My Favorite Travel Moments of 2016

Ok, I know, we're almost two weeks into the new year. With all the moving and changing of phones it's taken a while to collect all my photo mementos from my 2016 travels. There were a lot of domestic trips which I was happy about. There's so much to see right in the US, and sometimes the exotic lure of overseas vacations tends to cast a shadow over what's right here in my backyard.

Β 

Detroit, MI & Toldeo, OH (April and November 2016)

At least once a year I fly over the great lakes to visit my family in the Midwest. I always pass through Detroit before heading on to the little towns in Ohio where various family members live. In April we celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday so it definitely is at the top of my memories for the year. We went back for Thanksgiving so being able go twice in one year was such a blessing

Nashville, TN (April 2016)

My husband is very involved in the indie movie industry, so in April we road tripped from New York to Nashville for a film festival. Actually, he drove down, and I met him a day later via American Airlines and possibly the worst flight experience ever. I was told my flight was delayed when it wasn't and then missed said flight. As there were no flights out until morning, I was escorted to the seediest motel, hotel, Holiday Inn ever. I slept on the very edge of the bed and wouldn't get under the covers, it was that bad. Anyway once I got there, Nashville was amazing. The bed and breakfast we discovered was a big highlight (post on that to come). The barbecue, food trucks,  beautiful homes, live country music and lazy walks with big cups of ice tea made me ready to move there. We road tripped back together, of course stopping at Waffle House along the way.

Connecticut (May/June 2016)

My husband and I both grew up in New England so we visit the area several times a year. Connecticut is home to the best lobster roll I've ever had, and there are some great private beaches that are so serene and quiet.

Jacksonville, FL (June 2016)

Popped down to Florida for one of my best friends' wedding. It was the first time I was a bridesmaid and it was such a beautiful time. I managed to squeeze in some time by the pool. Two days later I was on a flight to New Orleans!

New Orleans, LA (July 2016)

This is probably my favorite US City and in my top three memories in 2016. I was in town for ESSENCE Festival, a huge event with star performances including Mariah Carey, The Bad Boy Reunion Tour, and Maxwell (check out this year's lineup here). I was there for work, so 12 hours a day were spent running around making sure all the photographers had what they needed, and being glued to my computer updating ESSENCE.com.

Me with my ESSENCE crew in NOLA. Photo:  Greg Noire

Me with my ESSENCE crew in NOLA. Photo: Greg Noire

At night though, the partying was amazing. My husband came down and we stayed for an extra week just to hangout and recover from 4 days of sleep deprivation. We hit up Frenchman street for some shopping and hunted for the perfect po' boy. It is blazing hot in July and I got a sinus infection at the end and couldn't do much the last few days.

Jamestown (May 2016) and Newport, RI (June 2016)

My mother loves seafood and anything near water, so for Mother's Day we took a day trip to Jamestown, a small island of a city on the harbor, where we had a delicious Mother's Day brunch at Simpatico. For her birthday a month later, we hung out in the seaside town of Newport. There are always food and jazz festivals happening, as well as very affordable boating lessons. I love just sitting by the docks with some fried clam strips and watching the yachts come in and out of the harbor.

Martha's Vineyard (September 2016)

My whole family hits up the island every summer, and this time we went for my birthday on Labor Day weekend. It was a bit too cold to swim, but we rented mopeds and drove from one end to the other. Along the way we came across an area I'd never been to before in the 20+ summers we've gone.

In Edgartown, there is an amazing brewery and greenhouse shop right off the main road. I don't know how I ever missed this! You can order a shotski-style selection of beers and browse through the botanical garden stores for vases, buckets, wind chimes and other trinkets.

Courtesy of Bad Martha's Brewery

Courtesy of Bad Martha's Brewery

Courtesy of Bad Martha's Brewery

Courtesy of Bad Martha's Brewery

Mom in her happy place

Mom in her happy place

We stopped and sipped for a few hours before driving out to Gayhead for some stunning scenery and fish tacos. One of my favorite memories of the year! There's nothing like being with family.

The cliffs at Gayhead

The cliffs at Gayhead

Washington DC/Alexandria VA (October 2016)

By the water in Old Alexandria

By the water in Old Alexandria

The hubby and I made a big life change and left NYC in 2016 after being there for over 10 years. We are spending a few months in the D.C. Metro Area before heading off to Europe, where we will stay until the Spring. We've found some cool spots here, like the D.C. fish market, and the pier in Alexandria. Did I mention we like being near water? We have yet to hit up once museum or monument so we hope to do that this weekend!

Tulum, Mexico (December 2016)

This was a very spur of the moment, poorly planned trip. As Cancun is only a 3 hour flight from D.C., it was meant to be a relaxing and quick getaway. With all the flight delays, switching airports and long drives, we were only there for 36 hours. However once we were in Tulum (after a very frustrating, long immigration line and a 90 minute drive) and had a night of rest, I fell in love with Mexico. There are so many layers to the country that I simply must go back and explore more. Highlights: Our stumble upon an adults only treehouse resort, taking the best swim of my life in the crystal clear Cenotes, the cheeky iguanas at the Mayan ruins, and the amazingly fresh fish tacos.

New York, NY (All 2016)

Last but certainly not least, I spent most of my year in one of the most famous cities on the planet, NYC! We left a few months ago so these photos are bittersweet. Summer and fall are my favorite New York seasons. I had an amazing team of people I worked with at ESSENCE, saw Beyonce in concert, dressed up in 1920's attire for a picnic on Governor's Island, and so many more memories that this whole post could be about The Big Apple.

I shot some really cool events including some shows at Fashion Week and AfroPUNK, (which you can see here and here) and just had a wonderful random year with my husband and friends.

Cool kids at AfroPunk

Cool kids at AfroPunk

Shooting events in NYC

Shooting events in NYC

The Oculus At World Trade Center

The Oculus At World Trade Center

I had some huge highs and deep lows in 2016, but going over all that I saw and did in photos has renewed my sense of gratitude and refreshed me for a whole new year! I also can't help but notice that I'm not in enough of these pictures! Definitely adding that to my 2017 list of resolutions.  Anyhoo, what are your fave memories from 2016? Sound off below. Until next time, cheers everyone!

xo