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An early Happy Birthday from your friends

Even though you’re having some problems right now, I for one can’t wait to visit again. Despite all the beauty in Hawaii, I’m still fascinated by Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Wandering Pike Place Market in Seattle, I remember hearing a story of a guy who walked there everyday to buy flowers for his wife through 50+ years of marriage. I was amused when looking down on Portland, Oregon from the air and it looked like a mythical city lost in the middle of a forest. Coughing up a lung as I walked up yet another hill in San Francisco. The Pacific Coast Highway has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. I’ll never get tired of Los Angeles, on the last visit I was like an 8 year old boy when I saw the Batmobile from the 1960’s TV show at the Peterson Car Museum. Wandering through San Diego's neighbourhoods and parks, I can’t pick just one. Seeing a Rolls Royce parked outside a Walmart in Palm Springs. My first time in Las Vegas and watching the minimum $500 bet Blackjack tables after I’d lost my $20 gambling limit on the $2 tables. My first time in Phoenix and being amused how some of the cacti looked just like what I’d seen on the Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons. Someone had set up a telescope at our hotel in Tuscon and had it pointed at Saturn. Road trips to Cour de Lane, Idaho and the beautiful lakes. Not having much money, and excited to find a $20/night motel in Minot, North Dakota only to find that on the other side of the wall from our bed was a very loud biker bar. I don’t remember why it was so much fun, but my wife and I still talk about an Overnight stay in Sheridan, Wyoming. Another fun overnight stay in Deadwood, South Dakota. Still teasing my wife that she brough 7 pairs of shoes for a weekend trip to Minneapolis to watch baseball. Visiting the Packers Hall of Fame in Green Bay and seeing an actual Superbowl trophy. Wrigley Field in Chicago is a treasure, as is the Field Museum. Philadelphia’s National Historical Park-the buildings were so old-I’d never been to Europe yet. Visiting the aquarium in Camden, New Jersey and paying the $10 toll to cross back into Philadelphia then making a wrong turn that sent me back into New Jersey and then having to pay the $10 again. Visiting New York and looking back at a photo of me taken at the top of the Empire State Building that has the Twin Towers in the background; we were your friends when they went down and we’re still your friends now. Fenway Park in Boston, a ball autographed by Babe Ruth at the Red Sox Museum, what was Red Sox management thinking in 1920?? A blueberry Ice Cream cone in Bar Harbor, Maine, worth visiting again just for that. The incredible fine sand on the beaches at Clearwater, Florida. Many extended family vacations at Disney World and my 2.5 year old daughter screaming with delight when Winnie the Pooh kissed her on the head. The stone fort in St. Augustine, Florida and the walls still pockmarked from cannonball fire. Warning signs in the grassy parking lot outside the Washington Nationals Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida to watch out for alligators while getting to your car. Miami Beach during Spring Break, we didn’t plan it that way, we just showed up the same time as thousands of university students, including one that had passed out right outside of our hotel room door and we had to step over her to leave our room the next morning.

Lots of small memories of many places. One of my life goals is to visit every Major League Baseball stadium; 17 more to go, so I will be back, just let me know when you’re ready for me.

Posted by
6741 posts

What a lovely post, Allan and thanks for the birthday greetings this 4th of July. As soon as the borders open, we would love to see you here so you can continue visiting the MLB parks, a goal our son has too. Have you made it to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame yet?
And we can’t wait to return to beautiful, friendly Canada!

Posted by
4641 posts

Allan, what a beautiful and thoughtful post. Thank you so much. We will be the richer for having you remind us how joyful, if often messy and frustrating, travel can be. And your extending the hand of friendship is heartwarming.

Thank you.

Posted by
2907 posts

Awww Allan, that was very nice. We too hope we get our act together so that all can visit back and forth across the border to the north soon.

Posted by
2872 posts

Thanks Allan for the kind tribute and highlighting your favorite memories with more on the way! Thanks also for mentioning the Pike Place Market. As a native of Seattle it is our favorite happy place to visit. After almost 5 months we look forward to when we can return. Also hope we can return to lovely Canada someday!

Posted by
1074 posts

Allen, that was very sweet!
And a belated Happy Canada Day to you and yours.

Posted by
5078 posts

Hi Allan - hope you’re having a happy day as well! Actually, your post spans the day the Continental Congress actually voted for Independence for the new United States, July 2, 1776, and the day it was declared, two days later.

When is a birthday - when it happens, or when it’s announced to everybody? The USA is looking pretty good for a 244-year-old, although as with anything, it can sometimes show its age. Cheers to you, Allan, and to all on this festive weekend!

