While I was growing up my family frequently took road trips across the country. It gave us a great opportunity to see many places. Then when Jay was overseas we were able to take R&R and visit even more places. It was very difficult for me to narrow the list down to 10 of my favorite places, but I did the best I could, and here they are...
At the very end of 2004 and beginning of 2005 Jay and I visited Germany for one of his R&Rs. As you will notice while going through the list this is the only place on my Top 10 that isn't just one place. That is because I fell in love with every place we went in Germany. We started and ended in Frankfurt. We also visited Heidelberg (probably my favorite), Koln, Garmish, and Munchen. Every place was breathtaking, and all are places I would return. In fact I often say if I ever move outside the USA, Germany is where I would chose to go.
Jay, Me, Melea, and Jeff celebrating New Years Eve on the bridge in Heidelberg.
2. Venice, Italy
In 2006 Jay, my parents, and I visited Italy. While I liked multiple parts of the trip, Venice was my favorite city. I also definitely enjoyed visiting St Peter's square, and I even got to shake hands with the Pope.
3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
My family and I took a trip to Myrtle Beach right before I started college. I am a big fan of the ocean, and I definitely loved this trip. We also visited Charleston which is a gorgeous city. Myrtle Beach is a great city to people watch. Honestly there is the most interesting combination of people there; it is amusing.
Unfortunatley this was prior to me having a digital camera so you will have to enjoy stock pictures.
4. Estes Park, Colorado
Estes Park is definitely one of my favorite places in Colorado. Obviously I love the mountains in Colorado, but this is such a sweet and laid back little town. It is a must visit!
5. Scarborough, Maine
Last summer Jay, Ashley, and I visited Maine. We went out to see friends for a BBQ/ Lobster Boil and we had an amazing time. The people there are so friendly, the area is beautiful, and I believe it is one of the cleanest places I have visited. We went in the beginning of June and the water was very chilly, but it definitely didn't stop us from playing in it.
6. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone was one of the big family vacations we took. We stopped multiple places including Corn Palace, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Colorado.
Honestly the geysers at Yellowstone are something everyone should see, but they really weren't my favorite part. I loved all the scenery and the animals even more.
7. Smokey Mountain National Park
I don't remember how old I was the first time I visited the Smokey Mountains, but I believe it was a family vacation when I was in about 2nd grade. I love the Smokey Mountains. I love the mountains, the scenery, and most importantly the waterfalls. This is also where we were when the infamous story about my dad falling in the creek happened.
8. Branson, Missouri
Although it isn't very far away Branson will always be one of my favorite places. I love the atmosphere down there. I have been there more times than I can count, but I don't think I will ever get sick of visiting.
9. The Gulf of Mexico
I originally had multiple different locations on the gulf listed, but what it boils down to is that I like the gulf. I enjoy being in the water without as much fear about being dragged under and such. There are many fun places to visit along the gulf, but you will likely find me in the water more than anything else.
10. Whistler, Canada
In 2007 Jay and I visited Canada. We went to Victoria, Vancouver, and Whistler. While all the places were nice Whistler was by far my favorite. It was definitely a tourist town, but we had so much fun there, and it was such a laid back place. All the workers in town had name tags that said their hometowns and it was amazing to see all the different places people were from.
Weston, Missouri: I couldn't decide how to include this one because it is close to my home so it isn't really somewhere I travel to. However, it is one of my favorite places to go for the day. I love walking around the downtown area. Red Barn Farm is there and it happens to be one of my favorite places on earth. I love the little farm, the animals, the shop, and the friendliness of everyone. Weston is where my grandma grew up, and it is where most people on her side of the family are buried. We go to the cemetary there frequently, and if I had my choice it is likely where I would chose to be once I pass. Setting all that aside though Weston is a wonderful little town, and a nice place to spend a day relaxing.