Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Place You'll (We Could) Go

There’s been a lot of stress, family drama, sickness, and lack of sleep around here.  So, I like to escape to my happy place when I drift off at night and think about the places I want to travel to, the plans I have for once we get there, and realistically, what our next vacation is likely to be. 

This vacation will take place next year, and can be with or without Lis.  I think it is lioekly that it would be either late spring, or fall time frame. 

Without further ado, ten places in no particular order (and believe me, places 11-20 are very close behind 1-10):

1.       The Florida Keys.  Key West would be the obvious choice.  I’ve heard great things about Siesta Key, and Duck Key.  I’m kind of at a loss past these.  Maybe Key Largo? Islamorada? That has the coral reef.  Little Torch Key?  The Keys would be super easy to get to, and Vor and I love the idea of flying into the mainland Florida, renting a convertible, and driving to a key.  I would want the following out of a key: clear water, pretty beaches, warm weather, good resteraunts with strong drinks, and easy access to cool snorkeling.

2.       A national parks tour, preferably the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone,  Rocky Mountain, Grand Tetons variety.  I did this as a kid, and I loved it.   I've been back, and loved it even more. Educational, beautiful, outdoorsy, secluded, as many or as few activities as you want—hiking, campfires, white water rafting, etc. I love mountains. I love water. I love trees.   I love no cell phone service.  Vor loves these things too.

3.       Hawaii.  I’ve been, twice.  I can’t get enough.  Vor would love to go to Pearl Harbor, and do lots of the historical/military things on the main island.  I’ve done these, but it’s been a while, so I would really like to do them again. I want to spend more time on Maui and Kauai.  This is where we originally planned our honeymoon for, so I have tons of books and plans—kayaking on a plantation, zip lining through the forest, hiking, the best beaches, snorkeling, sunset cruises, etc.  I have places to stay picked out, volcanoes to check out, and sushi to enjoy.  The plans are all there, just waiting for the execute button to be pushed.  In the meantime, I slather on my pineapple face scrub in the mornign and sigh deeply.  OH! Did you know that when you come back from Hawaii, you can get a crate of pineapples to bring back with you?  I had pineapple sores on my mouth for a month after I got back the second time. 

4.       Colorado / Arizona / Nevada.  Colorado ended up being our honeymoon place, and we have a B&B that we love to go to.  We’ve been back to the same place, and they’ve kind of adopted us.  Last time we were there, it was just us and the owners, and we all drank far too much wine, sitting on their back porch, overlooking the Rocky Mountains and the sunset.  LOVE.  We have family and friends in Arizona and Nevada that we really want to see, plus! The Grand Canyon! Lake Mead! Sabido Canyon! Horseback rides at sunset through Tucson! Las Vegas! (I hate Las Vegas, but that’s where my best friend lives. Plenty of other thigns to do there!).

5.       A cruise, any cruise.  I’ve never been.  No idea what I would want out of it—a glacier cruise through Alaska? White sand beaches with crystal clear water? Through the Panama Canal?  The problem is, Vor and I tend to be more of go-on-our-own people, and a cruise seems very confining.  So, it's on the list, becaus eI think it would be fun to do with one couple that we are really close friends with. 

6.       England. I’ve been, but not for more than a few days.  There was so much to do that I just couldn’t get to. Vor would love the history, the museums, and so on.  Me too, since I missed many of those.  Tea.  Tea.  Tea.  We’re tea snobs over here, people.  There’s so much, I could have an entire post on it, and I have several guidebooks, so I’m just going to stop. 

7.       France.  I’ve been, and I used to be fluent.  I’m still pretty good reading and listening, through there is definitely a translation lag.  Speaking is pretty shaky.  I’d like to brush up, since there’s nothing the French love to hate more than an American who can’t or won’t make an attempt to speak French.  I actually have week long rental apartments picked out in various arrondissments in Paris, all with some sort of attraction—close to a metro entrance, great view of Eiffel Tower, right behind the Louvre, on Monmontre, etc.  I have day trips planned out—Versailles, Loire Valley, Giverny, Fontainebleau, and so on.  I have longer trips that would be better as overnights planned out as well: Normandy, Bayeaux, Mont-St-Michel, Aix-en-Provenance, Provenance.  I know which train goes where, and I am dying to get Vor on the TGV.  He loves trains.  I have family in Luxemburg, so I want to do that as well, and see them.  I know which museum pass to get, and which ones tops my list of things to see.  Sigh.  Clearly, I really want this one. 

8.       Italy.  Never been.  Want to go.  No real plans or desires yet, just please? Olives? Pasta? Rome?

9.       Japan.  Never been, would be fun.  Even more vague ideas about this one, though Vor has a more concrete set of things he wants to do and see there.  He leans towards an “imperial China” tour as well, but I really hesitate with China now that we are parents.  The what if’s just keep circling.  I’ve been to South Korea, so I lean towards going back there, because it was wonderful.  We’ve settled on agreeing on Japan. 

10.   A return to Ireland. Oh, the plans I have for this.  Some things we would repeat and maybe do a   little differently or more in depth (Galway, Aran Islands, Kilarney/Kenmare). Some things we would skip (Cashel). We still would have to go to Limerick to see my family, but I’m not terribly keen on spending a ton of time there, because its nickname is Stab City.  I lived in Limerick for a summer, and I’ve done it to death.  Nothing to really see there, though the university was great and pretty.  There’s places to go that we didn’t get to do: Connemara, Dingle, Waterford, etc.  I would like to take a leisurely few day stroll around the Beara Peninsula.  If we are going at low tourist time (which we would definitely do again), I would consider the (in)famous Ring of Kerry, but taking a couple days to do it.  I think I would like to spend more time on the Aran Islands, and maybe spend a night there.  We really enjoyed our time there.  We loved Galway, and we would happily move there and live there for a few years.  Vor would want to go back to Blarney, and I think we would enjoy spending the night there instead of rushing through it.  Neither of us have given too much through to Northern Ireland, but we might.

Close calls: Montreal, Budapest, Prague, Germany, Amsterdam (that's never going to work out because hey! yo! I am allergic to marijuana and marijuana smoke), Spain, Lisbon, Australia, New Zealand, a safari, Switzerland, a "southern comfort" tour (ie, Charleston to Savannah), and so on.

I dream big, people.

Also, what the heck happened to my formatting?


LawMommy said...

This is probably an ironic recommendation (considering that I lived and worked there) - but I think Japan is not a great idea for a vacation. It is extremely expensive and not terribly tourist friendly. If you had a situation of a home stay (i.e. you were staying either with a Japanese family, or with American friends who are working and living there) it would be a better choice. But it is a crazy long flight and not easy to navigate on your own.

If it were me, I would choose the Keys or Hawaii, but I am a girl who loves the beach.

I dream of returning to France, but I don't want to do it as a tourist, if that makes any sense. I lived there as a student and I loved it, and I think that only having a week would be just...kind of painful, if that makes sense?

Grace said...

The husband just yesterday threw his hat in the ring for some kind if European/Med cruise. So...?

As to France: agree. And that was my concern with Japan, more for Vor than me.