Noelle’s Monthly Recap: November 2017

As was October, November was filled with travel: two trips to California and a road trip to Ohio – although strangely the month didn’t feel that busy. It seems that its only taken four trips to California in the past few months for me to start getting over jet lag of traveling west (and not getting it at all when I return east!). I also hit another “travel to-do” of visiting my 26th state, Ohio! Not knowing what to expect with a trip to Ohio, it was a pleasant surprise to find the town of Marietta, where my family and I visited, to be a vibrant place and that there was plenty to do, even in winter. It also rekindled my enjoyment of road trips, as we passed through areas of Maryland and West Virginia that I hadn’t previously driven through.

Monterey, California

Destinations visited:

Los Angeles, Monterey, Carmel Valley, and Sequoia National Park, California

Marietta and Wayne National Forest, Ohio

Vienna and Cheat Lake, West Virginia

Cumberland, Maryland

Sequoia National Park, California

Favorite destinations:

Monterey, California – Monterey is nothing short of being a beautiful coastal town, with a quaint downtown, waterfront parks, and wine tasting rooms.

Marietta, Ohio – Marietta, a historical small town in southeastern Ohio, was a pleasure to visit with its vibrant downtown, friendly locals, quaint shops and restaurants, and proximity to the Covered Bridge Route of Ohio.

Covered bridge in Marietta, Ohio


Visiting my 26th state – With 2017 coming to a close, I made it a goal to visit another new state this year (California, my 25th state, was earlier this year). So, I made my way to Ohio over the Thanksgiving weekend. My family and I had a great time staying at The Hackett Hotel and venturing around the town of Marietta, Ohio.

Planning for Belize and Guatemala – This has been a trip long in the works (since September!), but the bulk of the planning for it was done this month. Mark, Markell, and I will be spending ten days in January split between the lush interior of Belize and Guatemala where we’ll visit Mayan Ruins, and then some time to unwind on the Belize islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.

The Virginia election – Who I voted for as governor of Virginia won, and with the current political climate in the United States, my vote feels like its mattered more than ever.

Black Friday deals – I’m not normally much of a Black Friday shopper, but I’ve been wanting a Kate Spade purse for a while and scored a deal on a $300 purse being discounted to $120. Merry early Christmas to me!

TV show heaven – Riverdale is one of my new favorite shows (especially since I read the Archie comics as a kid), The Vikings is starting its fifth season this month, and I’ve just started watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. As a homebody, I’m happy to have all these new TV shows to binge on!

My 10 year high school reunion – I was a bit nervous about attending ahead of my 10 year high school reunion, but I’m so glad I did. It was great to see so many familiar faces and reconnect with friends from my high school days.

Marietta-Williamstown bridge crossing the Ohio River


Running into a bear in Sequoia – I’ve written about my experience running into a bear at Sequoia, here, but it definitely made me realize that its wise to travel with someone when in nature. I was really relieved to find out my approach to managing an encounter with a bear –  by honking at it – is actually recommended.

Physical therapy for leg pain – While my leg pain has greatly improved with physical therapy, I’m kicking myself for opting for my company’s cheapest and therefore worst coverage option. Let’s just say that multiple physical therapy appointments is not ideal to pay for during the holiday season!

Holiday present woes – As much as the holidays are a cheerful time of the year, making sure I get the “right” gift for everyone can be a tedious task.

Sequoia National Park, California


Historic Charm at The Hackett Hotel in Marietta, Ohio – My experience at the charming Hackett Hotel in the heart of downtown Marietta, Ohio. I didn’t want to leave!

5 Wonderful European Winter Destinations – Top five picks for fabulous European places to travel all winter long.

The Bear Truth of Sequoia National Park, California– The beauty of Sequoia National Park – and an encounter with a bear!

A Review: LAX Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles, California – A review of the business-traveler friendly LAX Marriott Hotel.

How to Add Sightseeing to Business Travel – With a bit of planning and creativity, adding sightseeing to business travel is possible.

How To Spend 3 Days in Tuscany – A guide on how to spend three days in Florence, Pisa, and the Tuscan countryside.

Monterey, California

Coming up in December 2017:

While December is a month where I usually try to stay local for holiday celebrations, a few trips have cropped up nonetheless. First up is my last work trip of the year to El Centro and Palm Springs, California. While most of my time will be spent in El Centro, I’m hoping to have some free time to explore the desert resort city of Palm Springs. Then, I’ll be home in time to attend an event I’ve attended yearly since I was a child: the Christmas party at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C. My 28th birthday is the day after Christmas, and then 2017 will wrap up with a trip down south to Asheville, North Carolina for New Years!

How was your November? What are your holiday travel plans?


6 thoughts on “Noelle’s Monthly Recap: November 2017

  1. So many trips to CA for you this year! Going from El Centro to Palm Springs, if you take Hwy 111 instead of Hwy 86, you can stop by and see Salvation Mountain, the huge art installation on the east side of the Salton Sea. Let me know if you need any other PS recommendations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! That’s good to know. Maybe I’ll drive that way on my way back (my drive there will be in the dark). It’s looking like I’ll only have a few hours (from like 3-8pm) in Palm Springs for sightseeing but any recommendations are good – especially restaurants!


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