Friday, May 13, 2011

Fast Five Friday

I rolled out the Fast Five Friday idea last week, and by my standards, 23 comments, I'd say it was a success. Thanks to everyone who left a comment, the feedback was great.

If you read my last post, you know I was in Florida earlier this week for work, an educational conference on the shores of St. Petersburg, Florida, no less. If you read the post, you might also have seen the comment left by Munk Davis linking my absence to the filming of The Hangover 3. Is it bad when a comment is the best thing about a post? Thanks for that one Munk, it made my day. By the way, if you're not following Munk's blog, you really should. It's not like most blogs, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you follow him, he might follow you back and drop some comments your way. You'll enjoy them.

On to business. Since I was on the road this week, I thought travel would be a good choice for the second installment of Fast Five Friday. I'm not the most traveled person in the world, but I've gotten around a bit. Excluding places I return to annually for family reasons, these are the top five places I've visited:

5) New Orleans: Met a guy from NO in college, and a bunch of us went down there for Spring Break one year. I'm not going to lie, there was drunken debauchery involved. I'll never forget when my buddy's parents covered the kitchen table with newspaper and dumped out a grocery bag full of crayfish. Washed 'em down with cold beer-brilliant. My second visit to The Big Easy was for a Packers game. Again, there was drunken debauchery involved. Let's just say, that weekend still lives in infamy among the participants. Oh, and the Packers lost.

4) NYC: I've been to NYC a number of times over the years, but my favorite trip was when we took the girls out. We stayed with my brother and his wife, and the girls loved everything. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and I enjoyed the city in a whole new way.

3) Prague: I went to Prague with my brother and sister-in-law. They were living in Moscow at the time, and Meg and I had gone to visit them. Meg went home early and the three of us took a short trip to Prague. Everything was so old and beautiful. I look forward to crossing the Charles Bridge again some day.

2) San Francisco: I've been to San Fran a few times, and I hope to go many more. San Fran is probably my favorite place in the US. If I had the money, I'd love to live there.

1) Golden Bay, New Zealand: I wrote about my connection to New Zealand during the A-Z Challenge. Meg and I went down over our Christmas break in 1999, and that trip is easily the best trip I've ever taken. New Zealand is a place of stunning beauty. People want to know if it's as beautiful as it looks in The Lord of the Rings movies. Absolutely, and then some. My favorite spot is Golden Bay, which is on the northern shore of the south island. Our friends have a batch there, and the time we spent there is seared into my memory. Even after all these years, my mind retains details that should have faded with time.

Now comes the fun part for me. What are the top five places you've visited?          


  1. New York - it's the greatest city in the world. Everything all the time. I got tattoed there.

    LA- from the sunset strip to Dodger Stadium to Hollywood to mountains to beach to fake boobs to South Central. Its fascinating. I got tattoed there.

    Cancun - great vacation spot, beautiful scenery, amazing people especially downtown. It's the yin and yang of culture.

    Jamaica - went for a church mission, helped build a church and help a village. The people are full of heart. The scenery is amazing.

    Key West - Hemingway drank and fished there. It's the most relaxing place I've ever been.

  2. that's not bad going Tim - New Orleans and Prague are definitely on my list.

  3. Squilla's AuntMay 13, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Ireland - I hitchhiked around a bit in college -the friendliest people on the earth live in Ireland. Green, green and more green. Unreal, really. And the pub culture...what a great sense of community.

    Napa - I want that wine country lifestyle with a passion!

    Paris - I loved Paris! I know it is said that people are friendlier in the smaller villages than in Paris, but I found the opposite to be true. I'm not really a city person, but I think I could live in Paris for a time.

    Berlin before the wall fell - I'm dating myself here, but when I was studying in France a bunch of us traveled to West and East Berlin. Getting to experience firsthand what life could be without freedom was life-changing.

    Juarez, Mexico - spent about six weeks there over a number of years, taking teenagers on work trips to the slums. Sitting on a sandy garbage hill at night, looking at the lights of El Paso, one of the kids said, "This is the most beautiful place I've ever been." And we all knew what he meant - it was horrible and lovely at the same time.

  4. 5. Adrian, Texas - Nothing really there except a good diner and it's the halfway point on Route 66.

    4. Quebec City - Where I fell in love with Mr. Gaelic.

    3. Winslow, Arizona - Just because.

    2. Stirling, Scotland - Beautiful and historic.

    1. Paris - As a woman, the first time you go to Paris should be with a man who will love you forever. I went with my daddy (and my husband and kids).

  5. Yowza! Thanks for the call-out, I wish I had something more pithy to say right now.
    Traveling... many of the best memories we've created recently have been right here in Oregon. The kids are getting older now though, and we will soon begin stretching our legs a bit more.
    A long ago memory that I hope never escapes me are the four weeks I spent with my parents and wife in Nepal and Bhutan. We trekked mostly through farmland amid cheerful locals and stunning scenery.

  6. 1. Paris, France
    2. Prince Edward Island
    3. Jasper, Alberta
    4. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
    5. LA

  7. 1. Boston
    2. NYC
    3. any beach house in Florida
    4. Arizona as a whole. I like the desert in small doses.
    5. Nashville, even though I feel silly including this since it's only 3 hours away. Just a super cool city.

  8. 1. The Swiss Alps
    2. The Great Wall
    3. London
    4. Paris
    5. Austin

  9. I love San Francisco! That is my #1 place, no question. My list:

    5. NYC
    4. Arizona, loved the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Phoenix
    3. San Diego
    2. London
    1. San Fran

    These Friday fives are fun, great idea.

  10. Lovin these!

    1) London
    2) Paris
    3) Ireland (all over!)
    4) Hawaii
    5) Bahamas/Antigua

  11. 1. Maui (first week there)
    2. Maui (second week there)
    3. Vancouver
    4. Toronto (amazing city)
    5. Chicago (Never get sick of it)

    I haven't done much traveling, obviously. We hope to do more when the kids are a bit older. Italy is on our list. I still want to go to Easter Island. Have ever since Mr. Nimoy spoke of it on In Search Of.

  12. I'd say New York, too, if I hadn't lived there for a stint! On the top also: New Orleans (for the music and food, of course), Paris (c'est la vie), Provence (how I'd really like it all to be), Montreal (I'm starting to see a French theme here), and, to break it up, Charlottesville, VA (coolest little city in one of the most gorgeous states, and great music scene, to boot). :)

  13. 1. Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden
    2. Bergen, Norway
    3. Jackson Hole, WY, USA
    4. London, UK
    5. Orcas Island, WA, USA

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  15. hmmm a tough one...

    1) Green Sand Beach, the Big Island, HI (definitely worth the hike)
    2) The Cemetary in Menton, France (also worth the hike...can foreigners be buried there)
    3) Winter Park, CO at the top of the Looking Glass lift on a clear March Day of Spring skiing
    4) The Beach in Isla Vista, CA. Not the most lovely of spots, but i would go back in a heart beat
    5) The summit of Le Brevant, across from Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France