June 11, 2014

"Dang, It Feels Good to be a Liebster..."

"I want to thank all the peoples...."

Ok, so I may not have won an Academy Award or a Tony, but I was nominated for a Liebster Award over the weekend!  I am tickled pink and honored that Mariah at Food, Booze & Baggage included me among her nominations - my first ever!  While I shall continue to aspire towards one day winning a Tony (once I actually start my acting career, that is), I am indeed very excited to have been nominated.

Mariah from Food, Booze & Baggage
A BIG thank-you for the nomination, Mariah!  Be sure to check out her blog via Dashboard, Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin', and Pinterest for the latest scoop on her wining, dining, and adventure-findings, but fair warning: you may develop a sudden craving for food and travel afterwards!

And without further ado, behold my Liebster Award acceptance speech responses: 11 answers, 11 random facts, 11 nominations, and 11 questions.

11 Answers: 

1.  If you could go back and change one decision in your life, what would it be?
I would transport myself back to 2005 and choose to major in accounting or economics rather than English.  Although language and literature will always be my first love, the career choices available with another degree would've helped me accomplish my financial and traveling goals faster. 

Don't eat me!!! Source.
2.  What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten while traveling? (stealing this one from Amy)
Tilapia eyes.  I'm not overly adventurous when it comes to food (i.e., no chocolate covered insects in my future!), but I accidentally ended up eating a fish eye when dining out on Lake Victoria in Uganda.

3.  If you won a 100 million dollars, what would you do tomorrow?
1.  Pay off my debts.
2.  Buy a house or set aside money for land/house.
3.  Give a few monetary gifts to select family members.
4.  Invest a portion so as to provide future income.
5.  Travel the world for at least a year.

4.  How do you order your steak?
Medium to medium rare.

5.  If you could magically change one thing about society, what would it be?
This was a tough one.  I'd probably want to eradicate laziness.

6.  What is one of your personal strengths? 
(No, this not a job interview…it only sounds like one)
Somehow I'm incredibly organized and yet a chronic procrastinator at the same time.  It makes for random but fairly well-planned adventures! 

Mine are the far left pair.
7.  How much is too much for a pair of shoes? 
I'm too practical to spend a lot of money on clothing as I'd rather spend it on experiences.  $80 is probably my limit, and I'd be more likely to spend that on sneakers or hiking boots than heels.  But I do own a kick-ass pair of Twisted X boots with blue stitching that probably were closer to $200...

8.  I wish _______
...that #3 of this questionnaire would come true.  Without robbing a bank or knocking off some long-lost, rich relative, that is.

9.  If money or time was no object, what is one goal you would start working on immediately?

I'd work on erasing my monolingual status.  Unless sarcasm counts, in which case I'm fluent.

10.  Key lime pie, chocolate cake, creme brulee or fruit cobbler with ice cream are your dessert choices, which one do you pick? 
First of all, YUM to all of the above!!!  Secondly, I think I'd have to go with key lime pie for the tart-yet-sweet factor.

Monument Avenue. Source.
11.  If I came to visit you, what would we do?
If this were just a one day visit and assuming you hadn't yet seen or done any of the following, we'd start at Millie's Diner for a fabulous Devil's Mess Omelet and a mimosa.  Then we'd wander to the Museum of the Confederacy or visit with a few dead presidents at Hollywood Cemetery (sorry, but I have a fascination with old headstones...) while surveying the glory of the James River.  We'd stroll down Monument Avenue for a view of one of America's most beautiful streets then pop into Strawberry Street Cafe for some crab cakes, salad, and a Hardywood Cream Ale.  From there we could do a brewery crawl (I'll be your DD, I promise!), visit the Edgar Allan Poe museum, or if you've timed it right, enjoy one of the many street festivals that occur here in Richmond.  But we'd definitely cap the day off with a dinner at Mekong, voted the #1 place in the nation for Great American Beer Bars!  Sated and tired, I'd drop you off at The Jefferson (sorry, not buying unless I won that $100 mil!) for some of the best hotel accommodations in the country.  Ready to visit yet?!

11 Random Facts:

1.  Compared to other travelers, my "country count" is low at only seven countries visited.
2.  On my 21st birthday, I was attacked by a killer bat.  Though he failed to take my life, I did have to go through a series of rabies vaccinations, which are neither fun nor cheap, but now I feel a strange affinity with both Batman and Vampires.
UVa's Rotunda was designed by
Thomas Jefferson.
3.  My ancestors came to the U.S. in the 1600s on one side of the family and the early 1900s on the other side.  Family legend has it that we are descendents from a bastard son of a 16th century Swedish king.  That would be pretty neat, but I'm sure a lot of families claim that sort of thing.
4.  I graduated from the University of Virginia where the academics are tough and we streak the Lawn for stress relief.
5.  I'm very passionate about politics, and one of the hardest things about maintaining this blog is trying to keep those views separate from the adventures I recount here.
6.  I get a strong Southern accent after beer #2.
7.  I have a tendency to "re-enact" movies when visiting film locations.  Mary Poppins while in London.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while in Germany.  And soon, Roman Holiday while in Rome.
8.  I'm the oldest of six children and no, we are neither Mormon nor Catholic.
9.  I'm only one level away from achieving a black belt in Silkisondan Karate.
10.  I'm a huge sports fan.  I can't wait to be in Germany while the World Cup final matches are going on!
11.  I never attended a school until I went to college.  I'm a homeschool graduate and proud of it!

