Day 31: Where to next…

I can’t believe I completed this challenge Rachel set before me, it was about day 10 I was OVER it! Yet in doing it I am so thankful to have been able to see so much.  Often I would think, there are so many people who have seen so much more but then I would think there are so many people who have seen so much less.  So I continued on and finished 🙂
I think my parents instilled the bug to travel in me.  Dad rode his bike in most of the US, Canada and a lot of Europe, amazing to me.  Mom moved countries at 18 years old, impossible to me.  Any time I mention a trip they say “Why not?”.  If I mention a trip to my boss now she replies “When are you leaving?”.  I feel the more you see, the more you realize there is to see.  Everyone should travel!
Next? Jessica and I are planning in our heads a trip to Ireland, Scotland, England and who knows if we’ll pop into France for a cuppa since it’s so close. I’ve also always wanted to go to a 3rd world country – perhaps Haiti.  Someone mentioned Russia the other day and that sounded different – for a summertime visit 😉  However my dream trip is to go to Alaska – maybe even a cruise.  I like unpacking once and I like having the trip planned and I like eating = cruise.  Who knows when/if/how that will ever transpire.  A girl can dream!

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Day 30: Jerusalem

Before I went to Israel I was told it will make your Bible come alive.  It is SO true! I can read a scripture now and know exactly where it was, what the surroundings and climate were like – it is wonderful!  Jerusalem was one of my favorite stops – but I say that about every stop in Israel.  We ended our trip here and were a few blocks from the main street that we visited at least twice a day for 3 days.  It is a dangerous place only for a girl who wears skirts because there are skirt shops everywhere!  Many people have asked if I was ever afraid for our safety and I can honestly say I never was afraid.  A little nervous the first time I saw 5 young soldiers walk in the shop with machine guns, but never fearful.  The atmosphere of Jerusalem was similar to being at church camp, a clean and fun place to be.
We were able to visit the Temple Mount with Rabbi Richmond who is head of the Temple Institute and the rebuilding the temple.  To me he was an encyclopedia of information concerning all things Israel, yet he had a meek and humble God like spirit about him.  It was my favorite when we were with him and his wife.
The last day was Jerusalem Day (the unification of Jerusalem in the ’67 war) and the streets and Western Wall was PACKED! People of all ages were singing songs to Hashem and it was such a joyus celebration.
Visiting the Garden Tomb, walking the Via Delorosa, standing at the Pool of Bathesda were unbelievable experiences.  I kept thinking “I am right where Jesus was.”, truly amazing.   I will always have the desire to go back to Israel. Someday!

 

 

The Wailing Wall on Jerusalem Day 2013 – Jerusalem, Israel.Israel 201

 

Me with Temple Mount/Mosque of Omar to the right: Israel 167e

Day 29: Rhine River

I don’t know how to cover the Rhine River cruise experience.  It was so phenominal that everything I say just doesn’t seem to cover it.  We started in Switzerland before boarding the boarding the ship and seeing France, Germany and Holland.  The Amacello was a considerably smaller cruise liner, I’m guessing about 300 people were aboard.  We didn’t get to eat any time day or night, but we did get to know our fellow passengers much better – the 20 senior citizens in Sallys group, John and Frances from England, Mr. Zimbabwe from South Africa (no one could remember his name so that’s what we called him) and the crew was really fun too!
The towns in France were so well preserved and had beautiful homes – Colmar had houses that I wish could speak and tell me all their stories.  And SO colorful! Blue and yellow homes with yellow or blue shutters.  The gorgeous doors, the magnificent churches, the lovely pastries – all worth the trip!  Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg in France had exquisite detail to the church and the stain glass was something like I had never seen.
When our cruise went into Germany, it was raining and dreary – it was perfect for my minds eye of how Germany should be, but that was only from movies.  I was thrilled to actually visit! Heidelberg and Rudesheim were among our stops.  In Rudesheim we took a lift up over the vineyards and could overlook the town, it was something not on the itinerary and ended up being one of my favorite spots.   One of the afternoons we were given a tour of the castles from atop the boat until it started raining – I was the last one off. It was gorgeous!
The last full day Sally and I met up with friends from Scotland in Haarlem, which was blogged about a few days ago:)  This was a trip of a lifetime and I would most certainly do it again!

