Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture for July is a picture taken on 6/17/20 on our trip to Pisgah Inn (along the Blue Ridge Parkway west of Asheville, NC). I call this picture (and many others we took that week): "Battle in the Sky". We witnessed a lot of drama between the fog/rain/clouds VS the sunshine/blue skies!!!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Let's Talk Friday: Vacation Spots

I recently read an article online listing the Top Ten USA Vacation Spots...  Except for Las Vegas, this particular article only mentioned STATES (not specific areas).... But--it's interesting to see what people choose as the 'top' vacation spots  when you read these types of articles... The Top Ten list in the article I read includes:
  • Hawaii
  • Las Vegas
  • Florida
  • California
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Colorado

What do you think of a list like this????   I personally (when reading about a 'popular' vacation spot)  usually decide NOT to go there --because so many places are nothing but tourist traps --and wall-to-wall people....  We live near the Great Smoky Mountains (which for some reason didn't make this list) --but it is a very popular vacation spot for many people.  George and I stay away from the Smokies during the tourist seasons because we don't like sitting in traffic or waiting in lines.. Besides--we love the mountains when there are FEW people around!

I guess that is why we choose places like Mt. Nebo, Arkansas or  Ocean Isle Beach,  North Carolina.  Those two places are fabulous ---but would probably never make a "Top Ten" list.   Mt. Nebo is a state park on the top of a mountain.  Ocean Isle is a beach town north of Myrtle Beach.   Myrtle Beach is one of those touristy places where we would not choose to stay.

Mt. Nebo and Ocean Isle Beach are two places we visit at least once every year (sometimes more).  BUT--we've had other great vacations since getting married.  Our South Caribbean Honeymoon Cruise will always stand out as a fabulous vacation.  Then there was the trip to see Niagara Falls... AND--we loved our visit to Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown...  Oh My---I will never forget our Virginia trip to the Shenandoah Valley, or our trip to Charleston/Savannah....  This coming Summer,  we'll be visiting the Grand Canyon--so I cannot wait for that trip.

It's hard to choose a favorite vacation --but I guess if I 'had' to choose one of ours,  I would choose the South Caribbean Cruise.  It was the first cruise for both of us --and we were newlyweds...

Here are some places which I would love to see sometime:  Alaska,  Hawaii,   Yellowstone,  Yosemite.  I'm sure there are others,  but these four come to mind quickly.

My questions today:
-What is your favorite vacation EVER --if you had to choose only one?
-What are some other places you haven't been --but would love to visit?

Speaking of vacations,  we are taking a BLOG VACATION this next week.   We'll be back on Monday,  May 9th.  Have a wonderful week.

UPDATE:  I wrote this blog post a week ago,  but after all of the damage and devastation caused by tornadoes in our country this past Wednesday,  I really thought about doing something different.  I hate thinking about vacations when so many people don't even have a home to live in anymore. 

But--after thinking about it,  I decided to go ahead and use this one.  BUT--I'll end with a request:   Please say a prayer for all of the people who suffered so much loss due to the tornadoes.  And--if you have a little extra money,  give a donation to the American Red Cross for them.

Hugs, Prayers and THANKS!!!

P.S.  ALL photos/illustrations came from the internet.


Beth said...

Yes, prayers and donations--much needed.
As for your questions: Ireland by far, was my best vacation. I planned the itinerary and we stayed away from most of the tourist traps. My favorite spot was Connemara--a section of southwest Ireland. It is often featured in Andrew Greeley's novels (one of my favorite authors) and has a wild beauty to it.
As for where I want to go: Grand Canyon, Smokies, the Black Hills of South Dakota, ateip along the western ooastline ending in Oregon and then Washington state, Maine-and then across the seas: Scottland, England, and Wales.

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Ditto for that Betsy...Prayers for all who have been affected!!!
Have a beautiful weekend!!!

Tracy said...