Posted by
6059 posts

Allan, apologies for that invasion thing - we thought you might want to come join us.

Posted by
3829 posts

Thank you, Allan, for sharing some great memories of your U.S.A. adventures! My husband also wants to visit all of our ballparks - we try to time our local vacations to see 1-2 a year.

We also have fond memories of Canada. Our honeymoon was at Banff, and we have been to British Columbia numerous times - gorgeous scenery!

Posted by
1652 posts

The calendar might say we're 244 but just look at us -- we sure seem to be in that awkward gangly teenage stage...

Posted by
1903 posts

Allan, apologies for that invasion thing - we thought you might want
to come join us.

We should actually apologize to you, was it in 1815 in the late moments of the War of 1812 that we chased you back across the border and then marched to Washington and burned down the White House?😁

Posted by
404 posts

What a nice post! Thank you! I have been to many of the places you mentioned — thanks for reminding me how much the little things make the best memories.

Your post reminded me of a weekend trip my husband and I made to Montreal a few years ago (not our first, not our last; we are lucky to be close to such a gem). We wound up at the casino for maybe an hour and my husband hit a good streak at the blackjack tables. We got up and left $200 richer, headed back into town, and blew it all on Canadiens tickets for that night. What a blast!

Posted by
3554 posts

Thanks, Allan.

And remember that if the Brits had won the Pig War of 1859, the lovely San Juan Islands would be a part of BC instead of WA.

Posted by
1142 posts

Yes, Happy Birthday. I’m not as widely travelled in the US as Allan but have always enjoyed my visits. I’ve driven through a number of states and have had long term stays in NY, PA, MA,VA and DC.

Favourite area of all, the pastoral lands, vineyards and President’s Homes of Central Virginia.

Followed by coastal Massachusetts. Cape Cod is great for gentle hiking and taking it easy in September (too expensive otherwise). I’m particularly fond of Provincetown (fabulous place) and Highfield Hall and Gardens. On the North Shore, Marblehead in particular.

A special mention to Skaneateles in New York.

“Have you made it to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame yet?” - Did not go into the Hall of Fame but Cooperstown has some very nice streets and old homes, and is situated in a nice spot.

"Allan, apologies for that invasion thing - we thought you might want to come join us." - I’ve been giving it some thought. Our vibrant red Maple Leaf looks good on a white background. Possibly a house of some kind?

Posted by
1903 posts

Have you made it to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame yet?

Suki, not yet. It's so far out of the way that I haven't figured out a way to include it in a trip yet. My wife isn't a baseball fan which makes it a bit of a challenge.

Posted by
6059 posts

Allan, in case you haven't made it to beautiful Kaufman Stadium here in Kansas City, one of the big attractions is the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It celebrates the history of that often overlooked professional baseball league and their players including Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige.

And a belated nod to Canada Day, July 1.

Posted by
653 posts

Thank you for a lovely post Allan. Happy Belated Canada Day!

Posted by
1903 posts

Thanks also for mentioning the Pike Place Market. As a native of
Seattle it is our favorite happy place to visit.

Janis, I've been due for another Seattle visit. My friend and I have been throwing around the idea for a couple of years to get to Seattle for a Mariners/Blue Jays series. Maybe next year. Pike Place will always be on the agenda as well.

Posted by
1903 posts

Allan, in case you haven't made it to beautiful Kaufman Stadium here
in Kansas City, one of the big attractions is the Negro Leagues
Baseball Museum.

Stan, I read your mind, I got as far as reading Kaufman Stadium and I was already thinking of the Negro Leagues Museum. I've been trying to convince a friend to make a midwest tour with me and hit places like KC and St Louis.

Posted by
9 posts

Allan,

I'm a little down on my country right now. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

Posted by
1903 posts

And remember that if the Brits had won the Pig War of 1859, the lovely
San Juan Islands would be a part of BC instead of WA.

Lo, I guess we'll let you have the odd victory, but we draw the line if you try to beat us in hockey at the Olympics.

Posted by
2834 posts

Gunderson, I'm not a fan of his politics, but I'd much rather look at your PM than at our President!

Posted by
1952 posts

Thank you, Allan. And when you decide to return to the US, please come through Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Many beautiful and unique vistas here, too; especially in my home state. And the Rockies, both the mountains and BB team-lovely Coors Field. I wished all our Canadian friends a (continued) Happy Canada Day before but will repeat and agree with Cala's statement above😉