Set Meravelles: The 100th Entry

It’s hard to believe it’s been 100 entries already. To commemorate the occasion, I thought it might be interesting to do a list of 7s, as Set is Seven and High Fidelity is my favourite novel. In this novel, they constantly speak in “top 5 lists”.

Top Seven Vacations as a Child/Teen:

1. Canada (Toronto-Montreal-New Brunswick-Nova Scotia-Prince Edward Island). I was 16, and this is one of my favourite road trips I did with my mom. A new city or province a day. Niagra Falls, Phantom of the Opera at Pantages in Toronto, a tour of Montreal, Bay of Fundy, Halifax and crossing the Confederation Bridge. I loved it.

2. Michigan: Another trip that was just my mother and I when I was 15. We drove all around the mitten and hit the Upper Peninsula too. I loved Mackinaic, and this trip meant I could say I’ve seen all five of the Great Lakes. I still want to go back to walk on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan.

3. Seattle and Alaska. I was 12, and Washington and Alaska were states #49 and 50. I remember this trip quite well, and I fell head over heels in love with Seattle. I always wanted to return to Alaska too. Seattle I’ve been back in 2004 and 2007 (and I live in European Seattle Only 500 times Rainier and Not Talking About Mt. Rainer!)

4. Hawaii: My parents and I went when I was only five, but I remembered quite a bit when I returned when I was 19. How could Hawaii not make a list of top holidays?

5. Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone: I was seven for this long road trip from Ohio, and there is so much I don’t remember about it. I remember being super excited that the caves we went to near Mount Rushmore had the General Hospital cast signatures (Team Kristina Wagner, then Malandro). I also thought it was quite cool that US Route 20, the one my road turned off of back in Ohio, was the main road of Yellowstone. I saw a lot of buffalo too.

6. Grand Canyon, Bryce Canon and Route 66. When I was 10, I became obsessed with Route 66. Coincidentally, that summer’s vacation went all along Route 66, although usually along I-40. Memphis and Graceland, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Cadalica Ranch, New Mexico, Arizona and Vegas, then the way back through Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. At the end of this trip, I had been to 48 states!

7.  Florida and Miami. Yes, when I was six we went to Disney World. But it was the latter part of the trip to Miami and Key West that would have the lasting influence. Miami caused me to learn Spanish, and I was obsessed with Hemingway’s cats, even if I had no clue who he was. When I was 28, I read Fiesta and Hemingway became an important influence.

Top 7 Trips as an Adult:

1. Greece (2013)

2. Portugal (2008 and 2013)

3. Italia (Pisa-Florence-Rome-Milan-Venice) (2008)

4. Italia (Milano and Verona) (2012)

5. New Orleans, 2001: During this college/university trip, I admitted to myself I was gay. It’s on here for importance.

6. London-Amsterdam-Paris (2003). My Fall Break from my study abroad semester. I saw a lot of cities in that week!

7. Belgium (2015)

Top 7 Trips in Spain

1. Basque Country (Semana Santa 2010)

2. Asturias and León (Puente de Noviembre 2011)

3. València (first visit, Puente de Noviembre 2oo8)

4. Barcelona (first visit, October 2003)

5. Granada (first visit, February 2009)

6. Granada and Ronda (June 2013)

7. Girona (Christmas 2011)

By trips, I mean the experience itself and not the actual destination.

Top 7 Bucket List Destinations

1. Australia and New Zealand

2. Antarctica

3. Morocco

4. Argentina

5. Perú

6. Prague and Vienna

7. Scandanvia

Top 7 Places to Return To One Day

1. Greece. (I have two more trips, one for the rest of the mainland and one for the islands)

2. Italia. So many places to visit.

3. Canary Islands. I still have three more islands to see.

4. Alaska

5. Canada

6. Galicia. At the rate I’m walking there, I should be there sometime in 2172.

7. Girona. Maybe I could even live there one day.

Top 7 Sunsets

1. Cabo Sounion, Greece.

2. Mirador de San Nicolas, Granada

3. Piazza di Michelangelo, Florence (Italia, not Kentucky ya’ll)

4. La Kontxa/Concha, San Sebastián-Donostia, Basque Country (Spain)

5. Cabo Sao Vincente, Portugal

6. Lagos, Portugal

7. Lykavittos (Lycabettus), Athens, Greece

Top 7 Countries I’ve Been To

1. Spain (with Catalunya and Euskadi)

2. Portugal

3. Greece

4. Italy

5. Canada

6. Andorra

7. Belgium

Top 7 Cities in the Greatest Peninsula in the World

1. San Sebastián-Donostia

2. Barcelona

3. Bilbao

4. Granada

5. Valencia

6. Lisbon

7. Girona

Top 7 Cities Outside the Greatest Peninsula in the World

1. Florence, Italia

2. Athens, Greece

3. Verona, Italia

4. Toronto, Canada

5. Halifax, Canada

6. Seattle, USA

7. Antwerp, Belgium

Top 7 English-language Writers

1. Nick Hornby

2. John Irving

3. John Grisham

4. Ernest Hemingway

5. David Levithan

6. Christopher Rice

7. JK Rowling, Stephen King, Matt Haig, Jonathan Frazen and a ton more!

Top 7 Spanish writers

1. Miguel de Unamuno

2. Bernardo Artxanda

3. Eduardo Mendoza

4. Carlos Ruiz Zafón (I’m betraying my elitist stance :P)

5. Enric Pardo

6. Dolores Redonda

7. Juan Marsé



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