Birthday Trip Ideas & Our Best Memories

We aired this episode on Kim’s birthday so we’re celebrating with an episode dedicated to birthday trip ideas! We share some of the best trips we’ve taken for our birthdays and recommend birthday vacation destinations for your next birthday trip. From hiking to partying to everything in between, these are the memories we’ve made on our birthdays made all that more special because we were in an entirely new place – or a place we went back to because we loved it so much. Trips make for fantastic birthday gifts and these are some of our very best birthday vacation ideas to inspire you to to celebrate your next birthday somewhere cool or give a trip as a gift to someone close to you!

Birthday Trips Ideas to Celebrate Your Special Day- Episode Transcript

2 (58s):
Welcome to episode one 11 of the Travel Squad podcast. Today we’re recommending birthday celebration destinations and talking about some of the best Birthday Trips we’ve ever taken. And this is probably our most special episode yet because today is my birthday. Happy Birthday, Kim.

Thank you. Thank you. I am officially 22.

3 (1m 18s):
I was going to say 40 or after I’m like,

2 (1m 20s):

3 (1m 21s):
It’s not that you look at, but the way you’re acting, I mean, we have the inside joke running came at 30 and sometimes I feel like it’s going down and maybe we’re at 40 now. Hey,

2 (1m 29s):
I’m regressing. I’m 22 now.

1 (1m 33s):
Well, I love planning Birthday Trips and going on Birthday Trips, I think celebrating a birthday with a trip just makes it so much more memorable. And I think that’s better than a gift and it’s super unique. I can easily go without a gift on my birthday, but I can’t go without a trip. And I think the only person I know that hates Birthday Trips is Jamal here.

3 (1m 56s):
I do not hate a birthday trip. I love a Birthday Trips. I’m of the mindset of Brittany, you know, Birthday Trips has special where she’s getting this misconception that I don’t like them as that because for the last couple of years, maybe three, even I’ve been saying to her that I just want a birthday to do nothing. Like as much as I love, no, not boring as much. I was reflecting the inner when I called you for it. It’s really me apparently, but no, no, no. I really do love going on trips, but I just want one birthday where I’m chilling at home relaxing. That way can push on, you know, cause we travel so much during the year regularly and as special as Birthday Trips are, I agree with Brittany, but I don’t know what it is. I just want a birthday where I’m just like, ah, just chilling, you know?

2 (2m 38s):
Oh, instead of chilling, Brittany plans, Birthday Trips where you’re hiking crazy peaks.

1 (2m 45s):
And so, you know, every year he tells me he’s going to hate it. And then we get to the destination and he’s like, thank you so much. This is a perfect birthday. So I’m just going to keep planning them for him. He actually gave me permission to plan next year’s oh,

3 (2m 57s):
I gave her two locations that she can choose. And I said, I would be AOK with it. And if it’s anything other than those two locations, we’re going to have a problem. So I’m going to throw it out here right now. So you squatters can hear it. And if we talk about a birthday trip that we go on for my next 35th birthday, and it’s not one of these two locations, you can call out Brittany and say she was a liar to me. It’s either Hong Kong because we still need to go to Hong Kong Disneyland and finish that up. COVID ruined it. We were about to go or Cedar point and Sandusky, Ohio. I love roller coasters. I want to go to Cedar point and do the roller coasters out there. So unless it’s Hong Kong or Cedar point, Brittany is a liar over here. I say that with love though.

2 (3m 33s):
Okay. It is officially on the record.

1 (3m 36s):
Yes, it

3 (3m 36s):
Is on the record.

2 (3m 37s):
All right. So let’s dive in and go through some of the years of our favorite Birthday Trips and some Birthday Trips that we would recommend that you take for your upcoming special day. Starting with going all the way back to 2012. For my birthday. In 2012, I did a road trip from Sacramento where I was living at the time down to San Diego. San Diego is where we live now. Brittany and Jamal were living here at that time. And we’re in the car driving down and midway through the drive. We decide to revert and go to Las Vegas first and add that onto the trip. So it was kind of a twofer, but it was really fun.

1 (4m 15s):
I just want to know how you got into Vegas. If you just turned 22 this year and you’re talking about 2000. Yeah.

2 (4m 24s):
About that.

3 (4m 25s):
It’s all good. Let’s not act like they don’t exist.

2 (4m 29s):
So they, this was fun. I mean, we got in there like at 3:00 AM partied for a day and then left came to San Diego, met up with you, Brittany, which was fun, stayed in PB. And if you’re going to come to San Diego for your birthday, I think PBS is a fun place to, you know, get a hotel right on the boardwalk and the beach and go out into the bars. But I would also recommend downtown little Italy. If you’re a little bit older, maybe you don’t want to stay in the college PV beach town. Those are really fun. There’s a lot of clubs downtown. I’ve definitely done clubs for my birthday before Omnia downtown. Lot of good restaurants here in San Diego too. So it’s an awesome place to have a birthday since we live here. Now I’ve definitely done a ton of birthdays here for my 20th birthday, not my 30th.

1 (5m 13s):
You’re dirty third.

2 (5m 16s):
We went to the horse race track in Del Mar and got all dressed up. And then we went out downtown afterwards. It was super fun. Did my 31st birthday here in mission beach with a nice bonfire. So there’s a ton of stuff to do to celebrate birthdays here.

3 (5m 29s):
Absolutely. You know, I really love how you mentioned San Diego one. We got to rep our own home city now, number one, but two we’ve mentioned this many times before the weather here in San Diego is perfect year round. I’m not going to sit here and say, there’s not certain times where it’s a little bit cold, but cold is relative compared to other places in the United States cold here for San Diego. Ooh, 55, 60 degrees, you know, that’s cold. So the weather is always going to be good regardless of when you come and what month your birthday falls in. So I think it’s good.

