Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

List No.12: Favorite Places in the World

Here’s another reader request list: Favorite places in the world and why. In the order I went the first time.

010

Southern parts of Germany. My grandma lived in Lörrach on the Swiss border and I spent all my childhood summers there and at my aunt and uncle’s nearby in Schwartzwald. Beautiful countryside and good food.

 

009

Aix-en-Provence, France where I spent a few months studying French when I was nineteen. Fell in love with the town with it’s many fountains, cafés and a French hairdresser called Jean Marc. Best time of my life looking back and not counting having Wille of course.

 

012

Rural England. I spent a couple of months in Warrington which is situated between Liverpool and Manchester when the first IKEA was launched in the UK. On our days off we’d explore the surrounding countryside and further away. So lush, so green, so much to see.

 

008

Poland and Krakow in particular. Again a visit having to do with work (Peak Performance at that time). Amazingly beautiful including the surrounding areas such as Zakopane. Such lovely people. Such good food. Reminded me of the southern German fare I was used to from when I spent time at my grandma’s.

 

013

Rome. Because I went there with Wille who’s got a keen interest in all things Roman. We had the best time seeing the sites, staying at a boutique hotel smack in the center of the city and eating pasta alle vongole. I’ll have the pasta, you can have the clams, Wille.

 

006

New York. I’ve visited quite a few times and have loved it but my favorite times have been with Wille because then it’s not been about shopping but exploring the city and doing the must-do’s from a teenager’s point of view. Longboarding in Central Park, having Starbuck breaks, buying stuff from street vendors, riding yellow cabs and chilling out in the hotel room with take out while watching TV. The best.

So, what are your favorite places and why?

Happy weekend!

Oh, if you’re wondering, the photos are of the world map on Wille’s wall. The pins represent the places we’ve been, Wille’s are red, mine green and Martin’s blue.

57 Comments

  • In no particular order…
    1. Hawaii. Spent two weeks on the island of Molokai for a service project when I was 15. It is everything you have heard and then some! Visited Honolulu as well; went to Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. This was also the first time I saw an ocean. This is a big deal when you grew up smack in the middle of the North American continent!
    2. Sharm El-Sheik. Went on a Red Sea scuba diving vacation there in 2004. Ras Mohammed national park is actually under water! I got to pet a wild sea turtle during a dive. If you ever get the chance, don’t let fear hold you back!
    3. Koln. Awesome Christmas market where I sampled the local variety of gluhwein. It is spiked with rum!
    4. Munich. Great beer and bar food!
    5. Rome. Impressive architecture, good weather, pinot noir, and fabulous cuisine! I found espresso-flavored yogurt in a supermarket there. Yum-o!
    6. Crete. Sitting by the pool with a good book, olives, tzatziki, Turkish bread, and a nice cold Mythos….
    7. Paris. Crepes with apricot jam, fresh baguette, red wine, and croissants…
    8. Iceland. The Blue Lagoon and vanilla skyr.
    9. Vannern. Three day canoe trip, I managed to get sunburned in Sweden…
    10. Stockholm. Sweden at Christmas, need I say more? I still need to get there at midsommar!
    Can’t you tell I like to eat???

  • Ana V. says:

    Benita you must visit Portugal we have lots ofsun, good beaches and great food.

  • Robyn says:

    Wow! You’ve certainly been to a lot of places! I am not as worldly travelled as you are. I did a lot of the States, but I was only 12 and didn’t appreciate it all as much as I would if I went back.
    Favourites;
    Paris, France
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Melbourne, Australia
    York, England
    New York, USA
    That’s just the start. I intend to do a lot more travelling to add to the list.
    BTW – I have always LOVED this world map idea of yours and hope to use it one day in our own house.

