Oh, the Places You’d Go!

I got a card from Southwest Airlines the other day offering me a two-person free round-trip ride to any place in the continental United States. Interestingly enough, I’d just gotten back from New York, so I wasn’t eager to fly again, but I did start thinking – nods to Dr. Suess – of the places I’d like to go if I had free airfare.  Only I certainly wouldn’t limit myself to the States, too many wonderful places abroad I haven’t visited yet.

In no particular order, my top five places to visit would be

Paris1.   Paris – I’m a child of Bogart so any phrase that begins, “We’ll always have …” lures me!  If anyone appreciates Ella Fitzgerald singing, “I Love Paris,” click here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ahbE6bcVf8

2.   China – I can’t imagine seeing the Great Wall, let alone building it. Blows my mind!

3.   El Paso – Juarez – Although I’ve visited Mexico a number of times, it’s always been along the western coast.  I’d like to walk the Bridge of the Americas and cross the Rio Grande.

4.   Alaska – I’ve long wanted to take a cruise up the western coast of California to Alaska and enjoy lots of side trips.  I have a feeling, being the California girl that I am, that I’d step off the ship, shiver,Vatican and jump back on.

alaska5.   Vatican City – Although I visited many years ago, I’d like to see again with older eyes and appreciate this ancient city, especially now that there’s a new sheriff in town! Seriously, even for non-Christians, there’s something very stirring about the place.

What about you? If you could visit anywhere, cost-free, where would you go and why?



  • Jane says:

    Hello Jo,
    Hope NY treated you well. I have so many places I want to visit.
    1. Egypt. I want to see all the archaeological sites like Abu Simbel.
    2. Venice. Gotta go on a gondola ride and visit the Murano glass factory.
    3. Scandinavia, especially Sweden and Finland.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jane, I’ll go with you to Venice to the Murano factory! We will NOT be taking the Golden Rooster along. He is horrible around glass, as you surely know by now!

      • Jo Robertson says:

        Caren, I went to look at the Murano Glass Factory site and oh my what gorgeous items. I couldn’t understand the words because they’re in Italian, but visual language is the same! Lovely!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Egypt is both beautiful and heart-breaking in so many ways, Jane. I loved my visit there in the 70’s, so I’m sure much has changed since then.

  • Helen says:


    I am not really sure I could stand a long flight but you never know there are places I would love to visit

    Scotland I have always wanted to go to the Scottish highlands


    The States I would love to visit you all and the friends I have made since the internet that would be a blast

    Italy Rome Venice

    I am off to New Zealand in November but we are cruising and I can’t wait 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Wow, Helen, a cruise is the best way to go. You don’t have to worry about anything!

      I know what you mean about long flights. My last one was hard on my knees, and it seems to airplane seat space is getting smaller and smaller every year.

      Scotland, oh yeah. I’d love to return there too.

      We’d love if you could swing a US visit!

  • flchen1 says:

    Ooh, you’ve gotta go, Jo! China is so huge and beautiful!! I went on a big touring trip with my parents nearly twenty years ago, and it was amazing. We do plan to take the kids one of these days!

    My list? Australia, in spite of all the scary killer animals that reside there 😉

    Italy; Asia (it’s a big place–I’d love to see more of China, Japan, Singapore, and lots of other countries there…); lots of the US, including Washington DC; Israel–so many historically and spiritually significant places there!

    • Helen says:


      They won’t come near you I would love you to visit 🙂

      Have Fun

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Yes, Fedora, I’d love to see China. It seems like such a faraway dream, but I’d love to mingle with the people. And maybe I’d actually look like a tall person there and my 6’4″ husband would be a giant!

  • Shannon says:

    I’m still planning a trip to London (Jane Austen walks), Bath, and some castle easily reached by rail.

    NYC. It’s been a while. I think some theater, some museums I haven’t yet seen.


    The Adriatic. It’s still not a tourist destination but it has a lot of medieval castles.

