I am planning a couple of trips that will take place in the next 6-7 months.  I am hoping to get to Puerto Rico in August and then visit Iceland in Jan/Feb 2013.

I love taking trips (who doesn’t?) but I particularly love planning trips.  The trip in August to Puerto Rico is short and won’t require much in the way of planning.

The trip to Iceland, on the other hand, will require planning and list-making galore. That suits me just fine as I am a list-maker by nature.

So today’s blog is a list – in no particular order – of the best trips I have ever taken.

  1. NYC for Derek Jeter’s hit to pass Lou Gerhig.  Jeter’s hit took place on the evening of 9/11/09 which is rich for the New Yorkers and historians alike.  That NYC trip also included an afternoon spent at the US Open Tennis tournament where I literally bumped into Martina Navratilova (like bumping into a tree)  and then my buddy and I walked over to CitiField to catch a Mets game.  The Yankees played the following night and then on Sunday we killed time in Little Italy having some red wine and cannolis.
  2. Trip to Grand Canyon AZ around 1996ish.  I had worked a summer there in 1983 and was fortunate to get 3 friends interested in flying out for some hiking and sightseeing several years later.  It was great to revisit and experience that wonder all over again.
  3. Trip to London, England in July 2000.  Another revisit of sorts since I had worked in England in 1986.  It was so cool to be a tourist and have time for and access to transportation so that I could “go” and “see” and “do”.  When I was a farmhand in my first trip over there, I worked 6 days a week and could only go as far as my bicycle would take me.  That was still fun, but actually getting into London on that vacation was just a blast.  The highlight of that trip was visiting Stonehenge. No, wait, I just changed my mind. The highlight was seeing one of only 4 originals of the Magna Carta. No wait, I think I just changed my mind again.  It was returning to England after a quick daytrip to Calais, France and seeing the white cliffs of Dover upon our return via ferryboat.
  4. Years ago – in the late 80’s – I visited a friend in Minnesota in the dead of winter.  No, I do not know why I elected to go to Minnesota in January but I did.  Yes, it was cold.  But there was one, single day during my week-long stay that was not prohibitively cold.  It was snowing and about 30 degrees all day long.  So early that morning, my pal outfitted me with cross-country skis and we headed out to a state park not far out of town. Because it was a weekday in January, there was no one else skiing that day.  While I had never cross-country skied before, I found it fairly simple to do.  I am pretty sure we packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch so we ended up spending the entire day out in the woods gliding along on top of fresh powder.  There is something so thrilling and special about being out in the woods, nearly alone, for hours on end.  We had a blast.  I feel fast asleep in the car before we even were out of the park.  A great day for sure!
  5. Fall of 2011, I flew up to Knoxville to cover a UT Lady Vols basketball game.  My flight back was two days later so I drove up to visit Cumberland Falls just outside of Corbin, Kentucky on one cold, rainy day.  There was only one other car in the entire parking lot but I didn’t actually run into anyone.  A cold, rainy miserable day except that it wasn’t miserable to me at all.  It was very cool having a state park all to myself!  And Cumberland Falls did not disappoint.  It was every bit the spectacle that I had remembered.

On the following day, the weather cleared and I ventured over to the Great Smokey Mountains and drove the Cades Cove Loop about 3 times.  Watched a black bear foraging, a coyote stalking deer, and so many hawks, and woodpeckers and wild turkeys that I stopped taking pictures of them.   It was a crispy cool day full of autumnal fragrance and color.

I think I will wrap this up for today, but rest assured I have more to add to this list!

Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls