The Museum of America and the Sea

I was stuck in Marietta, my new home address, and I have thought that a vacation is long overdue for me. Since I can’t go on overseas trip yet so, I have decided to just do a road trip within the United States. I was looking on the map of the US on what states I haven’t visited yet. I am currently still in the Eastern part of the country, thus, doing a road trip to states closer to my location would be a plus. I’ve been already to New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and so on. It appeared that I haven’t gotten to the New England states of New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, but I’ve been to Rhode Island a couple years ago. New England states are also known for its Colonial past, Atlantic coastline, forested mountains and awesome autumn scenery. Anyway, as I was reviewing the New England states, I have decided to visit all of those states. First on my list was Connecticut.

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region. The state is named for the Connecticut River which is a major US river that bisects the state. The word ‘Connecticut’ is derived from word and spellings of the Algonquin which means ‘long tidal river’. I got only few hours to see the state hence, I picked a destination that has a tourist attraction and can also save me hours on traveling and seeing the other New England states. I went to Mystic, CT. It has the nice seaport and was featured on a magazine few years back about nice places to visit in every state. I made up my mind and went to the Museum of America and the Sea, Mystic Seaport.

(check for the full story at

Mystic Seaport has an entrance fee of USD28 per head. This entrance fee entitles the bearer to roam around the museum, discovering how the old life of the people of Mystic. There was a lot to see and it was very informative about the gold old days and ways.

(check for the full story at

It has various attractions such as collection of ships, old houses, stores, restaurant, museums, and historic vessels. Upon entering the museum, tourists are welcomed with this ship, the L.A Dunton.

(check for the full story at

It is the last example of early 20th century New England fishing vessel and it offers a glimpse of the long past seafaring days.

Other attractions in the shipyard museum were;

(check for the full story at

It also has this Stillman Building which is a museum for whaleships and the history of whale hunting and the whales uses. They named it, ‘Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers’.

(check for the full story at

Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers is a new exploration of America’s historic and contemporary relationship between whaling and whales. The museum has exhibits that showcase artifacts and artwork alongside with audio-visual presentation. The exhibit pushes past the mechanics of whaling to show the richer and deeper stories of the people, places, whales, and ships that were impacted since the Morgan’s construction in 1841. Exhibits such as;

(check for the full story at

On the second floor of the Stillman Building, a much detailed history will be explained. History about how the ships and sailors work is waiting for guests from a well-experienced museum curator.

The exhibits were well maintained and very informative. I stayed in the museum for almost half an hour. It was really nice. When I got out of the museum, I walked on to the direction of the Captain W. Morgan whaleship.

The Captain W. Morgan whaleship is the last of an American whaling fleet and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The ship is now the country’s oldest commercial ship afloat. Now, it is the flagship of the museum. Visitors are allowed to board the ship. Just be cautious when going around coz you need to watch your head due to low ceiling.

There are more to see in Mystic Seaport Museum but I got to go to my next destination. It was a nice day indeed and very educational for me. The watercraft collection at Mystic Seaport is the largest of its kind in the United States. It includes four National Historic Landmark vessels such as the Morgan, the Dunton, the Sabino and the Emma C. Berry. I didn’t get to take photos of the other ships since I was out of my budgeted time in Connecticut.

For travelers out there, if you happen to be in Mystic, CT, go and see aboard the Museum of America and the Sea and its collection of historic vessels that span both time and culture.

For more information, visit their site here.


Sailing the Caribbean Sea

I have never tried to go on a cruise and since I am already living the American dream so, I have thought of venturing on a Caribbean cruise. The Caribbean is close to the state of Florida, a convenient location for out-of-state travel. It was in the month of November where most states in the northern part of the United States are getting colder each day, thus, I have decided to go somewhere south and sunny by choosing in sailing the Caribbean Sea thru Carnival Cruises.

The itinerary for the 7-day long Caribbean cruise goes like this:

Day 1: Sail Away

Day 2: Half Moon Cay, the Bahamas

Day 3: Nassau, the Bahamas

Day 4: Fun Day At Sea

Day 5: Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

Day 6: Grand Turks, Turks and Caicos Islands

Day 7: Farewell Day At Sea

For full story, check at

For my Sailing the Caribbean Sea vlog, just check this out.

Florida, the Sunshine State

I’m back posting trips in the United States. I was out of the country for almost a month and when I got back here in the US, it was fall season but the temperature just kept on dropping. I was not ready yet of the cold weather matched with gloomy surrounding. I was feeling sad and lonely so, I have decided to take a trip to a place where I can see the sun rays. I went to Florida, the Sunshine State.

(check my full story at

Florida is the southernmost state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state is bordered with bodies of water of Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and the states of Alabama and Georgia. The state is the 22nd most expensive and the 3rd most populous in the US. Tallahassee is the state’s capital.

(check my full story at

I stayed in South Beach, Miami for the main reason that is famous to a lot of tourists. It has the beaches, the fun, nightlife, the freshest seafoods, and the sunshine. I arrived in Miami International Airport at midnight and the drive from the airport to the hotel I booked was almost half an hour. When I got to the hotel, the front desk informed me that my reservation was cancelled since the system rolled over after midnight and that time was already 30 mins past midnight. I ended up having no hotel to stay for the night. I hopped to hotels lining the Collins Avenue but I never intended to check-in a hotel that costs more than $50 for a 10-hour stay. It took me some few calls and checking hotels until I found one hostel that wasn’t fully booked. It was an adventure strolling around the streets of Miami Beach early dawn but I felt safe coz there were crowds all over the area and partygoers. Finally, I got to rest on a comfy bed.

Early morning, I got out of bed. It was probably around 0700H and directly headed to the shore for a quick sunrise pictorial. The weather was fantastic. The breeze from the sea was perfectly cold, tolerable to wear a beach outfit, the sun glared that was good enough to get a tan, and the sands was acceptable with not so strong waves from the sea.

(check my full story at

After my stroll, I went to stores and restaurants near the beach. I got to dine in one of the restaurants in Ocean Drive. It was an Italian restaurant in Ocean Drive and I ordered a grilled salmon since I’ve been craving for food that comes from the sea.

It so happened to that it was Veteran’s Day and they have a parade to thank the veterans for their service. I was already sitting in the restaurant that I don’t have to move an inch to see the parade.

(check my full story at

When my tummy was full, I have decided to roam around the area. I passed through places such as the Lincoln Road Mall, World Erotic Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, and South Pointe Beach.

(check my full story at

I got tired and went back to the beach and sat on the sand looking at people swimming, getting a tan, and doing their business. It was a nice view with the waves, the sun, feeling the sand, the sea breeze and I also met a friend from France.

(check my full story at

When the sun set, I headed to a restaurant for dinner. I was in Madero and ordered their signature sausage and a dessert, gateau —-. Then, I walked back to my hostel and called it a day since I got a cruise to go the next day.

(check my full story at

Florida is indeed the Sunshine state and sunshine for me brings happiness. The whole time I was in Miami Beach, I had fun and everything was just nice. It was an awesome trip I had over there and one of these days, I’ll be back in Florida to discover the other parts of the state.

A Friend I Haven’t Seen For 11 Years

A friend I haven’t seen for 11 years has been living in Washington, Georgia for 5-6 years. We used to be co-workers in a bank way back 2006. We were cream of the crop and excelled in all that we do. We became friends, more like close friends and everything we did was history. We were Washington Mutual’s telephone banker. Washington Mutual was one of the best financial institutions back in the old days but was bought by J.P Morgan Chase Bank during the global crisis back in 2007. I quit my job before it was completely handed to JPMC and went to my chosen profession. I haven’t seen her after that until she left to Georgia with her husband and son. We just kept in touch through social networking sites such as Facebook.

I drove from South Carolina to Washington, Georgia which was about 2-3 hours from Aiken. I arrived in Washington, Georgia at about 1000H. When I got out of the car, we were just so happy to see each other again and nothing has changed. We were still like the immature telephone bankers even though it has been a decade. We talked and talked about the people we used to work with, reminisced the experiences we had, and even tried to call some of our other friends online. The first day was filled with excitement in getting to know what we have been doing in our lives. She and her family offered to be the host of my trip and I am so glad. They offered the guest room and I took a quick nap from the long drive while she was planning for the itinerary for the afternoon and the next day trip.

I was taking a nap when my phone beeped. I got a message asking if I am ready to go swimming. They have decided to go to Washington Swimming Pool since their son wants to dip in the pool. It was almost 95 degrees in Georgia that day so, it was a good idea to dive in.


Washington Swimming Pool

But I am not used to going swimming under the heat of the sun and it was also at 1300H so, I just stayed under the patio umbrella. We only let their son enjoy the pool while we were just talking and looking at kids having fun. After an hour or two, we left coz her husband has to work. At 1730H, we have decided to go to the mall. The nearest mall is Augusta Mall which is almost an hour drive.


Augusta Mall


Inside Augusta Mall

We only did window shopping and bought some snack for her unico hijo. 2 hours later, they took me to Augusta Canal Historical Trail. The trail is near Marriott Hotel and is good location for exercising.


Augusta Canal Historical Trail


Marriott Hotel

Augusta Canal is a historic canal located in Georgia, is supplied by the Savannah River and passes through levels in suburban and urban Augusta before the water returns to the river at various locations. It was devised to harness the hydro power at the fall line of the Savannah river to drive mills, to provide transportation of goods, and supply water in the municipal. It is the only canal in the United States which still continues to be used for its original purposes of providing power, transport and municipal water.