    A river cruise of Europe. I don’t care if its Germany, Italy, France. I just love the thought of seeing it as many people did before roads became safe and easily navigable.

    I’ve done Egypt twice, and I’d encourage a visit there.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Shannon, I hope you get to go to all those places. It’s wonderful experiencing other cultures and understanding them, I think. It makes our world so much smaller.

  • Laurie G says:

    Switzerland & Austria trip by train through the mountains . Loved the book HEIDI. I worked with a woman from Switzerland. She described the beautiful sites to see.
    Vienna- the gorgeous buildings, the history, music and cultural center, the bakeries!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Laurie, Switzerland is one of the few places I’ve actually been! We spent 9 days deep in the Alps. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. If you get the chance to go, be sure to visit Thun and the area around the Jungfrau. I would love to go back. Austria is also on my list!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oooh, Laurie, you got me slathering at “bakeries”! I’d never thought of Switzerland, actually, but I imagine there are lovely vistas there.

  • Mozette says:

    Oooohhh… great post!

    I would travel across America on a driving tour – like the boys in ‘Supernatural’… but not killing and doing away with evil ass bastards – I’d just go on a great tour of the country, enjoying the cities, the countryside and the views…

    It’d be a blast! 😀

    • Caren Crane says:

      Pick me up when you come over, Mozette. I’ve always wanted to do the same thing! Except the plains are just hundreds and hundreds of miles of flat. We’d have to find all the world’s largest string balls or whatever along the way to make that part interesting! 😀

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Kewl! And I’d like to take the Winchester boys with me. They beyond cute!! I think traveling across the US would be lots of fun, especially if you don’t mind driving and stop at nice motels on the way.

      • Mozette says:

        Actually, one of my friends have done this… she was touring around with her band and figured out one of many hotels they used on the show! She gave us all a few words of advice:

        Bring your own sheets and pillows (the place was filled with bed bugs…. eeww!).

        Shower in flip flops… no matter how clean it looks, you don’t want anything wrong with your feet!

        Use your own soap, toothpaste and shampoo – you never know how old the crap in the bathroom is.

        Don’t use the towels… they could have been there for months without being used or washed properly.

        If there’s a kitchen, bring your own plates, cutlery and pots and pans… otherwise eat out. You don’t want to know what all the stuff in the kitchen was used for before you arrived… and never trust the fridge to be cold enough, so check it before you put anything in it to make sure it is cold enough.

        Yeah, it sounds a lot, but seeing I’ve holidayed in nice, ‘clean’ hotels, before, it’s just how it all goes. :/

  • Caren Crane says:

    I would love to go to Turkey (but would need to take my friend Kim along, who speaks Turkish).

    Also Austria (a cruise along the Rhine and Danube wouldn’t go amiss!).

    Australia must be seen. I would like to be there for months so I could travel to different parts of the continent and see lots of cool things. And all my favorite Aussies!

    Scotland and England both. I would do one massive trip and stay, again, for months. I apparently need lots of time and money. 😀

    As well as the road trip across USA with Mozette, I need to do one across Canada. So much to see!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      You’re still young enough, Caren, so I hope you get to do all those travels one day.

      Turkey is unusual, too, but if you have a native companion, that would be great. Plus you’d look good in a burka LOL.

      • Shannon says:

        I’ve only been to Istanbul, but it is a city of contrasts. The old city with mosques, a cistern, markets, and palaces. But there’s also the modern city of highrises, colleges, and businesses. On the tram, I saw Turkish women in mini-skirts and tube tops and women not in burquas (that’s Afghan dress) but wearing long black abayas with a head scarf. Two of the women actually clicked their tongues in disapproval when one of the miniskirted girls along with her friend in painted on jeans and plunging necking line got in the tram. They then drew their “skirts’ aside as if they might be contaminated. Men’s dress was boring–jeans, khakis, collar shirts, polos, and an occasional suit.

