November 11, 2018

I finally renewed my passport.

It's not that I have a plan to go anywhere, it's just that I don't want not having a passport to be an obstacle to making a plan.

I'm not really interested in traveling anywhere until I get my eyes fixed (next February), but I'm thinking once I can see what should feel like amazingly well, I'm going to want to get around and look at things. Whether any of these things will ever be out of the United States, I do not know.

What places would you suggest I consider?

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
mccullough said...

Kathmandu

glenn said...

If you haven’t been to Paris go now.

Achilles said...

How about Venezuela.

They had a lot of people that didn’t mind voter fraud when it got them what they thought they wanted.

Burkemania said...

Elon Musk's home galaxy.

gilbar said...

fix your eyes?
you'd better check with Meade, he fell in love with you With THOSE eyes


When Julia was young, an accomplished surgeon had offered to fix them surgically, but Julia declined. When she became First Lady, she thought about having the surgery, but the President Grant objected:

Did I not see you and fall in love with you with these same eyes? I like them just as they are, and now, remember, you are not to interfere with them. They are mine, and let me tell you, Mrs. Grant, you had better not make any experiments, as I might not like you half so well with any other eyes.

tcrosse said...

Montréal. And you could drive there.

Comanche Voter said...

You might go to the Lake District in England--and stay at the Miller Howe Hotel in Windermre. Lovely small hotel with a superb chef.

Satchel Paige once advised young baseball players to "avoid the social ramble. It ain't restful". Well the Lake District is both restful and beautiful.

Rob said...

Follow Jerry Seinfeld's advice, while extolling the racial harmony inherent in the black-and-white cookie: Look to the cookie.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Alaska in May. Take the ferry from Bellingham to Juneau, fly to Anchorage, and make the round trip to Fairbanks on the Alaska Railway. The paltry works of men wherever they may be found are nothing to what God has wrought. No passport necessary.

Darrell said...

Buy a nice television and watch the world from the comfort of your recliner. Use the passport as a coaster.

SDaly said...

You like plants, right? You should definitely go somewhere that has a lot of different types of plants with interesting shapes and colors.

Earnest Prole said...

Portugal and Morocco.

SDaly said...

Maybe the Philadelphia Flower Show? Some of the DuPont gardens in Delaware & Southeastern, PA?

traditionalguy said...

Stratford , Ontario. You need the passport to get back into the USA. See, Stratford Festival.

surfed said...

Nova Scotia and Cape Breton.

Daniel Jackson said...

The South of France is the best choice, specifically the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail. The trail follows the author's route across the divide of the Grande Causse described in his book, Travels With A Donkey https://archive.org/search.php?query=title%3ATravels%20with%20a%20Donkey%20-contributor%3Agutenberg%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts

You can replicate his voyage hiring a donkey in stages as you walk from Mende to Ales stopping for the night at small inns (or sleep in a tent if you want) for excellent food and even better local wine. http://www.chemin-stevenson.org/en/

The scenery is spectacular (in a French way) and there are plenty of people along the way who will welcome your English or French (it's about communication, not grammar) and direct you along the way. The donkeys carry all your load while you walk, photograph, and talk your way south. http://walkinginfrance.info/short-walks/r-l-stevenson-trail/

After that, you can come to Gagnieres for a visit at chez moi and basecamp as you explore the Ganiere River basin.

gilbar said...

Everybody talks about going to New Zealand, for their Trouts; or to Patagonia...
But IF you're going to leave the country, might as well go WHOLE HOG, and go to Labrador for Brook Trout
HUGE BROOK TROUT! Big League Brook trout

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

San Diego - it's beautiful, laid-back, and has lots of fun things to do and look at. Balboa Park with a billion museums and that wicker arboretum (if that's what's it's called - can't remember its actual name). Drive along the ocean to La Jolla. Coronado.

rehajm said...

Long walk, short pier.

rehajm said...

The huge trout are in Mongolia.

tcrosse said...

Butchert Gardens, Victoria, BC. But you can't drive (all the way) there.

Pete said...

As your tax advisor, I say fix your eyes this year. Likely you've met your deductible so the fees should almost be covered by your insurance. With the new Trump tax standard deduction, you'll have a hard time crossing the medical deductible threshold if you put it off to next year.

Then again, if your doctor is booked until next year, well, never mind.

rcocean said...

Go back to Paris. See if "Jim" is right, and whether "Paris is still Paris"

Pete said...

Travel advice: Oklahoma City! C'mon down!

rcocean said...

Or go see the Great wall of China, Peking, and look at some great Chinese Art.

Coconuss Network said...

Passport as a Coaster sounds about right. Too dangerous out there in the world.

Unknown said...

San Miguel de Allende. A beautiful old (F. 1542) town in the mountains of Mexico. Plenty of expats living there. The weather is always dry and the climate is very reasonable year round. Good food. There are hot springs just north of town. The people are friendly. There is a pyramid just SW of town. It is a UNESCO historic site and SMA managed to avoid being modernized and is classic example of colonia architecture.

It is in Guanajuato state and it is very safe there. There is no state dept advisory for Guanajuato.

I try to go and visit once a year. My older brother has been living there since 2005.

Unknown said...

Had your passport exceeded the ten year expiration date, or was it still valid? I've let mine lapse, but I agree with you that you should maintain it.

rcocean said...

Or boat Cruise on the Danube. Don't fly to Europe - take the Queen Mary.

rcocean said...

We will live vicariously through you.

Unknown said...

Had your passport exceeded the ten year expiration date, or was it still valid? I've let mine lapse, but I agree with you that you should maintain it.

Annie C said...

Why are you waiting until February? Is the eye surgeon booked?

William said...

I have the money and time to travel, but unfortunately you have to go by plane to get to distant places. That sucks. Planes are absolutely the worst way to travel. They're worse than subways......Foetunately with the new high def televisions you can see all the intricate wonders of Baroque churches. With your new eyes, the television experience will be much more impactful and rewarding,

ALP said...

