Reds, in your daydreams (time away and cost no object) where do you armchair travel?
HALLIE EPHRON: My pipe dream travel: Hogwarts! Most definitely. And I am eager to get to Diagon Alley at the Universal park. I know, nutty. But there you are.
My daydream travel is Luquillo Beach in Puerto Rico. THE most beautiful beach I've ever been to. Silky warm water. Quiet mid-week sunny day. I "go" there when I'm stressed. Which this winter means a lot.
RHYS BOWEN: Hallie, I've been on the Harry Potter tour at Warner Brother's Studio in London and Diagon Alley there was fantastic. My one big unfulfilled travel dream is a safari in Africa. But I also loved snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and cruising among the Whitsunday Islands in Australia. When I'm trying to relax and picture my perfect calming spot it's always Lake Como, looking at the snow-capped mountains and beautiful gardens. When I stayed there it took my breath away.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Ooh, Hallie and Rhys, I want to go to Hogwarts, too! Warner Brothers in London might actually be doable for me. Probably not this trip, as I imagine you have to book way ahead, but it's going on my list.
More on the pipe dream side is Hobbiton in New Zealand. I have this thing about Bag End. If I'm totally stressed I imagine myself sitting outside Bilbo's front door and looking down the hill.
Day dream destinations: The only time I don't dream of beaches is in July and August in Texas... And I want to go to Tuscany. And Montreux, Switzerland. (Rick thinks it would be a good place to retire. Maybe if you are a rock star!!!)
And lately I've been looking at Viking Cruise ads longingly. I have several friends who have done Viking cruises, including Marcia and Barry Talley for their 50th. Apparently they are as wonderful as they sound. But I would have to rope in my daughter or a girlfriend because I don't think I'd ever talk Rick into it. His dream vacation is to stay in a friend's cabin in Creed, Colorado, where the elevation is 10,000 feet. Not.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Oh, Debs I'd be happy to run away to Hobbiton with you. Why some clever home builder hasn't taken to offering custom-built smials (eg, hobbit holes) I don't know. My hiking, biking, rowing dream travel destination: India, especially up in the northwest mountains - Himachai Pradesh and Kashmir. For complete personal indulgence, one of the all-inclusive luxury resorts on the beaches of Thailand or one of the hundreds of atolls of the Maldives (I am a bad person because I'd love to go there before the nation sinks beneath the waves, as seems increasingly likely.)
For being together with family and friends - well, that river barge cruise we've all talked about has a lot of appeal. Or one of those small sailing cruises, with just a small number of guests and an expert crew under sail in the Aegean. Or the Caribbean. As long as the water's blue, I'm happy.
LUCY BURDETTE: Yes to the Jungle Red River Cruise! We get lots of travel brochures in the mail and it's fun to browse all the options. They make every trip sound great! John and I do want to go on safari too, Rhys. And Scandinavia--would love to see that. And now, since those lovely girls wrote me from the island of Sylt in Germany, I have a yearning to see that too. And New Zealand. The trouble is that getting to a destination is not fun these days...
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: When you said Hogwarts, I thought you meant the real Hogwarts. Like go to the station, and get on platform--what is it? 9 and 3/4? I'm all for that. We also get so many pamphlets about those river cruises. I can't decide whether they'd be fabulously gorgeous and relaxing---or you'd feel TRAPPED for days on the stupid boat. I'd adore to go to Lake Como--my father says its the prettiest place he's ever been. We have gone to Nevis several times-it's endless white beaches and no one is there. It is beyond fabulous, we sit on the beach and watch the pelicans, and we were actually (me on vacation!) thinking of going this year. But now it's ravaged by some Caribbean mosquito-borne horrible disease. Chikengunya. So we're staying home. We can't get out our back door, anyway. They snow is too high.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Oh, poor Hank and Hallie and Julia in New England — it's been a hard winter. And I love how even in our armchair travels, our thoughts turn to imaginary lands — Daigon Alley, Hobbitton, Platform 9 3/4 (that would solve the issue of getting through the security line at the airport, right?)
Lovely readers, where do you travel in your imaginations?
(Also, who's up for a Jungle Reds Cruise? That one through Brittany looks amazing....)