Maine

go solo

Love articles like this and couldn’t agree more. Want to find your inner badass? Just go. Go alone, and don’t wait for anyone. You’ll surprise yourself.

BLR Honda Sponsored trip

Here’s an article I contributed to a few years ago. I wrote about jumping out of your cozy comfort zones, too:) Even Vanilla Ice said I’m on a roll and It’s time to go solo.

Where do you go alone?

#LifeOfATraveler #SoloTravel #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad

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how does this author know so much about me?

A friend sent me this blog post today and as I read it, I kept thinking; YES! YES! YES! That is totally me.

DON’T DATE A GIRL WHO TRAVELS

She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and there. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale. She wont party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.

Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.

Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.

Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her mind. She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect, but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.

She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.

So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.

Confession:

I’m amidst one of the worst winter-duldrum/when does this end and get warm again already/why am I not living in the tropics/on the road full time right now- times I’ve ever had. I’m sure you’re probably thinking boo-hoo, Diane- don’t you travel enough? Haven’t you been to enough spots? Aren’t you thankful for what you have done and where you have gone? Well, no, no, and yes. Travel is simply a part of my heart & soul. I can’t explain it. The above blog post makes me want to run- not walk, and do more.

I’ve tried so hard to shake this pesky bug, this lifestyle, this insatiable hunger for all things exploration and travel, but I just can’t. Sigh. I want to (I really do!) I want to be “normal” but I just can’t be. I’ve realized more and more lately, that probably the only thing that will ever keep me happy is living light and free; Free to stay if I want, to go if I want, to embrace the full “Me-ness” that is me, the forever overly curious, fight to feel truly alive everyday, wanderer.

At the moment I’m under a big blanket feeling cold, stuck, pretty uninspired, and not really myself. In an effort to ditch those yuck feelings, I just perused a bunch of my goofy, fun, and slightly ridiculous travel photos:

The above photo should actually say; I just love everything…TRAVEL. 

Ok, now I feel better. I guess when those blah, endless feeling wintery days strike- It’s best to fight back with memories of all the awesome that has been a part of my life already, and all that is still to come.

The reason I started my current BLR 365 project (have you seen it and gotten on board yet?) is exactly for days like this. I really do believe we can feel totally alive and make everyday an adventure, even when we are feeling glum/stuck/yuck. It’s all about taking a minute during your standard day, to look back, dream forward, do something creative, or let your mind wander about all that’s possible in the future.

What makes your soul burst with excitement?

#LifeOfATraveler #Wanderlust #StayUnstuck

PS~ A huge THANK YOU! To my always supportive, fellow lover of all things travel & adventure, fantastic friend, David who sent me Don’t date a girl who travels..

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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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million mile joe tour

I’m thrilled to share that my friends Joe (Aka Million Mile Joe) & Sharon LoCicero will be heading out on a cross-country tour soon to show off “Old Blue” and educate the public on what consistent maintenance, service, quality parts and American products can and will reward you with.(I’m currently trying to figure out how I can strap myself onto the roof of their trailer. Nothing makes my heart race with excitement like the news or possibility of a Great American Road Trip.) 

If you have been following here for any amount of time, you know I was sent by Honda during my sponsored road trip in September, 2011 to meet Joe. Give two people like Joe and I who are Honda Super Fans a full day together? We had a blast. Here we are driving in Joe’s famed Million Mile Honda:

Here is the stack of the mileage log notebooks Joe kept over the years:

(I’m a first take and un-edited kind of girl, so please excuse my every 2 second laughing and the dog barking!)

There are many more videos and photos from the first time Joe and I met, but fast forward to October, 2011 when Honda Hosted Million Mile Joe Day and gave him a new blue Accord:

Here I am with Joe during that celebration:

Million Mile Joe & Diane Peacock

It was a great day in Saco, Maine!

Since first meeting Joe & Sharon during the fall of 2011, we’ve kept in touch regularly and both never wavered in our love for Honda’s or spending time doing what we love. Joe & Sharon have not only donated to the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship since my launch of BLR Play It Forward in 2012, but they drove from Maine to Vermont this summer to support me, Blue Lollipop Road and joined in the days events for Play It Forward, 2013. Sharon even made “BLR” cookies out of my favorite things; Oreo’s & Nutella in case this is your first visit here and you don’t know me yet:) and crafted up a BLR shirt for herself too!

Sharon LoCicero & Diane with BLR Play It Forward shirts

How awesome is that tee?! How awesome are they for donating to the scholarship fund and coming to support me in person with treats in hand?!

Here we are after the alumni game, when I was nice and sweaty:

BLR Play It Forward Day with Million Mile Joe & Sharon LoCicero

I’ve known about the planned “Million Mile Joe Tour” for a while now, so when I got an email with the link to their site last night from Sharon I was excited to poke around and read more about the tour. Check it out!

Joe & I happened to meet because of our love of a brand of car that has been a huge part of our lives, but what else would a single 30-something traveling, writing, nomadic, city-loving gal and a 50-something home-based, mechanic dad/husband country-loving guy have in common besides our love for Hondas? A lot. Joe has heart, he’s a hard-worker, he’s smart and dedicated. He spends time doing what he loves with the people he loves. From everything I’ve seen and experienced knowing Joe & Sharon for the past couple of years, I know they care about their community, and they do the right thing when nobody is watching. I’m proud to say they’re my friends! I couldn’t be more excited to follow their MMJ Tour. I hope you will join me in following their journey too, and try to meet them in person if they come to a town hear you.

Joe & Sharon are a perfect example of why I love being on “the road.” I stay inspired by people; Learning about their lives, hearing their amazing stories & about interesting projects they’re working on, constantly being humbled about the unexpected good that’s out there, and collecting lessons around every corner. I’m inspired by average “Joe’s” who have drive to do extraordinary things, and that are just plain GOOD people like the LoCicero’s of the world.

Thanks for being awesome Joe & Sharon! Here’s to the road.

Who inspires you?

#MillionMileJoe #OldBlue #Honda #HondaLove #RoadTrip.

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donation!

I’m happy to share that my friends Sharon and Joe (AKA “Million Mile Joe“) LoCicero have donated once again to the BLR Play It Forward Event and Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship Fund! Since meeting Sharon and Joe in the fall of 2011 during my Honda sponsored road trip and fun in Maine, they’ve been incredibly supportive of me and BLR which I am so thankful for. (Fellow road warriors stick together!) Joe and Sharon are tried and true hard working, sweet, generous New Englanders, and a great example of why I have so much pride for the part of the world I came from.

I had to go through the archives to find a few photos from my time in Maine with them. Here I am at their house behind Old BLUE (Joe’s 1990 Accord with 1,000,000 miles on it), giving a thumbs up to Honda:

Me with Old Blue and a thumbs up to Honda love

…and check out Joe with his blue lollipop!

Million Mile Joe with a blue lollipop!

Here are the three of us after the big parade Honda put on to give Joe a new car back in October 2011:

Million Mile Joe LoCicero, Diane Peacock and Sharon LoCicero

(A bit blurry but I love this one. That was a seriously fun day.)

Joe and Sharon are soon embarking on an adventure of their own that I will write about later this summer. Besides that, they’re coming to BLR Play It Forward on July 13th in Vermont! Yay! That’s right, Joe and Sharon are road tripping from Vacationland to come watch and support my big annual Blue Lollipop Road event. Awesome!

Thanks for the donation and constant support Sharon and Joe! Looking forward to seeing you soon..

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inspired by best of the road

After these past few weeks of talking about, reviewing, voting on, and dreaming of America’s most:

*Beautiful
*Patriotic
*Friendly
*Fun
*Best for food

…small town spots. Team Blue Lollipop Road was inspired to dive into our photo archives and pull out some of our snap shots that reminded us of each category.

