Wicked Wednesday–The Best Trip

One thing the Wickeds have in common–we love to travel. Planes, trains, airplanes, and ships. I know it’s like choosing your favorite child, but give it up Wickeds–best trip evah. Give us a description that will make us drool with envy.

And there it is....General Sherman Tree himself. One giant tree.

Edith: I have traveled extensively, and have lived abroad in some pretty unusual places (can you say Ougadougou?). But if I have to pick one best trip, it would be taking my sons, 18 and 21 at the time, to Sequoia National National Park where I grew up camping every summer with my parents and siblings. The air is clear and pungent with evergreens. The giant Sequoias are majestic and drop dead gorgeous. The trails we used to hike on, the snow-melt creek we swam in, the night sky alit with zillions of stars in their constellations – I got to share it all with my children. And they loved it.

Liz: Barb, visiting you in Key West is right up there! But I have to go with London. It’s such a cool place, and I felt really at home there. Over the course of two visits last year, I did a Jack the Ripper tour – which was awesomely creepy! – and ate amazing Indian food, visited a boat-turned-bookstore parked in a channel and manned by a sweet dog, spent a lot of time in Neal’s Yarde at bookstores and organic shops, and took the tube everywhere. It’s nice to visit with a local, too, so you get to do different things. I really loved it.

Sherry: It’s so hard to choose, but I have to agree with Liz about London. We went a few years ago and it was a dream vacation. London was everything I hoped for and more. I almost wept when I was in Westminster Abbey. So much history! We also spent a fun day in Paris.

Jessie: I agree with Sherry! It is really tough to choose! I cannot decide between a trip IIMG_0007 took to Iceland in 2016 for the Iceland Noir conference or the visit I had with my son in Scotland and England last spring. I loved Iceland for the wind and the terrain and the lilt
of the language. I adored wandering through the streets and tow paths of Oxford, the alleys of London and Edinburgh, the twisting roads of Thame and the shoreline of St. Andrews..

Our window

Barb: I asked this question but it was almost impossible to decide. My husband, daughter and I had a wonderful trip down memory lane discussing which one to choose. I’m going with our 2014 trip to Paris. A friend of ours does an apartment swap every summer and couldn’t use the last two and a half weeks, so Bill and I took it. The apartment was a beautiful, huge place with views of the Musee D’Orsay and the Seine. Everyone said August would be awful, but the weather was perfect and Parisians have system of rotating vacations so every neighborhood has an open boulangerie, patisserie and grocery. We spent long days wandering through the city, and tracking down offbeat attractions. We loved it!

JAH Camel Ride 3-23-2010 11-23-30 AMJulie: I love to travel, both in the US and abroad. I’ve taken a couple of river cruises which were wonderful, but I have to say that my 2010 adventure is my favorite memory. I had always dreamed of going to Egypt, and I finally got a chance with a group of folks from Harvard. We had an Egyptologist traveling with us, and had regular lectures. There aren’t many folks who you can climb into a tomb with, and happily sit for forty-five minutes while the details of the space arJAH at the Great Pyramid 3-21-2010 1-55-35 AM 3-21-2010 1-55-35 AMe explained in great detail. One of the highlights was a three day cruise down the Nile. One of the best prep books I read was Barbara Mertz’s Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt. As Elizabeth Peters, her Amelia Peabody series is one of my favorites, and I thought about them while I was there. I’ve had other wonderful trips, but Egypt was a dream come true.

Readers: Tell us about your best trip–where did you go and why was it the best?

38 Thoughts

  1. So hard to chose – I’ll opt for the one that made me a traveler. When I was in college I hopped on a plane and went to Jamaica. It was in 1970, I lived in a palm frond hut on Negril beach (then undeveloped) and had a great time. The end result was a lifelong love of the Caribbean and its people.

  2. I’m so jealous of you world travelers! I rarely traveled as a kid (hazard of living on a farm…animals still need to be cared for and it’s hard to find a cowsitter), but I’ve been taking a couple trips a year lately. My favorite so far was my very first trip out west in 2013 when we flew to Colorado Springs, rented a car and drove from there to Durango, Aztec, Silver City, and El Paso to catch our flight home. I got to see a lot of different scenery and visited some great friends along the way.

  3. I will go with the love for London, but also a trip to Niagara Falls when my sons were not quite a year old. They were enthralled by the roaring water and took their first steps in Canadian grass. The Sequoia National Park is on my bucket list–my husband and I were just discussing this. We will have to talk, Edith!

