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Where I've been (meme...)

I'm kind of with the folks who look at this list and think it's bogus, since it's only looking at published popularity figures, and not any kind of real cultural or social significance (although there is some of that naturally in the figures, since popular places can certainly have significance...).




1. Times Square, New York City, NY: 35 million visitors every year

    I took Cindy to NYC for our anniversary a number of years ago.

2. National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C.: About 25 million
3. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.: 16.6 million
  Well, DUH.  I think I've been to WDW more than any other place (out of state, anyway) ...  with or without kids.
  This actually all started when I went to the first of five Lotusphere conferences, which are always held at the Swan & Dolphin convention center (and the Y&B clubs).

4. Trafalgar Square, London, England: 15 million
5. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, Calif.: 14.7 million (only kinda sorta)
  Depends on your point of view.  I attended a Lotus Notes/Domino conference at a hotel *just* outside the wall.  I thought about getting a one-day for an evening just to say I'd been there, but I kinda wanted to STAY married...

6. Niagara Falls, Ontario and New York: 14 million
7. Fisherman’s Wharf/Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, Calif.: 13 million
  Yup.  Yet another Lotus Notes/Domino conference.  Don't remember who I went with (it must have been a co-worker), but that person had relatives in the area and I ended up seeing more than I normally would by myself at a conference.  Took a trolley car to the wharf, drove out to the presidio, drove down Lombard street (that was interesting), looked out at the Golden Gate bridge.  Unfortunately, this was before I had digital cameras...

8. Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, Tokyo, Japan: 12.9 million
9. Notre Dame de Paris, Paris, France: 12 million
10. Disneyland Paris, Marne-La-Vallee, France: 10.6 million
11. The Great Wall of China, Badaling area, China: About 10 million
12. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina: 9.2 million
13. Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan: 8.5 million
14. Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre, Paris, France: 8 million
15. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France: 7.5 million
16. Everland (amusement park), Kyonggi-Do, South Korea: 7.5 million
17. The Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China: At least 7 million
18. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France: 6.7 million
19. Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, Fla: 6 million
  Amazingly enough, this one was only due to the after-hours party hosted by Lotus during one of the Lotusphere conferences.  Haven't been there separately, but I did have Ryan and Cindy with for the party :)

20. SeaWorld Florida, Orlando, Fla: 5,740,000
  Again, Lotusphere had an after-hours party here one year.  I did get to touch a stingray, though - so the new exhibit at Brookfield Zoo isn't so much a big deal :)

21. Pleasure Beach (amusement park), Blackpool, England: 5.7 million
22. Lotte World (amusement park), Seoul, South Korea: 5.5 million
23. Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, Japan: 5.4 million
24. Hong Kong Disneyland, China: 5.2 million
25. Centre Pompidou, Paris, France: 5.1
26. Tate Modern, London, England: 4.9 million
27. British Museum, London, England: 4.8 million
28. Universal Studios Los Angeles, Calif.: 4.7 million
29. National Gallery, London, England: 4.6 million
30. Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY: 4.5 million
31. Grand Canyon, Ariz.: 4.4 million
  1976.  My >>ONLY<< vacation growing up (other than visiting relatives).  Dad packed us up into a VW Microbus for a two week jaunt out to the Grand Canyon (staying at KOAs along the way).  The campground at Page, AZ (billed at the time as "closest to the Grand Canyon", which was a bunch of crap...) was horrible - try camping on red sand at night in a windstorm - the tent pegs don't hold, and you get sand EVERYWHERE (I'm pretty sure the VW still had sand in it when Dad finally junked it).

32. Tivoli Gardens (amusement park), Copenhagen, Denmark: 4.4 million
33. Ocean Park (amusement park), Hong Kong, China: 4.38 million
34. Busch Gardens (amusement park), Tampa Bay, Fla.: 4.36 million
35. SeaWorld California, San Diego, Calif.: 4.26 million
36. Statue of Liberty, New York, NY: 4.24 million
  Only from a boat tour.  We didn't want to waste an entire day trying to do that without the kid...

37. The Vatican and its museums, Rome, Italy: 4.2 million
38. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia: More than 4 million
39. The Coliseum, Rome, Italy: 4 million
40. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY: 4 million
41. Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood, Calif.: 4 million
42. Empire State Building, New York, NY: 4 million
  Yep.  We went to the WTC, but it was too darned expensive to go up to the observation deck (we were really on a budget), so we walked over to the Empire State Building and went up there instead.  Awesome art-deco, even today.  I got some great pictures with the film camera both inside the building and from the observation deck.

43. Natural History Museum, London, England: 3.7 million
44. The London Eye, London, England: 3.5 million
45. Palace of Versailles, France: 3.45 million
46. Yosemite National Park, Calif.: 3.44 million
47. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: 3 million
48. Pompeii, Italy: 2.5 million
49. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia: 2.5 million
50. Taj Mahal, Agra, India: 2.4 million

And then, there's the not-so-touristy sites I've seen...

*. Venice, Italy
  My first overseas trip for work, about 11 years ago (since my passport's been expired since last year).  I also got to see some of the Italian alps (thanks to a friendly co-worker from Pordenone, Italy, who was a search&rescue skier in the wintertime - he took us up into the mountains and showed us a bunch of cool sites).  Also visited Milan's Malpensa airport, where I first got to see what real overseas airport security looked like - young, serious soldiers with dogs and unslung automatic weapons.  My luggage was stuck at Malpensa due to a connection problem (we flew on to Venice on Alitalia, where smoking was still encouraged - not just permitted), so I got to go shopping in Pordenone for clothes.  Pretty wierd, when you don't know your sizes in metric and the people in the shop (no chain stores there) don't speak English very well, and you're young and unsure of yourself and having difficulty with the phrasebook.

*. Stockholm, Sweden
  I've been to Stockholm a number of times (since the Electrolux world headquarters is there), although not for a number of years, unfortunately.  I've been to the Vasa Museum with my boss at the time and several other folks (I think an administrator from Columbus, OH and another from Curitiba, Brasil, if I'm remembering correctly). 

That's it on the overseas trips, though - I have never flown a connecting flight (American used to have a direct Chicago to Stockholm flight, and the Italy trip connected in Milan, so nothing outside of Italy).  So, although my co-workers can say they've been to London or Brussels, I can't...

*. Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
I haven't yet been to Canada, but I've been to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico a couple of times for work (and for dinner with my technicians while I was down there).  First trip across we just walked across the border and had the Mexican technician pick us up - it was a lot shorter than waiting in line on the bridge.  I've got pictures of the dividing lines on the bridge, and I tried to take pictures of the Rio Grande, but at that time of year the only water was underground, so it wasn't really all that Grande...


*. Wisconsin Dells
  Years and years ago.  I was probably younger than 12.  I got to ride in a "duck", though - those amphibious vehicles from (I think) WW II that were repurposed as a tourist attraction.  Kind of neat.

*. Marriott's Great America
  Yeah, so it's Six Flags now.  I worked there for several summers during high school.  This was WAY before Gurnee Mills, and I could make it to work from Kenosha to Gurnee in just under 29 minutes.  I had a VW bug.  I could do 78 on the interstate.  79 if it was downhill, or if I had a tailwind, and I think I hit 80 once with both.  Of course, that was back during the years of the idiotic 55-mph speed limit, so it was a ticket risk (as opposed to now, where that's the average speed on the interstates until you get closer to Chicago, when the speed goes higher...).



There are other locations, but those stick out...