Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

For the Thursday Thirteen, today the list is “THEME” editions. In the spirit of the vacation season that is upon us, my 13 post is about thirteen places I’ve visited that I’d recommend.
(in no particular order)

1. Savannah, Georgia- We stayed on Tybee Island and enjoyed the low country. The fort was a wonderful place to explore. I took delight in Savannah. At the time I had just finished reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The cemetery where the bird girl was, was important. We went to eat at the Pirate House, took a boat ride and saw the dolphins, visited the light house. My two favorite places to visit on our trip were The Crab Shack on Tybee Island...that place was indeed a shack but was steeped in Savannah charm and tradition. Our family ordered a seafood platter. We sat in a deck that was built around several majestic oaks. White (XMAS)Lights were in the trees and made it look like a million stars in the sky, which there were. Cats milled about under our feet. Our waitress covered our picnic table in newspapers and then brought a huge pot out, and dumped it out all down the table. Supper served...shrimp, sausage, corn, crabs, mussels, name it, it was there. We still talk about that meal some 8 years later. The other recommended was the ghost walking tour. Though my dad, brother and Big Daddy tried their best to spoil the fun (they thought it was dumb)....I thoroughly enjoyed learning the history of homes and people as we strolled the streets at night. I love a good ghost story.

2. St. Augustine, Florida- It reminds me so much of Savannah. St George's Street is a must. There are hidden shops down every alley and history abounds at every turn. T o just sit and think about what the past was like in this quint town can be overwheming, yet facinating. Again, a great fort that is a must see. The alligator farm, the lighthouse and the churches that are open all the time. Check out the one at the end of St George Street, go in to sit in peace, light a candle and pray. The church is so enamourous, you will feel so small. Just as you were a grain in the beautiful course sand on the beach. A huge draw here is the Fountain of Youth . I bought some water, don't know that it's working. (Also great ghost walking tours here too).

3. Sarasota, Florida- We lived here at one time. I would move back in a heartbeat. Must see's-Myakka State Park. In the park you will find the wildlife abundant, trails plentiful and the Banyan trees and oaks magical. It feels like another world. Also a must see Mote Marine Lab (where I worked in dolphin rehabilitation), The Ca' d'Zan (unbelievable and fascinating), Pelican man Bird Sanctuary...and last but not least the beaches. They boast some of the best and scenic sunsets in the world. We would go down every day to the beach (we lived 2 miles away) and large crowds would gather to just see the sunset. Living there-everyday was a vacation!

4. Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee. I have posted about it before. See here, here, here, here,or here

5. Grand Tetons/Yellowstone, Jackson Hole Wyoming.- Some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen....and undoubtedly the most wild-wildlife I have ever seen.....buffalo, elk, moose, deer, bear, goats, and many others...Oh! My! Old Faithful and bubbling pools of water (some looked like tomato soup)....My hope it to take my children there and share that with them. Indeed God's country.

6.Cozumel Mexico- Mayan ruins, snorkel where Jacques Cousteau did. Eat, drink and be merry on a beach with your closet friends. There is way to much fun to be had here, and for that reason alone it is worth the trip. I took a cruise on Carnival ship out of Mobile. It was $199.00 per person for 4 days, includes food, entertainment...everything but alcoholic drinks. You cannot stay in Birmingham for that price. Certainly one of the best and inexpensive trips I have ever taken. A must!

7.New York City!- Get lost in it all. There is so much to do here, I couldn't possibly name it all. My favorite, the beauty of Central Park amid the concrete structures surrounding it.

8. Nashville Tennessee- I love this city! It feels like home. The Opry, the mall, plantations and the tours.. downtown haunts and hangouts. But one of my favorite places to go is Franklin. Quaint and cute and certianly more than a handfull of country music stars call it home. You are bound to run into some of them.

9.Portland, Oregon. Another place I lived. I recall fondly visits to Mt. Hood (and Mt St Helen's in nearby WA)as well as many visits to the multiple parks.

10. New London Connecticut- A tiny town with big intentions. They have it all. Take the Amtrack to nearby towns, taking in the landscape as you go. Or try the Ferry around Block Island. Stay at the Lighthouse Inn for aBed and breakfast experience. You must check out nearby, Mystic Seaport, and while you are there, you must get a pizza!

11. Shores of Alabama- Of course I cannot deny what is in our own backyard! Some of the best beaches with white sugary sand. Ultra fine sand. And certainly some of the best eating!

12. New Orleans, La.- Do you see a trend here with historical places? I love that historical and southern charm. It is found in New Orleans. I wouldn't be caught dead there round Mardi Gras (crowds) but go in an off period and enjoy the charm found in town, touring cemetaries or the southern plantations. Do check out the delta area here too. A must when visiting New Orleans is beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Oh, honey!

13. Bahama's- Gorgeous snorkeling. Bike rides down the coastline. Lying in a hammock with my Big Daddy ...that was my trip. You can lie with yours. The shopping, ehhh...some love it for no tax but I much preferred just being in and about nature and beaches.

