Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lexa and Julie's Dream Destination Blog-Hop!

Photo Sources: Chris Kirk and Weasley-Detectives




I couldn't possibly resist joining this blog hop hosted by Lexa and Julie. Travelling anywhere is simply not on the cards just at the moment, so why not indulge in a little travel daydreaming instead?

My husband and I travelled quite a bit when we were in our early twenties. We spent time in Japan, France, Italy, Croatia, and England. I'd love to revisit Europe, and if we get to Italy again, where my husband's family is from, I'd definitely slip across the border to Austria to visit my friend, Maynard, from the Horror Movie Diary.

During our travels, back in the day, we ended up getting jobs in London and I think experiencing London as a resident was even more rewarding than as a tourist. The downside however, was that we probably got a little complacent. You think you've got all the time in the world to see the sights... until you don't. We ended up returning to Australia sooner than we expected (long story), so sadly, I missed a couple of dream destinations in England like the beautiful Highgate Cemetery in North London, and the seaside town of Whitby, in Yorkshire, that featured in Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula (both pictured above). I will have to go back one day so that I can tick them off my "must see" list.

The Dream Destinations 

I have never been to the USA and I have a list of things I would desperately love to do there. Of course, it would be simply imperative that this trip take place in October, so I could experience some of the American Halloween festivities. I'm laughing to myself now because I'm imagining a normal person having the Grand Canyon or Disneyland or New York City on their travel itinerary, but these are my dream destinations in the United States:

Photo Sources: The Sydney Morning Herald and The Edward Gorey House

Charles Addams, Edgar Allan Poe, and Edward Gorey 

Okay, I could easily devote an entire monster post just to Mr Addams, but suffice to say, I'd want to see absolutely anything and everything I could find that was Charles Addams or Addams Family related. I would also visit the Poe Museums in Baltimore, Maryland, and Richmond, Virginia. The other must would be a trip to The Edward Gorey House in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  It was the home of the late artist and writer, and now functions as a museum dedicated to his work and charitable endeavours.

Photo Sources: Roadtrippers, OTIS, and Fat Orange Cat Sudio

Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts 

As well as soaking up the general beauty and history of these towns, I'd go Hocus Pocus crazy and visit film locations like the Dennison's house, Allison's house, the Old Burial Hill Cemetery, and the town hall, which was the setting for the Halloween dance (all pictured above).

Photo Sources: Historic Hudson Valley and Julie Altebrando

Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, New York 

And last but not least, I would absolutely love to visit Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, home to author Washington Irving and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. (Pictured above: Washington Irving's house in Tarrytown and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.)


Thank you, Lexa and Julie, for this opportunity to luxuriate in a little virtual travelling. Just click on their names for more dream destinations and to enter their Rafflecopter Giveaway.

81 comments:

  1. I live in the U.S, and I would love to visit all of these exciting places! What an excellent idea for a theme tour. Fabulous photos too! It's great meeting you! Now I'll have to think about how sheltered I've been. Congrats to Julie and Lexa!

    Julie.

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    1. Thanks, Julie! It's great to meet you too! Julie and Lexa came up with such a great theme for this hop! It's wonderful meeting new bloggers and discovering a little more about them through their dream destinations. :)

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  2. Can I just say: I'm right there with you! I wrote a post several years ago about exactly these destinations - Salem, Sleepy Hollow. Though I lived in the States for a while I never went up there.

    We have led similar traveling lives too. I also lived in London for a while (and also didn't travel and see the sights as much as I could have).

    Great post!
    Here's my link: http://msmisantropia.blogspot.se/2013/12/dream-destination-blog-hop.html

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    1. Yes, it seems to be human nature to be so busy dreaming of faraway places that the fabulous spots within our easy reach seem to slip our minds. *sigh*

      Can't wait to read your post, Ms Misantropia! It has been really fun and enlightening discovering everyone's different idea of a "dream destination". :D

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  3. Reading your post makes me want to revisit the Poe Museum. Okay, so all kinds of things make me want to revisit the Poe Museum LOL. And you know I've been to almost all the others (must go to Edward Gorey's everything!). Can you believe I don't own any of his books? I'm terribly ashamed. I'm adding every single one of them (okay, maybe a few at the time) to my Wishlist. And I'm vising the museum next year when my Piano Man and I go to MA.

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    1. Ooooh, I'm really looking forward to you posting about your trip to MA next year, Magaly!

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  4. LOL, saw your Addams-Poe-Gorey wish list of travel destinations and immediately thought you'd love Salem and then--voila--you mention Salem. Lots of witch museums there. Very fun. One of the creepiest places I've been was in London. Did you ever go on the Tower of London tour? They even had a room with instruments of torture. Blood-curdling.