If you don't want to go far...Canada. From my point in WA state, small towns of Vancouver Island are wonderful, such as Sooke. There are probably some nice spots just north of you in WI.

stever said...

First: The eye thing is a game changer.

Travel Options: I have two
New Zealand/Australia - You would have fun
Japan and/or China - You would experience a different world

ALP said...

Ditto the Montreal suggestion!

Ice Nine said...

That's a difficult question to answer without knowing how experienced a traveler you are, and corollary to that, where you have and haven't been. If you're fairly new to the game, Paris (and frankly, anywhere in France) is the obvious answer. The world's greatest city. And don't listen to the yammering about the "rude French" etc. And as long as we are on the basics, Italy, Spain and /or Portugal, of course.

Been around? then Eastern Europe is fabulous and still not terribly tourist-ruined.

Adventuresome? Burma is incredible. And of course that will take you through Thailand which is also great.

As for Kathmandu, yeah, cool. But most of the people going to Kathmandu are there outfitting and prepping for treks and ascents. Outside of that, Kat itself is very interesting but only has a couple days worth of interest.

Patagonia. Yeah, it's beautiful in its own barren way and it's cool - but only if you're into naturey, trekky kind of tourism. If you're going that way, Chile is fun and Santiago and Valparaiso are nice, interesting cities. Also, Colombia has arrived and is a great place to visit. And no, forget about Pablo and cartels, etc...yesterday's news.

Francisco D said...

Paris in the Spring or Fall when there are fewer tourists.

The French know how to enjoy wonderful meals.

Give yourself two days for the Louvre and a day for the Musee d'Orsay.

Don't be afraid of the bus tours. Versailles and Chartres are great places to visit.

tim in vermont said...

France knows how to eat, and you won't have to smell the cheese shops that smell like a boy's locker room in South Florida in the summer either. So that's a bonus for you! I think that I will be headed to Nice and Monaco this winter. Maybe the Basque region too.

donald said...

Joshua Tree. Stay at the Joshua Tree Inn. Room #8. Ya gotta book that in advance.

Sebastian said...

Stay home, please. Many of the places I like are already too crowded with tourists.

ddh said...

You can go on a driving trip in Canada, and you are close enough to go on the spur of the moment. I'd like to add Iceland and Ireland to the many good suggestions above.

The Bergall said...

Cataracts?

wildswan said...

Santa Fe. There are 4 different climate zones with different plants within two hours driving time. You can meet Pueblo people working at their museums. These people can be directly linked with their stone age ancestors who hunted mammoths which gives one a whole new outlook on the "stone age" people. Chaco, Mesa Verde. It's also near Los Alamos, the atomic age. And near Old Mexico so it's immersed in that culture also. It's very beautiful with mountains of different kinds in every direction. The sun shines all the time.

Paul McKaskle said...

Bhutan--a spectacular country. Fewer tourists than Nepal. The best starting point is Delhi. Spend a day or two getting acclimated and book a tour to Agra and the Taj Mahal. It's about a 2 or 3 hour drive. Some Bhutan tours also include a trip to Sikkim (an independent country until a few years ago) and Darjeeling, a mountain resort during the Raj (and famous for its tea plantations). Take a ride on the famous Toy Train. One has to use a tour company in Bhutan--I used Windhorse Tours twice and was very pleased. (But be prepared for very winding roads over steep mountains.)

Fritz said...

We haven't regretted our two trips to Italy.

If you insist on staying within driving range, the area around Lake Couer d'Alene is gorgeous. You can find some white supremacists nearby, I've been told, and try to understand their views.

Dean Kaufman said...

Manua, American Samoa. Margaret Mead did her work there, and the 3 islands, Ta'u, Ofu, and Olosega are still "real Polynesia", at least 50 years behind the main island of Tutuila. You'll need to make arrangements for your stay, but immersion will give you a whole new perspective on life and a very different way of relating to the world, both natural and social.

Lyle Smith said...

I want to say Switzerland but you don’t like Heights. Italy. Try Norway maybe. Hong Kong if you want to go east.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Check out the grandes randonées network in France - you can find anything to suit your hiking pleasure - easy, hard, and anything in between (both for the hiking itself or the accommodations). You can find services that will lug your baggage for you, as you wander from town (or village) to town(or village), if you want to take it easy.

Driving tours out in la France profonde are also great. And all due respect to Daniel Jackson's suggestion re the South of France, the SW (Midi-Pyrénées/Aquitaine) and Burgundy are my favorite places to wander around. The history, architecture, landscape, people (and food of course) are all endlessly compelling. Depends on your interests.

Closer to home, don't know if you've ever done any part the Smokies/Blue Ridge Parkway/Shenandoah region. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

The Crack Emcee said...

Of the places I've been? Quebec, Canada. It's close, beautiful, and better than a trip to Yurp all around.

Next - I'd go back to Thailand in a heartbeat.

Of the places I haven't been? Blackest Africa or atheist Iceland.

YMMV.

David53 said...

New Zealand in November or early December, it has everything.

gilbar said...

rehajm said... The huge trout are in Mongolia.
Yes, but; the HUGE Chars (brook trouts) are in Labrador

Amy Welborn said...

Ann, I love the mid-sized to small cities that I've visited in Italy and France. Padua, for example - get an apartment fora couple of weeks in Padua. The vibe is great - cultured and interesting, without pretense. Take the train to Venice, to Milan, Ravenna...

Central America/Mexico as well. My 14-year old son is intensely interested in Maya matters, and so we have spent time in the Yucatan and Guatemala. Merida, Mexico is another mid-sized city that's lovely and interesting and walkable. Summer before last, we stayed in Flores, Guatemala for few days as we toured Tikal and other Mayan sites (with a guide). It was lovely, too. Actually, some of the best food I've had on our travels has been in Guatemala - I've never felt unsafe in any of those places, either.

cubanbob said...

