Fields of Gold

For the summer solstice, I thought it appropriate to revisit a dreamy Californian day trip my sister and I took in April. Taking advantage of the mild spring weather, we drove about an hour out to Antelope Valley, through winding mountain paths and past flat, rural fields.

Our destination? The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, where our state flower was in super bloom. We’d missed the height of the bloom, but it was lovely walking through the hills and seeing the subtle colors revealed with each wind-ripple through the grasses and wildflowers. Poppy orange, of course, but also shades of green and silvery-whites, ashy-purples, the cheerful yellows of tickseed and goldfields.

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Alexander and Me

Two years ago today, the Sister and I were breathlessly seated in the very last row at the Public Theater – about to see Hamilton on stage for the first time. In honor of that anniversary, it seemed appropriate to share a little about my long-time history crush and the road that brought us to that room.

It took 5 years to get me into “the room where it happened” – or rather the house where Alexander Hamilton and his family once lived. The morning was bright and cold, and I had followed my friend uptown, navigating icy sidewalks until we arrived at the edge of St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, Harlem. Nestled in drifts of snow was a cheerfully yellow house built in the Federalist style. It was a Saturday at the end of February 2015, and it was the culmination of a trip I’d convinced my sister to take with me – flying across the country to a New York City still in mid-winter so that I could indulge my history geekery.

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The Sister marveling at the snow outside the Hamilton Grange.

An almost magical confluence of events and connections had led to this trip, involving a friend discovering my love of Hamilton and text messages about an upcoming off-Broadway musical that I honestly thought was not real. But the heart of this is my crush for the oft forgotten Founding Father, but that’s a story I have to the start to tell.

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Concord & The Revolution

On this day, April 19, 1775, two skirmishes occurred between the British Redcoats and colonial militia in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. These events together are seen as the opening “battles” of the American Revolution. The confrontation that happened in Concord, in particular, would later be known as “the shot heard ’round the world,” a phrase coined by American poet and writer – and Concord native – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

And in October 2015, I visited the place where it happened with the Sister during the last leg of my U.S. History vacation. Yes, I requested and planned a vacation with my friends around seeing Revolutionary History sites, and you’ll be hearing more about that in time on this blog. Concord wasn’t originally on my itinerary and is not a place I thought I’d see given that it’s a small town and a bit out of the way from Boston, but when my friend Tracey* offered her hospitality at nearby Lowell (another historical town – an old mill town, in fact) and a ride to Concord, I couldn’t say no. She knew to tempt me with Revolutionary and literary history (and apple cider donuts).

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How Nerds Travel (Pt 1) – Preparations

To tell you the truth, I’m a wanderer of convenience. My destinations are often based on whims, and once I’ve chosen the destination, I start digging in to see what geekery I can get up to. That said, there are destinations that call to me because of my nerd interests.

Greece, for example, has been on my travel bucket list since I was a kid because I was (and still am) obsessed with Classical Mythology. To tread through the ruins at Delphi and to stand atop the Acropolis are dreams of mine. The reason I keep getting drawn back to the northeastern United States is because of my love for the American Revolution. And then there’s stuff like – oh, I don’t know – San Diego Comic Con. 

So let’s talk how nerds make travels like the above happen.

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Why Nerds Travel (Pt 1) – Stories (Inspiration)

When MARLON of Nerdcoolture said he was working on a series of blog posts about “nerd travel,” I immediately volunteered as tribute. After all, I basically started this blog to talk about the intersection of my wanderlust and geekery, and I had recently gone on the nerdiest trip of my life (so far).

And while Marlon and I had first “met” during a remote podcast*, we really connected over the topic of planning geeky vacations. So I’m excited to be blogging about the topic in collaboration with him. A little about Marlon – he’s all about bringing the geeky into everyday life, particularly through fashion! He’s also super into the Simpsons and takes epic travel photos.

So what is “nerd/geek travel”?

It’s travel but with a geek lens! Marlon and I are exploring this idea and what it means to us individually with this series of posts. I hope you’ll stick around for all of them as we talk about what inspires us to travel, how we prepare for trips, and how we keep it all geeky!

Marlon already posted his Inspiration for Nerd Travel (spoiler: video games!) on Monday, which I hope you’ll check out. And now I’m sharing what inspires me to travel…

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