2 (5m 58s):
Yeah. Last year for my birthday on the bonfire, it was pretty cold at night, but go around the fire. It’s nice and warm. You can do anything day or night here. I think one of the most epic Birthday Trips I ever took was to celebrate my birthday in Thailand.

1 (6m 13s):
That does sound pretty epic.

2 (6m 14s):
Yes. And so I wasn’t actually there on my birthday, but my friend Che her birthday is mid-October. Mine is mid November. And so we went kind of in between our birthdays. Oh my God. We have an episode on the full moon party in Thailand. It was so much fun. I mean, I think if you go to Thailand, anytime it’s going to be fun. But if you’re celebrating a birthday there highly highly recommend.

1 (6m 38s):
I mean, it’s affordable. It’s beautiful. And then when you guys went, which was like late October, the beginning of November, that’s a really good time to visit Thailand.

2 (6m 46s):
That’s an amazing time to visit. And this was back in 2017. So this was way before COVID and Thailand knows how to party. They love to party.

3 (6m 56s):
Oh, well that’s what I was going to say. I mean, we have not been to Thailand yet. And by we, I mean me and Brittany and every time you talk about Thailand, it really inspires us to go. And for whatever reason, we just haven’t scheduled it for our next like big trip. So, and annoys me every time we talk about Thailand and I’m like, I don’t know why we haven’t gone, but regardless of what you want to do, that’s the good thing. Thailand has the scenic beauty, the history nature. So you could do that, but if you’re going for a birthday and do want a party and experience both, or just the party aspect of it, Thailand is a cool foreign country to go to and party.

2 (7m 26s):
Yeah. Some places I would recommend if you’re going to take a Thailand birthday trip, Paquette is amazing. There’s so much fun stuff to do. The beach is beautiful. There’s an elephant sanctuary. There maybe go to a ping pong show.

3 (7m 39s):
That’d be a fun birthday party.

2 (7m 40s):
Yes. COSIA Moya is also a really beautiful part of Thailand. co-PI P there’s so many cool day trips you can take from there. And then of course, Bangkok, I mean, Bangkok’s really fun too, but the islands definitely go to the islands. If you’re going to Thailand,

1 (7m 54s):
Dang, it makes me so jealous because I’m like thinking about my Birthday Trips from 2017 and yours is just so much more epic than that. But for my birthday in 2017, we did a road trip. And so you don’t have to just go to one destination for your birthday. You can go to multiple. And we actually did a little weekend road trip to redwoods national park and crater lake in Oregon. And so we flew into Sacramento and we actually do this trip with Jamal sisters, the redwoods during fall season, super beautiful, starting at nice and chilly the trees in the redwoods, tallest trees in the entire world. You feel so small being next to them. And they’re just so majestic. And it’s just really beautiful. We did cool things like the drive-through tree.

1 (8m 35s):
If you guys have seen things like that. And then cool. Yeah. And then when we got to crater lake, it actually started to snow on us, on our hike up and Jamal and I got this really cute, beautiful, romantic picture kissing in the snow, but crater lake is really beautiful and I actually would want to go back because the lake is so blue. And I think it’s a deepest lake in north America,

2 (8m 58s):
Deeper than Tahoe,

1 (8m 59s):
Deeper than Tahoe.

2 (9m 0s):
Nice. Wow.

1 (9m 1s):
Yeah, it was actually created by a volcanic eruption that caused the collapse of the peak. And so now the lake is fed solely by rain and snow.

3 (9m 11s):
And there is definitely snow when we had gone, like Brittany said, it snowed on us when we went to the top and the height that we’re supposed to do is supposed to give us this beautiful Panorama overlook of the lake. And when we got up there, we couldn’t see more than 20 feet ahead of us because we were up in the clouds, as it was snowing, snow coming down, couldn’t see out, but on our way back down, then it kind of cleared. And we got that beautiful view and can actually finally see the entire lake, but I do want to see it from the top. So it’s definitely well worth going back for that. And for you guys to make that trip, because one thing that we really do a lot of for our Birthday Trips and again, regardless of its birthday or not, I think a lot of people really underestimate the beauty of national parks, let alone the fact that these are great trips to go on.

3 (9m 53s):
And so for that year, for my birthday, we went to Denver as the squad and we went to Rocky mountain national park. We obviously did a lot of other things with that too, but this was my first time experiencing Colorado, Denver in particular. And what an amazing state, what an amazing area had so much fun on that. We actually have a full episode, episode, 15 talking about our adventures in Denver and Rocky mountain national park, but I would highly highly recommend going there. And one of my favorite things that we did to celebrate and party aspect of it was go to the Coors brewing factory. Do you ladies remember that we did the guided tour and then when you’re done with the tour, they have a beer garden down there. Complimentary Complimentary,

2 (10m 31s):
Oh yeah. Not one but two. And they weren’t small like samples. They were beer.

3 (10m 37s):
No, they were giving me like pints. I loved it. So really good time out there in Denver

2 (10m 41s):
Sounds like the two of you gravitate towards national park trips for your birthday.

3 (10m 46s):
We do because you know, Kim, our international or big trip cycle is January may or late August, early September. So our birthdays don’t really fall in that lesser celebrating Brittany super early in September. So for our Birthday Trips, they have to be kind of little weekenders and they tend to gear towards the national park aspect. And I think that’s really good for a lot of people. I mean, as epic as your Thailand one was how many people can take that specific time on their birthday, unless they’re planning well ahead to do that. But like the quick getaways here in the U S especially to national parks, so many of them, I think they’re really good ideas.

2 (11m 20s):
Yeah. And they make good trips. I remember from Denver on your birthday trip, we went to Debar and got the afternoon tea. Oh my God. That afternoon tea was amazing.

