Share Your Favorite Travel Destinations and Stories : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Save for years to visit a particular city/country? Stumble through a tour of microbreweries in the Pacific Northwest? Take a honeymoon from heaven? Catch a particularly nasty strain of intestinal virus? Make a pilgrimage to a cherished shrine? Catch a salmon in the side of the head at Pikes Market? Ever lay upon the perfect beach? Get arrested for punching out one of those annoying Disney characters?

Please relate your favorite travel stories and destinations. And be sure to embellish just a little. I am looking to be transported by your eloquence, mesmerized with descriptive landscapes. Paint word pictures if you please. Or tip me off to the best kamikazes youve ever tasted. Just dont go making my lids droop.

Now off you go. Visualize the finest moments of your most enjoyable vacation(s) and write what you see.

Much appreciated.

-- Bingo1 (, July 05, 2000



Did you say that you were an English prof? 8-)

I'll give some thought to your question.

-- (, July 05, 2000.

LOL, kb. Does come off that way, eh!

Actually, life has been magically intense these past few weeks & I'm looking for an escape - for just a short while. A respite from ever encroaching reality. As my funds are currently being gathered (listen for the rolling of coins) for the trip to Las Vegas, I am physically chained to this beautiful little corner of Northern Virginia.

I thought my forum mates might catalyze my imagination with their (tall) tales of adventure. Please don't be shy. I really don't expect the Adventures of Marco Polo. Anything will do.

Let's face it, anyone who has visited DisneyWorld/Land has at least thought of popping Mickey right in the cakehole. Raise your hand if you've driven through a safari park with Grandma Thelma and had a couple primates copulate on the hood of the SUV. Anita? Surely you have witnessed something like this? Or would you have already related it to the forum? :^)

-- Bingo1 (, July 05, 2000.

Our plane had landed and my mom had lost the coin toss: she had to drive the rental car the final leg to our destination. We had only been driving the car for 15 or 20 minutes and were still settling in for the long drive ahead. I was fumbling around in the passenger seat making sure maps, beverages and snacks were readily available while mom was commenting on the performance of the new car, a make and model she hadn't driven before. "Comfortable and quiet...bla, bla, bla...handles the curves nicely...bla, bla, bla... I can't believe we're only going 35 miles an hour, it seems so much faster...bla, bla, bla....."

Even though I was distracted by what I was doing the concept of 35 miles and hour didn't quite match the fact that the vineyards we were driving through were flying past in a blur. I looked over to the driver's side as she put the pedal to the metal and I instantly had visions of the car becoming airborne the minute we hit the next curve.

"Uh, mom...whatever you do, please DON'T try to hit've been reading the TACHOMETER!"

(Okay, so it wasn't a great adventure in the balmy tropics, or a hair-raising rescue from atop Mt. McKinley, but it's the best I have to offer at the moment to keep the thread going.)

-- LunaC (, July 05, 2000.

I'm basically a homebody, whose time off is measured these days in hours, rather than weeks, so I tend to take day trips. In the early spring and late fall, after the tourists have left, I enjoy visiting Amish Country -- Holmes and Wayne counties -- located about 80 miles northeast from Columbus, Ohio.

The 15 mile drive between Millersburg and Berlin (BURR-lin) changes each time I pass through. In the early morning in the spring, the road is covered with uneven shadows from the tall pines. The sun plays peak-a-boo as the road curves among the gentle, sloping hills, and occasional pockets of mist steam up from the road. I can easily imagine that I've stepped back in time to the late 1800s because there are few buildings along the route, only trees and meadows.

The illusion is maintained as I approach Berlin. On the right side of the road stands a weathered, wooden, off-white, two-story building. A faded sign reads: Rastetter Woolen Mill. I always stop. The Rastetter Mill is among the last of the family-owned woolen mills in the United States. Here, they spin and weave the wool brought in by the area farmers, mainly Amish and Mennonite, into woolen articles: gloves, blankets, socks, rugs. Most mornings, two or three Mennonite women, ranging in age from 17 to 50, will be at work at the looms in the back of the store. Their white bonnets are carefully pinned to their hair, while the strings hang down their backs. They wear homemade dresses in shades of blue or maroon, and running shoes from the Wal- Mart in Millersburg. Around them are shelves and racks full of woolen goods; the extra is stored upstairs. Sometimes area Amish families will arrive in their black buggies, and the language shifts from English to German. The Amish live without electricity, and wool blankets are necessary during the winter.

Several miles northeast of the mill is Heinis Cheese Chalet. Unlike Rastetter's, this establishment was remodeled into a faux Swiss Chalet, and a rather tacky one, at that. The blue and pink colored flowers on the front "porch" look like something from a 60s dayglo poster. But beyond the facade is a serious industry.

