Happy Thursday, everyone!
Today is a great day. I'm on vacation (after 7 hours on a plane to get here) and so I have plenty of time to think. It's also my brother's birthday, so you should all wish him a happy birthday. Just kidding. :)
In honor of the fact that I am now in Idaho, I'm going to write my Thursday Thirteen about 13 places I have been. As I've mentioned before, I love to travel.
1) Hilton Head, South Carolina
We went here as a senior in high school for our senior trip. Priceless memories.... crazy memories, including a 17 hour van ride where our chaperone blasted the heat as high as it would go when he got upset with us. The beaches there were the prettiest beaches I have ever seen!
I've been to Singapore 3 times - 2005, 2006, and 2009. It's a beautiful city nation. I find it to be a little too hot, but still very nice. By a little too hot, it's right on the equator, and it's between 80 and 100 degrees ALL THE TIME! And sooo very humid! I love it though, especially because that's where my babies are. :)
3) Orlando, Florida
When I was 6, my family drove to Florida over Christmas break. I think it took us 3 days each way of driving? Maybe only 2. Once there, we went to Disney World and Epcot! This was really exciting! We didn't do a lot of big vacations, but that one was definitely a highlight!
4) San Francisco, California
In 2002, I went on a vacation to San Francisco both to see the area and visit friends who had moved out there. They had been my campus pastors in college, and since I had finished school but couldn't start full-time teaching until the fall, it was the perfect chance to go. That was my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean! We also went to Monterrey, Carmel, Pebble Beach, etc.
5) Hamilton, Alabama
This is a very unique place as well. But I love it. I love the people there, I love the Ramp, and I love just the atmosphere of the place. There are several little stores that are fun to look in. Really, I think it's mostly that I love the people and the Ramp down there!
When I was 8, my family and I went to Africa to visit my mom's twin sister and family. We flew into South Africa, but mainly spent time in Botswana. One dramatic story from that trip is chronicled here, but there were many more fun times, memories, and more!
7) Charlevoix, MI
Northern Michigan is beautiful! I grew up spending many summer breaks up in the Traverse City area where my Grandma had a home. But in more recent years, I went twice with a GREAT group of friends to Charlevoix. We rented two big houses, one on a beach and one on a golf course. They were the "quiet house" and the "beach house." Sleep was not something we did much of, but movies, food, luaus, and endless Uno games were the norm. Because it was through a church group, we also had worship services, Bible studies, discussions around the bonfires, etc. Love it and would love to go back!
I put this on almost jokingly.... my aunt lives outside of Chicago. We go almost once a year and NEVER GO INTO THE CITY! I'm the only one in my family who seems to think we should. I mean, we've gone maybe twice? When we're like 15 minutes away? Really?
My cousin and his family live in Pennsylvania, so I go occasionally to visit. Other than spending time in their home, I love Presque Isle, which is a beach on Lake Erie.
As I've written about before, in 2004 I went to Europe. Paris was sooo beautiful!
11) Sandusky, Ohio
Home of Cedar Point, America's Roller Coast! I love Cedar Point and riding all the roller coasters. My favorite is probably the Maverick or the Raptor. But the Dragster and Millenium Force and Magnum are incredible as well!
Same trip as Paris, I loved seeing the Alps, riding to Mt. Pilatus, and taking a boat cruise to see more of the area. Not to mention, there was lots of great shopping. One of my favorite memories from this whole trip was a fondue restaurant we went to with live folk dancing and music.
Highlights of the Germany trip were Neuschwanstein Castle, the Black Forest, and Munich. It's a beautiful country full of friendly people!