Sunday, April 18, 2010

je veux voir le monde

MSN is currently featuring an essential travel experience list. These are the sixteen places that MSN thinks one should visit during one's lifetime, each with its own specified activity:

1. Go surfing in Hawaii
2. See the Statue of Liberty in New York City
3. Visit a Parisian cafe'
4. Hit the beach in Southern California
5. Tango in Argentina
6. Take tea in England
7. Go clubbing in Miami
8. Reflect in a Japanese garden
9. See the Pacific Northwest Orcas
10.Tour the Washington monuments
11. Dive the Great Barrier Reef
12. Cruise Chicago Architecture
13. Shop for turquoise in the Southwest
14. Ride a funicular in the Alps
15. Go fishing in Baja California
16. Hear music in Nashville
This list won't work for me in its entirety. It will require some adjusting. So, let's see - what is CJM's travel bucket list? Here goes ...

1. Go surfing in Hawaii? No. I would like to go to Hawaii. But I don't want to go surfing. But I will happily take a tour of the islands, eat lots of seafood, hike trails to see spectacular waterfalls, interact with locals, eat lots of seafood, make a lei, shop for something that is uniquely Hawaiian, eat lots of seafood ... well, you get the idea.
2. See the Statue of Liberty in New York City? I've already done that. My father and stepmother and I took my niece, Genevieve and my nephew, Chuck, to see the Statue of Liberty. It is incredible to think about the history of Ellis Island and to imagine what early immigrants thought when they saw it for the first time. In October, I sailed past it on the Caribbean Princess. So what will I replace this with? How about if I go see the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro? Yes, I think that is an appropriate substitution!
3. Visit a Parisian cafe'? Not interested. Oh, I know how that makes me sound. Everyone should want to do this at least once. But I just don't. I'd rather take a train trip across Canada. I would love to see Lake Louise and Banff. And since the trip would probably end in Vancouver, why not tack on a few days there as well so I can see Stanley Park and the harbor and EAT.
4. Hit the beach in Southern California? My skin burns if someone says the word SUN to me. So, a day at the beach will not be happening for me any time soon. Can I substitute Disneyland? Yes! I've been to Disney World many times, but have never been to Disneyland.
5. Tango in Argentina. Hmmmm. I will admit that this appeals, but only if I can have a partner that I have been dancing with for a long time. This could still happen for me, but the odds are probably not in my favor. So, I will be satisfied with watching tango and drinking Mate. And perhaps I will get to meet some gauchos.
6. Take tea in England. Yes! I would love to do this. Of course I would also want to do and see about a hundred other things in Great Britain. And if I was over there, I would want to travel to Scotland to see my family's origins. Update: My sister and I traveled to Scotland in 2013 to visit her wonderful in-laws. We had a fabulous time, including taking tea at Holyrood Palace, the Queen's residence when she is in country.
7. Go clubbing in Miami. No, no, no, no, no. Instead, I will travel to Miami to eat at the five best restaurants there. In August and September, Miami hosts Miami Spice, a celebration of fine dining. The top restaurants offer their signature dishes at reduced prices as a promotion. Lunch is $22 and dinner is $35.
8. Reflect in a Japanese garden. Well, now you're talking!!! I would love to go back to Japan. I lived there from age ten months to just before my 6th birthday. As a result, I am very comforted by all things Japanese. So, yes!
9. See the Pacific Northwest Orcas. I wonder if they made this list before or after that orca at Sea World killed his trainer. Oh, I know. You can't really judge the entire species by the actions of this captive creature. He was never meant to be in a big tank with humans. He was meant to be in the ocean, swimming free. But the ocean scares me anyway, with or without orcas. So I am unlikely to be riding around in a dingy looking for giant creatures that might knock the boat over and drag me around underwater in a orcan (orcish?) version of tag. No, I will happily view orcas from a huge cruise ship OR at the aforementioned Sea World. Now, do I need a substitute? No, I will go on a cruise to Alaska and see the orcas - hopefully. Unlike Sea World, orcas in the ocean don't appear on command, which is fine by me.
