Where in the World is Jess Witkins’s Happiness Project?

Hey Gang! I’m back in Wisconsin (or Canada, as Tiffany calls it). 😉

I had a fabulous road trip out east and so much fun sharing cryptic photos with you guys trying to guess where I was. Here are some of the highlights!


Our first stop was the Columbus Ohio Zoo, one of the best zoos in the nation. It’s the zoo where Jack Hanna works. I didn’t know this beforehand, but the Columbus zoo takes in many baby animals that other zoos can’t support, and those are the ones Hanna takes with him on tour, like to the David Letterman Show. While we were there we saw 2 baby snow leopards and a 12 day old gorilla.




Day 2 brought us into Cleveland to the Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame!


Jimi Hendrix Stage Outfit

Jimi Hendrix Stage Outfit

John Lennon's Visa Card, Grammy Award, Passport and Glasses

John Lennon’s Visa Card, Grammy Award, Passport and Glasses

Elvis Presley's Studded Jumpsuit

Elvis Presley’s Studded Jumpsuit

Next stop was in Wheeling, West Virginia for a fish sandwich at Coleman’s Fish Market! Mmmm


Joe and his aunt, who was our wonderful tour guide in Wheeling

Joe and his aunt, who was our wonderful tour guide in Wheeling

P.S. This happened. And it was awesome.


Arriving at our main destination, we parked in Washington D.C. where my longtime friend, Amy, showed us around the area!

The Lincoln Memorial - Still has scaffolding up as they remove the paint from a recent vandalism attack.

The Lincoln Memorial – Still has scaffolding up as they remove the paint from a recent vandalism attack.

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

At the Capital

At the Capital

We took a day trip over to Baltimore, Maryland and Guess. Who. I. Met!!!!

Misty Laws and Me - Bonding over Gremlins!

Misty Laws and Me – Bonding over Gremlins!

And then Joe’s cousins taught us how to shell and eat THESE!!!


Day trip to Mount Vernon, touring the Washington’s Home!


DSCN0655DSCN0662We also humbly walked the paths inside Arlington National Cemetery to honor our brave soldiers from past and present.

The eternal flame at President Kennedy's gravesite.

The eternal flame at President Kennedy’s gravesite.


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Making our way back towards the midwest, we hit “The Strip” in Pittsburgh as well as Kennywood Amusement Park!

Joe's Idea of Heaven - An olive bar in the Pittsburgh Macaroni Co.

Joe’s Idea of Heaven – An olive bar in the Pittsburgh Macaroni Co.

Riding the ski lift into Kennywood

That’s our trip! All happily hosted and fed along the way by Joe’s family across the country! Wonderful hospitality! We hated to say goodbye.


Last but not least, the announcement of the From My Bookshelf to Yours contest winner is: Amber West! I’ll be touch soon for you to claim your book title of choice! Congrats, Amber!

Fill me in! What were you up to while I was away?

33 responses

  1. So many of my favorite places! We loved Washington DC, Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon, too! It looks like you had a great time. We’ve been busy the last month with a kitchen remodel – a necessary evil, and one that’s almost finished. Whew!

    1. Mount Vernon was definitely a favorite! When you went, did you tour the gristmill and distillery? All of us enjoyed that part because they demonstrate the old process of milling the cornmeal. It was interesting.

      Good luck on that kitchen remodel!

      1. Yes, we did tour the gristmill and distillery. It was so interesting. And the view over the Potomac was beautiful, too! Kitchen’s coming along. 🙂

  2. Yay, you got crabs!! Wait, that sounded sort of wrong. Oh well. How were they?

    1. The crabs were delicious! But so much work! lol

      Thanks again for coordinating our visit! I had so much fun getting to meet another blogging buddy! And stalk the Bronie convention…

  3. Thanks for taking us on a virtual road trip! It was good fun following you two around!

    1. Hope to tag along on your Provence trip when it comes around!

  4. Very cool! Thanks for sharing. What an awesome trip. Sadly, I have done very little while you were away. Nothing fun anyway. We’ve been talking about a Washington D.C. trip for a while, now that our youngest is old enough to appreciate it. Even he wants to go and visit all that history that he has just learned about. He’s in band, however, and they are always very busy. We just found out that he and his high school choir will be heading to NYC for a Carnegie Hall trip in the spring. Our oldest son was able to do the same trip with his Wind Ensemble about three years ago. It was a fantastic trip and I can’t wait to go on this one, too. I promise to have pictures of my own to share then. 🙂


    1. Ah yes, I know about working around band schedules. My boyfriend teaches band so we had to make sure we were back before marching band camp started. But he gets to take the kids to NYC each year and see all these Broadway shows, so I don’t feel too bad for him. Enjoy the D.C. trip! That will be cool! There is so much history to see!

