Hello! I’m Olivia. I love to travel and thought why not start a blog to share the adventures?!?! I hope I can share some tips and tricks, photos, cool places to visit, and stories. I love both international and domestic travel. So far I’ve been lucky enough to visit about 9 different countries. I hope to visit more soon.
Right now it is a bit challenging to travel with COVID-19. Hopefully things will die down soon and be able to travel again.
Bubble tea (aka Boba) has become increasingly popular recently. It has seemed that way anyway. There are probably many different places locally that have Boba that I don’t even know about. I chose O-cha Tea Bar.
O-cha has been one of my favorites for a couple years now. It is located in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. It is not far from Reedy River and The Peace Center. They have a variety of flavors including strawberry, blueberry, mango, green tea, and lychee. It can be iced or blended as what they call snow cream. You can add tapioca pearls or jellies or leave it without. The strawberry snow cream with tapioca pearls (pictured) is my favorite.
Traveling through Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland were different than anywhere else I’ve traveled to. There was just a different feel to it. Something that I knew was true about Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. It felt in very, very historical. It was a different type of historical feeling than in mainland Europe, like Germany, Switzerland, and other places I visited in Europe. Even though I was an outsider, an American, it felt like I belonged or some kind of connection. I have wanted to go back since that trip. I was told that it was a “once in a lifetime visit”. Hopefully there will be many trips in the future.
Several years ago, my mom, sister and I travelled to the state of Kentucky. We were visiting some family up there. Our Aunt (moms aunt) lives kind of on a farm and has several horses, chickens, and donkeys.
During this trip we got to go to a local farmers market. We rode together in a van. The two littlest kids, found a back scratcher in the middle section of the car. One of them picks it up and exclaims “look A scratch Backer.” My sister and I giggled and the two little ones were wondering what we were laughing about.
At the end of May and beginning of June of 2016, my dad sister and I visited Eilean Donan Castle, in Scotland. The drive there was beautiful. Very rugged mountain drive and desolate. There were not many cities on the route there. Pictures inside were not allowed. We went and visited the castle because one of our teachers’ says it’s his favorite. I can see why. It is in a beautiful mountain area with a loch surrounding it. The sunsets are beautiful. There was one morning we woke up and there was fog coming off the water.
When first arrived it was a cute town. Picturesque even. People were in kayaks on the water. We checked into the hotel, my dad, being my dad, was trying to be polite and friendly. The person at the front desk was kind of in a weird mood. My dad asked something along the lines of are you so and so that we talked to on the phone. The lady replies in a slightly aggressive or aggravated way “no I’m so and so, and so and so isn’t working today.” I was a little bit surprised.
You’ll probably hear a lot of Europe stories of mine. Especially from Germany. Clocks and church bell towers seem to be popular in Europe. A lot of them are very beautiful and some even do unique things, like have characters “dance” around. They are beautiful with elaborate detail anyway. Some do have unique histories I found out.
On the summer trip to Germany, we saw a few of these clocks. There was even one by the apartment, which was very loud and chimed even during the night. One of the clocks we visited was in a nice building. We were inside touring and found the clock. Closer to the hour a crowd of people grew. It chimed. If I remember correctly, a little bird (wooden) came out chirped and went back in. Everyone was standing and waiting, and waiting to see if it was going to do anything else. It didn’t. One of the men behind us says “Das isst anticlimax.” My family and I were trying not to laugh, at least not too much.
When I was about 4, I was able to take a trip with my family to China. We were adopting my sister and were able to go get her. She is the best most amazing sister ever!
I was 4 and little. Probably 3ish feet if that. Blonde curly hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. Not many like that in China. I remember getting picked up a lot. I was so different than the “norm”. I didn’t and still don’t know the language. All I knew was to say goodbye. I kept getting picked up by Chinese people. I guess they were curious/intrigued.
Many years later my mom was telling me about one night in a hotel. I apparently was saying “goodbye, goodbye” in Chinese. At least I was trying to anyway. Either way that trip was a unique experience and I don’t remember all of it but I do remember a little bit. Hopefully there will be a few stories later.
Beautiful weather days are great for getting outdoors and exploring. March seem to bring some of the beginnings of spring. Allergies are in full swing. This is probably the first recommended place to visit.
Clemson Botanical Gardens in Clemson, South Carolina is a cute and pretty place to visit. They have walking trails to walk through. Various plants, flowers, bushes and trees are throughout the gardens. There is a fairly new gazebo on their pond. There are turtles, ducks, geese, sometimes lizards, and other birds, and insects that also like the flowers. They also have some statues/art kind of things. Theres even a kid’s themed area. There is a caboose located on the campus as well.
