I was having a discussion with one of my followers earlier tonight about vacation spots, and it made me think about my favorite spots from my time in the Navy. During that tine, I got to see many places, some great…others, not so much (I’m looking at you, Bermuda). These are my favorite five places (in no particular order) that I’ve visited and I’ve sworn to visit again sometime before I die. My traveling bucket list, if you will.
My God, that was a gorgeous place. We were fortunate to anchor outside of Villefranche around my birthday. In fact, my birthday was a spectacle I hadn’t seen since. Granted, it’s because it was also France’s Independence Day (Bastille Day), but still…I pretended it was for me. Why? Because I’m weird, that’s why. I mean, look at the above picture of Villefranche! It was the best birthday ever! It was the first time I ever had a martini, plus my years of French class came into good use. Bear in mind, my French was rustier than a nail in the rainforest, but still.
When we anchored off the coast of Philipsburg, and I looked out from the ship, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather. The scenery was flat-out spectacular. If you could imagine paradise, it would look like St. Maarten. The beaches were glistening white, the waters were crystal blue, and the people were friendly and polite. My best friend introduced me to the test to make sure you were drunk or not: tap your teeth. She gave me a Midori Sour or two and told me to tap my teeth. I couldn’t feel a thing, and I threatened to cuss her ass out. In fact, I think I did. That was a great time, and I enjoyed every second of it – the accursed Midori Sours be damned.
The thing I remember most about Venice is the Navy’s missing Fourth Fleet. We went to a concert that was held solely on gondolas, and that was a sight to behold. All of the gondolas circled one giant gondola, and there was a small orchestra in the middle of it, serenading the assembled audience. It was a sight to behold. Of course, there were more things to see in Venice – the Rodin museum comes to mind. That gondola concert will always hold a special place in my mind, though.
Puerto Rico was one of the first port visits I had, and as such, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only that, there was one visit in particular that is referenced to this day. I went to Condado with a couple of my friends, and we were looking for something to eat after a fun night at the casinos (I did no gambling, by the way). While walking around the city, we saw what looked like a hole in the wall. We went there and saw that they had steak. We ordered the steak, and I asked the waiter if they had steak sauce. He said probably, but he slyly added that I wouldn’t need it. Boy, was he right. That was the best steak I’ve ever had. In fact, I haven’t had one that good since.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Last, but not least, we have Halifax, Nova Scotia. What’s so special about Halifax? I don’t know. All I remember for sure was that it was nice, they had a building called the Liquordome, and that the girls were cute. Oh, and they had a castle. I don’t remember much about the castle, but I do remember buying my mom a green sweatshirt from the gift shop. I’m sure there is more, but nothing is coming to mind at the present.
Honorable mentions go out to Curacao, Cartagena, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates.