#TBT | Autumn in Pennsylvania

Travel Stories

#TBT | Autumn in Pennsylvania

Back in late October of last year, my family and I decided to visit my extended family in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania. My extended family which is most of my mother’s family which includes my grandma, three uncles and my aunt and all their families all live in a city about an hours drive from Philadelphia.

The state in all of it’s glory was actually where I spent almost my whole childhood. I moved to PA when I was two till I was fourteen. This place held a lot of good memories of time spent outside laying tag with my cousins and simply enjoying the passing of the seasons.

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Springtime in New Orleans, Louisiana

Travel Stories

Springtime in New Orleans, Louisiana

The first night in New Orleans was a late one because of the time spent driving from Texas. We decided to sleep in but the next day we were off to explore this old city.

For years, this french inspired city or Nola as they called, had been on my bucket list of places to go. I had heard so many amazing things about this place including it’s intricate architecture, delicious food and live entertainment. I was really excited to finally discover it for myself!

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Five Tips for Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Orlando)

Travel Tips and Tricks

Five Tips for Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Orlando)

Halloween is nearly upon us and there is nothing I love more than carving pumpkins and watching scary Hitchcock films. Although Halloween comes at the end of this month, corn mazes and haunted houses like Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) have already begun.

Living near Orlando for many years meant that going to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando has become a sort of tradition. The first year I went was in 2014, I was petrified of what I would find, but I had a surprisingly amazing time with my friends and I found that it was fun to loosen up and get scared.

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Cadillac Ranch | The Beauty of a Pit Stop

Travel Stories

Cadillac Ranch | The Beauty of a Pit Stop

After a short stay in Albuquerque, it was time to drive to Texas. We were only stopping in Amarillo, Texas for night before we headed off to Louisiana.

As we drove into Amarillo, we came across a row of colorful cars off in the distance when my mother said “Oh my god! That’s Cadillac Ranch!” She told us she had read about it on a road trip guide book a while back and she couldn’t believe we had accidentally stumbled upon it.

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Rather than just drive by and take pictures from the car, we took a moment to stop and check out Cadillac Ranch.

According to Wikipedia, Cadillac Ranch is an art installation that was done by part of an art group called Ant Farm, whose members consisted of Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michaels. In 1974, they used ten old, used and junk Cadillac models from 1948 to 1963, to be displayed in a creative way for all to see. (“Cadillac Ranch” theroute-66.com)

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Although not in the original spot, they are now two miles west from the original site.

Walking up to the collection of cars in the middle of the wheat field was really cool. The cars stood tall, covered in graffiti and laying around the cars were dozens of spray paint bottles for people all over the world to make their temporary mark on the cars.

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As we looked at the cars, there was quite a few people there sightseeing, spray painting and there was even a group of long bearded men playing some folk music.

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Seeing the antique cars standing felt like I was looking into a time machine. These cars used to be the type of models you would see driving around and now they were ancient contraptions on display.

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Because the cars were covered in graffiti, it felt almost illegal to be there admiring the art. It felt very much like being on the road as a hitchhiking during the Beat Generation like Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.

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I felt as he would say “a mad one”, to be on this journey with my mad family, where we were always willing to take a chance and have a pit stop wherever felt exciting and new.

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Taking time in Amarillo to have that pit stop gave me a chance, like all the places I had been to, for me to simply be there in the moment and marvel and the creativity of the people before us in order to inspire the creativity in ourselves.

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“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…” – On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Thank you for reading and be sure to leave a comment about your favorite pit stops you’ve had! 

Happy One Year Blogiversary!

My Life

Happy One Year Blogiversary!

I cannot believe I began Melody Wanders one year ago this week! It has been an incredible journey to be able to travel and write about my experiences for all to see! I learned so much about myself, this blog, people and most of all how wonderful life can be. I write a list (of course) of a couple of things I absolutely love about this blog, the most popular things I wrote, my favorite things to write about and what I’ve learned. So crank open a glass of wine and celebrate with me!

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Sights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Travel Stories

Sights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

As we arrived to Albuquerque, New Mexico, I got my first glimpse to the southwest state. It was dry, similar to Arizona, but it was much warmer and the fields and mountains weren’t nearly as red but more of a light brown shade. It was a shade that almost told a story of dark times and of the natives that had been here for centuries.

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Around The World: TV Shows Edition

Travel Tips and Tricks

Around The World: TV Shows Edition

As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post about movies that feature traveling, the things that you watch or read have the magical ability to transport us to other time periods, listen to people’s stories and best of all travel to different places.

I feel like tv shows don’t get enough of a shout out when it comes to traveling; by that I mean, actually shooting a tv show or tv movie where its says its actually suppose to be. For example, as much as I love Friends, I know that all of the scenes shot in the caffe, on the streets, or in the apartments were all shot in a studio in Los Angeles, which can sometimes take away from the show.

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Hiking in Sedona, AZ / Grand Canyon

Travel Stories

Hiking in Sedona, AZ / Grand Canyon

After the glitz and glam of Las Vegas, we left and began our drive towards Sedona, Arizona. This was one of my most anticipated stops on this American road trip and I was really excited to visit this red town.

On the way to Arizona, we decided to drive on good ole Route 66. As I played one of my favorite songs Rascal Flatts’s “Life Is A Highway”, I enjoyed looking out my car window and watching the scenery change from brown fields to these unique red mountains.

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My Five Tips for Packing | Long Term Edition

Travel Tips and Tricks

My Five Tips for Packing | Long Term Edition

Packing and unpacking can be one of the worst parts of traveling but it’s something that has be done. I have tried all sorts of methods for packing in small suitcases to large suitcases to duffle bags. Packing for long term trips can be tough, especially if you don’t know where exactly you’ll be or what the weather will be like.

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Viva Las Vegas: Adventures of an Underage Gal

Travel Stories

Viva Las Vegas: Adventures of an Underage Gal

At the time of this epic road trip, I was only a couple months away from turning 21. Because I had been abroad nearly six months ago, I had gotten a glimpse of the freedom that came from having a glass of wine whenever I wanted and being able to go out until the early hours of the morning.

So this trip around the United States had been amazing but I had occasionally felt the disadvantages of being underage in certain places. However, none were as bad as Las Vegas, the land of the 21 and older.

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