  4. I dreamed of traveling when I was a kid, and have done a lot as adult, thought not to very exotic places. We have found that when we like someplace we love going back and digging deeper. The best was probably the first time my husband and I went to France together. (We had both been to Paris separately in our youths) It was almost an accident – we planned to go to a big old hotel in the Quebec woods, near the mouth of the St.Lawrence River, but the advertised travel agency was so incompetent, i got ticked off, called American Airlines said, “Can we use our points to go to Paris in Aug?” and they said yes. It was a year of stress, serious health issues and when we were cleared to go…it was the trip where everything went right. Paris and train to Provence. Weather. Small adventures. Great hotels. Wonderful wandering where everything looked like a painting. I’ve also traveled on my own somewhat and that is another kind of fun, a few days of indulging my history and bookish whims every single minute. Thanks, Wickeds, for evoking the memories.

    1. So glad that trip worked out well, Triss – sounds like you needed it! I also love traveling on my own and have done a lot of it, especially in Japan.

  5. Hard choice but I would pick a trip to Alaska with several close friends from work. One of the women had lived in Anchorage for several years. She knew all the great places to visit. We rode in a small four-seater plane, visited small beautiful small towns, ate tons of seafood…I hated for the trip to end!

  6. I have been across the United States by train four times and have seen nearly every state, but – other than Canada – I’ve not visited any other countries. Someday I hope to see Italy which is at the top of my travel list. I’ve been fortunate to have many glorious trips, but my favorite would have to be when I took my Auntie to San Francisco and we visited all the places she remembered from growing up there. It was a trip of a lifetime.

    1. Kimberly, traveling by train is wonderful. My best trip — I call it “My Grand Adventure” — a round trip train ride from New York to Seattle. So much wonderful country to see; great lesson in “the quality of the journey” being more important than speed. I envy your multiple trips.

  7. When I was eight, my grandmother took a grand tour (paid for as a kind of retirement parting gift by her employer) to Europe. I still have all the postcards she sent. That planted the itch to travel, and since then I worked for a summer in a department store in London (with a side trip to Scotland to see the Highland Games), traveled through France looking at medieval monuments (thesis research), visited Italy, and spent a couple of weeks in the Yucatan.

    But the most memorable trip was to Australia, which hadn’t even been on my bucket list. My husband went there to do entomology research, but when he announced that, I said “I’m going.” That was a statement, not a question. It was wonderful. I was completely starry-eyed: “Oh, look, there’s a parrot sitting on the table next to us.” “That field is full of kangaroos!” “See all the fruit bats hanging in that tree?” I learned that emu daddies do a lot of the baby-sitting for the chicks, and saw a herd of elk in a field. (And had dinner with a fourth cousin in Sydney.) And I didn’t even get to Ireland until 1998!

    Seeing new places, meeting different people, makes you look at your own life in a different way.

    1. Australia was one of the ones I was tempted to choose for my answer. I went three times for work and got to spend some extra travel time. Once I went with my son, once with my husband and once with my daughter. It was magical and the people were lovely.

  8. I’m actually a terrible traveler and nine times out of ten would rather stay at home in rural Maine, but the most memorable place we’ve ever visited was Cornwall—history everywhere you look, along with spectacular scenery, especially at Tintagel. And the historic hotel where we stayed in Boscastle hosted an informal gathering of local musicians in its pub on a regular basis. Perfection.

  9. I think I’d have to go with the time I spent in Puerto Rico. Yes, I was working, but I also had the opportunity to tour the island – the beaches, the rain forest…having a local as a tour guide helped.

    1. I have never been to Puerto Rico, but listening to Lin Manuel Miranda on the Oscar red carpet urging people to go to inject money post hurricane, now I really want to!

  10. The best trip and the longest was our trip by car from New England to Alaska. We seemed to cross into Canada and back for a long time and then north of Fargo we went into and stayed in Canada until crossing back into the US at Chicken, AK. We went as far north as Fairbanks and saw Denali and the park, never got to Anchorage, but did stay in Haines from which we took the Marine Highway ferry to Prince Rupert and so to Montana and CO. and across Rte 70 and home…

  11. My best trip, so far, would have to be the trip hubby and I took 2 years ago to the the fall colors in the New England states. It was hubby’s first time to see an ocean. It was also our first trip that we didn’t have to pinch pennies or be on anyone else’s time schedule. We went up the whole coast of Maine stayed at the coast guard housing at the eastern point in the US as well as going to the northern most point before going back down into the heart of the state. The year we went Vermont was the prettiest at the time we went. We enjoyed riding the Mt. Washington cog train, seeing Arcadia National Park and Letchworth State Park as well as riding a helicopter over Niagara Falls. We had great fun along the way and made lots of wonderful memories for a lifetime.

