Humor, Life, Travel

Where Do You Wanna Go?

california, lax. LA, hollywood, airport

I’ve assembled a travel bucket list for the past several years because I discovered my passion of travel when I was in my forties.

Maybe it’s because I’ve realized how quickly time passes, or maybe it’s because of my oldest daughter’s wanderlust, which has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Can you say traveling to California with her last summer?  I never imagined I’d be able to do that until I really did it.

Here is my travel bucket list of places I want to see, areas I want to return to, and places I want to visit for the first time.

I also enjoy looking for unusual or quirky things in every place that I visit, so I’m including those in each bucket list item as well.

#GOALS. Unique and funny travel quotes by Bold Tuesday
Courtesy of Bold Tuesday

1- The Dirty Dancing filming location

Maybe this isn’t the best way to start my list because, as much as I love the film Dirty Dancing, it is the cheesiest movie ever.

As a result, it has become a cult classic.

The movie was filmed in the Lake Lure, North Carolina area (NOT the Catskills), which is rather stunning.

Image result for mountain lake lodge dirty dancing
“Kellerman’s” courtesy of Mountain Lake Lodge

And , you guess what? You can stay IN Kellerman’s!

Well not actually Kellerman’s; it’s Mountain Lake Lodge, but it is the movie’s filming location.

They even have a Dirty Dancing Weekend package that includes dance lessons, dance parties, and other dancing themed activities.

Holy hell, that’s a lot of dancing.

Maybe you should go during the off-season.

Quirky thing to do near Lake Lure, North Carolina- I feel that the above is the quirky thing to do, but Asheville is only a 50-minute drive away and is full of incredibly quirky things to do. However, if I had to pick only one, it would be the American Museum of the House Cat.

Three words: cat-related curiosities.

2- Back to Los Angeles 

It was a lot of fun Anna and I went last summer, but we were really only there for three days, including travel from Chicago, due to our limited budget. There wasn’t enough time to see much more than the tourist attractions Hollywood and L.A. had to offer

And, while I do recommend seeing those things if it is your first time in the city, they aren’t the only things to see in LA.

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Olvera Street in LA courtesy of Los Angeles Magazine

We didn’t get to go to the Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Olvera Street, and this place looks cool:

Old Zoo Picnic Area courtesy of Atlas Obscura

Old Zoo Picnic Area.

It’s also my quirky pick for the Los Angeles area. You get to eat your picnic in an abandoned zoo! I mean, if this doesn’t give you a sense of who I really am, I don’t know what else will.

3- Chinatown in Chicago 

I know it’s an hour from my house, but in the nearly 30 years I’ve lived in the greater Chicagoland area, I’ve never been to Chinatown. I’ve driven by it many times on the way to White Sox games, but never as my destination.

This needs to change right away.

Image result for chinatown chicago
Chicago’s Chinatown courtesy of Enjoy Illinois

In fact, there are so many great cultural villages within the city of Chicago alone, such as Pilsen (Mexico), Greek Town (Greek, duh), and Little Italy (Italian, also duh), which are the city’s well-known districts, but there are many more. I personally would love to do my own little cultural food tour of the city, who wants to join me?

Quirky thing to do in or around Chinatown- PopKTV is a karaoke club in Chinatown where you can even rent out a private room for $38 bucks an hour for you and your friends.

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Montreal at night courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

4- Canada (particularly Vancouver, Spotted Lake in rural British Columbia, the city of Quebec, and Montreal) 

Hey, guess what? There is a whole other country above ours! It’s called Canada, and it’s enormous. To be honest, Canada is a tad bit confusing to foolish Americans like me.

For example, there are provinces and territories. Quebec is both a country and a city. Fortunately, I discovered a map to help us ignorant Americans.

Image result for map of canada provinces and cities
Courtesy of Knight’s Canadian Info Collection

Vancouver, in British Columbia, is the first place I’d like to visit in Canada.

Spotted Lake is another place in British Columbia that I’d like to see because look at this:

Spotted lake surrounded by lush, green mountains.
Spotted Lake courtesy of Super, Natural British Columbia

The lake! It’s spotted!

Head here to read why because I am not Bill Nye.


After visiting Vancouver and Spotted Lake, I’ll need to board a plane and fly to the city of Quebec, because I was too scared to go on the French class trip my freshman year.

Long story.

Things To Do In Quebec CityThings To Do In Quebec City
Old Quebec City courtesy of To Europe and Beyond

There are so many places to explore in Quebec and Quebec City, but I am really hoping to put my 15 words of French that I learned during a three-year period to good use.

