Top Ten Tuesday

Hello friends.  Welcome back.  Hey, thanks for reading by the way.  It is fun to write and have people actually read what I write.  And those of you who commented yesterday, thanks so much.  Your support means the world.

Summer is the best time of the year, wouldn't you agree?  You get to spend more time outside because it is warmer, it is completely acceptable to grill every meal, and you tend to spend more time with family and friends.  Today there will be a pool party and bbq at our house and I am pretty stoked for it.  Brats and dogs, anybody?

Summer is also a wonderful time to get away and do some exploring.  I love to travel and see sights.  I have been very blessed with the opportunity to go on many vacations and adventures through the years.  Here a a few of my favorites.  There are many other places that I have enjoyed, but I only had room for ten seeing Tuesday is Top Ten Tuesday.  Enjoy.

1.  The Grand Canyon. Arizona, USA.  My friend, Marla and I thought it would be a great idea to take Route 66 for part of the way home to Wisconsin from Utah one summer.  Just so you know, that is not the shortcut to get to Wisconsin from Utah, but Marla and I always have a blast vacationing and road tripping together.  Now, The Grand Canyon is at the top of my list because it is seriously GRAND.  Like really, I thought The Grand Canyon would be a cool place to visit and say I had seen, but seriously, there is hardly any other words to describe it besides, GRAND.  The place took my breath away.  It is huge and gorgeous. And seriously, pictures don't do it justice, so I haven't included one here!

2.  Stonehenge. England.  I have always been a fan of England and it was one of my life goals to get there.  I was so excited when my mom and I planned to go with one of my favorite aunt and uncle duos a few years ago.  I loved everything England and you definitely should see Westminster Abbey(so many famous Brits were buried there), Buckingham Palace(the changing of the guard is so cool), Stratford on Avon(Hello, Shakespeare is important), The Tower of London(be sure to get an ice cream cone right outside.  Best I have had) but Stonehenge was my favorite place to visit in England.  The formation is breathtaking as you walk up the hill to where it is and the mystery behind it's construction and purpose is fun to think about.  Be sure to go there if you get to England.

3.  St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia.  I loved visiting Russia.  The people there are very different from us Americans and the history of Russia is amazing.  Russia has been a country for a very long time, they they have lots of old buildings and places to visit. I think the best part of Moscow though is St. Basil's.  It sits in Red Square(where you also can visit Russian leader Lennon for free, which was surprising to us when our tour guide said:  "Why would anybody want to pay to see a dead communist?" It was also a weird thing to hang out with a dead dude all preserved and such) and truly is a sight to see.  Each dome is a different cathedral within the big building.  Each church was decorated distinctly and I was impressed with the altars of gold and the bright colors used in the very old paint.  It was a great thing to see and my favorite souvenir was bought there(a little wooden St. Basil's music box).  Not many get the chance to visit Russia, and I am so glad my friend's parents were working at the American Embassy at the time so we could visit easily.  Wonderful place.  And if you go, be sure to try the grape ice cream.  Frozen grapes inside amazingly creamy cream is delectable.

4.  Perch Lake, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, USA.  This is my fishing lake back home in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  My parents lived in Rhinelander for a bit in the past ten years and I would always head there in the summer during my single years.  I tried to get to fish there at least once a week and miss my spot so very much.

5.  San Francisco, California, USA.  This is one of my favorite cities that I have been able to visit in the United States.  It is right on the coast of California and has so many things to do.  You must visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company in Chinatown(it is worth the dollar to take a picture of the people making the cookies, because you usually get more free cookies, but be sure to try their sesame cookies and buy some of their fortune cookies and the discs that don't get folded into fortune cookies.  They are yummy.), ride a cable car(I stand off the side of one could all day) and be sure to stop to see the Cable Car Museum), see the sea lions on Fisherman's Warf, watch the cars drive down Lombard Street, have some ice cream at Girardelli Square, and be sure to take the tour at Alcatraz it is amazing.  Oh and do know you can see Redwoods just thirty minutes north at Muir Woods.  Totally worth the drive.

6.  Route 66.  Drive it.  There isn't much left of the actual road but there are bits of it and there just is something special about rolling down the windows and imagining in your mind what it would have been like to drive it back in the 50s in some red Cadillac.  And be sure to stop along the way at little tourist traps.  Fun stuff.
Image from:  http://gardinerfcu.org/products-and-services/route-66

7.  Hollywood, California, USA.  I like Grauman's Chinese Theatre best with all the handprints of the stars, but be sure to also see some of the stars on the Walk of Fame, and take pictures of the Hollywood sign that once said: Hollywoodland.  Glad they shortened it for us, it would be awkward to always talk about famous people and have to say: "Yeah, that is how they think in Hollywoodland."

8.  New York City, NY, USA.  I have been in NYC twice in my life and have only seen a fraction of what you can see there.  Be sure to see a play on Broadway.  I got to see Wicked.  It rocked.  Be sure to walk around Central Park.  It really is huge and has so many things, including a Zoo.  Do walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  It is just spectacular.  See the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  So much history there and it makes you thankful for your ancestors who made the trek here.  While in New York also be sure to have some street vendor food and eat at a deli.

9.  Mt. Rushmore, near Keystone, South Dakota  I have been there many times because it is very convenient to stop and see while driving home to Wisconsin.  My favorite time was when I took Reuben right after we were married.  It was fun to see him see it as so magical.  If you are going that way, be sure to find Wall Drug, in Wall, South Dakota and the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. They are cool little tourist traps.

10.  Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois, USA.  Now, if you know me, you know I HATE the Chicago Cubs.  I think it's because they were close to me growing up and they were big rivals of the hometown Milwaukee Brewers.  That said, it is an honor that this park made it to my top ten, no?  Totally.  See, Wrigley Field is the 2nd oldest ballpark.  It was build in 1914, just two year after the oldest, Fenway Park of Boston(which is on my list to get to soon!).  Walking into Wrigley was like walking into baseball history.  It looks much like it did in 1914 when people went to watch in their suits and fancy dresses while carrying umbrellas.  I stood there peering onto the field and started to cry.  The tears were made less embarrassing as I looked over and saw my Uncle Jim(Dad's brother) also getting choked up.  For a baseball fan, this stadium is truly amazing.  I love the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.  If you are a true baseball fan, this should be a trip that is at the top of your list.

That was fun going through memory lane via past vacations.  Be sure to comment with your favorite places that you have seen.  It would be nice to expand this list!  Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.