Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: See the USA

After last week's Thursday Thirteen about places I have visited…I started out thinking about all the places I have never been. And then…going to other blogs with their lists…I got bitten by the travel bug. Not that it takes much with me. I would love to see more of my own country. Here is my list of 13 places that I would like to visit:

1. New York – Shocking that I have never been there. I see it on TV and think I could live there. Until I watch “Househunters” on HGTV and realize the prices. The average is about $1100/square foot. Do the math on your own house! But I really want to visit. See a play on Broadway…Statue of Liberty…the twin towers footprint…Central Park…Empire State Building…MOMA…the Guggenheim...Grand Central Station…David Letterman…I think I am going to need a lot of time! Oh…and lest I forget…money! 2. Oregon – Let’s head to the opposite coast…and what seems to be the complete opposite of the New York mindset. Here, I just want the see the beauty that I have seen in photos…I want to see it for real. And take my own photos. The coast line is just gorgeous. We don’t have those rocky beaches here on the East Coast. And I want to see Crater Lake…Columbia River Gorge…Mt. Hood…Sea Lion Caves. And on another note…I have to go to Powell’s books. I think I could spend an entire day there.3. Arizona – My list started out with just the Grand Canyon. And as I did more research…there is sooo much to see in Arizona. I wonder how many miles I might log seeing all that I want to see in this one state: Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, the meteor crater, Tombstone and the OK corral, London Bridge (yes, London Bridge!), Montezuma Castle National Monument (12th century Native American cliff dwellings), Monument valley, and how about driving along Route 66?

4. Hawaii – Not only is this state incredibly beautiful, but ya know they film LOST there. Must make a pilgrimage at some point. A cruise might be a great way to take it all in. Except that a friend of mine did one for her 25th wedding anniversary and said that she and her husband were the youngest on the ship. The rest were between 70 and dead (they had three fatalities during their cruise! I wonder if that is normal…)Anyway…I want to see: Kilauea Volcano, take a helicopter tour, beaches and go snorkeling, Waimea Canyon, USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor, Haleakala national park. Beaches, waterfalls, and Volcanoes, oh my!

5. Key West – How could you not want to visit a place that does not take itself too seriously. Did you know that Key West had a tongue-in-cheek secession from the United States? On April 23, 1982 (in protest of inconvenient border patrols), Key West declared its independence from the US, declared themselves the Conch Republic, quickly surrendered 1 minute later, and then applied for one billion dollars in federal aid. Then there was the great invasion of 1995 – where the US army was doing training practice in Key West – simulating the invasion of a foreign country. Except the US forgot to inform Key West of their exercise. The army apologized…and even submitted to a “surrender” ceremony a few days later. I’d like to see: Dry Tortugas national Park, lots of snorkeling, Duval Street, Hemingway House, take an Old Town Trolley, Mel Fisher museum…

6. Seattle – Back to the Pacific Northwest. Again…the beauty of this area…the landscape is just so different from my neck of the woods. With my beer snob of a husband, one of the things on our to-do list would be to visit some breweries and beer pubs. And then on my list to see and do: Mount St. Helen’s, Pike Place market, the Space needle, Olympic National Park, Puget Sound Ferry, Seattle aquarium…7. San Francisco – I’ve never been to California at all. And there is so much I’d like to see and do. But for some reason, for this list…I just decided to name the top spot on my list. You are welcome to convince me otherwise. But I want to see San Francisco. I want to ride in a cable car. I want to see Lombard Street. I want walk through Chinatown. I want to do some time on the “rock” and see Alcatraz. I want to be a complete tourist and see Fisherman’s wharf, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli square. And I want to see, drive, or maybe even walk across the marvel that is the Golden Gate Bridge. 8. Memphis – This pick might seem strange. But I have this bizarre desire to go to Graceland. I don’t know why. I’m not a huge Elvis fan. But I want to see it. It’s kitsch at its finest. And if I was in Memphis, I would also need to go to the Peabody hotel to see the ducks.9. Las Vegas –I have this bizarre desire to renew my vows in Vegas. With Elvis officiating. I am not making my case that I am not an Elvis fan. I’m not. Really. Imagine the blog entries I could write about that. It would be hilarious. To me. Which is what matters, right? I’m not sure that I could do much of the casinos –with the smoke – and after all these trips, my obvious lack of cash. But I do want to see the casinos on the strip. I want to ride in a Gondola at the Venetian. See the fountains at the Bellagio. Visit the flaming volcano at the Mirage (and see the White Tigers while I’m there). Go to the Stratosphere. Maybe even go to the Liberace museum. I love the kitsch! And then one day, I’d have to go out to Hoover Dam.