Me over the vineyards in Rudesheim, Germany:
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Luscerne, Switzerland:
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Day 28: South Dakota

We drove to British Columbia the year I turned 14 and not prepared for what I would see.  Now I wish I could do it all over again – someday! Along our trek we stopped to see Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.  As a teenager before I saw it I wondered if a person could go right up to George’s face and touch it. Pretty sure I stared and wondered how in the world it was ever created.  It is an amazing landmark!
As we traveled into the Black Hills and I asked my dad “Why are they called the Black Hills?”  He said “Because they look like Black Hills.”  So thought provoking, that man.
We also were sure to make it to Mitchell, South Dakota to visit none other than The Corn Palace.  A palace that is covered in corn stalks.  I remember secretly thinking “This place is actually pretty cool.”, but doubt I ever said that out loud.
We fell into the tourist trap and made our way to Wall Drug Store.  There are billboards gah-lore and I remember noticing everyone had a bumper sticker proclaiming they’d been to Wall Drug.  Let the record note, I did not buy a bumper sticker there.

Day 27: Scotland

I can do one mean Scottish accent, perhaps better than my British accent (which growing up I’ve been told is not very good).  “Aye, she’s a gorgeous wee gudil.”.  Some of my favorite people on earth live in Scotland, which is why it’s always in my itinerary to visit next. Carol Loch being one of those favorite people, she makes a good breakfast which is always a welcome when staying at their house 🙂
One of my favorite places to visit in Scotland is Stirling Castle.  The last time I was there, a bride and groom were having a few pictures taken there.  It would be a prime spot for such an event! The view at the top of the castle is gorgeous – you are able to see sheep in a pasture with real stone fences. You can also see the Mel Gibson William Wallace Monument from the top.
Another awesome castle is Edinburgh Castle where you can get up close and personal with the “Honours of Scotland” – Scottish crown jewels.
The Loch Ness is a beautiful place to visit, with nearby ancient (to me) graveyards. There is just something so interesting about Scotland and it’s heritage.  However, I fear writing more about Scotland because if any one of them read this, they know their history! They put me and my lack of knowledge of American history to shame.  I look forward to visiting again in the near future!

A view looking out of Stirling Castle “Aye, it’s gorgeous!”: KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 26: Vancouver, British Columbia

When I was younger Mom and I would fly out to see my Uncle who immigrated to BC from England. My Nanny flew us all out one year and that trip encapsulates the best memories with my moms side of the family and most importantly Nanny.   One of the best things about BC is you can drink the water out of the tap! haha!  We have well water at home and you can chew on the copper or whatever the metallic taste is.  Another great thing about BC is the fresh air, it is so easy to breathe and with the sea nearby – a little salty.
Our first stop in BC is always sunny White Rock.  It isn’t really the most gorgeous town or anything that is above and beyond other than…it’s the first stop for us Midwesterners to “see the sea”.  Therefore it is a favorite!  Most of the time we end up eating fish and chips at White Rock – wrapped in newspaper, just like in England.
Whistler was cool before it was cool.  Mom always wants to visit it and go to the top – where we’ll need our winter coats in the middle of August. She also must visit Buschard Gardens on Victoria. The gardens really are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! And because of their bathtub with unpronounceable gorgeous flowers in it, mom decided WE should have one.  So yes, we have a bathtub in our backyard – that hasn’t had flowers in probably 2 years.  It’s a sore subject.
There are so very many awesome (gorgeous) places to go – Stanley Park, Horseshoe Bay, the IMAX and much more! Oh, and there are eagles – something I may get to see once every 10 years here.
I haven’t been to BC in probably 7-8 years, but I’m getting homesick for it again which means I’ll do everything I can to return soon.  If nothing more than to drink tap water and smell the sea air.
White Rock (yes, the rock is painted)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 25: Mt Airy “Mayberry”, North Carolina

As a teenager, NC was my favorite state and I spent about a week each summer there. Some of my best memories are exploring my friends “backyard” which were mountains and 4 wheeling along the trails.  It was wonderful!
A couple years ago Jessica and I took a road trip and I was so excited to get to visit Mt. Airy which is where The Andy Griffith Show was based from.  We made a supper stop at Goobers which I highly recommend, the blackened chicken was perfect! As we meandered through the town we saw Floyds Barber Shop, Aunt Bea’s BBQ and Blue Bird Diner.  We could have taken a ride in the patrol car, but I know where the REAL one is parked…and we were short on time.  Of course we couldn’t leave without visiting the Andy Griffith Museum, we felt very All-American that day.  The stop in Mt. Airy made that trip complete!

