Friday, June 11, 2010


On the one hand, this has nothing to do with writing, and on the other, it has everything to do with it.

I'm from Backwoods, Georgia, and until I was in college, I'd never traveled to any state except Florida, unless you count a trip to Minnesota my parents and my sister and I took when I was a baby. Since I don't remember it, it doesn't exactly count.

In college, I went to Nashville with a Gamma Beta Phi group, and the college professor who was with us took us to see the the Parthenon there. It was amazing to me. And it completely fueled my dreams to travel to the real Parthenon one day.

Since then, I've logged a few thousand miles -- I've been to DC, to Virginia, to Texas, to Alabama, to Florida again, and to China. I don't count the layover in San Francisco as anything but that. However, I can tell you that when you've been flying 18 hours with a new baby, the Golden Gate Bridge looks gorgeous from an airplane window.

Still, there is so much of this country that I have yet to see. The Husband's job and my dayjob don't lend themselves to long vacations or the money to fund them. Too, with a kid, it's hard to take advantage of those last-minute-grab-your-suitcase-and-go deals.

But travel to me is the ultimate writer's education. Being under a different swath of sky, standing, literally, in another person's footsteps, gives you insight you're not going to get from The Travel Channel.

Some time ago, I created my PTSBIC list -- Places To See Before I Croak.

Here are a few in no particular order -- why, yes, I DO have the Niagra Falls on there. Don't laugh.

1) NYC
2) DC with The Kiddo
3) Philadelphia
4) Springfield/Chicago
5) The Grand Canyon
6) Mt. Rushmore
7) The Caribbean
8) The Bahamas
9) Paris
10) London
11) San Francisco
12) Yellowstone
13) Follow Lewis & Clark’s route
14) Boston
15) Niagra Falls
16) Italy – Rome
17) China with The Kiddo
18) Denver
19) Trip that Tess Gerritsen took to Turkey
20) Greece/Athens
21) The Pyramids
22) Trip down the Mississippi

This is just a few ... but tell me, where do you want to go to feed your Writer's Soul? Or what other great spots need to be on my PTSBIC list?


Piedmont Writer said...

Of course I used to live there so I have to say Rhode Island. Downtown Providence is absolutely historically gorgeous, with all the museums and the River Walk. Then there's Newport, nothing like the Mansions and the shiny ocean side by side. Cross over two bridges through some fabulous farm country and you're in Narragansett which has the most incredible beaches. You also can't go wrong with any of the restaurants in the state, they're all about seafood.

Gee, can you tell I'm homesick?

Lola Sharp said...

I have always been a bit of a wanderlust gypsy. I've been (or even lived) to everywhere on your list (plus many more, including several places in Mexico, and Canada, and Jamaica, and I'm leaving next week for the last state in the U.S. that I've never been to: Maine)
except your #'s 16, 17, 19, 20, and 21. (They're all on my list, though.) I've also never been to Spain, Australia, New Zealand... they're all on my list.
If I had a lot of money, I'd travel constantly (staying in 5 star hotels, naturally ;).

I hope you get to visit all the pre-croak places you wish to visit.

Happy Friday! :)

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

We have some of the same places! Although my list is a lot shorter than yours. I have been fortunate to do a lot of traveling (before DD came along anyway). Throughout the entire U.S. and internationally. Still more I want to explore..

Mia said...

I've been to 46-ish states, so the only places I'd like to visit in America are Alaska and Hawaii (of course). But I would love to travel all over Europe. I've been to a few places in Europe (well, I sort of live here, soo...), but I haven't had much of a chance to travel. Greece, Italy, France, London... *sigh* Someday.

Stephanie said...

You're welcome to come visit anytime, stay with me, and see Niagara Falls. It's a stunning sight :)

Linda G. said...

Let me know when you come to D.C. with the kiddo. We can get together and gossip--er, I mean, share heartwarming stories--about Tawna. Bring fried chicken. ;)

Tawna Fenske said...

Hubby and I are lucky enough to have jobs that DO lend themselves to travel (and family connections to the travel industry that have allowed us to do so very inexpensively). We know we're extremely blessed to have seen as much of the world as we have, but we're always itching to see someplace new!

Since I notice NYC is on your list, and since we're both tentatively planning to hit RWA nationals there next summer, could that FINALLY be our opportunity to meet up in person?!?!?!


Elizabeth Ryann said...

Ooh...I think you should definitely add Venice and New Orleans to your list. They're both pretty unique, and small enough that you can pretty much see everything in a couple days.

My problem is that I've been to a number of places on my list, but I love them so much that I just keep wanting to go back. Which makes it harder to expand and finally get out to other worthy places like Australia or even Hawaii.