  • Zosia says:

    My places:
    Scotland – spent 6 months there in 1985, in Endinburgh and driving around the north. So beautiful, so historical, love the accent and the people.
    Canada – East Coast (PEI, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton) – the ocean, the forests, the wide open spaces, the people, the music
    USA – Louisiana – the trees draped in moss, aligators, hot, food, music; Arizona, Utah, Colorado – hot but not humid, open spaces, Monument Valley, Sedona – red earth.
    Canada – Toronto, Oakville – lived there for 22 years.
    Warsaw – was born here, lived there for over 20 years and now I am back.
    I am so glad you like Krakow. I love it too, one of the oldest Polish cities and not destroyed during the war as Warsaw was, so still a lot of old buildings.

  • Hxx says:

    Cayo Guillermo, Cuba
    Eastbourne, New Zealand
    Pahia, New Zealand
    St Ives, England
    Home, Anywhere.
    Another great list Benita. Happy Weekend.

  • Calliope (Greece) says:

    – So far Italy’s been an absolute dream. Everywhere, anytime, anyday.
    I have a softer spot for Siena and the whole Amalfi coast
    – Iceland was a revelation. The people match the scenary: eccentric, humorous, friendly, adorable
    – And for some reason I cannot explain, I just LOVE the city of London. I could live there in a heartbeat. Not for what it has to offer (theatres, endless shopping, fish and chips, Tate) but for the way it’s built: Hyde Park, gloomy weather all year round, trees, friendly-to-live neighborhoods,BBC accent.

  • Jo says:

    Warrington ?? Now there’s a place you don’t see on a lot of ‘favourite places’ lists. ;o)
    My favourite places are..
    1. Home.. in all senses of the word.
    2. Crete.. in fact all the Greek Islands are gorgeous, but the people of Crete are just a joy.
    3. Rome.. went on a school trip when I was 16 and just LOVED it…
    Actually I like Italy full stop.. I’ve been there many times.. probably my favourite international culture.
    4. Brighton.. Where I was born and bred. Architecture, food, shops, memories
    All of them good.
    5. London.. specifically the West End which is where the shops and entertainment district are. I was at College in Leicester Square in the 80’s.. and it was one of the first places where I really felt alive.
    6. Vancouver.. Just a quick hop across the water these days, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world I think. Not because of it’s architecture or history because it’s not old enough to really have one. But it’s geographical setting, surrounded by trees and water and mountains.. it’s just beautiful.
    7. The Lake District.. Breathtaking.. even in the rain. Which is just as well frankly.
    Have a great weekend Benita..
    I’ll see if I can look out some nice examples of neo-classical ping pong tables for you.. ;o)
    Jo xx

  • I have been actually, to Estoril/Cascais and Lisbon but I think I was too young to fully appreciate it.

  • Victoria says:

    Benita,
    I have not been to many places. Germany, Paris, Niagara Falls-Canada, U.S (home). I would like to visit Iceland, Italy, Spain, Alaska, Hawaii, and Japan.
    Also, the relationship you have with your son is beautiful. You two are very lucky to have each other.

  • Leena says:

    I knew you were going to mention NY. It’s one of my favourite places too. Others are
    – Tokio, Japan, I just love their culture, also I like big cities
    – Amsterdam, Netherlands, such a layed back place
    – Beachy head, England, What a view!
    – Sisilia, Italy, especially Mount Etna
    – Stockholm, Sweden, city of style 🙂
    – Vienna, Austria, My aunt lives there and I’ve spent quite much time there, it is also a layed back place, at leats on summer

  • Anne says:

    Paris – always Paris.
    Prague – beautiful city and probably the nicest people in the world.
    Rome and Sorrento – I wen’t there for my honeymoon and although my marrige was a disaster this Italian vacation was amazing.
    Mallorca – such a cliché and I don’t know why but I love this island.
    Stockholm – home, home city, beautiful city with all the water and it’s mine!
    In my mind I would also like to put New York on my list – if only I could afford to go there…

  • Maddy says:

    Mine:
    Paris, where I have just spent a few days. Charming even with bare trees, and even more so when spring daffodils and crocus bloom in the parks.
    Vendée, on the french West Coast, where my father’s side comes from. I have seen many changes over the last 50-so years but it still has a lot of je ne sais quoi!
    Scotland: loved it in 2000, and on my must return list.
    San Francisco: for chowder and Yum Cha in Chinatown, and lots more.
    VietNam and in particular the highlands of Dalat and the North
    Melbourne, Australia: not my home town but fascinating, the closest foodies’ heaven!