Me, Andy, Opie and Jess 🙂
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Day 24: Tuscon, Arizona

Sunshine and warmth in the winter is what my love for Arizona is based upon.  I’ve been to Arizona a few times with friends and it has been wonderful! I leave Indiana and it’s 20-30 degrees and landing in Arizona with it’s 70-80 degrees is like heaven on earth, however coming home is the complete opposite.  Last year it was below zero and I may have cried a little. I am not a fan of the cold.
A few years ago we were able to visit the Old Tuscon which was great! There was a live shoot out in the street between a few rival cowboys (wheet-whew!), we saw costumes from Little House on the Prairie and we got our picture taken as old timers (I was gagging from laughing so hard.) It would be a fun time for anyone interested in old cowboy movies, many were filmed in this small town, and a great place for kids!
Another favorite was going up on a small hike on the mountains. There was a group of us with some locals who knew where we were going so it made for a wonderful time! To make it better I did not see any snakes of any kind.

The tree to the left is a lemon tree. I carry a lemon around for about 6 hours just smelling it’s delicious aroma. Blue skies and rugged mountains.  Love!
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I just like this picture because it’s so random 🙂
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Day 23: Hawaii

I’ve been thinking of how many posts I wanted to use to elaborate on Hawaii.  The gorgeousness of it all.  I’m feeling a bit lazy sooo it’s gonna be a few pictures.
Sally, her seniors and I cruised and I loooved it! I mean, you can eat just about anything your little heart desires at any time of the day or night.  Sadly, it was one of the last days that I learned there was a popcorn machine on ship, next to the karaoke machine. And. I am not elaborating on that any more…
Hawaii is perfect. The people are all nice. And there’s one of the worlds biggest malls (that I didn’t know existed). One of the islands it rains a lot of the time. The weather is as perfect as I could imagine: low 80’s and sunny.
I’m ready to go back. Now. Forever. And. Always.

Pearl Harbor.  Loved it!
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Me with a glimpse of the gorgeous scenery.  Those flowers on my wrist smelled SOO good that I had to take them off, they were a little overpowering after a couple hours.
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Flowers flowers everywhere!
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One more…this makes me homesick for Hawaii.
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I’m off to catch the next flight….

Day 22: Indianapolis, Indiana

I have no idea. I spent nearly 4 months in this grand city’s hospital: Methodist Hospital.  During that stay they took us out to see the Christmas lights that are in a nearby park and to and Indianapolis hockey game. I could not tell you the name of the team without googling it. But it was quite exciting if you’ve never been to a hockey game…fights EVERYWHERE! Even in the dugout. 
Indy, or as I learned it to be called: Naptown – again, no clue, has an array of places to visit. Although most likely not on my top 10 (sorry Indy), it still has much to offer.  My nephew and I went to a Colts game in the new Lucas Oil Stadium, which was like a marathon getting up to our nose bleed seats (we could pretty much touch the roof and wall at the same time).  Watching the retractable roof do it’s thing was worth the trip alone for me!  The Eitlejorg Museum. I have never been inside, but wanted to say the name on my blog because I don’t know a cooler museum name than that.  I do love the Indianapolis Childrens Museum, they have something fun and interesting for everyone = true story, not just a catchy phrase.  And then there’s Conner Prairie. I’m sure it’s a fabulous place to go but I’ve been twice and it was probably 100+ degrees both times.  I need to go back in the fall or spring when I can enjoy it more!  The more I brainstorm about Indy the more I think of what there is to do.  It is quite the enjoyable place!