Today’s Thursday Thirteen actually has a theme. One of the things I really liked about TT was that there were no rules. Except for the 13 part. Now it’s almost like the Ten on Tuesday. Plus three. But, that’s okay. I can sorta deal with change. Just ignore that twitch in my eye.
Today’s topic is Thirteen places I’ve visited. I actually did a similar list for a Ten on Tuesday theme of 10 places I would take a visitor in my town. And then with all my blogging over the past week about our cruise to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras…you don’t need to read about those again. I’ve also done a Wordless Wednesday about Mayan ruins…so we’ll skip that, too. I have not traveled a lot…but I’ll see what kind of list I can cobble together:
1. Baltimore, Maryland – Usually one of our unwritten rules for traveling is to know someone that lives there. So that we have somewhere to stay. My friend Kelly and her husband Darren live in the suburbs of Baltimore and we have been a few times to visit. Downtown Baltimore is really neat – and there is a lot to see and do around the Inner Harbor. We have been to the aquarium, taken a boat ride to Ft. McHenry, and seen a baseball game at Camden Yards (not in the inner harbor...but not too far away).
2. Amish Country – on the same trip to visit, we went to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. What a gorgeous area. We took a buggy ride through Strausberg, went on an Amish house and farm tour, and then went to a Smorgasbord in Bird-in-hand. 3. Washington, DC – as Baltimore is only a little over an hour outside of DC - it equals another day trip. We have done the Smithsonian museums – American History, Natural History, and Air & Space; We have walked around the mall…seen the Washington monument and the White house (from the outside); we have gone to the National Zoo; And both of my grandfathers are buried at Arlington – which is a very cool place to walk around. What is really great about DC is that most everything is free. What I still want to do: go inside the White house and go to the Holocaust Museum.
4. San Antonio, Texas – Another trip to visit a friend…and this time to my best friend, co-conspirator, and college room mate, Cindy Sue. This trip was just me and Katie – and Katie’s first trip on an airplane. Madalyn was not born yet – but she has looked at the small album I made of our trip here, that she is convinced that she went, too. Most of our time was spent visiting...but we did venture out one day to the Alamo and the River Walk. I don't suppose Chuck E. Cheese counts as a place to see in San Antonio...but we did go there!
5. St. Louis, Missouri – my aunt and uncle (and my 7 cousins) live in the very small town of Perryville – about an hour south of St. Louis. One of my favorite excursions was to a place called Johnson's Shut Ins. The shut-ins were formed over millions (and millions?) of years ago by the Black River running through volcanic rock...and carving out this mini-natural water park. So, it's like a huge rocky water fall that you can climb, swim and slide down to the bottom.
And then...what is St. Louis without a visit to the Gateway Arch?6. St. George Island – this is where we go to the beach most summers. And it is fabulous. The island is not commercialized at all…there is one small hotel there, otherwise it is just houses. There is no fast food or grocery stores…you have to drive 20 minutes to Apalachicola to find a Burger King or a Piggly Wiggly. We are counting down the days to our trip in July. (the first picture is the view of the beach from the Widow's Walk in our house) 7. Asheville, North Carolina -- When I was a teenager, my family visited Biltmore estate...but I appreciated it much more as an adult. Michael and I went for our first anniversary. The home is amazing...and you have to walk around and admire the gardens. They even have their own winery. When we were there, we took a behind the scenes tour - which I would highly recommend if you decide to visit.
8. Boston -- We did a crazy thing right before Katie turned 3. We drove to Boston. From Atlanta. See? Insane. Michael was born right outside of Boston...so we had family to stay with. And Baltimore is a half way point - another place to stay. The trip was in the stars. I wish I knew exactly how many miles we put on my car this trip! While in Boston - we did day trips to Ipswich (when they were filming "The Perfect Storm"), drove all the way Cape Cod to Provincetown, drove the entire Mohawk Trail into New York, and finally we went into downtown Boston - taking the Ducks tour and then walking around Boston Common, Trinity Church, Boston Public library, the Freedom Trail, and finally ending up in Chinatown for dinner.
9. Minneapolis -- I have only been here twice - for my Creative Memories conventions. But what a beautiful city. I was there in August...and the weather was so nice. I had just bought new make up before my trip - and I remember thinking that it was just great makeup - it really did a great job. Until I got home and realized it was just that Minneapolis doesn't have the humidity that Atlanta has. Another place to go in Minneapolis: the Mall of America - complete with an amusement park inside the mall!
10. Chicago -- When Cindy and I were in college...her parents moved from Columbia, SC to Naperville, IL - so it was a new place for both of us to visit. We went to: the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, the water tower for shopping, and even to Comiskey Park to see a White Sox game. What we didn't do was see Oprah.
11. Chattanooga -- This is one of the few places that we go to where we actually stay in a hotel! And if you are going...you need to stay at the Holiday Inn in downtown Chattagnooga - at the Chattanooga Choo-choo. The lobby of the hotel is an old train station/depot...and you can even stay in train cars if you want. There is a beautiful indoor pool here, complete with waterfall, gorgeous gardens, and free electric bus transportation to all the sites downtown. And downtown, you can go to the aquarium and to a great children's museum. We also like to drive up to Rock City Gardens and Ruby Falls.
12. Bahamas -- Katie and I went on our first cruise together - just a three day trip to the Bahamas. It was my first experience with the warm, blue waters of the Caribbean and with snorkeling.
13. Disney World -- If you have been to Disney World...you've been everywhere, right? We had annual passes two years ago...and made three trips to the World...for a total of over 21 days in the parks. And I still don't think we saw it all.