Good Morning Dear...
I've had many wonderful vacations; to the beach of course, but my best was when a friend worked for Toyota and her dept. won a trip to Mauna Kea Resort in Hawaii for a week and she took me. We did many wonderful things and it was all free. I was in my late 20's-not married or even dating and it was a marvelous trip! I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd ever go to Hawaii and to go free of charge was just a bonus.
I will miss your blog but be thinking about you this week; whatever you do, enjoy!!!

Lady Di Tn said...

First of all the last part of your blog was a wonderful request. Secondly, there are so many places in the states that I have not seen, I would hesitate to mention them all. But one I wish to do is go up the coast of Michigan and see the Edmund Flitzgearel museum, continue on up to Mackinac Island and over to White Fish Bay. My favorite vacations were on a Cruise of the Inside Passage to Alaska and our trip to Hawaii. Each one was with Prince. Have a great week and Peace be with you.

imac said...

I love most places, Ive been to, but none make me feel I am at home with like St Ives Cornwall, it has that X factor.

Enjoy your break - Betsy and George.

Reanaclaire said...

So you are on blog vacation! hahaha... i wish i could be on leave too from my blog.. but being so addicted already, it is hard to get away from the computer!

Janice K said...

Our most favorite place to visit is Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colorado. Our favorite time of the year to go is during the Fall of the year when all the aspen trees are a brilliant yellow. This is not during the regular tourist season so you don't have to deal with big crowds and lots of traffic. I still need to do a blog from when we visited there last September. We took so many beautiful pictures, I guess I was overwhelmed trying to decide which ones to post.

And, yes, our prayers and help are needed. I also pray that the destructive weather will come to an end.

Betty Manousos said...

Whatever you do, enjoy, Betsy.

look forward to seeing your beautiful pictures!

big hugs!

Anonymous said...

Favorite vacations: a cruise to Jamaica, Yosemite, Mexico, The Grand Canyon and many memorable family camping trips.

Places I would like to visit: Israel, Yellowstone and Washington D.C.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I don't think I could pick ONE vacation and say it was my favorite. But it's not hard to pick a favorite vacation SPOT. That would be the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have visited there, on average, twice a year since 1990. Even times of high tourism don't bother us too much because we've learned where to go that the crowds don't go. People sometimes ask us why we don't just buy a house in that area and move there. Our response to that is, "Then we wouldn't have any place to go on vacation!" :)

Out on the prairie said...

The list was all states except Vegas, which has no appeal to me. Lovely desert around it to explore.I laughed while staying in the Canary Islands, I sat on the balcony my third day and noticed the pool was actually heart shaped.Ha! That explained all the shiny rings perhaps. This was a favorite for me, I enjoyed the casual lifestyle,fine foods and beautiful scenery.

Kim@stuffcould.... said...

One of my fav vacations was St Simeons Island in GA. I agree with your list. I do feel for the devastation of this week...

Unknown said...

I'm with you about not liking crowds. While I was in Ancorage, I noticed that the city was almost like a ghost town with only a few people here and there on the streets and not to much traffic. I said something to my son about this and he laughed at me and told me to just wait until the summer. You can't even get close to the town during the summer months. I told him I'd rather not be there if it's that crowded.

Anonymous said...

Prayers are definitely going out to all the victims of flooding, tornadoes, & all the bad weather we're having. Period! YuCk!

But, Hawaii is a given on my vacation wish list... I can do without Las Vegas... but I'd love to visit Montana, Wyoming, & Colorado again... the mountains... ALWAYS THE MOUNTAINS!!! LoL! Love it there

Karin said...

So appreciated your last request!! I, too, don't feel right about going on vacation when folks - even in our own family - don't have jobs, don't have homes and can't afford to live from day to day!

Hubby and I have been blessed to have had many awesome vacations in our younger years. Usually there would be a conference he had to attend for his job and we would tag the vacation on to that event. He'd get paid for his part of the conference and that would help with the vacation budget. We've been to many States and almost all Provinces and have seen the highlights - the list would get too long - CA, OR, NY, MA, KY, CT, MT, WA, AZ for starters, and all those in between to get to our destination.

We've been to Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Northern Italy, London, - absolutely memorable! I think we're vacationed out and are so content to stay at home! Now would just like to go to warmer climates during our winter months!

