This continues my previous day's blog, covering the top 24 vacations I have been on.

#18 The Oregon Coast and San Francisco

This was the first vacation we took with Eitan, who was then only two months old.  The Oregon Coast was beautiful and we also spent some time in Redwood National Park, which was also amazing.  San Francisco was very nice, though I prefer the mountainous scenery of Seattle.

#17 Yellowstone National Park and Chimney Rock

I hit both of these when I moved from New Jersey to Seattle, taking a cross country trip.  I had actually been to Yellowstone once before that.  Yellowstone is perhaps the premier place in the US to see wildlife and while I was there I saw a bear, wolf, and plenty of bison.  I'm sure I would have seen more if I stayed there longer.  Also, with Artist's Point, the geysers, and the wildlife there is a wide variety of things to see there.  Chimney Rock was also very pretty, though Devil's Tower in Wyoming was a bit more interesting.

#16 Grand Canyon, Arizona country, and Zion National Park

We are lucky to have one of the natural wonders of the world in the Grand Canyon in our country and this is certainly a not-to-be missed site when visiting the US.  Arizona itself is very beautiful and deserves time to see.  There are a number of other beautiful places there that I would love to go and photograph someday.  Zion National park was also very interesting, though I wish I had seen Bryce.  Unfortunately, my father would take Chevy Chase (Summer Vacation) type vacations and our trip to the Grand Canyon was similar to theirs.

#15 Thuringia, Germany

The state of Thuringia, in the former East Germany, is truly historic and beautiful country.  There are a number of very interesting castles and towns there and it was one of the highlights of my trip to Germany.  The first decent photo I ever took was there - with a sunset occurring behind a castle. 

#14 Prague

At the time I visited Prague, it was the oldest city I had ever been to and I was awed by the age of its bridges and buildings.  It is very easy to explore and I wandered its streets for several days.  Some day I will likely bring my wife and kids back here to show it to them, perhaps combining it with a trip to Vienna or Budapest.

#13 The Baltic States

My first real trip abroad was to Latvia, where I studied abroad for about five months.  Riga itself is very nice but Vilnius and Tallinn are not to be missed.  I was sorely disappointed that the 1000 Places to See Before You Die book did not list any places in the Baltics because there are certainly a number of them.  While Riga is very cosmopolitan, Cesis and Kuldiga are very pretty and well worth a trip.  One of my favorite trips there was a solo trip to the ruins at Koknese, where I had the ruins of an ancient castle to myself.

One of the funniest memories of my trip was when my mother tried to call me and called the operator for the country code.

Mom: Could you please give me the country code for Latvia?

Operator: I'm sorry, that country doesn't exist...