Tag Archives: Tourist Attractions

I had been to Neuschwanstein once before, in 2005. I went with my parents. Both of them.

I do not recommend going anywhere with my parents. I love them both – I really and truly do. Without them, I would not exist, and I am such a huge fan of existing.

But good heavens, there are the two most incompatible humans on the planet. I’m not surprised they got divorced. I’m shocked they were ever together.

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Remember how I said, like, just last week that even though I wasn’t a religious person, I could easily get behind the beliefs of those who are religious? Let’s keep that in mind, and remember that I am sometimes open-minded and loving, and accepting of the beliefs of others.

This, however, is not one of those times.

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From the moment Rand told me about the Salton Sea, I wanted to go.

I’m probably one of the few people in the last 50 years to have had that sentiment.

Here’s why:

The Salton Sea is not a hot getaway destination, or even a particularly nice place to kill a couple of hours, but it used to be. The sea was created by accident at the beginning of the last century. Engineers goofed up an irrigation route from the Colorado river, and flooded an area of the Coachella Valley which then became known as the Salton Sea.

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Salvation Mountain, California.

 

Unless we’re talking about poltergeists or the healing power of cupcakes, I could not be described as a believer. I can’t even claim that I’m spiritual and not religious, because I’m not even that. The only thing that comes close in my life is my tendency to say “HOLY CATS” when I’m shocked about something, which brings to mind a rather delightful image of a higher power of the feline persuasion.

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The shadow of our car on the rocky mountainside below us.

 

For years, my aunt has tried to persuade me to move to California. Her tactic has been repetition of the state’s numerous glittering qualities.

“We have the beaches, and then the mountains are just an hour away. An hour! You can go swimming at the beach and then go skiing!”

When that fails, mostly because I don’t understand how such a thing could be true (I have seen no such evidence of the multi-climate environment she claims exists in Southern California. It is, all of it, very warm and rather pleasant), she tries changing tactics.

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The Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs is not terribly big. Fortunately, admission reflects this:

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Visiting Philadelphia during a government shutdown was a strange thing. The National Parks at the heart of the city – Independence Hall and the Benjamin Franklin Museum – were closed, and the surroundings areas looked all but abandoned. Fences were placed around many of the buildings, so you couldn’t even press your nose against the window to see what you were missing. Guards monitored the entrances to make sure no one made a mad dash for the front doors of the Liberty Bell.

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If you happen to have the chance to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which is wonderful), here is a bit of advice: run up the steps to the museum.

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Just like Rocky Balboa did.

I know, I know – it’s silly and cliche. Doing so may earn you a few eye rolls from locals and museum members. Someone might quietly shake their head. You may spot someone else running up the stairs, then proceed to shadowbox when they reach the top, and you will think, Goodness, they look ridiculous.

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