Have a great time off!

Jen said...

Oh can't pick a favorite. One of the best was Grand Canyon tho. You will LOVE it!!!!!
Prayers definitely! Enjoy your blog time off. ♥

Ginny Hartzler said...

Well, you know that I have never been on a vacation! BUT, there are lots of places I would love to see!!! Here is my list: Hawaii, the New England states, Austria...I could go on. I love your new hearer and background, I can almost smell the sea air! Hope you have a great blogcation!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I have been lucky enough to have some wonderful vacations and two of them stand out for me: Costa Rica and Venice.
BUT, this summer we are venturing out west too...a first time for all four of us. We are going to Wyoming and will visit Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I can't wait.
Have a lovely blog break..I am sure you will have some wonderful photos when we hear from you next!

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Our best vacations: Hawaii and last year's trip to Grand Canyon and the California. I'd go back to either in just a snap of a finger. This year, though, we're going to a quiet resort in West Virginia, as we need to relax a little and get off the merry go round we're on right now. After that...England...Ireland...France...hahahaha. When I win the lottery (but I don't play the lottery, soooooo...guess I'll be staying local!)

Fred Alton said...

My favorite vacation of all time? That's so difficult to decide. It has to be our trip to Myrtle Beach in the month of November when we were able to get an apartment for a whole month for the price of one week. It's a struggle to decide whether that was really better than staying on the beach at the Indian Ocean with Puff-Adders in the house (Kilifi Creek) -- or in the tent of a Safari Camp called Siana Springs -- Or maybe the best was the Carribean Cruise with other family -- no, maybe it was the vacation in the Aberdares, North of Nairobi - - or Mt. Kenya Safari Lodge. You ask hard questions!!! Fact is, I love to vacation. For future vacations I believe I'd like to see Yellowstone, Hawaii, and do another cruise.

CottonLady said...

One of my favorites was when our cruise ship stopped at Costa Rica and we went to the coffee/macadamia plantation in the mountains. So very beautiful! I am making my second trip to Alaska this year and want to see as much of it as possible. I've gone in the spring and this trip will be in the fall, skirting the midsummer tourist time. Love this state. I would like to go to Hawaii sometime..we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for the states hard hit by recent tornadoes...and for the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Giving to the Salvation Army!

Every vacation I took with Don was special...so my favorite vacation was vacationing with Don! Learning more about the interesting spots around the area where I live in Florida occupies me now!

happyone said...

My favorite vacation was a walking one. We walked the Coast to Coast walk in England with The Wayfarers. We walked 85 miles in 5 days.
The next year we walked the Ring of Kerry in Ireland with the Wayfarers once again. Wonderful vacations both of them. We saw the parts that the tourists don't see and mingled with all the local people.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

What a fun post, Betsy! I've been to 5 of those 10 states. My favorite vacation of all time was a few years ago when we took a 2 week trip. First time we'd been away from home so long. We started out driving from here in mid-MO through KS, CO through the beautiful mountains, UT which has it's own beauty spots, to Las Vegas and saw all the sights there. On to Boulder Dam and the Grand Canyon which is totally awesome! Then through AZ and NM seeing beautiful scenery along the way. And then to Austin TX where my son lived at the time. Then back up through OK to home. It was a GREAT trip and we saw wonderful things and I'd like to do it again except we'd skip TX as our son now lives in KC MO.

My heart and prayers also go out to those in the storm battered areas. Have a wonderful week off from blogging. I've been thinking of doing the same as I've got so much to do here and I'm getting behind. See you when you get back! (BTW, beautiful new header!)

Diane AZ said...

I enjoy seeing your blog posts about your vacations, and am looking forward to photos of your next one. My heart goes out to the people affected by the tornadoes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Betsy, So glad I can finally get a comment posted as Blogger and Wordpress have solved their issues. My answer for favorite vacation is St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Just beautiful turquoise water, white beaches, palms and oddly, desert hillsides (half is wet and half dry). I do want to go to Scotland some day as my Great Grandfather was born there. Have a super great day and a wonderful weekend!

