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Sandals Jamaica: What are your Favorite Places on Planet Earth?
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Feb 24th 2007

I started this topic for two reasons: One, we're gonna be really bored these next four weeks, and, two, I am on my first day of spring break.

I will give you all two examples of Really Great Places:

First, the place I am at right now: Anguilla, British West Indies, Carribbean. My mom and dad are retired and live here two months a year, and my X-mas present every year is a trip here.

They feel sorry for me because I am making my career happen in Michigan; a Very Snowy Place. They hate snow, so they feel compelled to help me escape from the Frozen Tundra that is Michigan. Yay for me!

Second, and weirdly: Fargo, North Dakota. I absolutely LOVE Fargo! I teach there every summer, and the people are fabulous.

So; tell us about your Favorite Places on Earth: Glorious or mundane, exotic or hometown; what geographic areas make you Sing the Body Electric? (If anyone gets that last reference, I'll mail you a dollar...)

Feb 24th 2007

We used to sing that song in my 4th grade music class.

Anyhoo, I can't believe I'm going to admit this, since I so frequently make fun of Jersey, but one of my absolute favorite places in the world is the Jersey Shore. Specifically, the beach at Spring Lake. It's the "happy place" I go to in a dentist chair. It's calm, it's warm, I can hear the water, I can read, and there are LOTS of people, so there's always something interesting to watch if I want to. (Of course, it's only my relaxing happy place if my kids are not with me in my vision. I love them, but anyone who tells you that it's relaxing and refreshing to take small kids to the beach is lying. There's nothing relaxing in chasing someone down the shore, making sure they don't pick up dead jellyfish, slathering them with sunblock, etc. Fun and interesting, yes. Relaxing, no.).

Feb 24th 2007

Can't wax poetically like Whitman, but I will share that my favorite place on earth is Lake Nipissing, Ontario. We go there to fish, but that's just part of the draw. Clean air, clear water, brilliant blue skies. We fish in cedar strip boats, handmade by a local family. It's idyllic, restful, and peaceful. Even a rainy day when we can't get out on the water is wonderful.

Feb 24th 2007

I've been all around the Caribbean-Belize, Barbados, Cayman, various Bahamas and Puerto Rico and they've all been spectacular. As for culture, I went on a summer trip around Europe in tenth grade (Belgium, France, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain.

Inside the U.S. though, California's always good and Florida's great too, but you can't beat Hawaii

Feb 25th 2007

Hometown division: Powell's City of Books, W 10th Ave. & Burnside, Portland, the world's largest independent bookstore. They don't sell CDs, they don't wear uniforms, they don't treat books like Big Macs. I could spend hours there. Frequently do.

Other than that: The Santa Monica Pier, the sunflower fields south of Lyon, and Dodger Stadium. I'm sure others will come to me, but that's it for now.

Feb 25th 2007

Oh where to begin...

Alaska, specifically Juneau and Ketchikan. My family took a cruise to there when I was 16 and it was just stunning. I took a picture from the deck of the boat of Juneau while the sun was setting and, if I do say so myself, it looks like it could be a postcard. So beautiful.

Washington D.C. I'm a history nerd so when we went in the eighth grade, I was in heaven. Among my favorite sites were the Lincoln Memorial, FDR memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and the Smithsonian (the White House was a total let down). I really need to go back and see the Capitol; I hadn't slept in 36 hours when we went (jet lag), and I just wanted to go back to the hotel.

My campus. It's got the history and architecture of an east coast school with the climate and convienient location of the west coast.

Feb 26th 2007

Bay Harbor/Petoskey, Michigan. I've always been one of the people that prefers cold to warm and rain/snow to shine, so Northwestern Michigan has got to be one of my favorite places on Earth. Reminds me a bit of Seattle weather wise, but small towny and more picturesque. Bay views in the winter are spectacular, and the food is even better. Not as exotic as some of the other postings, but definetly worth a visit.

Feb 26th 2007

I like this thread because I've had a severe case of wanderlust for quite some time

Jul 12th 2007

My grandparents live in a little quiet, gated community about an hour south of Calistoga, CA. I love visiting them and dinking around in the Napa Valley. It's really one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life. My favorite time of year there is in mid-August, when the vineyards stretch for what seems like forever and the vines are full and heavy with ripe grapes. It's hot as the blazes, but the gorgeous scenery more than makes up for it. It's my Ideal Retirement Place.

Jul 12th 2007 edited

Perfection is found in Alpine, Arizona, pop. 300, where my grandparents have a cabin. It's so insanely beautiful and secluded and for reasons unknown to me, they have an amazing candy shop amidst the two gas stations and one stop light. Up in the mountains, we once saw a brand-new elk calf and I mean fresh out of the mother's womb. We got the heck out of there, since the mom wasn't visable, but certainly close by. Man, those were some good times.

Jul 12th 2007

I absolutely loved Australia. Specifically Lady Elliot Island (a wee, tiny quay at the very southern end of The Great Barrier Reef) and Fraser Island (the world's largest sand island). Gorgeous and not overrun with tourists. (LEI can only have 143 guests max at a time). Australians (from my 16 day experience) are about universally the friendliest people you will ever hope to meet.

I had corresponded on another group page like this (for technical writers) with a guy from Sydney. Steve had my family over for a barbeque on Anzac Day. (Think Memorial Day and Veteran's Day rolled into one with the excitement of July 4th.) He bought a didgeridoo for my son and taught him to play it. Showed him how to throw a boomerang. Grilled 'roo on the barbie. Then we went to play two-up at a local pub. They bet amazing amounts of money on whether a penny will come up heads or tails.

