Saturday, January 15, 2011


I'm not very good at picking favorites.  I can't tell you my favorite movie.  I don't have a favorite band.  I'll go for the variety pack of cereal over a large box any day.  Gold medal ribbon ice cream from Baskin Robbin's is probably the only thing I've ever committed to whole heartedly, but I'll still taste a couple of sample spoons for the heck of it before I order my usual scoop.

As you can imagine, the one question we've received more than any other since returning home from our trip is...

"What was your favorite place??"

I'm sorry.  I just can't do it.  I am SO the mom who loves each of her little countries for different reasons.  I couldn't possibly be asked to favor one visa stamp over another.  The absolute BEST I have been able to do is to narrow is down to four great nations.  Which isn't saying much, considering that's nearly a third of the grand total.  That's about as specific as selecting ten of Mr. Robbin's delicious creations.

Anyhow, without further ado (an in no particular order).


From the glaciers of Patagonia to the splendor of Iguazu Falls, Argentina offers an incredible array of bang for your buck.  A world-famous wine country, a stunning lake district and a bustling tango-tastic capital.  You'd be hard-pressed to run out of things to do in this incredible country, and it's wonderfully affordable.  Top all of that with friendly residents and melt-in-your-mouth steak, and Argentina is a no brainer.


Similar to Argentina, South Africa packs a lot of variety into a relatively small country.  Where else can you dive with great white sharks, go on a safari, ride an ostrich, surf infamous breaks and taste award-winning wines?  Combining the beauty of California's coast with the ruggedness of Africa...the comfort of what you know with the excitement of all that you don't...and South Africa is tough to beat.


The history in Egypt is mind-blowing.  The culture is awe-inspiring.  It's an enchanting, mysterious, challenging and fascinating place, and we absolutely cherish the time we spent there.  No doubt, having family in Cairo made our experience what it was.  Egypt is definitely the type of place in which you benefit from the luxury of a local connection.  And we happen to be connected to a fun, generous, fantastic host of a family.  It's one of the few places I look forward to returning to in the future.


I can't visit the local animal shelter.  Cause if I did, I'd come home with a dozen of the oldest, most flea-ridden dogs they've got.  Forget the puppies.  Everybody loves them.  My heart really goes out to the ugly ducklings.  That's why I wouldn't be myself if I didn't give a shout-out to this dusty dark-horse.  Even making the aforementioned comparsion pains me.  Cause India is no ugly-duckling.  It's beautiful.  It's spiritual.  It's serene.  It's chaotic.  It's magical.  The food stole my heart.  The people held it captive.  And the scenery decided I wasn't getting it back anytime soon.  In two months, we barely scratched the surface of this overwhelming country.  I can't wait to spend much, much more time there.

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