Friday, November 20, 2015
Bucket List Friday - Vacation Edition: Revisiting Places
It probably seems like I only ever go to Disney World, and in the past 20 or so years that's pretty much been the case, but it wasn't always so. Even after that first Disney trip and my declaration at age 10 that I would NEVER go on another family vacation, opportunities to travel with other family members always presented themselves. Throughout my life I've been most places eastward from Canada to Maine down to the Florida Keys to Mexico and everywhere in between thanks to my extended family.
I haven't been westward much except for three (rather horrible) trips to Texas, church camp in New Mexico and my most recent jaunt to the original House of Mouse Land. Westward is where my mind tends to wander when I think of future trips because there is so much untravelled territory for me, but there are a lot of eastern destinations in my past that warrant another look.
But I have another hurdle that keeps me from travelling so much, my Aspergers. It's a proven fact that most Aspers have extremely heightened senses and I'm certainly no exception, so vacation destinations have to be careful to not over-excite my already "touchy" senses, including that often debated, but I assure you very real, sixth one. There are several vacations that were completely ruined for me because the location gave off too strong a ju-ju vibe and it made me sick or, like in the case of Hershey, PA, emitted a noxious smell into the town that was supposed to smell like chocolate but smelled more like vomit. To this day, I can't stand to smell anything chocolate-scented like a candle...thanks Hershey!
OK, so this was like the BIGGEST no-brainer answer of them all, but it's true, no matter how many times I go to Disney, be it Disney World or Disneyland, it will NEVER be enough! Disney is always changing and I've never had the same experience twice and it's one of the few places on earth other than my home and work where I feel most comfortable...enough so to go by myself (which I have done three times now). I debate going other places all the time (an upcoming bucket list topic maybe), but I can't seem to justify the expense without paying the mouse first. I'm going to try to change that though somehow.
I'm not even close to done editing photos from the last trip, but here's an unedited teaser:
#2: CAPE CANAVERAL
On that very first horrible Disney trip, we also went to several other locations including the now defunct Circus World, the beach, Cape Canaveral as well as a couple of other places I can't remember. In all the subsequent years, be it flying or driving, I've never managed to make it down to the Cape again and I REALLY want to go. Hopefully, I'm going to try to go next Sept/Oct trip, but I'm still not sure if it's in the cards yet.
I've always been fascinated with space sciences and that passion has grown in earnest, especially in the last several years for some reason, probably because we have more new and fascinating discoveries in the past couple of years than we've had in my entire lifetime. Space is probably the only science I do find interesting, which says a lot considering I work in a lab. Since we were at the Cape in 1981, it has grown into a tourist mecca with all kinds of exhibits that make my mouth water at the prospect, especially considering I am now old enough to appreciate it. I have been in Disney World when they launched a rocket and been able to see one from there, but never actually from Cape Canaveral. Maybe one day I will be able to, even if it's not NASA doing the launching.
Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from this leg of the trip to remember it by.
#3: WASHINGTON D.C.
On one of my aunt and grandmother's tagalongs to Pennsylvania, we made a side trip to D.C. Granted, I was young and it was before trip planning obsession kind of swamped me (but it was also before the internet, so trip planning was pretty much the territory of a travel agents), and I don't remember a lot of the trip to be honest, but I remember being in awe of the art and architecture, even as a youngster. I remember we had a horrible bus tour experience and he just dumped us out and left us to fend for ourselves, I remember the huge homeless lady walking down the street carrying a massively large butcher knife, I even remember bits of the Smithsonian and certain memorials, but not a lot of other things. Considering I was 14 at the time, I should remember more than I do.
Again, now that I'm older and more appreciative, I'm excited at the prospect of going back to D.C., if for no other reason than taking thousands of pictures because I don't have a single one from that trip and I'm not sure why.
#4: BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI
There is just something about Biloxi and I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I feel a constant pull to go there. There was a time when I would get up early on Saturdays, drive the 6 1/2 hours there, get out and walk on the beach for a few minutes, get back in my car and drive the 6 1/2 hours back home. After hurricane Andrew hit, I didn't go down there near as much and then after Katrina, it was several years before I went again, but I remember feeling just as passionately about it then as I had the very first time I went. If there is such a thing as a city calling you home, Biloxi is mine. Now, when I drive to Disney, I take the long way so that I can drive through Biloxi and walk on the beach for a couple of minutes.
No matter how bad the camera is, there is nothing more beautiful that the sunset over the ocean:
#5: SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA
I may have mentioned once or twice (or several times) that my Disneyland/California trip didn't go according to plan, but one thing that felt right was Santa Monica. They let us off at the pier and we only had a couple of hours to look around, but I had that same "home" feeling like I get at Biloxi, even if I only had time to scratch the surface of this beautiful city. I can't pinpoint it directly to the beach, because I've been up and down the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and I've never had that feeling at any other beach town like those two. The vibe was just calm and mellow, the architecture was beautiful, the area seemed clean and pleasant and both felt "right" if there is such a thing.
And seriously, how could anyone hate a place with an ocean, cliffs, and a pier with a purple house close to all three!
If I really think about it, I had the same "right" feeling at D.C. as well and we all know how I feel at Disney, so maybe that's why these places call to me and pull me back, sometimes again and again, they just feel like home. I could go wild and say that maybe I'm tied to them because I lived a past life there or maybe the magnetic resonance of the ground jibes with my particular personal brand of resonance or I could just simply say that they are great places to go to see amazing things. In the end, I'm not sure it really matters why, I just hope I have a chance to revisit each and every one of these places again in my lifetime including a couple of them numerous times. Heck, maybe someday I'll go back to a few other previous destinations like New York City, the Florida Keys, Canada, etc.