1 (11m 31s):
Lemon curd, the

2 (11m 33s):
Cream, they do the whole tiered tray thing. And it was amazing. But then they also brought up creme brulee on the side was like on top of it even more. Oh my God. It was so good. Yeah. I’m still thinking about that

1 (11m 46s):
From 2017.

2 (11m 48s):
Yes. So I know that my 2017 Thailand birthday trip was epic, but I couldn’t just settle on an international trip for my birthday. So that year I actually went on to Birthday Trips, more close to the actual date of my birthday. I went to Miami. I fucking love Miami. I’ve been to Miami so many times, but this one was partying out in south beach, going to the clubs, clubs space was actually one of the clubs that I went to. There is a bar in south beach called Finnegan’s way. And we will be talking about it on our Miami episode, which is coming out next week for you. This bar is a must visit because on my birthday trip, I wanted to fulfill my Snooki Jersey shore fantasies and get a giant margarita with the two beers upside down inside of it and fulfill it.

2 (12m 36s):
I did

1 (12m 37s):
The whole thing by yourself. I did,

2 (12m 39s):
Oh my

1 (12m 39s):

3 (12m 40s):
And did you get plastered and roam down the beach? Like she did granted that was up in Jersey and you were down in south beach, but did you do the same combo there?

2 (12m 47s):
Yeah. And scream out where’s the beach.

1 (12m 52s):
I can see that. I could see that

2 (12m 54s):
That was a good year.

1 (12m 56s):
So in 2018, Jamal complained again. I was going to take him on a birthday trip, but I still plan one for him. I took him to Carlsbad, caverns and Guadalupe mountains, national parks. And we actually have an episode on both of these episode, 39, if you want to hear more about it. But it was really cool because it was the same time that my sister was moving to Texas. And so she was headed out there and it paired up so that she was able to meet us there for Jamal’s birthday. It’s nice. And my cousin also lives in El Paso. So her and her husband met us there too. So we had like this little family reunion for Jamal’s birthday and we got to explore the national parks. And we did some cave tours while we were there in Carlsbad caverns, which if you do a guided tour, super cool, highly recommend their small groups.

1 (13m 41s):
They gave you all the gear that you need. And Jamal was like, I can’t even be mad because this is so cool.

3 (13m 46s):
Yeah. Carlsbad caverns national park is amazing. I highly recommend anybody go out there. Now, granted, my birthday’s in July, it’s hot as hell in New Mexico in July, but have no fear because you are in a cave and it is like 55, 60 degrees in there. So it’s going to be hot when you get in the parking lot. But as soon as you get in that cave, you’re going to be nice and cold. So don’t worry about the heat aspect of it.

1 (14m 9s):
And you wear a sweater or a jacket in there.

3 (14m 11s):
Yeah, absolutely. But I mean, Carlsbad caverns is the single largest cave chamber by volume in north America. So you go down there, you take an elevator down from surface level into the cave. You have stalagmites stalactites, or you can hike the natural entrance end cause all caves have a natural entrance and you can take the trail down, descending into the cave that way. So really fun, really unique aspect. I don’t think a lot of people really have been in caves and get to experience that part of the earth. And we did go to Guadalupe mountains, national park, which is actually in Texas, just a little bit south. It was a short 45 minute to one hour drive. There’s lots to do in Guadalupe mountains. The one hike I remember specifically that we wanted to do was closed, or at least they advise us not to do cause there was mountain lion sightings on that trail.

3 (14m 55s):
So we didn’t get to do that. But Waterloo bay mountains has the four highest peaks in Texas. And that area preserves a lot of natural wildlife and the premium fossil reef because this area used to be under water too. So there’s a lot of fossilized reefs out there and yeah, really cool. Really

2 (15m 12s):
Cool for Texas.

3 (15m 14s):
Not at all. Right, but it is

2 (15m 16s):
In 2018, I took another epic birthday trip to new Orleans. This was Amazing. Like new Orleans is a party city hands down and we tore it up on that birthday trip, went with a group of friends who were also from San Diego and then met another group of friends there who drove from Florida. And so we rented an Airbnb very close to bourbon street. Oh my God, we just partied a lot. We sing karaoke. Like the bars do not close, so it could be 6:00 AM and they’re still going. And so were we,

3 (15m 49s):
You know, I’ve only been to new Orleans one time. And I went with Brittany when we went with my family one time for a quick weekend in December. And this was before Brittany was 21. I was 21 at that point in time, but I didn’t get to experience it the way you did. Cause I was obviously with Brittany, but what we did do was go down to bourbon street. I would buy alcohol, there’s open alcohol containers there. You’re allowed to just roam the streets with open alcohol and booze. So I would buy it for Brittany and we would walk the streets, see the festivities, but we didn’t get to go really inside to the bars or do anything like that in that sense. So I do want to get back out there and experience new Orleans the real way

2 (16m 26s):
I would like to go back out there and not party as much

1 (16m 32s):
Not party.

2 (16m 32s):
I mean, it was like over the top, like 24 7. It was crazy.

3 (16m 39s):
Yeah. But you went with a big group of people too. So when you go with a big group of people at tends to gear that way to be like, oh, we’re partying.

2 (16m 46s):
And it was my actual birthday when I was there. And so in new Orleans they have this tradition that on your birthday, you pin a dollar bill to your shirt and then it’s a new Orleans tradition for people to give you a dollar. They’ll put a dollar in your shirt, $5, $20. And so you walk around with all of these dollars Pindi and everyone’s like happy birthday.

1 (17m 5s):

2 (17m 6s):
I ended up with like 40 bucks or something and they’re all strangers that they’re happy. They like doing it. It’s it’s fun.

3 (17m 12s):
They treat everyone like a stripper out there. Then I guess

2 (17m 14s):
There you go.