    We have so many fun places to be on Halloween in the U.S.! One of my co-Swaggers lives in Sleepy Hollow and another lives in Keene, NH, home to probably the largest pumpkin festival in the country. http://pumpkinfestival2011.org/ (Another co-Swagger is a transplanted Australian, but that's another story.) Hope you make it here one year!

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    1. I'm ashamed to admit, I didn't really do enough touristy things while I was living in London. I worked in Soho for Andrew Lloyd Webber's company at the time and I got to go to tons of West End shows, which was a memorable experience. We also did a lot of travelling around Cornwall, Devon and up to Oxford, and I definitely indulged my inner tourist then. :)

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    2. Oh, and I meant to add that I'll have to put the pumpkin festival on my burgeoning "must see" list, and the idea of living in Sleepy Hollow... well... it just sounds so utterly squeal-worthy to me! :D

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  5. Those are all wonderful destinations! But when you visit the U. S., don't forget Providence, Rhode Island, the home of H. P. Lovecraft. :)

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    1. Don't worry, Bish, if I make it over there, H. P. Lovecraft will influence my itinerary too! ;D I did consider adding him to this post, but it was already getting out of hand size wise. I could have really run amok with this theme. Haha.

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  6. Oh, what fun choices!! I hope you make it to some of these Halloween destinations someday. :)
    Thanks so much for joining our Hop! I'm so glad to meet you and I LOVE the name of your blog.

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    1. Yes, I hope I can make it to these Halloween destinations some day too! Thank you so much for hosting this hop with Lexa, Julie! You picked such an enjoyable theme! :)

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  7. If you like creepy places, you'd definitely like Salem, Massachusetts!

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    1. Haha. Yes, creepy places are just my cup of tea, Sherry! ;D

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  8. It sounds like you've got some interesting places to visit, if you ever get the opportunity. I vaguely remember visiting Salem when I was a child, but at the time, I was too young to appreciate it. Although I've not ever visited the Poe Museum, he used to come to my home town in order to visit his cousin, if I'm not mistaken. So, I've at least walked the same streets as he once did.

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    1. "So, I've at least walked the same streets as he once did."

      Oh, you've really captured my imagination with that thought, Nightwind! That's a wonderful way of looking at it!

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  9. There is so much to do and see in a country the size of the States. I've always wanted to go to New Orleans because it sounds so romantic and dangerous.

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    1. You're so right, Kate! I'd like to go to New Orleans too! My sister has actually been there on vacation and she brought me back some little (fun) voodoo trinkets. She loved it there!

      I think I would have broken blogger if I'd listed all the great places I'd like to visit in the States. Haha. I thought I'd better limit myself to a theme. ;D

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  10. I loved this post. And you mentioned many places in the States that I haven't visited and I'm from there. I live in London now and I'm hoping I get to see as much as possible. Thanks for sharing and wonderful meeting you.

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    1. Yes, we tend to neglect the treasures in our own backyards, TBM! Have a wonderful time exploring London! It's a magnificent city! :)

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  11. Wow, this should be some Super Halloween Tour. Can you imagine all those places decorated for Halloween on top of being fascinating in their own right? So cool! Thanks for the great pics and for joining the blog tour! :-)

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    1. Yes, I'd love to see Salem and Sleepy Hollow in all their full autumn glory. :) Thanks so much for hosting the hop with Julie, Lexa! Such a fun theme!

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  12. You lived in London and never visited Highgate?! Was going to be critical...then I realized you've made some excellent selections in the U.S. and I haven't visited any of them... The fall would be the most beautiful time of year for those states too.

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    1. We went to the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery while we were in Paris, but once we got caught up with working and living in London, Highgate ended up on the back burner, Mark. The Australian friend we had planned on going there with, visited Highgate straight after we left England. She learned a lesson from our mistake.

      Interestingly, the day she was there, she briefly got separated from her tour group while she was taking photos. While trying to catch up to them in the overgrown maze of the cemetery, she tripped over and came face to face with a gravestone that just happened to have her exact name on it. I always thought that was a creepily cool story, but understandably, she was freaked out by the experience. ;)

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    2. Lol! Yes, that's a pretty creepy little story!

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  13. What an interesting itinerary you've set up for yourself! I'd like to see a lot of those places, too. The only one I've visited so far is Poe's museum in Baltimore, but that's because I was born and raised there.

    Nice to meet you! Count me in as your newest groupie.

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    1. Thank you, Susan, and very nice to meet you too! How fab to be a native of a city so associated with Poe! I know absolutely zero about American Football, yet I was still excited that the Ravens won the Super Bowl because of the Poe connection! Haha.

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    2. That's funny! The Ravens didn't start playing in Baltimore until after my hubby and I moved away from there, so we've never been Ravens fans, especially when they play our Atlanta Falcons.

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  14. The MA photos just happened to show up next to your post in my blog feed and I thought, gee that looks like Salem's Town Hall. Haha!

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  15. Salem is a cool, historical, little town, but I was definitely underwhelmed by it. New Orleans, on the other hand, I LOVE!!

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    1. I've heard that Salem is completely overrun by tourists during Halloween, so I think I'd prefer to visit that spot earlier in October, rather than the 31st, Undergroundfortea Gothic. New Orleans does sound fabulous! Oh, where's a big bag of cash when you need one?! ;D

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  16. Some great choices of destination...some which I'd also love to do and a few that are now added to my list after reading your blog. I'm in the UK and do keep returning to Whitby year after year in October to meet up with friends and do the Bram Stoker film Festival and Goth Weekend events. Perhaps next halloween I should break with tradition and do something else :-) On a slightly sadder note, Whitby is really flooded tonight as the storms have hit that coast really badly. The pictures I've had from friends show streets full of water. I'm hoping everyone stays safe and that the damage isn't too bad :-(

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    1. Oh, I hadn't heard anything about the floods in Whitby, jurassicgoth! I'll have to check the news. How terrible! I hope people are safe too, and that the damage is minimal!

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    2. A lot of homes and businesses have been damaged. There's lots of flooding and damage around the country but the coastal towns have really taken a battering and the high tides are making things worse :-(
      http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/local/storm-surge-caught-on-camera-1-6300293

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    3. Thanks for that link, jurassicgoth! What heartbreaking footage! I've been watching the news this morning and they've been showing images of the tidal surge all along the coastline. I'm so sad for the people who have lost everything... at this time of year too! I really hope that you and your family are somewhere safe from the floods?!

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    4. It's awful, friends around the country have been affected by the flooding but we've been really lucky here. Manchester generally gets a lot of rain but the city seems to be okay. Someone blew under a tram and was killed not far from us in the high winds but, thankfully, that seems to be the only fatality in the area. The next three of four days, high tides are likely to cause more disruption on the coast and with rivers so I'm just hoping be people manage to stay safe and warm and the situation doesn't get any worse :-(

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    5. I was watching more footage on the news this morning. Terrible! :( Stay safe! ❤

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  17. Your experiences around the world sound amazing. If you ever do come to the U.S., October would be a great time. In addition to the Halloween-related sights, you'd be well served to come a little on the early side and take in the changing season. Falling leaves and crisp air is the perfect backdrop for a long-awaited experience.

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    1. Definitely, Kim! :) I've only recently learned about American autumnal customs like corn mazes, hay rides, caramel apples and absolutely everything being pumpkin flavoured! It all sounds so lovely!

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  18. Wonderful destinations. I moved out of the US ten years ago and rarely get a chance to go back, and when I do, it's family visits.

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda! :) I can understand how family would come first on your visits back to the US.

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  19. Oh wow, now I have loads more places to visit that I'd never really considered before this post!

    I know what you mean about living in London and taking the sights for granted, but my family visited while I was there so I did the touristy stuff with them. Otherwise I'd have missed out too. I still never did everything though.

    http://shahwharton.com

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    1. Yes, I don't think people take the time to check out many of their own local tourist attractions unless, as you say, they have visitors they need to keep amused and occupied, Shah. ;D Having friends staying with us was almost always the impetus for us to explore the sights around London when we lived there.

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  20. As a lover of all things horror and paranormal, these destinations sound like a dream to me ;-)

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    1. You're a girl after my own heart, Vanessa! ;D

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  21. Sounds like a spooky itinerary...I'd probably be super freaked out. But that's part of the thrill, right?

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    1. Haha. Yes, that is indeed part of the thrill, Loni! ;D

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  22. I'd be curious to see Poe's place too, as well as some of the other places you mention. Add in a few historical tours, and this would be the most amazing, excellent trip, truly one to capture in photos, write about in stories and treasure in the heart forever.

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    1. Yes, there are so many things I'd love to do if I travelled to the US, M. J., but the spots I've mentioned would form the nucleus of what I wanted to do and then I'd build an entire trip around them. Now I just have to win the lottery! *sigh* ;)

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  23. Sounds like the perfect itinerary to me, Little Gothic Horrors! Have you ever seen that book about Edward Gorey's house? Elephant House, I think it's called. Just wondering - I haven't, but I've been debating about ordering it because I think it would be super interesting to see where he lived. I hear he had corridors made of stacked books - my kind of guy! ;o)

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    1. Uh oh! I have a feeling my Amazon Wish List is just about to get a little longer! No, I wasn't aware of that book, but guess where I'm heading straight after this comment? I do have 'Elegant Enigmas - The Art of Edward Gorey', but you can never have enough Gorey... or books for that matter! ;D

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  24. A gloomy literary tour! What a splendid idea! Lots of Yorkshire is fabulously gothic; there's the moors (Wuthering Heights! Jane Eyre! An American Werewolf in London!) the huge, empty abbeys, the witches! I hope you get to visit the UK again.