I lot of commenters here have mentioned domestic destinations and Canada. Obviously you don't need a passport for either. If you dislike planes and aren't averse to cruise ships, see about a repositioning cruise to Europe followed by river cruising or if adventurous renting a car and driving around. It's amazing how different several hundred miles can be in Europe compared to the US. Vienna to Prague is less than 4 hours and from Prague to Budapest is 5 1/2 hours. By comparison its 5 hours from Miami to the Georgia line.

Rajkumar Raosinhji said...

What places would people recommend in December 2018 during holidays? Any warm places in US or somewhere across the world where one can take 3-4 day vacation (including travel time)?

Cheers,

Paddy O said...

What are your favorite paintings? Your favorite artists? Go to those. Visit other things that might be in the same areas.

Rockeye said...

Picnic Point and the rotunda. It's the 'ordinary' places that you will appreciate the most. Meade from across the room I especially recommend.

Jim Gust said...

I recommend Vilnius, Lithuania, any time of year.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/lithuania/articles/reasons-to-visit-vilnius-why-go-city-break/

Todd Galle said...

We loved Edinburgh- some of the evening views of the castle were to die for. I've also never seen a fog move in as quickly as I have there from the Firth. One minute we're looking at a church spire, another minute it's gone, lost in the mist. Can't argue with haggis either. Dublin was nice too, although they apparently allow a lot of street urination at all times of day. The Dubliners do turn old Prod churches into bars, so there's that. They're also the most crowded bars as far as I can tell. We found lots of Mick dive bars on both sides of the Liffy, and were treated quite well. You have to plan to go from Euros to pounds though.

Paddy O said...

Or drive West on I90 to Seattle. Drive South on 101 to Los Angeles. Then Drive east on I10 to Florida. North on I95. West on I90 back home. Circle the US. Blog along the way. See fun things.

ALP said...

Another vote for Santa Fe, NM. You can do galleries until you drop. Wonderful landscapes that are so different from the midwest/north.

David said...

Italy, of course, for art, architecture, history, food, wine, overall beauty. Don’t forget Sicily.

Southeast Asia: Myanmar(Burma). Side trip to the Angkor temple complexes in Cambodia, if awesome ruins are your thing.

South America: Peru, Bolivia, Patagonia.

Africa: Tanzania, South Africa (while you still can), Zambia.

Middle East: Israel, Egypt. Turkey is amazing, but a little riskier these days.

Amexpat said...

From reading your blog all these years, Japan. Very different, but clean and safe. Highly developed aesthetic sense and gardens for Meade.

If you ever come to Oslo, it would be an honor to show you around.

hugh42 said...

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Bruce Hayden said...

I have my possport on my desk. Need to renew it, and that of my partner. Both are expired, hers by better than a year, and mine by maybe a year. She wants to go interesting places, and we have the money now. But she has a hard enough flying from PHX to DEN to see my family. Most of the places she wants to see are much further away. We shall see.

Amexpat said...

I'm in the middle of travelling three weeks in Sicily. I'm actually liking it even better than other places in Italy I've been to.

Michael said...

I second San Miguel. Safe. Arty. Mexican. In the alternative Vancouver BC. You can drive there.

madAsHell said...

Africa: Tanzania, South Africa (while you still can), Zambia.

...and Kenya.

Crimso said...

You should visit the kitchen, to make Meade a delicious-looking sammich.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you go to London in the spring or fall, maybe we can meet up for dinner. (And that would be funny to meet up for a meal for the first time so far away.)

Michael said...

Cubanbob
Need a passport for Canada.

gilbar said...

Rajkumar Raosinhji said.. What places would people recommend in December 2018 during holidays?

Can't ever go wrong with San Diego, Zoos, sea worlds, beaches, naval ships, and when you get sick of cities; you can go up to Julian and see some snow (and eat apple pie)

Meade said...

Banff seems nice.

stevew said...

Places I've been that I enjoyed:

Italy: Tuscany (Siena, Florence, and all the smaller fortified towns), Rome, the Amalfi Coast (Positano, Amalfi, & Ravello). We went to Venice too and it was interesting, but my least favorite.

Scotland: Edinburgh, Inverness (mostly for a visit to Culloden battlefield site), and Skye. And a nice variety of single malt distilleries.

Ireland: Galway, Doolin, Dingle, Kilkenny, Kinsale, and Dublin.

Canada: Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, Whistler, and Banff. Halifax and Saint John are great but not everyone's cup of tea.

We did a river cruise down the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest with a stop in Vienna. A different kind of travel for us but was very relaxing.

If you want more exotic suggestions you'll need to speak with my wife. She's been to Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Morocco, Ukraine (including Crimea when it was still theirs), and the Baltics. You couldn't pay me to go to those places but she loved them.

readering said...

I am finally going to Hong Kong and Macau in January. Weather should be about the same as SoCal.

Marc said...

Very glad to see Amy Welborn commenting here; I wonder if she is a regular reader.

john said...

What Daniel Jackson said. Then northern Spain, Basque country, because San Sebastion is the place to eat.

Leland said...

Honduras is nice. Several cruises go down to Roatan, and it is gorgeous. I did an Alaska Cruise earlier this year, and its nice but very expensive. Europe is a bit pricey too.

Ken B said...

Venezuela. It's a cruelly neutral experiment.

tim in vermont said...

Just beware of the Burglar of Banf-f!

ken in tx said...

You are not allowed to wear glasses in your passport photo anymore.

tim in vermont said...

You don’t NEED a passport to visit Canada, but you will get back into the United States a lot more quickly. They can’t really keep a citizen out forever, but a passport is required now. I went there once in the ‘70s and had a paper driver’s license from New York State. It had gone through the wash and was a ball of lint. They just checked the ashtray in my VW Beetle, and since it was clean, they let me back in.

Tommy Duncan said...

I'd suggest the Alps. My wife and I are fond of southern Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. We like to vacation off season in the ski areas, where hiking trails are abundant. Bavarian food is wonderful and the local wines and beers are legendary. It's low key, beautiful and affordable.

LYNNDH said...

China

steve uhr said...

