One of my major loves of the USA is the National Parks system. As a nature lover, and with a background in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, I am in awe of all of the National Parks that I have had the chance to visit, and the system that protects them. On our drive to the south, I had to make sure that we did not miss the Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited US National Park. I do hold the National Parks pass, however the Smoky Mountains don’t require an entrance fee, one of the few parks that don’t! The Smoky Mountains is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a division of the larger Appalachian chain. These Mountains border between North Carolina and Tennessee and is one of the largest protected areas in eastern US. They are also acknowledged as an UNESCO world heritage site, very impressive. With its beauty and diverse range of plant and animal life, it is no wonder that the Great Smoky Mountains is a popular place to visit and explore.
As we visited during winter, parts of the park was closed, I would love to go back during the spring and/or summer to explore more of this gorgeous place.
Fall break and Halloween
For fall break we drove from Trenton, New Jersey to Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is so beautiful. I love the city skyline, the buildings are magnificent and glowing on a sunny day. The view of Lake Michigan from the Oak street beach was outstanding, one of my highlights from the trip!
Other highlights from this trip include trying the famous Chicago deep dish pizza, and it does live up to the expectations, it is delicious! A stroll through Oak street to window shop the high end stores and boutiques was stunning. Viewing the Willis tower is a must see, as is a walk through Millennium park, which is so wonderful. We also visited the University of Chicago, and this place is breath taking! Areas of this place really do feel like Harry Potter, it was a magical experience!
On another note, this was my first Halloween in the US. The Chicago Brownstones decorated in Halloween decor is amazing!! The city does Halloween so well!! We were able to experience some of the Halloween parties at the few bars that weekend! This was definitely a treat. Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the US, I would love to go back and explore more.
Suffering from hangovers, it was time for another road trip, next stop Detroit, Michigan. I really did not know what to expect from Detroit, but it did turn out to be a cool city. One of the highlights was the Riverwalk walk, here you can see Canada, pretty cool! One of my favorites places the we visited in Detroit was the trip to the Heidelberg project, an outdoor art exhibit, with the mission to improve the lives of people and the neighborhood through art, I can definitely get behind this.
I really enjoyed seeing both Chicago and Detroit, this was a fun break from the semester.