10. Tour the Washington monuments. I started to respond that I have already done this - and I have. But there is new stuff in DC that wasn't there the last time that I went. So, I would like to go do this. I wish I could talk my Dad into going with me. But this city would require a lot of time standing and walking, which he can't do for long periods of time without being in pain. Maybe I can talk my sister into going. I would like to see the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the World War II Museum. Update: My sister and I traveled to Washington D.C, in 2011 to visit the Holocaust Museum. Wow, that was really depressing! But it was really well done. To lift our spirits, we went to see Cirque du Soleil that night, which was amazing.
11. Dive the Great Barrier Reef. If you've been reading this blog carefully, you already know the answer to this one. So I will need a substitution. How about Australia? That is about as close to the Great Barrier Reef as you can get without being in the water! I would like to spend 6 months in Australia, traveling the country with local guides to see the cities and the outback. I think this would be quite wonderful!
12. Cruise Chicago architecture. This actually sounds pretty interesting. It's a boat tour on the Chicago River. I would be okay with that. I've been to Chicago a couple of times. It is a very clean city. But it also has its share of pan handlers and mentally ill living on the street. This is just not my cup of tea. So, I would do this river tour if I happened to find myself in Chicago, but I would not choose to travel to Chicago for a vacation.
13. Shop for turquoise in the Southwest. I would love to do this. In fact, I have done this! But I would happily do it again! And if I can work out a stay at Enchantment, that would be even better! Update: My friend, Bonny and I traveled to Sedona and the Grand Canyon in 2016. On the drive from Sedona to Flagstaff, we stopped at a well-known roadside stand (next to the Dairy Queen) operated by various members of the Navajo Nation. We each bought turquoise jewelry. Check!
14. Ride a funicular in the Alps. I would do this. But I think my bucket list would be more likely to include Machu Picchu. I wish they had a funicular to take you to the top there! Well, maybe not, as the effort to build one would probably destroy something important. No, I will hike up the old fashioned way.
15. Go fishing in Baja California. Again - small boat, big ocean. No. But I would like to cruise from San Diego down to the Mexican Riviera including Cabo San Lucas, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco.
16. Hear Music in Nashville. Well, I have done this many times. What I would prefer is to MAKE music in Nashville. I would love to have time on my hands to write more music and to attempt to get it recorded by musicians. This is the dream that about a hundred thousand other people have, so it is highly unlikely! But you never know!!!!
And what would I add? I thought you'd never ask!
17. French Polynesia. I spent 10 days here in 2008, cruising from one island to the next. This time, I would stay at some other-worldly resort where I could just vegetate and have massages and eat incredible seafood and sail on catamarans. I know what you're thinking! I've been very clear about not wanting to be on the ocean in a small boat! But this is different. Most islands in French Polynesia are surrounded by a barrier reef, which creates a big lagoon. Yes, sea life can get in and does! But usually this does not include creatures who might eat me. There are black-tipped sharks, but they are well fed by locals who feed them for the viewing pleasure of tourists. Besides, the water is pretty calm.
18. There are some cities in the USA that I would like to see - either for the first time or for a repeat visit. These include San Diego, Seattle, San Antonio, San Francisco, Savannah, Charleston, and Atlanta.
19. There are some places in the USA that I would like to explore too. These include Yellowstone National Park, Napa Valley, the Outer Banks, Niagara Falls and a return visit to Carlsbed Caverns.
20. UNESCO World Heritage sites!
21. Finally, as a catch-all category, I would like to be able to set foot in every state in the USA and in many countries of the world, with the exception of any place where people are currently shooting at each other or where I would be in danger. That is just not my idea of a good time!
Hmmm - I better get started!
And now you get your say. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? When and where are you traveling next?