Shug said...

We certainly need to pray. Sam just got off of the phone with some of our customers from Alabama. They are all safe, but there is so much damage.

By far, our favorite vacation was our tripl to Hawaii. Our kids gave us this trip for our 30th anniversary. Beautiful and so relaxing. Also loved all the food and especially the guava juice.
Happy vacationing.

Unknown said...

Crested Butte, CO, Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Zion National Park are great vacation spots in my heart. Yellowstone is AWESOME! I would love to go to Lake Tahoe and Alaska.

Prayers to all those suffering from the damaging storms. It is so sad to see such complete devastation.

Kim, USA said...

We have the same choices except Hawaii. Alaska, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon I like to add, Maine, Tennessee. I don't like too many people either. I like vacationing with nature. It's only that way that I feel refresh and renewed not with too much glittering light and sound of slot machine....well that is a different kind of vacation too. LOL!!
I didn't pick Hawaii since I am already from the Philippines and for sure since Hawaii is a tropical place I have seen lots of beautiful beaches, coconut trees and lots of tan skin, lol!
Hoping this year we could have at least one trip up north in Michigan. ^_^

From the Kitchen said...

Personally, I prefer mountain vacations to beach vacations. I love the British Isles and Canada. NYC is very special as is San Francisco. If I could only vacation in one spot, it would be the mid-south, especially the Shenandoah Valley. My idea of roughing it is Motel 6. Give me a luxurious little B&B please!! I'm not ashamed to say that I've been to Disneyland three times and Disney World twelve times. Lest you think me extravagant, we've only paid our way into Disney World twice. Let's just say I have closely related connections!! = )

Happy blog break!

Those touched by the horrible storms are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.


Sandra said...

if you did not go on vacation because people were suffering you would never get one, the world is rocking and rolling and reeling with death and destruction at any given moment. say thank You Lord and enjoy your beach trip. for vacations i love beaches first and mountains second

Janie said...

Yes, Betsy, it's so sad about the horrific tornado damage.
There are many places I would love to visit, but several of our vacation trips to Yellowstone are my favs.
Glad Utah didn't make the list! I like the solitude in our mountains.

Arkansas Patti said...

Best ever was island hopping in the Keys on a 23' boat with 2 friends for a week. Never got out of a bathing suit, lived on the boat and met some really neat nautical types.
I'm like you, crowds don't do it. Have a good blog break.
The victims of those terrible storms are still in my thoughts and prayers.

Sally Wessely said...

I am thinking of all of those in the South who are suffering so much right now. The damage and loss is just devastating.

My husband and I loved going on a European River Cruise last year. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

You really must go to Yellowstone and on the way, make sure you go to Jackson Hole. If you get the chance, an Alaskan cruise is also amazing.

Neal said...

I feel so bad for the people that have lost their homes to the tornadoes. It is hard for me to express my feelings for those people.

As far as the vacation list....I do love CO and NC and parts of CA.

My favorite vacation.... Probably southern CO on my honeymoon. The scenery was great both indoors and outdoors. :)

Diane said...

This sounds corny, Betsy, but after working for my entire lifetime being in my home and yard is the biggest vacation ever. Next comes the Big Horns and Alaska.

Wendy said...

Oh Betsy,I'm with you. I also feel guilty about taking a vacation when so many don't even have food or shelter or drinking water. I will say a prayer to those in need. Mother Nature can be so devastating!

I'm thinking of taking another "swim with dolphins in the wild" vacation, but wonder if I can really get away again. Seems like I just came back from the Caribbean!

My favourite vacation was Hawaii for the beauty, flowers, beaches, volcanoes, and weather. Did not see any whales (well only one tail), but would love to go back again.

My favourite vacation also was Ogunquit, Maine - where David took me on our first vacation (he was trying to impress me and it worked!!).
As you can see, I love the ocean. But there are so many wonderful vacation spots to visit. One day....

Chatty Crone said...

