Where in the World is The Suitcase Scholar?

May 2, 2012 by

Who knows where I am in this photo? Hint: it is a place similar to, yet different from, several places I’m going on this trip.

Back in the day, when The Suitcase Scholar was lowly little Blog on the Run, I would post trip plans before they happened.  You all would know exactly where I’d be and when, as somehow I had time to post such things.  Perhaps because I was traveling yearly and not monthly?

But I thought I’d take the time to let you know what you’ll be reading about in the next few weeks.  While posts about New Orleans and Washington DC, (along with travel musings in general) will continue to be posted–and while you can still read about my Disney trips over on Mouse on the Mind–I’m already off on my next adventure.  When this post publishes, I’ll be on a bus bound for NYC–or, more accurately, JFK–to board a plane for San Francisco.

You’ll note in my Travel Dreams for 2012 post, I said something like ‘I’m going to San Francisco this year, damnit’.  Well, I literally am going right now! See–this is why it is good to make travel dream lists.

Of course, to ‘just’ go to San Francisco would be terribly unlike me.  Though I swear that’s how this trip started out–a simple 7-day trip to the city; one hotel, no car, no trains, nothing insane.  It took maybe four days to balloon into what it is now–a 12-day trip to San Francisco, the Napa Valley, Yosemite…and maybe a drive down the coast to Monterey.  Ok–probably a drive down the coast to Monterey.  My mom actually coined a phrase to describe my travel planning style–scope seep.  She says my plans start out normal (or, rather, reasonable-for-me anyway) but then expand in length and depth and breadth.  As much as I hate to admit when my mother is correct about something, this might just be one of those times.  Mom–you’re totally right.  I have scope seep. And I fear it may be incurable.

Full–and long–as this trip is, it is also chock-full of awesome tours, events, and experiences that will of course be making an appearance here on The Suitcase Scholar–including a bucket-list item for me, the Napa Valley Wine Train.  I could not be more excited.  Well, I could not be more excited right now, as I type this.  As you read this and I sit on a two hour bus ride or a seven hour plane ride, I’m likely a little less psyched.  But whatever.  California, here I come!

What would you like to see me do on my California trip?  If you’ve been to any of the places I’ll be visiting (or have always wanted to visit for a specific reason) and have a suggestion for me, please feel free to add recommendations in the comments area below.  I have two totally free days–imagine that–that I can fill with anything you suggest.  

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the uncertainty of wifi availability for the duration of this trip, any comment replies for the next two weeks may be typed using my fat thumbs on my iPhone.  So please forgive me in advance for any typos.  I’d love to hear from you, dear readers, while I’m gone–particularly because I’m traveling solo–and I will reply.  Thanks for understanding!  

ALSO:  If you’d like to follow along with me on my trip, check out my real-time travel blog, Virtual Passenger.  I’ve not used it in over a year (I’m not sure why…?) but I think I shall resurrect it on this trip.  Since I’ll be solo and have the time–in theory.


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  1. Christine

    Have a great time ~ I’ve always wanted to see Napa Valley so I’m looking forward to your pics. By the way, thanks for the advice on my cruise – we did the Rays, Reefs and Rum tour and loved it. And like you, I over-did my trip and tacked on Disney for a few days just to add stress – but glad we did. There is so much travel to pack into a lifetime we almost have to take it to insane limits.
    Anyway ~ safe and happy travels ~ enjoy the wine :)

    • elbodans

      So glad to hear you loved the tour! Did you have good weather? I did not, but still enjoyed it. Also glad to hear that you had a good trip, even though it was jam packed. Trust me–I know all about jam packed!

      • Christine

        Weather was perfect that day in Cayman, I was mesmerized by the aqua blue water ~ would love to spend a week there just chilling out. I loved Port days, but they went by too fast – there wasnt enough time to see everything, take photos,shop a bit, then relax. Hope you are enjoying California ~

  2. Regina

    If you want an excellent hike through Muir Woods, take a guided
    tour with Tom Martell of muirwoodstour.com. He is awesome. Groups are super small (had
    4 including me), he picks you up at your hotel in San Fran, takes you on great trails far away from tour bus crowds, he’s a volunteer with Sierra Club & some of CA State Parks so he is super knowledgeable about all the flora & fauna, and you get a picnic lunch thrown in for the price. He also will drop you off in Sausilito after your hike/tour ends so you can explore before taking the Ferry back to the city (fabulous views of skyline and Golden Gate Bridge from the water & Sausilito has cute stores & restaurants). If you want to skip Sausilito he will drive you back to San Francisco.

    • elbodans

      Wow–thanks! I’m looking that up right now! My tour to Muir Woods fell through today, so perhaps that’s something I can do on Saturday. Will let you know!

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