The first trip that I remember going on with my parents was to Niagara Falls, New York, and must have been about 2 ½ years old. I know my mom told me that they did not have a yellow rain coat that was small enough for me to wear, so we had to improvise with the smallest one that they had. I remember the different ways the water fell over the rocks and cliffs, some memory stayed with me all of my life because to this day, I like fountains, and water falls that are in so many places.
Growing up on Long Island, we went in to New York City often to events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Easter Parade, also to go to the theatre as well as explore art museums. We also explored county and state historic sites on the Island. There were also trips upstate New York to visit my grandmother as well as aunts, uncles and cousins.
On one of the trips upstate, we took a side trip to Cooperstown, New York to the Baseball Hall of Fame which is a must see for any baseball fan (as my brother and I were and we still are). I have visited many interesting places in the State of New York growing up, such as going to the Adirondacks, Lake George, Sleepy Hollow (the setting for Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman).
I was in Girl Scouts and one of the trips we took was up to the United States Military Academy at West Point. I also got to see the homes of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt who were also native New Yorkers. Plus visiting Albany (the state capitol).
When I was around 10 years old we took a family trip at Thanksgiving to Williamsburg, Virginia, while enroute there we stopped and paid respects at Arlington National Cemetery at the grave of President John F. Kennedy. (how ironic that many years later I would live in Washington, DC/Northern Virginia and be able to go to Arlington frequently to take pictures and more). Talk about time travel!!!
Another time when I was in the fifth grade we went to Miami Beach during Easter break from school. An irony to this trip that while we were there we actually saw my fifth grade teacher down there as well (who was staying at a different hotel). Totally unplanned!!!! Other trips I remember were going to Plymouth Village, Massachusetts (This living museum recreates Plymouth as it was in 1627, and does a great job at separating fact from the enduring (and completely inaccurate) legend of the First Thanksgiving. Historians and curators have paid great attention to detail, from the street plans to furniture, tools, and cooking equipment. Specially bred 17th-century livestock occupies the barns and pastures, and trained reenactors and artisans demonstrate how life was lived among the Pilgrims. In addition to information on the European colonists, visitors can find information on the Native American population at Hobbamock’s Homesite. Hobbamock, a Wampanoag Indian, lived with his family in Plymouth from 1621-1641, as part of a peace treaty agreement) and is the site of where the Pilgrims landed in the 1600’s from England as well as going to Salem, Massachusetts to visit the place where there were numerous witch trials of people accused of doing unchristian activities. (Three Historic Cemeteries. Salem has wonderful, historic cemeteries, including the Old Burying Point Cemetery on Charter Street, Howard Street Cemetery, and the Broad Street Cemetery. The Old Burying Point is the oldest cemetery in Salem, and in it you can see the graves of, among others, a Witch Trials judge, a Mayflower passenger, and architect Samuel McIntire. Cemeteries are open from dawn until dusk, and exploration is encouraged. Since 1626, when Conant arrived with the first settlers, Salem, Massachusetts has been attracting people from all points of the compass. Many come to visit and some decide to stay and make Salem their home.
It may be most widely known as the site of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, but this colorful, coastal city has much to offer both residents and visitors: a culturally diverse population, a rich maritime heritage, an impressive display of historic architecture and amazing stories that span almost four centuries.)
We also went to Boston, Massachusetts. I remember visiting Faneuil Hall and other historic places, following the Freedom Trail, and even riding in a Swan Boat. And even a trip to historic Sturbridge Village!!!!. (Old Sturbridge Village is one of the country’s oldest and largest living history museums, depicting early New England life from 1790-1840 with historians in costume, antique buildings, water-powered mills, and a working farm. Visitors can view antiques, meet heritage breed animals, and enjoy hands-on crafts. The Village is open year-round, but hours change seasonally).
We went to Stowe, Vermont and visited the Von Trapp Family Lodge (the Von Trapps of Sound of Music fame). This location is reminiscent of the Salzburg area of Austria where they were from and that is what drew them to the Stowe area when they emigrated here. On the same trip, we also went to other areas in the State of Vermont, went to New Hampshire and into Maine where I remember going to Bar Harbor (a small island) and seeing lobsters being brought in as well as other fish being brought in by the fishermen (reminiscent of seeing fishermen bringing in their daily catch where I grew up in Bay Shore/Brightwaters). I can safely say that I have been to every state on the east coast of the United States.
Another trip I remember was on a summer vacation from school, we drove down to Florida (possibly either 1972 or 1973) going first to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area where we went to Bush Gardens. Then we drove to Orlando where we went to Walt Disney World (which was only the Magic Kingdom at the time). A few places that I enjoyed was (and is) the Haunted Mansion, the Hall of the Presidents and the Small World ride. There are other places at the Magic Kingdom that I enjoyed as well. I have also been to the Outer Banks and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Kitty Hawk is the spot where the Wright Brothers took the first airplane flight. The original Wright Flyer is in the National Air and Space Museum which is a part of the Smithsonian Institution. A replica is in the museum at Kitty Hawk that commemorates this historic event. In Ocean City, Maryland I have gone parasailing numerous times, each time I’ve gone up higher. I have plans to go sky diving when the weather is nicer. And have been to numerous historic sites and towns in Virginia as well.