I've never been but would love to travel to Helsinki and St Petersburg. Hermitage is the second largest art museum in world. And great ice skating in winter.

tim in vermont said...

I don’t get the Quebec thing, but maybe it’s the old familiarity thing. It seems like once you cross the border, you are in Kansas, geography wise, after leaving the mountains of the Northeast. I think it’s because the Brits drew the border to keep as much of the good farmland as possible Still I like going there, I admit.

Unknown said...

I had bilateral cataracts done 6 years ago. I wanted to go to a famous ophthalmologist, but Rand Paul and Bashar al-Assad weren't seeing new patients.

Seriously, if that's what's wrong with your eyes, there are few complications. Choice of lens is important. I do surgery, and was advised NOT to have progressive lenses, because they are not as sharp. I had lenses that correct for distance, and use reading glasses plus intermediate focal lenght glasses for computers and surgery.

I also would not have considered someone who is not an anterior chamber/lens specialist, as I need superb eyesight for my work,and I also have glaucoma. A surgeon on a university faculty is a good bet; the surgery is not that technically difficult, as I understand it; brains and judgment are more important. Good luck!

tim in vermont said...

One time in the ‘60s a border guard near Niagara Falls made each of us kids (there were a lot of us) say the name of the city in which we were born and he determined our citizenship by our accents. I guess he was an amateur Professor Higgins, or maybe a professional one.

J. Farmer said...

If you have never been to Southeast Asia, it's worth at least one trip. Base yourself in Bangkok and then take trips to Hanoi, HMC, Phnom Penh, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. If you are feeling adventurous, shorter trips to Burma and Laos should be on the itinerary.

Hagar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JML said...

https://www.vbt.com/

Slovenia, Austria and Italy. Take advantage of the pre and post trip offers. Tell them I sent you so I get a bird dog. Honestly, I can’t say enough good about the value and the experience. A casual biker like me and my wife did fine. And if it gets a little too tiring, take the van.our group consisted of young professionals, a doctor and his wife close to retirement who go on a VBT every year, and a few average middle class folks from the Midwest. My SIL and husband also did an Italy tour a few years back. When my wife retires, we are going to do a Spain trip I think, with my son, his wife and my wife’s sister and husband. We have heard the Vietnam Nam VBT is also great. So maybe that will be my retirement trip.

dustbunny said...

Amsterdam and Prague are wonderful although too many tourists. Best to go off season. Tangier is another world.

JML said...

I see some votes for Santa Fe. I recommend coming to NM for the balloon fiesta in early Oct. - near perfect weather, and with your photography talent, fun pictures. Do Santa Fe before or after. Don’t forget to go to Georgia O’Keefe country. If you do come, let’s meet for lunch at Barelas Coffee House. They have the best red chili and carne adovada, and my wife swears by their juvevos rancheros.

Big Mike said...

I agree with Meade — Banff. Wife and I are planning a flight to Vancouver, train through the Canadian Rockies to Banff. Dome cars and sleepers. A couple days in Banff including a hike to the nearby Burgess Shale. From Banff to Calgary and a day trip to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller before returning home. The Burgess is the source of some of the best-preserved Cambrian fossils in the world, including soft parts, and the Royal Tyrrell has one of thd best collection of dinosaur fossils in the world. You can read more about the importance of the Burgess Shale in Wonderful Life. by the late Stephen Jay Gould. (Use the Althouse Amazon portal.)

Rosa Marie Yoder said...

Quebec City. Old Town. Chateau Frontenac.

Sarah Rolph said...

Barcelona.

mesquito said...

In August I rented a Jeep in Iceland. I had a blast.

Eric Alexander said...

Cinque Terre.

Rabel said...

I'll also say Switzerland. They're your kind of people.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

Zimbabwe where they count votes like they are members of the DNC or the Harvard law school faculty...

Robin Eatmon said...

Compass Cay in the Exumas.

rehajm said...

Yes, but; the HUGE Chars (brook trouts) are in Labrador

Hmm. Okay- how big is a big brookie?

Danno said...

Same as yoder, but do Quebec City in the fall. Septemberish.

CR said...

Florence.

robother said...

Purely based on my favorite photos in the seasonal screen saver rotation, Ann may find her photographic eye reactivated by:
Tofino (Vancouver Island) in November storm season
Northern Ireland north coast in the summer (The Republic is less scenic, but best bar conversations anywhere, and easy to do both.)
Greek Aegean Island in the summer (I'm partial to Naxos, but I haven't found a bad one.)
India (but Meade better be prepared to hear Ann rant the whole plane trip back on why international travel is that cool thing she will never do again.)

Mark said...

Very glad to see Amy Welborn commenting here; I wonder if she is a regular reader.

Thumbs up. My first major blog commenting was at Open Book.

Tank said...

Meteora in Greece, and Siracusa and the mountain towns nearby in Sicily.

Mark said...

If you've never been to Firenze or Rome or Pompeii, you must at least once in your life.

Better to go as a pilgrim though, rather than a tourist.

Rosa Marie Yoder said...

Blogger Danno said...

Same as yoder, but do Quebec City in the fall. Septemberish.

Or wait until next February for Winter Festival! (My first visit was in September, and I fell in love.)

Hagar said...

Given AA's predilections for peculiar art and stark restaurants, I would say Paris.
And since she is a rather small person and can't smell, the plane ride may not be as hard on her as on others.

jimbino said...

I recommend getting your surgery done for 1/2 or 1/3 price in a nice tourist place like Brazil, Costa Rica or Mexico. That's what I did in Rio a few years ago. Of course, I don't participate in Amerikan socialist medicine like Medicare or Obamacare. Why pay the exhorbitant prices charged by medical-care providers in a USSA hospital or clinic when you can pay less at a resort?

You will find that many, if not most, of the ophthalmologists use Amerikan equipment, were trained in the USSA and speak English.

Since you value your computer work, you should consider a "mono-vision" type of correction. In spite of some astigmatism, I can read my Kindle, surf on the computer and see long distance without glasses, though my eyes tire after a long time at each activity. Then I can just put on my glasses.

