is specific to grub. It is pretty fantastic. I logged-in to see what is close to our hotel for the conference and was super excited. The hotel is right on the Riverwalk so we have an abundance of choices, almost too many. I wrote down three I would like to try and will report back to you when I return. Tip: Use those filter functions! You can narrow down your results by locale (i.e. walking or biking distance), which is great for a direction and measurement challenged gal like me. Also, if you end up being a user , please pay it forward by leaving reviews too!

Specific to Texas, here’s a whole huge list at Urban Spoon.

 

Travel Blogs

I love reading travel blogs. The typical traveler seems to have about the same length of time that I have in a city or region and I like finding out what others chose to do in their short time in a place.

Ones I like and/or recently discovered and put into my RSS feed right away. Please note that my travel is limited to the States for right now so the sites are a little skewed.

P.S. I recommend waiting to look at these sites until you are eating lunch. Otherwise… well, drool.

Local Publications

As a new Texan I’m learning a lot about the great state. To help me be a better citizen when I travel within my new state, I subscribed to Texas Monthly. This is a great magazine with lots of information about the major cities in Texas and has really great stories about Texas history, life and culture. In every issue there is a section on where to dine. Typically fancy, but Texas is known for its food, so I’m willing to give anything a shot.

Happy (and tasty) Travels, folks.

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