Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lexa & Julie's Dream Destination Blog-Hop


     
Julie Flanders  and  Lexa Cain  are hosting the Dream Destination Blog-Hop to celebrate their book releases.  Julie's  The Ghosts of Aquinnah, and Lexa's Soul Cutter are both debuting this week, so they're celebrating with lots of fantastic prizes. Be sure to visit  http://julieflanders.blogspot.com/  and http://lexacain.blogspot.com/  to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway, and learn more about their fascinating novels.    

Speaking of dream destinations, I've always wanted to visit Paris, or explore all that Greece has to offer, but there are some unusual sights worth seeing right here in the U.S.     
Wikipedia


According to Wikipedia, "Bubblegum Alley is a local tourist landmark in downtown San Luis Obispo, California, known for its accumulation of used bubble gum on the walls of an alley...lined with chewed gum left by passers-by." It's not clear whether the alley was created after WWII at the San Luis Obispo High School graduation, or if it began in the "late 1950s, as rivalry between San Luis Obispo High School, and Polytechnic State University students. The strength of the alley has been tested by objecting store owners, ecologically minded locals, scrapers, and even fire hoses." When firefighters sprayed the walls in 1985, the walls were refilled within a month.

I would only accompany my family to this germ infested alley, because they don't chew gum. Of course we would still be outfitted in Hazmat suits, and gloves to be on the safe side. Fortunately, it's not far from San Francisco which would be a wonderful place for the whole family.

If we wanted to stay even closer to home, we could take a road trip to Olney, Illinois, home of the white squirrel (photo courtesy of Wikipedia).


As cited in Wikipedia, "White squirrels have the right-of-way on all public streets, sidewalks, and thoroughfares in Olney, and there is a $750 fine for running one over." The police even wear a white squirrel on their badges. Since my husband and older son love wildlife this would be a great attraction for them, and it's only about a four hour drive from Chicago.

Sometimes you can visit the best Dream Destinations while you're curled up with a good book or two. Thanks to Julie Flanders' The Ghosts of Aquinnah, and Lexa Cain's Soul Cutter, you can take off on thrilling adventures without ever leaving home.  

                                                                                     

86 comments:

  1. Yes, I agree, there are wonderful things to discover close to home, Julie. I'm travelled much of my life, but at my age and with an invalid husband we are now discovering our wonderful country.

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    1. Carole - It's nice that you can still travel together, though it must be difficult. Even short adventures including day trips, give us something to look forward to. Don't forget to take care of yourself too Carole.

      Julie

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  2. Good to hear that your Mother enjoyed making creative things too, Julie, such a lovely occupation.

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    1. Carole - My mom made special curtain decorations on my childhood drapes, but she actually bought the masks. You do beautiful work Carole!

      Julie

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  3. that's my kind of adventure....a comfy chair, pillow, warm throw, cup of coffee and a good book. Let the travels begin.

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  4. Not touching anything in that alley!
    Would suck to have one of those squirrels run out in front of your car.

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    1. Alex - No touching, just looking. You don't mess with the white squirrel!

      Julie

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  5. Who needs to go to Paris, when there is a spit-out bubblegum wall to visit that is close to home?

    Congratulations on your new book, Julie. I will definitely read it after the holidays.

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    1. Arleen - Very well put! There is no book yet, but hopefully there will be one day. My goal is to write something that you won't want to spit at!

      Julie

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  6. Only in the U. S.! Imagine all the DNA that's been left behind. Love that white squirrel, though. I didn't even know they existed.

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    1. Bish - I never knew about the white squirrel before either. They seem to really run the town. I just decided to choose some nutty destinations for Julie and Lexa's blog-hop.

      Julie

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  7. OMG chewed gum and albino squirrels. I don't think you have to worry about anyone else choosing your destinations. :-) We've got some black squirrels in our neighborhood and I LOVE THEM. Another good place to find used gum is under the desks in any middle school. Oh, also Cedar Point has a ton of chewed gum plastered along the waiting lines to the rides. Best viewing time is at the end of the season.

