Snapshots: San Francisco

View of Alcatraz in sunset

I started November by attending my first writer’s conference in Marin County, CA. As the event was only 20 miles ( or a half hour by ferry) to San Francisco , I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity. So after … Continue reading

Halloween Series #3: Salem, Massachusetts

Every Halloween enthusiast dreams of visiting Salem. Despite the dark history of hangings and witchcraft accusations, the tiny town offers a host of museums, reenactments, and memorials that attracts scores of people year round. Of course, the number of visitors … Continue reading

Virtual Blog Tour

About a month ago, the inspiring Vernette of Vernette Out Loud nominated me for the Virtual Blog Tour. I haven’t done one of these in a long time but seeing as how Vernette was one of the first bloggers I started corresponding with when this all started two years ago- and that I love catching up with her blog- I couldn’t say no.

The Virtual Blog Tours is all about the creative process and has three simple rules:

1. Compose a one-time post which is posted on Monday (date will be given to you from whoever passes on the tour).

2. Answer these four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do:

  • What am I working on?
  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  • Why do I write/create what I do?
  • How does your writing/creating process work?

3. Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers. Get their permission first, give them rules and a specific Monday to post.

So, here we go:

1. What am I working on?

In terms of blogging, I’m always working on finding post material and committing to a somewhat regular posting schedule. I’m in the middle of a Halloween Series, where I outline and review one Halloween Destination for the month of October. I missed one week but will be leaving for an overnight trip to experience another destination in just a few hours! Outside of blogging, I’m writing for the travel site called TrazeeTravel.com, preparing for my first writer’s conference, and building my writing portfolio.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genera?

Like millions of other blogs, it’s geared towards solo female travelers. In that respect , it’s not very different at all. I try to make the posts sound like narratives– so the readers feel as if they were there also. In the beginning , I had a grand vision of the blog being a go-to place for people who don’t normally travel ( broke students, the anxious, the young) but over time, it’s become more of a memory book/portfolio for me. I still try to write in style that will attract and interest readers and share tips that have helped me in the past, but more so I blog now to remember my trips and details and to create material I can use when applying for writing jobs. And of course, everything is pink here…so, there’s that.

3. Why do I write/ create?

Writing is my happy place but because I’m also trying to make a career out of it, my happy place also gets a little frustrating at times. When I update my blog, I feel like I’m advancing and planting a bit of personal inspiration for later. When I’m not feeling well or feel like I’ve reached a dead-end, I look through my past posts. I see all the things I’ve done and experienced and that makes me think, just keep going for a bit longer and maybe you’ll get to experience something like that again. So far it’s worked every time.  So I write because I know it’ll force me to keep writing and traveling later on.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

For travel writing, it starts with the photos. I look through my old photos and that normally brings back enough details to make an entertaining/ informative post. I keep a notebook and pen to write details but more often than not, I forget to do that in the moment.

If I’m feeling meh about writing that day , I’ll spend a day scouring over other travel blogs. That normally gets me excited and eager enough to focus on getting words on the page.

And that’s my writing process!

Thanks again , Vernette! I’d like to invite the following to continue this tag on November 17th:

Ellen of Travelling the World Solo

Beckaronney of Life of a Plant Lover & This and That

Halloween Series #2:Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia,PA

Many people know Eastern State Penitentiary is a former maximum-security prison where the likes of Al  Capone were once imprisoned. A lesser known fact is that every year during the Halloween season, the prison turns into the haunted attraction called Terror Behind the Walls, complete with bloody zombies,psychedelic hallways, and menacing, glossy-eyed guards.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary

The frights start before you enter. Pale guards with slashed faces usher you through the lines, often yelling or lunging at the distracted for scares. After you sign a waiver and pose for zombie pictures, you’re given the option to intensify the experience wearing by an interactive necklace ( a glow stick) that allows the costumed actors to grab you, separate you from your group, or even drag you into secret, scarier tunnels. You’ll  have to make your way through six attractions– like the infirmary, the cells, and the machine shops– all while dodging the various ghosts, creatures , and madmen that dart out of the shadows.

My favorite  parts of the evening included  walking down a dark hallway of cells while dead prisoners chased us from the other side of the bars and going through a 3D room splattered with neon colors. I also enjoyed the last attractions, where guests walk through a narrow hallways as a billowing black mass of air presses at them from both sides.

 Cell room at Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary

Being a risk-taker, I chose the glow stick. I’m also a coward so I tended to grab my friend and run whenever I was being cornered and , thus, never got to experience the secret tunnels. I did witness several people emerging from these tunnels. One boy screamed, “You do not want to know what just happened!”. This, of course, made me wish I did know what just happened, so if you ever get the chance ,  take the opportunity to explore these secret passageways.

While it’s forbidden to take pictures while in the actual attraction, there’s a reception area outside that houses a few of the original cells and some display areas in route to the exit that make perfect photo ops.

 Cell room at Eastern State Penitentiary

Cell room at Eastern State Penitentiary

 Cell room at Eastern State Penitentiary

Cell room at Eastern State Penitentiary

 Cell room at Eastern State Penitentiary

Visiting Room

 Cell room at Eastern State Penitentiary

Visiting Room

For more information on Eastern State Penitentiary,and the Terror Behind the Walls haunted , visit their easternstate.org.

Coupons for the attraction can be found at Lukoil gas stations.

 

Halloween Series #1: The Tower of London

wall of masks tower of london

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. In fact, scary movie marathons,bite-sized chocolates,and pumpkin drinks are the only things that stop me from mourning the end of summer. Because of this, I decided to enjoy this month by visiting some … Continue reading

Snapshots: Things You See in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park

What you’ll see on a fall day in Philly’s famous Fairmount Park Area. Architecture Stately boathouses lines the trail of Fairmount Park . There’s even a nice view of the Art Museum from the parking lot. The Waterfront & the … Continue reading

Snapshots: Amsterdam & The Red Light District (And the FOOD!)

Red Light District of Amsterdam

In “Meeting Corrie Ten Boom & Anne Frank” and “How a Smile Changed my Trip to Amsterdam“, I wrote about being inspired and rejuvenated in Amsterdam. While searching for new post material, I realized that there are lots of experiences … Continue reading