Argentina

blr goes patagonia

More specifically, El Chalten.

Meet Erin, who’s sporting her BLR tee:

Erin sporting BLR tee in Patagonia

Erin’s Blue Lollipop Road took her here on a trip of a lifetime. Can you say gorgeous? Sign me up! Oh the paces to go.

Where does your Blue Lollipop Road take you?

#LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #Adventure #Travel

***(Want to make a “BLR” if you don’t have a tee and send me a photo? I love it- please do, and I will post and share here:).

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HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY BLUE LOLLIPOP ROAD!

YIPPEE!!!

Today is Wednesday October 16, and this makes b-day number 5 for BLR. Let’s celebrate!

Cupcake anyone?!

She-Daisy Cupcakery Cupcake

This is the perfect time to write about the above de-lish treat (sun drop pound cake with a sun drop glaze and lemon buttercream) that Wendi, Owner of She Daisy Cupcakery gifted me a few weeks ago after she bought a pair of my vintage Frye boots. (Craigslist rocks.) So yeah, I took a treat from a stranger. (I seem to keep breaking all those rules our parents told us to live by.) Wendi was a blast to talk to. She quit a career that was blah, followed her passion to the land of things sweet- and voila a cupcake company! Another good story about a random encounter with a hard-working, inspiring person who followed their heart. I love being able to share about these kind of people here.

Without a doubt the best part of these past 5 years on the Blue Lollipop Road, has been meeting new people, the kindness of strangers, and spending time with those already in my life that I love. What else is there, really?

Ahhh- yes, the people I’ve met along the way, who share similar interests:

Million Mile Joe

Hood River, Oregon travel people

Allen & Judy Kirkwood on Alaska Ferry Boat

Meet Jack Burrows: Blue Lollipop Road

…the cities I’ve fallen in love with:

Chicago skyline from my apartment

Toronto view

…my various office locations:

Blue Benn Diner Office

Coffee Shop Office

Finger Lakes Office

My BLR Chicago Office

Coffee Shop Office

Coffee Shop Patio Office

…the food I’ve noshed on:

Chicago Brunch de-lish

Food truck tacos

Bongo Room Pancakes

Blue Benn Diner breakfast appetizer

…the places that’ve helped me find the way back to myself:

Thank you Argentina! I found myself again

…the signs that make me laugh:

Signs at The Chocolate Barn

Signs In Bathrooms

Upstate, NY Road Signs

Farmer's Market

Funny Signs: Blue Lollipop Road

Funny Signs: Blue Lollipop Road

…the excitement, energy, and adorable kids (and adults) who keep the Strong Mojo alive:

BLR Play It Forward Day 2012

Ben & Sam with blue tongues

The Carter Girls playing mini gold in BLR tees

Blue Lollipop Kids!

Caleb & Carter with blue tongues

Scott & Sierra love blue lollipops

…the adventure from coast to coast and beyond:

Cape Elizabeth, Maine

BLR-Mobile at the Alaska Border

BLR in Bermuda

The original Blue Lollipop Road: Cafayete, Argentina

Henna in India

Bermuda sights

Iquazu Falls, Argentina

London

"Crabbing" in Ketchikan, Alaska

…the lessons I’ve learned:

BLR inspiration

…the special friends I’ve reconnected with:

BLR Play It Forward Day 2012

BLR Play It Forward 2013

BLR PLay It Forward Day 2012

BLR PLay It Forward Celebration Cocktails 2013

…honoring lost friends by giving back to hometown female athletes, so they have the opportunity to go out and see a bigger world too:

BLR Memorial Scholarship recipients Hannah Patterson & Mercedes Chen

(Above left 2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson, and 2013 recipient Mercedes Chen at a recent soccer game:)

…events with good friends in beloved landmarks:

Cubs at Wrigley!

…the strangers out there who’re also on the Blue Lollipop Road:

BLR partners in crime

…the freedom I have found and felt:

Finding freedom on the Blue Lollipop Road

Finding freedom on the Blue Lollipop Road

…the truths I’ve come to know and trust:

Knowing what makes me richer

…the journeys and daydreaming in the sky:

Plane ride to Bermuda

…and on the road:

VA farm country

…the cheesy places I’ve been:

BLR-Mobile at South of the Border

…and the beautiful:

Napa hot air balloon mornings

…the nicknames I’ve acquired:

Nicknames

…knowing that there will always be bumps, so I better strap in tight:

Buckle up on the BLR

…never losing faith in things that I hope for:

I think so too

Things I wish

…and to wherever, and whatever- the road leads to next:

