Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Favorite Spots #1 - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California

We know that the Realm of Possibility is one of your favorite spots in the Cyberworld (thank goodness), but what about the sometimes interesting geographical world. What are your favorite spots there?

The denizens of the Realm are a widely-dispersed, well-traveled bunch. And we'd like to know about the places that hold a special place in your hearts and memories.

And that's where this post series comes in. As we move around the U.S. and beyond, clue us in to your favorite spots. It could be an attraction, a restaurant, a small town, or a certain rock where you can watch a sunset.

Give us the names of your spots, tell us why they're a favorite, and be as specific as you can about where they are. That way if one of us is planning a vacation, a day trip, or just happen to be in the area, we can check them out, too.

Feel free to have as many favorites as you want!!

Today we go to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, and California. With these widely varied locales, there are bound to be some fascinating spots.

44 comments:

Rich said...

We went to Afognak Island in Alaska, and that was awesome. We actually stayed at the Afognak Wilderness Lodge. Not selling this place, but you can look at some of the pictures here of where we were and what it was like: http://www.afognaklodge.com/.

The guys there took you out by boat -- I think it was in the Izhut Bay -- and seriously we saw hundreds of whales, greys, Orcas, others, and a couple swam up so close to our boat you could touch them. When the whales jumped out of the water - spectacular. All kinds of wildlife, Kodiak bears, seals, sea otters, bald eagles. Majestic. All of it. For me, though, there was nothing like being out on the water, in the ocean, basically, and being surrounded by pods of whales. tat's a surreal feeling.

The halibut we caught there were as big as Davis, who was five at the time. Also fished for sea bass.

Amazing trip. Amazing place.

DugALug said...

I think that Jerusalem is, bar none, the amazing place I have been. Too stand withing the walls and gaze up the Dome goes beyond words.

Going on a catamaran off the west side of Honolulu was the most incredible water-scape I have come across.

I personally loved the fjords of Oslo Norway too. Just one of those places that light up your senses.

God Bless
Doug

Anonymous said...

I'll take California, since I lived in the LA area (the good part - Marina Del Rey) for about five years.

About an hour north of LA, out in the high desert and way off the beaten path, there is a restaurant called Le Chene. As the name suggests, it's a French place. And it was my favorite "occasion" restaurant in the LA area. If it had been located in the city, it would have been twice as expensive and it would have been impossible to get a table. Incredible wine cellar (without the obnoxious 500% markup you get at a lot of restaurants), a knowledgeable staff of "foodies" for servers, remarkable food, great ambience - especially if you were lucky enough to be seated on the back patio. Every time I went there, it was a perfect dining experience.

Weekend mornings at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market were always great. An eclectic mix of people (it's a great place to spot celebrities doing every-day things, if you go for that sort of thing - I don't). I loved just wandering through the stalls, picking up blood oranges and cheap cut flowers and sometimes buying a a breakfast crepe or a plate of pancakes and smoked applewood bacon and eating it while sitting on the lawn listening to whatever live music was booked for that morning. Just a great way to spend a morning, you're a local or a tourist.

And, of course, I love Venice Beach on a holiday weekend. The freaks come out along with the street vendors and street performers. No one who visits LA should miss it.

-BP

Anonymous said...

I love Gulf Shores, AL. White beaches, salty sea breezes, blue skies, the smell of suntan lotion. Ahhh. My idea of a vacation paradise.

Condo living? Maybe now and again. But the place we always go is the state park. We pitch our tent, unroll the sleeping bags, and enjoy our stay. So many memories were created down there -- before and after kids.

Scottsboro has the unclaimed baggage center. Ever been there and seen the Hoggle statue they have? Cool.

Cathedral caverns are gorgeous.
Monte Sano is great for hiking.
Big Spring Park in DownTown Huntsville has a wonderful memory for me -- that's where Scott and I got married almost 21 years ago.

Oh great. Now I want to go to the beach. Thanks alot, guys.

WandaV

Rich said...

Douggie,

Was that Jerusalem, Arizona or Jerusalem, California? ;)

Just yanking your chain.

I think Ken's going to do a series of posts about different places, first domestic (if I had to guess, I think perhaps he's gonna do it alphabetically) and then overseas, if I read it right. He'll get to Hawaii sooner or later, and maybe Israel and Norway by the Year 2037 in The Realm of Possibility Post # 2,345,678,912.

Diabolical Genius said...

Hey, WV. The fall is the best time to go to the Gulf. Crowds are lower, temps aren't as stifling, and the sand is just as white, the breeze just as salty.

Plus, the food's just as good too.

Alright, I've been to the ubc but what's a Hoggle?

Diabolical Genius said...

Doug,

Pay Rich no never mind. I appreciate your comments any way I can get them. Even though you bust my chops too.