10. Williamsburg, Virginia. When I was in high school, I liked history…but American history seemed incredibly dull. I even minored in history in college…but I never took an American history class. Because it’s boring. But then, this year with Katie’s homeschooling, a lot of our history focused on the United States. And you know what? It’s interesting. Really interesting. It’s so much more than places and dates. And who said what. I think that on our second cycle through history we need to take an extended field trip to colonial Williamsburg. We can see re-enactments, watch blacksmiths, saddlemakers, wigmakers, silversmiths; ride in a horse-drawn carriage, talk to the inn keeper and hear the patriots whisper about the coming revolution. I want to see history come alive for my children.

11. Yellowstone National Park – When I think of the natural beauty that is our country…this is the first place that I think of. To be able to see bears, wolves, elk, herds of buffalo – in their natural habitat – it would be a dream come true. And then there is Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Grand Prismatic Spring, and Devil’s Tower. And did you know that you can do a safari in Yellowstone? Sign me up!12. Cruise to Alaska – With a cruise to Alaska, I think it would be hard to decide which was better – the destination or the journey. I want to see Glacier Bay, Prince William Sound, whales, Kenai Fjords, Denali national park…

13. Utah—After seeing some the simple pictures on Cellista’s blog…with those mountains in the background…it’s a place I’d love to see. There’s Arches national park, Bryce canyon, Zion national park, Rainbow bridge, monument valley, Great Salt Lake… So, am I the only one that has never been? Where do YOU want to go? What places have you been that I need to add to my list?

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26 comments:

Firefly mom said...

Great list, Kat!
SF - don't forget Telegraph Hill. Great views and you can see the wild parrots that live in the area. Pier 39 is our favorite.
Arizona - we loved Tombstone (Cody was in a serious cowboy phase at the time). Sedona is our favorite place.
Oregon - You'll have to add Multnomah Falls to your list of things to see while in the gorge. It's the second tallest year-round waterfall in the nation (and about 15 minutes from our house). The girls would love A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village in Salem. It was built by the inventor of Tinker Toys and is AWESOME! I could think of about 20 other "must see" places here off the top of my head, but maybe I'll just do a TT on it ;)

TLC said...

There is a movie that is pretty ok, not great, called Elizabethtown. It has Orlando Bloom and Kirstin Dunst, I think. That isn't why I mention it, though. At the end of the movie, is this amazing documented road trip, and I want to take that trip.

My TT is up, too.

texcindy said...

Albuquerque in October for the Balloon Fiesta!!!!

Kat said...

FM--This was a hard week to do. I think I have spent almost every day adding to it...and I am sure that I have left off lots and lots of things. But when I go...I'll have this to refer to. And will you be able to break away from the 80's to do a list of must see places?!


TLC--Thanks so much for stopping by. I have not seen Elizabethtown...I'll have to add it to my netflix queue.

CindySue--Well...I thought about the balloon fiesta...but since I have been to Albuquerque...it didn't meet my strange set of rules for this post. But yes...I'd like to do that. Someday.

B Boys Mom said...

You have a lot of great places to see on your list. I was at Graceland the day before Elvis died. I also lived in AZ, a wonderful state. Happy TT

Hipmomofboyz said...

you've got some great places on your list...I'm just a little jacked up I just got my passport in the mail yesterday. I am so excited.....

Julie said...

Half your list is my life! The Pacific Northwest, the Williamsburg area, the desert Southwest, and Alaska are places I love and have lived (except for Alaska. I am moving to Anchorage next month, though!)

We went on a cruise to Alaska - it was terrific. In fact, that cruise is why we are moving to Anchorage next month...After the cruise, my husband started the retirement process from the Army but also checked into Army jobs in Alaska. He found one in Anchorage and so put the retirement on hold for now.

I double-checked, and I have not been to nine of the 13 places you have been (I grew up in Minnesota, lived near Chicago and Washington, DC, and have been to Disneyland, Disneyworld, and Disneyland Paris. We love the Disney parks.)

Man, your lists really make me want to travel (driving from Tucson to Anchorage in twelve days doesn't really count.) And take photos -- Bryce Canyon is a great place for photos, and the Pacific Northwest coast has some amazing places for photography.

Great list!

Anonymous said...

I really think the Liberace Museum is a must when you are making your Las Vegas trip plans. It is very reasonable, and there are awesome tours included with admission. There is even a free shuttle to and from the strip hotels. I loved the wonderful exotic cars, pianos, antiques from his homes, and the COSTUMES!! The restaurant has reasonably priced and excellent Italian food, catch the Wes Winters show which is fantastic as well. I loved the gift shop which has many cute "bling" items. Catch all the info on their website at www.liberace.org. I felt good that my money went to the scholarship foundation (Liberace Museum is non profit) and some of it is a tax write off.

Kat said...