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    1. Kim - Thanks for the fun and frugal suggestion of taking a mini vacation under a school desk! There are probably other lovely treasures that were plastered on there for years! I would never dream of going on the rides at Cedar Point. Are you trying to make a person sick? You're a riot Kim!

      Julie

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  8. I've heard of bubblegum alley but I would feel so gross walking through it. And how cute are the squirrels! I want to see one.

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    1. TBM - I also would be too worried about accidentally brushing up against the wall with any part of my body. The squirrels are cute, and the town sounds like it would be straight out of a movie or a TV show.

      Julie

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  9. They could cover the gum with some varnish and then it would be a a work of art. Anyone would then be able to touch it without fear of disease. It is also possible that the longer it is out there the more likely it is to be just like the rest of the air in town.

    What a great thought. It would make a great children's story.

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    1. Yvonne - You are always so nice and supportive. I like the varnish idea, but people would still find a way to abuse it. I just tried to find some wacky places that I thought people wouldn't know about, but I would never turn down Paris or anywhere in Greece.

      Julie

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  10. Playing tourist in our own towns/states/country is a lot of fun, too - something I want to do more often!

    That Bubble Gum Alley creeps me out. But so does the white squirrel. :)

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    1. Madeline - I agree that there are many attractions close to home that I'd like to visit, and they don't include either of these!

      Julie

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  11. Hi, Julie,
    First time I'm hearing about bubblegum alley. I'm neurotic, so that probably wouldn't be a good place for me to visit. That white squirrel is cute. I agree that we can take wonderful trips just sitting in front of our computers.

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    1. Joy - If you haven't already guessed, I'm quite neurotic too! I think we would really get along!

      Julie

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  12. LOL LOL. I bet other squirrels around the country are jealous of the white squirrel. How did they get so much power in this town??
    I'll pass on the Alley! :D

    Thanks so much for taking part in our hop, Julie!

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    1. Julie - Oh come on, there's lots of DNA in that alley. In your next novel, a sexy librarian turned detective could solve cold cases directly out of the alley! Think about it during your spare time Julie! I'm so excited for you, and can't wait to read The Ghosts of Aquinnah! Thanks to you and Lexa for a fabulous blog- hop!

      Julie

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  13. I believe you can rest assured that NO ONE will echo your destination choices! There used to be a wall at Six Flags Over Georgia that was plastered in thousands of chewed gum wads. It may still be there, for all I know. We haven't been there in quite a few years, but I must admit, when we DID go, that wall wasn't a primary attraction.

    We have a couple albino squirrels in our neighborhood, and it's always a thrill to see them. Or I should say "it". One of them ended up as road kill earlier this year.

    Anyhow, neat choices! And you're right about curling up with a good book. We can travel the world over without getting dressed or putting on shoes.

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    1. Susan - I'm still laughing from your wonderful destination poem! Yes, no one will echo my choices which was all part of my diabolical plan. Now it doesn't sound so bad staying home during the frigid winter. We have great books lined up to read, and it's a win-win situation. It's a shame that you had to lose one of your white squirrels though.

      Julie

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  14. There is still SO MUCH of the U.S. that I want to see. You are right about having Grand Adventures not so far from home!!!

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    1. Robin - I even found out more interesting destinations in the U.S. that I'd like to visit thanks to this blog-hop! My ideas were just silly, but there really is so much to see in our own backyards!

      Julie

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  15. There's a wall on my way to work that has intricate designs worked on it in chewing gum. There's also a sidewalk outside a rest home near here that is littered with gum in a certain patch. I've always thought both places were a little odd and creepy....

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    1. Kate - Very "odd and creepy!" I'm sure the residents at the rest home are upset that it's there. That should definitely be cleaned up out of respect for them.

      Julie

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  16. You've been a little obsessed with grossing people out lately, Julie. Maybe you need to go visit a white squirrel and sort this out. :PP

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    1. Luanne - Do you know a white squirrel who'd be willing to see me? It definitely wouldn't hurt unless he bit me. I'll have to start stashing away nuts and corn just in case! Very funny Luanne!