Virginia is for LOVErs sign at Dominion Riverrock.
11 Nominations:

1.  Lauren at Travelling Woman Blog
2.  Margo at Guten Blog Y'all
3.  Madaline at Pretty Thing and Co.
4.  Erin at Quintessentially English
5.  Julie at Alone With My Tea
6.  Catherine at Ever Changing Scenery
7.  Adelina at PackMeTo
8.  Dana at Time Travel Plans
9.  Amy at Amy and the Great World
10.  Erica & Dave at Bakers Tell Stories
11.  Esther & Jacob at Adventures with Esther and Jacob

11 Questions:
1.  How did you catch the travel bug?
2.  If you attended Hogwarts, in which House would the Sorting Hat place you?
3.  What's your go-to ice breaker story about yourself?
4.  I hand you a free airline ticket voucher but you have to leave within a few hours (I know, I'm so generous).  Where do you go?
5.  What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you while traveling?
6.  Mountains or Beach?
7.  Are there any countries that you would not visit?  If so, why?
8.  What's the best travel advice you've ever been given?
9.  You stumble across a time machine.  You can go to any point of time, location, change social status, etc.  What time frame do you choose and who would you be?  (Doesn't have to be anyone famous, e.g. "a Saxon armorer during the 1050s" is an acceptable answer.)
10.  Other than traveling, what's another passion/hobby of yours?
11.  If I came to visit you in your current city, where would you take me?  (Shamelessly stolen from Mariah)

If you accept my nomination, simply answer my 11 questions, provide 11 random facts, nominate 11 other bloggers, and ask them 11 random questions.  And be sure to spread the love and link back to this post from your own Liebster acceptance speech.  Happy Hump Day, fellow Liebsters!


  1. haha, great answers! #5 is hard for me too, but I must admit I sometimes post political things... I just can't help it! But I think the last time I did my blog didn't have very many readers, so no one seemed to notice or care haha! If I come visit will you promise to take me to all those places (even the cemetery)??? Thanks for the nomination. I was nominated once before but I couldn't think of 11 other people to nominate. :/

    1. I've been working on this post since Saturday, and at first I was drawing complete blanks on who I wanted to nominate! Finally got my head out of la-la land, though. :)

      I've hinted at politics before, but I haven't outrightly expressed my opinions here...yet. As dear as they are to me, I wouldn't want my political views to alienate readers with differing opinions. So unless it's expressly related to traveling (i.e., the coup in Thailand or the political environment in North Korea), I try to steer clear. My personal FB and Twitter is where I let all that out, haha!

  2. This was really fascinating to read! I feel like I could comment on each thing you posted AT LENGTH! The thing that jumped out to me, though, was about choosing another major if you could. I think I felt like that about a year after college (and still sometimes, though not as much anymore). I think balancing the humanities out with a minor/second major in something concrete can lead to a lot more job opportunities. And if you really like numbers, you should consider getting an education in it (maybe grad school?)... That could help fund your travel dreams. As for me, even though I see the utility, I still absolutely would not want to do anything concrete like that, so I guess Communications and French are still what I would choose! :)

    -- Erika from America

    1. Since you mentioned it, I actually am enrolled part time in an accounting program, thanks to my awesome job paying for it! I really enjoyed the coursework for my English and Classics degrees, but it just didn't pay out in job-form. Plus graduating at the beginning of the recession wasn't the greatest timing either. It's been a hard fight, but am finally getting somewhere - just wish I could land a job that would combine all my loves: travel, writing, and politics!

    2. Like you, I'd love a job that combines all of my passions. It seems to me like Anthony Bourdain has our dream job!!

    3. Amen to that, Dana! Or Rick Steves. I'd love his job!

  3. A fellow English major! :-D Also, thanks for the nomination!!

    1. #EnglishMajorsUNITE!!! :) Didn't know that about you - that's great!

  4. Oh, your answers were great!! I think I've only been to one of the places on your list in Richmond...sign me up :) So, many interesting facts...that is really neat you practice karate and have 5 siblings! I'm the same and tend to spend money on experiences rather than things, though I have found my shoe budget creeping up. Thanks for all the link love too!!

    1. Absolutely! You're one of the top blogs I follow and am more than happy to let people know that!

  5. Your day in Richmond sounds beyond PERFECT! I need some Millie's stat!

    1. Mmmm, so do I. Wonder if my job will notice if I sneak away for an hour or two? ;)

  6. Eek! Thanks for the nomination! I laughed at your re-enactment fact. I've done that before, I was Joey from Friends going into my map in London to find somewhere. It worked! Well at least someone stopped and asked if I needed directions.

    Erin | Quintessentially English

    1. That's hilarious! Glad I'm not the only one envisioning movie/tv shows when traveling. :D

  7. I was an English major too, and despite the inevitable pay decrease, sometimes I wish that I'd pursued a degree in journalism or went on to become an English professor rather than going the legal route. I'd encourage everyone who's on the verge of graduating to take a year off, travel abroad, work a bit, and figure out what they really want to do with their lives. That's such a hard decision to make fresh out of college! And you were attacked by a bat?! That's crazy! Lol - love your answers! Thanks for nominating me for Liebster, by the way! ;-)

    1. I agree about the professor part! Every now and then I toy with the idea of grad school. With a masters I could teach at a community college, but unfortunately it's either spend the money on grad school or spend the money on travels. So far, the traveling wins out.

  8. Thanks again SO MUCH for the nomination! Great questions. I'll have to think hard about that first one since it seems like I've ALWAYS had the travel bug :)

    1. Absolutely!!! I know what you mean - I can't recall a time where I haven't wanted to travel!


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