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  • Writer's pictureAdam Hlasny

Photo Interlude: Top 5 May Travels

As May is the fifth month of the year (and one of my favorites!), I wanted to do a quick rundown of my five favorite May trips.

5) Mid-Atlantic Day Trips (2006)

2006 was a busy year for travel. One of the most significant trips of my life - 10 days in Peru - occurred in March of this year. It also happened to be my only full spring based in Pennsylvania for grad school, so Alyse and I rolled up our sleeves and did day trips three weekends in a row that May. They included two state capitals and a national one. We also dropped in on historic New Castle, Lewes, and Georgetown, Delaware, places you've probably never heard of and that I'll probably never get back to. Glad we pushed ourselves rather than being lazy during that beautiful spring!

Delaware's Capitol, in Dover. I once read it's one of only two (Juneau, AK) not served by an interstate!

Lost and/or confused, as usual!

In the Southern Delaware town of Lewes

Maryland State House, the oldest US State Capitol in continuous legislative use

4) Newport, RI (2013)

This trip was significant not because of its humble distance from home, but rather because it was the first multi-night trip Alyse and I had done as a couple since Julia had been born, 2.5 years earlier. Also, it was the first, last, and only trip we ever took in my tiny MR2 convertible before I sold it a month later. Driving along the Rhode Island coast with brackish breezes swooshing through my (slightly) thicker hair was fantastic.

Green Animals Topiary Garden

Our summer cottage

Milling around with the top down in Newport

3) Ottawa (2010)

With a baby on the way and limited funds to spend, Alyse and I made our first and last cross-border road trip as a couple for our one-year anniversary. Ottawa had personal history for me, as my parents had lived in Canada's chill capital for a couple years in the late 70s. I had been once before, as a two-night stopover on the way back from Cincinnati in 2002. This would be a chance to stay in a B&B, have a few days to walk around, and check out some museums, Byward Market, and the highly-regarded tulip festival. Weather was 'meh' - chilly and cloudy with peeks of sun - but was a great experience nonetheless. Astounding that this was already 12 years ago - Ottawa (along with Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec) sit longingly on the family travel bucket for now.

Evening view toward Gatineau, Quebec

2) Pacific Coast Highway - LA to the Bay (2014)

What a difference four years makes - having moved to New Hampshire and become slightly more financially comfortable, Alyse and I wanted to go big for our fifth anniversary. We had been to California as west coast greenhorns in 2008, but our time in Joshua Tree NP and San Diego had been extremely limited.

We wanted to give the Golden State - and specifically its ethereal PCH - its due. Starting in LA, we took a few days to mosey up the coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Big Sur, Monterey/Carmel/Pebble Beach, before finishing out the week in San Francisco. It was just as amazing as we had hoped - gorgeous weather, a rare week as a couple (3.5-year old Julia was home with her grandmother), and sightseeing fit for an emir.

Waaay too many photos to do the trip justice, but here are a few of my faves.

Morro Bay

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Fun fact: I've worn this shirt all four times I've been to California (2008, 14, 17, 19)

Sorry Dwayne, this is The Rock

1) Amalfi Coast (2009)

So this one will be hard to top. Ever. Combine mind-blowing scenery, incredible culture, gorgeous weather, and the honeymoon vibe, and you may start to understand why this trip absolutely had to be #1 on the list. Blog followers, you may remember that I've already chronicled this, leg one of a three-leg adventure that also included Rome and Sicily. Rather than redoing my impressions here, I'll quote from the original article, one of my favorite travel pieces I've ever written.

Part of a pedestrian-only village whose buildings were sprinkled astride a cliff as if by God Himself, we soared 1,500 feet above the sea while standing soldier still. The scenes before my eyes were impossible, right? Was I really here, part of this devastatingly magnificent setting? All the colors were exaggerated - outlandish brushstrokes of an eccentric watercolorist. Bougainvillea glowed magenta. Bursts of plump lemons gleamed in the afternoon sunlight.

Cliffside breezes infused the place with subtly floral scents, steeped with freshness and life; the glorious promise of new days ahead. Then there was the blue. Photos do no justice to the dazzling Mediterranean. It was just water, but somehow it was so much more. The only reaction possible was an incredulous, reverential silence.

Alyse and I ambled through Positano, feasting on fresh seafood and pasta for lunch, shopping for keepsakes, and just basking in the coastal elegance. We held hands. Views swept us away constantly, as did the realization that we were married and in this impossibly lovely land.

Villa Rufolo, Ravello


Before we departed the halcyon environs of the Amalfi Coast a few days later, the skies began to threaten. Of course being Italy, the landscapes looked just as provocative in grey.

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