  5. Awesome trip Jess. I nominated you for the Team Member Award on one of my secondary blogs (http://janethecaregiver.wordpress.com). It was a bit of a surprise to me. I just resurrected some old posts from my regular blog that didn’t seem to fit with what I was doing anymore and zap, someone found it and liked it.

    1. Thanks for the award, Jane! Appreciate a fellow traveler’s enthusiasm!

  6. What an awesome trip, Jess! I LOVE that tractor adventure shot. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us.

    1. Tractor?! Nay nay, Ms. August. We went for an ATV ride. I think they go a LOT faster! I’ve never prayed while riding a tractor! LOL

  7. What a wonderful vacation. Thank you for sharing the photos.

  8. Ahahahahaha. Canada. 🙂

    I’m totally jealous of your road trip!! Thanks for sharing the GREAT pics! And welcome home!

    1. Canada. 😉

      Hmmm…I’m thinking a road trip down thru Texas and into Vegas sounds fun…

  9. i’ve actually been to Wheeling, West Virginia! Or at least, passed through Wheeling, WV. Can’t remember if we ever actually got out of the car. I just know it was on the way from Dayton to Trenton.

    Your trip looks like a blast – especially the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame!

    P.S. Nice toes.

    1. You need to eat at Coleman’s Fish Market next time you’re in Wheeling! Or check out Oglebay State Park. I liked both a lot!

  10. Enjoyed the photo montage of your road trip. Very, very cool. 🙂

    1. Thanks Jolyse! No margaritas, but plenty of good beer and good people! 😀

  11. Love reading about the trip and seeing the pictures. Welcome back!

    1. Thanks Nina!

      P.S. I borrowed some style tips from your blog and bought myself some new work clothes I’ll be able to mix and match for work and play. So fun! Scarves are my new favorite accessory!

  12. What a great trip! I love all your pictures. You guys are so cute! 🙂

    1. Awww, you’re too kind!

  13. So, as I mentioned earlier, you wound up in my favorite American city! Soooo much history! I was there earlier this summer with my youngest daughter and was once again humbled and excited by all the history surrounding DC. Did you visit the National Archives? Did you see the Constitution? That is probably my favorite! Well, that and Pres. Kennedy’s grave. And Mount Vernon. And the massive buildings that house the various federal departments. Oh, man, there’s just SO MUCH! So glad you had a wonderful time! Thanks for keeping us updated on your adventure!

    1. We didn’t have time to do the museums. Well, we did one – the Holocaust Museum. That was an experience. So moving. I would’ve liked to see the Constitution, but that’ll have to be my excuse to go back another time!

      1. We only had time to visit one museum this trip (we visited the Archives on an earlier trip about 4 years ago). My daughter chose the Holocaust museum and I was proud of her for making that choice. She hasn’t been before, but I visited two years ago with my oldest daughter when she was there for the National Constitution Team competition (I told you we like DC…) anyway, it is definitely moving. Visiting with her was one of the more memorable experiences of my life. In fact, I think I’ll blog about it tomorrow. Glad you went, I think all Americans need to visit DC at least once. In my opinion it’s just that important.

  14. Now I’ve got to hit the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame! I love music memorabilia. Did being so close to John Lennon’s glasses give you chills? Glad you had such a lovely trip. 🙂

    1. The Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame was impressive. It was cool to be near a lot of the memorabilia! I loved seeing a suit jacket and two guitars played by Muddy Waters.

  15. Well, you packed in quite a bit Jess. Glad you had a great time. Hubby is from Cleveland, so yeah, The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame was on our radar. Woohoo, she’s back! We missed ya! 🙂

    1. Even the building for the Hall of Fame is cool looking. Loved seeing all the handwriting and stage outfits. I TOTALLY want to steal the dresses The Supremes wore!

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