Friday, November 27, 2015
Bucket List Friday - Vacation Edition #2
I had to shorten the title for space reasons, but this week's topic deals with my top 5 vacation destinations which I've never been to, but hope to get to before I die.
#1: UK - SPECIFICALLY ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
I've been an Anglophile long before I was even old enough to pronounce the word, let alone spell it. Even as a small tyke, I used to tell my mother all the time that "I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque" when I was a soul looking for a baby to inhabit (and yes, I actually spoke that way as a kid, most kids would just claim they must have been adopted). I've NEVER felt like I belong in this region or to 98% of my family. But for someone who hates their surroundings, I've somehow managed to spend my entire life sabotaging myself so that I'm stuck here...but that's a story for another day.
My fascination with all things British are probably because my Scottish blood is strong (and, let's face it, Scottish blood IS strong), but the pull to actually go to "the mother country" has always been with me. But if I'm really honest, I've always felt a stronger pull towards England for some reason. When I do the whole "lottery-win dream plan", my second house is in London (can you guess where my first one is?). One day I will get there but I may have to do it in two trips, one for England and one for Scotland. London will take long enough, but we are talking at least three weeks to cover Chawton, Stratford, Cornwall, Canterbury, Bath, Yorkshire, Manchester (and that is simply a man ogling side trip because I have a thing for a Mancunian accent) and every other amazing city, monument, museum, and point of interest that England has to offer.
I think Scotland would be more of a spiritual-type journey, so I would need the sightseeing time plus some downtime in the land of my people, Paisley. Then there is the whole archaeological aspects of the outer islands which I would have to check out. I'm not sure how I would fair in the castle-type situation (with my super-sonic senses), but surely I could manage one or two, especially Blair Castle (for obvious reasons).
I do have a base plan for both countries, I'm just not sure how to execute it alone or how I would deal with a two-year Disney break (because that is what it would take financially). One day though, the planets will align and it's "home" I go. I just hope I can handle the "heaviness" of the history. American history is a drop in a bucket compared to that of the UK and there are plenty of places here I have issues with, so I am more than a bit terrified of my reactions, but I'm still willing to try.
#2: WESTWARD - NORTH AND SOUTH
Before the Disneyland planning fiasco, I was planning a westward road trip to cover all the major monuments and sights in that direction from the Rockies to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite all the way up to Mt. Rainer and everywhere in between. It was going to be a solo trip with just me and Bam, but when I started listing all the cool places I wanted to stop at, I was averaging about two months worth of road time and I can't afford that as well as couldn't wrangle that much time off of work. Plus, apparently national monuments aren't good at being "dog friendly".
My answer was to cut the trip off into two parts, a southwest trip and a northwest trip, but again, I kept adding to the list of sights versus shortening it. Granted, I am a "drive-by" kind of tourist, I prefer to see things from the car window if possible, so that way I don't have to get out and interact, but I'll take a pullover spot anyday. Either leg of the trip would accommodate that to an extent except for important places like Meteor Crater or Hoover Dam (where puppies DEFINITELY are not allowed), but the whole thing was still pretty daunting, especially since it was a solo trip and it's not like I could leave Bam in his carseat (yes, he has one)..
But the harder Disneyland planning got, the more I realized that I suck at trip planning unless it's Disney World, so maybe I should just keep going there. The dream isn't completely dead though and I'm always on the lookout for the opportunity to at least check off one or two locations on my list. My mother offered to go (oh joy...and I don't mean that in a good way), but I would prefer my Sister, who HATES road trips, so that is probably not an option. Guess I need to find another travelling companion.
#3: DISNEYLAND PARIS
Despite my five years of French and my rather scary obsession with Notre Dame as a kid, I have NEVER had the desire to go to France, that was until the House of Mouse set up shop. The problem with going to Disneyland Paris is that it would have to come after my England/Scotland trip because we would have to fly into London first and I don't think I could handle flying into London for the first time, knowing how obsessed with the city as I am, and not being able to check it out...that would just be cruel. I really don't have any desire to go to any of the other Disney parks around the world, probably because of their distance more than anything, but someday, I will have a set of Disneyland Paris pins, you just watch!
My Sister even mentioned a few days ago that she was seriously considering it for us for 2017, but I know her well enough to know that she will also want to do a bit of sight seeing around Paris and, except for Notre Dame, I would probably hate that.
#4: ALASKAN CRUISE
Everybody that knows me personally, knows that I am extremely cold-natured...I am ALWAYS cold, even sometimes in the dead of summer! So, why on earth would I want to go to Alaska? Two reasons...the scenery and the Northern Lights. It could be accomplished on a cruise (something I typically have no desire to do, but would be OK in this case). I could do the whole "drive by" thing without getting too terribly cold. I just hope I manage to get there while there are still glaciers to see, but at least I've got a while to plan before the Northern Lights kick back into high gear again. This is also a place my mother has always wanted to go to, so I guess I would get stuck with her.
#5: PCH/SAN FRANCISCO
My brief taste of the Pacific Coast at Santa Monica wasn't enough...I want to DRIVE the Pacific Coast Highway from top to bottom with a layover in San Francisco. San Fran isn't the kind of city I would normally want to visit, but it's one of my Sister's "home" places so it can't be bad (you know, the feeling I mentioned on last week's bucket list about just feeling like you've always belonged there even though it's your first time there?). Besides, the Disney Family museum is there and I wouldn't mind a snap or two of Alcatraz (from a distance, of course, my spidey-sense probably couldn't take it close up and I don't think they do tours there anymore anyway, do they?).
Again, a rather moderate list, but to make it achievable, I do have to think in moderation. If I wanted to get wild, I would want to go to Egypt, Greece, Rome, Morocco, Antarctica, and possibly a bit of Europe, but wild I am not and I could never afford to go to any of those places anyway, bucket list or not. Besides, most of those places aren't safe anymore, especially for a chubby middle-aged woman from Arkansas and maybe they are best enjoyed on the Travel Channel or online (unless, of course, that lottery win I keep thinking about actually comes to pass, then I can pay for a tour guide).