Recently I shared a story about my trip to Richmond, Virginia. I was stopped because there was candy in my carry-on and I guess it was showing up as “red” or whatnot on their monitor. The luggage had to be inspected. My suitcase was not organized. I had been more worried about my instruments being a problem but were not.
My mistake, or what I think the mistake was, was having all of the candy and chocolate in one place instead of having it spread throughout the suitcase. I had taken cliff bars, cheese-its, and other snacks when traveling to the destination and brought plenty of candy items back. It also helps to be organized. I was not organized on that trip and my suitcase looked like a pile of laundry contained in a small space. I should have folded those or packed less. Or both. Sometimes I find it easier to fold an article of clothing in half then rolling it up. It seems to save some space.
Breakables are definitely something that can be a challenge. Especially when flying. The employees who load and unload the luggage on the planes, move quickly so that luggage can meet the next flight or be moved to the luggage pick up. It’s not exactly the most gentle way of handing cargo.
Germany’s Christmas markets are amazing!! I hope to go again. They have different stands around the market and each Christmas market is different. There are stands where you can buy hot drinks like hot ciders, hot chocolate (or hot cocoa). Each of those is different at each place too! You can keep the mug or return it for them to use again. If you do return it it’s I think about one Euro “back”. I decided to keep three from that trip. I knew that sometimes luggage is sometimes “roughed up” so I decided to individually wrap/store the mugs in the clothes in my suitcase. Ewww gross. Okay yes, but everything was washed when I got home.
I flew to Richmond, Virgina to meet this relative. We had a great weekend together. Got to play our flutes together and see Julie Fowlis in concert (Maryland). We had driven to Maryland. On our drive, we had seen a unique looking motorcycle. It had two wheels in the front and one in the back. We called it a motorized tricycle. It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen.
My flights back were where some of the craziest and most interesting things happened. We had stopped by a chocolate shop in Richmond called “For the Love of Chocolate”. I purchased some chocolate and other candy. I stuffed it into my carry on. I didn’t think that candy would be a problem. I was more worried about my flute and penny whistle being a problem. Let’s just say that was wrong. The candy showed up on the machine in security and I was stopped. They asked what it was and I told them it was candy. I don’t know if the TSA agent had a long day or what but she, in a slightly annoyed tone says “food is not allowed on flights”. My bag was inspected but I was allowed to bring it home. I had never had a problem with taking food on a trip, even took stuff internationally with out a problem.
I made it from Richmond, Virginia to Atlanta, Georgia. My flight from Atlanta to home was delayed by a couple hours. No big deal just annoying. When we finally start to board the plane, around 10:40pm, I put my luggage in the overhead bin, found my seat and was ready to get home. There was a lady one seat over from me that was kind of staring at me. (I was in the window seat, she was in the aisle seat, and there was a seat between us.) She was drunk and you could smell the alcohol. She started a little conversation and then the person for the middle seat showed up. That person was also tired and ready to get to the destination. She ended up falling asleep. The other lady asked for more alcohol in flight and got some. She was staring at the person in the middle. When we landed and were almost to the gate. She told the person in the middle “you sleep with your mouth open.” And then had gotten up and was almost immediately gone. The person in the middle and I gave each other a look as if to ask, what in the world just happened. It was definitely and experience.
So obviously no one has to follow these tips or any tips I put out there. These are things that I have found that might be helpful for travel in the future. I think in this I will share two tips and how I decided to change that for my own travel in the future
Tip number 1: Don’t take any full size anything on carry on luggage. For anyone who might not know, there is the 3-1-1 rule. Liquids have to be 3.4 oz or less and in one quart sized bag. Any other larger “liquids” had to be in checked luggage.
I had flown to New York (state) with my family to visit family. When we got there, I realized I had forgotten my facial wash. We were able to stop by a store and get some. Silly me decides to buy the “full” size of the kind I liked to use at the time thinking I could use the rest when I got home. Our luggage was carry on and not checked and since the product was bigger than what was allowed, I was stopped and checked by airport security. They ended up taking the facial wash and having to throw it away. I think I only got 3 or 4 uses out of it. Oh well. So just make sure that if you have to purchase something, make sure it goes in checked luggage or meets the 3-1-1 rule.
Tip number 2: Water is allowed, but not in liquid form. This is something that I did not know until it happened to my sister. I hadn’t tried to carry a bottle of water with me. My sister had one unopened, and was stopped by airport security. She was not trying to do anything with the water but save it to drink later. They had to confiscate it. They told her that she would have been allowed to take it through security, on to the plane if it had been frozen. Frozen water can hydrate later if you need or want water on your flight.