But inquiring minds do want to know if you have any favorite spots in the "A" states or Cali.

Diabolical Genius said...

The Santa Monica Farmer's Market sounds like my kinda place.

When you mentioned crepes, it reminded me of a restaurant between LA and Seal Beach that I visited one time that specialized in fresh-baked pies. They had any kind of pie you could think of, and they were all beautiful and delicious. Any idea what the name of this place might be? I forget.

I also really liked Legoland in nearby Carlsbad. They have a paradigm shift on theme park design due to their European influence. Fun!

Rich said...

Back when I was a teenager living in Colorado Springs, CO, our junior high school (remember those?) picked a group of 9th grade kids to go on a weeklong hike.

We went to this little, out of the way place, not many people have heard of in Arizona. It was kind of nice. I think it was called the Big... no... that wasn't it. It was called, I think, the Grand Canyon. Yeah, that's it!

Legend has it, Evel Knievel jumped over the Colorado River there on a bicycle. I mean, I don't know. But there are those there that swear they saw it.

[I know you're looking for more specific places, Kenneth -- the special little nooks and crannies people enjoy in these places -- but I really, really, really wanted to name drop on this one. :) I feel a lot cooler now. I can't remember a specific rock that I sat on or anything.]

Milly said...

I fell in love with Skagway. I was ready to go hiking from the moment I arrived. My favorite treasures are those from local artist. Finding a little vase was a great find for me.

Arkansas gets family married to family jokes in Oklahoma. I did fall in love with a little out of nowhere restaurant that served family style when I was traveling with the college musical theater group as prop director. I have no idea where in Arkansas we were.

Hawaii’s Big Island has a nice park with a pond. I loved watching an older man feed the fish bread. I stayed in a little house in a quiet neighborhood near the ocean. I loved taking walks and picking orchids. The smell of plumeria filled the house. I loved the black sand beach and almost joined in with the clothing optional folks.

San Francisco and Sausalito were wonderful. I loved just walking around those places.

Anonymous said...

Hoggle. Who is Hoggle? C'mon! Haven't you ever watched the great movie "Labyrinth"? Hoggle was Sarah's 'guide' through the mazes. Sometimes. Whem he wasn't being afraid of Jerrod.

WandaV

DugALug said...

People,

Once again my ability to miss key facts is baffling. Poke on me all you want... I do deserve it.

I've never been to Alaska, but I've been to the other three.

Alabama has some really nice spots. I find the hills around Birmingham really cool, and Auburn was a beautiful school to attend. the beaches down around Mobile are very nice, but not as nice as our beaches here in Florida.

Arizona is 'unique' I did a lot of work in the Scottsdale/Mesa area. The mountains around there are very cool, especially when you are watching Apache Helicopters flying around them (I do a lot of military work). The fact that the urban homes have gravel for yards is a little disconcerting though.

Arkansas is actually pretty nice too. Little-Rock is a clean, pleasant town... still nothing very spectacular.

Then there is California. I love San Diego, especially Coronado Bay. When I work at the Navy base there, it is perpetually beautiful. Driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway is always a total blast. The water is breath-taking and the mountain-scape make for a wonderful ride. San Francisco is beautiful, and the Redwood Forrest is utterly amazing. LA stinks, but I am gonna have to give the nod to California: a really nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. By contrast, I could live in Alabama (preferably Huntsville), Arkansas (Little Rock), even Arizona (In Scottsdale). I don't think I could take the cold of Alaska, but I hear the governor was a nice gal.

God bless
Doug

Rich said...

Awesome, Doug!

Plus, you reminded me... Auburn University... go to the Plains on a football Saturday... the orange and blue everywhere, just spectacular. Tailgate by the intramural fields and let the kids, young and old, toss the pigskin around on the fields. Eat pizza at the Mellow Mushroom, or head out to Guthrie's or Country's Barbeque. There are probably other places there to eat now that I don't know, but just ask someone, because everyone there is nice. Seriously. Head to Toomer's after the game (when AU wins) and carry some toilet paper to roll the trees. Looks like a blizzard went thru afterward. Not sure if they ever rebuilt the Sani-Flush, but if they did, make your way there and grab a chocolate malt. If you're young, take in a band party that night - be responsible with your libations, please. And stick around until Sunday a.m., make the early service and then walk the campus and picnic at the Arboretum until the Dolphins play - so find a sports bar. At that point, you're on your own.

Slice o' heaven.

Diabolical Genius said...

Rich,

You forgot to mention your favorite make-out spots around AU's beautiful campus.

I think you covered everything else pretty well.

What's the story behind the name Sani-Flush? Why did it need rebuilding?

Diabolical Genius said...

Doug,

Thanks. I used to go to Phoenix/Chandler a lot in Arizona. Got to see a spring training game in Scottsdale once.

