Posted in Blogging, Writing

Day FIVE: Writing Challenge

Five Places You Want to Visit-


These series of challenges are really making me think! At first when I found them, I said, “Ah-ha! This will be so easy!”

Five days into the challenge and I AM challenged. Thought I could rattle off the top of my head the answers to these questions. However, I find myself putting quite a bit of time and thought into answering them.

Five places I want to visit. This question wasn’t easy at all. I want to visit a ton of places. I didn’t have an opportunity before I became a mother. Truth is– I settled down about a mile from the house I grew up in. I didn’t make it far. Some people don’t mind living in the same town forever, find if they move away they miss it, and they move back.

Maybe that would be the case with me, but I have never had the opportunity to expand my horizons to find out. As a child and even a teenager, I dreamed of discovering new places. A victim of my own circumstances, I instead had a child. Went to college and got married. [Totally the wrong order.]

My significant other loves the area. Would hate to move away. I don’t think an adventurous bone exists within his body. His list would consist of staying within the United States while mine is huge. I want to see it all!

I would love to take a road trip of the states. Taking in the sights, the historical monuments, teaching the children the history, it would be exciting. But if I’m dreaming big, I’m going to expand a little. Think bigger. Where would I dream about going, if I could?

When I did finally decide family and heritage majorly influenced my choices which helped in narrowing it down to some pretty fascinating places. Learning more about my grandmother, our heritage, and exploring exciting times in history.


One- Where Nanny Grew Up and Where She Went!

My Nanny grew up on a ranch somewhere in the hills in West Virginia. I’m not sure the exact location. I need to play detective…

The ranch was rather large with orchids, and home to a slew of animals. The house they rented on the property burned down.

I would like to explore. I wonder if the root cellar is still there? Where Nanny’s mother took her to hide when it stormed. That was the reason she was so afraid. Hiding on the basement stairs. Her mother pulled her out of bed in the middle of the night frightened to death of tornadoes.

After her parents passed away, my grandmother became a ward of her older sister. Although, she was passed back and forth between sisters, as they squandering her inheritance. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have had to work as hard as she did. Working her fingers to the bone. Promises broken. She traveled with her sisters until she was old enough to make a life of her own.

Nanny found it in her heart to forgive her sisters….

One of her sisters made her home in Missouri. We visited her when I was sixteen. Mom let me drive the whole way, and we had fun. The Gateway Arches in St. Louis– amazing! Shortly after visiting her sister, she passed away. She was her last remaining sibling.

Grandma left behind a massive pile of writing. My mother said with a little detective work I could probably find the places she stayed when she was younger.

That will take some time!

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Nanny’s Journal. What is buried in here?


Two- England!

So many cool places to visit in England. The countryside is beautiful! As breathtaking as it looks, the countryside wouldn’t be the only reason. I am fascinated with the Tudor and Medieval period. I would love to see a real castle. Not the stuff my imagination brews up. I know I wouldn’t find a dragon in one, but to go sightseeing would be exciting!

The Isle of Man in the Irish Sea– The coastline has a view of the Irish Sea. It is captivating! It would be cool to explore the ancient monuments. For exploring, the island has museums linking to their Celtic and Viking roots.

Tower of London– Said to be haunted . With as many people losing their “heads” or meeting their untimely end there, it doesn’t surprise me the tower would be inhabited by spirits. The medieval castle is famous for the beheading of Anne Boleyn in 1747. Well-known for housing the crown jewels! It is a fortress! My boys would go crazy over the swords, and armor!

Windsor Castle in Windsor– Queen’s occasional residence. Used for state visits. Only the oldest, largest, castle in the world!  Awesome!

Buckingham Palace in LondonHome of the Queen and State rooms of the royal family. I would like to see the changing of the guard, and glimpse inside the palace!

Westminster Abbey in London– Gothic church, and site used for all royal coronations.

The Major Oak Sherwood Forest North of Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire- Rumored to be the tree “Robin Hood and his band of merry men” hid from their enemies, and nearby lies the church where he married. The tree is 1,000 years old, and huge. Winning it votes for tree of the year.

Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey– Henry VIII’s royal palace. It is curious to me what happened to Henry. Why he went mad! He went through wives and mistresses like one goes through toilet paper. Some speculate the mean streak appeared as he became older from depression, lack of a male heir, blood disorder, and a physical ailment. I would love to see where he stayed! Plus, it is said to be haunted.

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He does look a bit grumpy to me.

Other noteworthy castles that caught my eye.


Two- France

When I was in elementary school, I learned of my French heritage. My ancestors came over on a boat to America. Dropping the “La” before our last name.  My Aunt is the historian on this side of the family, and can trace some of our ancestors back to the Revolutionary War. Which is pretty cool!

Because part of me is French, when it came time to choose a language in school naturally I couldn’t wait to learn! Others were taking Spanish, but not me. It made me feel closer to my French roots. If believed if I ever went to France one day, I could speak their language. A step ahead!

The Eiffel Tower in Paris– History, magic, and romantic! Always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower light up at night.

The Louvre in Paris– One of the World’s Largest and Most Visited Museums. Art can be inspiring. Wouldn’t you agree?

Chenonceau Castle in ChenonceauxWoman left a lasting impression here. Woman cared for, and protected the castle- Katherine Briçonnet, Diane de Poitiers, then Catherine de Medici.

Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre Dame in Stasbourg– One of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals. I like old churches, and I have a feeling the Strasbourg Cathedral would be breathtaking. I love stained-glass windows, and high ceilings. Also, home of the 300 year-old astrological clock! Neat!

Pantheon in Paris– Fashioned after the Pantheon in Rome. Plans never completed. Famous mausoleum.

Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer– World War Two cemetery. Established by the U.S. Army in 1944 as the First American Cemetery on European soil in World War Two.

Arles Amphitheater in Arles – Large sports arena built by Romans. Still used for bullfighting!

Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy– The origins of Christian foundation claim to be formed on this rocky, isolated island within the walls of a monastery. Certainly looks the part.  It appears beautiful, yet dangerous at the same time.

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Three- Ireland

About a month ago, I wrote a post about Ireland– not much has changed since then! I still want to go! From what I have read, the people are friendly. Meeting people, trying new food, hearing the music, learning their traditions, and speaking language, it would be a fun experience! We are part Irish!

Titanic Museum in Belfast– Giant Titanic Attraction and Monument. The shipyard where the Titanic was built. A replica is set to sail in 2018. My son is a Titanic fanatic. Learning all the facts he can. He would be in his element here. 

Blarney Castle on Cork Island “Home of the Blarney Stone” – Thought to bring “good luck,” if you are adventurous enough to hang upside-down to kiss it. I have heard songs about the Blarney Stone. Maybe, I would feel lucky that day.

Leap Castle or “Bloody Chapel,” in Offaly– Recognized as the “Most Haunted Castle in the World.” It has a gruesome history of wicked hangings, and murders. Creepy. I would just want to freak the family out. Play a trick on them.

Trim Castle in Meath– Taking thirty years to build, it is where Braveheart took place.  Known as the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. My husband would be in all his glory. One of his favorite movies!

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in Clare– Castle and interactive tour, Learning about castles, how people lived in the 18th century, and taking in the scenery. Not only would the kids have a good time here, we would too!

The Cliffs of Moher in Clare- Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. Captivating view of the coast. Only one of the many sights to check out along the Wild Atlantic Way. Which I recognize from P.S. I Love You.

Killarney National Park in Killarney–  26,000 acres of natural beauty. Can visit Ross Castle Killarney, which was one of the last castles to fall in the 1650’s. Torc Waterfall, and The Meeting of the Waters.

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Four- Italy

Mmm, Pizza. Okay. That isn’t why I would visit Italy. At least not the only reason! I love history, food, culture, and family. I fit in so well here. I AM part Italian– somewhere. Maybe just in spirit. But that is okay! I could lose myself in some adventures in Italy for a couple of weeks. Romantic, historic adventures.

Leaning Tower of Piza in Piazza del Duomo- The incredible leaning tower from medieval times. Impervious to harm from weather conditions. Home for birds. How does it do that?

Wall of Letters/Juliet’s Tomb in Verona- Tourists and locals leave love letters at the tomb of Juliet. Heartbreaking, sad, sappy love letters.