Another technical writer had us over for dinner one night in Sydney. (Met him on the same site as Steve.) At Fraser Island we hung out with another family who had kids a bit younger than our son. Same thing at LEI. In fact, at LEI, the parents took Billy out for one last snorkel while we packed our bags.

Best trip of my life. It was splendid. I was in mourning when the plane departed from Sydney to L.A.

Hawaii and St. John are also great. But the human interaction in Australia was what made it ... The. Best. Trip. Ever.

Jul 12th 2007 edited

Thank you, BigTunaFishing for bumping this thread; I thought it was gone forever!

Spent today in Ballston Spa, New York. If any of you are Caleb Carr enthusiasts, it is the setting for much of "The Alienist". Good book. Lovely little town.

Jul 12th 2007

Hey VB, I'm a technical writer. Are you still one? What's the site you met the Aussies on, I'd be interested in checking it out.

Jul 13th 2007

Tahiti. Like spending time in a postcard.

Jul 13th 2007

I absolutely loved Australia.

Great. Now Mixed Berries is going to get a swelled head.

Jul 13th 2007

TWSS. It had to happen.

Jul 15th 2007 edited

Hi, JLJ. I'm not working so much as a technical writer any more, although I do FULLY document the databases and other office tools that I develop. I was using a website that was geared toward online help developers. It was in the Yahoo groups. HATT (Help Authoring Tools & Techniques). Very smart (and opinionated) bunch of people. Overall, incredibly helpful. Generally, pretty civilized. Occasionally devolved into vituperative mayhem.

The online help project I was working on was killed over two years ago, so I haven't used HATT lately. It was heavily oriented to RoboHelp when I used it. A lot of people there also were members of TechWhrl or some site like that.

Aug 13th 2007

The discussion about Six Flags in the chatter thread reminded me of one of my favorite places ever: the original Elitch Gardens in Denver. Going there as a kid was better than Christmas. I rode all the rides in Kiddie Land when I was little, and my Dad tricked me into riding the Wild Cat roller coaster. The original Twister is still my favorite roller coaster. The thing is, most of my memories of that place are fuzzy around the edges; I remember being there with my grandma and a friend of hers...but it seems like maybe that never happened. I can remember certain things: the bright lights, riding the Rainbow, making one of those glass things with the colored sand in it; but I can't really remember most of it, so it really feels like a dream more than reality. I have a picture of my sister and I when we must have been about 7 and 4, and it's blurry and out of focus, just like the rest of it.

Aug 20th 2007

Engelberg, Switzerland. We chose it by closing our eyes and fondling a relief map. We took the train up (literally - the train had to be pulled up the track to the plateau) to Engelberg with a 80-year-old ski instructor and his dog (who was sliding up and down the car), and were greeted by 360 degrees of Alps. We hiked up a third of one (Mt. Titlis), the mercury dropping ridiculous amounts as we ascended, and ended up taking a lift to the very top, situated on a glacier. The view was something you think only a higher being could see; you felt like you weren't worthy of viewing it with your mortal eyes. We stayed in a woman's home, whose German instructed us to just put the keys in the mailbox when we left, as she was traveling for the weekend. That evening we were awoken by wolves howling, and upon further inspection, a sky full of stars I've never seen before. The mountains were black against the sky, and I've never heard night sound that way, echoing off the cliffs. It's been eight years since that weekend, but I can still feel it. Great thread - it's fun to reminisce while we land-lock ourselves until out next adventure....

Aug 20th 2007 edited

That sounds so awesome Impressionist, and your description could fill the opening pages of a novel. The closest I came to something like that is being in a remote place in the country. The sky is completely different without the city lights as a distraction. You never saw so many stars and the quietness seems eerie, but very comforting all the same.

Aug 20th 2007

Indeed it was. To quote Wesley... "I've never seen its equal."

Aug 21st 2007

Yeah, that was an amazing description. I felt like I was there, except I also felt like I've never seen anything that approaches it. Write more stuff like that, OK?

Oh, and I snickered like Kevin in Gay Witch Hunt when I read this...

(Mt. Titlis)

Aug 21st 2007

I was hoping someone would. I like saying it. TIT-lis. Tit-less.... I'll see what else I can conjure up - glad you enjoyed it.

Aug 21st 2007

My family took a vactation once that included some time in Grand Teton National Park. The Teton Range was named by French explorers, and "teton" is actually French for "breast."

Aug 21st 2007

The Adirondacks have a peak called "Nippletop". It's one of the 46 peaks you have to climb to get into the 46er club. I've climbed 11.

Aug 21st 2007

In Washington state, there is a peak called "Whiskey Dick Mountain"...whenever we pull out the map of Washington on a long drive back to the in-laws' place, I make a point to locate it. It makes the hubbo laugh.

Aug 21st 2007

I can't read that name without laughing out loud, and I'm in a quiet office.

We went here last week. We're going to go back and stay overnight instead of just 15 minutes.

Aug 21st 2007

That looks awesome, Brian. It reminds me of somewhere in Switzerland. Not that I've ever been there.

Oct 17th 2007

Speaking of bars; My friends are in Sydney, Australia right now which is just about a 45 min. drive from Mixed Berries, and they went to this awesome "Ice" bar. They say that everything is made of ice, even the chairs. You can only stay in for about a half hour and you have to wear gloves and parka's, but it's a unique experience. If you put your glass down, it becomes one with the table. Mixed Berries is probably asleep for the night, but I wonder if he's ever been there.

One of my friends takes about 2 out of country trips a year, and he says that he likes Australia the best. It is so beautiful there, that he'd like to live there.

Nov 25th 2011

In bed with your mom.

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