3 (17m 15s):
Tuck it into your pants. Do they do that for men too? Cause I’m about to go on my birthday. Yeah. All right. I’m about to make out with more money than you did. I’ll feel confident in myself if I make out with more than $40

1 (17m 26s):
New Orleans to the birthday

3 (17m 27s):
List, but not for 2022. This is later down the line after I had my rest year.

2 (17m 31s):

1 (17m 31s):
Okay. So for my birthday, in 2018, we went to Lassen volcanic national park. You’re right, Kim, we can’t get away from the national parks. We did go with Jamal sister Nashua and we hiked Lassen peak. And the elevation is 10,456 feet at the top. Quite literally took our breath away. When we were walking up the hike, I was like, why am I so out of breath? And then I realized like we were at a starting elevation past like 8,000 feet. And so I was like, okay, that’s why, but it’s the Southern most active volcano in the cascade mountain range. And there’s a lot of hydrothermal activity in that area. So down in other areas, you can see like the boiling mud pots and things like that. So really cool geological features.

1 (18m 11s):
And they have a really, really short season to visit Lassen volcanic national park because it gets really snowy up there. So the roads don’t fully open until like July. So very short season where you can actually visit, it

2 (18m 24s):
Sounds like a fun trip. I haven’t been to lesson or the redwoods yet, or Guadalupe and Carlsbad caverns. I want to go to all of those parks,

3 (18m 32s):
But last and then redwoods. It’s so ironic that you say that is because those are close to our homes now they’re right there. Not too far, actually. So

1 (18m 41s):
Yeah, I think, you know, if you really crammed it all in, you could do redwoods crater lake in Lassen and like a two day, three day weekend, for sure.

2 (18m 49s):
No, I have to consider that for my upcoming birthday.

1 (18m 52s):
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2 (19m 3s):
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1 (19m 41s):
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1 (20m 6s):
So in 2019, we actually took a squad trip to Chicago, probably one of the coolest birthday destinations you can go to for a city. I am in love with Chicago. I’ve been back since highly highly recommend it. It was so much fun. The highlight is the architecture river

2 (20m 22s):
Cruise. Oh my God. That was so amazing. It

1 (20m 24s):
Was so amazing. Like you learn about the history of the city, all of the buildings you’re on the river. Pretty amazing. If I go back to Chicago, which I definitely will. I want to take that tour again just to like really soak it in and enjoy it.

3 (20m 37s):
Yeah. I’d love Chicago. You know, a lot of times when we travel within the United States, if you haven’t gotten the hint, it’s usually to go to national parks, as you can see. So this was really fun to actually explore a us city that I really, really enjoyed. And you know, don’t let Bernie fool you. She left out the fact that we use Chicago a little bit as a hub for one day and we went to Indiana sand dunes, national parks, and we just drove across the state lines, did a little bit hiking at the sand dunes right there on the south shore of lake Michigan. Really, really cool. So you can get some nature and too with the big city. So not too far for you to do both those things at the same time.

2 (21m 12s):
I’ll always remember that trip because it was on that national park hike that the two of you got us lost, went the wrong way on a trail. And I saved the day by course correcting.

3 (21m 23s):
And you saved the day and that’s the first time we had white claws, the white claws out on the beach. But do you remember? I don’t even know how this happens because we’re thinking sand dunes right along the lake. I wasn’t expecting anything foresty or muddy. And yet there really was at the start of the trail. Do you remember just looking out and seeing that cloud of mosquitoes hovering above the blood that was there? I say this don’t let that discourage you from going because it is actually really cool. Just don’t go the wrong way. Like we did to end up on that trail with the mosquitoes go the correct way. Yeah.

2 (21m 52s):
It was really nice to hike through it and it wasn’t a hard hike, but then we got to the lake and we could just sit there on the shores of the lake way off in the distance, see Chicago, but just enjoy a nice white claw by the lake.

3 (22m 4s):
Can’t go wrong with that.

1 (22m 5s):
And that trip that we went literally over a weekend and we hit Illinois, Indiana, and we even went to Michigan. So, you know, we packed it all in there and we saw the bean. We walked around the river had deep dish pizza,

2 (22m 18s):

1 (22m 19s):
Wrigley though. Yeah.

2 (22m 21s):
We had the Italian beef.

1 (22m 24s):
Yeah. Which we

3 (22m 25s):
Don’t like.

1 (22m 28s):
But if you want to hear more about Chicago, because it is a very epic place to go listen to episode 18. And then if you still have questions, DMS, because we’ve been back and we have even more suggestions for you guys

3 (22m 40s):
Going, gonna talk about Chicago a little bit later. Don’t worry. We happened to have another birthday trip was Chicago to discuss. Yes, but for me again, spoiler alert national park. So this year we went to channel islands, national park for my birthday. Now most people probably haven’t heard of channel islands. As a matter of fact, it is the least visited national park in the state of California. We have nine of them, right? Brittany, yes. Nine national parks. And this one is the least visited. But the reason why, if you can’t tell from the name islands channel islands. So it is off the coast of Ventura, which is north of Los Angeles county. You have to take a boat out to get there. There’s several different islands.

3 (23m 20s):
Each one is unique, but you can go snorkeling out there off the shore of those islands. You can do some hikes on them. We did that and enjoyed our time. And it was really unique going to a place within California that not a lot of people go and I really, really enjoyed that aspect of it. And I think you guys will too.

1 (23m 38s):
So I actually did two Birthday Trips in 2019. So we went to Chicago right before my birthday. And then for my actual birthday, we went to Vegas.

2 (23m 46s):
Oh, I think Vegas is a great birthday location. There’s

1 (23m 49s):
So much to do in

2 (23m 49s):
Vegas and it’s expensive. So you’re splurging on your birthday. It doesn’t feel as, as harsh.

