Places I Have Been

Places I Have Been
Sometimes in life we just have to get away...

I have that need a lot. Call it a Gypsy spirit or a restless heart, whatever it is I never wanna stop. I am at my happiest spending time with my girls or getting to see new things. It comes from an uncontrollable desire to experience the world around me and to immerse myself in nature, culture, and the moment. Sometimes it may be stopping on the side of the road to see an old dilapidated building or a weirdly formed tree. Other times it is a planned trip to a theme park or a walk in the woods. More often than not, it is just getting in the car and driving, with no destination in mind.

Those drives are amazing. Windows down, radio on, and never knowing what is ahead of you. And I have such varied interests in things and places that I never know what little view may spark my desire to stop. I have learned over the years to just go with it. I have found some of my favorite places that way. From the little boat dock, where I went back to swim many times, to a long stretch in the middle of the forest where over a hundred little deer lined the road. Some call it getting lost, but I say there is no such thing. No wrong turns, just more to see!

So far, those little excursions have taken me to 28 states. Or at least that’s what I think it was at last count, so it seems I have a lot of updating to do. I plan to make it to All 50 states eventually and then work on as many other countries as I can.

Individual States:

Things that I find especially interesting:

I find many times, no matter what the city, state, or country, I will gravitate to the same “Type” of places.  In these links, you will find a combination of the stories and photos from these places, based on type.

Lands in the National Park system:

National parks are by far my favorite destinations. And I have even watched the Ken Burn series, “National Parks” until I have it about memorized.

This link includes all lands in the NPS, currently, that is right around 400 locations. Which includes the parks, monuments, battlefields, recreation areas and wilderness areas.

Some allow overnight stays, others are a day visit or a drive through. I try to photograph the visitors’ centers when open, as I find they are an excellent source of information about the area. Sometimes I will camp, hike the trails and wildlife watching. And other times I just see what I can. It all varies, based on circumstances, timing, and weather.

State Parks:

Much as I am taken with  National Parks, so am I State Parks.  Most of all, I like the remoteness of them. They are an excellent place to learn about the native species as well as the history of an area.

Court Houses:

“Look for the clock” that is what I say, each time we drive into a little town. Because most of the time the city court house has a clock on a tower. Seems like they are peering over the city like a watchman. However, this does tend to make them easy to see and to find the center of town and usually the historic area.  After visiting the extremely ornate ones in Texas, I became hooked on the buildings themselves. So now it is a category all unto itself.

Zoos and Aquariums:

This category probably should be at the top of the list as I rarely will pass up a zoo or to see some fish. And I have been known to travel to an area or change my route just to go to one.

Forts and Battlegrounds:

This one started with St. Augustine. Growing up the Castello di San Marco, in St. Augustine, was a staple on my trips to the beach. As kids, we loved running around it pretending that we were soldiers or seeing if we could fit in the very small beds or through the tiny opening into the powder room.

As I became an adult, I understood it more and detested the idea of forts and war. But as with everything in life they have their purpose. And these old forts are history. We should study them, cherish them. They have survived for centuries. Men and women gave their lives protecting them. They have a purpose in the pure architecture of them, but also much value in that they were essential in shaping what our lives were to become. In these forts, we can get a sense of where we came from, and a better appreciation for what our ancestors went through.

Museums and Art Galleries:

What isn’t in a museum? I have seen everything from shoes to a rock from the moon. So much knowledge, history, and just outright quirkiness. Gotta love museums! And Art Galleries for an artist, well that’s just a given.

Small Towns:

Small towns have always been a curiosity to me. Seeing how others live, the dilapidated buildings that are usually decades old and finding all of the hidden gems that aren’t on the “normal” tourist maps.

Botanical Gardens:

This category is really for my Mom and Grandmother. My Gramma gave me a love for blooms, there wasn’t a plant that she couldn’t make thrive. My mother has carried on that love. and I like to see her face light up when she sees a bright colorful flower.

And finally, My Bucket List of where my Gypsy Spirit WANTS to roam:

This is an ever growing list and one I am sure I will never finish. But, that’s okay. Life is about seeing and experiencing everything you can in the time you have.

 

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2 thoughts on “Places I Have Been

  • February 17, 2014 at 10:21 am
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    Thank you, Shelley. I understand. I hope you enjoy it, I am having a lot of fun putting it together. 🙂

    Reply
  • February 17, 2014 at 12:52 am
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    Welcome to the road and thanks for the follow. This internet is kind of wacky, so will have a look at your site when the reception improves.

    Reply

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