I am certainly thinking of all the people caught in the storms.
I am a first time visiter - I see you leave a comment on just about everyone's blog I do. We are kind of following the same people so I thought I'd come over and visit and check you out.
And you are on vacation - hope you have a great one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Betsy,
You and George have the right idea to avoid the tourist traps and enjoy a little quiet when you travel. You have such wonderful photos of your visits.
As you know, I don't enjoy travel due to vertigo but many, many years ago I visited Germany with my folks at Christmas. It was beautiful and so memorable.
Enjoy your blog break.

Anonymous said...

My first response to your question about favorite vacation place was Hawaii, but then I said "no". All of our vacations have been AMAZING. I can't really think of one that was the best. I would like to see the Grand Canyon. It would be cool to see Alaska too. I would also like to go on several cross country vacations -- across Canada, across northern US, across southern US, and across central US.

Ann said...

I would be happy to honor your request.
As for vacations, I can't even the last time I've had a real one. The best I get is a staycation :) I've always wanted to go to Hawaii though

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

My heart and prayers also go out to those in the storm battered areas. This has been such a terrible tornadoe season.

It is hard for me to chose one favorite vacation as I usually love every place I visit! The National Parks are all spectacular! I've seen the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite among the big NP's, and I hope to see many more of them, especially Glacier NP in Montana one day.

I loved going to Italy for a month and of course I love Ireland! Sydney, Australia and Swizerland were also wonderful.
We also took one cruise and it was to Canada where we saw Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Quebec --all beautiful!

I'd like to see more of the USA and more of Europe ...I hope to travel until I'm 90! :)

Enjoy your blog break!

SquirrelQueen said...

The stories I am reading from survivors and families is heartbreaking. Those areas need lots of contributions and prayers.

I'm really surprised that AK is not on the top 10 list. Looking at the list, I grew up in GA and spend many weekends and vacations in FL and NC. I've lived in California and been to Las Vegas 3 times (once was passing through for a desert race).

Our favorite vacation: Northern CA/southern Oregon Coast. We take our RV and stop whenever we fell like it. I love the redwood forest of NorCal.

We did a little exploration of Idaho last year and we want to go back and explore more. The last time we went we didn't plan anything or even make reservations, we just drove until we felt like stopping and stayed at whatever hotel was convenient. It was great (it was also the off season).

diane b said...

We are devastated by the horrendous damage done by the tornados. I was thinking of you and other American bloggers and hope that you are all safe.So many lives lost and homes destroyed.
The best holiday I have had in Australia was to the Kimberly and Top End. Other best holidays were on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest and a trip to western canada and Alaska. I'm looking forward to going from New York to LA by coach. I would love to visit your state one day too.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Betsy, my prayers and thoughts are for the survivors of these deadly tornados.

I have to been to so many great places it is really hard to pick just one. My trip to Costa Rica is one favorite along with Hawaii. One of my favorite national parks is Yellowstone but I also loved the Tetons, Bryce, Glacier, Yosemite, Redwoods and Olympic. I also loved London and Switzerland.
On my list of must see is Ireland and I would love to go birding in Panama. Have a great weekend.

Barbara said...

Well I love everywhere we have been, and being blessed to be all over our blessed nation, East, West, North and South, I have to say that Mackinaw Island, MI was one of my favorites, Rockie Mountain,Estes Park Colorado, and Chincoteague, VA I do favor the Island living, we have been to Virgin Islands, Bahama Islands, and Porto Rica, all very lovely, but no place like our United States of America, I still love it best.
Now I would love to go on a Alaskan Cruise, and perhaps to Hawaii not been to either yet.

Gretchen said...

I enjoyed your thoughts very much. We, too, enjoy going off the beaten path and away from the crowds.

My favorite place is Gettysburg, PA. We go there every year for our anniversary and stay in one of their historic bed and breakfast inns.

For me, I want to go to Egypt and see the pyramids. Hubby wants to go to Paris. I've been there. Spent a week there for our first anniversary. Notice I WENT. :) Long story for another time.

The devistation is unreal and I do pray for all those affected by the tornadoes. :(

Lynda said...

