#indie30 Day 17: Roadside Attractions, National Parks or Big Cities? What’s Your Favorite Part of Traveling in the USA?

Oh America, my home. You beautiful, flawed, amazing, crazy place. I could write a book about you; about my three cross-country road trips, the 46 of 50 different territories that make up your existence to which I’ve traveled…the small towns, the big cities, the mountains, the oceans, the deserts, the forests, the very diverse people who attempt to co-exist on your land. America. You complicated yet inspiring place. How I love you so.

Map by PlaceMutts® USA
It is not an easy feat for me to limit my travel through the United States to one blog entry, so I am going to use BootsnAll’s guiding questions to save the reader’s eyes!
Have you traveled in the US?
Oh yes! All over! 
If so, what’s your favorite – roadside attractions, national parks, or big cities? Why?
There is no possible way for me to choose just one. Each place has its own unique flavor and special attributes. Roadside stands in Hawaii selling coconuts, fruits and pineapples? Mt. Rainier National park with Tatoosh mountain range off in the distance – scaling just a portion of it was, in a word, awesome! New York City and its food, shopping…Broadway! Miami and its nooks and crannies that extend far beyond South Beach. San Francisco and, well, everything about it – not to mention its proximity to the wine country, Chicago and its Midwestern charm married with the air of sophistication that surrounds the city (and Chicago style pizza). So much to choose from! Why limit oneself?

A stop along the Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii

If you’ve never traveled in the US, what would you most like to see?
Non-applicable. 🙂 
What’s your favorite national park?
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park would rank way up there. I wish I would have taken more photos, but in a way I am glad I put the camera down and really enjoyed the beauty that surrounded me. 
When we were driving out of the park, a HUGE wild boar/pig ran out in front of the car. He just stopped. Then I stopped and we had a stand off. I was really afraid to open the door, but he wouldn’t move and we couldn’t go around him. Finally, I opened my door a little and he ran away.
We didn’t see much lava that day, but it was still fascinating and I look forward to taking the hubs and bonus daughters back someday.
What’s your favorite big city?
I don’t consider San Diego “big” per se. I think it’s relative, so being from Miami, Florida I chose San Diego for a slower pace of life. Still, since we have over 1.3 million people living here, I’ll give it a pass. The weather is just about perfect. We have the mountains. We have the beach. We have the desert. People are SO friendly and laid back. You want to party on a rooftop bar with great views? Great! You want to pedal a beach cruiser until you fancy a fish taco? You got it! (Oh and the fish tacos are AMAZING). Surf all morning and snowboard all afternoon? Not a problem. Brewery tour? We have some of the best in the nation. Wine bars? Oh yes, I’ll take you! If you like history, check out Balboa Park, Castillo Monument, Old Town and our missions. Hike all day? Hang glide? Watch the green flash? Scuba dive (just wear a wet-suit since the water is cold)? The list is never-ending. I absolutely love San Diego. 
After I left Florida my parents kept asking me if I’d ever move back. When they finally visited me they exclaimed, “Now we get it.” 
If you haven’t visited, I really encourage you to make San Diego a stop. Look me up! I’m always up to  hang out with a fellow traveler!

Sweet San Diego – My Other Home:
Skyline from plane, seals at Seal Rock, Under seals is view from Mt. Laguna, Koala at the Zoo, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the Harley out at Pt. Loma/Ft. Rosecrans, Gaslamp Quarter, The Gliderport in la Jolla, me biking through Mission beach, my first green Flash, under the green flash sunset is hiking in Julian, surfer at Windansea beach
What’s your favorite roadside attraction?
The Unconditional Surrender (aka “The Kiss”) Statue here in San Diego has to take this one for me. A salute to our servicemen and a display of what being back home, in the USA, means to them – I think it’s great. While some may find it kitschy or cartoon-ish, the happiness that sailor felt in that moment, I get it as much as a military brat and a military wife can get it. 
Our own version
What area of the US do you most want to explore?
I have four states left to visit: Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine and Alaska. I absolutely want to get to these! Preferably while riding through on a Harley Davidson. 😉
In summary…
The US gets knocked for its flawed politics and the fact that we’re so divided on social issues. I get it. My mother is from another country so I’ve always been exposed to what lies beyond our borders. Sometimes we Americans can be a little close-minded. I definitely get frustrated myself! 
BUT if you can look past that, it is an absolutely beautiful place that offers limitless experiences. If you’re reading from another country, come visit us sometime. Bring your camera, a smile and an open-mind. You’ll be glad you did!