1 (23m 54s):
Right? And if you want to hear all about Vegas in general, we have an episode on that episode, 35 to go back and listen, if you’re new to the podcast and I love going to Vegas and I like going to see the Bellagio conservatory, they always have it done up so nice. They change it several times a year. Sometimes it’s seasonal. Sometimes it’s geared towards events, but it’s always so beautiful. And all of the structures are made out of flowers. I highly recommend it. And then we went to Gordon Ramsay steak because it’s one of my favorite places to eat in Vegas. And we tried out a new place that we ate at, which was called Scarpetta, which had really good pasta.

2 (24m 31s):
That’s the place we went to on another trip, right? Oh yeah.

3 (24m 34s):
And you got that chicken Alfredo off menu that you just can’t stop raving about.

2 (24m 38s):
It’s so good.

1 (24m 40s):
Yeah. So you’ve been back several times to Vegas. I mean, we live so close in San Diego. It’s a five-hour drive or like an hour and a half flight. So super easy to get to.

3 (24m 48s):
But I really think Las Vegas is a great place for a birthday touching on what you said, Kim, because you know, you can do Vegas and I don’t want to say cheap, but if you know where to look, you can not be spending a lot of money. Like people think you are going to spend in Las Vegas, at least more particularly like for hotels, you could still get nice hotels without feeling like you got robbed, but going out to eat, seeing the shows. I think that’s one of the funnest things that you can do for your birthday. If you’re of the younger mindset and crowd, there’s lots of bars and nightclubs for you to go to out there. But my favorite thing to do in Las Vegas is go to shows and eat food. And that’s my favorite thing to splurge and spend money on in Las Vegas is the shows in the food.

2 (25m 24s):
My favorite thing to spend money on in Las Vegas is pool party. Although I don’t have to spend much money cause I’m a female, but yes, pool parties in Vegas are so much fun. They make great birthday celebrations. If you have a summer warmer month birthday, unfortunately I don’t. So I’ve never been able to pool party on my birthday.

3 (25m 44s):
Speaking of those pool parties though, Kim, how many more do you think you’re going to have in you for birthday aspects of it? I know you said he can’t really be out there for it, but how long do you think the pool parties are going to continue? Cause I mean, we’ve already touched on the trend trajectory of Kim’s a hard coordinates when it comes to the party.

2 (25m 59s):
No, I’m 22 now. I think I’ve a few more years of pool parties left in me.

3 (26m 3s):
You know, when I found out that you’ve passed on splash house this most recent year, I mean, you say it was because of conflicting events, but I was like, oh, Kim’s kind of at that point where she’s trailing off on the table.

2 (26m 14s):
Yeah. So maybe my pool party evolution will change into a day bed. A VIP booth.

3 (26m 21s):
There you go.

2 (26m 23s):
I don’t want to be slamming it in the water with the rest of them.

3 (26m 26s):
Private cabana for

2 (26m 27s):
It. Yes, exactly.

1 (26m 29s):
So 20, 20, wow. The year of COVID and a whole bunch of unplanned plans because all of our real plans got canceled. So we didn’t really have anything set for Jamal’s birthday that year. Or I didn’t really have anything set for Jamal’s birthday that year and tell just like a month beforehand, but we decided to go to Yosemite. Well, I should say I decided to take him to Yosemite for his birthday. And he was agreeable to that.

3 (26m 54s):
I was agreeable to that because one, this was 2020. I hadn’t seen my parents since COVID Yosemite is close to our hometown of Woodland, close by Sacramento where we fly into. So I was like, all right, I can see my parents. Haven’t seen them for a long, long time because of COVID go to the national parks one. We love the national parks anyway, but it was perfect and conducive because it was keep away from people we’re outdoors, not inside. So it just really, really worked out. But if you’re listening and you have not been to Yosemite, you have to go. I mean, it is one of the crown jewels of the national park system here in the United States. I would say definitely one of the top five, for sure. There’s so many things to do, filled with wildlife. We saw bear Kim.

3 (27m 34s):
I know you’ve been in seen a bear when you went up there too. So the likelihood of you actually coming across one, I want to say as high, but it’s nature. I mean, you never really know, but they are there. And one of the most famous trails that we did in Yosemite that year was the mist trail to Vernal and Nevada falls, which is part of the John Muir trail, which then continues on to half dome. We didn’t get to do half dome, but this one is great. It’s really steep. Puts you up into the mountains, taking you from Yosemite valley, but you get to come across beautiful waterfalls along the way. The problem with me with the fact that it was July is it’s later on in the year. So I don’t want to say they’re out of trickle. It’s still coming. But if you come at spring, when that trail is open and the snow is just melting, those waterfalls are going to be more breathtaking.

3 (28m 15s):
At that point in time,

1 (28m 16s):
When we got to the top of Nevada falls, it started to thunder storm and like downpour for a minute while we were at the top, which was a little crazy. Cause I’ve seen thunder strike halftone before. And that looks, it looks a little scary, but it was really, really beautiful, really nice hike. It was nice to get out, especially during the year of COVID. And then I spent the night near Yosemite and then the next day we went to lower Yosemite falls and it’s super, super high waterfall. It’s like 2,400 feet, the tallest in north America and the fifth tallest in the solar system. Did you know that? Okay.

3 (28m 48s):
And the solar system, what an interesting fact, that, that is in the solar system, like they’ve measured waterfalls on other planets. Like there’s flowing water.

1 (28m 58s):
It’s 10 times taller than I Agra falls. 10 times.

3 (29m 3s):
Not as wide. Yeah. But see, that’s another reason why I want to go back. I mean, there’s so many things that you can do in Yosemite. We want to go back, you can do a hike from the base of that all the way up to the top. So I want to do that hike really, really bad day. So when we go back soon, it’s going to be for that.

2 (29m 17s):
I’ve been to Yosemite, not on a birthday trip, but I would definitely like to go back and see more of it. I just went for a short amount of time, but I would definitely say Yosemite is the most beautiful park in California.

