So I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots, particularly those which I think have something unexpected to offer.
I start with Waikiki. Why? Because I expected a crass, commercial strip where romance and serenity would be completely absent. I only agreed to go there because my kids wanted to. But what a nice surprise. In this picture, it looks like you might expect with tons of highrises, and a too-small strip of beach. The reality is, when you are on the beach, it is wide, clean, uncrowded and really, all one could ask of a beach. You don’t even notice the highrises behind you. At night, the beach is lined with restaurants, so many that it is not difficult to get a table. But the beach is still wide, the ocean wider, the sky dark and star studded. It is pure romance.
Next I mention Chile, a narrow country where the coastline is everywhere. I was there a long time ago, perhaps as far back as the Dark Ages. So the beach scene may have become more commercial. But back then, it was a relaxed, very laid-back place to be. No one will accost you with offers to braid your hair or rent you a beach chair. And the most unusual part is that the mountains, really the foothills of the Andes, come right down to the beach. So you have both mountains and ocean for those who can’t make up their minds. It’s gorgeous and extremely romantic.
These cute little penguins are found at the Ice Palace high up in the Swiss Alps. We visited there in July, but the temperature is cold enough that ice is present all the time. The Ice Palace is an entire building made, not unsurprisingly, of ice. It’s very large, consisting of long corridors and endless rooms. You walk inside and the corridors are lined with small rooms displaying ice sculptures such as these penguins. It is definitely a unique experience and if you are in the neighborhood with children, don’t miss it.
The next thing I want to see on vacation is some Scottish lads skiing in kilts. But if anyone has a vacation spot or idea I can add to my list, please share.