1. Enjoy cocktails on the African plain- this is one of my favorite memories of my trip to South Africa. We were parked on the African plain watching the sun go down behind the mountains. The sky was a wonderful shade of pink and our new favorite South African wine, Pinotage was just perfect. As we sat savoring the day and all of the amazing things we had seen, two giraffes emerged from the bush and sauntered by. It was just icing on the cake and quickly became a treasured memory.
2. Walk across a live runway while crossing an international border-There is only once place in the world that you can do this, Gibralter. Still a matter of contention between Spain and England, it remains a British possession and the only way to enter it by land is to cross a live runway. Traffic lights let you know when it is safe to cross. As we stood waiting we watched a plane arrive. It was an interesting experience.
3. Eat a frankfurter in Frankfurt-This just seemed like a really fun thing to do, so we did it. It was really good! There are just some things that you have to do.
4. Stand in the room where William Shakespeare was born-As a voracious reader and a lover of Shakespeare, this was a moving moment for me. Anytime that I can reach out and touch history, I feel emotional. I could imagine him toddling around the room, totally unaware of the remarkable contributions he would give to the world.
5. Run the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum like Rocky-Not an easy task, I assure you. Take time at the top to savor the view down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Then enter this beautiful building and spend some time in this world renowned Museum which hosts wonderful exhibits from all over the world. (I am local so I love to see the tourists as they recreate the Rocky scene, makes me chuckle every time.)
6. See the amazing gardens in Keukenhof, the Netherlands-This is arguably the most amazing floral display in the world. It is only open 10 weeks a year when the bulb growers of the Netherlands all gather and try to out each other with there massive displays of tulips, daffodils, crocuses and other bulb plants. It is just gorgeous and their creativity knows no bounds. It is truly a unique experience that every one should do once.
7. Sit and experience the Northern Lights-As a child, I lived far enough north that I experienced the Aurora Borealis with some regularity. I really took it for granted until I moved south and never saw them again. They are visible in so many wonderful northern destinations like Alaska, parts of northern Canada, Iceland and the Nordic countries in the fall and winter. They are just incredible to watch and I hope to do it again in the not too distant future.
8. Stroll the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown-The largest Chinatown outside of China offers so many great little shops for every pocketbook and Chinese restaurants galore. The one we chose was a rooftop restaurant. It was not exceptional but the setting was with great views of the city and the water. After lunch, we poked around in the shops and brought home some real bargains. Plan to do again in the future.
9. Whale Watch off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts-I never tire of this amazing trip and I wish I had $5.00 for every person that I sent to Captain John and Sons Whale Watching tour in Plymouth. They go out twice a day, morning and afternoon for four hours. I have never been disappointed and have seen some spectacular things, like a Fin whale breaching which is extremely rare. But mostly, it is the Humpbacks that do all of the entertaining. They slap there enormous fins against the water and roll over on their backs and sunbathe. I swear that they people watch as much as we whale watch.
10. Walk the beautiful beaches and wonderful boardwalks of New Jersey-The much maligned state of New Jersey has some of the loveliest beaches on the East Coast. From the Victorian splendor of Cape May at the states southernmost point, to the retro architecture of the Wildwoods, to the glitzy bright lights of Atlantic city and all the little beach towns in between, you will enjoy a marvelous beach vacation on Jersey's coast. The boardwalk's offer great entertainment and every kind of food imaginable not to mention souvenirs! I visit at least once every year to feel the warm New Jersey sand between my toes.