Thursday, January 14, 2010

Favorite Places Ever

In her most recent post, Marti proclaimed Jerusalem as one of her favorite places ever. That got me thinking, what is my list of favorite places ever?

10. Lake Cachuma
It's really not the best campsite around. I actually prefer El Capitan State Beach for car camping. But, Lake Cachuma benefits from proximity to Santa Ynez. One of the best experiences in the world is sitting fireside, stargazing, enjoying vino purchased from the tasting trip earlier in the day. After an amazing dinner from the grill of course.

9. Paris
Spring. Night. Somewhere along the Seine. It has just rained, the streets are wet and the city lights are reflected twofold. And then enjoying yogurt from glass jars and Madeleine, with cider for breakfast.

8. Yellowstone National Park
Amazing. Everyone should visit this fantastical place at least once. Boiling lakes, bubbling mud, spitting geysers...getting out of the way of wandering bison. Never in any other place have I ever felt nature and earth so deeply.

7. Boston
Strolling the Commons and Public Gardens in the Fall, Yashica in hand. I miss Boston. Even the winters, sometimes. The energy there is so...brainy. I think I felt smarter just by living there. I learned to love indian food here. And shopping. And dancing. And photography. And a boy.

6. San Francisco
Wandering without a map, discovering local treasures. The fashion! So good. Actually, the free tram from the airport to the BART station is pretty awesome too. And the California Academy of Sciences!! The art is great. And the food! Yum. I always come back wanting to move there.

5. Rome
Specifically Piazza Navona at dusk, preferably in warm weather with a gelato cone (con panna of course) from Giolliti in hand.

4. Sutri
So serene and relaxing. The giant green trees, the old structures, the ancient amphitheatre and tombs,'s like a magical fairy place.

3. Los Angeles
All of it. Can't really take the good without the bad, right? It's my hometown. I've got a giant, squishy soft spot in my heart for it. Beaches, mountains, tacos, dim sum, Korean BBQ, farmer's markets nearly every day...and today's weather forecast? Sunshine, some clouds, 73 degrees. I love LA. Really, I do. Plenty of stuff wrong with it but every place has that. (Pet peeve: I really don't understand it when people who are not from LA choose to move here but make it a favorite past time to constantly trash it in conversation. You don't like it? Go away. Make a life in a place you love, or learn to love the place where you make your life.)

2. My parent's house
Quite possibly the most comfortable place on earth. Post dinner lazing in the living room is akin to being wrapped up in a warm cozy cocoon from which you are hard pressed to emerge. It hasn't happened yet but there has been more than one occasion where I've considered spending the night in my old room just to extend the cozy feeling.

1. Our house
We haven't been here long but we love love love it. It HAS been nearly 7 months though and we are still excited to come home every time. We find ourselves just hanging out here, just the two of us, a lot. It's become one of my favorite pastimes.

Ok, so I cheated. What I've listed are favorite memories and experiences really. How else does one connect to a place and make it favored? There are a few others that nearly made the list, simply for the breathtaking moment each conveyed.
  • Gazing up at Michelangelo's David in The Accademia, Florence.
  • Walking into the room that houses Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Art Institute, Chicago.
  • The Grand Canyon, anywhere along either rim.

What are your favorite places ever?

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