1 (29m 31s):
I would agree probably Yes. 100%

2 (29m 33s):
Close with Sequoia, but I would say it is beautiful. Just be careful depending on when your birthday lands, because if it is in the early spring or in the winter, there’ll be some trails that are closed due to weather.

1 (29m 46s):
Yeah. So in 2020 for my birthday, we went to Sedona, which I highly recommend. If you even don’t go for your birthday, you can go for like a spa retreat or a wellness retreat or

2 (29m 56s):
Yoga festival like I did.

1 (29m 57s):
Yeah. There’s a lot of reasons to go to Sedona. I fell in love. I loved it so much. The red rocks are super beautiful. We did amazing hikes. We didn’t want to cathedral rock. We saw the chapel of the holy cross and then we did the famous devil bridge hike. If you guys haven’t seen it, look it up on Instagram, super popular, super famous. And we did it at golden hour, like right before the sun was rising and then it was rising while we were on the bridge. So beautiful. It just like illuminates the whole valley with red and orange and yellows. And I got a pumpkin spice latte before the hike. So I felt like a true basic bitch on my birthday, but it was really, really

2 (30m 36s):
Nice. Were you wearing your boots

1 (30m 37s):
Too? No, I was making shoes, but I loved it so much that I’m actually going back this year.

2 (30m 44s):
You’re taking a, another birthday trip this year.

1 (30m 46s):
Well, I went to Maui this year, but a few weeks after my birthday, I’m going to Sedona. Oh,

2 (30m 52s):
Oh nice. Yes. 2021. Today’s my birthday. And we’re obviously recording this a little ahead.

3 (30m 60s):
Happy birthday again though. Oh, thank you.

2 (31m 3s):
So I am planning a trip for my birthday since we’re recording this ahead of time. I haven’t gone on it yet, but I am happy to report. I finally settled on a destination after considering a million different places. We are going to Nashville and great smoky mountains, national park. So spending one night in Nashville, just to bar crawl, food crawl, honky-tonk our way through town. And then

1 (31m 27s):
Take you that long because there’s only

2 (31m 28s):
Two blocks. I’m going to see you guys really didn’t do Nashville justice. So

3 (31m 33s):
Well, you know, we’ll see we had the episode on it where we went to Nashville, but really used it as a hub because I mean, I guess we went to another national park out there and Kentucky

2 (31m 42s):
Surprise, surprise,

3 (31m 44s):
Surprise surprises. Right. But quite honestly, I know a lot of people love it. I’m really excited to get your feedback on it. I just didn’t understand all the hype for the two blocks. That is Broadway. Now we have a friend, our good friend, James who loves Nashville. He says, you can’t go to the touristy spots. There is a place where the locals go. That’s better than Broadway in those couple blocks that they have. But I was, I don’t want to say not impressed. It was fun. But I thought to myself, everyone’s just talking about these two blocks. So I hope you come back with better news for us, Kim.

2 (32m 14s):
And I’m excited for that,

1 (32m 15s):
But I’m more excited for you going to the great smoky mountains.

2 (32m 18s):
Yes. So that’s, that’s the cool thing. It’s like a two for one trip. So one night in Nashville, partying Hardy, I got all my hangover cure recipe, prepped and ready to go. And then the next day we’re going to drive to Gatlinburg and great smokey mountains is going to be beautiful. Hopefully there’s still some fall colors that we could see, but I’m really excited for the place we’re staying because it has a fireplace. It’s like a loft hotel room and it has a big jetted jacuzzi tub inside the room. Yeah.

3 (32m 45s):
Very nice. Very nice. And the perfect thing about that is it’s going to be cold at that time and smokey mountains, your birthday falls there. So the fact that you have the tub and the fireplace inside is going to be prime. It’s not one of those things that it’s just there and oh, it’s during summer, you can have it during cold season. So you could cuddle up with your loved one who you’re going with on this one count. And you’re going to have a great birthday out

2 (33m 5s):
There. Yes. I can’t wait to talk about it when I get back. Yeah.

1 (33m 8s):
And I can’t wait to hear all about it because we are going to the south next year in may and great smoky mountains is honor itinerary. So I’m totally looking forward to hearing about what you did on this trip.

3 (33m 20s):
So I mentioned a little bit earlier in this episode that there may be talking about Chicago again, because we did a, another birthday trip to Chicago while instead of Brittany doing her birthday trip, we did my birthday trip to Chicago here in July. And so I was more palatable to the idea this year because I love Chicago so much. The first time that we went. So I had no objections. I told

1 (33m 40s):
Birthday Trips,

3 (33m 40s):
No, I don’t love him. But what sold me on it is that I told Brittany, if we were going to go to Chicago, we have to go to a Cubs game. If the Cubs are playing while we’re there, because I’m not a Cubs fan, but I’m a baseball fan. If you’re a baseball fan, it has to be on your list. Obviously, everyone, who’s a baseball fan wants to go to every major league stadium. But that’s likelihood is very, very, were

2 (34m 0s):
You a fan if you left the game early,

3 (34m 3s):
We left the game early because we saw the weather reports and thunder thunderstorm that came in and the rain delay that didn’t even finish the game for another few hours, which by the way, I mean being here in California, we are not used to the weather in the summer where all of a sudden there’s random downpours, but apparently it is a thing on a lot of places in the United States and that was happening there. So I was like, no, we gotta beat this thunderstorm. That’s going to be coming. And we took the subway, Metro, and there’s only one station right outside of Wrigley field. And I was like, Ooh, I do not want to file out of here with 30, 40,000 plus people and cram my way onto the subway right now. So that was kind of that I’m a little offended. You called me out on that.