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    1. Oh, Rhissanna! You've just inspired a whole new dream travel itinerary for me! I think I'd absolutely love exploring Yorkshire. :D

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  25. Wonderful choices, especially Austria ;-)
    I was always interested in visiting Australia, so: you could travel to Austria, while I visit your place? Would be a perfect Austrialian exchange ;)

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    1. Ha! Well, how could I visit Austria when you, its greatest treasure, was not there. It would be like visiting the Louvre when the Mona Lisa was on loan to another museum! :P ;D

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  26. Yours and mine USA itinerary are almost exactly the same so I propose we go together! :D Poe.. check.. Salem.. check.. Sleepy Hollow.. check.. and one more for the list.. New Orleans! I'd love to visit the Buckner Mansion, the building used as Miss Robichaux's Academy in AHS: Coven! Not to mention the innumerable other spooky things New Orleans has to offer! I've kind of fell in love with the place since watching Coven and The Originals!

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    1. Haha. Doesn't surprise me one bit, Sandy! I'd be delighted to add New Orleans to the list! ;D

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  27. id like to check out the gran canyon too.... my parents have moved to arizona, and ive been near it but never made it! NYC is a must!
    PS: l love ur site
    great atmosphere!

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    1. The truth is that there would be so much to see and do in America, Jeremy, it would be a very hard task for me to narrow it down to a doable vacation. Oh for unlimited time and money! ;D

      Thank you for your kind words about the blog and for dropping by. It was lovely to meet you! :)

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  28. I hope to go to Salem, Mass. in October sometime. They have some great Halloween stuff there! And I'm interested in the history, anyway. But all of these would be interesting destinations. I'd also love to play Poe fan tourist.

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. I hope you get to Salem and do a Poe-themed tour, Shannon! Then I hope you write about it, so I can live vicariously through your travel experiences until I can get over there! ;D

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  29. I am a New Yorker and I have never been to tarrytown or sleepy hollow..
    Also, I just wanted to share, I am hosting a massive book giveaway (14 authors, 15 books)

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    1. I hope you get around to seeing Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow one day, Hilary! You're so lucky to live so close! :)

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  30. I have family up that way and haven't been either. What a great idea for a day trip!

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    1. A great day trip indeed, Kestril Trueseeker! I'm envious! ;D

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  31. Being from the states, I would have to say you selected all great destinations. I myself would love to spend time in NY. They are known for the arts and multi cultural experiences.

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    1. If I was over there, I'd definitely do New York too, Lady Lilith Blood Crave! In fact, some of Charles Addams' work was donated to the New York Public Library, so I'd definitely investigate that. I think there's a house that Poe once lived in that's open to the public too. Lots of NYC goodies to see! :D

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  32. Oh, the fun you could have here in October--you'd have to stay the whole month just to experience all our Halloween festivities! If you plan a trip, we can direct you to the best places:) Loved your destination choices!

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    1. Thanks, writerlysam! :) Yes, an October-long, American Halloweenie extravaganza would definitely be a dream event for me!

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  33. I was in Richmond, Va. many years ago and wish I'd known about the Poe museum. That would be fascinating. As far as your iterary, it's very exciting. I'm such a wimp, though, I'd need a big strong man (preferrably a cute, single one) to escort me. I'd be too scared to tour those sites alone.

    Thanks for visiting. I'm here to stay.

    Cheers.

    xoRobyn

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    1. A big, strong, cute, single, male, travelling companion sounds like an excellent idea! Go for it, Rawknrobyn! ;D

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  34. Rick Steve's got nothing on you, Emma. You've done all the work. I could just print this and run "a muk, a muk, a muk!" Since I'd be on the East Coast, I'd have to make a quick detour north and check out Stephen King's gate with rod iron bats, but other than that, sound's like heaven to me!

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    1. Thanks, Warden! Great suggestion about Stephen King's place! I'd love to have a peek at those gates too! Hmm... this US travel wish list is getting longer and longer! *makes note to win lottery* ;D

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  35. I hope you-all had a very Merry Christmas and will have a very happy, happy, happy New Year!

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  36. Oh my, I haven't been blogging for Sooo long but just called on by to wish you the happiest, awesomest 2014 and loved reading about all your dream destinations, makes me want to pack my bags and take off again!!!

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Thank you so much for visiting and commenting!