The GRAND CANYON - - - oh, I am a bit envious. I want to see it, too sometime.

Usman said...

I just say superv thanks for sharing this amazing article I like luxury vacations maybe my next destination would be playa tamarindo I love beaches to spent vacations

mudderbear said...

I've been wondering what to say about this. I am quite satiated with traveling. And I always fall in love with wherever we go.

My favorite, I think, was Astoria, Oregon. I love driving along the Columbia River and also smelling the flowers in the mountains.

I don't know where I would go now, if I could. It would be where my kids are, I think. Sorry.

Velvet Over Steel said...

Betsy, you are so kind hearted!!! I feel the same way about the people who are going through so much... while I plan graduation parties for my sons and fret over finding the right dress. Then I come home and see the news again ...'sigh'... grounds me very quickly!! Then I pray for those people and decide on using (and appreciating) things that I already have. Thank you for sharing this!! Your love and kindness shine through, Betsy!!

Have a wonderful vacation with your LOVE!!! XOXO

KathyA said...

Consider the prayers done!

There are so many wonderful places I'd love to visit -- some of which you've mentioned!

Lola said...

I'm with you Betsy. Don't like to fight the crowd. Like to go when you can see things, like out of the way places. More natural beauty that way.

Unknown said...

While at the Canyon be sure and look up "Thompson Circle" named after Rod's brother who died at the Canyon.

Unknown said...

Betsy -

Ohhhhh you will so enjoy the Canyon. It is an awesome place that takes your breath away. We have a special connection with the Canyon: Rod's brother has a street there named after him, "Thompson Circle". Randy, a park employee, was killed in a Canyon accident several years ago.

Glenda said...

Betsy, our favorite spot is anywhere in the Smokies! We love going to Gatlinburg. Our trip to St. Simons Island was wonderful, too, and I'd like to go back there. We really enjoyed driving back to California in 1997 and visiting the area where we lived the first year we married. One day we'd love to go to Yellowstone.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We are making progress in the clean-up, but feel so blessed when we see other areas so hard hit by storms.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

My favorite Vacation was a camping trip to the lake when our children were small, We fried potatoes and roasted hotdogs over a fire. The kids ran, laughed and played in the sun. It was a heart filled time of fun,,,,,hugs...m...

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I'm keeping all the people who lost homes and were injured by the storms in my prayers and thoughts.
I liked this posting about vacations. I love your header photo of the ocean. This was great to think about the places to vacation.

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

Keeping all those people in my prayers!

I still can't believe Georgia made the list--who thinks of Georgia as a vacation spot?

I think my favorite vacation would be when Rusty and I went to the Bahamas on our honeymoon--it was only 11 years after we were married! It was worth the wait.

Beth said...

Hi there, Betsy. Sorry to have been absent for a while---I haven't been on the internet much lately. But you can be sure that my thoughts and prayers are with all the folks who suffered such terrible losses in the storms. My heart goes out to them.

Wow, your readers are a well-traveled bunch! I haven't been able to travel much, but I feel blessed to have the beauty of the Blue Ridge right in my own backyard. I think my favorite times have always been when I've been able to hike on mountain trails with my beloved family, especially when we have the trails to ourselves. Like you, I love nature best when all is quiet and you can hear the wind in the trees and the sound of birds singing, and I can close my eyes and thank God for the loveliness of His world.

Sciarada said...

Ciao Betsy, news arriving in Italy about Tennessee is not the best, I hope all is well for you and all of you!

penny said...

Enjoy your jaunt, Betsy.

Happy Mothers Day!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Betsy, our fqavorite place is the next place we visit as all hold special memories. Most memorable recent one was a month-long trip along the coast of Maine last fall. We will be visiting the Great Smokies in a week or so when we travel to Bryson City, NC to ride the railroad as Grenville is a train fan(atic). It's our first-time visit. We would love to visit more of the U.S. - Grand Canyon is on list and also Tuscany.

Happy (belated) Mother's Day and the recent tragedies and losses of life and home are in all our thoughts and prayers