Welcome to Part 4 of My Series – Destination Wishlist: North America!
Are you back to listen to me go on about North America? After that extraordinarily long Part 3 regarding Europe?!? I am shocked! Shocked I tell you!
Actually, thank you for coming back! It means the world to me that you’re sticking it out with me!
For this segment of the Destination Wishlist Series, we’re covering North America. I’ll be saving the USA for last since it’s my country of origin. Let’s start out getting a little adventurous in Mexico, pop up to Canada for some mountain ranges, and end it with some interesting city stays in the USA!
I’m not going to lie – I’ve been to Mexico before. I’ve gone a couple of times with my husband by way of cruises. If you’ve done cruises before, you know they’ll take care of your need to see different scenery. Unfortunately, though, most don’t spend more than 8 hours in port before whisking you off into the sea until you reach your next partial-day destination. Needless to say, my experiences involving Mexico have been far too limited for my tastes and it’s high time we change that!
Dias de Los Muertos
If I had to choose a specific time frame for visiting Mexico, it would have to be during Días de Los Muertos, November 1st and 2nd each year. Outside of feeding my obsessive love of decorative Sugar Skulls, it is an interesting couple of days of festivals dedicated to honoring the memory of deceased loved ones with food, parties, and even doing things the dead enjoyed doing while alive. Honestly, I just really like the idea of treating death as something natural (because it is) and allowing us to take the time to remember to enjoy the life we have, while we can.
However, since I’m not keen on spending a lot of time amongst massive crowds (refer to my previous spouting on social anxiety in the China section of my Asia post), I’ll be looking to less populated festivals that will still offer a big bang of an experience. Let me know if you’re already aware of some!
If you read Part 1 of this series regarding Africa, then you may recall my fondness for Indiana Jones. Well, I think repurposing my Indy attire will be needed if I get to venture into the Yucatan jungles – ironically to tour the Cave of Hanging Snakes. My husband already told me he won’t be joining me for this particular adventure. Oh well! Haha!
Eerie Tourism in Mexico
I’m beginning to think I have a fascination with the creepy. Death festivals (although in fairness, Días de Los Muertos is more about celebrating the lives of our deceased loved ones) and hanging snake caves aside, is there something else kind of creepy that I want to see? Ha… Haha… Well, yes. Naturally.
Perhaps you’ve heard of La Isla de la Muñecas? No? Are you sure? Located a little south of Mexico City is the famous Island of the Dolls. I think the first time I heard about it was on the Travel Channel, well over a decade ago. What makes it famous is the 100s of dolls hanging in the trees, slowly decomposing.
The dolls were placed there by a man that intended to honor the death of a little girl who drowned at this location. He’d collect them then hang them throughout the property. Since 2001, after his own death by drowning in the same spot as the little girl, this location has become a bit of a cult tourist spot.
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When it comes to Canada, the city of Vancouver is on my list for sure. Look, I know my little corner of the world is meant to focus on history and food while traveling, but you have to let me make a day out of enjoying touristy TV show tours. I’m not completely stuffy.
Geeking Out in Canada
I may also want to geek out a little by taking a Supernatural Walking Tour. Fans of Vancouver offer both daytime and evening tours for this particular show tour. I’m not going to lie, I’m still pretty upset with the show itself after the way they ended Mark Sheppard’s tenure (they let him choose his last line and then cut it, amongst other reasons I’m angry with them) in the Season 12 Finale.
Vancouver was also the home to the awesomely funny show, “Psych,” starring James Roday, Dulé Hill, and Timothy Omundson. Unfortunately, I may have to find a way to create a tour based on that show, as I don’t think there are any official tours for the show.
That being said, White Rock photographer, Jennie Marie, had success in creating her own DIY Psych Tour when her friends came to town for a visit. She was nice enough to share their experiences and will no doubt give others inspiration for doing the same! I know I already want to start planning out my tour there!
But, if it makes you feel better, I do have plans to have more “cultural” immersions in my Canadian adventures.
Although I’m not even close to being a fan of hiking, I do want to spend some time in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe spot some bears (from a safe distance). Perhaps get someone to teach me to ski (they ski there, right?) and ending the day with quiet time in a beautiful lodge with hot chocolate. Oh! I definitely want to go whale watching!
My lovely Canadian friends, tell me, what should I experience while there?
If I’m going to be all the way over on the west coast of Canada, perhaps I can start my American City Stays on the West Coast as well. Even if I weren’t going to be in western Canada, my top priority in American travel is Seattle.
I don’t know how to explain it. Have you ever been absolutely homesick for a place you’ve never been to and you have no clue as to what about it makes you feel that way? For me, it’s Seattle. It has been calling to me since I was 20. Its siren song has not eased up in the slightest, especially after I met my husband who lived there for several years while in the Air Force.
Could it be as simple as just going up the Space Needle? Or finally riding a monorail that isn’t taking me to a theme park in Florida? Perhaps it’s the idea seeing real cherry trees in bloom.
Even though I’m not a hardcore Starbucks fan, it might be worth popping into the original shop at the Pike Place Market. Maybe the call of Seattle is just as simple as getting to know the people of that city as if they’re my people, not the ones of my current state. There’s only one way to find out though, so I need to start planning that trip soon.
Once I’ve had my fill of foodie delights, microbrews, and Puget Sound, I think it’ll be time to head a little further south to Portland, Oregon. Actually, come to think of it, I may turn it into a Gastronomic Extravaganza between Seattle and Portland. Portland has wineries to visit, beer tours, and of course foodie tours.
There’s also a tour called A People’s History of Portland Tour that I’m interested in, as it’s purpose is to give historical information about the city from less mainstream people. I think it will be a great eye-opening educational two hours.
While three cities in America won’t really cut it, I believe it’s pertinent to limit myself on this post for your benefit! I mean, you know, if you’re not already bored with this series already! We’re just going to assume you’ve made it this far down and are still interested!
Okay, so like I said: three American cities. “But, Amber, you’ve only written about two!” You’re absolutely right, but I haven’t forgotten or overlooked it. For City No. 3, it’s without a doubt, Miami.
As someone who adores Art Deco designs enough to have an Art Deco Wedding, of course, Miami is on my Big 3! Anyone visiting Miami Beach can easily admire the Art Deco buildings or even book an Art Deco Walking Tour to get some interesting tidbits of architectural history to go with the glorious views.
Before President Obama approved ending the embargo against Cuba, the closest cultural experience to Cuban lifestyles was in Miami. While I am totally happy about being able to get to Cuba at some point, I still want to experience Little Havana and all the livelihood it brings to the city. I want to learn how to really Salsa dance and just roll cigars I won’t smoke. You know, just experience things I wouldn’t be able to experience back home. Does anyone want to take me around town in a classic vintage convertible? That’s something that would be divine for me!
Does Seattle, Portland, or Miami appeal to you? What’s something you want to do or have done there that was a great time? Let me know in the comments!
I hope this article on North America has proved to be useful for your planning needs. If so, I would really appreciate it if you would share the love by putting this on one of your public Pinterest boards or share on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you so much for reading my post!
Want to catch up on the previous sections of the Destination Wishlist Series? Find what you’re looking for here!
- Part 1 – Destination Wishlist: Africa
- Part 2 – Destination Wishlist: Asia
- Part 3 – Destination Wishlist: Europe
We’re almost through with this series! My next post will be my final part of Destination Wishlist. It’ll cover parts of Oceania (mainly Australia and New Zealand for me). Hope you’re looking forward to it! I know I am!