Top Ten

TOP TEN MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES

When we travel, speak to groups of students or adults or meet new friends, we always get the question "If you could live anywhere you want, where would you choose to live?"

Our answer is always "Where we live NOW!"

We met here, we married here, we had our son here, we raised him here, we worked/taught here, we developed a network of friends here, we built our houses here. Here is where we want to live.

As we continue to travel we will keep on evaluating all of the beautiful places we visit for their memories and we will reevaluate our list of Top Ten.

Please Click on the Pictures to Enlarge

HOME, COLORADO

1973 -Present

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Neither of us are Colorado Natives, but we have been in the State and the Palmer Divide Area for over 40 years; enough to call it home! We enjoy the change of seasons, the wildlife, and the cool crisp temperatures of the mountain air. Each day brings us new joy as we see a deer, hear a hummingbird, or walk through our neighborhood marveling at Elephant Rock.

Bear on Railing Bobcat in the Snow New Born Fawn Hummingbirds Elephant Rock

The Remainder of Our Top Ten List is in Alphabetical Order

AMBOSELI N. P., KENYA & MT. KILIMANJARO N. P., TANZANIA

2009

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After experiencing Amboseli and Kilimanjaro National Parks, we will never go to a zoo again! We were there in September, the dry season, making the roads and the terrain a powdery brown dust. The majestic Maasai people and the animals of the parks were parched.

Seeing the receding snows of the imposing Mount Kilimanjaro and the elephants, giraffes, zebra, and other animals unique to the parks was an experience of a lifetime. The beauty of the freedom of these people and the wild game gave us a new appreciation for the African ecosphere.

Kilimanjaro Maasai Gerenuck Elephant Family Giraffe

BANFF NATIONAL PARK & LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA, CANADA

2007

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Traveling west to east on the Rocky Mountaineer over the Canadian Pacific Railroad, we crossed the Continental Divide and dropped into Banff National Park and Lake Louise. October was a perfect time to take in the fall foliage of the Canadian Rockies and their majestic peaks. National Geographic Magazine named this route as one of the "World's Best Journeys" and we agree!

A sports paradise for millions, it was a photographer's dream for us. The historic grand railroad hotel overlooking Lake Louise was opulent. The hike to Bow Falls and then Bow Lake where we were able to capture mirror images of the mountain peaks reflected in the calm lake were just a few examples of why this area of Alberta, Canada made our Top Ten List for beautiful sites.

Rocky Mountaineer Banff Springs Hotel View from Rimrock Resort Hotel Lake Louise Bow Lake

BONITO & PANTANAL, MS, BRASIL

2009

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The wide, expansive, diverse country of Brasil has many beautiful places, but the region of the Pantanal and the city of Bonito are extraordinary. We flew to Campo Grande in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul from São Paulo, and then drove for several more hours to Corumba and Fazenda Xaraés.

Isolated and rustic, this agricultural and ecotourism region is rich with beautiful vegetation, flowering plants and trees as well as thousands of Brasil's most exceptional birds. Flocks of Hyacinth Macaws woke us up at sunrise and serenaded us during the day.

Bonito is known for its cool springs that bubble clear clean water into numerous rivers. Navigating the streams as we snorkeled along with the gorgeous fresh water fish was another highlight along with caving, horseback riding, fishing for piranha, and swimming in limestone pools.

Fazenda in the Pantanal Panatal Cattle Drive Abobral River Jacaré Cachoeira at Boca da Onça Hyacinth Macaws

KILLARNEY, IRELAND

2004

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Killarney is nestled in County Kerry, near Killarney National Park and is one of the historic walking towns of Southern Ireland. Known for its welcoming "tidy town" and picturesque historic Muckross House, Abby, and Gardens. We walked in and out of the fog and rain with glimpses of sun reflecting on the drops of dew. We marveled at the hundreds of shades of green in this, the most beautiful spot on the Ring of Kerry. A "tourist" mecca in the summer, spring and fall are the best times to visit beautiful Killarney!