I got to travel to many places while I was working for the United States Department of Justice; the first trip that I went on was to San Antonio, Texas for a week long paralegal conference. It was exciting to be there and stay in a hotel along the fabled River Walk, where one can stroll and listen to local music, find wonderful shops and quaint cafes to eat and drink at. I also got to see close-up the Alamo which was originally Franciscan mission. I also had the opportunity to go to Sea World San Antonio.
The next trip I went on was to Atlanta, Georgia, where I was helping at a workshop for Criminal Attorneys. In my spare time, I went to underground Atlanta located at Five Point, this is an area of old Atlanta that sustained major damage during the Civil War when Atlanta got burned by the Northern Soldiers. I was fortunate to be able to go to the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum and the typewriter she used to write “Gone With the Wind” plus some other items that were her inspiration for the novel (Gone With the Wind is my all-time favorite book and movie). Also spent time exploring other parts of Atlanta and outside the city as well. It was fascinating to be in such a place.
I have been to Billings, Montana for pre-trial conferences and meeting with witnesses. I remember one of the times there for meetings it was in holiday season and it was snowing. There was to be a holiday street festival and one of the highlights for me was the hot roasted chestnuts which I hadn’t had in years. On one of the trips to Billings, I had the opportunity to drive to the National Park Site of Little Big Horn, where American troops fought the local Indian Tribe, and the American soldiers lost their lives, including their leader, General George Armstrong Custer (he was a West Point Graduate and he is buried back at the Academy).
I made numerous trips to Denver, Colorado, went to Colorado Springs, Colorado (where the training center and Offices for the UnitedStates Olympic Committee is located as well as Pike’s Peak). I found and interesting mining town called Georgetown which still has a working mine. I found in Denver, the Molly Brown House and Museum. Molly Brown may be better known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown. She got the nickname Unsinkable for having survived the Colorado floods, and the sinking of the Titanic. She rose up from poverty to rich and was never go backwards. The house and museum give the visitor a glimpse of a time and era gone by. And to show how the rich and neuvorich lived.
I went to Salt Lake City, Utah for meetings and visited the Mormon Temple area, which was impressive even lit up at night, and felt fortunate to be able to go to a concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir while I was there. ON a subsequent trip to Elko, Nevada I had the opportunity to drive back from Elko to Salt Lake City and to drive along the Great Salt Lake and Bonneville Salt Flats.
I have also been to Reno, Nevada (for meetings, not to gamble); Phoenix, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Sedona, Arizona, Norfolk, Virginia, Los Angeles, California; and San Francisco, California. I remember going to Old Town Albuquerque and getting Turquoise jewelry, and pottery. In San Francisco riding the Cable Cars, going to Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill, and Ghirardelli Square and even crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve even been to the Grand Canyon.
The first trip overseas that I took was to Denmark, seeing the sights such as Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid statute, spending time exploring the fascinating capitol Denmark. Visiting the home of Karen Blixen (the author of Out of Africa) and the gardens behind the house, going to Ellsinore Castle (which is the setting for Shaskespere’s Hamlet, other parks and castles plus so much more. In addition to visiting with famiy while I was there. I was also able to take a boat tour of the canals of Copenhagen. Plus checking out the stores such as Royal Copenhagen and others. And shopping along the Stroyget for bargains. There are many beautiful parks and many castles all around this wonderful country waiting to be explored and discovered.
I had a few hour layover in Switzerland and got to do a little exploring in Zurich, plus on my next overseas, had a little layover in Paris, enroute home from Italy. My first stop in Italy was Rome where I spent several days exploring the eternal city. Going to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica was a thrill in itself (the seat of the Catholic Church) to be able to stand in the same place as the Pope was amazing. And to see it with my own eyes and close up!!!! Going to the Ruins and the Forum, The Trevi Fountain Borghese Gardens….and more. I took the train from Rome to Pisa one day, and went to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and even got to see the Church of the Miracles while I was there. What an awesome experience that was, and an architectural wonder the Leaning Tower is and the detail on both the Tower and the church is beyond description. Pictures can’t do it adequate justice. I then took the train back to Rome.
From Rome I went to Verona for several days. Verona is the setting for three of Shakespeare’s plays: The Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet. Legend has it that one rubs the breast on the Statute of Juliet you will have good luck in love and in your life, the balcony at the Casa de Giulietta. The House of Romeo, Tomba di Giulietta, Piazza delle Erbe (since ancient times continues to be used as a vegetable and fruit market), Castel Vecchio, Piazza dei Signori, Piazza Bra, Corso Cavour. There are so many beautiful Chiesa’s (churches) in Verona as well as in Rome. Roman Theatre and so much more to see , experience and to do. Such a wonderful educational experience so much better than any textbook.