      Julie

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  17. I've never heard of the gum alley before. I think it's cool! (Not so sure I'd need to see it in person though. lol) Squirrels are adorable and white ones are even cuter! The info and pics were great, Julie. Thanks for your congrats on our books and for joining the hop! :-)

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    1. Lexa - Thanks for hosting this fun-filled and educational blog-hop Lexa! All the best to you and Julie on your new releases! Soul Cutter sounds like a great read, and I'm really looking forward to it!

      Julie

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  18. Paris is awesome! You'd love it. I'd like to go to Greece. That's one place on my list to visit someday.

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    1. Sherry - I'm glad that you had a wonderful time in Paris! If my husband brought home tickets to either destination, I'd toss out all of my bubblegum and nuts in an instant! Hope you visit Greece someday too Sherry!

      Julie

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  19. I love traveling, and there are so many places I'd like to go yet. You are right - many times there are interesting places right in your own state that you haven't explored. That might be something to look forward to next summer.

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    1. Mary - I hope you find better places than the ones I listed. They just struck me funny, because they were so peculiar. We're fortunate that many worthwhile attractions are only a short trip away.

      Julie

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  20. Squirrel! Any place that gives squirrels the right-of-way definitely deserves a visit.

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    1. Loni - I'm surprised that a reality TV crew hasn't filmed there. I think the boys on Duck Dynasty could stir up a little trouble if they went for a visit!

      Julie

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  21. Oh Yuck! Chewed chewing gum - really - not longing to see that show! LOL but thanks for letting us know it exists! The white squirrel, so pretty, but what a fine. Wouldn't want to drive through there!
    The opportunity to travel though, such a blessing!

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    1. Yolanda - I don't blame you for wanting to stay clear of Bubblegum Alley. The more I think about it, White Squirrel Country sounds more like something out of the Twilight Zone. I would also be a nervous wreck behind the wheel!

      Jullie

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  22. Haha. Well, you've definitely won the prize for the strangest destination on this blog hop, Julie! I have never heard of Bubblegum Alley but it sounds way creepier than any of the destinations on my Halloweenie themed tour. ;D That white squirrel is adorable and the lengths the locals go to protect it is making me envision ancient Egypt and their reverence for cats.

    San Francisco would definitely be a spot I'd love to visit! :)

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    1. Little Gothic Horrors - I loved your Halloweenie themed tour! What a spooktacular Dream Destination! I guess my choices were pretty creepy, but not in a good way. It is fascinating how those white squirrels have the run of the land. Great comparison to ancient Egypt! Thanks LGH!

      Julie

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  23. Hmm...gum. :) Interesting and entertaining choice. Have fun!

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    1. Kim - I was definitely going for entertaining! Thanks Kim!

      Julie

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  24. Bubble Gum Alley, huh? Neat. And the squirrel is beautiful. Never saw a white one.

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    1. Beverly - I thought that it was kind of "neat" too, but I"ll continue to appreciate it from afar! I also never saw a white squirrel before.

      Julie

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  25. I used to live in SF and drove a few times to LA stopping in San Luis Obispo, but I never saw that alley. Too bad. The white squirrel is pretty cool too. Great finds, however I was hoping your dream trip would be New Zealand.

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  26. Rhonda - I would love to visit New Zealand, though the long flight doesn't thrill me! Do you think Alex would let me tag along with him? I know that we would have the best tour guide ever!

    Julie

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  27. My hubs and I would love to visit NZ. That alley? Not so much :)

    http://shahwharton.com

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    1. Shah - I think you made the right decision!

      Julie

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  28. I've heard of bubblegum alley! NZ is my dream destination too!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Nutschell - Rhonda is going to be a very busy tour guide, so you better book early!

      Julie

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  29. You've got to check out the beach when you visit San Louis Obispo! It's absolutely gorgeous. Then make a trip to Pismo Beach and Ventura - both excellent destinations only a short distance away.

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    1. MJ - I would love to visit those beaches, and see more of California! Bubblegum Alley was never in the running, though it is something out of the ordinary. Thanks for the suggestions MJ!

      Julie

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  30. I'm a CA native and never heard of bubble gum alley. To think there would've been a perfect place for me to stick my chewed gum all these years.

