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Top Ten: Summer Travel Destinations

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For me, summer is officially 1 1/2 hours old, as I just picked up my kids on their last day of school. And in those 1 1/2 hours I have already planned two getaways. Bring on the summer!

Seeing that I’ve been compiling a list of travel fantasies in my head anyway, I thought I’d share my Top Ten Travel Destinations. Some are perfectly exotic, and some, I’m not going to lie, make the list because of a mega bead store in the area.

10. Greek Isles. This has long been my on my Travel To Do List. I’ve heard that Greece is blue and white. Ultra-blue sky and sea, along with white-washed houses. Yep. I can do that!

9. Prague, Czech Republic. One of my brothers lives in Prague so I don’t get to see him much. Prague is also packed with incredible architecture, pastries and beer. And it’s the grand manufacturing mecca of what? You got it: Czech Glass Beads.

8. Tanzania. The only mountain I ever want to climb is Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa’s Tanzania. You can have all the Alps and Himalayas and Rockies, I just want this one. I think it must be the idea of savanna sweeping up to a snow-capped peak, but this one mountain has bewitched me.

7. Mitchell, Nebraska. Home of Brown Sheep Company, a down-to-earth, family run yarn spinning mill. They also make a rainbow of Technicolor single-ply wool yarn, all with reasonable price tags. Love those guys!

6. India. I could write post after post about why I want to go to India. Spice markets, silk sari fabric, brass bells and trinkets, curry, mango groves, elephants, sandal treks, Madras cotton, incense, chai, pools, palms, mendhi designs, hot sun and tea fields. And I’d have no less than five meals (of Indian food!) a day.

5. Thailand. I am one of those people who may go bamboo someday. Going bamboo is a term for those travelers that visit some tropical spot, and never go home again. Now for the next twenty-five years, I am quite committed to my family, my husband’s career, my real-life responsibilities, my church, etc. But after that: I don’t know. I think I could see myself as one of those people living a Margaritaville life. I’d have few obligations and I’d create little fuss for others. And I think I could really go bamboo in Thailand. Just my husband and me in a little beach hut. Actually, we should probably get two little beach huts. So we don’t kill each other.

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4. Spain. I went to Spain when I was fourteen, and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. The culture there is my speed and I just love Spain’s ancient-but-hip-and-trendy Crossroads vibe. I would go to the Alhambra again (and appreciate it much more this time!) and of course Costa del Sol for more beach-sitting. The next time I go I will make it to Barcelona and bask in some Gaudi-love, and check on his Sagrada Familia cathedral’s slow progress. I will enjoy tapas and its nightlife-centric culture. And I will also soak up Spain’s confident style. When I was there, I bought a pair of shorts that would be cool right now (twenty years later!). They were black mid-length cotton shorts with a high-waist and a white rope belt. Cute, cute. Americans are woefully sloppy and I need a lesson or two in Spanish style, I’m afraid. So I best go.

3. Springer Mountain, Georgia. Start of the Appalachian Trail. Now get walking.

2. Napa Valley. All my dearest friends have heard me go on and on about someday taking a bike tour through Napa Valley. I can’t imagine a better bike. And I can’t imagine a better biking destination than a winery. (When my husband and I bike through country and corn fields, I hop off my bike at the crossroads where we stop to rest and say, “You know what would be perfect right now? A glass of chardonnay!” Pretty blue skies over quiet farmland can be improved only by a glass of wine, I’m quite sure. To this he always says something like, “That’s the last thing your body needs right now.”

1. La Casa Azul, Mexico City, Mexico. Home of my beloved Frida Kahlo. Kahlo lived her whole life in La Casa Azul (The Blue House) and it has been preserved since her death, housing her art and effects. She had an artistic style that is like no other: surrealistic and self-centered and raw. She was a crazy girl and I’d love nothing more than to sit on the curb in front of her house and eat helado. Yikes.

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All of these plans are for other summers. This summer I will catch some White Sox games, and tube down a river in Indiana, and visit South Carolina’s coast and laze in Wisconsin farmland.

Should be perfect.