Finally a post that has nothing to do with HAY ! :)
For a whole host of reasons, I don't know that Melissa and I are going to manage any time away from the farm, at least together, in 2011. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't think about what we'd like to do if we could ! We're not trying to get away from our lives in the same way that people who punch a clock may be, but some time away is a good thing and there is more to life than farming and working. Our usual routine is to head for my in-laws large and lovely condo on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It's a six hour drive from here; far enough away to feel different but close enough to get back in case of a real emergency (thankfully this has never happened).
Locally, I'd love to get over to Asheville, NC and tour the grounds at the Biltmore. When I worked for Alltech I often spent time in that part of Western NC, but I never had time to check out the Biltmore. I've always been a fan of that part of the world and if there were more flat land available at any sort of a reasonable price, I'd move us and our horses over there in a heartbeat.
Now that I've been away for more than a year, I think I've changed my tune on Lexington, KY too. I once stated that I'd spent enough corporate time in Lexington that if I never visited the place again it wouldn't be too soon, but it's simply too nice a destination to follow through on that promise. Among other things, I'd love to revisit Keeneland, The Red Mile and the KY Horse Park as a visitor rather than as a frequent corporate attendee. Of all the Lexington hotels I've stayed at over time, I think my favourite in terms of location is the Hilton Suites at Lexington Green; right next door to one of the best independent booksellers I've ever been at AND an excellent seafood restaurant. I've also spent a lot of time at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort; it would be a treat to check the many amenities out sans clients !
Regionally, I've always been a fan of the many charms of Charleston, Savannah and the SC and GA low country generally. While I've visited several times I can never seem to get enough of it and it wouldn't take much pleading to get me to go back.
As a new American, I think it'd be a good idea to have a look at Washington DC; it's a place I've been through or near several times, but I never have actually checked it out.
I'd love to get Melissa to Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks in Alberta and British Columbia respectively, and I'd love to redo the drive...I've done it several times.....between Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia. If I ever get completely sick of it down here south of the border, and I decide to return to a place where the Maple Leaf flies, look for me near either Radium Hot Springs, BC or on one of the Gulf Islands between Vancouver and Victoria. Both places rank among the prettiest I've ever seen and I like them both very much, although it's true that if I lived there I'd have to learn to overlook some of the "cash" crops the hippies cultivate on the Gulf Islands !
Of course this is the curtailed version of my very long bucket list of places I'd like to see. If time and money permitted, where would you like to go ?
5 hours ago