June 21, 2018

Travel for Pleasure

From about 2000 until 2010, I didn't get on an airplane. Prior to 2000, I had only flown a few times. I had severe anxiety about flying, and as my anxiety got worse through my 20's, I refused to get on an airplane at all. I missed out on countless opportunities and trips because of my fear of flying.

The irony? My brother is a Delta pilot.

Back in the day when he started, I could fly for FREE if I wanted by using a buddy pass. Even now, I can use a buddy pass to fly much cheaper than purchasing a ticket (the caveat is that I have to fly stand-by when using a pass, so purchasing a ticket is usually preferable).

Anyway, in 2010, I was visiting my brother in Minnesota (a long road trip from Michigan), and he took us to his friend Steve's hanger. Steve had a few small airplanes, one of which was called The Breezy. The Breezy was a fitting name, because it was an open airplane--no sides, roof, and barely a floor to speak of. 

Having lost 100+ pounds at that point, I had been pushing myself out of my comfort zone more and more. And to make a long story short, I convinced myself to face my fear of flying by taking a ride on The Breezy. I was so terrified that I was actually retching over the toilet before my short ride. 

It was breathtaking in a good way. I can't even describe with words how I felt once the plane left the ground. I loved every second of it, from wheels up until we touched ground again. Just a few weeks later, I was boarding a commercial plane back to Minnesota to run a Ragnar Relay with my brother. After a few glasses of wine, I didn't even feel very nervous.

Ever since that flight on The Breezy, I have stopped letting my fear of flying hold me back. I was still terrified of airplanes, but I knew I could handle it (with a little liquid courage before my flight). And I started going places... I discovered just how much fun it was to travel and see different parts of the United States (and even in the Dominican Republic).

My very favorite trips to take are to visit friends (most of which were Runs for Cookies readers that I became close to one way or another). I don't typically do the touristy things when visiting; I love to do the things that my friends enjoy on a day to day basis. I want to try their favorite restaurants, walk around their favorite places, see the things that they think are worth seeing, etc. 

Along with the trips for pleasure, I have been blessed through this blog to get some very unique opportunities. I am so grateful that this blog has given me a means to see parts of the country I wouldn't have otherwise!

Here are the posts of some of my travel adventures for pleasure/vacation--solo, or with friends/family...

You can read about my travel adventures for races here;
and read about my travel for blogging purposes here. To read the posts about the trips, just click the dates on the left. Happy travels!

Pigeon Forge, TN : Cabin Rental
(April 2011) - Road trip with Jerry and the kids. Vacation in the mountains with Mom, Dad, Jeanie and Shawn, Brian, and Nathan. Tennessee Part 1, Tennessee Part 2, Tennessee Part 3.

Harrisville, MI : Renee's in-laws' house on the lake
(July 2011) - Girls road trip with Renee, Jessica, and Rachael for a wine festival. We took so many goofy pictures using the camera's timer!

Rockford, IL : Jeanie's House
(July 2011) - Road trip with Jerry and the boys to visit Jeanie and Shawn. The drive was terrible, but the rest of the trip was a nice little getaway.

Madison, WI : Downtown
(July 2011) - Road trip with Jerry from Jeanie's for an overnight in Madison. Part two is here.

Phoenix, AZ : Sarah's Wedding
(October 2011) - Air trip with Jerry to Sarah and Ne's wedding. Here are links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Indiana : House Rental for Family Vacation
(December 2012) - Road trip with Jerry and the kids. Family vacation with Jeanie and Shawn, Brian and Becky, Nathan, Mom, and Dad. Here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Sandusky, OH : Cedar Point
(August 2013) - Road trip with Jerry and the kids. The kids' first Cedar Point trip.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic : Dreams Palm Beach
(August 2014) - Air trip with Jerry and the boys for a seven night vacation at a resort! Jeanie met us there for five nights. I stepped entirely out of my comfort zone and wore a bikini for the first time in my life. Here is Part 1 and Part 2 of the trip.

St. Paul, MN : Brian and Becky's Wedding
(September 2014) - Air trip with Jerry and the boys for Brian and Becky's wedding

Grand Rapids, MI : Overnight Trip for Fun
(January 2015) - Road trip with Jerry to Grand Rapids (I was supposed to go to Phoenix, but was flying stand-by, and didn't get on. So we went to Grand Rapids for a consolation trip.

Grand Rapids, MI : Overnight Trip for Fun
(April 2015) - Road trip with Jerry, Nathan, and Kendall. Just a fun time at the B.O.B.!

Portland, OR : Last-Minute Weekend Fun
(August 2015) - Air trip with Becky; met Brian and Nathan in Portland for the weekend.

Rockford, IL : A Visit with My Sister
(October 2015) - A road trip with the kids to see my sister for the weekend.

Seattle, WA : Visit with Laurel and see Seattle
(April 2016) - Train trip from Portland to visit Laurel after the Blooms to Brews 10K.

Virginia Beach, VA : Family Vacation
(September 2016) - Road trip family beach vacation... during a tropical storm.

Lake Cadillac, MI : A "Just Because" Getaway
(June 2016) - Road trip; Jerry and I loved Lake Cadillac so much we wanted to go back.

San Diego, CA : Winter "Sunshine Therapy"
(February 2017) - A very spontaneous air trip to John's; a desperate attempt to help pull me out of depression.

Boston, MA : A Weekend Seeing Boston Sights
(April 2017) - Air trip to visit Caitlin, and a mission to get a piece of Mike's carrot cake.

Portland, OR : Hiking in Central Oregon
(May 2017) - Air trip to Portland, then hiking all over central Oregon--much different than the greenness of the western area!

Ewen, MI : Camp Fireside (Jeanie and Shawn's)
(July 2017) - Road trip with Jerry and the boys to the upper peninsula. The rest of my family met us there and we had a great fourth of July!

Seattle, WA : Showing Jerry the Pacific Northwest
(October 2017) - Jerry and I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest so I could show him all the things I love about that part of the country.

Seattle Space Needle

Portland, OR : Showing Jerry My Home Away From Home
(October 2017) - In the same trip, I showed Jerry my favorite place I've ever visited!

PDX carpet

Boston, MA; Salem, MA; Waterbury, VT; Portland, ME : Family Trip
(March 2018) - Family trip to Boston, with road trips to Salem, the Ben & Jerry's Factory in Vermont, and a couple of nights in Portland, Maine.

Kansas City, MO : A Girls' Weekend
(May 2018) - Meeting up with Bonnie and Caitlin in Kansas City, where we stayed with Andrea.

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