Bboys - welcome! How strange to have been at Graceland there. I have gotten a bit of ribbiing for wanting to go there. I'm endlessly fascinated by the tacky :-)

Hipmom--Welcome to you too. It was so fun to read about your adventure with Jill! Congrats on your passports. We need to get those. I'm having a hard time rationalizing the cost for my family when I won't have anything to show for it! I think we'll go on the one at a time plan.

Julie -- Driving from Tuscon to Alaska? Ouch. And the gas prices. Double ouch. I'll be keeping up with this adventure via your blog. And yes...this whole travel thing that was started last week has me wanting to pack my suitcases...

GBK Gwyneth said...

Fun to read your list Kat! I think our lists might intersect in one place or another....

I made it here to gymnastics at the proper time this week; less than 5 hours until we are on our way to a great american adventure :)

the teach said...

Wel, Kat, I live in New York City and I've been to Hawaii and Hollywood, Florida. That's it! You have a lot of fun ahead of you!

Hipmomofboyz said...

Kat,
o.k. in a nut shell this is what the TAXS test is. 2 days twice a year to get the kids all freaked out about passing this stupid state required test so that the schools that do really good can get more $$$$. The teachers tell the kids to eat a really good breakfast and that is where the bacon frying at 6:30 a.m. begins.. Thanks to the state of TEXAS

imaginary binky said...

I've been to #1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 13. Utah is INCREDIBLE. I had no idea. Bryce Canyon is far more impressive than the Grand Canyon.

One Wired Woman said...

Whew!! Great list!! You must renew your vows in Vegas. What a fun place. I've been on the Alaska cruise and it is fantastic. :) ~Jill

Debbie said...

Hi Kat, I loved your list! I have been to quite a few places in California but love San Francisco the most. It is breathtaking. I spent 6 weeks out there on a job assignment near Stanford and did alot of sightseeing even though I was studying for the CPA exam most of the time. I also love San Diego and the drive down the PCH from LA is a must! I have loads of family in Arizona and have seen most of the places you talked about...it is worth the trip. As you know I lived in Hawaii...you must must go to Maui and Kauai...Honolulu is extremely commercial...the other two are more resort like. Kauai is lush and quiet. Maui is more populated but wonderful. I live three hours from Williamsburg and have been there quite a bit. My husband and I love it. We would really like to retire there. It is beautiful. I would love to go to Seattle, and Oregon and Alaska. ..oh and as someone else mentioned, Albuquerque for the balloon festival. I have never been to New England and would love to go to Cape Cod and Boston. I have been to NYC many times, and love it. I would not want to live there though...it is toooooo fast paced for me and that is coming from someone who lives in the Nation's Capital! I would love to go to Canada...and not just Niagara Falls that my friends and I accidentally visited on a wrong turn in upstate New York and ended up in Canada...young and dumb. Anyways, this was a great post!

Rhea said...

I want to go to all those places too, Kat! I've been to New York, but not in a loooong time.

I love to travel. Hearing all about your cruise really gave me the travel bug bad...worse than usual!

Kat said...

Rhea--that travel bug is pretty bad for me now, too. Hence the surprise trip to Texas! I was going to blog next week about my international trip wish list...but I think I'll make myself insane, so I am putting it on the back burner for now and am going to find something else to make a list of!

Nicholas said...

Lots of places there I'd love to see.

cellista said...

What a great post! I'm glad all my pictures have whetted your appetite for Utah! I'm always telling everyone it's a gorgeous state and so much to see! Bryce Canyon is by far my favorite spot. You've made me want to visit all your other spots too. I haven't really thought about places I want to go right now, we just did a dream trip to Maine and Nova Scotia last fall. I definitely want to go back there again. I love to travel though and enjoy pretty much everywhere for different reasons.

One Wired Woman said...

Hey Kat~
I put a new feedjit widgit on my blog. You may want this one since you've been attending "sitemeter" support group meetings. :) Hee Hee! I think I may be developing the addiction as well. :) Smiles, Jill

Kim said...

I have been to many of these places and they are incredible. My favorite on your list and still causes me to gasp at my own pictures is Crater Lake. Oregon is awesome! Key West is good for a laugh and compliments you choice of NY because Key West is like NY with less clothing. :)

Melanie said...

I've been to #1,3,5,9 & 10. They are all excellent choices!

Our Happy Happenings
Livin' With Me

Rhea said...

I love the photos in this post.

Rhea said...

I did some training for Uptake yesterday and they told me to always credit the photographer in a post.

Rhea said...

Because one time this woman was fined $5,000 for forgetting to give credit to a photographer. Can you believe that?!!

Rhea said...

So it makes me wonder if I need to be better about that on my site? Or should just commercial blogs worry about it?