Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska (July, 2015)

While You Are There: Hike. And try not to get eaten by a bear. And if you make it back to Homer, enjoy the restaurants on the spit.

Why It’s On My List: Everything I saw in Alaska was stunning, but this park has the added bonuses of having to take a water taxi (or plane) to get there and having to a use a hand tram, which is really heavy and difficult to pull, to get across parts of trails. The water taxi driver dumped me off at the trail head and basically said “Good luck, I’ll meet you at the pickup point at 5pm.” And then I was off into the wilderness. You have to figure out where the pickup point is and how much time you are going to need to get there. And, of course, the glacier views were magnificent.

For this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I’ve decided to showcase 26 of my favorite places in the world. I’ve only been to 22 of the 196 countries, so I’ve got some more travelling to do, but these places are well worth a visit.

Bessastaðir, the Icelandic Presidential Residence (March, 2013)

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While You Are There: Well, you didn’t come to Iceland just to see the presidential palace, did you? Here’s all the awesome stuff we crammed into a five day trip. Blue Lagoon, Northern Lights & seafood dinner tour, the penis museum, Seljalandsfoss, SkógafossReynisdrangar, Gullfoss, Geysir geothermal field, Sólheimajökull glacier, Reynisfjara, Viking horses, elves, great food, and too many people trying to teach us to say Eyjafjallajökull.

Why It’s On My List: Two reasons (1) The novelty factor. How wild is it that you can take a tourist bus right up to the president’s house? There are no gates, walls, security. Our tour guide kindly requested that we not go up the driveway to the house out of respect for his privacy, but that’s all. (2) Because I didn’t have room for anything else from Iceland on this list but the whole country is a wonderful, magical novelty. Go now! From Denver (and I’m assuming a lot of other cities) you can have a free layover in Iceland if you fly Iceland Air, so no excuses! Also, their flight attendants are the most fun. Sorry, Southwest.

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The delightful flight attendant who kept us well supplied with booze on the red-eye and my awesome friend Krissi who didn’t cancel our travel plans despite a horrific knee injury.

 

For this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I’ve decided to showcase 26 of my favorite places in the world. I’ve only been to 22 of the 196 countries, so I’ve got some more travelling to do, but these places are well worth a visit.

Tanka, July 11, Homer

no road leads to this

remote Alaska, carved by

nature, tamed by none.

we traverse in awe, then fall

silent and still at the source

 

Memories of a trip to Alaska, told in tanka. Tanka follow a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. The middle line serves as a turning point, so that if you read just the first three lines, there is a different tone than if you read just the last three lines.

Tanka, July 5, Whittier

forward through the sound

backward through the mercury

I button my coat

yet widen my eyes, to earth,

our past told in blue strata

 

Memories of a trip to Alaska, told in tanka. Tanka follow a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. The middle line serves as a turning point, so that if you read just the first three lines, there is a different tone than if you read just the last three lines.