Searching for Carmen Sandiego closer to home

…but not in San Diego, because I’ve been there several times. Not that I wouldn’t like to go back, but that’s not the point of this post.

In yesterday’s post, I listed several — thirteen, in all — locations around the world that I missed seeing when I was an Air Force brat in the 1960s and ’70s, but would like to visit someday if I had unlimited resources.

The fact is, though, that there are plenty of places right here in the United States that I wouldn’t mind checking out, but have never had the opportunity. Without further ado, here’s the domestic list.

Ashland, Oregon. I’ve actually driven through Ashland — at least, I’ve skirted it on the Interstate — so technically, it doesn’t belong on a list of “places I’ve never been.” But I’d love to spend a week or two at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which takes place there.

Seattle, Washington. Three reasons: (1) to see the Space Needle, a triumph of Googie architecture; (2) to visit the Pike Place Market, to watch the fishmongers toss their wares about (and perhaps dine on a few — wares, not fishmongers); and (3) to drink lots and lots of coffee.

Santa Fe, New Mexico. A noted artistic community, which means I’d fit right in. In contrast to its creative reputation, it’s one of the few U.S. cities of any size with a consistent, governmentally imposed architectural style.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. I hear from people who’ve been there that it isn’t quite as awesome in person as it seems like it would be from photographs, but I prefer to decide that sort of thing for myself.

New Orleans, Louisiana. Great music, great food. I’ll just plan to go when they’re not expecting a flood.

Orlando, Florida. It seems weird that a Disney geek such as myself has never made a pilgrimage to Walt Disney World, but such is life. I’d like to rectify that shortcoming. Not that there’s anything wrong with the original Disneyland — because there isn’t. I’d still want to check out the Big Kahuna.

Key West, Florida. As a writer, I have to drop in here at least once, don’t I? And, as a kid who spent several years in Hawaii, I’m down with the whole tropical vibe. Remind me to skip hurricane season.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Not because it’s the Cradle of Liberty, and not for the plethora of historic sites, as interesting as those would be to tour. No, I just want to do my own onsite comparison of cheesesteak joints.

New York City, New York. Another location that doesn’t entirely qualify as a “never been there,” because I’ve flown into and out of both Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Those airports, however, constitute the sum total of my NYC experience. I’ve gotta figure there’s more of the Naked City to see than just tarmac.

Westbrook, Maine. At first blush, an incongruous choice. My best friend from high school and her family — including her youngest child, my goddaughter, whom I’ve never seen in person — live there. More than reason enough for me.

Separate from any individual destination, I’d love to spend a summer traveling from one Major League Baseball park to another, until I’d seen a series in every park that I’ve never visited — which would include every park other than our local venues (AT&T Park and the Oakland Coliseum) and the two Greater L.A. sites (Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium).

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5 Comments on “Searching for Carmen Sandiego closer to home”

  1. Hilly Says:

    Murphy’s Law: You’ll visit Orlando as soon as I move back to Northern California.

  2. Sank Says:

    Uncle Swan.. we have a list that’s very close. The memory of my desire to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival faded somewhat in my MidWest relo.. forgot that I wanted to go there so bad that it totally slipped my mind. Thanks for bringing it back:)

    Mt Rushmore- Don’t kid yourself it’s awesome. Really awesome. Just as cool however is Custer State Park which is adjacent to the monument. Quick drive to Devils Tower.. it’s some cool western vistas complete with buffalo (bison), elk and amazing scenery. Go.. And if you have time and want to really get away.. Badlands North Dakota is awesome.

    Finally made New Orleans two years ago.. it’s better than I could have imagined, for food and music.

    New York never ceases to amaze. It just reeks of cool and culture and greatness.

    You sir, must go to Maine if for nothing else than to attend PopTech. See if you can get yourself invited to speak, or better yet, meet me there some year. It’s awesome and right up your alley.
    http://www.poptech.org/conferences/

    Seattle- wish I could have left the airport one of the 10 times I’ve been there. mmmm coffee…

    Orland is NoT on my list.. Key West is.. I didn’t see Minneapolis MN… Cohen Brothers, Replacements, Prince, new ball yard next year, 45 lakes right in town, bookstores, Lynndale Ave.. call me we’ll hook up.

    Chicago, if you’ve not been.. gotta go. Food and great museums. I also have Savannah GA/Charleston SC on my list. Genteel southern coastal cities with good food.

    Fun list.

    • SwanShadow Says:

      Sank: It doesn’t surprise me that we would have similar lists, my brother from another mother.

      I would never have thought of Minneapolis, but reading your reasons, I think I might want to add it.

      I had Chicago on an earlier version of my list, but somehow it didn’t make the final cut. It’s another of those places I passed through in my younger days — and I’ve dashed through its airports once or twice as an adult — but never really experienced.

      PopTech sounds awesome! As for Maine, I’ve not only been there (although not to Westbrook), but I lived there for 12 months way back when. My dad was stationed at what was then Dow AFB in Bangor the year I was in third grade. That’s where we were in 1969 when Armstrong and Aldrin made the first moon landing.

  3. Donna Says:

    Go ahead and make my day! I’d love to have you visit my little part of the continent! We’ll treat you to lobster (pronounced “lobstah” in these parts)! We can take in the sights of Portland Head Light, the world of LL Bean and take a ride in a motor boat on a beautiful lake in Maine. BTW, didn’t Dan Rather make the mistake long ago of referring to LL Bean as being in the back woods of Maine?

    Then if you’re up to it, we can catch a Red Sox game @ Fenway Park in Boston. That would put a notch in your belt of MLB parks.


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