Here’s the last installment in this series. My memory of all our trips has just about given out. I hope you find some places you might enjoy visiting.
The Great Lakes – Our sail started in Duluth, Minnesota and went through four of the freshwater lakes mostly on the Canadian side. We saw a bit of Lake Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario, as well as the rivers and channels which connect them.
We had stops at Thunder Bay, Mackinac Island with its storied mansion and spectacular views of Niagara Falls on the Canadian side.
You can follow the path of the great lakes to the St. Lawrence River through all of the eastern Canada and right into the Atlantic Ocean.
For us, the cruise ended in Toronto and was a most enjoyable treat.
Hearst Castle will rival any European castle, and it’s right here about half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Hard to imagine one man built this opulent estate with an indoor swimming pool and its own zoo. There are three tours to see this extravaganza.
Japan – We had a short land tour of Japan and liked what we saw, so we took a cruise around the whole island.
We’d been to Tokyo before—an amazing overcrowded city. On this trip we started out in Yokohama and headed south. We saw some truly spectacular gardens and had stops at Hiroshima and a port town in South Korea.
It was an enjoyable way to see more of Japan.
Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine – A true delight in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. We started with a bike trip in Vermont, and the colors were already changing. We kind of circled the area around Stowe and enjoyed it all including the stop at Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream headquarters.
Then it was back in the car and headed to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The scenery is beautiful everywhere. The highlight for us in New Hampshire was a visit to the Toland Sand Glass Studio. He specializes in colorful prisms and it was fascinating to see how he creates and produces his beautiful glass sculptures.
Maine was something of a surprise. Bar Harbor and the coastal towns were picturesque and charming. The biggest surprise was Acadia National Park—what a treat. It is 49,000 acres of islands, lakes and coastal shoreline. A great place to bike or hike and a wonderful place to visit!
Egypt – We were in Alexandria on a USAID assignment and got a chance to visit Cairo a few times. The traffic and the reckless speed of the cab drivers is unbelievable. People living in the cemeteries are hard to fathom!
The pyramids outside of the city are a must to see and visit and the Cairo Museum is a huge wonder. The King Tut Exhibit was colorful and well organized. The rest of the huge museum is filled with priceless antiques, all scattered about with no organization or order.
After our five-week assignment concluded, we got to take a cruise down the Nile where we visited Luxor, the Aswan Dam, the Valley of the Kings, and Abu Simbel, a thousand-year-old temple carved into a mountain that had to be moved to make way for the dam.
What a fabulous trip!
Down south in Charleston and Savannah – Charm and history just oozes out of both cities. Savannah is built around a series of squares with good restaurants in old manor houses. You can even sit on the bench where Forrest Gump talked about his mama’s chocolates.
Charleston is a whole different kind of city with houses you enter from the side and a bay where the opening shots in the Civil War were fired. It is home to the Citadel, the oldest Jewish Temple in America and well preserved Southern architecture.
Visiting both is a great vacation trip.
Sicily – An Italian island filled with great ruins and remains from a rich history. It’s a rewarding seven or eight-day destination.
Morro Bay, California – Sometimes called the Gibraltar of the Pacific, the Bay is dominated by the picturesque Morro Rock. Just 12 miles north of San Luis Obispo, which is a delightful town by itself. Half of the town’s area is water and open for kayaking, beaches and home to the annual avocado and mango festival.
Brazil – Rio de Janeiro is the popular attraction in this big diversified country, home to famous Ipanema Beach and the Christ statue on the mountain. The highlight for us was Salvador de Bahia, a coastal city about 200 miles north of Rio. It was the port of entry for the slaves of West Africa and maintains a rich history of many colored houses and the emancipated slaves.
Another highlight is Manaus, a city of two million with its own opera house. It is also the gateway city to the Amazon and a look at how people are still living on the river as they have for hundreds of years.
The visual of seeing the brown Amazon and black Negro rivers where they actually meet is quite a picture.
New Zealand – A great country with great scenery and great friendly people. The north and south islands both offer a wide panorama of beautiful sites. The parks and trees of Christchurch and the snow-covered mountains around Queensland are terrific sites.
San Francisco – Wow! So much to see and do! The Golden Gate Bridge, Embarcadero, Union Square, Chinatown, the great museums, the cable cars, fabulous food, major league sports—you can’t get tired of visiting.
Seattle and Chicago – Two very different but great cities to visit. Seattle has Pike’s Fish Market and the gateway to Mt. Rainier. Chicago, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, has some of the best museums and both cities have on/off buses/trolleys which offer great, easy-to-use city tours at reasonable prices. They’re available in most major cities in America and Europe.
That about wraps up this series of The Photographs In My Mind. I hope some of my memories stimulated you to put some of these destinations on your travel list. I enjoyed visiting them and remembering them with you has been enjoyable, too.