  12. This post gave me travel envy! Edith, we took our daughter to Sequoia when she little and loved it. Those trees are incredible.

    I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I’d like re: foreign countries. I’ve been to England and Italy several times, and Switzerland. My choices would be more general. Any trip I take to NOLA and south Louisiana because I feel so connected to the region. And any time I’m on California Highway 46 between the 101 and PCH in Cambria. I really can’t imagine a more beautiful stretch of road exists anywhere. As we pass the high, rolling hills and views of the Pacific come into view, I never fail to feel overwhelmed by the vistas.

    1. I can’t believe it, I left out Australia and two trips to New Zealand! I think I forgot because all were working trips, where I either performed improv or taught writing. Extraordinary countries both.

      1. I had to laugh at your iterm “working trip.” When I went to Australia with my husband, I turned out to be a better bug-hunter than he was. I love learning anything new! New Zealand is on my to-do list–there may be more relatives there.

  13. Best trip? Yes.

    I think I’m going to go with the trip my family took right after I graduated from college. It was my college graduation trip for my entire family (parents, brothers, myself) to go to Europe for almost 4 weeks. Yeah, right, that was *my* present. Especially since the scrap book is at my parents’ house and I never had the option of taking it.

    In all seriousness, we had a great time and still have some family jokes from the trip.

    But I picked it here because of the literary qualities of the trip. Since I was in college several hundred miles away, my family pretty much planned it without me. However,, two things I really wanted to see were worked in. We started with Corrie ten Boom’s house in the Netherlands. She and her family hid Jews in their home during World War II, and we’d all read her memoir, The Hiding Place, years before.

    We ended the trip in Switzerland. The summer before is when I had discovered the Mrs. Pollifax series, and the 4th book is set in Switzerland. When I discovered that Château Chillon was a real place, I wanted to see it. That was a lot of fun.

    Then there was Neuschwanstein. If digital camera were around back then, I probably would have taken a million pictures of that place.

    1. I have loved following favorite books around cool places. A memorable walk around Edinburgh with Alexander McCall Smith’s Scotland Street series comes to mind.

  14. I love to travel! And reading about all the places here has really gotten my wanderlust ramped up. My hubby and I will be traveling across country to visit our daughter, again. We never get tired of the majesty of the US. However, my best trip ever was the first time I went to Peru. That introduced me to a gorgeous, friendly country. I have returned 25 times and fall in love again every time. I love the history, the ruins, the mountains, the rain forest, and all the friendliest people in the world.

  15. I used to love to travel and we would go every year to visit my mother’s family in Germany. Even when all we did was visit with them and not go anywhere it was magical. Gatlinburg is another great place to just relax. My favorite trip has to be the time we went to Germany and drove down to Bavaria. We visited Neuschwanstein Castle and rode up in the snow in a horse drawn sleigh. Seeing all the artistic homes along the way to the area was wonderful. Then drove to the Austrian Alps (all in the snow) stayed in a family owned B&B in a small town of only 3 families. It was amazing. the view from our balcony was heaven. Deer, snow, the Alps, the full moon bright as the sun at midnight. Have to say I also loved seeing Aerosmith for New Year’s Eve in Boston was one I will never forget

  16. Edith — (can you say Ougadougou?) No, I can’t. Impressive travel . . . and it’s fun to travel in books.
    ETSU organized some lovely storytelling cruises, with classes onboard that meshed with shore excursions. Of those, my favorite may have been Alaska, but Greece and Italy were wonderful also.
    The year I taught study skills, I taught in Jamaica, as well as four U.S. cities. There is something special about living and working in a place.

  17. I won two free plane tickets and a two night hotel stay from Ellen’s 12 days of Christmas giveaway. We flew into Miami, stayed there one night, and then drove to Key West for several days of vacation. We did Fantasy Fest, we flew to Dry Tortugas, and we just enjoyed the drive down and back. It was the most relaxing, amazing, fun getaway we’ve had yet.

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