  • CateS says:

    Oh, do go to Alaska… we had a wonderful 18 days there… We did a small tour via Alaska Wildlands [they donate back to the environment] which included all meals, lodging and transportation… lovely in June.. Saw Denali, Keni Penn, travelled via Alaskan Railways from Juneau to Denali… toured the back country of the national park… and then did a small boat cruise that gets you much closer to shorelines than the big liners are permitted to go… Oh but do go!!

  • Susan Sey says:

    Good morning, Jo! There are so many places I’d like to go! At the moment, Australia is at the top of my list. But I’d like to wait until it’s winter up here again before I make the leap! No point wasting a perfectly good summer visiting winter, right?

  • catslady says:

    I have to pick Sicily. All my ancestors came from there – a little town called Cefalo right outside of Palermo which I hear is a wonderful resort town. My niece went a few years back and she found someone that had the same name as one of my grandmothers but since she didn’t know the language we never found out her relationship to our family. Probably a cousin of a cousin of a cousin lol.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Everyone should visit the lands of their heritage, don’t you think? It’s such a grounding, rooting experience.

      When we visited Scotland, my husband stood overlooking one of the lovely lochs and said, “I feel like I’ve come home.”

  • Good morning, Jo! What a fun post! Lately, I’ve been getting the urge to go back to Paris, so I would happily use my free airfare for that. This time I would probably add on a week in the Loire Valley or Provence. Maybe on a luxury bicycle trip? Yeah!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      When did you go before, Kate, and what places did you concentrate on. I’m so interested b/c my daughters and I are planning on a Spring 2016 trip to Paris and saving our pennies.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Hola, everyone. My airconditioning man is here to check out the unit so I got involved in talking to him. Sorry I’m late.

  • Hi Jo!

    Good thing you didn’t respond to the letter because it’s a scam. I’ve gotten the darn thing about three times now.

    I’d love to travel anywhere really. Outside the US, I’d like to visit Paris, England for an extended visit, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Australia, China, & Japan…I basically want to see it all (grin). Within the states, I’d like to go to Yellowstone as I’ve never been, Colorado, Mt. Rushmore, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. One of these days….

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Wow, Donna, thanks for the heads up! I always fly Southwest so I just figured …

      You just wanna go every danged where and I don’t blame you! Finally, when you get a little money stored up, you often find you don’t have the good health to go!

      Maybe we’ll see you in Paris when we’re there!

  • Becke says:


    Oooo love the dreamy feel of this one. I’ve been all over the US and loved all of it, other than the boring-in-between to get to the cool places.

    Other than, I want to see it all too. The only places out of the US I’ve visited are most of the Caribbean islands. Next year we’re going to Italy and I can’t wait. But I really want to go to England, Scotland, and Ireland.

    Oh and Africa!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      LOL, the boring in between like the midwest, Becke? It always seems to be that the coastal areas are the most interesting though.

      We’ve made the drive across northern Nevada going to visit relatives in Utah so many times I feel I have those dry ugly plains memorized. Of course, getting up to Reno is a gorgeous drive.

      Africa sounds interesting, especially South Africa.

  • Oh, wow, Jo, you’ve got my imagination working – I could do a list as long as your arm (as long as a giant’s arm!). I’ve got travel on my mind at the moment, as I’m hoping to get to the UK for an extended stay next year. Got to get my ducks in a row and singing God Save the Queen first, though.

    Hmm, armchair travel. Is there anything better? In some ways, it’s better than actual travel because you don’t have to worry about things like train schedules and getting lost and bad weather. In my armchair, my destinations are always beautifully sunny and just the right temperature.

    OK, right now, my five top destinations would be:


    Alaska (like you, it’s somewhere I’d love to see!)

    The Arctic Circle


    St. Petersburgh

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Like your armchair traveling guidelines, Fo!

      I’m assuming St. Petersburg is Russia, not Florida, right? LOL.

      I think the way to really get a feeling for an area is to live there for at least several months. I know Eloisa James recently lived for a year or more with her family in Paris. Sounds heavenly, but I don’t think I could get Dr. Big to go for that.