Winston said...

Wengen Switzerland in late summer, early fall. Never seen a more beautiful place. Great for walking.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Azores
stunning,not trashed/commercialized/crowded

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

or Broward county-- they may still be counting votes-- you could help out

Etienne said...

Without a doubt, I would go someplace along the 10 degree latitude line. Koh Samui island in Thailand, and hang out with the dancers at the Galaxy Cabaret on one of the drunkest streets in Thailand.

Here's some highlights!

Lucky for you, you won't have to smell the place, which is kind of like eating rabbit head without the sauce, maybe...

Winston said...

Wengen Switzerland in late summer, early fall. Never seen a more beautiful place. Great for walking.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Winston - agreed.

Unknown said...

Lake Garda, Italy. North end of the lake especially.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“Why are you waiting until February? Is the eye surgeon booked?”

I wondered the same thing. If the cataracts are too mature the chance of complication goes up.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

Berchtesgaden, one of most beautiful places on earth.

Etienne said...

One of the most beautiful sights was when the doctor removed my eye lens.

Since there was no focus, and no obstruction, all I saw was a blue light that was like the pure blue sky of my youth. Not the polluted sky of the end-times 21st century.

I mentioned this to the doctor during my first checkup, and he said this was a common experience.

I had the most basic lens put in, and did not opt-in for robotic, and the doctor was great. He did about 10 people that day, almost assembly line. The surgery center was like a big house, and everyone acted like it was a family reunion.

"The sky blue light!" said one old woman, and now I know what she meant. Focused vision is over rated.

The Godfather said...

Most of the places I'd like to go don't exist anymore: Hong Kong in 1963 (J. Clavell, Noble House); Boothbay Harbor, ME in the 1950's (technically they're still there, but they are not the same). Or I'm not up to it anymore: climbing Mt. Washington; hiking the Grand Canyon. I'm glad I saw what I saw when I saw it.

Frankly, I don't think you can make a real mistake, because no matter how hateful the flight, how disappointing the food, how dreary the guides, all of that lasts only a week or two, and then you forget it and keep the memories.

Unless you fly through Atlanta. You will never forget that Hell.

Etienne said...

One final thought - Lizzie Borden went on a European Vacation, and when she got back she smashed her parents heads in with an axe.

Tim Wolter said...

If walking, Cornwall in early spring, say mid late April. The SW coastal path is beautiful and the Gulf Stream means you'll have carpets of white flowers....at the same time we'll be having a different sort of white carpet. The services that schlep your luggage and make the lodging arrangements are worth it.

TW

The Godfather said...

I think you and Meade like gardens. You should consider Sisley Garden Tours in England. The company is run by two very pleasant and very knowledgeable women, Fran and Colette. The tour groups are small, and as you would expect the participants in the tours are convivial.

Ann Althouse said...

Foreign destinations I've done: London (2X), Paris (2X), Amsterdam, Rome, Florence, Genoa.

Place I don't want to go: China. Seems unhealthy with pollution. Don't want to go anywhere at all unhealthy or unsafe. The last time I left the country, I went to Rome, and I was robbed (and the police were patently corrupt).

Etienne said...

One final, final thought, A passport is a great identification. I use it to verify my identity, and it works all over the world. No more raised-seal paper birth certificate in the safe deposit box.

Drivers licenses aren't that trusted anymore, as they are easily forged.

Whip out a passport, go to the head of the line!

Ann Althouse said...

I don't want to shuffle around in a crowd of tourists and don't want to be subjected to any lectures from tour guides.

I don't see the point of traveling a long distance to look at gardens or landscapes unless they are truly different from things in the U.S. And I don't like over-dramatic landscapes (e.g., mountain trails where you could fall to your death).

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Field Trip to shithole countries for cruelly neutral reports.
Anosmia is plus.

madAsHell said...

I don't want to shuffle around in a crowd of tourists and don't want to be subjected to any lectures from tour guides.

Another reason not to go to China!!!

Etienne said...

My wife is planning a fishing holiday for us along the Creuse river in Le Blanc, France (the center of the Hexagon).

I insisted we go through London, and ride the high speed train through the chunnel, and the regular train to our destination.

Stay in Paris one day to take the catacombs and sewer tours, and fill up on McDonalds for the train ride.

JaimeRoberto said...

Since you like biking maybe a bike tour in the Wachau in Austria. Go in the fall when it's not the tourist season, the leaves are turning and the grapes are being pressed.
It's a nice flat ride and all downhill if you go from Linz to Vienna. If you are tired or its raining or you've had too much wine, you can just hop on a boat or a train to your next destination.

The ride from Jasper to Banff in Canada is beautiful too, but pretty hilly.

Freeman Hunt said...

Okay, if you wait two or three years to go there, we can meet up for a meal somewhere in Greece.

Fernandistein said...

Whip out a passport, go to the head of the line!

I used to make fake laminated lanyard IDs for this Mexican guy to wave around and go to the front of the line in Mexico; "United Nations Human Rights Inspector" worked well.

Ice Nine said...

As you wish with China. But I've got to say, a few days of air pollution will hardly damage you. And that is only in the big cities and generally in hot weather. You should think about it because China is wonderful. Beautiful nature sites (with genuine clean air); beautiful art and world class archeologic sites; great food; very friendly, helpful people; top flight transportation. China has become very tourist oriented but as of now is not yet tourist ruined. You don't know what you're missing.

John E. said...

With your interest in art, you might consider someplace with sculptures that interests you. I know that photographs of statues can be really good, but I think seeing them in person is somehow better. I personally feel this is less true for painting.

Ralph L said...

How about Israel: Jerusalem, Petra, Masada, Caesarea.

Freeman, you've left Arkansas?

Alice Aforethought said...

French Polynesia

Michael said...