Each morning, Monday - Friday, Amish buggies pull up in back. The farmers sell their milk to Heinis, and the workers turn it into some of the best cheese I've ever eaten. Visitors can watch the process from a long, glasses-in hallway that overlooks the cheese vats. Amish men are frequently employed there. They wear beards but keep their upper lips shaved. While making cheese, they wear plastic bags over their head hair and beards, so the shaved upper lip stands out to me. They also wear blue gowns, which look something like hospital scrubs. Everyone works quickly once the process has started. Lazy workers wouldn't last here.

And then there are the slow drives down the back country roads. No pavement here. The woods have been cleared, for the most part, and neat, well-run farms, and occasional house, dot the countryside. I drive slowly: when cresting a hill it is easy not to see one of the black buggies, although in recent years, Holmes Country has demanded that orange triangles be displayed on the rear. Some Amish haven't complied -- they feel the symbol is vain, against God. It is a reminder to me of the encroachment of modern life on their way of living. I drive carefully. Many children ride bicycles on these backroads. Someday, I shall bring my bike up and ride here, too.

-- (, July 05, 2000.

Ok... I'll take shot at it, as long as CPR doesn't come in and tell me what a racist I am :-)

It's hard to come up with a vacation spot that is more beautiful than where I live, but this place is close... I wouldn't want to live there full time, but it's a great place to visit.

Run your search engines for Crater Lake and Diamond lake Oregon... I was right in between them at a place called Crescent Lake.

This is a place that has never been logged, and I'd bet that there is no more than a year round population of 500, absolutely pristine. The lake is 2 miles by 7 miles, and is at 5,000 ft. and is fed by the snow pack... can you say cold and clear? It has sand beaches, but by it's volcanic origins, rocky shores, and rocks that float.

This is a Boy Scout Camp, and I went there to visit a friend that was a cook for the summer... They feed and take care of 350 Boy Scouts each week, and we got the kitchen ready to go in 4 hrs, and now it's play time :-)

They have badges for Bow and arrow, Skeet shooting, Small arms, and the Polar Bear swim :-) They also have canoes and a ski boat... we played with all. The best part of the long weekend was the people I got to meet. It was the week before Staff week and all of the people there were volunteers... they were senior staff but there on their own time... I guess that was the best for me, I've never met a nicer bunch of people in one place in my life !!!

I guess I could go on about the nesting pair of Bald Eagles and their chicks by the camp, but I think you get the idea :-)

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), July 05, 2000.

Thank you all for taking the time to post. I had planned to write something myself but time is short lately. I'll try to cobble together an anecdote or two this afternoon.

kb, you are a fine writer. What wonderful pictures you've painted for us. I've spent time now and again in the Lancaster County, PA area which is heavily populated by Amish - and buck ($) chasers as well. You allowed me to visit there yet again, through your eyes. I thank you. Please write more for us, will you?

LunaC, so nice to see your handle! Surely Frank cannot be far behind! :^)

-- Bingo1 (, July 06, 2000.

My favorite destination is the Carribean, mostly the southern, eastern and western; I'm not that crazy about Bahama.

We took a trip to New Zealand, lovely country, laid back, easy. The women are hard to understand at first but you'll catch on that the e's as in legs are pronounced as "ee" as in leegs. Same with ea's, so bread is breed. Anyway, it's a beautiful place from the fiords to the glaciers, to the redwood forrests and hot springs, to the tropical forests to the north.

On our way back we made a stop at Tahiti, the armpit of mother earth, the trash heap of the Pacific. If you ever get a chance to go there, don't. Instead buy a crossiant, take it to the city dump and eat it there. You'll feel just the same as you had been in Tahiti and save yourself lots of time and money.

-- Maria (, July 06, 2000.

This assignment is too large for me, Bingo. We've traveled so extensively that it's blurred together at times. On occasion, we have mini-arguments about whether something was in Oslo or Copenhagen, etc. I'm thankful that the internet can quickly resolve those.

We've been to 3 out of 4 Disney theme parks, and I've never been tempted to harm the mouse. SO did a cultural thing while I took the kids to Euro-Disney. I guess he felt the same way as you. For myself, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to hear Donald Duck speak French. The kids had to pry me out of the cartoon room there. It WAS funny!

I'm enjoying the stories of others. Please keep them coming.

-- Anita (, July 06, 2000.

Excellent thread, Bingo. About the only thing I like better than traveling is reading other people's travel anecdotes. As Anita said, keep 'em comin'.

Also, like Anita mentioned, I've traveled extensively and wouldn't know where to begin if I were to start relating stories. (I definitely missed my "calling" when I failed to make travel my career.)

