things i love

My Top Five Places I’ve Visited (so far…)

23 Comments 14 January 2011

The Leela Hotel Goa

Always fresh flowers everywhere at The Leela.

Today I am writing a Top 5 post for Kate’s  listography at Kate Takes 5. Kate suggested we make a list of the Top 5 places we’ve visited. In no particular order.

1. The Leela Hotel in Goa

This was an exception to the norm for us–we usually take holidays where we can climb (small) mountains or hike through wilderness or surf the Atlantic. The honeymoon came in the middle of my husband writing a text book, me juggling a full time job and lots of kids and of course planning a wedding. We were exhausted and knew we just needed a place where the biggest decision during the day was Pool or Beach and for the evening it was which of the four restaurants to choose. It was perfectly fabulous. We arrived just after monsoon season so we were one of the few guests and we received wonderfully personal treatment. And yes, we did venture out and saw some amazing sites in Goa, a spice plantation, temples, and old Portuguese mansions. I would go back–for the sites as well as the friendly people.

2. Bemidji, Minnesota

The teenage me would shriek with terror if she knew in 20-some years I would say Bemidji, my hometown, would be one of my top places I’ve visited. I couldn’t wait to get out. But when I took my family there for the first time a few years ago, viewing it with grow up eyes made me see why so many people from all over the US have summer homes in the area.

3. New Mexico

I’m listing a whole state because there’s several places in New Mexico I really really loved. There was a wild beauty that I really connected with, as if (watch out! cornball alert!) I had been there before. And the people were so nice. I also love the variety in the state–desert to rolling foothills of the Rockies. No wonder Georgie O’Keefe chose to paint here. I am planning a big family Road Trip through New Mexico one of these days…

4. Paris

I know. Why couldn’t I be more original? But I really, really like Paris. It seems appropriate that I include it here. Paris is perfect if you have a long weekend and you only live in the South of England. Like me! We like to get up late, walk neighbourhoods, stop for coffee, go to a gallery, browse shops, and find different places to eat each night–tiny little hole in the wall restaurants or fabulously complicated posh restaurants, it’s all good fun.

5. Northumberland

If you’ve never been you are missing the experience of Living in an Artist’s Impression of Wild, Romantic, Passionate England. Wow, the views are incredible. From the purple Cheviots to the elegant beech forests silhouetted across hilltops. The wild coastline with it’s long, wide stretches of beaches that have been rated amongst the most beautiful in the world could hold your attention alone. The fortress castles and the pretty but hardy clutches of stone villages tucked into bends on roads and along hillsides hold pubs with fires and friendly people. It’s one of our favourite family holiday destinations.

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23 Comments so far

  1. kate says:

    You make all of them sound so perfect! I spent a summer in Minnesota when I was 18 and loved it! Thanks so much for joining up with your lovely list. x

    • Michelloui says:

      That’s cool, I hardly ever meet people who’ve been to Minnesota but when I do, everyone says they loved it.

      • Karen says:

        Haha, I went to language camp when I was 17 sort of between Bemidji and Vergas. Had a great time! The lakes and woods out there were really beautiful! Downtown Vergas was charming in its own way too. ;)

        • Michelloui says:

          Oh wow! Thats really cool. Im pleased you can back me up a bit on how beautiful it is ;)

  2. That’s a fantastic list. I have now added Goa to my future travel wish list!

    I really like your blog too…

  3. Qwerty mum says:

    Paris might be a bit cliched but it doesn’t stop it being a fantastic city. The Catacombs are my absolute favourite part of the Parisienne experience.

    • Michelloui says:

      I haven;t been to the Catacombs in years. The last time I was in Paris was with my family and we thought we’d take the kids. They were all excited then when we got there they were closed for maintenance! Next time…

  4. Wow, you threw me with that Minn. town name. Is that Native American influenced? I’m with you on Northumberland. I’m a Northern girl on both sides of the pond.

    • Michelloui says:

      Yes, the local Ojibwe chief was named something similar to Bemidji, which the loggers turned into Bemidji. It’s kind of cool coming from a place that has no duplicate any where in the world.

  5. Longing to go to India anywhere will do for starters but think I may have to add The Leela as part if the itinery! Think Paris a wonderful esp by foot!

    • Michelloui says:

      I would love to go back, we hope to visit the north next. But that will be a while away.

      Yes, really the best way to enjoy Paris is by foot!

  6. Marianne says:

    Listology eh? I could do with an ‘ology’ might give it a go next week :)
    I adore travelling and as long as I can I will wander the planet and explore, no place is off bounds for me, apart form war zones of course.

    • Michelloui says:

      Ditto. Im completely with you on all of that. Looking forward to seeing your listology soon!

  7. JoJo says:

    Hooray! Finally a list that appreciates Northumberland. Thank you!
    JoJo x

  8. Mañana Mama says:

    Que viva Nuevo Mexico! It isn’t every day I meet somebody who’s been there–so glad you love that dusty, wierd old place too.

    I would absolutely LOVE to go to Goa and Northumberland, just as soon as Chaos and Destruction let me out the door…

    Thanks for stopping by MM earlier, and for your lovely note!
    ~M

    • Michelloui says:

      Haha, yes, it’s difficult to travel with young children for so many reasons. I know loads of people who insist that it ‘wont stop them enjoying travel’ but I just found it too expensive in money and hassle when I knew they weren’t going to remember most of it anyway. Keep a list and you’ll have fun ticking that list off when they’re ready to travel!

  9. They all sound wonderful. Paris would probably be on my list too, as would Rome – but I think I’d find it hard to confine it to five places. Never been to Goa but would definitley like to. And who knew that Minnesota was so great? Again, never been, but maybe I’ll have to make a trip there!

    • Michelloui says:

      Minnesota is fab! One thing my kids love about Minnesota is that it’s a place most Brits won’t have visited and so there’s some cache in saying they’ve been to a place that’s cool and fun but slightly off the beaten track. I recommend the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St Paul) or Duluth for a city visit, but somewhere in the north of the state like Bemidji to get a cabin and be closer to nature.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I absolutely love Northumberland. Easily my favourite place to visit!

    • Michelloui says:

      It is definitely a ‘secret’ popular place. Everyone I’ve met who’s been there loves it, but I must say I’m pleased not many people go there (as compared to somewhere like Cornwall) as that’s part of the appeal for me!

  11. Oooo lovely list. I happen to (slightly) follow the Minnesota Vikings although not been there as yet (long story). When I get there eventually I’ll make sure I drop by your home town now!


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