If you plan to travel abroad apply for Global Entry which will ease your reentry. Also fly first or business class. You can afford it. Get an American Express Platinum card which will get you in to many airport lounges away from ( most of) the throngs. Put red or orange duct tape on all sides ofyour bags for easy identification and to give the idea that the owner of the bags is crazy and owns nothing of value. Do not allow Meade to dress as though he is going to Home Depot.
Since you are not keen on flying leave from Chicago and do not have a destination that cannot be reached non stop.
A couple of ambien if going East.
If you are going East and overnight check to see if lie-flat seats are an option. Pay up if possible.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, you've left Arkansas?

Occasionally. They haven't walled us in.

Mark said...

If Cornwall, then of course Portwenn.

Freeman Hunt said...

I like to go to history places. I can imagine the things happening better after seeing the places where they happened. (I can still get chills just remembering Little Bighorn.)

I would also be willing to travel to see certain pieces of art in person.

The United States has such a huge offering of different landscapes that that wouldn't be a draw for me to leave the country.

So, I'm going to the U.K. for the castles, the Roman ruins, and the British Museum. (Okay, and a few other historical things, but they would make the list too long.)

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Portwenn is really Port Isaac.

Cornwall would be lovely.

Places I'd like to go:
New Zealand - forever.

rcocean said...

"Occasionally. They haven't walled us in."

They tried with the Clinton's and failed.

Sad.

rcocean said...

Here are the places to avoid:

Ireland - No doubt pleasant during the three days of summer. Otherwise a rainy bog.

London - As "Jim" would say; "London isn't London Anymore".

Mexico - An Americanized crime ridden hell hole (mostly)

Japan/Hong Kong - Too expensive for what you get.

The Middle east - Danger will Robinson danger.

Cameron said...

Berlin. There are multiple layers of a dark past, but a wildly optimistic (if slightly anarchic) present and future. For a few euros you can see a soccer game in the same stadium that Hitler was humiliated by Jesse Owens, and you'll recognize it from the newsreels. The airport where the berlin airlift took place is now a park, and they've done basically nothing to it. It's just runways and grass, with people rollerblading around, unlike any park I've been to. I've been there maybe a dozen times, and every time I encounter something striking.

Jasmina Boulanger said...

1) King’s Pool camp in Botswana — luxury plus elephants and all the other great wildlife. And the magnificent nightly star studded sky.
2) Samarkand & Bokhara — unique architecture, beautiful tiles and wood carvings in the mosques, madrasas and necropolis.

tcrosse said...

You could go to Canada to visit Barbra Streisand and Cher if Trump wins again in 2020.

rehajm said...

Kings Pool is wonderful. If you go all that way hit a cople other camps - Jao, Mombo and/or Little Vimbura.

rehajm said...

Vumburs.

Etienne said...

If you go to Frankfurt airport for the return, take about five Italian porn magazines, select only the most raunchiest ones.

When you get to the declaration area, all the guards will be looking at the magazines and confiscating them, and that allows you to sneak the gold bullion coins through, and hop onto the plane.

Jack Wayne said...

Traveling is absolutely overrated. I am sure there are parts of Madison you don’t know anything about.

tpceltus said...

I find that the vastness of the US landmass and variety of traditions—Hawaii, Alaska, the Rockies, the Plains and the South,and Southwest—make finding truly unique foreign travel destinations worth the expense and travel time to be very challenging. Canada also provides a wealth of fairly easy different travel opportunities—the Maritime Provinces, Quebec City (to which, and for Montreal, you have to travel through Toronto anyway for...passport control), Banff, Vancouver, etc.

For foreign travel, I guess—depending on political situations: Vietnam, Turkey, Morocco, and Chile. If I were far more adventurous than I am: the Congo.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Ann - take a small river cruise.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

... in Europe. Vienna or something like that.

Rusty said...

Go visit the UP. Go out on the beach of Lake Superior on a clear night and look up.

Douglas said...

Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This is a remarkable complex of temples built almost 1,000 years ago. At that time, it was located in one of the largest cities in the world (if not the largest) with over 1,000,000 residents. Eventually it was abandoned and the jungle reclaimed much of the complex. Today many of the temples are still buried under the jungle but the ones that are open are extraordinarily beautiful. (One of the minor temples that is still partially overgrown is featured in the movie "Laura Croft: Tomb Raider.")

Meade said...

"Go visit the UP. Go out on the beach of Lake Superior on a clear night and look up."

Perfect. Marquette and then Copper Harbor. And then Idaho and Banff. Followed by home sweet home.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Idaho and Banff - great idea.

Big Mike said...

You don’t NEED a passport to visit Canada,

No, but they appreciate it when you provide your passport at the border.

@Althouse, I have no idea whether the trail from Banff to the Burgess Shale has dangerous parts, but you don’t have to go on the trek.

Wife and I hate guided tours, but she went with son and high school teachers and a bunch of his classmates on an “If it’s Tuesday this must be the Borghese” art tour of Italy about 15 years ago and it worked out well.

Richard Dillman said...

I would go to Iceland or Greece. Quite opposite in many ways but also quite interesting.


Unknown said...

Machu Picchu. Everything about the trip is great. And you have to eat Anticuchos every chance you get. It's spectacular.

GRW3 said...

Spend the $100 ea and get Global Entry. It comes with TSA Pre for only $25 more. You also get a card that will allow you use the Fast Track when coming back from Canada by car. Choose a primary airline, one that comes to Madison, and get a membership in their private club. Schedule your international connections with time to spare. Usually, the international flights leave on time, regardless of other delays. The club allows you to relax while waiting. Also valuable for the waiting coming back.

David Begley said...

Nebraska’s Sandhills. Spain.

Eric said...

Amsterdam is the most civilized and pleasant place I have found. The people are about as nice as you will find and everyone over the age of four speaks English.

MountainMan said...

Looking at the comment from Comanche Voter @12:41 and Anne’s subsequent comments about where she has been and what she doesn’t want to see I would also recommend the Lake District. My former employer had a plant there at one time and I used to make periodic trips. I would spend weekends driving all around the lakes and over the fells. Just a wonderful place. Beautiful scenery, lots of scenic walks, nice little hotels and pubs in lovely little old towns and villages, nice, friendly people. I really miss going there. Fly direct to Manchester from the US, avoiding London, and pick up a car. MAN is a nice airport. Go in early May when the weather is nice and the summer crowds are yet to arrive.