Killarney Gardens Waterview Row Houses Pour a Guinness Irish Stone Dwellings Ladies View from Carpark

LAKE DISTRICT, GLASMERE, ENGLAND

2006

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Home to William Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott, Beatrix Potter, this setting is "the loveliest spot that man hath ever found" according to Wordsworth. Another gorgeous walking region, the path leading around the Lake and into the little village of Glasmere is part of the county of Cumbria. We hiked the "Coffin Trail", the route that pallbearers had to walk to take the dead down to the Glasmere churchyard for burial. Rocky paths, green pastures outlined with dry stone fences, and spectacular views of the lakes evoke memories of this beautiful district.

Lake Glasmere William Wordsworth Home Glasmere from Swan Hotel Sheep and Dry Stone Fences Glasmere Countryside

NEW ENGLAND IN THE FALL

2000 - 2003 & 2011

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Perhaps it is due to spending our formative years in the East Coast and the hardwood forests of the Midwest, but fall is a very special time of the year for both of us. When our son Eduardo was at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York we would visit him each fall and spend the week exploring the back woods of the Northeast.

The vibrant beauty of the red, yellow, and orange foliage is spectacular. No one can predict the peak of the kaleidoscope of Indian Summer colors, but we were lucky to travel the Mohawk Trail, the Berkshire Mountains, and the State and National Parks all vibrant with Mother Nature's Fall Palette.

Creamery Covered Bridge Belfast Water District Power Plant Lake Rohunta Barn at Spruce Corner, Hwy 116 Adirondack Water Power Electric Plant

SAN GERARDO DE DOTA, COSTA RICA

2012

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Hidden in a steep gorge and lush green valley, San Gerardo de Dota, near Los Quetzales National Park, we found a small eco-resort called Savegre Lodge. The almost 1000 acre private nature reserve is home to a field research center studying the rare Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala. Hiking trails, flowing streams, water falls, and hundreds of species of tropical plants and birds draw hikers and birdwatchers from all over the world. Our time in Costa Rica's magnificent tropical cloud forest will be remembered for its natural beauty and ideal eco-reserve.

Savegre Lodge Humminbird Feeding at Lodge Streamto Savegre River Tawny-capped Euphonia Resplendent Quetzal

SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

2011

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We arrived in Christchurch, NZ just a few weeks after the devastating earthquake that swallowed up so much of this mountainous paradise. From the air we could see the Southern Alps home to extreme sports and the film location of Lord of the Rings. The Canterbury Plains are the breadbasket of agriculture. Our stop at a ranch to watch the Border Collie Jill work the sheep, which outnumber people 20 to 1 in New Zealand, was breathtaking.

The view of the elusive Mount Cook reflected in Lake Pukaki was so unusual and beautiful that our Tour Director said we could visit the South Island many times and never have the ability to see the mountain at all. The Remarkables Mountains, glacial Lake Wakatipu, Milford Sound are just that - remarkable and more reasons we can say that the South Island of New Zealand is on our Top Ten Most Beautiful List!

Sunset Behind Mt. Cook from Lake Pukaki Jill Hearding Sheep Fall in Queenstown, NZ Lake Wakatipu & Remarkables Mountains Shotover River Jet Boat Ride

TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK, PATAGONIA, CHILE

2007 & 2015

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At the southern tip of the Western Hemisphere, the wind blows through the National Park with the fierceness of the ghost of Magellan. The rugged granite mountains rise above the Patagonian Steppe land. Gorgeous lakes reflect the towering Torres del Paine, the southern extension of the Andes Mountains. The vegetation is sparse in this hostile country but the guanaco, rheas, hawks, and fox coexist along with thousands of tourists who visit the bottom of the world.

Patagonian Arriero Arriving at Torres del Paine Guanacos Daybreak at Torres del Paine Lago Nordenskjold

  Featured Journal

Day 2: Goat Cave Karst Nature Preserve


The Preserve was set aside to buffer some of the ecologically sensitive karsts in the area from encroaching neighborhoods. Karsts are caves that feed directly into the Edwards Aquifer below ground.

Because the three caves can be dangerous to hikers and nonprofessional spelunkers, they are...

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