  • m.winter says:

    Long Island, NY – Born and raised there! So much to see and lots of delicious food!
    Münster, Germany – Moved here almost 8 years ago now. Quiet little city with a lot of history, lovely places to visit and wonderful food!
    Düsseldorf, Germany – Lots of good food from many different cultures!
    Berlin, Germany – Reminds me of NYC
    Places I have been in which I wish i got to explore more. The Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland!

  • Golla says:

    1. Northern Norway (where my parents are from) in general and Finnmark (where my mother is from) in particular. We spent some childhood summers in Finnmark and I lived four years in beautiful Alta. The northern lights, the midnight sun, the people and the nature, need I say more?
    2. Vienna – I studied there one year and have often returned. Old world, but still laid back, great food and wine, great coffee and cafés, and the music.
    3. The U.S. Midwest in general because I lived in Iowa for one year and in Chicago for many years – wonderful people, great food, many weird and/or wonderful places like the Corn Palace (Mitchell, South Dakota), charming small towns like Galena or St. Charles, and the great architecture of Chicago.
    4. Gothenburg, Stockholm and Karlstad (!) in Sweden – very close for us Norwegians, but with a gentler landscape and much better restaurants! Great for a car holiday.
    5. Paris – such a pleasant surprise, very friendly, not at all what I expected. And the museums. And the food. And the shopping.
    6. Towns/cities in Germany – for instance Husum, Lübeck or Stralsund. Great food and wine. Friendly people.
    7. Skagen in Denmark. Nice art museum in town, good food and beautiful Grenen, where Skagerak meets Kattegat.
    8. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – a city that also has a great beach. Such a treat in winter, went there last week for the first time and would love to return. Friendly people, good food and you can catch a bus (Guagua) to lots of interesting places on the island.

  • ibabe says:

    I can say. I have just travelled round Europe. There are little places I love…
    – Archipielago in Finland, peace, beautiful light and calm. To think.
    – Barcelona, try to scape there once a year…it is so life. To enjoy.
    – Paris, always Paris. To fall in love.
    – That Zakopane area was special. To climb.
    – Croatian cost, Korkula island. To swim.
    – Home, Cantabric coast, to get lost. You are invited, you would love.

  • jja says:

    Benita you came a lot around!
    Prague – warm, full of history, returing every now and then
    Stockholm – love, love and again love
    Zagreb – since it is my city
    Croatian islands
    Part of Germany, Berlin
    Parts of Italy, but Venice for sure
    London
    Moscow for all its diversity and contracts
    French coast
    Macedonia in whole
    Taiwan
    There are many famous places I didn’t like at al as Pairs for example
    I would like to put NY on my list

  • Älvan says:

    This is something that requires a little bit of thinking.
    Our summer house in the archipelago I spent my summer holidays there as a child and I go there as often as I can now. It’s almost at its best in September.
    Provence The light, the food, the landscape… I spent a week on a vineyard there once, together with my (then) boyfriend. And one of my cousins live in that area as well and I remember when we went swimming in one of the rivers there…
    Iceland We went there for our honeymoon and spent almost two weeks going all the way around the island. Loved, loved, loved it!
    Nantucket It’s a beautiful place. I’ve only visited it once, though. In the autumn.
    London Mostly for the shops and the museums. And for the Indian food.
    Berlin I’ve been there twice. I had my first (and best!) ever strawberry daiquiri there.
    I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity to add more places to my list. Maybe our house will be on it. Only time can tell.

  • Älvan says:

    Och jag har bloggat (på svenska) om min absoluta favoritplats: http://aelvan.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/dag-27-min-favoritplats/

  • r8chel says:

    The map with the pins in it is so charming. 🙂

  • Annika says:

    I cannot read your list or the comments.
    It’s giving me too much wanderlust and I have been stuck in one place for 6months already.
    So, there was a pin in Berlin but it didn’t make the cut – you didn’t like it?!

