I was happily watching some Jeopardy (American quiz show institution for all the non-Yanks) last night, when one of the rare commercials I allow onto my screen came blasting out. It was for Snicker’s Halloween candy, with a Horseless Headsman. Then, there was the Headless Horseman. I started to yell at the screen, “I’ve seen where you live!” That’s me, the legendary ghost stalker.
Yes, Sirs, Young Sirs, Madams, and Misses, I have been to Sleepy Hollow. Where the wind rustles, the leaves blow, and there is just that little bit of dangerous mystery floatin’ about. Honestly, who knew it was in upstate New York, barely an hour’s train ride from Manhattan? I had a venerable horror legend out my back doorstep, and until recently, didn’t even realize it. Sleepy Hollow is a small little bit of Americana, right next door to another little village of lovliness, Tarrytown. These are the small, out of the way places that materialize as both a delight to explore and might just have some local lore that peaks your interest and quakes your boots.
Cusco, the Sun Festival, and the Inca Trail
Yep, so to keep this one short. . . well, as short as I get for this type of thing. Don’t blame me; I’m wordy. Loquacious even. Descriptive, one could say:
1. Cu-sco! Boom Baby!Go around June/July. It is filled with heritage, surrounded by incredible ruins and has really great shopping for art and alpaca-y things. Hello, it’s a world heritage site!!! Yep, the whole, entire town.
a. Check out the Sacred Valley. You can book tours from your hotel/hostel/AirB&B when there.
b. If you go around this time (or any other), it is bloody freezing (or much colder than the rest of Peru), being very high in the mountains. Plan to buy alpaca gloves, hats, scarves from locals the first day. We had matching ones and looked cool beyond words!
c. If you need a distinctly European food change for a night (we just had to have pasta/pizza when we got back from the Inca Trail), go to La Cantina Vino Italiano.
The place is small, the food is superb and actually run by an Italian.
d. You best be eating some of the street food. It is verrry tasty.
e. If you want to go finer dining one night, visit: Cicciolina. Worth the cost, great atmosphere.
f. We did an Air B&B there, and it was fantastic - Homestay Carlos y Jackie. Remember though, most local houses don’t seem to have a concept of central heating.
g. Buy some decently priced art.
There is always a place that feels like home. It might not be where you grew up, but we all have places that are familiar, that we feel a sense of happiness returning to. These are the type of places where you have your favorite restaurants, your favorite shops, and your favorite views. Good things happened there, sometimes not so good things too, but it is your place.
New Mexico is like that for me. No matter where I happen to be in the world, I think I will always have to return there for a deep breath of fresh, piñon-scented air. I crave the desert and the inspiration it gives me. I crave the chile and the very special New Mexican food. I crave the influence of art, culture, and space from our local Native American and Mexican population.
Most everyone has a place like this. The amazing things about these types of places is that while they stay exactly the same in your memories, they are changing in reality. While these changes might freak us out a little bit (or a lot!), they provide amazing opportunities to also try new things in your familiar space. Nostalgia 2.0 - Same same, but different. Create new memories and enhance your old ones. So go visit YOUR place and try both old and new. Come on, you know you want to.