Another favorite place is the city of York. The great Minster towers over the city and the little narrow streets and old historic buildings with their little shops and cafes will make you think you have traveled back 400 years.

Tim said...

I anted up to Delta One for travel to Europe. I may never get off the plane. Seriously I would go back to southern Brazil(Curitiba)/ Argentenia /Patagonia/Chile in a heartbeat. Loved Llao-Llao in Bariloche.

Bad Lieutenant said...

HUGE BROOK TROUT! Big League Brook trout
11/11/18, 12:58 PM

La Tuque, Canada. Small ones are sweeter.

wary said...

Portugal. Spend 5 days in lisbon and 5 days in Algarve on south end. Why? The people are very friendly and most speak excellent english. Th food is wonderful and very reasonable cost. Airbbs are spectacular and great value.
Heres where we stayed in lisbon

Heres where we stayed in algarve in lagos
<a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g189117-d12902428-The_Exclusive_Tranquil_setting_of_the_Lagos_s_awarded_Marina-Lagos_Faro_District_Alga.html?m=19905”> </a>
You will need a car. Highly recommend Amoita. Set it up for them to bring the car to that lisbon flat snd then pick car up at our hotel near the sirport when we left

Bad Lieutenant said...

I second Spain. There's a lot to see and do. Do Portugal too if you're up to it. Drink LOTS of wine, whatever's pouring. Don't forget the port in Oporto. Don't split with Meade.

madAsHell said...

WoW! I don't think Mick Jagger could stir up a crowd like this.

Congrats to our hostess.

sane_voter said...

Much prefer Jasper over Banff. However, Lake Louise is incredible.

johns said...

Kenya and. Botswana best places I ever visited, as others have noted. Go during migration season

iowan2 said...

I have a quirky friend that visits Presidential libraries. 2 years ago he did Clinton, Lincoln, and Truman. Sounds like fun to me, but my better half, not so much. At one time, you could book a guest room on a tug below the lock and dams on the Mississippi. Private room and private bath. Dine with the crew, and the food was fantastic. Watching the river from the pilot house, was the only entertainment, so if that's not your thing, and your travel mate is not entertaining enough, not your trip. I would love to see the phosphate mines in Florida, and the soybean harvest in Brazil.

320Busdriver said...

I would definitely go back to Prague if the opportunity arises. Poland was also excellent. Krakow is beautiful and both were spared ww2 bombing so architecture is intact. Not for everyone, but the day spent at Auschwitz/Birkenau is a day I won't forget.

Otherwise stay in the US and bike/hike/snorkel Hawaii.

Amexpat said...

I don't want to shuffle around in a crowd of tourists and don't want to be subjected to any lectures from tour guides.

You can easily avoid crowds by travelling shoulder season and not going to Marquee places/sights.

I agree about not wanting to be subjected to lectures by tour guides, and I now get the bulk of my income working as a tour guide. It's easy enough to read up on your own. It can also be liberating to visit a sight without knowing much or anything about it.

Japan seems to meet your criteria, in this and your other comment, with the possible exceptions of Tokyo, although I found it less crowded and polluted than expected. I've been to Japan three times, visiting and greatly enjoying different areas each time. Having read a lot of Murakami books added to the experience. I found hotels less expensive than US cities, if you are willing to have small but clean hotel rooms.

Travelling business class does greatly mitigate the burden of travelling by plane. It costs much more than economy, but there are some deals to be found on international business flights. For a bit over $10,000, you can fly round the world with Star Alliance business class. You could include some stops overs en route to exotic places. Travel west around the globe to cut down on jet lag. You can create and price RTW tickets here: https://bookandfly.staralliance.com/en/bookandfly/RTW

As a high profile blogger, you should have no problem finding a country's tourist office or airline to sponsor your trip. I see nothing unethical about that if you disclose it and are free to blog as you wish.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The two places I want to visit and haven't are Prague and New Zealand. Edinburgh I have -- fantastic -- and also Cornwall. That was on our honeymoon, and we got more soaked than I've ever been outside of a swimming pool.

If you're interested in music at all, there's the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Ireland, another place I haven't been.

Michael said...

For those entering Canada (as I do five or six times a year) without passports what do you put in the machines where they ask for your passport? Your drivers license? LOL. And when they ask for your passport at the gate on your return flight what do you tell them, if you get as far as the gate.

wary said...

Sorry Ann. Got too fancy with the Lisbon links and somehow this one did not appear.
All the Diva apartments are Lisbon are special. We decided to get a little outside the touristy areas of Lisbon. Picked this penthouse flat with wonderful view, 3 block walk to Estrela Park where you can catch the famous Tram 28 and see all of Lisbon. Short walk to Rato subway station, which gets you on the fantastic transportation system. Get a rechargeable card and you can ride subway, trolley, ferry, trains and buses. Or can do Uber or Taxi if you want to pay as you go.

Here's that missing link

http://www.diva-apartments.com/rentals/allrentals/apartment-lisboa-teofilo/

Will skip the HTML since it didn't take in my earlier post.

Michael said...

You can look up the requirement for a passport to Canada on these very internets

Larry Day said...

I absolutely love "overly dramatic landscapes". I love them enough to have stood on the highest points on both the North American and South American continents. I even love the phrase. Thanks, Althouse. But these days I'm getting older and love my dramatic landscapes with a bit less danger. That's why fly fishing in Alaska, Canada, Iceland and Patagonia hold a great deal of attraction for me. But I'm a bit of a cheapskate, so fly fishing here in my neighborhood of Montana and Yellowstone provides most of what I enjoy in this world.

Jay Elink said...

David said...
Italy, of course, for art, architecture, history, food, wine, overall beauty. Don’t forget Sicily.

***************

Agreed. I once found myself seated next to a big time NYC literary agent who had just spent two weeks being shown around Italy's major art cities: Ravenna, Florence, Venice, Rome and the rest.