There is one place that I would've add as and Honorable Mention, but should be on my top ten-I was just trying to give a variety and deversity- is located near Jacksonville, Florida. Sitting just between between Savannah and St Augustine, Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach is a little island is a charmer! Big Daddy and I stayed at The Bailey House Bed & Breakfast. I highly recommend, for it right in the center of all that is happening. It also serves some of the best homemade granola (among other breakfast delights) that I have ever had! The B&B has bicycles and we took advantage of that. We rode in town and parked and shopped, then we drove neighborhoods looking at the historic homes and daydreaming. Take in the great oaks above head, shading the streets and realize the passion that Kate had for one of these trees. If possible, try and attend the Shrimp festival in May. You will spot a few pirates milling about, but none that are vicious!
I think it is clear that I am not a "big city" kind of girl. I will leave the shopping to others and prefer a beach or a historic little town that is big on charm. It's a bonus if there is a place where I can drop a fishing line.
There are many places I have yet to see. I have not gone out west. I badly want to go to the Keys and Virgin Islands. Overseas- Italy, Ireland, Spain and Greece....I will go anywhere. Just give me 15 minutes to pack my bags and camera!


pussreboots said...

I've been to New York City once but didn't get to see Central Park. I've been to New Orleans once too but it was for work. Happy TT.

Nicholas said...

St Augustine is just an hour's drive from my front door, and I have been many times. Its a lovely little town, and I always enjoy going there.

It's been almost ten years since I was in NYC. Time to go again!

jennifer said...

New York City, Nashville, and Alabama beaches are the only places on your list that I have gone to.

You have traveled though!


Keetha said...

What!?! Marion IN didn't make your list????? Hehehehehehehehe

The Troll said...

Hey, you listed Troll Island under a different name! And used to live and work here. Cool.

The only one I disagree with is New Orleans. Dirty, corrupt, dangerous and loud in my view.

Leigh said...

Pussreboots- I loved the beauty foundin CP, NY. It was a affirmation of why I love to get away from the city and back to nature. With NO, LA...beware. It s a dirty city, with high crime. Yu have to know where you are going so you dont end up somewhere that will get you killed, but if you look beyond those things, you will see a diamond in the rough. It can be very facinating. And Great food to be eaten there.

Nicholas-You are a lucky man. My mother inlaw lived in Pontre Vedra Beach. When we would visit, I loved to drive down A1A with the windows down, smelling the ocean surf as I headed to St Augustine. The homes on the route, the ones that look to be in a cave because they are enclosed by native trees are magical. I would love to live there. I think of the fun my children would have. You are very lucky. Since you live so MUST eat at Mario's Italian Restaurant inbetween Pontre Vedra and JAx Beach. It's by the old movie theater. YUM!

Jennifer-Call me, I'll go with you!

Keetha-I know. I had to give the list much thought. I would recommend a trip to downtown INdianapolis , as well as AMish country and Nashville, Indiana. I do love to shop there! you live on Amelia? If not where? INteresting. And I can see your point on the NO place. You do have to be cautious and look beyond the skankiness to see the beauty and charm.

Midas said...

Those places sounds just about heavenly right now. I've been to two of them...and they're fun.

13th T13

Lindsey said...

Great list! I'm dying to go to Savannah! Loved several other places you mentioned. We think alike:)

marcia said...

Ilove new York so much that most of my March post's are about a a 4 day trip there. Any tips for a one day trip to Disney World

Leigh said...

Midas-I wsh I was at one of them also.

Lindsey-You must go! Must!

Marcia-One day at Disney? What park? and what are the ages of your group? Then I can better give you some. I will say this-BRING a BACKPACK with a large water. FIll it in the park as you drink from it. You will save lots of dough. The drinks in park are pricey and you will have your water with you as you wait in line, etc. To avoid crowds go in Sept-early Nov. Adn then Jan-early March. We went in mid October and weather was perfect. My kids are ages 7,10 and 17. They all, even the 7 year old, preferred Epcot to Disney. They liked the faster rides at Epcot.

marcia said...

I am meeting my son and daughter in law in Jacksonville for my nephew's wedding( my son is part of) and the three of us who are young at heart will go on a Sat (i know crazy) but I have not been can we find coupons etc?

Keetha said...

LOL - - - I was just teasing you about Marion. I do love living here, but it is NOT a vacation mecca.

Leigh said...

Oh, I know Keetha. LOL! But those other places I would stop by if anyone does travle through the *great*state of IN.
Hey! I also heard that oyu all are still having aftershocks! HAve you felt anymore?

Charnita's Xpressions said...

Great list. I want to go back and read all your posts about these places as soon as I can...
I have to get my head out of the computer sometime though!!

The New Mrs. Rue said...

sounds like a great list! Happy TT!

Travis said...

I might get to go to Atlanta later in the year. I've been to NY and folks live about an hour away from Portland, very near Mt St Helens.