Augusta Canal Historical Trail


Augusta Canal


Augusta Canal Viewdeck


Augusta Canal


Otters in Augusta Canal


Jessye Norman Amphitheatre in Augusta Canal


View of Downtown Augusta Skyline from Augusta Canal Trail


Augusta Canal Trail Fountain

We left the trail at 1730H and headed home and called it a day. I went to sleep early from getting exhausted driving. On my second day in Georgia, they decided to show me to one of the famous amusement parks in Georgia. We went to Stone Mountain Park which is near Atlanta.


Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock with carvings that depict three Confederate figures during the Civil War: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. The theme park is located at 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083. It has a lot of activities and hosts festivals and events. To know more, just click here.


Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis


Stone Park Theme Park has attractions for all ages such as dinosaur explore, dinotorium, 4D Ice Age, Stone Mountain Museum, Summit SkyRide, Scenic Railroad, and many more.


Dinosaur Explore


Ankylosaurus or the Fused Lizard


Parasaurolophus or the Similar Crested Lizard


Dilophosaurus, the fast moving carnivore




The most famous dinosaur




On our way to ride the train


Great Locomotive Chase Adventure Golf


Riding the train for the Scenic Railroad


Live Show from the Scenic Railroad


Stores at Stone Mountain Park


Directions at Stone Mountain Park

We spent almost the whole day in Stone Mountain Park but we still missed the main attractions which were the Summit SkyRide, to get on top of the Stone Mountain and also the fireworks. The weather that day was not in our favor that the park has to cancel any attractions that has something to do with the sky. But I still had fun though. Then, we left Stone Mountain Park and discussed on where to dine for supper. We have decided to go something Asian, Korean to be precise, so, we went to Iron Factory in Athens, Georgia.


Iron Factory


Miso Soup


Fresh Pork Belly or Samgyupsal


Then, we went to explore Athens after eating.

My Georgia trip to meet my friend whom I haven’t seen for 11 years has been one of the highlights for this year. It was memorable and I can’t wait to do it again. We were planning of going on a trip somewhere and I hope it’ll come true. The whole experience was amazing even though it was just a quick visit for 2 days. Not to worry coz we have many more days to come and to have fun, for now, it’s not goodbye but see you next time.


The Rivera Family and the Lone Traveler

Aiken and Hartwell Lake in South Carolina

I was still on my road trip down southeastern part of the United States when my attention got caught on this billboard on my way to Georgia. It showed a specific city few miles before crossing the Savannah River to the next state. I got curious so without a second thought, I turned on my right signal blinker and headed to the exit to the city. Then, I got to Aiken.

Aiken is the southwestern part of South Carolina. It is the city named after William Aiken who was the president of South Carolina railroad and it is the county seat of Aiken county. It is home to the University of South Carolina Aiken.


William Aiken Statue


Story of William Aiken Sr

Aiken is a historical destination in South Carolina. If you were wondering how did I get there, Well, I was driving on my way to visit my close friend and her family who I haven’t seen for 11 years. They are currently living in Washington, Georgia. They are one of the reasons why I had my 6 days road trip which started from Virginia to North Carolina to South Carolina and then Georgia. Anyway, back to how I got there. I was on the road and I saw this billboard. It was showing off how pretty the location was so, I was intrigued and went to the next exit to get to Aiken.


Aiken Historical District


Random Aiken Street Photo


The City of Aiken


Aiken Plaza

When I got there, it wasn’t what I expected. My expectation was just a town with old buildings. It was more than what I was picturing it out in my head. I was wandering around the town and I took some photos. The streets were cleaned and I didn’t even see trash. There were also old buildings that turned out to be bars, stores, hotels, and cafes. Anywhere in Aiken Historical District, a visitor’s map is visible and free for grabs. They also have activities such as Thursday Market in the Alley.


Aiken Visitor Maps


Hotel Aiken




Crofts Block


Aiken Brewing Company Cafe


Thursday Market in the Alley


Rocking Chairs in the Alley


The Alley


Fascinating Wall

People in Aiken are health conscious. After I strolled around the Historical District, I visited their famous park, the Citizen’s Park. The park looked astounding once checked online in Google Maps. It has this amazing structure in aerial view but when I got there, it was inaccessible to the public. It was close. But I’ve seen Aiken locals doing their walk, jog and stroll to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that everyone should have for it is a promising way for the betterment of life. Then, I went back to my route heading to my friend’s home.


Citizen’s Park


Citizen’s Park Aerial View cr. google maps


My next stopover in South Carolina was during my trip back home. I was using a different route back home so I can see different sceneries. I stumbled into this nice view while I was driving and I found out that it has a parking space. I stopped over and captured some photos in Hartwell Lake.


Hartwell Lake

Hartwell Lake is a manmade reservoir bordering two states of Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah, Tugaloo, and Seneca Rivers. It is one of the southeast’s largest and most popular recreation lakes. It is created by Hartwell Dam located on the Savannah River. In Lake Hartwell, there are a lot of recreational activities. Visitors can do camping, biking, fishing, boating, swimming, and water sports.sc23sc24sc22sc21

There are numerous places to visit in South Carolina but I went to destinations where I passed by during my road trip. But even though these areas were just stopovers, these attractions didn’t fail me to be amazed. Aiken and Hartwell Lake in South Carolina were indeed a good side trips to escape the hustle and bustle of big city.

Meeting Caroline in North Carolina

A friend I met in Toronto, Canada during my birthday trip last year just arrived in the Land of Stars and Stripes. Her name is Caroline and the way to say her name is Ca-ro-li-ne and not Ca-ro-line. She is from Brazil and it is her first time to set foot in the United States. Upon hearing her arrival, I decided to visit her since I got a 6-day off and planned road trip down Southeastern. It was a trip in meeting Caroline in North Carolina.

I got a side trip in Virginia specifically in Wytheville, Wythe county. After a quick visit in Virginia, I automatically headed to North Carolina. While I was driving, I got a little exhausted and I have decided to make a stopover in Winston-Salem for a change of scenery from just seeing mostly the roads and cars. When I got in Winston-Salem, it was decent with some skyscrapers. I took some random street pictures and I got to see the buildings. These were the photos I captured.


Random Building


Wells Fargo Building


Winston Tower


Winston-Salem Street


Then, I searched the net and found this cool and flowery destination. It was a garden which is located still in Winston-Salem. It was Reynolda Gardens.


Reynolda Gardens

Reynolda Gardens is botanical garden with 129 acres with 4 acres of formal gardens located off Reynolda Road which is adjacent to the Reynolda campus of Wake Forest University and the Reynolda House. The gardens are open daily with free admission. The gardens include woodlands, fields, wetlands, and a formal garden with greenhouse.


Greenhouse Gardens


The Greenhouse



Inside the Greenhouse


Venus Fly Trap


Palm House and Growing Houses


Reynolda Gardens was amazing. It has too many different kinds of flowers and plants which is a good place to spend the time from driving for about 2 to 3 hours from Virginia. But Winston-Salem was not my final destination. I went back to my car and have to drive to Chapel Hill. It was about an hour or so drive. I got to Chapel Hill at 1700H and met Caroline.


Downtown Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is a city in Durham and Orange counties and the home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill along with UNC Health Care. Chapel Hill got its name from centuries ago. The location sits a top of a hill which was originally occupied by a small Anglican ‘chapel of ease’ known as New Hope Chapel thus, making it Chapel Hill.


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


UNC at Chapel Hill Kenan Stadium



Carolina Football Kenan Stadium

Chapel Hill is a pretty nice city. It was clean and multi diverse. By the looks of it when I was there, the city is pretty safe and marvelous with old architecture and buildings. It is also famous because of the presence of the biggest university in the state. Caroline got in Chapel Hill as a foreign student in University of North Carolina. She is currently studying and getting a degree in Mental Health. We’ve met in Toronto since we both stayed in the same hostel. We also have the same tour when we went to Niagara Falls. So, I was excited to meet here in the U.S. I treated her for dinner at Carolina Brewery.


Carolina Brewery

Carolina Brewery is a beer brewery and restaurant/pub located in Chapel Hill. It has drawn international attention for its handcrafted beers, all brewed in-house. It was founded in 1995 and is the oldest brewery in Triangle area. The restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine and features a seasonal menu that changes 4 times in a year. We ordered Southwest chicken egg rolls which is chicken and pepperjack served with jalapeno ranch, and Chicken strips which is hard breaded chicken with honey mustard and ranch dips. Both were served as shareables. For the entrée, I chose fish and chips since I was craving for fish. It was beer battered cod served with garden slaw, house fried and tartar sauce.


Carolina Brewery


Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls and Chicken Strips


Fish and Chips

The foods were well seasoned, sumptuous, and delicious. The server was really amazing. She was pretty, always wear a smile, warm and accommodating. She was also helpful since I was looking for a place to stay and gave an idea on where to search and what to wear. As a total verdict for my dining experience in Carolina Brewery, it was a 4/5. The ambience was good but the patio was a little congested and near to the street.

My whole trip in North Carolina was great. Meeting Caroline in North Carolina was the icing on the top. We haven’t seen each other for like 9 months and we never thought that we will meet again. All I can say is a road trip is always worth no matter how far it is as long as you know that in the destination, you got a friend to meet. Safe travels everyone! 😉


The Lone Traveler and Caroline