I’ve done several already and have three more scheduled in the next few weeks. They’ve been fun to do, and the audiences seem to like them.
Because I know people have only so much tolerance for someone else’s vacation pictures, I try to keep the whole presentation to about 30 minutes.
The problem with that is I can never answer questions as thoroughly as I would like.
For instance, one common question is: Of all the places you visited in the 50 states, which ones would you go back to see again?
First, I would not hesitate to go back to any or all of the places I visited in the past three years.
But here are the ones at the top of my list — places I am anxious to see again.
• Michigan. It is so close to home I think we overlook what a great destination it is. I would go back to the Mackinac Bridge area for peak color in autumn.
• Louisiana. Antebellum plantations, New Orleans, LSU football and the best food in America.
• New York. Spend more time in New York City: stroll Central Park, take half a day at the World Trade Center memorial and museum and try to catch Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden.
• Tennessee. I would try to see the synchronous fireflies at Great Smoky Mountain National Park again. And I hear Cades Cove in the park is special; I missed it the first time.
• Wisconsin. Like Michigan, it is a Midwest gem of a destination. And I only saw a couple of its counties the first time.
• Maine. We were rushed on our adventure visit. I would go back to the charming coastal towns and Bar Harbor in autumn.
• Vermont. I would add this to the Maine trip in fall, leaf peeping along the 150 miles of Hwy. 100.
• Massachusetts. I had always heard how special Cape Cod is. And it is. I would go back for sure.
• Rhode Island. The Atlantic is really spectacular in Newport where I would tour a couple of the mansions I did not have time for the first time around.
• Utah. Zion National Park is one of the best. And there are half a dozen nearly as good within a few hours’ drive. I’ll go back for a week next time.
• California. Tons of stuff to see or see again. The Pacific Coast Highway, Death Valley, wine country, the works.
• Oregon and Washington. I have often said the northwest is my favorite part of the country. I’ll go back.
• New Mexico. It’s a unique place that left me with a warm feeling and desire to return.
• Hawaii. Of course.
So there you go. If you are coming to my presentation at Norwalk Kiwanis Thursday, Wakeman Senior Enrichment Feb. 21 or Berlin Conservation Club, March 8 (the Wakeman and Berlin ones are open to the public and free). Please bring a copy of this column to share with whoever asks which state I would like to visit again.
Or, just stay afterwards and we can talk about all the trips again. Hope to see you soon.
Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at jimbusek@ hotmail.com.