December 29, 2008

Travel 2008

2008 has been very good to me in terms of travel. This year I got the chance to re-visit some of my favorite cities on the planet: caught up with friends in London and Rome (the above shot was taken as a cold February day was drawing to a close in the eternal city), spent Easter in New York, celebrated a dear friend's birthday in San Francisco, and gobbled up some scrumptious turkey with the boyfriend's family in Petaluma (Sonoma County). I also had the opportunity to see Hawaii for the first time to celebrate my parents' 35th wedding anniversary. 2 parents + their 6 children + 1 son-in-law + twin 3-year-old granddaughters = 11 family members together in paradise for 1 week! It was both sublime and aggravating, and yet one of the best experiences of my life. I hope 2009 brings more adventure my way. Here are some highlights of my year in travel:
Spring bursting its way onto a north London street.

A cheeky sign at a north London pub where I tried the most amazing Argentinian malbec. Frustratingly enough, I'm having trouble finding an online retailer willing to ship to the states. Must continue sleuthing. Oh, and I can't remember the name of the pub. But I do recall it being at the end of a quiet street in leafy Belsize Park. My fellow pub-goers were achingly cool, too.
While in Rome, I was on the hunt for a couple great bottles of Italian wine to take back to my friends in London who so graciously let me stay at their Balham flat for a week. My Roman amici Paolo and Federica took me to this enchanting wine cellar somewhere in the city. I could have stayed there all day. Hundreds of wine at my fingertips, just waiting to be tasted! I didn't pay attention to where they were driving me, so I wouldn't know how to get there even if you paid me. I was too busy ogling the sights as we sped through the narrow streets as only Italian drivers can.
This is what heaven looks like. That, or a giant bookshop.

Riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge, having lunch by the water in Sausalito, taking a ferry back to the city at dusk. What better way to celebrate your friend's 26th birthday?
We finished off the weekend checking out the Fillmore jazz street festival. It was pure madness, but so much fun. Much like my 2008.
Oh, and I must give a big shout-out to my dear friend and travel partner Taryn who captured all the photographs in this post. Thanks for the memories, TS!
Finally, I thought I would share some words of travel wisdom from that English behemoth Dr. Samuel Johnson: "The use of traveling is to regulate the imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”


Mary-Laure said...

I just loved this post!
London, as you know, is a city that's dear to my heart, and the humor of Londoners is fab.
I'll make note of the Johnson quote, so wonderful for travel addicts like us :)

jora said...

Wow -- that was a great year of travel for you! Some of my favorite cities too. :)

Joanna said...

Mary-Laure: So happy you enjoyed the post! I so love your images of London and noted how those entries coincided with your readings of the Penguin Great Love series. I just bought a few books from this series myself, but have yet to read any of them. Perfect for February, methinks.

Jora: It was a spectacular year for travel, considering 2007 was a bust. Something tells me 2009 won't be so varied a travel year for me, but one can hope!

Lauren K said...

You are a lucky girl with such a travel filled year. I spent the summer backpacking Europe but never made it to London or Rome. Well technically I spent a night sleeping on the floor of Stansted but that doesn't really count now does it. Thanks for sharing your pictures!