Author Archive: GrainandLace

Gradually, then Suddenly. May 2016.

As long as April felt, May turned the tables a fluttered by… at least that’s what I’m assuming as I have very little memory of this time. While writing down the month that passed I had to check the calendar again to be sure that really was May that was already out the door. Not 100% sure I wasn’t drugged and missed part of that?! Also summer arrived. GRACE   With two new employees starting this month I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotion. Both of them are great, but it’s fairly overwhelming to try to teach a million…
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In the Bleak Midwinter… February 2016

February brought changes at work as we saw our 3 person department  become 2. Our friend and work mate left us for a 2 week trip to Brazil before heading to China for a 1 year teaching contract. While some coworkers begged him to stay, we urged him to keep the adventures alive and live his own smog-filled dreams. In true February in Maryland fashion much of the month was spent under grey skies and navigating treacherously icy roads. Grace: I kicked off the month with a girls weekend in Panama City, Florida. Though the Florida weather was in an…
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Capital One Venture – A Response to Nomadic Matt

We both read a lot of Nomadic Matt. As a well-respected travel blogger, both his trips abroad and success  are inspiring to us. That said, when he wrote this post on the Capital One Venture card, we both had a few issues. Grace has the fee version of this card which gives 2% cash back, and Laine has the free version which gives 1.25%. We both chose this card primarily because of the 0% on foreign transaction fees, a benefit which Matt dismisses in his post, as he claims it’s common. While there are many cards without foreign transaction fees, the…
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Why a $100 budget at TGI Fridays is too much

We were recently gifted a $100 dinner for organizing a hot dog eating competition at work. The only answer to gluttony is of course, more gluttony. Deciding where to dine was tricky, and ultimately instead of going to a nice restaurant where we would be able to eat like normal people, we opted to go to a mediocre restaurant and live like kings. We enter TGI Fridays with excitement knowing that their world is at our fingertips. We sit at a table in the bar area and are promptly (that’s new) greeted by our server. Before we are completely seated,…
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I Finally Have a Base Tan – August 2015


Hello, fellow travelers! It’s been a busy month here at the Avid Wanderer. You may have noticed some slight changes to the menu headings and categories to make them more intuitive and user friendly. If you’ve found us recently, may we suggest starting with our intro post to get an idea of who we are and what we do. In September, we hope to cover many destinations that we’ve been to but haven’t posted about yet. Expect some amusing stories, photo posts, and tips and tricks that got us through previous trips abroad.   Laine’s August Recap: After a summer…
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The Majesty of a One Direction concert as an … Adult?

one direction

Being an adult at a One Direction concert is a confusing experience. Now 28 and 25, neither of us intended to become fans, and that journey is a story for another day. I don’t think anyone starts liking One Direction believing the love will be so real, but alas it is.  Combined, we’ve been to loads of concerts. Everything from small Punk Rock shows held in a hole in the wall, to Country shows held in giant fields, and nearly everything in between. Nothing is like a One Direction concert. Our journey to the stadium began at 5:00 pm. The…
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July 2015 Recap

July was a very busy month here at The Avid Wanderer. Grace traveled to Europe, another trip was booked for December, and we started to find our feet as bloggers. August will continue Grace’s trip recap and potentially some discussion of domestic travel. Around the Web: The Billfold discussed cell phone plans while abroad. I still have an old global phone I bought through STA travel before I went to France in 2011. It’s not a smartphone, and I’ve started weighing the merits of doing something a bit more high tech. We haven’t yet covered how we dress to travel,…
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Ireland, Again and for the First Time

Laine: I have never been to Ireland. Given Grace’s incredible enthusiasm for the country, it’s amazing I’ve made it this long without hopping a flight across the Atlantic. When Grace returned from her most recent trip last week, she was already determined to sneak another trip in this year and, willing accomplice that I am, I didn’t hesitate to say “yes”. One week later, and we have the flights for a long weekend in Ireland booked in December. Throwing a trip together in a such a short period of time may seem impetuous, but both of us always keep an…
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June 2015 Recap


It’s hard to believe that a month ago, The Avid Wanderer was just an idea. We’ve both learned a lot over the last month, and are excited to start incorporating current travels into our posts as Grace heads over to Europe for a three-week trip in July. If you’ve just found us, check out our intro post and about us. We’ve begun adding resources for travelers, beginning with budget European air travel. More links and recommendations will be added under the “travel resources” section in the months to come. Next Month: Grace is heading to Ireland, Spain, and Portugal! Laine…
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