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Things That Make Me Happy: #16-#19

January 7, 2010

#16: Accidental touristing.

My dad came up with this phrase when I was in high school. It means picking a place on a map or a town you’ve never heard of or a road you’ve never been on, and going to it without any expectations for what you are going to do once you get there. It’s been a great way for me to discover different and unique places on the East Coast and makes for a great afternoon adventure when you don’t have anything to do. One of my favorite “accidental touristing” trips was when I went to the Delaware Water Gap my first summer in New Jersey. I had seen “Del Water Gap” on the freeway, but I had no idea what it was! So I decided to drive to it. I didn’t know where it was or how far away it was, but I figured if it started getting late, I could just turn around and go home. Turns out, the Delaware Water Gap is a gorge on the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There is even a little town called Delaware Water Gap on the Penn side of the river. I only spent two hours there, but I took a tour of the area (it was popular with celebs and rich folks back in the day), had some yummy apple pie and just spent some quality time enjoying the outdoors.

Go on. Have an adventure.

#17: Music:

Don’t you just love it when a song comes on and you just want to do a little boogy-woogy no matter where you are? Or when lyrics speak so clearly your emotions that you just have to stop what you are doing and listen? I have never in my life had any musical inclination, but I do love good music.

#18: Photography:

As you’ve probably noticed from reading this blog, I am quite the fan of photography. I’ve always loved photography but I’ve never seriously developed it as a hobby until I moved to the East Coast. I have never had a professional or even semi-professional camera in my possession until I met Erik, who owns a Nikon D60. I have owned Nikon point-and-shoot cameras though, and for Christmas, Erik bought me a Nikon S570. It’s a pretty snazzy black point-and-shoot with lots of features. It takes some pretty sweet pictures too (all the pictures from my adventures in cooking were taken with that camera). I originally had a awesome red Nikon S210, that I bought in England for a lot money because my previous camera bit the dust and hello! I am not traveling in England without a frickin’ camera! No way no how no sir! But that one bit the dusk mere months later when I accidentally spilled juice on it. Oopsey-daisy. Anyway, I am back in action with a new camera that I cross my fingers hope to die won’t break, and with that, I am joining the ranks of the Diabetes 365 crew! Hope to God I can actually finish it this time, seeing as how it’s my second go at it. But regardless, I love having a camera again, one that is mine and mine alone. Though I will, of course, being sneaking shots with the D60. I mean… come on…

#19: Cats.

I am a cat person. I’ve never had my own cat, just family cats. Our first cat, Max, was adopted by my parents the year before I was born. Max was put down due to kidney failure when I was almost 18 years old. So yeah, I’m a cat person. A week later, my mom adopted Emma (she is also, clearly, a cat person). I love cats because: they are soft, purrs are nicer to listen to than barking, they take care of themselves hygeine-wise (except for cleaning out the litter box but that doesn’t take that long), and they don’t sniff people’s crotches. Not that I don’t like dogs. I do. But I like cats more. Especially kitties, they are so fun to play with.

To view the previous 15 things that make me happy, click here!

  1. January 7, 2010 1:49 PM

    Aww hello there cat comrade 😉 I have a cute kitty I rescued, her name is Lanita, she’s kinda ugly compared to other cats but to me she is the cutest thing on this earth. I’m sorry to hear about your old cat, I know it’s hard my previous cat died at 17 yrs old, then my mom adopted 2 kitties we found literally in a milk crate ready to be picked up by the trash, so in total my mom and I have 3 cats. They are soft cute and they all have their own personality. Have a wonderful day 🙂

    Much love and happy new year!

    • January 7, 2010 4:44 PM

      Cats really do have their own personality! Both Max and Emma were definitely their own, well, cat! Happy New Year!

  2. January 7, 2010 3:21 PM

    Aww lovely list! I am a HUGE cat person – I love my little cat SO much I don’t know what I’d do without her. She’s the sweetest, softest, funniest most lovely thing in the world 🙂

    Music! I just wrote about music today 🙂 I’m totally with you on the lyrics!

    Accidental touristing sounds fun – if only I didn’t live somewhere so lame. Winnipeg is the only half-decent place in the whole province so I guess I’m lucky I’m living in it and not somewhere else in Manitoba but really, this province is full of small towns (I hate small towns) without anything to do, more cold, and reserves – not a fun place. Back in England however this would’ve been a wonderful adventure!!

    • January 7, 2010 4:45 PM

      I love small towns, so I would probably like it! England was wonderful – definitely a great place to accidental tourist. Sometimes you just have to be creative. Even the middle of nowhere can be fun to explore!

  3. January 7, 2010 4:02 PM

    1) I’ve been meaning to tell you how ADORABLE this idea is.
    2) Cats = awesome. Seriously.

  4. January 7, 2010 4:37 PM

    I have that same point and shoot, but I am so terrible about taking pictures. The picture you posted looks so much like the Mt. Shasta area of CA. It’s beautiful.

    • January 7, 2010 4:46 PM

      Technical savvy is only half the battle. Composition is also important. I like looking at photoblogs and figuring out what about a picture I like, and then taking those ideas and trying to create my own photos. I always think, “What would I want hanging on my wall?”

  5. January 7, 2010 5:12 PM

    Allison, Love you post!!! You idea of exploring without a plan is something I have done for years. This makes the surprises that you discover that much more interesting.

    My hobby is photography; however, I do not work well knowing I have to or need to take a picture. I do a lot of nature photography and will visit my favorite spots several times before I actually get a photograph that I want to keep or publish. I also have spots that I will visit for several hours at a time to get pictures of animals and birds or the right light for plants and flowers.

    Music – I can take it or leave it. Enjoy it most when I am driving.

    Cats – grew up with dogs and cats. My father trained dogs for farm chores and the cats were numerous and we all had our favorite. Because of restrictions, I am not allowed pets where I live, so I have to visit friends where I can see cats.


    • January 7, 2010 5:36 PM

      Thanks! I agree, accidental surprises are great and make it so worth it.

  6. January 7, 2010 8:47 PM

    I never used to be a cat person until I GOT a cat and now I love them. So cute and you’re right, not needy and annoying. That being said I do want a big dog one day when I have a house (and a yard) to run with!

    • January 8, 2010 12:19 AM

      We’ll probably have to get a dog because, sadly, Erik is allergic to cats. But I might get one anyway!

  7. January 7, 2010 9:47 PM

    #!6, my favorite!

  8. January 8, 2010 6:57 PM

    Aww I love all those things too! Definitely with you on the accidental tourism, and the cat appreciation! 🙂 Thanks for leaving the lovely comment on my blog.
    Claire Marie x

  9. January 9, 2010 9:29 PM

    I love this! I may have to do this on my blog sometimes soon. It’s always good to remind ourselves of what makes us happy. I love cats too..oh, and accidental touristing is the coolest name ever to describe what you did 🙂

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