The second prompt from this week's Bring Back the Words linkup asked us to list our top 5 favorite vacation destinations. This one was harder for me than I thought it would be because I realized when I started writing it that I really hadn't traveled as much I would have liked in my lifetime. So I had to try to pick from the places I have actually been. I didn't really want to include any of the traveling I've done around Texas, not that there aren't lovely places to visit here, nor did I want to count trips to see family. So here are the places that my list.
- New York - My mom work for the University of Mobile Theatre Department for several years after I graduated from college. Every other year, the director would take her seniors from that year & the upcoming seniors to New York to see shows and tour the city. The last four times she took the trip before leaving the school, Mom and I were able to tag along. The last two trips also included my sisters-in-law, Shannon and Jenny. I love everything about New York. The hustle and bustle, the food, the atmosphere, the shopping, and especially the theatre. It's been five years since our last trip and I am dying to go back.
Shannon, Jenny, Mom, and Me on the top of the Double Decker Sightseeing Bus
- Disney World - My first trip to Disney World was during my senior year in high school when I went with the Azalea Trail Court for the Easter Parade. I've been 8 times since that first visit, including my honeymoon the first time I got married. Every time I step through the gates of the Magic Kingdom, I am swept away by the feeling of being in another world. I have a love affair with the Mouse. I can't wait to take Jackson to Disney and I only hope he loves it as much as I do. If I actually thought we could squeeze it into the budget to take the four of us, I would be there in a heartbeat.
Me with Mickey during my last visit in 2004
- Hawaii - This trip was supposed to be a pre-deployment getaway before my ex's 3rd trip to the Sandbox that did not happening. He ended up not staying with the unit so he didn't haven't to go overseas but our trip was already planned so we still went. It was amazing. We stayed in Waikiki on the island of Oahu and we were really in the heart of everything. I loved the food (taro pancakes with coconut syrup, iced mango, pulled pork at a luau). I loved the culture. I loved the blue water and the weather. I felt like I was living a dream so much so that I could pretend my marriage wasn't falling apart while we were there. Chris has promised me a do over for this trip so I can replace some of the so-so memories with happier ones.
Me at climbing Diamond Head
- Gatlinburg, TN - Chris and I got married at a B&B in Gatlinburg (OK...technically it was Sevierville but close enough). When we decided to elope instead of having a "real" wedding, Gatlinburg came up on the list of options as a place where a lot of people elope. I had no idea they had wedding chapels and special rates on marriage licenses for out-of-towners. I had always heard wonderful things about Gatlinburg so we decided it would be the place for us and it did not disappoint. The Smokey Mountains were beautiful and majestic while the area had a quaint, small town feel to it. We are dying to go back when the opportunity presents itself. I'm just hoping we don't have to wait till our 10th anniversary like we promised the minister who married us to renew our vows.
Chris and I on the balcony of our cabin overlooking the Smokey Mountains the morning after we got married
- Austria - My sophomore year in high school my band director put together a 10 day tour of Europe for those from our band as well as other schools in the area who wanted to participate. On a whim, I asked my father if I could go and he agreed with the stipulation that my mother go to. It was an amazing experience at only 15 years old and one I would love to repeat some day. We visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and England. We saw a lot the countryside traveling from one destination to the other but I have to say I feel in love with Austria the most. We stayed in Salzburg and Vienna while in Austria and both cities were wonderful. At our crazy pink hotel in Salzburg, we had a fondue party our first night. In Vienna, my balcony opened up to a view of the Opera House across the street. I couldn't have asked for a better way to see this amazing cities.
Not a picture I took but a sight I did see: the tree lined street from The Sound of Music