3 (34m 44s):
But point being, if you’re an MLB fan, you need to go to probably two stadiums in your life, Wrigley field and Fenway park. And so I was like, we’re going to go see a Cubs game. We’re going to go to Wrigley field. We did that. We got to enjoy the great things that Chicago has, which again, they’re beautiful river walk. We got some more deep dish pizza. We went to the top of the Willis tower, formerly the Sears tower and went to the sky deck, which they have like a little glass box that jets out from the window. And you’re standing that it’s really

2 (35m 12s):

3 (35m 12s):
Yeah. At least 1500 feet up in the sky, on a glass box, looking down on the city. Really, really fun, really unique experience. Loved it. Love.

2 (35m 20s):
I’m surprised you guys didn’t do the thing. Like last thing where you like, yes,

1 (35m 25s):
We did look at that as well, but we did want to go to Willis tower when we go through you think you’re just going to go to the top and get to the glass box, but they actually have like a little museum and kind of like a tribute to Chicago as you go through, which is actually really cool to see. And we hadn’t been there before. Tilt is in the John Hancock building. We went to last time to get those cocktails. So we wanted to go to a different building with a different view.

2 (35m 47s):
Yes. That makes sense. And I heard you also got another Italian beef.

3 (35m 52s):
Oh yeah. We had to put another Italian beef in our mouth and we had to come up with a consensus of, did we just not have the right Italian beef last time in Chicago that everyone hypes about? So we went to the place that is highly highly recommended. What was the name of it again?

2 (36m 6s):
Al’s beef. My friend, Tony also recommended it and no,

3 (36m 10s):
And I don’t, I don’t know what everyone’s talking about. The Italian beef about I’d rather have a Chicago dog quite honestly. And the

2 (36m 17s):

3 (36m 17s):
Are good. They’re good. They’re good.

1 (36m 18s):
Dish pizza. So good. We had a really good deep dish.

3 (36m 21s):
Yeah. Of those three things. The Chicago’s famous for food cuisine wise. I will say deep dishes. My favorite Chicago dog is next. I would definitely say over-hyped but really good. Italian beef way over hyped. Sorry, Italians. But I’m hearing you.

2 (36m 35s):
I know you already said two destinations for next year and that’s it. But hear me out. I’m

3 (36m 40s):

2 (36m 40s):
What about we go to Philadelphia and get a Philly cheese steak, and then you can go to a baseball game there.

3 (36m 47s):
So you affiliates I’m down for getting a Philly cheese steak in Philly. I’ve heard that the two places that are supposedly the best and the rivals that are across the street from each other and there’s the lore of who created it. What actually isn’t even really the best. There’s another place I forgot who told it to me. It was someone from Philadelphia. I have it written a note and a phone, but I’m going to go there and try it out. And we’ll see. I bet you, I like a Philly cheese steak more than the Italian beef. This I could tell you melted cheese peppers. Oh yes. I will love it more than an Italian beef for my birthday. I don’t know.

1 (37m 21s):
But this was a really good birthday trip that I planned for Jamal. We actually stayed in downtown Chicago and we had beautiful views of the river and Jamal saver. You have the Trump tower.

3 (37m 32s):
I loved it.

1 (37m 33s):
But because we were right on the river, we got to do like the river walk and all of that. So it’s not a fixed location. It was really, really nice. So I really enjoy that trip. And I

2 (37m 43s):
Do slip in a national park.

1 (37m 45s):
We may have slipped in a national park. Yes, we did one day at gateway arch national park in St. Louis, Missouri, truly don’t believe it should be a national park. It should be a national monument, but because it was deemed a national park, we did have to go. And we did ride the tram to the top, which if you go there, you definitely have to do it. That’s like the must do there. And we’re going to have an upcoming episode on gateway arch in 2022. And we also took a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi river while we were

2 (38m 12s):
There. All good things.

1 (38m 13s):
Yeah. I feel like every time I go to Chicago, we go to another state. So, you know, this time we went to Missouri, last time we went to Indiana. So I told him all the next time we go to Chicago, we have to go to Wisconsin, Kenosha,

3 (38m 26s):
Wisconsin. Oh

2 (38m 27s):
No. Ooh.

3 (38m 30s):
We talk about this because the first time that we went to Chicago, as a squad, we were debating about going up to Wisconsin just to knock off a state. But we said, if we do, what are we going to do? Closest city to the border was Kenosha. We found out what there is to do in Kenosha. They have a cheese palace for you to have that Wisconsin cheese just going to throw out California cheese, California milk, probably better than Wisconsin. Sorry, Wisconsin have to rep my own state, but I will go out there to cheese, palace and Kenosha. I’m excited for it.

1 (38m 56s):
Today is Kim’s birthday. But a few weeks ago was my birthday. And we just came back from a trip to Maui for my birthday. And we went to Haleakala. National park, had to throw in another national park for my birthday. And we were there for two and a half days. We did the beaches. We did the road to HANA backwards. And when you do the road on a backwards, if you do the full loop, you do go through the national park. And there’s two awesome hikes to do there. But the highlight of Holly ACA national park is watching the sun rise above the clouds at the top of the volcanic summit. It is so beautiful and it is so popular. You have to have permits to do it. And I highly recommend that you do.

3 (39m 37s):
Yeah. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Brittany and I have been fortunate enough to watch several amazing sunrises and unique and different locations. I wouldn’t say that this was the number one, but this was maybe number two on the list here of epic, epic locations to see a sunrise. And I mean, just imagine you’re in Hawaii, going from sea level to where we were to above 10,000 feet in the span of an hour, just driving crazy, crazy end claim that you get to the top of the volcano out there. You’re above literally the clouds itself, watching the sunrise come up above the clouds. I was hoping to see it come up above the water, but there’s cloud cover. So you don’t really get to see it come up from the water, but don’t be fooled by the fact that you’re in Hawaii. It was like 45 degrees out there.