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Colosseum in Rome– Where the ancient Roman gladiators competed! Seated over 50,000 inside with over four centuries of use. Reminds me of Gladiator with Russell Crowe.

Cathedral of Florence- Covered in marbles and has a bell-tower. Unique history in the making of the cathedral.

Pantheon in Rome– Dedicated to the worship of every God and later converted by the Pope to a Christian church.

Mt. Vesuvius Near the Gulf of Naples– Only active volcano in mainland Europe! Responsible for some of the largest volcanic eruptions. Most famous for the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Last erupted 1944.

Grand Canal– Touring the main street of Venice in one of those awesome Gondola’s.  A great way experience culture and see the beauty of a different world. Riding in one of those boats would be thrilling!

Amalfi Coast– Amazing views of the coast. 13 towns to explore. Pizza and pasta to find! Enchanting beaches, and gardens.

Pompeii– The city covered by volcanic ash. Ruins. I would want to see if I could uncover any vibes here. Sadness? Desperation? Anything else?

Trevi Fountain in Rome– Baroque piece of Art featuring Neptune God of the Sea, which says if one throws a coin in the fountain, he or she will one day return to Rome. So I am throwing a coin!

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City- Art displays. The ceiling Michelangelo painted. Inspiring. Now to find a cup of coffee!


Five- Heaven

I have to admit I wasn’t sold on the idea of Heaven– not completely anyway until my Nanny passed away. She was a devout Christian for most of her adult life.

I was lukewarm. Willing to believe in him, but not sacrifice some of the closest parts of myself. When she passed, she said she saw him. He spoke to her. She saw.. Heaven.

I know. Ramblings of a dying 96 year-old woman. People who pass claim to see a lot of craaazy things, right. But I believe her. You know why? Because my Nanny not only believed in him and trusted in him with her whole heart and soul, but she also she couldn’t talk really well since having her stroke one Thanksgiving.

She could tell my mom everything about what she was seeing. I don’t ask my mother about her last days. She becomes extremely emotional thinking about my Nanny, and seeing her on her deathbed.

Why is Heaven appealing to me? I don’t just want to visit there. I want to go!

No more death, sadness, no more pain. 

Being reunited with loved ones. Knowing we won’t have to part.

New bodies! We won’t age. Or disease! Or die. Ever again!

No hate. No crime. There will be peace. The more I see the world raging into something hateful the more comfort I draw from the tranquility of Heaven.

Animals will be chilling together. Side by side. The lion and the lamb. 

It will be amazingly beautiful–Like nothing you have ever seen before! Streets of gold. Walls of the city adorned with every kind of jewel. Pearly white gates. God will be its light. River, clear as crystal, flowing through the city. Each side of the river will provide a Tree of Life with 12 kinds of fruit every month.

Bible Verses About Heaven

What is Heaven Like?

I like reading Revelations. It used to scare me, but it doesn’t anymore. My son likes reading it, also. It doesn’t have to be scary. It can be a beacon of hope– of the good is that is coming. 

I realize Heaven may not be a place on Earth, but it is still a real place to me that one day we will visit.

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I liked this challenge–

It made my gears turn serving its purpose. Taking four days to complete! If I had to choose five places to travel, I wanted to consider my heritage, interests, and family. I feel those are important factors.

Some places I knew about having learned from them movies, travel, and history channels. Watching the Tutors and Reign, I fell in love with the time period, and people.

If I could have chosen ten places, I would have considered: Iceland, Spain, Hawaii, Canada, and Scotland. 

If I could travel to a fictional place which you can actually visit now, I would visit: Arendalle (Norway), Camelot (Ireland), Capeside (Massachusetts), Hogwarts (Scotland), Kings Landing (Malta), Mordor (New Zealand), Pandora (Hawaii), Raccoon City (Colorado), and The Shire (New Zealand).

I hope you enjoyed the post. I wanted to include links in the event your interest was peaked!

Have a great evening!

Lynne

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Updated to include the challenge, fix a link that wasn’t working, a graphic. And again when I realized the next day, I was on day six!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dreamer. Doer. Poet. Writer. Mom. Baker. Lover of Many Things.

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