On our way back we made a stop at Tahiti, the armpit of mother earth, the trash heap of the Pacific. -Maria

Interesting comment, Maria, but I fear you may give people the wrong impression. My guess is you home based in or around "Papeete", the capital city on the island of "Tahiti". I would definitely agree with you that Papeete and surroundings are "a dump". But to say Tahiti in general is a dump would be equivalent to saying Honolulu is an accurate representation of Hawaii. In order to appreciate the "real" Tahiti you need to get out of the main island and spend your time on the out-islands such as Bora Bora or Moorea. This is where you'll find the true polynesian culture that hasn't yet been over-built, over-touristed or over-commercialized. This is where you'll find what I consider comes closest to a true paradise on earth.

A quick anecdote re: my vacation on Bora Bora. We met a local colorful character named "George". George is a European (French?) who had immigrated to the island years ago and who had at one time owned/operated the island's most famous restaurant, "Bloody Mary's". He is the ultimate "bullshitter" and has a non-stop repetoire of exaggerated stories which he loves to impress the tourists with. He took a liking to us and one night invited us to his house for a dinner of sea-turtle soup, an island delicacy. We accepted, had a great meal and laughed and drank to the wee hours. Good time had by all. The next day we related our experience to another island resident friend we had met. With a slight chuckle and a knowing smile, our friend told us it was extremely unlikely we had consumed a rather rare "sea-turtle soup George had aledgely "served" us. Without going into further detail, I am convinced to this day that sometime back in '90 or '91, I enjoyed an outstanding dinner consisting of another often consumed "delicacy" of Tahiti... Dog soup.


-- CD (, July 06, 2000.

We've traveled so extensively that it's blurred together at times.

Anita, this is the essence of a good travel tale. The blurring together of distant memories. Pick a place that knocked you out! Someplace where the people were  different. Smells of which your olfactory glands hold memories.

Example: I spent several days in Vancouver, British Columbia back in the mid-1980s, I think. While there I sought and found an out of the way Chinese eatery recommended by an acquaintance. The meal started with soup which smelled EXACTLY as if my nastiest pair of gym socks had been marinating in the broth for weeks. The single most nauseating food odor Ive ever been exposed to. Now being adventurous in those days (and also well lubricated) I ate the soup. It tasted better than it smelled. My olfactories will never allow me to forget that bowl of soup.

Then there was the night on Vancouver IslandI had reserved a dorm room at the University of B.C. outside of Victoria. Checked in mid- afternoon and meandered down to a pub about a mile or so away from the dorm. Started drinking this ale that was double the alcohol level of typical brew. Something like McCormicks 5.5.

Began a conversation with a guy seated near me who was twitching a lot. I asked him if he usually drank the same stuff I was drinking (nudge, nudge). Turns out the dude had been a lumberjack in Alberta and had experienced a serious fall. Lots of pain. Disabled for life. Nerve damage in his neck, back and legs. Fused vertebrae. Really nasty stuff. It was obvious the guy was a regular AND suffered from much abuse at the hands of other regulars.

Being one who usually sides with those who are down-trodden, I buddy up to him and for the next 8 or more hours we drank and shared stories. And got stinkin drunk. We closed the place. Now this guy somehow had a drivers license and offered to take me back up the hill to the dorms. What the hell, it was straight uphill for a mile or so. Sure, no problem.

We made it OK. There was a problem. I hadnt familiarized myself with the campus at all that afternoon. Now it was dark and I was stewed. There were many buildings, many dorm buildings. I was blind drunk. I had no chance of finding my room. Do I need to tell you I didnt make it back there until well after sunrise? Good thing for me it was a comfortable August evening and the grass was plush.

I'll save my three week odyssey in Amsterdam for another day. Heaven, I was in Heaven...

Thanks Maria. I have this picture in my mind of New Zealand being very green, rolling hills, clean, crisp air, populated with beautiful women of fair complexion. About right?

Hey CD, you HAVE to attend the gathering in LV, man. You hear me? I won't beg you. Really I won't. Please?

-- Bingo1 (, July 06, 2000.


Most beautiful place I've visited--San Francisco

Most fun place I've lived--Boston

Best all-around place I've lived--Madison, WI

Most impressive taxi drivers--London

Favorite region of US--New England

Second favorite region of US--Northern NM

Most dynamic city--New York City

Most attractive small town--Lexington VA

Miss Congeniality--Indianapolis

Most deja vu--Beacon Hill, Boston

Most hairy female legs--Germany

Most lah-dee-dah--Boulder CO

Most beautiful women--everywhere

-- Lars (, July 07, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