Friday, June 3, 2011

Traveling with Friends

Logan and I take lots of trips just the two of us, but traveling can be fun as a team sport as well. When I started planning my trip around the world when I was in the 3rd grade, it wasn't just me. I had several friends on board too. Because I've always believed that traveling is something best when shared. Don't get me wrong, I think you can still travel solo, but since I consider myself a social person by nature, I have a "more-the-merrier" philosophy. This time last summer a group of our closest friends got to go to Disney World for a wedding. I've been to Magic Kingdom three other times, but this fourth time was truly magical. It's amazing when you have a group large enough that you require your own boat for It's a Small World. Logan and I were able to reserve one of our condos in Orlando, so all of us could stay together. I had a blast, but I think Logan was a nervous wreck. You never knew where that one fish statue was going to end the dryer, on the refrigerator, or even in our bed. I assured Logan that this was perfectly normal behavior for roommates. One of the many joys of traveling with friends is that you can always expect the unexpected.

When Logan and I aren't traveling with friends we're often traveling to visit friends. So many of our friends have moved off to some really cool places. So we get to not only reconnect with our MS pals, but we get to explore a destinations with locals. In the last few years, we've been to visit friends in Atlanta, Virginia, San Antonio, and most recently North Carolina. I don't even get that upset when our friends move off, because I know we'll get to go visit them.

Faith and Sloane moved to Virginia for a year, and we were able to spend some time with them in VA and Washington D.C. Now VA is one of mine and Logan's favorite states, and we're planning another trip back this October. The best thing is that they've since moved back to MS, and we're getting to see them this weekend.

Matt and Jessica moved to San Antonio last year, so we headed out west for spring break this year. This was my first time seeing the Alamo and some of the other interesting attractions this Texas city has to offer. Matt and Jessica knew the coolest places to go eat and were already experts at navigating the city, so Logan and I had it made. Matt would make a great spokesperson for San Antonio. He made a great case as to why we should move there. We're pretty settled in Guntown, but I definitely hope we will be able to visit them again.

At least once a year, Logan and I make it over to Buford to visit Mallory and Justin. Every year we try to knock off one of the 1,000 things to do before you die in US and Canada. Last year we went to the Cherry Blossom Festival, and this year we went to Alpine Helen. Our first trip to visit them we got to run down 78 flights of stairs in fear of our lives during the first Atlanta tornado. (This picture was actually taken right after we ran for our lives. That is why we're looking kind of dramatic.) Our near-death experience has not deterred us from visiting our great friends. And I'm happy to report that all later trips have been less intense.

Last week we visited Jenn and Tim on our way to PA. They moved to Charlotte, NC last summer while Tim is in residency. I told them that they are in a great location because they've opened us up to the Atlantic states. The exciting thing with the Chens is you never know where they'll end up next, but wherever it is, they'll know that we'll come see them.

Traveling with our friends and to visit friends is one of my favorite things to do. One of these days I'd love to do a group cruise with everybody. And Mallory and I have already been discussing the possibility of an all-inclusive sometime. (I hope Logan doesn't read this.) Personally, I can think of few things more enjoyable than traveling with some of my favorite people. It's the extra cherry on top.

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