As I have long had an interest in art history, we got to talking...then, as the wine kicked in, talking with great animation and enthusiasm.

Alas, my wife, a flight attendant on our plane, came by to shut us the hell up.

MayBee said...

If you are going to celebrate having eyesight , you should go the La Sigrada Familia in Barcelona

Bali is fascinating as is Cambodia Maybe Hanoi to kind of round out your life as teen in the Vietnam years

Karen said...

Venice, without question.

gearweasle said...

175 comments so far, and no one has suggested you go to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone?!? I think your little monsters are off their feed.

Anyway,
I make a vote for the Butchart gardens in BC Canada also, plus catch Point Roberts USA so you can say you've been there.

Denmark's Tivoli is about your speed, and Trelleborg, Skalelse is interesting Architecture. Plus flat Denmark equals BIKING! (that's biking, not viking)

Maybe you can work up an itenary of Baroque and Rococo Churches in Germany? I'm guessing you're tapped out when it comes to cathedrals. And is Oktoberfest a possibility?

England has the Rothschilds garden in May, which is very good if I remember for viewing Rhohedendrons. And heck, indulge in some henges, like Stonehenge. Take in the tank museum at Bovington. Find some Peers to hobnob with. Wear a Brexit 1.0 shirt with an American Flag on the back.

Or perhaps a few USA places as warm ups? See if you can find you dad's office that he had during the Texas City disaster and sit in his chair, tempting fate again. Go see the Old Powder House in Somerville MA. FLlW's Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are like 10 miles from each other around Ohiopyle PA. There's the USS Monitor reconstruction at the Mariner's Museum. Visit Knudsen's grave in Acacia Cemetary, MI and pay your respects. Go see Lincoln's tomb and tour the Dana Thomas house in Springfield IL.

Or just go down the road to House on the Rock. When was the last time you've been there?

F said...

Machu Picchu. I've never seen you write about it, and it's definitely a place for a bucket list. I've been there 4 times (it helps to live in Peru for several years) and my wife has been there 7 times. Don't let the altitude worry you: my mother went there with us when she was 80 years old.

Read about Hiram Bingham before you go, and read about the Incas. Then plan to hike the Inca Trail for 3-5 days to make your approach. My daughter did the 5 day day hike. It rained every day, and she still remembers it as one of the best experiences of her life.

Plan on 2-3 days in Cusco and 3-4 days in Lima. It's a whole new world.

rcocean said...

And I don't like over-dramatic landscapes (e.g., mountain trails where you could fall to your death).

Yeah, I guess falling off a cliff would be a tad too theatrical.

China is a big country - and Peking/Great Wall are not polluted. Plenty of Chinese guides (who speak English) - no need for a tour bus.

Jake said...

Cartagena and Medellin, Colombia.

M Jordan said...

The Baltics. Visit the capital cities of each starting in Vilnius, Lithuania, proceeding 4 hours by bus/train to Riga, Latvia, and then finish in Tallinn, Estonia, another 4 hours or so away. Each on is magical in its own way, Tallinn the most so because it's Old Town is right out of a fairy tale book. Be sure to check out the Holocaust Museums in each, especially in Lithuania. Take the Jewish ghetto tour there as well.

These are all three hidden gems with great hotels and restaurants at very reasonable prices. There are also side trips you can make from each city.

If you have some extra time go to Helsinki and/or St. Petersburg.

I've been to all except St. Pete and it's on my list.

Unknown said...

Barcelona

Michael said...

Kyoto is the most remarkable place I've been, in the sense that it's absolutely something out of a picture book close to the old city (Gion)... and something out of the East L.A. phone book when you go to the parts that are relatively recent.

veni vidi vici said...

Tiwanaku is a place I'm eager to see. Maybe being there will inspire an answer to the questions of, "What the hell is a port city built of humongous megalithic stone blocks doing 13.5 miles away from the shores of the nearest body of water? And why does the geological clock set the time that the shore was lapping at the port (i.e. when that remote and awesome place was built) back to the same time the Sphynx was staring head-on at the sun in Leo?"

These ideas, however useless they may be, sure do make for a fun parlour game.

Julie said...

I found you via Glenn Reynolds in 2009. I’ve been a daily reader ever since, but I’ve never commented. The Instapundit’s mother Glenda Childress was my librarian at Sam Houston Elementary School in Maryville, Tennessee. She always let me check out more books than I was supposed to have. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a special place that I have taken for granted. I live outside Nashville now and miss the beauty of the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls.

tpceltus said...

Well. Althouse has opened the question to discussion. Meade twice has supported Banff.

Oso Negro said...

I am late to this party, but I will weigh in anyhow. My favorite places are mostly not mentioned here, with the exception of Vienna. It is my favorite European capital, and a great place to visit near Christmas time. But I didn't think Althouse and Meade were going to jump on a tour bus, so I will offer the following:

1) the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. I think this is the most beautiful place in the world.

2) the Loire valley and its chateaux are an amazing trek, but would be better in the Spring.

3) Tanzania has incredibly friendly people and the game preserves are amazing.


4) you could visit Russia to see a post-socialist society. Red Square with the Tomb of Lenin opposing the most lovely shopping mall in the world is quite interesting.


5) Egypt deserves honorable mention. The Sphinx is a bit of a disappointment, but the Pyramids and the Nile deliver big time. And they are very happy to see Americans these days.

sodal ye said...

Blogger mccullough said...
Kathmandu

Shithole, tourist trap. Good for provisions for extended treks, nothing else.

sodal ye said...

Blogger Comanche Voter said...
You might go to the Lake District in England--and stay at the Miller Howe Hotel in Windermre. Lovely small hotel with a superb chef.

Good idea for Althouse.

sodal ye said...

Blogger Paul McKaskle said...
Bhutan--a spectacular country

Yup, but too rugged for Althouse.

Peter said...

Hong Kong

Mr. Forward said...

Baraboo. Bring your passport.

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