Thursday, July 19, 2007

they call me the wanderer...

Tomorrow after a long time of claiming I was gonna do it, I'm finally off on a trip to California. I can't wait. I'm ready to be settled into my seat (aisle only will do), iPod on, book in hand ... nothing but blue skies ahead.

I cannot even remember the last time I saw the now Mrs. AW. We interned together in South Florida back in 2001. I think we met up at some point in the interim. Somewhere along the way, it all became a big blur. She's planned out all kinds of things for my visit and I'm pretty much all packed up and set to jet.

I do feel like the recurring theme as of late (as it tends to be) has been traveling. I love to travel. I was telling the Aussie that I think in his recent road trip across the US, he managed to likely see more of the US than I have in my 27 (almost 28) years of residing here.

It made me think... the Cajun gave me a book as a present once. You may have seen it. It's called "On and Off the Beaten Track: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die". Wow. I was intrigued. One other night when I should have been doing something else, I found myself scanning the listing and checking off the places I've been...

(The below is how they had everything grouped or broken down... including sites I actually visited within cities they listed just in their entirety)

1) Windsor Castle - Windsor, Berkshire, England
2) Canterbury Cathedral - Canterbury, Kent, England
3) The Lake District - Lancashire and Cumbria, England
4) London, England (Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral)5) Oxford University - Oxfordshire, England
6) Bath - Somerset, England
9) Stratford-Upon-Avon - Warwickshire, England
10) Salisbury Cathedral - Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
11) Stonhenge - Wiltshire, England
12) Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh, Scotland
13) Vienna - Austria
14) Paris - Ile-de-France, France (Arc de Triumphe, Basilique du Sacre-CoeurCentre Georges Pompidou, Eiffel Tower, Hotel des Invalides, Louvre, Musee d' Orsay)
15) Catedrale Notre Dame de Chartres - Ile-de-France, France
16) Chateau de Versailles - Versailles, Ile-de-France, France
17) The Walls of Carcassonne - Languedoc-Roussillon, France
18) Heidelberg's Schloss - Heidelberg, Rhineland, Germany
19) Rome - Lazio, Italy (Coliseum, Pantheon, Roman and Imperial Forums, Spanish Steps, Vatican City)
20) Sistine Chapel - Rome, Lazio, Italy
21) Il Duomo - Milan, Lombardy, Italy
22) Florence - Tuscany, Italy (Church of Santa Croce, Il Duomo, Piazz della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio)
23) Basilica of St. Francis - Assisi, Umbria, Italy
24) Venice - Veneto, Italy (Palazo Duale, The Grand Canal, Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco
25) Verona - Veneto, Italy
26) Anne Frank House - Amsterdam, Netherlands
27) Oude Kerk - Amsterdam, Netherlands
28) Red-Light District - Amsterdame, Netherlands (just baaaarely)
29) Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam, Netherlands
30) Van Gogh Museum - Amsterdam, Netherlands
31) La Mezquita - Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain
32) The Alhambra and Parador de San Francisco - Granada, Andalusia, Spain
33) Seville - Andalusia, Spain
34) Avila - Castile and Leon, Spain
35) Salamanca's Plaza Mayor - Castile and Leon, Spain
36) La Catedral de Toledo - Toledo, Castile La Mancha, Spain
37) La Sagrada Familia - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
38) Madrid - Spain (Bullfights - ick, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, El Rastro, Palacio Real, Prado, El Retiro, Tapas, Plaza Mayor)
39) Lugano - Ticino, Switzerland
40) Castle District - Prague, Bohemia, Czech Republic
41) Old Town Square - Prague, Bohemia, Czech Republic
42) Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park, Colorado, USA
43) Everglades National Park - Florida, USA
44) Key West - Florida, USA
45) The Delano - Miami Beach, Florida, USA
46) South Beach - Miami Beach, Florida, USA
47) Walt Disney World Resort - Orlando, Florida, USA
48) The Breakers - Palm Beach, Florida, USA
49) Art Institute of Chicago - Illinois, USA
50) The French Quarter - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
51) The New Orleans Restaurant Scene - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
52) Mardi Gras - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
53) The Freedom Trail - Boston, Massachusetts, USA
54) The Natchez Trace - Natchez, Mississippi, USA
55) New York City - New York, USA (American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Empire State Building, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Times Sq/42nd Street, Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central)56) Historic Downtown New York - New York, USA
57) Museum Mile - New York, New York, USA (Met, Guggenheim Museum)
58) Biltmore Estate - Asheville, North Carolina, USA
59) Great Smoky Mountains National Park - North Carolina, USA
60) Heart of Charleston - South Carolina, USA
61) Low Country Cuisine - Charleston, South Carolina, USA
62) Graceland and the Elvis Trail - Memphis, Tennessee, USA
63) Memphis Rib Joints - Memphis, Tennessee, USA
64) Nashville's Music Scene - Nashville, Tennessee, USA
65) Monticello - Virginia, USA
66) Colonial Williamsburg - Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
67) The National Mall and Its Monuments - Washington, DC, USA
68) The Smithsonian and Beyond - Washington, DC, USA
67) Old San Juan - Puerto Rico, Greater Antilles (U.S. Commonwealth)

I'm a numbers person, so let's see. That puts me at 6.7% of the book. Ouch. I have some work cut out for me ... clearly more to see. As I suspected, of those sites deemed "must see" only 40.3% are in the US.

Clearly, more to see here in the grand ol' US of A. This weekend, I'll be knocking off another one (Hollywood). Oh and yes, I know it will be grimy and not pretty (I get it) but I also know I darn better see someone famous or I'll be mighty disappointed.



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