Quebecers are going to LOVE me. (That’s sarcasm)

I’d like to go to Montreal as well, but mostly because one of our Uber drivers in LA this summer recommended it to us. He was from Montreal (thick with a French accent) and homesick when he began raving about his hometown. I love it when people are proud of their heritage, and when I get a travel tip for a place I never imagined going, I want to go.

In fact, I promised him we would go. So I kind of have to go now.

Quirky thing to do in Vancouver, British ColumbiaDude Chilling Park.

Dude Chilling Park courtesy of Atlas Obscura

Quirky thing to do in Quebecvisit the prison turned library in the Morrin Centre.

Quirky thing to do in Montreal- Habitat 67 looks like a really cool place to hang, but only after you’ve explored Underground Montreal first.

Habitat 67 courtesy of Atlas Obscura

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Underground Montreal City courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Highclere Castle courtesy of Flickr

5- Downton Abbey Castle 

I enjoyed this show and I’d like to visit a castle someday, so why not kill two birds with one stone? The castle is called Highclere Castle, not Downton Abbey, so don’t refer to it as such or you’ll look like a tourist.

Actually, Highclere Castle caters to Downton fans by offering DA tours and they also have a gift shop. But you have to log in and create an account to get tickets, which isn’t really appealing to me, so I have no idea how much they cost.

But Downton er Highclere is only an hour from London, and I absolutely want to experience London and all it offers someday as well.

Quirky thing to do in Londonget coffee in a bathroom (or loo, as they are called there) in Fitzrovia.

6- Above ground cemeteries New Orleans

If you’ve never been to New Orleans, you should go, but not for Bourbon Street.

We got a chance to spend an afternoon in New Orleans two years ago and really liked it.

Go for the locals, the food, the side streets:

And the cemeteries.

Quirky thing to do in New Orleans- The Singing Oak is a tree in a park full of wind chimes.

7- Sedona Arizona, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon

I am drawn to Sedona and I don’t really know why. Apparently, there is positive vortex energy (energy that projects out of the Earth’s loins) in the air out there, and I’m here for all of it, even if I don’t know what any of that means.

Image result for sedona arizona
Sedona courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I also want to visit Flagstaff (only 45 minutes away)and the Grand Canyon (less than two hours away) while I’m there because I’ve never gone.

Quirky thing to do near Sedona- Vortexes, people! If energy that spews from Mother Earth doesn’t tickle your quirky pickle, then I can’t help.

Cathedral Rock offers one of several vortexes.

Image result for cathedral rock sedona az
Cathedral Rock Trail courtesy of Flickr

8- Gettysburg, Hershey, and Amish Country

After reading some of the mystic locales above, this may appear to be an afterthought, but it isn’t. I visited this region when I was a child and I loved it. Pennsylvania is beautiful, especially in the central part of the state.

Did you know there are mountains in Pennsylvania?

And tunnels that allow you to drive through those mountains?

Image result for hershey pennsylvania
THE STREETLIGHTS ARE HERSHEY KISSES! Also, the town smells like chocolate. 

They also make chocolate in Pennsylvania!

No wonder I was so enamored as a kid.

Image result for gettysburg battlefield

They had historical battles here.

And don’t forget about the Amish.

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Lancaster County PA courtesy of Flickr

I would head here first because there is so much to offer in such a small area.

Like this:

Image result for intercourse pennsylvania

COME ON! Isn’t this is worth the toll road alone?

Quirky thing to do in Central Pennsylvania– Intercourse, Lititz, Blue Ball are legitimate town names, and you should visit if only to take a picture with the signs. You get bonus points if you do anything revolting while posing.

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The Temple Bar Dublin courtesy of Pixabay

9- Pub tour in Dublin

If I ever go to Ireland, I plan on being drunk for most of it. Oh sure, I will sightsee before I get all sorts of drunk, because traveling to Ireland is a big deal. But I mostly want to experience Irish culture and drinking, singing, and merriment. This is exactly what I expect from Ireland, and it better not let me down.

I do want to visit other regions of Europe someday, especially Germany, where I may even have some long-lost relatives, but for some reason, Ireland calls my heart more.

When my husband and I were dating, I made a genealogy-report style gift for his birthday one year about his family’s roots in Ireland. His dad has dual citizenship, and I know his heritage means a lot to him, so I worked feverishly to create a gift to show I cared. In our basement to this day is the framed 2003 Word document in Comic Sans (bless my heart) all about his beginnings in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland. I really need to update that.