The Blue Lollipop Road

5 years ago today I drove down a road in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and “Blue Lollipop Road” popped ever so randomly into my head as I was brainstorming a best way to share my stories with more than just family and close friends. Who knew this is what it would become! I’ve managed all the above on a shoestring budget and with no plan whatsoever. I didn’t grow up with a trust fund, I never spent my childhood jet-setting the globe with my parents (I barely made it out of the state of Vermont until I was 15), I’ve never taken any writing or computer classes (I’m sure that is very obvious considering my regular grammatical errors and other:), and at the risk of sounding so cliche’- I’m just a small town wildly curious kid, that came from humble beginnings, learned in an heartbreaking incident at a very young age how short life is, and since then have decided that every day is a chance and a choice to live like I mean it. During my journeys on this Blue Lollipop Road, I’ve learned things that’ve absolutely changed my perspective and my life as a whole, I’ve seen places that’ve taken my breath away, and I’ve met people I wouldn’t have been able to in my wildest dreams- all because of this platform. Now that is something to celebrate!

I’ve written and shared here in and effort to keep myself in check and awake about what’s really important, to prevent myself from falling into the drone-zone, and to remember all the things that are possible. I hope by visiting here, you stay fired-up about life, like a kid in a candy store too.

Here’s to the next 5 years, and to going for it all.

What are you celebrating today?

#HappyBirthday #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #ThisIsWhatILove.

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voting ends tomorrow!

Have you put in your reviews for Best of the Road yet? Where do you like to adventure, eat, drink, play, go? See some of Team Blue Lollipop Road’s favorites here and pipe in with your own reviews, then vote for us here so we can be a finalist team in the 2012 rally!

If you need some travel inspiration for yourself or to vote for us, here are a few photos from “there road”s I’ve taken the past couple years.

Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, CA:

Pacific Coast Highway CA

Sitting on the side of the road at sunset in Sitka, AK:

Sunset Sitka, AK

Stopping to take in the mountains in Yukon, Canada:

Yukon, Canada BC

Relaxing at sunset at Seneca Lake, NY:

Sunset over Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, NY

Sitting on the beach in Outer Banks, NC:

OBX, NC

During a bike ride outside Cafayate, Argentina:

Road outside Cafayate, Argentina

Looking up at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC:

Cape Hatteras, NC

Ferrying into Juneau, AK:

Ferrying into Juneau, AK

Kneeling by the water at the Taj Mahal:

Taj Mahal, India

Hiking near Hood River, OR:

Hiking near Hood River, OR

From the walking trails at Iguazu Falls, Argentina:

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Parked on the side of the road looking at the Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau AK:

Mendenhall Glacier Juneau, AK

Driving through Central Canada:

Down the road in central Canada

So where are you getting inspired to go this summer?

There’s a whole big world out there ready for the taking. Let’s hit the road together!

 .

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thanks mom

Dear Mom,

Thank you for raising me in a beautiful, safe place where I could run and play:

Front yard in Hidden Valley

Thank you for encouraging me to travel and explore:

Me at the Taj Mahal: November, 2008

Thank you for giving me 3 of the best siblings, who have turned into my best friends:

The Kid and I, Wilmington, NC: March, 2009

Brad and I on bus in Argentina

…so one of those siblings could give me a great nephew:

With DJ and Mason: June 2009

Thank you for telling me to go for it, and always follow my dreams:

I made it! At Alaska border 8/8/1: State #50

Thank you for sharing doughnuts with me on our special breakfast dates:

Blue Benn Diner breakfast with Mom

Thank you for being my friend, and the one person who I know will love me with all of her heart forever:

Mom and I at Seadog Brewing Company, Maine

You are the definition of what a mother should be. You are the reason I will always believe anything is possible. I am so, so, very lucky to be your daughter. I love you Mom. Happy Mother’s Day..

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time flies when you’re having fun

Two years ago in February, I was riding a double decker bus…

Double decker bus ride, Argentina

…traveling to see places like Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

…taking boat rides into the falls…

Boat at Iguazu Falls, Argentina

…having yummy vegetarian lunch (which is laughable considering we were in Argentina)…

Lunch in Argentina

…taking gondola rides over Salta…

Gondola ride in Salta, Argentina

…strolling in the warm sun near San Lorenzo gazing at beautiful flowers…

Flowers in Argentina

…finding fresh fruits on the street…

Fruit on the streets near San Lorenzo

…then running through a hail storm like I had never seen before, drenched, laughing and freezing to get back to the hostel…

Hail storm in Cafayete

…to eat dinner with friendly and interesting strangers from around the world…

Dinner with the Salta hostel peeps

As I imagine my brother adventuring around on gorgeous beaches today in Thailand, (where he’s currently traveling) it makes me happy to know that just like when we were in Argentina together 2 years ago, he is making memories, meeting people and having experiences he will never forget.

Here’s to dreaming it, then doing it- because that’s all it takes..

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