I came across a list of 10 Places Every Kid Should Visit on Yahoo recently, and I'm sad to say that my childhood did not score very high. Apparently I have some traveling to do to make up for it.
Places I have visited that are on the list: the National Mall in Washington D.C., Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and Alcatraz Island in S.F.
I hit the National Mall and Independence Hall on a summer trip with my grandparents and cousin. My favorite cousin and I fought like cats and dogs when we weren't convincing people we were twins. We also didn't sleep well sharing a hotel room with our loud-snoring grandparents. But it was fun none the less.
I saw Alcatraz on a science trip in 8th grade. I'm not sure why the trip was called a "science" trip, other than the fact that it was offered to students in science classes (a.k.a. all of us). I do remember many games of chicken in the pool causing my neck to be too sore for the roller coasters at the amusement park and somehow ending up in a suite with my three roommates for the trip. We were so cool.
The places I haven't yet visited: the Grand Canyon, the Redwood National Park, Ellis Island, Niagara Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Colonial Williamsburg, and Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve.
I basically drove by Yellowstone on my trip home from Colorado two years ago, but an impending snow storm kept me from stopping. That and I was making the drive alone. It just didn't seem as cool.
The rest of it, I haven't even been that close to, except I suppose, Colonial Williamsburg, which is close to D.C. Even though I missed out on all these amazing locations, I still went on some pretty awesome trips throughout my childhood and not just the aforementioned trip to the East Coast.
I have a few favorite trips. One of the top trips my family took was a camping trip across Western Canada through Banff to Calgary and south into Montana to Glacier National Park. We went with family friends in vans pulling tent trailers. We sang over CBs and annoyed truck drivers, stopped by the Calgary Stampede, pretended our lhasa apso was a puppy while going through a remote border crossing, and swam in glacier water.
Another summer, on a trip with the same family friends, we went to Palm Springs where it was so hot the pool didn't have "no running" signs. We also went into Tijuana and my dad led us so deep into the city that we were the only white people. I say that in the nicest (though most overwhelming) way possible.
Two years ago I traveled south to see some friends in Costa Rica. That's not really childhood, but I'm counting it anyways. I saw the beach and the rain forest. It was amazing. If you're looking for a good tropical vacation, I'd definitely recommend it. The plane ticket was even pretty reasonable.
And this summer is going to be amazing. Not only am I spending three weeks traveling around Great Britain with a good friend, but I will also get two weeks in Finland with my family. I can hardly wait.
What have been some of your favorite trips, childhood or otherwise?