places I’d rather be on this dreary day

It’s raining in Baltimore, baby…

at a rate of something like three inches an hour at its peak last night?  That’s a ridiculous amount of liquid falling from the sky, no?  This would probably make for an excellent museum day, but for now I’m going to sit around feeling melancholy and long for an escape to someplace warm and sunny.

On my wish list…

Cartagena, Colombia
I’ve had my heart set on Cartagena ever since a visit to neighboring Panama two summers ago in which my travel buddy and I realized that had we planned for some extra time and been willing to spend a little extra money, we could have sailed from the east coast of Panama down to Cartagena, stopping in the gorgeous San Blas Islands (Panama) along the way.  The colonial walled city is a UNESCO site and gorgeous from all I can discern from several internet searches over the past couple years.  The city is also home to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and has provided the backdrop for several of his novels.  So magical realism + pura vida + frolicking in a well-preserved colonial coastal Latin city = what I want right this moment.

photo courtesy of Robert Caplan for NYTimes.com

Palau
I’ve been lusting after this island nation in the Pacific after my diving trip in the Philippines.  It seemed as if every dive master I talked to in the Philippines either had come to the consensus that Palau had the best diving they’d ever done or had placed it at the top of their diving wish-list if they’d never been.  And that is saying a lot, because the diving in the Philippines is phenomenal.  Diving Palau is clearly a huge pipe dream, as I definitely do not have almost $2,000 to spend on airfare at the moment– though I was actually kind of surprised to find that a flight from Baltimore to Palau wasn’t more expensive.  I would love to be there right now, though in the full day of travel that it will take me to get there, maybe this nasty weather will subside.

photo courtesy of NationalGeographic.com

San Diego, California, USA
Well, come on, I can’t be a huge brat all the time and expect to jet-set somewhere international at the onset of disagreeable weather!  It is currently 70 F and sunny in this southern California city, and if I leave right now for the airport, I can be in by later tonight and back for class on Monday morning.  OK, so I don’t have an extra $500 to drop on a last-minute escape to the West Coast, but for a moment let me mentally vanish to the sunshine, beaches, world-famous zoo, and Spanish Mission architecture of San Diego…

photo courtesy of NYTimes.com

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