Lickety Splitter said...

I've only traveled a bit more than you. I've been to London, Chicago, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Nevada, Arizona.

You must go to Vegas (before they run out of water) and to New Orleans. I loved both of those. Vegas was great, lots to see and do. New Orleans is a culture all of its own which no southerner or anyone else should shun for any reason, and I have been many times. I met a guy in a pool hall when I first visisted New Orleans (at the grand old age of 19), and we have been friends ever since. The locals (not the gangstas) are immensely engaging and very hospitable.

Lickety Splitter said...

egads at the typo ... I keep telling myself I will reread my comments before posting them, but I never do.

Cynthia Reese said...

Anne, yes, I definitely want to see The Mansions ... it's on my much longer PTSBIC list.

Lola, my dream is to stay in five star hotel suites on a year long globetrot ... sigh.

Elizabeth, I figured I'd better concentrate on the US before I hopped overseas some more.

Mia, I am SO jealous. I want to be able to say I've been to all 50 states.

Stephanie! Squee! I miss you! And yes, I would definitely like you to take me on a Niagra Falls tour!

Linda G, deal!

Tawna, when we're in NYC, we'll gossip about Linda G, okay?

Elizabeth, yes, yes, yes, I want a gondola ride in the worst way, and I lumped in The Big Easy with my riverboat tour of the Mighty Mississip. I've actually crossed over the Mississippi when I visited Memphis, so I guess I can count Arkansas -- although, all I saw in it was a Wal-Mart. On second thought, that's sort of ironic, isn't it?

Lickety Splitter, oh, yeah, I figured I'd take in Vegas when I saw the Grand Canyon -- and I want to see the Hoover Dam. I just want to see the lights of Vegas ... no gambler, me.

Patty Blount said...

Wow, I don't know where to start.
Italy - my family's Italian. I'd like to see where it all began.

England - I've read so many wonderful stories set there, I need to visit.

I'd like to see the Grand Canyon, too.

And California.

If you and Tawna ever make it to NYC, you HAVE TO call me. Long Island's only an hour away.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I need to make a list, too. I'm always putting it off. But I'd love to go to Italy, Sweden, England, Ireland. AND I'd like to visit Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian. Now see what you did, I've started the list and can't stop. :0)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I haven't traveled so much as lived in a lot of places, and mostly as an adult. I hadn't really thought of it, but I do draw upon that in my writing. Someday I want to retire to write in the mountains of Colorado - we lived for a few years literally in the Rocky Mountain National Forest and it was the most magical place I've ever lived.

If you come to Chicago, drop me a line and I will show you around. If you go to Springfield, you MUST take the Kiddo to see the Lincoln museum - it is a very modern museum and fantastically well done.

My one aching travel desire is to go to Italy - I've traveled all over the U.S. but only ventured outside our borders to go to Mexico and Canada and Jamaica.

Cynthia Reese said...

Patty, you're on for the NYC visit -- it's amazing, I can travel 60 miles down here in an hour, but I suspect that the travel time in NY is a bit longer for such a distance!

Kathi, I've been to the Smithsonian (several of the museums) but I want to go back and poke along to take it all in. The Lincoln Memorial was just as magical on my second visit to DC as it was the first time. I just want to share it all with The Kiddo.

Susan, you're on about Chicago -- The Husband is an EXTREME Lincoln fan, and the reason Springfield is on our list is b/c of that. I am rather intrigued by Abe myself. The Husband keeps growling that I keep putting off the Springfield trip.

And Patty and Susan, during my wanderlust web crawling as I was first drawing up my PTSBIC list, I found an apartment that several of us could rent for a week in Italy -- I really think THAT's the way to go! One day ... ah, yes. Off to find oil under those petunias!

out of the wordwork said...

How's about we all meet up in NYC? Only been once and it was as fabulous as I imagined it. And you know if you ever come to the Great White North Stephanie and I would be whisking you away from Niagara Falls (it is breathtaking)for a quick visit to Toronto. I'd even put up with another trip up the CN Tower for you! My son never gets tired of it anyway!

As for my dream trip list - British Columbia-Rocky Mountains, Greece, England, France (especially the south of France), California, Hawaii, Australia ... sigh. I fear 3 kids going to college, major reno and not enough months in the year will make me whittle down that list...

Cynthia Reese said...

Squee! Nelsa! Wonderful idea! Now I've got to figure out where to get the moolah!

Anonymous said...

If I'd been drinking my coffee when I read the ending I'd be wearing it write now.... "before I croak" ROFL

I actually dream of living in different places for months at a time. I love the thought of exploring how other people live day to day.

prashant said...

You also can't go wrong with any of the restaurants in the state, they're all about seafood.
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