Akaka Falls

See the World for Free

The idea here is to TRAVEL THE WORLD regardless of time or budget. It dawned on me one day that even if I had unlimited time and money (which I definitley do not), I still couldn't see everything in the world that I'd like to see--I'm simply not going to live long enough to do it.

But I had a bit of brain wave and soon after the travel envelope was born. This is an actual physical envelope. I typed the name of every country in the world, plus every state in the US on little slips of paper which I then put into the envelope. In the beginning we (myself, my husband, Dave and daugher Catherine) would draw out a slip at random at the beginning of the month and that's where we would go---at least in our minds. We grab some books about the country from the library and put them in our bathroom to look at. We also check out some videos about the country if any. We check it out on googleearth, listen to the music, try the food, maybe even attempt to learn a dance or celebrate a festival.

After the first two years we discovered that even virtual traveling can be tiring, so we travel now whenever I happen to be in the mood.

It's great fun. I especially love it when people I meet have been to the place I'm "visiting" in real life, or get excited and have some virtual adventures of their own. I hope that anyone who comes across this blog will feel welcome to come with us on the trip!

You have a standing reservation to see it all!

May 10, 2012


Cheesecake is of primary importance to my mind when it comes to exploring New York. On a real trip it might not be a bad idea to have a piece every single day so as to find the ultimate best cheesecake of New York City. I looked up cheesecake on Wikipedia to see what was different about the New York Style and this is what it said:

New York-style cheesecake relies upon heavy cream or sour cream. The typical New York cheesecake is rich and has a dense, smooth and creamy consistency.[12] Sour cream makes the cheesecake more resilient to freezing and is the method by which most frozen cheesecakes are made. However, a lavish variant uses sour cream as a topping, applied when the cheesecake is cooked. It is mixed with vanilla extract and sugar and replaced in the oven, so that it is twice baked.

Works for me!

May 9, 2012

Central Park

I want to be here!!!  Maybe it's because it's May and perfect weather where I live and all I want to do is go outside and ramble around--but when I looked up Central Park I got a thrill similar to the thrill I get when I think of Disneyland. I knew the park was big, but it's REALLY BIG and it sounds wonderful.  Endless paths like the one above to wander about in, big lawns to sunbathe or fly a kite in, a whole lake just to sail model boats in, an outdoor theater with free shows including Shakespeare in the Park, a castle,

 then of course there is the zoo-with polar bears, a carousel, midway rides, wildlife sanctuaries, playgrounds, tennis courts, fun surprises like the Alice in Wonderland statue that kids can climb on, and a Swiss Cottage with marionette shows. Forget visiting Central Park, today I want to live here.

May 7, 2012

I love New York

New York is just plain fun--especially if one has truck loads of money, which I don't, but that's the beauty of virtual traveling. New York is special to me because I was born there and went to kindergarten and first grade at good old PS 24. I remember our apartment and that I would go behind the apartment to walk the cat on a leash, and I learned to tie my shoes on the subway. Even now New York pops up often in my daily life--more than any other state. We always watch the Today Show in the mornings as we get ready for work.

And Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the Macey's parade.

And it just happens that the mystery I just read took place in upstate New York. And I also watched a documentary on Netflix called, "Man on a Wire" about the tightrope artist Philippe Petit who strung a wire between the twin towers and walked across.

Catherine went to New York with her high school orchestra and played the harp in Carnegie Hall. Dave went to a conference there--and I want to go back to visit some day. Happily, there is no end of material in the library about New York--a refreshing change from looking up remote places in Africa. Catherine checked out about half the collection. All of us enjoyed the children's book, You wouldn't want to be a worker on the Statue of Liberty.

Phew---I never fully appreciated just how hard it is to sculpt a figure and then have it blown up as big as the Statue of Liberty. Gotta love mankind--that was an INSANE amount of work.  I've also read a children's book about a Russian family and their trip to America through Ellis Island.

The current read is a New York alphabet book, which just makes me excited to visit everything--central park, the empire state building, the rockettes, the guggenheim and on and on and on.  Oddly, finding food to celebrate New York might be a challenge. New York has everything--what does one choose?  Perhaps the most authentic thing to do would be to find the most expensive restaurant and go with that, but that won't work for practical reasons. I think we'll have to stick with bagels and New York Cheesecake and maybe some Chinese food and pretzels and hotdogs? I think I'm in trouble....