Tuesday, May 06, 2014

10 Tourist Attractions I Have Seen

In honor of National Tourist Appreciation Day,

(and who doesn’t appreciate a tourist?)

I am writing about the attractions I have seen.

I certainly am a lover of “off the beaten path” types of places and am just thrilled by the sight of things like the world’s largest purple spoon.

We saw this outside of Glacier National Park in Montana.
Think there is a world’s largest blue spoon?

 Or the town in Alabama voted 83rd (out of 100) best places to live in the U.S of A. 

To my delight, they hung a flag in honor of this distinction.

The Do Not Enter sign underneath the flag is an unfortunate placement mistake, I’m sure.
As is the “We apologize in advance for changing your travel plans” billboard. 

But I am also drawn to the things that draw in all tourists, which is why things are called attractions after all.

So here they are: 

10 Tourist Attractions I Have Seen:

1) The Eiffel Tower in Paris.

We asked some kid to take this picture. The lit up sign on the tower was a countdown
to the millennium. This was 1998. Remember Y2K being such a big deal?
I see that I am stepping on Monte’s toes.

Monte and I went to Paris before we started a family. It was wonderful and we certainly saw many tourist attractions. Since I am afraid of heights, I did not go up into the tower. There was a restaurant somewhere up there and Monte really tried to persuade me to go. I had no interest. I have no regrets about that.

2) Notre Dame in Paris.

Can you tell I am just taking pictures of these pictures
right out of my scrapbook?

It was dark and so dreary inside Notre Dame. Not much color at all. I couldn’t even imagine singing, “He Lives” with any sort of effectiveness in there but with God all things are possible. 

There was a winding and very tight passageway to the bell tower we could’ve climbed up but we opted out. Not because of the height, but because of the words winding and tight.

3) The Louvre in Paris.

Of all the touristy things we did in Paris, this was the most underwhelming. We enjoyed other smaller museums much more that were way less crowded. The room where the very small picture of Mona Lisa hung was jam packed and smelled like B.O. 

She was enclosed in glass so taking a
picture was very difficult. 

4) Versailles outside of Paris.

Monte just hanging out in front of Versailles.

This was just the most impressive place we went. It is HUGE. Secret passageways. The Hall of Mirrors. Rooms and rooms and rooms for days. The gardens blew me away. The opulence of it all was just so amazing knowing that, at least in part, this was here when people were starving in the city.

5)  World Trade Center, New York City.

Monte and I met another couple in the city before driving a few hours away to a wedding. They decided to go up in the World Trade Center. I did not want to go. At all. But I am so glad I did. 
I could feel the building swaying when we were at the top. They all went outside on the observation deck but I enjoyed the view from inside, thank you very much. Of all the places we tell the girls we have been, this one resonates with them the most.

6) The Statue of Liberty.

Monte and I took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. As we sat outside on the deck of the boat, a little boy’s hat blew off into the water. Monte sprung into action, grabbed this ENORMOUS long pole with a hook on the end off the wall of the boat (like he worked there) and retrieved the hat. People clapped. I remember more about that then the statue. Sorry, Lady Liberty.

7)  Mt. Rushmore.

I’ve been to Mt. Rushmore twice. It really is something when you drive into Rapid City, South Dakota and catch your first glimpse of it. It’s neat to see all lit up at night too. And how they carved it is just short of miraculous.

8)  Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.

It was freezing when we saw it. In June. It snowed while we were there and there was still plenty of snow on the ground in the upper elevations of the park. We bought marked down winter coats in the gift shop. Old Faithful did not disappoint. It is awesome and you can feel the intensity of the water shooting out. 

9)  Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

This was our favorite stop on our trip out west.

We loved the rustic town with antler arches,

the western show in the street,

 the little rodeo we attended and the Tetons!

It looks like a backdrop behind me and the girls.

 I could’ve stared at those beautiful snow capped mountains all day. I loved how flat it was at the base of the mountains so you could better appreciate the view. We could see buffalo running miles away.

And prairie dogs.

The cutest things ever.

I want to go back!

10) Mt. St. Helens.

I flew out to Portland, Oregon with my friend Shirley to see my brother Kyle when he lived there. He drove us to Washington to see Mt. St. Helens. We got off the exit all excited to see the volcano but it was a 50 mile drive off the exit--with the volcano in sight most of the time. All along the way, were these tiny, almost train car looking structures, selling fancy coffee. The closer we got to the volcano, the more we could make out the path of the eruption from the 80s. The coolest thing we learned was the very next year after the eruption, flowers grew right out of the hardened lava and rock. When we stood at the observation deck and watched Mt. St. Helens steam, my friend Shirley (no quiet talker) turned around and loudly exclaimed with a sweeping arm, 

“How can anyone deny the existence of God after seeing this? How?! Tell me!”

No one did.

But a few people smiled and nodded.

What is your favorite tourist attraction you have visited?


  1. I have been to a few of those places. I must say I was hoping for a picture of you with your mouth opened up wide trying to "eat" off of that big purple spoon! My family went to Yellowstone after Klayton (#7) was born. It was and forever will be called the No-cation vacation, because I got sick, really really sick while on it. I was too sick to even watch old faithful and slept in the car in the parking lot while everyone else went to watch it. That was probably a good thing, because I guess a couple of guys almost got into a fist fight in the viewing area. Story goes, guy in front kept standing up, guy in back wanted him to sit down so all could see it....words were shared between the two. Had I been there, sick, post partum, and momma bearing I can see myself having gotten right between them. God knows when to keep me in the car I guess. =) Some day I will go back, but never again with kids. Way too many scary big holes and openings that they could slip into. I went to Mt. St Helens when I was 9, 4 years after it erupted. That was cool. We took the kids to it a few years ago. Because of the movies of the eruption they were completely freaked out and kept asking if it was going to erupt again while we were there. They did not enjoy the trip quite so much as I had hoped. =)

  2. Jackson hole Wy.....it looks like you guys are on the set of Sound of Music!!!! I love the spoon!!! Yes I need to find the blue spoon!

  3. Those are some beautiful vacations you've been on! I think most of these are on my list of things to hopefully see someday. Better start playing the lottery!

  4. Great list! We did not got to Versailles when we went to Paris, and I wish we had - just not enough time!

  5. Some of these are pretty close to me! I've actually never seen the spoon outside of Glacier though... for all that I've lived close to it for years! Guess I'd better go road tripping. :)

  6. So many great places! I've never been to Paris and would love to go there some day. I have been to Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone, and I really want to take my children to both places!

  7. I love your list! A visit to Paris is on my bucket list, and I want to see ALL of those places.

  8. I love your list. I've been to Glacier...missed the spoon. And I loved the Tetons, Jackson Hole, the western show, the backdrop, Mt. Rushmore, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Scottsdale...I could go on and on. I haven't left the country...yet.

  9. I would love to see all these!! I did see the largest albino alligator in the US. Does that count? It was in Florida in case you wanna go there next!

  10. I love the WORLD'S LARGEST PURPLE SPOON...by far my favorite!! Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop!


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