Because I have travelled extensively in my life, occasionally I will have someone ask me what is the prettiest place I have ever been?
I honestly have so many that I will just name a few:
I was in a ski lift coming down a mountain in Breckenridge, Colorado, when the sun sent its last waning rays through the snowy pine trees, glistening off the powdery slopes.
I was on a ledge overlooking Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, Arizona at sunrise when I was treated to something right out of a Disney cartoon. Three rabbits were huddled together on a soft bed of grass while several brilliant red Cardinals were hopping around and chirping.
I remember a very rare crystal-clear day as I surveyed Paris in all her glory from the Eiffel Tower.
I lay in a sweet field of grass in Devonshire County with a soft breeze blowing in my hair.
I remember marveling at the sight of an American Bald Eagle swooping over the Snake River in Idaho as my pole snapped and I caught a fourteen-inch trout.
I sobbed in unison with Karen as we witnessed a barn owl released to the wild after a lengthy rehab and medical treatment. We could only imagine what might have been going through the little guy’s mind as they opened his cage. We all watched as he tried his wings several times before taking flight and soaring up into the New Mexico night.
People who don’t like animals are idiots.
People who hurt animals are broken.
People who kill animals aren’t people.
My three cents.
I saw a whale and two calves all breach in unison off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
The brilliant white buildings in Rome lighting up the night.
The smells and activity of the Japanese street vendors and their delicacies.
The majesty and triumph of world-class offerings in the world’s great museums.
I favor the Impressionists and I have seen them all.
The experience of a Michelin-starred chef and their preparations on fine bone china with crystal and silver placings.
Coming home from a twelve-hour shift as a chef to find the eight Cocker Spaniel puppies have escaped their “confinement” and as soon as I walk through the door, I am attacked by a ruthless band of puppy ne’er-do-wells. The each pick a spot to lick, and everything tastes great. They smell and taste veal, lobster, filet mignon, and other French delicacies.
Alone in a field of wildflowers on a farm in southern Oregon.
The first power chord of the gig.
Screaming my Maaco 400 dirt bike at 100 mph over a crazy rollercoaster of a road in northwest Nevada before laying out.
I felt invincible all the way up to the hospital part.
Watching my Manchester United Reds pull off the quadruple. Now the only way they are going to the Champions League is to buy a ticket like everybody else.
But the best is still watching Karen standing there, on our wedding day, waiting for me to approach her at the foot of the amphitheater in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.