November 27, 2010

Places To Kiss ... or my travel bucket list

It's been a pretty crazy weekend for me and it's ONLY Saturday morning ... I will definitely have a PRIVATE blog or two to share very soon! LOL

I love this time of year - not just because Christmas is on our doorstep, but because it seems to be the season of parties - gala dances, cocktail parties, office parties, open houses and friendly get-togethers. 

This was a little something that is meant to bring a little romance and smoochability to the day ... and it seems some of you enjoyed my kissing styles entry the other day.

The Top 10 Places For Kissing - other than at Andee's house!

It's all about the kiss -- and these destinations provide an ideal setting for a memorable one.

Marriages are sealed with them, they're a traditional part of a greeting or parting and (according to a popular 1960s song) it's how to tell if your man "loves you so."

Kisses have captured the imagination of writers, artists and other romantics for centuries, so it's no surprise we keep trying to create some memorable ones of our own. If you're looking for an exotic local to create a memorable moment, offers some suggestions.

Paris, France
There's no shortage of scenic places to kiss in the renowned City of Lovers, like on a cruise down the Seine River, on the Eiffel Tower lit up at night or virtually anywhere the city's famous skyline serves as a backdrop.

However, Lonely Planet recommends an unusual place to stop for a smooch: the Père Lachaise Cemetery. That's where you find the final resting places of artists, writers and famous lovers like Abelard and Heloise, as well as hundreds of other notable names. Ladies, don't forget your favourite red lipstick to add your mark on Oscar Wilde's grave.

If you're looking for inspiration, head to the Musée Rodin to see Auguste Rodin's famous work, The Kiss. Love is also a popular theme at the Louvre, where you'll find romantic works like Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by the Kiss of Eros in addition to the scenic Tuileries and Carrousel gardens.

Venice, Italy
Live out the romantic image of two lovers cuddling in a gondola through the canals of Venezia , or tour the city on foot to enjoy the historical architecture and ambiance. It's also home to legendary seducer and scholar Giacomo Casanova, whose prison room can still be seen in the Doge's Palace. You can even climb the Golden Staircase mentioned in his memoirs of his escape from prison.

Other must-see sites include St. Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge. Rumour has it that lovers will enjoy life-long happiness together if they share a kiss while passing under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset.

Blarney, Ireland
You've heard the legend but have you thought about its practical applications? Kissing the stone to receive "the gift of the gab" might just help you sweet talk your sweet heart. But the kiss isn't without its trials because the stone isn't easy to reach. Those who want to attempt the ritual have to climb up to the castle's battlements, lie on their back and lean backwards over the edge to kiss the stone -- upside-down. Luckily, safe guards have been installed and the practice of hanging people upside down by their ankles has been abandoned altogether.

Sounds like too much trouble? The "biggest little village in Ireland" is still worth a look for its scenery and local history -- and it's just a short trip from nearby Cork City.

Casablanca, Morocco
This largest city in the North African Kingdom of Morocco gets the nod as the place to quote classic film lines and kiss "as if it were the last time". While you won't find Bogie's fictitious café, you will find a rich heritage that blends Arab and European influences. Visit the medina area to see the Hassan II Mosque, and brush up on your hassling skills before you hit the Central Market and the many shops in the city for that unique souvenir.

But kiss with caution: Morocco is a Muslim country and adheres to conservative laws and customs. According to government travel advice, a kiss in public place may give offense in some parts of the country, and heterosexual relations outside of marriage and homosexuality are illegal.

Kissing, Germany
This hamlet has an appropriate (if unusual) name for those couples seeking some relaxation time together. Located in Germany's Bavaria region, it's a small town of about 11,500 people that used to be a minor capital back in 1050 under the name of Chissingen . Located just outside of Augsburg, it's worth the detour for a kiss on the way to or from Munich.

If odd names strike your fancy, there's also Kissing in Guinea, Love in Saskatchewan, Intercourse, Pennsylvania and Conception Junction, Missouri.

Kissimmee, Florida
The name is asking for it. Bordering on Orlando, this city is a hub of activity and close to all the popular attractions. Nearby Disney World lures romantics of all ages with the promise of charming princes, towering castles and happy endings. Sandy beaches make a relaxing day trip, and it's a short drive to Port Canaveral where you can hop a cruise to the Bahamas. You can also stick around for local sights and attractions, like the Medieval Life Village and Historic Downtown Kissimmee.

New York City, New York
Movies like An Affair to Remember and TV shows like Sex and the City have made this city a media darling, but there's some historical precedence for special embrace. As Lonely Planet points out, Ellis Island was the entry point for immigrants entering the US and was therefore the site of many happy family reunions. Every year, millions of people gather in Times Square on New Years Eve to watch the ball drop -- and start the year with a smooch. And of course, there's Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph of a sailor stealing a kiss with a nurse during the VE Day celebrations.

Other kiss-worthy occasions include a trip the observation deck at the Empire State Building and a picnic in Central Park's Sheep's Meadow.

Island destinations always make a great romantic getaway, but this tiny nation of rugged atolls offers something extra. Kiribati’s 33 isles are in the cerulean waters of the South Pacific, just west of the international dateline, making it the first place in the world to welcome the new day. If you ring in the New Year on one of Kiribati’s Line Islands, you and your beloved could be the first people on earth to steal a kiss.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tall and tan and young and lovely’ pretty much describes every frolicking sunlover on scintillating Ipanema beach. Antonio Carlos Jobim, a native of Rio, captured that universal longing for tropical beachside romance when he wrote the sultry ‘The Girl from Ipanema’. Listening to this bittersweet bossa nova will make you want to pack your bags and head to Brazil, where a kiss on both cheeks comes with every friendly "hello."

Hershey, Pennsylvania
How about a kiss of a different kind? Anyone who loves chocolate will undoubtedly enjoy a trip to the "Sweetest Place on Earth". There are many things to do in the area besides enjoy chocolate. If you're looking for a sweet Valentine's getaway, the town offers month-long chocolate celebrations every year during the month of February. Some of the events include gourmet dinners with chocolate dessert buffets, chocolate tastings and classes on how to make truffles and chocolate cocktails.

And if sports, nearby Civil War history and the charming countryside don't do enough for you ... buy some of that dark delight in liquid form - and I might let you lick some off me!


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