I’m limiting my topic today to three places due to the time and space it would take to discuss more. As I write this, I’m getting the sense the piece should have been entitled, The Best Places I’ve Ever Been, like that show on the Food Network, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. But, I’m leaving it as is, and we’ll just consider this as part two to my Exploring blog. Who doesn’t love to travel. I have not journeyed as much as some, but I’ve done my share. I just know I haven’t stored my luggage away for good. A friend’s mother used to say – the friend who introduced me to the sport; “As much time as you spend in the Bahamas, you could have been around the world.” I don’t know how I got stuck on that island, but she certainly did not speak out of term with that remark. Hey, there is still time, isn’t there?
Okay, I must remember to stay on course here. In any event, I’m usually always dreaming of going somewhere, and as much as I love it, I probably should have turned this blog into one about travel. Hey, is there anyone out there who would like to sponsor my trips, and I’ll do all the writing? Ooh…..I shudder that thought – please know that is a huge joke. Especially since my fear of flying has only escalated with age. Yes, I admit, I’m a “white knuckled flyer.” On my last flight my husband said, “This is it for you. You are not flying ever again.” The problem arose when we had to rush through the airport, because of, I don’t remember what. I had never gotten a chance to take my tranquilizer. Therefore, as we taxied, and took off, so did my nerves. Picture this poor, panic smitten woman, scrambling through her purse for a Xanax; trying to get some water from the flight attendant – all while dry heaving and trying to keep down her coffee. Yes, go ahead, have pity on me – it’s quite all right. But, if I have to say so myself, it’s not a pretty sight.
So, let’s have some fun, shall we? I’d like to begin in the Bahamas – why not? I’d also like to preface this portion by saying I never made it to the Kauai side of the Hawaiian Islands, or the South Pacific; now you just have to know that is entirely too many hours. I understand Aruba also has crystal clear water, but look at this. Probably, equal to the South Pacific, yes? I must say, standing or sitting on that beach presents the same image. Well…..only better, since then it becomes touchable, living and breathing. Also, not that this would help anyone now, since she has retired, but I knew this elderly woman who brought lunch to the workers at a hotel that will remain nameless. Along with lunch came the best cornbread anyone ever tasted. I think a collective sigh rippled across the island when she parked her truck. But, as far as it goes for the Bahamas, I’d like to throw a plug and say the water alone makes the trip extremely travel worthy.
#2. This would have to be without question – San Diego, California. In fact I almost missed this spectacle. My husband spent a lot of time in this place as a Marine, and could not believe that in all my travels I had never ventured west. I remember a travel show many years ago, I can’t recall the name. But, the host said, when a Marine makes it back to San Diego as a Civilian the first thing out of their mouth is, “I don’t remember this place being so beautiful.” And guess what, that’s exactly what mine said as we drove out of the airport. I have to say, I had only witnessed mountains, street, beach (in that order) in Europe. So, when my eyes beheld this same sight right here in my country, I went into shock mode; watching, aghast and unable to speak – only able to shake my head in wonder. Right then, I understood why earthquakes, fires, mud slides – nothing will move a Californian from their home.
This picture is also at Point Loma; a park dedicated to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who discovered what he called “San Miguel,” back in 1542. Let me just say here, on the west coast, there are many people who play Frisbee in the park at 10:30 a.m. My next question had to be; does anyone work in this state? The second……let’s call it…..phenomenon of this haven is, the weather. I’ve heard many jokes about them not having any. What stays with me is; every – underscore every morning this is me. “Oh, its going to be overcast today?” Then, as though my switch became stuck, on day four, I’d repeat the question. My poor husband would remind me. “Honey, remember it’s like this every day.” And, as usual, by 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. the sun did it’s daily chore, and burned the haze away. Do yourself a favor, don’t miss the beauty and grandeur called the West Coast. One of these days I’m going to start in Eugene and work my way all the way back to the red trolleys that line the streets of downtown San Diego.
#3. Believe me when I say, this little exercise has proved difficult. How does Samantha Brown do it? Now, let’s head off to my last, and most favorite tropical Shangri-La. I have to say, for me, this place definitely proved more of a spiritual experience than anything else. I’m talking about the Aloha spirit one absorbs in Hawaii. I missed the chance to take this trip many years ago with my travel buddies. All I can say is – man, I’m glad I did. Let’s just say the locales a person visits are always more magical when a significant other is there to share.
After a brief stay on Oahu – a huge mistake – we journeyed over to “The Valley Isle,” Maui. By the time we settled into our room, evening had arrived. I made my way from the kitchen area and through to the dining room. When I lifted my head, my focus went directly to the sliders leading to the balcony. Right there in front of me loomed twinkling lights that were hidden in the mountain crevices of Molokai (another island across the water). It stopped me in my tracks, and at that instant the tears effortlessly flowed. (Okay, I know that’s a woman thing.) Maybe, but I do believe there is only so much splendor a body can absorb at any given time without having it spill over such as this.
Moving on, there is a plethora of things to do on these islands, it is impossible for me to list even one-quarter of them. Basically, I think with such a great distance, it’s imperative to bring memories of a least two islands home. But, if nothing else, and although this may be clichéd and touristy, include Pearl Harbor, a Luau, a dinner cruise and the Road to Hana drive on Maui. And, if one of the locals happens to chuckle when that drive is mentioned – under strict orders from me – just completely ignore the laughter. Miss that drive, and I believe the entire essence of this region will be left in the twists and turns, hidden caves and black sand beaches hidden there. It is indeed a miracle to witness the destruction, yet wonder a volcano can create.
So, there you have it, and I seriously intended to have fun with this piece. But, as usual I have gone way off the mark, and turned it into a travel log. Oh, what the hay – if I have helped anyone with any of this, that makes me happy. Also, if anyone out there has any questions, please leave them below. You can also leave a comment or a complaint. I’m open to it all. Bon Voyage.