Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Random Question Day

Maven Darcy BurkeHappy Wednesday MaveFaves! Ever have a day (heck, a week) where focus is just beyond you? Maybe you're gearing up for a vacation or, heaven forbid, you're sick. How about Spring Fever? I'm having that kind of week. I sat down to write a post and got about halfway through it before my focus wavered and then completely deserted me.

Because I lack focus today and wonder if it might just be something in the air, I thought it best to keep things short and sweet today. Let's do something fun!

Where's your favorite place in the world outside of where you live? Be specific. Why is it your favorite place? When was the last time you were there? When do you plan to go back?

I'll go first. And I'm also going to cheat by naming two places. One, which you might laugh at is Disneyland. The crossroads of New Orleans Square, Adventureland, and Frontierland to be exact. It's a great place to sit because you can hear the music from the treehouse, the music from New Orleans Square and you can see the Rivers of America, Pirates of the Caribbean, and in the distance, the Haunted Mansion. Yeah, I'm a kid at heart. Disneyland is my Happy Place.

The other place I'm going to mention is one of the amazing places I visited during my trip to Great Britain in October of 1999. Over two weeks I visited London, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, south Wales (my great-aunt and great-uncle live in Cardiff, which is where my grandmother was born), and the West Country. One of the most beautiful places I saw was Tintern Abbey in Wales.

Tintern Abbey was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1131. Under Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, the abbey was surrendered to the king in September of 1536. The remaining buildings are simply breathtaking, if not a bit overwhelming in their sheer size. I look forward to going back and simply sitting amidst the ruins, and contemplating...whatever comes to mind.

12 comments:

Amanda said...

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland. The first time I went there by myself, I was 21 years old and in the beginning of my relationship with my dh. The last time was last year with my son and daughter, husband was out of town. I could wander the halls of Stirling for hours and not get tired or bored. Not so for my 7 and 4 year old, but it was still a good stop. Oh, and Wallace Monument nearby has some of the most wonderful views. (Sigh) I miss Scotland.

MsHellion said...

I would LOVE to go to Stirling. LOVE it.

Okay, place I've actually been...oh: Grand Cayman. Easily would go there again in a blink if I could. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous...and Hell is located there. I love the notoriety of it. Oh, and Tortuga Rum rocks. Last time (only time) I was there: May 2001.

Boston, Mass is my second choice. I love the Revolutionary War stuff...and Boston is the heart of it for me. February 2004 is when I was there...would love to go again when it's nicer and can walk and see more.

Erica Ridley said...

Too many to name! My fave country is probably Costa Rica--sooo beautiful. My fave city: Madrid. Love it. My fave building... hard to call, but probably il Duomo in Milan. My fave cafe: unquestionably, Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon. Mmm. I'm getting fatter just thinking about it...

Kendra said...

I know why you can't concentrate!

I love Hawaii. We frequently go to a resort on Kauai that has a lovely beach front. Give me a thick novel, a drink, warm sun, no kids, and a beautiful view and I'm happy.

Bill Clark said...

simply sitting amidst the ruins, and contemplating

Been there, done that! Pretending to be Wordsworth, of course. I think even then I knew I wanted to be a writer, not just a teacher of literature.

Favorite place: Canterbury. Whan that Aprille, and all that. It was amazing how much at home I felt there as a 15-year-old schoolboy. Years later, I learned an ancestor of mine had emigrated in the 1630s to help found my then home town of Concord, MA - talk about a small world!

Guess Jung was on to something with his "racial memory" stuff - sure was true in my case!

Marnee Jo said...

I loved the Northeast. Maine, Vermont. The mountains and the history of it. Loved it.

And I would have to say my hometown. Something about it grounds me, makes me really look inside. Of course, I say this as someone who has moved away. LOL!

Darcy Burke said...

Amanda, I went to Stirling on that trip! Unfortunately it wasn't as memorable as I would've liked because on the way to Stirling (as we were leaving Edinburgh actually), we were side-swipped by a bus. (Yes, I was "brave" enough to drive a rental car.) The good news was that it was already damaged in that area so the rental company was pretty much, "meh." Still, I sweated it because the bus driver refused to give me his "details" claiming it was my fault! Uh, I was just sitting there. Granted, I probably should have been moving, but I'd been driving on the wrong side of the road/car for about ten minutes at that point and we were trying to find our way out of town. I do remember eating a jacket potato at Stirling. Actually now that I think about it, I remember more than that. Didn't visit the massive Wallace monument, but it's impressive.

Mshellion, I read that first as Grand Canyon! I haven't been to the Caribbean. Would love to go. Also haven't been to Boston, which is a crying shame because I love Revolutionary War history. Anyone else loving the John Adams series on HBO?

E, you've told us about that Portuguese bakery enough that now I'm> dying to go there!

Kendra is going to Hawaii next week. Help me put the hate on her. ;-)

Bill, that's interesting. I felt very comfortable in the UK, especially in Wales and in the West Country (Glastonbury to be exact). I also felt eerily at home in Virginia, like I'd been there before. And then there's the time I visited a plantation in Louisiana (the "White Castle") outside New Orleans. It was built by a judge I think in 1869. There was a portrait in one of the main living areas of a young woman that drew my attention. As I stood there staring at it, someone came up behind me and said, "You look like her." Wow did that give me goosebumps.

Marnee Jo, as much as I love to travel and see new places, there's no place like home.

Christine Koehler said...

There are a LOT of really great and specific places here. Scotland rocks, and I plan on getting back there sometime soon. I've always wanted to visit Costa Rica, and I really love the English and Spanish countryside.

Mine choice is generic. The beach. Any beach. If it's warm, all the better. And if I can sit on a house's deck and write, I'm in heaven!

Amanda said...

I think that Wallace monument stays with me because it was an overcast day and I saw a full rainbow from the top. That against the backdrop of the Scottish landscape green and lush. Oh, be still my beating heart. Gorgeous.

The water in Jamaica is also awesome. The color that rich blue green and the peacefulness. If I hadn't just got back from living abroad I'd be hopping a place to some destination. I'm kinda bummed that I didn't visit Wales now while I lived in England.

lacey kaye said...

Must. Have. Greece.

Jackie Barbosa said...

Man, I've been such a flake this week! I swear, I'll be back on the wagon again very soon.

I love this question, but it's a hard one for me to answer. I've been fortunate to do a lot of traveling over my lifetime, both inside and outside the States, and there are almost too many places I love for me to mention.

That said, if I had to pick a top 5 (I can't go less than that!), I'd say:

1) Tolo, a beach town in the Pelopponese where we stayed in 2004

2) Zihautanejo, Mexico (who doesn't like swimming in the ocean until 10pm in December?)

3) London, England (dude, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral--need I go on?)

4) Rome, Italy (dude, the Forum, the Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, the fountains, etc. etc. etc.)

5) Um...okay, I confess, I like the exactly the same corner of Disneyland you do. It gives me goosebumps. I'm a sucker, what can I say?

And Darcy--the John Adams series!!!! Swoon! It's so fabulous. (But thank God for On Demand. Otherwise, we'd never get to see it!)

Eamon said...

Tintern Abbey is, also, a well-known poem by Wordsworth (had to study it to get into university):

FIVE years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur. -- Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.

(and more ...)

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