Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions, either via comments or emails. Y'all have some great ideas and I appreciate your sharing them. Feel free to keep 'em coming. Oh, and Green Girl in Wisconsin? Thanks for the guide book recommendation. I went to Barnes & Noble today and got a copy. Not only will it be helpful with trip planning, but since it weighs about 17 pounds, I can use it to help weigh down my suitcase lid when I'm trying to zip it shut.
To those of you who waxed poetic about how romantic London will be in April, here's my question for you: Have you ever traveled with children? Seriously. There is no romance in sharing a hotel room with the kidlets for ten days straight. Yes, we could get a suite, which is what we do when we travel domestically, but the fact is we'll be in one of the most expensive cities on the planet, so we won't be getting a suite at the Ritz or even at the Dew Drop Inn. We will very likely be getting a basic room at a B&B and paying an arm and a leg AND a boob for it.
Guess what amazing thing we discovered last night? (And Guider, I cannot believe you didn't mention this to me already. I thought we were friends.)
That's right people. A factory tour of my favorite British chocolate company. This could very well be the thing that helps us decide on going to the Cotswolds instead of York. I know, I know, it's probably a tourist trap and not all that great. Who cares? It can't possibly be as lame as Hershey's so-called factory tour and, even if it is, Cadbury World has the largest retail shop of Cadbury's products in the world, so I'm totally good with that.
When I told Elegant about Cadbury World, she mused that it would be just like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Only, without Willy Wonka. And no creepy Oompa Loompas. And no missing children. But, just the same, otherwise.
I asked Pete if he wanted to go to Legoland Windsor. You know, my husband, a.k.a. Mr. Amusement Park. The very same guy who was in Orlando one week ago today. Do you want to want to know what he said? "Eh, I don't know. Maybe." Clearly, something is off kilter in the universe today.
When I woke up this morning, I naturally started thinking about this trip. But then my thoughts wandered and I started remembering some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen:
- Milford Sound in New Zealand -- The drive there was gorgeous (you've probably seen it in some Mazda ads on TV) and then our tour of the sound was even more stunning.
- Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona -- Between Sedona and Flagstaff. This is one of the greatest drives we've ever had.
- Castle Stalker in Loch Laich in Scotland. It's a teeny tiny castle on a teeny tiny island IN the loch. (Also featured in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" -- something every person should be familiar with.)
- Closer to home, one of the reasons we live in Virginia is the Blue Ridge Mountains. I grew up having mountain views around me and life without them would not be possible.
- There's a beach near Santa Barbara that is my favorite beach ever. Towering cliffs separate the beach from the mainland and give the area a cozy, protected feeling. The beach itself has the most abundant offerings of shells, rocks, sea glass, and driftwood. And the Channel Islands are 40 miles off in the distance, but look much closer.
But I want to hear from y'all. Where have you been that was so beautiful it took your breah away?