Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Places To Go, Things To See

Evidently it was my turn to think of a Thursday Thirteen this week, and in the chaos that's been the last couple of weeks, I have had nary a thought cross my mind. My original suggestion was Thirteen Favorite Snow-Cone Flavors, but Kimberly told me she'd never had a Snow-Cone before. Never had a Snow-Cone? Kimberly, how have you reached the precipice of parenthood and never had a Snow-Cone?

Luckily, I did come up with this other idea. Once you have a baby, it gets harder to travel. For one thing, you have a lot less money. For another thing, you have to schlep all of the baby stuff with you when you do travel, which means precariously balancing your car seat on top of your stroller while balancing a crying, squirrelly toddler on your hip as you go through security at the airport. Nevertheless, I love to travel. Or think about traveling, as I don't have any money, but I have been a few places, and there's some I'd like to go back to and some that I'd still like to see.

1. Scotland. My psycho ex-roommate did her overseas year in Edinburgh, and loved it. Everything I've ever heard about traveling there sounds great, except the haggis. I will take a pass on the boiled sheep's intestines stuffed with oatmeal pudding.

2. Mexico. My parents have a timeshare, so this could conceivably happen. I know, it's not fashionable anymore to lay around on the beach until you are a leathery shade of bronze, but I love it.

3. The Pacific Northwest. Dan was stationed in Seattle in the mid-90's while he was in the army, and his brother lived in Portland for quite a while. I've seen quite a bit of the U.S., but not this area.

4. Southeast Asia. My boss and her husband frequently spend their vacations in Thailand. I understand that, as far as tony upscale beach vacations go, Thailand is quite the bargain. I think you all should know, however, that I just deleted a joke about 9-year-old male prostitutes that, in retrospect, was in very poor taste. I am maturing.

5. The Baltic. In 1992, I went to Finland, Russia and Estonia for two weeks. I loved everything about it. Helsinki is beautiful and clean and everything there looks like an Ikea catalogue. Moscow is grey and grim and standing in Red Square with Lenin's tomb on my right and St. Basil's cathedral in front of me gives me cold chills. St. Petersburg is full of beautiful churches and museums and great food. Tallin, Estonia, is full of the kindest, most lovely people I've ever met, in love with their country and incredibly excited to show it to you. I have beautiful memories of all of these places and I would go back in a heartbeat.

6. Italy. My father-in-law took a civilian Department of Defense post in Italy when my husband was in kindergarten, so he spent the year in southeastern Italy. I would love to do that--there are teaching posts with the DoD that my husband and I considered accepting--and I think it would be great to do so while Max is little and could pick up the accent.

7. San Diego. As a place to visit, I love San Diego. It is really just golden and full of sunshine and palm trees and fake boobs, just like San Diego should be. I could never live there, but all that great Mexican food...mmmmmm.

8. Canada. How weird is it, that, having grown up in Michigan, I have been to Canada a grand total of once?

9. South Carolina. I might just like Hilton Head Island, or I might be going to stalk Pat Conroy. Who knows?

10. Africa. I'm fascinated.

11. The Middle East. Not just now, please, but anyone who knows me knows that ancient history of all kinds is right up my alley.

12. Maine. I am attracted to writers who create a sense of place in what it is that they write, and one of the best at doing that happens to be Stephen King. In Bag of Bones, his character is living in a vacation home on a lakeshore in Eastern Maine. I could so get into that.

13. Colorado. My biological father lives there. In spite of that, it's been many years since I took a good ski vacation, the kind where you're up and waiting when the lifts start to run in the morning, so that you can catch fresh powder before the sun hits the bowls, actually having to stop to catch your breath halfway through a run because it's just so long and you've actually descended about 3500 vertical feet over the last hour and your legs are really, seriously burning, where the lifts close by four in the afternoon and by then you've had enough anyway, and parking it on a stool in one of the good local bars for a beer and a cheeseburger and a bowl of chili is really the only kind of luxury service you're interested in. I hope that there are still towns like this in Colorado, because the last time I was there, Vail looked like the kind of place where the guy who started Burger King went crazy.

There are others. Dan and I considered doing an el-cheapo vacation next spring in Europe somewhere, like Paris or Berlin or Amsterdam, all places that my ex-military husband knows well and that I've never been. All of those places still appeal, but that's my top thirteen for now.

November is NaBloPoMo, and I am going to attempt to post at least once a day for the next month. It may be just a link or something, depending on how horribly busy I am, but I will try to stay on top of it.


Kimberly said...

Obviously, snow cone consumption is not a prerequisit. I thought about Italy, but I'm thinking it isn't a real blind friendly place. I doubt they'd let me feel up the David, for example. Oh, and I'm over my thing for Russian men, by the way. It's all Brits for me now.

Treen said...

Are there even 13 kinds of snow cones?

Paris sucks...I can't believe you've really only been to Canada once. Granted, where I grew up, Canada was a shorter drive than the U.P. or Traverse city, so I guess it's not quite as convenient for everybody else.

merseydotes said...

I can heartily vouch for number 1 and number 3. Edinburgh is BEAUTIFUL. We have a friend who lives there and is getting married next fall, supposedly in Edinburgh. I can't wait to go back.

On the PNW, be sure to put Vancouver on the loop. But Portland is fantastic, and Seattle is nice too.