Ever since I first set my eyes on Roman Holiday, the eternal city has captivated me. Gelato on the Spanish Steps, dancing on the barges, Vespa rides through the narrow streets...you had me at ciao! I was blessed to be able to honeymoon there, though we barely even scratched the surface even after 10 days. Add its proximity to Vatican City and Papa Francesco, and you might very well find me nibbling on a panini sipping some vino. Maybe.
Oh, Assisi. I could happily hide out in Assisi for a few weeks or lives...however long it takes me to plumb he depths of the wisdom of St. Francis and St. Clare. We took a "day trip" there during our honeymoon, and I don't think I need to tell you that a few hours is just a cruel teaser. If you don't find me in Rome, check the lower chapel or paths of Assisi!
Connemara Region of Ireland
I couldn't pick just one little town. This whole region has a way of charming me, be it the lush green hills, green marble crags, smell of peat moss fires, bright colored quaint houses, tea, proximity to Croagh of St. Patrick...I could get lost quite happily for many moons here. If I'm eluding you in Assisi, bring your walking stick and see if you can find me in the beautiful countryside of the Connemara.
Estes Park, CO
This is a peek into the vacations of my youth. The reality may not hold a candle to the flames of nostalgia that remembers the crisp air, clear water, no allergies, fishing with my dad, and eating at a grand hotel. I think it was the first time I was outside without allergies plaguing me, and that made an indelible mark in my memory as a place I would gladly visit again and again. Sadly, I fear that the fires recently may have left their mark on Estes Park, though in my mind the air is still crisp and the water clear. If you didn't spot me in Ireland, grab your saddle and take a look on the trails around Estes Park.
Who doesn't want to go to a land down under? From the iconic Opera House, to its many beaches, to the Blue Mountains nearby and general hospitality, Sydney was a great experience even in the madness of a World Youth Day. I would love to go back and visit sans madness! The outback intrigues me as well, though we never made it there on our trip, but I'd happily trounce around Sydney visiting the Bendictines we were hosted by, searching for kanga and roo, taking in the Pacific on its other shores and maybe even taking in a show. If I was MIA in Colorado, you may want to grab your opera glasses and some Vegemite, mate!
Puri, Orissa - India
I didn't spend much time here, and it was when I was quite young. I do remember thinking how beautiful and simple it was though, so it doesn't make my top five, but needed a mention regardless.
Here's hoping I don't need to renew my passport anytime soon! For more favorites, head on over to Hallie's at Moxie Wife! Hopefully we will return to some more sane favorites here next week.