Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top 10 Dream Destinations

The Suddenly Kate Show

Now that the Disney Movie Challenge is over with, I'm finally ready to join in with the Top 10 Tuesdays Blog Challenge. For those that don't know, my good friend Kate over at The Suddenly Kate Show came up with a blog challenge that has a weekly theme. All you have to to is take the theme and fill it with your own personal flavor. As of now, I think that it's just Kate and Tiffany over at Tiffstitches a Blog (and now me), but give her a holler and get added to the list because everyone is welcome!

This week's theme is your Top 10 Dream Destinations, a theme that is both really easy and quite difficult for me. Obviously, the top spots will be of Disney orientation but, because of my issues (or my Asperness, as I've taken to calling it lately), something as simple as going to Wal-Mart is a massive challenge for me, so the thought of travelling anywhere other than my old beaten paths is almost out of the question. A passing thought of a dream destination is one thing, but actually thinking seriously about such things can literally send me into one or all of my phases, be it full-on panic mode, a deep depression, extreme hermitting, or complete and utter avoidance of the topic altogether. I've gone through all of these phases with Disneyland planning this year and any ideas I had of going anywhere else in the future all pretty much ride on how this trip goes, but that's a story for another day.

I'm not really sure how I'm going to keep this short and sweet...not my strong suit, but without further ado, here we go!


This is now, and shall forever be, my dream place to visit, no matter how many times I've been in the past or how many times I'll go in the future. I may not be able to go to Wal-Mart by myself, but I've been to Disney World three times alone, two times flying and once driving (which, despite the 14 hour length, is SO much easier for me than the 2 hour flight...well other than when I need a bathroom break and I'm too terrified to stop anywhere so I end up holding it until I need gas which doesn't make it any easier to stop but then it's more important than my bladder), and I will probably go by myself again someday, although it is cheaper to travel with others.

Disney World is a place that always changes (and it's going a MASSIVE change right now and will be for the foreseeable future), there are enough hotels that you can go over 24 or 25 times and never stay at the same resort twice, there are four parks, two waterparks, a massive shopping district, two miniature golf courses and several championship ones, there's a World of Sports complex, and there is even a housing subdivision located right inside the property (for the extremely wealthy-my first lottery win expenditure, FYI) ...what more could anyone want? There is no way you can see and do even a modicum of everything in 10 days, let alone a lifetime, and it never fails that I always see and do something I've never done before every single trip, even if I can only afford to go once a year.

This makes #2 on the list because it's a place I've always wanted to go, and have never done...that is until NEXT MONTH (I can't believe it's almost time!). It's Walt's original park, the one that started it all, and despite my extreme fears over going, I can't imagine not ever experiencing it at least once in my lifetime. I've never really had much of a desire to go to California until recently (or anywhere West for that matter...again, a story for another day, or another number lower down the list here), but Disneyland is the exception.

Obviously, I'm quite proud of being of Scottish descent, so visiting the "Mother Land" should rank pretty high with me. Logistically, I can't really think too deeply on the matter for the reasons stated above, but I do still have family there that I would like to meet (although again, a pretty difficult feat) and see where my people came from. Plus, because Aspers do have heightened senses, I'm more than a little curious to see if my blood feels the pull to the land that I always imagined it would. But the other side of that coin is the overabundance of historical energy throwing my senses out of whack (something I have trouble enough with in parts of this country, let alone one a heck of a lot older than ours!).

Obviously, I have a bit of an obsession with all things British. I listened to British music almost exclusively (and still do), watched British TV more than American (and still do), and I tend to find even the most ordinarily looking British male highly superior to his (by definition) "gorgeous" American counterpart. I love the culture, the art, the architecture, the vibe, the whole ball of wax, as it were. I'm not sure if that's a side effect of growing up in the South where there is no culture at all (at least not where I live) or a tie to a past life, but I feel British in my heart and always have (although my British accent is quite horrible and my Scottish sounds more Irish than Scots). My pull to England might actually be stronger than Scotland, so these two really probably should be in the same number, but I went with Scotland first because, as we like to say in the South, "blood is thicker than water". I don't have family in England (that I know about), but I have a couple of friends (one in particular), who does deserve a visit from me someday!

I have been here before, on our first Disney World vacation when I was 10, but I've ALWAYS wanted to go back, especially now as an adult and because my space and planetary obsession has gotten stronger with age. My problem is always that no one will go with me! I keep asking, especially on driving Disney World trips, but I always get a veritable NO from my travelling companions and there is no way I could ever go by myself. Maybe someday, but not in the foreseeable future. Since my Sister really doesn't read my blog anymore, then I don't mind publishing that I'm going to push really hard for it next year, especially since her husband is going too and I think he'll enjoy it. We'll see.

I haven't been to the American West much...I've pretty much covered all the ground East, but the few trips I've ever taken into the West have all ended in disaster for one reason or another (good omen for Disneyland). I've been to Texas three or four times (I forget) and HATED every single trip. I've been to church camp in New Mexico which was also horrid. About the only Westward thing I've ever done that I've enjoyed have been day trips either on the Western side of Arkansas, or across the border to Oklahoma. I've also gone to Kansas several times just to buy lottery tickets (because it's one of the few states that you can claim it anonymously...a must for today's world), but it's not a place I enjoy, at least not the Arkansas border of it.

When it comes to West, I guess there is a bit of backstory I need to give. Our very first trip to Disney World when I was 10 was my "last" family vacation. I refused to go with my parents anywhere after that and didn't for a very long time (and I stupidly thought that since we were all grown in 2004, we could try again, but that one was even worse than the first trip!). I either went on vacation with my step-dad's parents or my Aunt and Grandmother, eventually with just my mother then just my ex-husband, then back to just my mother or my Sister, but never my parents together. They went places, but I stayed home (yes, that first Disney World trip was THAT horrible...funny how I keep going back now, guess it takes going with the "right" people to enjoy it). My parents and my sister did go West once, to see all the big monuments like The Grand Canyon and Yosemite or Yellowstone (I always get those two mixed up), the Painted Desert, etc. That's the only trip they ever took that I was jealous over not going (although not jealous enough to break my vow obviously).

So back to now when the subject of Disneyland came up, my first thought was driving it (and not just because of my fear of airports...not flying itself, but the actual airports and more specifically security...go figure). Obviously, logistically that would add two weeks to the journey, especially when I started making a list of all the places I wanted to see (which took me weeks because each time I Googled a place, I'd have a panic attack), but it brought up the idea of a me and Bam driving trip, maybe next year. The more I looked at it, the more I decided I should probably do two separate trips, one South West and a different one North West, but as Disneyland planning has progressed and my Asperness episodes get worse, that plan has obviously been scrapped completely. I just don't think I can handle planning a non-Disney World trip ever again, especially right now. Maybe in a year I'll see things differently, especially if my Disneyland trip goes well and I can get back to my home turf at Disney World next year.

This is another one of those places I've been to before (with my Aunt and Grandmother), but I was too young to appreciate it. Granted, I was 16, but I can now admit that I was a very immature 16 year-old (the joys of Asperness), and was probably no better off emotionally than when we went to Disney World when I was 10. I'd like to go back and see all the monuments again, go back to the Smithsonian and enjoy it (this time), and just relish in American history, a topic I never really cared about as a kid (probably because I wished I was British).

This one is a bit weird. I went through a "French" phase as kid, especially because I was an artist and had a love for all things art, but five years of French (both high school and college) and the shutting off of my "art gene" pretty much extinguished all French dreams. Even now, when I think about going to France, I only see one destination, Disneyland Paris...sad but true. Granted, maybe I would want a quick stop off at Notre Dame, especially since I studied it so much in my youth, but it would have to be quick and on the way to Disney. It would be extremely hard to convince anyone to go to France with me and only go to Disneyland Paris, but every so often I do bring the subject up...never hurts to try, right? Alas, people just don't see things like I do and I pretty much get laughed at every single time. Oh well, the desire isn't that strong anyway.

Again, convincing someone to go to a foreign country just to go to Disney is hard enough, but add to that my utter terror of going anywhere other than the normal, and this is one of those, "never in a million years" scenarios. But hey, it doesn't keep me from thinking about going when I see cool pictures on the Disney blogs of the other parks and this is a Dream Destination topic after all, right? Other than Britain and briefly France, my desire to travel outside the US has always been pretty much nil. I've been to Canada and Mexico (long ago before you needed a passport to do such), but that has always been the extent of my out-of-country travels. I know there are some fabulous things to see in this world, but I'd much rather do it from the safety of my living room than actually going there. Only a Disney park would be enough of a pull to get me outside the norm and I'm not sure that even that is enough when it comes to very far away Asian destinations. That may sound sad to some, but trust me when I say that my stress level would be so great at being in a foreign land, not only would I not enjoy it, but I would be terrified to even travel outside of my house (and yes, that has happened to me in the past with in-country travelling, let alone outside)...I guess I'll just have to stick to Epcot's World Showcase for my foreign influences!

Here's where I get more honest than I probably ever have out loud. I do think that loyalty is an admirable trait, but in my case it is more of a curse because I tend to take loyalty to the extreme. It's not just a Disney thing either (although I do own Disney stock, so giving money to the "enemy" is actually financially stupid and let's not even go into the Oswald debacle or their greediness when it comes to Marvel rights...I'll never shut up then). But, there is a very tiny part of me that would like to see the place just once, if for no other reason than just to stay I've been there. It really is Disney's only "true" competition, so all those other amusement-type parks I've visited in my day don't count (and I'm not calling them theme parks because they were far from it). Back in the day, we went to Sea World before it ballooned, but that place creeped me out (I've never been a fan of the whole animal vibe-type places anyway like zoos and such, so it wasn't surprising - I don't like seeing animals in the wild but I also don't like seeing them in cages either). But considering I can't even bring myself to type the name of the "other" place, guess that's pretty much a no-go place to visit.

Granted, I really wanted to add my living room as a dream destination, especially if I could win the lottery and would never have to leave it (except to cross the road to get to Disney World, of course), but I tried to be a bit more realistic. And speaking of realism, honestly, I would be grateful just to be able to get out and drive around like I used to do in my younger days, like drive down to Biloxi for the day just to walk on the beach for five minutes, or go to various other states to see Duran Duran play (as I have done many a time back in the day), or just drive to clear my head as I did every night for most of my early 20's, but I think those days are far behind me now. I'm too set in my ways to even drive home from work in a different direction (and I've been known to freak out more than once when I even had to drive in the opposite lane for one reason or the other).

Now, the thought of getting out on the road to see where it takes me terrifies me to no end and I'm not sure why considering I used to do it so much without a problem and now we have cell phones and GPS to help when you get lost (not that GPS helps too much on that front as anyone who's been taken through the "scenic route" (as I like to call it) by your GPS knows). A lot of it may have to do with my isolation from others...my mother is too annoying to me to travel with anymore, my Sister has a life of her own and a husband, I have way less than a handful of friends, only one of which I can travel with (and again, that may be shot to hell once Disneyland is over and done with)...basically, I am pretty much alone in the world and I travelling is one of the few things I do prefer to do with others.

Like I said, I'm not big on the idea of actually travelling to a foreign country and that includes island nations. As much as I love the ocean, I will NOT, no matter how much weight I lose or if I had surgery to remove the excess skin, would I walk on a beach in anything other than long shorts and a T-shirt, so that's kind of a mute point. Besides, I was forced to watch so many home movies taken from either cruise ships on the way to Hawaii or the islands themselves (a popular destination for my parents when we were young), that I could go my whole life without even seeing another picture of the place. It's also probably the reason that I could care less about cruises, even a Disney one. There are places I wanted to go to more than anything (Boston is always the first one that comes to mind), but they ended up being horrible disappointments in the the end (although I would like to go back to Massachusetts to visit family). There are places that I knew would cause me trouble (like New Orleans or Gettysburg and the like) and I went anyway, only to be proven right and terrified to ever go back again (that damned Asper sensitivity thing!). It's probably why my Dream Destination list is not only limited, but not too varied...I'm just not an adventurous person.

And that's it, my first Top 10 Tuesday! I think this ended up pretty long, but it really didn't take me any time to write it...funny that! Here's hoping for the same next week!


Heather said...

A lot of the places on yours are places I want to go to as well. Except France, I hear eurodisney is just awful. I'd like to go for the tower and Norte dame though. I would visit Tokyo just for Disney though as eastern culture is just not my thing and I hear tokyodisneyland is amazing. I want to go to Scotland but I'd much rather go to Ireland first although I'd probably try to make it in one trip. I've been to Washington as a kid but want to go again as an adult. I would have gone to cape cans real with you but we don't live there anymore. In the 6 years I'd been there we never went and had wanted to lol. Good list :)

Tiffany Pincombe said...

Great list and not heavily Disney influenced either. I was expecting 8/10 to be Disney locations. If you ever get up to Mass, I'm in VT and could come down and visit. You might like VT though, there's not a lot of signage, etc around, so it's fairly pristine. I was at Universal pre-Harry Potter, so I'm sure it's a lot different now.

Kate N said...

OK, so you PROMISED you would come visit...lol...and we will do scotland and Disneyland Paris because I know how hard it would be for you to come the once let alone multiple times so we have to do everything!
I am sorry that you have heard bad things about EuroDisney Heather! I went last October and I liked it and would go back and that was as an invalid.

Anyhoo! All these are great places and Tokyo would be awesome in and of itself, and any trip you take that is difficult for you be it near or far counts as an adventure!

SO...get packing foe next year! heheheh

Kate said...

Great choices! I'll join you on the trip east to Florida :-) I've been to Disney plenty of times (but can always go back), but I never made it to that "other" park or Cape Canaveral in the 13 years I lived there (I know, crazy!). And I would definitely drive; my husband and I have made the drive many times from Florida to Texas. It's very enjoyable. I like your choice of your living room; I think that would be one of mine, too, depending on the day.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great list and yes, I expected them to all be Disney themed! I am also affronted on behalf of Eurodisney LOL. It's the only one I've been to or are likely to go to and it was lovely. Very.....Disney! To be honest I preferred the Universal Studios park for attractions and interesting things to see.
The thing that struck me most about Eurodisney was the attention to detail. Every plant is chosen, planted and trimmed to fit in with the area it belongs to. We saw them using wooden templates to ensure every curve of the privet hedge was identical to every other curve! The place is immaculate.
I also heard that Disney had to build the Enchanted Castle bigger and better than anywhere else because basically we have the real things here and we're not impressed by any old imitation LOL