*Beautiful

Sitting on a lawn during sunset in Cape Elizabeth, Maine:

Cape Elizabeth Maine sunset

Morning grapevines and hot air balloons after a run in Napa:

Napa morning hot air balloons

Hiking near Hood River, Oregon:

Hiking near Hood River, OR

On a boat ride and fishing trip in Juneau, Alaska

on the water in Juneau, AK

*Patriotic

Driving through Poland Springs, Maine

Flag on firetruck in Poland Springs Maine

On the back roads of Sandgate, Vermont:

The BLR-Mobile in Vermont at covered bridge

The town square in Bath, Maine:

Town sidewalk in Bath, ME

*Friendly

With Ferry Manager in Swan Quarter, North Carolina:

Swan Quarter, NC Ferry Manager

The staff at Mainely Custard in Freeport, Maine said- “Come on in!” when I told them I was a big ice cream fan:

Staff at Mainely Custard

The Popcorn Man in St. Helena, California:

The Popcorn Man in St. Helena, CA

3 gents I met at Alaska Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska:

Friends in Juneau, AK

*Fun

Our hilarious rafting guide near Hood River, Oregon:

Rafting guide in Hood River, OR

Staff on a Beatles themed  food bus in Virginia:

Staff on the Yellow Submarine Food Bus

Dancing Pedro at a country bar in Illinois:

Diane dancing with Pedro in Illinois

Concert goers dancing the night away with us in Wilmington, NC:

Fun concert friends in Wilmington, NC

*Best for food

Me noshing on a whoopie pie in Maine:

Diane noshing on a Maine whoopie pie

Dessert at Dano’s on Seneca, Hector NY

Dessert at Dano's on seneca Lake

Breakfast crepes in Madison, Wisconsin:

Crepe at the Bradbury in Wisconsin

Fresh veggie quesadillas in Illinois:

Quesadilla in Illinos

Dessert crepes in Charlottesville, Virginia

Diane noshing on Crepe in Charlottesville, VA

(Clearly we are not afraid to dive right in!)

So many amazing people, place and things in America to enjoy. We love that when you travel, all you have to do is be your interested, open, and curious self- and people invite you right in to join anything!

There is always plenty of adventure around every corner…

Here’s to the road!

 .

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one week left to vote!

Team Blue lollipop Road is holding tight in the 2nd spot for the Best of the Road Rally 2012 but we still need your vote!

CLICK TO VOTE FOR US HERE!

Don’t just vote for us, but submit your town, favorite places, food joints and other and celebrate where and what you think rocks in America too! Just a few of my favorites:

Diner breakfast: Sonny’s Blue Benn Diner in Bennington, VT

Beach: Outer Banks, NC

Italian dinner: Mamma Zu in Richmond, VA

Sicilian pizza: Miccuci’s in Portland, ME

Milkshake: Port City Java mocha java shake Wilmington, NC

Ice cream: Bev’s Espresso Oreo in Richmond, VA

…oh so many more. Stay tuned!

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reason #478 to vote for team blue lollipop road

for the Best of the Road Rally 2012:

We find slabs of pizza and aren’t afraid to chow down!

Sicilian slab at Miccuci's

Welcome to the “sicilian slab” I found at Miccuci’s Grocery in Portland, Maine:

Micucci's Sicillian Slab

This slab was one of the freshest, most delicious, piping hot, squishy amazing melt in your mouth things I have ever eaten. (Translate: hosed.) Up close and personal when I was halfway through:

Micucci's Sicillian Slab

Mmmm….so, so good. This slab didn’t have a chance and was gone in 4 minutes or less. I actually stood up and ate the entire thing.

Want to feed me some of your best small town food? This girl is not afraid to eat…bring it! Vote for your town and maybe we will see you there.

VOTE FORE TEAM BLUE LOLLIPOP ROAD and put us on the tour of the best eats across the USA!.

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VOTE FOR TEAM BLUE LOLLIPOP ROAD!

Team Blue Lollipop Road is leading votes so far, but we still have 20 days to go, so we still need your support!

