Inspiration can come from anywhere and take you everywhere. For example, we went to Cuba because I read a magazine article while in Vienna, Austria, about Cuba’s inability to finance restorations of its historic buildings. Convinced everything would crumble before we had a chance to see it, I booked a trip to Cuba and enjoyed one of the most colorful, memorable weeks of my life. So what if the beaches are guarded? I encourage everyone to visit Cuba because when the Castro family dies, Starbucks and McDonalds will crop up like weeds and crowd out the beautiful decaying colonial buildings and virginal white beaches. Then Cuba will look like almost every other place on the planet. Here are a few shots of our trip in June 2003; not quite mojitos with Fidel, but still awesome.
Once, I was inspired by poultry. Yes, poultry. I read an article about wild chickens roaming Key West, Florida, and convinced my husband that we needed to run with the chickens–a much safer version, in my mind, than running with the bulls. We flew to Key West about two years ago and, much to my and my daughter’s delight, we zig zagged our rented bikes among the chickens. Later, we ate some, though I’m not sure our meals were cousins of the “free-range” chickens we biked with.
Now, I’m inspired by Frommers. 2012 marks Arizona’s 100th anniversary of statehood. Arizona happened to be on our list because a close friend recently moved there, but now this image of hot air ballooning across Sedona, Arizona, has me rushing to get there sooner rather than later, and I don’t even like to fly…on anything, whether it’s filled with jet fuel or oxygen. But I’m willing to skip the Xanax and hop on a hot air balloon if it means experiencing this stunning view.
Sticking with Arizona, another stop on my wish list includes “the Wave”, though I’m not a seasoned outdoorswoman; most U.S. national parks; Ireland’s countryside; Chiang Mai and Phuket; Italy–again, since I only spent four days there in 1996; almost anywhere in Africa; kimono shopping in Kyoto; Cuenca, Ecuador; the Canadian Rockies; a yoga retreat to India; and Poland, because that’s the mother land and I have a feeling I’ll blend in nicely over there.
I’m also very excited about our next jaunt, which will take us a few hundred miles north to the picturesque city of Quebec for some je ne sais quois. Since we’re driving and not flying (not because of a fear of flying, but because we’re cheap) we’re splurging on the hotel. I’m looking forward to sampling fromageries and all things dipped in maple sugar. Maybe there will be a dusting of snow on the ground. My last trip to Canada was a weekend in Vancouver more than 11 years ago, so I am long overdue for a return holiday. During my two nights in Vancouver, I stayed at the hotel President Clinton had visited while he was still in charge, and dined at Le Crocodile where I witnessed some of the most skilled tableside fileting of fish ever performed. I hope eastern Canadians are as talented with a blade as their western cousins.