Sunday, February 17, 2008

Top 6 Places To Go Before You Die

Have you ever noticed the proliferation of articles, blog posts & books out there touting "places to visit before you die" or "things to see before you die" or "things to do before you die". I just finished reading one. Just this minute.

The tone of these writings always makes it seem so urgent, like death is imminent so one must mortgage the house & run off to see the sunset on Fiji, then canoe up the Amazon, followed by a camel ride across the Sahara to climb the Great Pyramids. Okay, so maybe logistically these things don't follow one another, but geography was never my strong suit. So sue me.

These articles always make me feel like my life has been sorely lacking in both experience & culture. My favourite places are never listed. My places of wonder, of amazement, that I would like to return to again to fully appreciate how amazing they are, are never included.

I often wonder about our obsession with death. I have it, too. I'm currently in the middle of planning my funeral ~ picking out readings, hymns, writing down my wishes should I happen to expire {yeah, like I've got a choice!}. Having been through a death in the family just last year, knowing how hard it is for the family when wishes aren't made known & preferences aren't spelled out in advance, my hope is that by doing this, I will provide a little comfort & less stress to my loved ones when I go. That & I'm control-freaky & anal as hell & want things done my way. Or I'm haunting everyone. I'm just saying.

But, I digress.

So, in the spirit of all things morbid, here are the top 6 things that, in my experience, are worth experiencing before you go to... well, wherever you believe you're gonna go:

6. Taroko Gorge, Taiwan ~ so breathtakingly beautiful, so awesome {& I rarely use that word, so you know I mean it} that photos & video simply cannot do it justice. You must experience this for yourself, in person.
5. The Banyan Tree, Lahaina, Maui ~ it is SO BIG {how big is it?} It's SO BIG that it shades 2/3 of an acre. Those of you who understand that type of measurement will be suitably impressed, I"m sure. For the rest of you, take my word for it ~ it's big.
4. Spago, Los Angeles ~ I really cannot stress enough how amazing the food is there. It's like angels came down from Heaven, cooked all day with fairy dust, & ... yeah, I can't even continue this. It makes all other food, ALL OTHER FOOD taste like hangover mouth. After a pack of smokes. With a side of excrement for dessert. Yup. It's that good.
3. Santa Maria Bay, Mexico ~ beautiful, not too touristed up, great for snorkeling & running up the beach with your hair braided {oh, come on, you all do it! Well, those of you of a certain age which remember a certain movie do ~ yes, I have pics, no, you can't see them.} The beach is made of small pieces of pink coral the size of grains of rice.
2. Raft Cove Provincial Park, British Columbia ~ I'm not much of a hiker, but even I didn't bitch {much} on the hike through the forest to the beach waiting empty for you. I took some amazing photos here, & enjoyed thinking that the next land to see was Japan. I don't know if that's right ~ see above comment about geography ~ I just liked thinking it. & saying it out loud.
1. The Great Sand Hills, Saskatchewan ~ they're great, they're big, they're hills, they're sand. What more do you need to know?

What are some of your "must-see" places? You must have seen them, though. That's the rule.


Anonymous said...

Well, I've done the Sand Hills I'll have you know!
Am off to find a BC map to locate Raft Cove Park.

Best wishes

french panic said...

je deteste those "before you die" lists. For the same reasons you have listed.

anytime someone tells me I "must" do something...grrrr. Which is why I will never see Brokeback Mountain. Too many people telling me I MUST see it.

But I am totally impressed that you ate at Spago. It's like you are a movie star now.

Wilma said...

I'm the same way, which is why I've never seen Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, Titanic, & Brokeback Mountain, to name a few.

I guess I should have called this post "Top 6 Places I Gently Suggest You Stop In & See If You Have The Time Or Inclination".

& basically, I just wanted to brag about eating at Spago again. Did I mention we met Wolfgang? Yup. That's right. We're on a first-name basis.

Tom Weston said...

my list is too long and involved for a comment.

I will post about it sometime soon.

however, I don't really want everyone running to my favorite spots to die in... i mean to visit before death.

Perhaps another list of places for after death would be fun too.....

Anonymous said...

I want to visit all of these hotels

Bruno Rocco said...

Well I have to say Very good List. I have been to three of your Six, Santa Maria Beach (in 1990), The Great Sand Hills, many times (first time in 1980, last time with your husband)and of course Spago's of Beverly Hils (with you and the Husster). I luv to travel it defines me.