Ja’Vonne’s Top 10 for 2010

Wow, I cannot believe that 2010 has come and gone. Each new year brings about reflection and resolution. While I’m still working on my resolution, I have reflected and want to share with you the 10 things I remembered and well just thought were significant in my travel experience in the past year!

  1. My most unique experience was the Fish Spa in Macau. You submerge your feet in pools and tiny “Garra Rufa or Doctor Fish” eat the dead skin from your feet. Exhilarating, weird and sensational!
  2. Best food experience was also in Macau. They have a fantastic blend of Portuguese, Angolan and Chinese all put together creating Macanese cuisine. Drunken Sauna Prawns, the largest prawn I’ve ever seen, African chicken, Portuguese egg tarts, Chinese dumplings and great Portuguese wines, what more can I say?
  3. Finally experiencing a Huka or Hooka, along a narrow street in Istanbul, Turkey. I felt old world, exotic and mysterious. I’m not a smoker but I just had to try it. The water pipe with flavored tabacco. I went for strawberry.
  4. My best shopping experience was in Turkey. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was overwhelming and fascinating. I got a beautiful marquisite and silver ring that I get loads of compliments on. But that’s not all. The scarves, the jewelry, the shoes, the clothes…And, I’m not a shopper.
  5. I was most surprised by the excellent Turkish wines and chocolates! My favorites were the dark chocolate covered almonds. Almond inside with a candy coating and finished with powdered dark chocolate, ummmm.
  6. I was most disappointed by the carry-on baggage fee from Spirit Airlines. Now, I’m not so bent out of shape over checked baggage fees but this was ridiculous!
  7. The new TSA pat down. My first “new” TSA pat down was not so bad. Everything was explained to me and the agent was gentle. She did a thorough but gentle job. The most recent one on Christmas eve on my journey home for the holidays was quite aggressive and now I can see what the fuss is about. This agent explained everything but I received what I can only describe as a couple of karate chops to the crotch. She did not have to be that rough. I guess it depends on who you have and I think she was not happy about having to do her job as she stated “I’m too old for this”.
  8. Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library in Springfield, IL. I was surprised and impressed by this museum. I learned much more about Abraham Lincoln than I had ever known. The museum is state of the art with holographic images and a wealth of information. The must see is the CNN room, where they do a televised CNN report and coverage of the candidates from the presidential election of 1860.
  9. Road Trip to Cleveland Ohio! I know, who’d a thunk it? I got on a roller coaster for the first time in nearly 20 years! I ate duck fat fries actually called Animal Style Frites on the menu at the Greenhouse Tavern. It was Iron Chef Michael Symon’s favorite on Best Thing I Ever Ate “Fried Food” episode and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have the dog slippers from Parliaments Atomic Dog!
  10. Due to a flight delay it took me 10 hours to fly from Chicago to New York. I really don’t need to elaborate on this. Enough said!

Well there you have it. Ja’Vonne’s top 10 for 2010! Here’s to a bright new year and more wonderful travel experiences in 2011!

Ja’Vonne Harley
Co-Host, The Traveling Eye http://www.thetravelingeye.com/
Owner, Advantage International http://www.advantage-intl.com/