    You always choose the most interesting paths, Julie. I appreciate that about you.

    Shabbat shalom.
    xoRobyn

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    1. Robyn - Sorry you missed out all these years, but it's never too late! Thanks for appreciating my silliness Robyn. I always look forward to your creative stories too!

      Julie

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  31. Bubble gum alley? That would be interesting.

    Hugs and chocolate!

    Congrats to Julie and Lexa.

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    1. Shelly - I'd rather visit a chocolate factory, but this caught my eye first!

      Julie

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  32. I like the protection accorded the white squirrels in Olney. I'd go there.

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    1. LD - We just have to stay on their good side. I wouldn't want to do anything to upset the white squirrels!

      Julie

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  33. I really love the idea of Olney and the white squirrels. that's real magic, right there! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Rhissanna - I wonder if it's black magic, and the white squirrels have put everyone under a spell! Thanks Rhissanna!

      Julie

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  34. Lovely post, especially the white squirrel, I love squirrels and feed the ones that come into my garden.
    Thanks for your lovely comment and following me.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne - Thank YOU, and I'm glad that you're back!

      Julie

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  35. WTF?? Bubblegum Alley?? LOL Hilarious! I need to see this =)

    great post!

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    1. Maynard - I think it's appeared on a few TV shows over the years, but it might fit in better with your horror movie theme! Thanks for following me Maynard, and I look forward to seeing more of you! Well not too much more, as you already have your shirt off, but you know what I mean!

      Julie

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  36. It's ... Like... A squirrel ghost!!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. Valerie - Hope you're able to sleep tonight!

      Hugs back!

      Julie

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  37. Bubble gum alley would sure stir up my ocd lol

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    1. Pat - My thoughts exactly! Hope you reached 500!

      Julie

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  38. ive never been to greece, but have been to paris! beautiful city! and speaking of "nevers"..... never seen a white squirrel! lol

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    1. Jeremy - It's great that you've been to Paris! I'm sure you'll visit Greece too, and you won't have to worry about white squirrels in either destination!

      Julie

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  39. Bubble Gum Alley, eh? I'm definitely game for San Francisco (haven't been since I was a kid, and we were just driving through), but I think I'll skip Saliva Alley. Now, the white squirrel is cool, though! I'm not sure how one is supposed to avoid it if it runs in front of your car, though. Yikes!

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. Shannon - "Saliva Alley" is a great name for it! I would also be too nervous to drive through white squirrel territory.

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  40. Hey Julie, maybe we could do a Paris/Greece trip together??
    Bubblegum Alley? Is it hygienic? Okay, that's a stupid question... LOL
    Writer In Transit

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  41. Yuck! Bubble gum alley is not a place for me!
    Also, I just wanted to share, I am hosting a massive book giveaway (14 authors, 15 books)

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  42. "Bubblegum Alley"? Now, that's something. I wonder if the gum students put under their desks could be qualified as found art LOL

    I would love to go to Greece and Paris (for something other than work). To go from the airport to a hotel for meetings can be depressing.

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  43. Michelle - Let's skip Bubblegum Alley and go straight to Paris and Greece!

    Hilary - I completely understand! Thanks for letting me know about your great giveaway, and I'll stop by later!

    Magaly - You may be on to something with your "found art" idea! It would be a shame to go to those beautiful places without being able to do any sightseeing. Sounds like you have a pretty amazing job though.

    Julie

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  44. Even though San Luis Obispo is just up the road a ways, I would much prefer to visit the white squirrels in Illinois.

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    1. Inger - Somehow I still think you'd be disappointed either way. It would take a lot to make me want to leave your beautiful surroundings Inger.

      Julie

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  45. I'm no fan of gum and the bubblegum alley sounds pretty disgusting. I've been to Olney on a few occasions, but I can't recall if I saw any of the white squirrels or not. I certainly heard about them though. That would have been in the late 70's and I don't remember a lot of things from back then.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Arlee - I feel the same way about Bubblegum Alley. I can't believe that you've been to Olney, IL! You were quite the world traveler Lee! Looking forward to your roast!

      Julie

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