I thought it would be fun to look back at 2008 and remember my favorite adventures this year. I found that my favorites fell into 2 categories -- Places I've always wanted to go, or places that surprised me.
Here's the countdown:
Number 10 -- My very first NASCAR race in Phoenix.
Number 9 -- The House on the Rock in Wisconsin.
Number 8 -- The gathering at Paul's house, near Chicago. We had lots of fun on his property here and here, went to Chicago here and here, and visited Place de la Musique.
Number 7 -- Grand Marais, in northern MN. It's a great town, and the WINs were there during the annual Fisherman's Picnic.
Number 6 -- Branson, MO. I had never been here and it was amazing. In addition to shows in town, I went to Silver Dollar City, where there was a Bluegrass Festival going on, and I rode the Ducks.
Number 5 -- The zip line at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City, MI.
Number 4 -- The hot springs at Safford, AZ.
Number 3 -- The 4-wheel drive trip to Crystal Mill in Marble, CO, a popular photographic destination that I have wanted to see for a long time.
Number 2 -- The Dance Rally in Bandera, TX, the Cowboy Capital of the World. What a great time I had! It started out with a weenie roast, then there were lessons, nights out on the town here and here, a Fifties dance, and a Wild West Dance Hall Night.
And my number one adventure of the year? (Drum roll please!)
Ely, Minnesota, gateway to the Boundary Waters! The #1 vacation destination of Charles Kuralt, he wrote that "The people who live here say that you could paddle a canoe for 100 years and visit a different lake every day." Maybe a slight exageration, but not much, in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I went on a float plane trip, and if that wasn't enough, I also went on a short helicopter flight.