The way the ASU stadium is built into the side of a cliff is pretty cool.

Did you ever eat at Rustler's Roost and get the rattlesnake?

DugALug said...

Never went to Rustler's roost, but I did get lots of killer Mexican food out there. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. One time, when I was out there, I actually stayed at a motel, that the lower floor was a Mexican cantina. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well.

ASU stadium is quite cool. The fans there are pretty loyal too.

Rich didn't write about make-out spots because... oh that's another story for some other time.

The Sani-Flush is really the Sani-Freeze. It is/was the greatest little Ice Cream place, but it was a basic dive right across from the Post Office. I loved getting ButterFinger shakes there.

God Bless
Doug

Rich said...

You forgot to mention your favorite make-out spots around AU's beautiful campus.

Make-out spots? I guess I don't get what you're trying to say. Could you dumb it down a little for me?

Thanks.

Milly said...

I remember making out. sigh

Diabolical Genius said...

You're killin' me, Smalls.

Make-out spots - quaint, little nooks where it is commonplace to participate in courtin', neckin', huggin', squeezin', and general tomfoolery.

Now, what Doug knows and isn't saying has me intrigued fo'sho'.

Diabolical Genius said...

Ho-kay Vanda,

Color me embarrassed. My ignorance of a beloved fantasy character has truly shamed me.

Although my interest was somewhat tempered by the use of muppets over special effects. I will nonetheless rectify this egregiousity post haste.

Please don't throw me into the Bog of Eternal Stench.

Milly said...

Everyone most likely had make out spots.
I know I did.
My driveway was long and had a nice bend when I live in the little house in the woods. The bend was good because you couldn’t see car lights until they turned. One night while Scott and I were a kiss’n the horse walked slowly up to the car. We had no idea he was there and looking in the window until we looked up. Both of us screamed like little girls.

As for the college campus, he had keys to several rooms including the theater. That’s more of a creepy place at night then a make out spot.

There’s a lake in Stillwater that’s a nice spot for a blanket. oh how I loved that boy. He's a nice married man now.

Rich said...

You're killin' me, Smalls.

Make-out spots - quaint, little nooks where it is commonplace to participate in courtin', neckin', huggin', squeezin', and general tomfoolery.


Everyone most likely had make out spots.

So, what you're saying is, people actually do that stuff? And everyone??? Everyone most likely does it?

Yowza!

Does stuff like that still happen these days? Wouldn't folks call the police? Or FBI? Or CIA? Or other people's parents?

Wow. Boyoboy. I wish I had known.

Also ~ is "general tomfoolery" okay for such a family site as this? I can only begin to think what my imagination would do with such thoughts if I actually knew what you meant. And if I'm talking about my imagination, I can only assume it would have to be worse for every.single.other.person.out.there, especially ones that do have an inkling. ;)

Now, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Alaska... it's sure cold up there... brrrrrrrrrrr!!!

DugALug said...

Everyone most likely had make out spots.

Evidently, I'm not everyone! lol. Make out? Heavens-to-Betsy. When I was young, I really didn't date much, and when I did I could only see 'making out' as opportunity to get in some real trouble. I know it is sad, but I must say it has a happy ending. My wife thinks I'm a good kisser and that's just fine with me!

Our make out spots are now, stealing a quick smack between putting one of the girls to bed. Or maybe even getting in a couple smooches as we make it to the bedroom to do what most couples do in the bedroom: sleep! Life is good!

God Bless
Doug

Milly said...

Now, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Alaska... it's sure cold up there... brrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Not always and I think I could find the right make out spot with the right man.

Milly said...

DugALug,

That's sweet. Yep I guess you could get into trouble. I was a good girl. Honest I was you can ask my ex boy friends. They know how good I was. Wait. . . that doesn't sound right. I was a nice girl with a lot of fear in me. So I kept things in check while I was kiss'n

DugALug said...

courtin', neckin', huggin', squeezin', and general tomfoolery.

Isn't that a Journey song or something like that... come on Man! get you mind out of the gutter!

Rich said...

Ken,

Can we just change the name of this post to Favorite Make-Out Spots # 1 - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California? I'm fairly certain that's what you were going for anyway when you started this series of posts, you sly dog, you.

Diabolical Genius said...

Have we proven that it makes any difference at all what the name of the post is?

Rich said...

Have we proven that it makes any difference at all what the name of the post is?

I think you're right. DugALug just moved it to the Fovea post.

Goodness gracious.

Diabolical Genius said...

Wanda,

The drive between Huntsville and Scottsboro is also very scenic with the mountains coming down into the lakes.

And have you ever turned and gone up the mountain to Grant near the Daughters of the American Revolution school? That campus and the view of the valley from up there are also very pretty.

Diabolical Genius said...

Arkansas Trivia:

Saw the movie "The Breakfast Club" at a theater in Little Rock.

Also, met some girls from Oklahoma and based on this unscientific analysis decided that all Oklahoman girls were cute.

DugALug said...

Wow Ken! With that little bit of trivia, my life is complete!

God Bless
Doug

Diabolical Genius said...

I'm surprised it was that meaningful to you, but you are very welcome.

Unfortunately, I guess there's nothing left for you but dying. So, my condolences.

Although, you seem quite excited about it. Congrats!!

However, because my experiences in Arkansas were what your life was missing, you have my pity.

Of course, now that I think about it, I've never cyber-known anyone(BTW, the three categories are: know, naked know, and cyber-know) whose life was complete.

I'm quite giddy and going through a lot of emotions right now.

Hmm... I wonder if this comment will complete anyone else's life. I may be on a roll.

Milly said...

Also, met some girls from Oklahoma and based on this unscientific analysis decided that all Oklahoman girls were cute.

Not all of us.
Just some of us.

DugALug said...

Ken.

You are so surly. You are so uncaring and insensitive.

God Bless
Doug

Diabolical Genius said...

Wow, that's no way to end a post.

Milly said...

Nice stuff was said about us Okie girls so I'm all good.

Rich said...

Hey! I've got a way to end a post.

THE END.

:)

Anonymous said...

A little late, but my two cents:

Alabama: One of the most scenic views in the state has to be the view from the Guntersville State Park Lodge (overlooking the Tennessee River). I also enjoy the view from atop “Point Rock” in Bucks Pocket State Park (it’s not breath taking, but Buck’s Pocket is just a stone’s throw away from where I grew up).

Alaska: My wife and I just took a cruise to Alaska this past summer and absolutely loved this state. In Ketchikan, we went on a crab boat trip and actually got to watch “pots” being pulled from the water just like on The Deadliest Catch. We also enjoyed all the little shops along River Street. Our ship also stopped in Juneau. There we took a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier, landed on the glacier, and were able to walk on the glacier. Also in Juneau we took a boat ride out to a nearby island (that used to be a gold mine) and we rode on the many zip lines there. In Ketchikan, our favorite excursion was the Chilkoot Trail hike & float. We hiked about 2 miles up the Chilkoot Trail (same trail used by gold rushers in the 1890s) and then floated down the Taiya River in a large raft. We also saw countless glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord.

Arizona: Never been there.

Arkansas: Been there, but can’t recall anything worth writing about.

California: Never been there.


Jonathan

Rich said...

Jonathan!

Letting this post drift off our front page and then sneaking a comment in. That's a little like Ken's basketball game - crafty!

Nice call on Guntersville/Tennessee River. There really are some beautiful spots there.

Cool on your trip to Alaska. It is awesome up there... at least to visit in the summer. Not sure I'd wanna be there in the dead of winter.

Thanks for the input!!!

Diabolical Genius said...

Nifty... crafty... dominant... it's all the same.

JB knows my game and respects it.

When we get to the post on Colorado, I expect him to have some more good comments. That is if everyone will rally around and let him know just how cool it was that he commented and keep him coming back.

C'mon people!!

Rich said...

Keep squeezin', Ken. Get every last comment you can out of this post. Here, I helped you with another one.

Anonymous said...

Since Ken has agreed to pay for my wings at lunch today, I will keep this post going by adding my input to Rich’s AU comment.

AU is a great college town with great atmosphere (and that’s hard for a BAMA fan, who happens to be an AU grad, to admit). As of 2002 (WOW! Has it been that long!?!), the Sani-Freeze was still in business and still cranking out some tasty milk shakes. Other preferred “fine-dining” joints include Roosters on Magnolia (10 cent wings on Thursday night…I think), Niffer’s Place on Opelika Rd (great burgers, homemade chips, and GREAT chicken parmesan pasta), and Findley’s (small place in Glenn-Dean shopping center….their daily specials were always great for the college budget).

Also, I have very fond memories of wasting a warm summer day at Chewacla State Park jumping of the diving boards that were built on a floating dock in the middle of the lake.

Jonathan

Rich said...

Nifty... crafty... dominant... it's all the same.

No. It isn't.
---------
Jonathan,

Great stuff on Auburn. War Eagle! Of the restaurants you mentioned, I only have eaten at Findley's, which was back there in my time (you know, before it was actually called Auburn, back in the 1800s).

It really is too bad you're an Auburn grad/Tide fan, because I just have no respect for you at all. :)

Joking big time of course. The reality is that I do have one-ten millionth of one percent of respect for you... er, mmmmmm, no. Really, I have to take that back. I guess I really don't. ;)

I can honestly say you're a decent guy. Wait-a-minnit...