I seem to get myself into some strange situations at work because I am pretty much up for anything when it comes to assignments. If it's something besides prepping tax returns, I'll volunteer for it. Well, as you can imagine, sometimes being so amenable to new experiences can get me in trouble. My lastest adventure was as an "expert witness". Yes, I am now an official expert witness.
In retrospect, I think that I can say it was an overall positive experience. However, having never been involved in a trial, I have to admit that I was so nervous I could barely see straight. I guess I felt that if I didn't do well on the stand that I would look like such an idiot, so there was a lot of self imposed pressure. The reality is that as a CPA, the stuff that I have to testify about is so dry and boring, most of the court was about to drift off to sleep by the time I was finished (me included). I just wanted it to be over so that I could stop torturing everyone. Maybe that was the tactic...
Anyway, I mentioned that I was stealing blog ideas. Someone I used to know in what seems like another life started up a blog recently and posed a question about ranking your top five cities. At first, I thought that this would be a really easy topic, but damn if it didn't start me thinking, and thinking... At first, I listed five cities quickly. Then, as I read my list, I started to think that I sounded a little pretentious. It wasn't as if I didn't love the cities that I'd listed, but I was afraid that I would come off as someone that wanted to show that I'd traveled a bit. Oh, look at me, I've been here and here and here.
Then, I thought about how I was really overthinking the question. The idea was essentially to list five cities that mean something to you. When you boil it down to that, it gets a little easier (at least for me). So, here goes. My top favorite cities with explanations (and in no particular order):
1. Paris - I spent about four ridiculously amazing nights here with Blake and our friends Jessica and Phillip. The food was so delicious that nothing since has come close. The wine flowed with abandon and the streets were brimming with possibilites. I doubt that I will ever feel that free again and I savor the memories. Plus, you have to love a city wherein a waiter busts a plate on your head. It's just too wonderful and glorious.
2. Inverness, Scotland - It isn't so much the city that got to me but the highlands surrounding it. Not to knock the city, it was wonderful. Blake and I skipped the meal that had been planned for us and we found a little restaurant and ate alone. Then, we wondered into the square and joined a group of pipers. It was great and cemented my love of the Scottish culture and the Highlands in particular. I can't say enough about the beauty of that place. It I ever go missing, look for me here (or don't).
3. Stockholm - If you've ever been to this gorgeous city, you really don't need much of an explanation from me. But, it is such a beautiful place that your brain almost doesn't believe what your eyes are seeing. I think also this place will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first international destination for the Doerr family of three. Yes, Catie got her first passport stamp in Sweden.
4. San Francisco/Seattle/New York - This is a three way tie. All of these cities are a bit iconic, so you can probably imagine why I love them. But, I think the main point here is that in a country that continues to lose it's regional flavor, these cities seem to stand out with their individual flair. As for San Fran, how could you not love it? Seattle is so pretty, no matter what time of year you visit. New York... Ah, New York. Teresa Kroh and I hit the city in July of 2006 and I must say that we blazed a path right through. We managed to tear that city up in about three days. All I can say is that it lives up to the hype. It really does...
5. Montreal/Quebec City - These two cities tie because they are so impressive and so close. Montreal is so like a European city in that it has great little cafes and a beautiful Old Town. Plus, an additional factor in its favor is the lack of jet lag. Quebec City is the oldest walled city in North America and I loved it at first sight. We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac which is situated on the city walls. Wow. By being situated on the city walls, it overlooked the St. Lawerance river. Amazing view. Really though, the meaning for me here was that our trip to these two cities was the last trip that Blake and I took as a twosome. I can hardly remember now what being a "twosome" felt like but I bet it was kind of boring with all of the free time stuff...
So, thanks Wick for supplying some content for my blog entry. I hope you don't mind me borrowing, but it was such a compelling idea that I just couldn't let it go.