3 (40m 20s):
Maybe even a little bit colder. So you’re cold out there. If you’re going to do Haleakala national park for the sunrise, you need to bring like a jacket, beanie gloves, et cetera, unique packing situation for Hawaii. That’s for sure.

2 (40m 31s):
That is so random.

1 (40m 32s):
We were driving up to the summit and we were just watching the temperature gauge drop, drop drop. We started at like 78 degrees, like at our hotel.

3 (40m 42s):
And that’s when we woke up in the morning at like 3:00 AM. Yeah.

1 (40m 45s):
And then when we got to the top, it was like 47 degrees and it was windy. So it made it even colder. I was wearing a fleece and a jacket and a beanie and gloves. And I had a Turkish teller wrapped around me and I was still cold, but it was worth it. The view was absolutely worth it. And then we did a little hike on this trail called sliding Sans trail. But you guys are going to hear all about that in an upcoming episode, that we’re going to have all in Maui in 2022. So stay tuned for that and subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already. So you get the episode right? When it launches

2 (41m 16s):
Very nice. Well, that’s a ton of good Birthday Trips for someone trying to plan a trip. I think gifting a trip for a birthday is an amazing gift. But even if someone’s not giving it to you, plan a trip for your birthday, gift it to yourself. But before we go, we do have a couple of questions of the week. So let’s dive right into it. The first one comes from a very cheeky listener out there. And it is why does Jamal complain every year in Brittany plants? I’m a Birthday Trips.

3 (41m 50s):
I like how the submission came in anonymously. By the way you call them a cheeky listener. They are, they’re calling me out I guess, but submitted anonymously. I’m keeping track on this.

1 (42m 1s):
So why do you

3 (42m 2s):
Hate it? I don’t hate it. I feel like I answered this question earlier on in the episode before I even knew that this was going to be a question of the week. I love Birthday Trips, but as fun as it is. And I appreciate it. So, so much that Brittany takes the initiative to plan the trip. One. I just literally just want one Birthday to relax when you’re

1 (42m 22s):

3 (42m 22s):
No, just one to relax and to as great a place as, as she chooses. Realistically, I would like to throw in my input on where I want to go. I mentioned earlier how I gave two choices and she literally threw one of those choices out on me because she’s like, I don’t want to go to Cedar point. Cause I don’t know if I’m really going to enjoy riding the roller coasters all day. So by default, Brittany is picking for me. So I think it’s kind of like a combination of all those factors, but I don’t really hate it. It’s, it’s one of those friendly banters of love and our relationship that I give Brittany is talking shit when I don’t really mean the shit.

2 (42m 55s):
What is that one over-water bungalow place you really want to go to Maladies? That would be a great birthday trip.

3 (43m 3s):
That would be a good birthday trip.

2 (43m 4s):
You have to adjust your schedule a little bit.

3 (43m 6s):
I was going to say I definitely would because it’s expensive to go out there. And so I wouldn’t want to go for such a short amount of time. So adjusting our longer trips from when they happen. Yeah, that could be definitely a good one to do or would be a good one to do. I want to do the maladies so bad

2 (43m 19s):
And that’d be a nice, just chill. Do nothing. Get a tan. Sounds fun. All right. Question number two. Where do you want to go next year for your birthday? We already know what Jamal wants to do.

1 (43m 30s):
Gotcha. Is to go to Hong Kong or Cedar points. We’re going to go to Hong Kong.

3 (43m 34s):
So you look at that. It’s already choosing it for me,

1 (43m 36s):
But I really, really want to go to Salem, Massachusetts for spooky season. My birthday is October 11th. I actually have a friend and her birthday is October 20th. So we’re planning a trip to go the weekend between our birthdays. And we’re going to go to Salem to see like where the witch trials happen, which houses really enjoy spooky season. See Boston, see the fall foliage and just have a really good time. And I was really inspired by Kim’s trip to this area. So I’m probably going to use most of her itinerary, which makes it really easy for me to plan.

2 (44m 7s):
You’re going to love it. It’s it’s the perfect time to go there. It’s so beautiful. Spooky season in Salem is very spooky, very haunted.

3 (44m 16s):
I just want to throw out. Brittany mentioned totally stealing off of you Kim and inspiring. So I hope what we talk about really inspires you guys to do at least one of these or multiple of these trips from that aspect of things.

2 (44m 26s):
So next year for my birthday, I really want to get more information on . I really wanted to go there this year for my birthday specifically, because in this beach area of Mexico, you can adopt a turtle for 500 pesos. And when it hatches, cause they all the turtles come there to lay their eggs. When the turtle hatches, you can assist it out into the ocean. Oh

1 (44m 49s):
My God. That’d be so amazing.

2 (44m 50s):
I know it’s yeah. Yeah. And it, the $500 is a donation to the cause that’s that saves and protects the animals, but it’s like with a big group of people. So there’s tons of little baby turtles squirming their way to the water. It’s so cute. I’ve just gotten conflicting information on the dates that it’s good for if it’s earlier October or later in January. Interesting. Yeah. So I need to get more information, but that is a possibility this year. I was actually also considering Cabo, just doing like an all-inclusive drink, eat tan, have a good time, but

3 (45m 24s):

2 (45m 25s):
Glad I didn’t though, because Jay, my friend, Jay, she just sent out some information on her bachelorette party and it’s going to be four days in Cabo.

1 (45m 34s):

2 (45m 35s):
Okay. Coming up in may. So that will be a fun podcast episode.

1 (45m 39s):
Awesome. Well, I hope you guys are super inspired to take a birthday trip or plan a birthday trip for someone, even if it’s yourself.

2 (45m 46s):
And thank you so much for tuning into our episode this week, keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, tag us in your adventures and send us in your questions of the week.

3 (45m 58s):
If you found the information, this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always guys, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (46m 11s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

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