Personally, I would begin our trip in Dublin and do a pub tour there first. They offer a lot of pub crawls that you can pay for or you can just stumble down the street with your new Irish friends, which is precisely how we plan on doing it. And I sincerely hope one of them is named Seamus. 

After sobering up, we are all boarding a train for the four hour ride to Westport and heading to this place:

Image result for mj hoban westport
Courtesy of Trip Advisor

M.J. Hoban’s in downtown Westport.

A “family” pub.

There is some doubt over whether or not this is a family pub. The name is all family, but there are lot of Hoban’s in Westport, so there are some Irish-style kerfuffles about whether or not it is indeed my husband’s blood family.

We don’t intend on fighting for the ownership, I just want to sit inside, drink heavily, and listen to this:

Oh look, I’m already there at the bottom of the screen!

I feel like Seamus will love this place.

Quirky thing to do in Dublin- The Hungry Tree; a bench-eating tree!

Quirky thing to do in Westport- Titanic Monument. 14 residents from one little village in County Mayo were lost when the Titanic sunk. I don’t like using the word quirky for this one, but it’s a definite must-see.

10- Lake Hillier, Australia (Pink Lake)

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Pink Lake in Hillier Australia courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There is a pink lake on an island off the coast of Australia and the only way to get there is by scenic plane. The lake is pink because of salt or something (again, I’m not Bill Nye), so read this to get the complete story.

It is suggested to fly from the mainland out of the town of Esperance. Esperance is not near any large city, so to get to Esperance from say, Perth (the largest city nearest), it would take you almost 8 hours of driving or you could fly, which is about an hour and a half.

But man, if I ever (BIG ever) get to Australia, I am doing this because why the hell would you NOT?

Dingo Flour Sign courtesy of Atlas Obscura

Quirky thing to do near Perth- Dingo Flour Sign looks cool only because I hear this whenever I hear the word dingo:

There is also this cool sculpture in the ocean to commemorate an engineer who killed himself. Morbid, yes but the sculpture is really pretty cool.

C.Y. O’Connor Horse and Rider Sculpture courtesy of Atlas Obscura

If money was no option, where would you go? 

24 thoughts on “Where Do You Wanna Go?”

  1. I’ve seen the Dirty Dancing Lodge from the water many years ago. I didn’t know you could stay there, so thanks for that!
    I’m enamored by the pink lake in Australia! I think that must be where Hello Kitty takes a bath. 😉
    I just had my first (2) visits to Pennsylvania last year and I was shocked at how pretty it is; I’d love to go back and explore some more.
    Sedona is gorgeous and spiritual. If you dig that kind of stuff.
    I’ve never been to Ireland.
    We love to travel and I don’t share too many pics on FB because I know most people can’t do as we do…but, it is one of the best parts of life I think.
    I have Vancouver on my bucket list!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sedona is a magical place, and it does have a super energy, and the Grand Canyon is one of my favorite places. I lived there once for a month back in 2001. I planned on living there longer, but it was right before 9/11 and literally all of my family was in NY at that time.

    Vancouver is such a beautiful city, and it’s where a ton of CW shows were filmed. I have a media travel bucket list that includes a few spots from there for shows like Smallville.

    That cemetery is creepy and beautiful in the most wonderful way.

    PA really is beautiful, and if head up that way please let me know! I’m only about an hour or two from there!

    Did you know that you can see the Temple Bar 24/7 on a webcam: I’m a bit obsessed with webcams of the world, it’s a quick way to travel with your eyes.

    Also, can I please go with you when you see that pink lake? Let’s plan a trip. I need to see that!


  3. Sedona is a magical place, and it does have a super energy, and the Grand Canyon is one of my favorite places. I lived there once for a month back in 2001. I planned on living there longer, but it was right before 9/11 and literally all of my family was in NY at that time.

    Vancouver is such a beautiful city, and it’s where a ton of CW shows were filmed. I have a media travel bucket list that includes a few spots from there for shows like Smallville.

    That cemetery is creepy and beautiful in the most wonderful way.

    PA really is beautiful, and if head up that way please let me know! I’m only about an hour or two from there!

    Did you know that you can see the Temple Bar 24/7 on a webcam: I’m a bit obsessed with webcams of the world, it’s a quick way to travel with your eyes.

    Also, can I please go with you when you see that pink lake? Let’s plan a trip. I need to see that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sedona needs to be next on my list but now I really want to do PA because it is ONLY TWO HOURS FROM YOU!
      I need to do webcams of places!! That is amazing!!

      Let’s plan a Pink Lake trip!!!!!


  4. Love the bird quote. Hilarious! I am not big on testing out cuisine from other cultures so count me out there. I am more of a meat and potatoes kind of gal. Plus celiac.

