Bucket List Adventures

We love to travel, but during the pandemic, all you could really do was read about interesting global destinations. We’re starting to plan a trip for later this year and I checked out these two magazines at the bookstore.

People seem to love checking off boxes on their ‘bucket list’ and these magazines are organized in checklist fashion. The first one was for US destinations and the second was for best cities anywhere in the world. We’ve gotten to 44 of the USA’s “Most Amazing Places” and 36 of the “World’s Greatest Cities”.

We’re stuck between doing a US National Parks trip out West, or going to Europe when our son might be in Paris working. Both sound like very fun bucket list adventures.

I’m ashamed to say how few national parks we’ve ever visited. It seems like you aren’t patriotic if you haven’t hiked at least the big ones, but other than Yellowstone & the Blue Ridge Mountains, I really haven’t. The fact is, there just isn’t many near where we live in MN.

At the same time, we’ve been to Europe many times, but I’m always anxious to go back. A former work colleague and high school friend are both there right now and posting pictures of their travels online. (One of the best things about social media is seeing people’s interesting travels, don’t you think)?

Regardless of what we decide to do, I’m sure we’ll have s lot of fun and create some terrific memories. What big trips are you in planning mode for right now?

Image Credit: MrFireStation.com

6 thoughts on “Bucket List Adventures

  1. I highly recommend either renting a camper or bringing your camping equipment to cruise down the coast. Camping in California is not the same as the Midwest. No rain or mosquitos and cool nights that are great for sleeping.

    Always have a jacket and long pants with you. The days are warm, but at elevation with dry air the temperatures drop very fast at sunset. Keep you campsite clean and use bear boxes if available otherwise you will have night time visitors.

    Here is my recommended circuit.
    1. Redwood National Park, almost at the Oregon Border.
    2. Drop down to either Napa Valley or Lassen National Forest
    3. Lake Tahoe
    4. Yosemite (try to go here mid-week to avoid crowds)
    5. Sequoia National Park
    6. Big Sur
    7. Los Angeles (drive the coast route from Big Sur to Malibu)
    8. San Diego (I would recommend you and your wife book an overnight offshore fishing trip. This is the tuna capital of world. Be sure to eat dinner at a patio Mexican Restaurant in Old Town. Balboa Park is nice.)
    9. Grand Canyon (Book a dinner reservation at sunset in El Tovar.)

    Most of these segments are worst case around six hours drive and in many cases the drive itself will be really pretty. The longest drive would be CA to Grand Canyon, which you could break up by going to Sedona. I recommend spending two full days at each destination, so you have time to enjoy and explore. If you do this trip in May, the weather will be starting to get warmer during the day and you will beat the crowds.

    You would be surprised how many people have lived their entire life in California and have never been to Sequoia. Yet you will see many Europeans up in the Parks and from speaking to them I learned that the National Parks were their primary reason to visit the USA.

    If you go the Europe Trip instead, I highly recommend getting a Euro Rail Pass. Getting around Europe on trains is great. You could take an overnight sleeper train from Paris to either Munich or Milan. The last time I went to Europe as a tourist, my family spent around six weeks and really took time between stops. Be careful with your wallets and purses around Gard du Nord, the train station you will be taking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the great west coast itinerary! We’ve done #1-2 and #6-9. Tahoe to Yosemite to Sequoia would be great. We’re actually thinking of going from Yellowstone down through to the Grand Canyon with the Utah parks and Mesa Verde in the middle. Maybe fly into Salt Lake/Bozeman and out of Las Vegas. We’ll see.

      You are right that Europeans seem to treasure our national parks more than we do. I spoke with a woman in Scotland (at St Giles Cathedral in Edinborough) and she said she had been to the USA 10x to go to the parks. She had been to far many more than I had, that’s for sure!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. During the pandemic my son got married near Denver. I took the slow route home passing through country I had not seen. I went southwest from Denver over Independence Pass to Aspen and instead of getting on I70 went southwest sometimes on dirt road to Moab then west to Capital Reef, Bryce, and Cedar Breaks.

    I did not drive into Bryce due to crowds and I have been there.

    Klaus’s suggestions are great. Today we are in Rhodes, on a Viking Cruise from Istanbul to Venice which ticks off many bucket list items

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s SO great to hear that people are traveling internationally again. We went to Rhodes on a Med cruise about 10 years ago. I could definitely do that journey again. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

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