Tag Archives: The Vatican

There Is Not Much Quite Like

27 Feb

While walking on the treadmill, I started thinking about how lucky I have been. That luck has come in numerous ways, but I was specifically thinking about travel. My mind went to some of the great places I have visited and the great sights I have seen.

There is not much quite like…

drinking wine in the chateau of Inglenook Vineyards.Honeymoon 016

catching the sun set over the buttes of Monument Valley.West 2010 232

hearing the water break on the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

leaving an offering at the grave of Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood, South Dakota.

watching the Potomac River flow behind George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon.

feeling the power of water rushing over Niagara Falls.

zip-lining through the trees of north Georgia.

climbing the mesa at Ghost Ranch and looking the landscape often painted by Georgia O’Keefe.SONY DSC

sitting on the porch of the Old Faithful Lodge and watching buffalo roam through the geysers.

lying in the grass of Jackson Square and eating a beignet from Cafe Du Monde.

floating down the Rhine River and looking at the castle ruins passing by.

staring at the presidential faces of Mount Rushmore.

playing Blackjack at a Las Vegas table and watching the chips come and go.

touring Graceland and seeing The Outlaw Josey Wales playing in the TV Room.

hanging out on a beach in Cancun and watching my stepdaughter play volleyball.Cancun - Volleyball

strolling through the Vatican and trying to get a glimpse of the pope.

reading a book by a pool in Costa Rica.

climbing a waterfall in Jamaica.

being mesmerized by the killer whales and bald eagles in Glacier Bay.

dancing to “Me and Mrs. Jones” in a nightclub in Chicago.

standing in silence at the bombing memorial in Oklahoma City.SONY DSC

trying to see the tops of the Giant Sequoia in California.

driving through Hereford, Texas and passing thousands of head of cattle.

betting on Jai Alai in Florida.

lounging on the couch and watching television with my wife.

Listeria – Wonders of the World

25 Jul

Before this post officially begins, there is something that needs to be cleared up. I started the “Listeria” series a long time ago as a way to explore our fascination with lists. Since that original post, I have covered the best places in New Mexico; the greatest guitarists of all time; some of the best places to travel; the greatest cowboy stars; the fastest gunfighters; Nashville’s best restaurants; and the best movies of all time. At no point during that time did I know that Listeria is a serious disease. I think I first heard about it on CNN.

Now, I am stuck. Do I change the name because it brings to mind something terrible? Or, do I keep the name that has become a well-known brand? You know, Coca-Cola didn’t change their name because they took cocaine out of their product. It seems to have worked for them, so I’ll stick with it.

This edition of “Listeria” comes to us from the people at LIFE, which only puts out these special publications because their magazine didn’t make it. This one is called Wonders of the World: 50 Must-See Natural and Man-Made Marvels. However, there is a problem, only 41 of them can be seen because the other 9 either don’t exist anymore, are in space or are in the unreachable depths of the ocean.

Out of the 41 that are obtainable by ordinary humans, I have visited the following.

The Colosseum – It was cool because it was just like a modern stadium. Entrance gates. Concourse. Seats. There was even a roof over part of the audience. They had club level, too. It was truly a technological marvel. However, I remember two things about it more than anything else. It was surrounded by traffic. Now that I think about it, that’s just like a modern stadium, too. It also had a bunch of cats living in it.

The Vatican – Obviously, it’s in the same city as the Colosseum and is a testament to the power of religion. The art was amazing, and, to me, the Sistine Chapel stood out. However, I mostly remember a statue that everyone rubbed for good luck. I don’t know who the statue portrayed, but I know that the feet had nearly disappeared. That’s a lot of rubbing.

The Empire State Building – I have seen this building, but I don’t remember much about it. I was in high school when my parents decided to take a road trip through the northeast, and my dad decided it would be a good idea to drive through New York City. As navigator, I was busy looking at the map and trying to get us out of the quagmire. We succeeded but only by going through Harlem and the Bronx, and that really wasn’t the plan.

The Golden Gate Bridge – We just drove over it on our honeymoon. You can read about that here.

Mount Rushmore – Now, we are talking. This is one of my favorite places and is a monument to some of the men who built America. Unfortunately, these men helped build America on land that was owned by Native Americans. There is something ironic about this being carved in the Black Hills, land that is sacred to the Sioux and land that they have refused to take payment for.

The Grand Canyon – One of nature’s most awesome accomplishments, the canyon is almost too big to comprehend from the rim. It needs to be hiked or flown into to understand how grand it is. My nephew was lucky enough to camp inside of the Grand Canyon, and it’s something he will always remember. Most don’t know that a Native American community lives on its floor.West 2010 309

Yellowstone – I have been to Yellowstone numerous times, and there are almost too many things to see. Natural wonders are everywhere. Last year, the guys in my family took a trip to Montana and dipped into the northern edge of the park. We didn’t see geysers on this trip, but we did see buffalo.Montana 2012 and Other Stuff 302

I’ve been lucky to make it to those, and, hopefully, I’ll make it to a few more, some day.