    I loved Vancouver. I promise to blog about it soon. Irish dancing also dragged my butt to Montreal once. Hated it. Might have something to do with visting during winter. Look for more on that in my future best selling, Irish dancing tell all book.

    Love Ireland. Obvie. That is my new favorite trendy thing to say bc it drives my kids CRAZY as in ‘Clean up the mess you made in the kitchen, OBVIE!’ I have been to Westport.

    I would go back to places in Europe in a heartbeat. I travelled around over Christmas break while studying in Ireland my junior year. I was travelling with my brother Pat. By the time we got to Paris we were exhausted and low on funds. We looked at the city but did not pay to go in the buildings. We were also staying with an American family who my dad knew from work. We were so thrilled not to be staying at a youth hostel that we lounged a lot. What I am saying is we were DUMB!

    I would also love to chill in a beautiful beach. Somewhere fabulous.

    I have always wanted to go to Australia and California.

    At the moment travel is dictated by Irish dancing and Lad’s water polo games (mostly east coast), but fun to dream. Oh, Irish dancing dragged us to New Orleans. We did NOT enjoy it. Yuck. And Grand Canyon is awesome- so is Waterton, which is the Canadian part of Glacier National Park.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer on the Dirty Dancing thing but I’ll just say do your research before staying there especially if A/C is a must for you. Sadly, the lake has been dried up for years so no practicing the lift. :-\ I can give you the name of a beautiful place to stay within 25 minutes of the area though.

    We almost went to Montreal but all of the rentals looked like they were from IKEA so I think Quebec is definitely where I want to go. My parents went there for their honeymoon and the pics are beautiful. I’m thinking at Christmas it would look exceptionally beautiful! Actually, I’m going to start looking for rentals since next year is our year to travel for Cmas! Thanks for the reminder! WOOT!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, that is quite the travel bucket list! There are so many places I’d love to visit – both here and in other countries – but I’m also an extreme homebody. So I basically contradict myself. There’s also the money factor. Who would’ve thunk?

    Can you believe the last vacation we took was almost 10 years ago?! We went to San Francisco for our 25th anniversary. We loved it. Amazing city.

    I’ve been in England – Bristol/Bath/Somerset area. That was back in 2000 to visit a friend. Gorgeous there and I would love to see so much more.

    My cousin and his wife move every few years (she’s a news anchor; he works for a Chinese tea company and also does freelance work). They recently moved to Istanbul after living in Bejing for five years. They travel all the freaking time. They are always jetting off to some other country; some which I’ve never even heard of and have to look up! I love seeing the photos and videos on FB.


    1. I love that so much. I have someone I know who just got this amazing travel opportunity for work and I am insanely jealous in the best possible way. She is young and single, so I am living my travel-life vicariously through her. 🙂


  7. I fast-scrolled/skimmed because I wanted to see if you were going to come anywhere close to ME. Come to Portland! We can go to the coast one day and to the mountains the next. We can go hipster-spotting. We have pornographic donuts. (Highly over-rated and tourists stand in loooong lines at this shop. We also have really kick-ass donuts that tourists don’t know about.) We have a cemetery and shows/tours where some of the people buried there come and tell you about their demise. We have Darcelle’s, a drag show that I once went to with my Grandma and the other women in my family to celebrate my grandma’s 75th birthday. You want quirky, we got quirky. And really good food. And free accommodations if you come stay with me. 🙂


    1. OMG, I NEED TO GO TO PORTLAND!!!! You, my friend, are the biggest and best attraction for me going there. But also I really, REALLY want pornographic donuts.


  8. LOVE Quebec! My husband and I went for a weekend away when my youngest was still breast feeding and now that my middle son is chomping at the bit to practice his french we’re trying to get him to go again. Living in New England Pennsylvania has long been a vacation destination of ours and I’m not sure there’s any spots left we haven’t visited (one nice thing about living where all the states are small– makes it quite easy to visit many of them!).

    I love to travel (well, not the actual travel part but the discovering new places when I get there part). I keep saying I want to visit all 50 states before I die but if I really want to do that I need to stop re-visiting places I’ve been a bunch of times.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great bucket list! Living only 45 minutes away from Lake Lure, we go over there a few times a year. Next time, stay at the Lake Lure Inn where the stars stayed while filming. Cool place, with a haunted room and an antique orchestron in the lobby. In Asheville, see the Moog Museum, or go to the Hendersonville Cemetary to see the actual angel from Thomas Wolfe’s novel.

    Liked by 1 person

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