  • 1. The UK ! England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland – with WEEKS spent in London!

    2. I’d love to return to Austria and Germany again and visit my old haunts.

    3. Pompeii. I’ve been fascinated with Pompeii since I was 12 years old and a research project on volcanoes turned up so many books about the city frozen in time. The Pompeii exhibit at the Discovery Museum in New York inspired me to drag all of those old books out again.

    4. Paris. Because, well it’s Paris!

    5. Egypt, before they destroy it all with useless wars.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, now, Louisa, Pompeii, that’s a new one I’d never thought of.

      Yes, already so much of Egypt has been destroyed by invading armies over the centuries. The alabaster on the pyramids, target practice on the Spinx (which is why he’s now without a nose).

      • Shannon says:

        I lived in Egypt for a year and then went back 10 years later for three weeks. Much of the tourist sites are protected because in the good old days, tourism provided 1/3 of the income for the country.

        Abu Simbal they moved so that it wouldn’t be flooded by Aswan Dam.

        Luxor is ruins of ancient Egyptian cities/temples, but they’re spectacular. Across from Luxor is the Valley of the Kings and a smaller number of queens tombs. It’s not a tomb but a temple for Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s women monarch, that’s really worth seeing. The first time I was there, the guide took me to the right side of the site where there was a mural of the hunting of African species (tigers, zebras, gazelles) that were brought to honor Hatshepsut. When I went back, they had an archeological dig there and I couldn’t see it/photograph it again.

        If you want Muslim history, there’s mosques in the old part of Cairo dating from the early 800s to the 1500s. And of course the city is dominated by the Citadel, from which the Mamluks and the Turks ruled, in which some buildings have been restored and others as museums. It’s like the Tower of London, except no crown jewels.

        And that doesn’t touch on Alexandria, or Amen’s city (he was Tutankhamen’s father and the creator of one of the earliest monotheistic religion), or the cave/church were the holy family resided when they fled Herod.

        Be prepared for heat, dust, and some nasty tummy bugs on the down side. But I’d do it over again.

        • Jo Robertson says:

          Me, too, Shannon. We actually rode the Luxor Train down the NIle (or really up) to Valley of the Kings and that was a life-threatening experience. I believe they stopped letting tourist ride the train after that.

          And yes we got our tummy bugs in Cairo even though we chlorinated our water. Much different now I’m sure.

  • Hey Jo!

    My top 5:

    1. Scotland. I want to walk in castles then sit in the pub and talk to people. I guarantee I’d come home with a thick brogue!

    2. London. Not just the town, but the countryside.

    3. Boston and the NE states in the fall. I love the history and would love to walk where the founding fathers did.

    4. Alaska. I’m all for a cruise, but the Jazzman would probably prefer to visit family and do our own thing.

    5. A train trip across Canada. Now that would be fun!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Great choices, Suzanne. We took Amtrak from Sacramento to Chicago once and it was a beautiful train ride. Dr. Big got flashed by a lovely young lady by a stream we passed (the highlight of his trip) and I found out he could watch the passing landscapes for hours.

      Also found out that Amtrak’s passenger trains have to give way to freight trains, so we had lots of stops!

  • Jo, sorry I’m so late to the party! What a fun post. If I could go anywhere free of charge, it would be Hawaii or Australia, somewhere like that I’ve always wanted to see but may never get to because of the budget. Both those places are attractive in different ways. Australia has the coast and the outback, and Hawaii has the coast and tropical forests.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    It’s not late on the west coast, Nancy! Hawaii’s great if you like snorkeling and other water/beach activities! Or golf. Dr. Big digs that.

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    1. Scotland – the land of the kilted man. Nuff said. 😉
    2. Greece – the history and the food.
    3. Hawaii – I’ve never been.
    4. Australia – It looks like a wonderful place to visit.
    5. England.

  • Alyn says:

    1. Japan
    2. England
    3. Italy
    4. China
    5. Australia