CLICK HERE to vote for my Mom and I to be a part of the 2012 Rand McNally and USA TODAY’s 2nd annual search for the Best Small Towns in America!

Here’s the dish on this Road Rally:

Rand McNally and USA TODAY send amateur travelers (that’s us!) across the country From Washington DC to Seattle exploring the Best Small Towns in America naming the Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Most Fun, and Best Small Town for Food with blogs, photos, reviews and videos to take you on the journey from wherever you are. (As if you are riding in the car with us!)

Talk about the perfect trip and exactly what Blue Lollipop Road exists for! I have always been an advocate of not just “vacation” travel (like only seeing sights at sites) but the immersion experience, actively engaged vs. passively observing. The nooks and crannies where you nosh and spend time with local characters is where you find the good stuff.  Mom and I have always been fascinated with small town America (probably because we both grew up in a tiny town and appreciate where we came from so much) so we would LOVE to be one of the teams selected for this trip.

Here’s my mumsie and I:

Mom and I at Sea Dog Brewing Company in Maine

Pick us! The Peacock’s (that’s our actual real last name) are ready for adventure!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Mom and I and cracks me up. The guy behind us is really enjoying his food while were relaxing on the patio at the Sea Dog Brewing Company in Maine with my brother and sister. It’s pretty awesome to be best buds with your Mom and siblings as an adult. (I couldn’t resist adding this photo of my adorable smilin’ brother with his yummy Sea Dog samples):

My brother Brad at Sea Dog Brewery

During this trip we stayed in Bath, (The City of ships!) and wandered different spots in Brunswick and around the Portland area. New England in the summer is just absolutely gorgeous, and Maine is one of our favorites.

Bath Maine cottage summer

…even on a cloudy day it’s beautiful:

Portland Maine Coast

If you’ve been following here of any amount of time, you know I have photos  and stories galore of people, places and food from my 50 state adventures. But? I know I have only touched the surface of what the USA has to offer for small towns, so help Team Blue Lollipop Road get on the road this summer to go search for more!

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as i dream of barbados

I don’t like to use terms and words like hate, despise, etc. because I try to choose a positive and hopeful mindset about everything I can, but I have a confession; I REALLY don’t like the cold. I mean I totally suck at it. I’m living in Chicago right now so that doesn’t make much sense, I know. I’ve never dreaded a season more than I dread the frigid temps I will experience these next few months, but I’m determined to embrace it and be a survivor! There’s a method to my madness for being here and a reason for everything- even torturing myself through the brutal misery of The Windy City winter. So I will keep my goals in mind as I cuddle in and do my best to stay cozy warm while I enjoy all the amazing sights, sounds, people, places and things around this awesome city.

Now I need boots.

I was in Maine at L.L. Bean a few weeks. Who doesn’t love Bean? At the time I couldn’t bring myself to by boots, because well- I don’t want to live in a place where you need things like boots, but attempting a Midwest winter without them would just be silly.

So I signed up for email alerts from Bean and have found a triple threat of deals that I’m going to take advantage of:

*FREE shipping, any size order

*10% off any order now through 11/13

$10 off any order of $50 or more for anyone who signs up for email alerts.

Check out the above and take advantage here! 

I love a deal and L.L. bean rules at them.

L.L.Bean is open 24/7 and 365. Yes- everyday, every hour, year round. There are no locks on the doors at the Freeport Maine flagship store. Even better you can return any thing and any time for any reason. No joke. When I was a teenager I had a backpack that I used for about 10 years. I actually cut the zipper with scissors one day because I kept getting it stuck. I sent it back to Bean, they didn’t even make the same bag anymore but with no questions asked sent me the most similar one to mine shiny and new. If you’re not satisfied they fix it plain and simple. They want you to be happy and confident with your purchase for it’s lifetime. (Or yours for that matter.) Do I feel confident in putting my hard earned money into a purchase at L.L. Bean? You betcha- and like no other company.

Now off to order my boots. Wish me luck this winter…

 

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