  • Benita – How will you move that map to the new house without losing all the designations you have made?

  • I’m hoping to be able to remove it and leave the pins in the holes somehow. If some fall out we have holes and we can probably determine which color goes back in :).

  • Kara E. says:

    My top 10:
    1. Aix-en-Provence, France (visited when 17, first time in Europe, beautiful)
    2. Florence, Italy (visited at 19, I’d love to return to northern Italy)
    3. Kaui, Hawaii, USA (visited at 12, first trip off the mainland US)
    4. Chichen Itza, Mexico (visited at 21, I love ancient cities)
    5. San Francisco, California, USA (visited at 18)
    6. Grand Canyon National Park, USA
    7. Arches National Park, USA
    8. Redwood National/State Park, USA
    9. Rocky Mountain National Park, USA
    10. Yellowstone National Park, USA
    Can you tell that I love my country’s National Parks? I love seeing and experiencing things that are different from my normal. Sometimes that means visiting new cultures, and other times that mean visiting the most amazing places Mother Nature has given us. Who knows? I’m visiting Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic at the end up May. I’m sure somewhere over there will land on my list.

  • Kara E. says:

    Oh my gosh! The corn palace! I went there as a kid… I’m so glad a non-American was able to appreciate it. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by the Midwest I grew up in.

  • Nancy says:

    Take lots of detailed pictures of it before you take it down. You’ll have something to refer to when the pins start to fall out, and you know they will!

  • Kate says:

    One of my favorite places ever visited: definitely Sweden! Stockholm for the style and pretty people and all the water; Dalarna for the history and feeling of closeness to my relatives I felt while there.
    As for U.S. destinations, I really love Seattle, WA which is great because I’m about to move there! =)
    My husband and I are going to Krakow and Zakopane this summer as part of our 2-month backpacking trip! Any specific recommendations for either city? My husband’s family is Polish so we’re very much looking forward to that part of our trip and exploring his history a little bit.

  • You have to try the cheese in Zakopane. They sell it in the market and it looks lika an oblong patterened dark yellow/brown object. You fry it and it’s similar to Halloumi in consistency but has a smoky taste. Delish! When Wille went skiiing in Zakopane last winter I had him bring some back home. It travels pretty well!

  • Jean says:

    London – think about going back every other day! Would like to spend a month, at least, living there.
    Boulder, CO – attended university there; hope to return there to live at some point.
    Martha’s Vineyard – beautiful island where we spent several summer vacations while we lived in Massachusetts.
    San Juan Islands – honeymooned on these beautiful islands in the Pacific Northwest.

  • My Mom is from Munich, Germany but lives here in Tennessee now. And this is going to sound way corny, but after all the traveling we did as the kids of an Air Force family, my most favorite place is where we live now…in Walland. Our property is adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it is just heavenly. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the other beautiful and exotic places of the world, but here is where I love most.

  • Kate says:

    Perfect since we both love cheese, I will definitely remember to buy some while we’re there. Thanks!

  • Maki says:

    Japan–Yokohama, Kobe, Kyoto,and Shikoku, beautiful country!
    Stockholm and Vilhelmina–I live here in Sweden, but I haven’t seen so much yet.
    Helsinki and Copenhagen are beautiful.
    Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York–My mom and I took a trip together!
    Australia—kind people and great nature!!!
    My son and I am going to Japan in the Fall!

  • Dominika says:

    The Zakopane cheese – it is called oscypek – is great, either smoked or natural. If you grill the smoked one, try it with cranberries – delicious!

  • Dominika says:

    Hello Kate,
    I’m from Krakow and as a foodie I highly recommend marzipan bunnies in Stolarska Street (very near Maly Rynek), pierogi in 32, Slawkowska Street and paczki (Polish doughnuts) in Jagiellonska Street. Have fun!

  • Dominika says:

    Great to know you liked Krakow, Benita, I was born there and I just love it. I live in Rome now, but my favorite places are actually in the North of Europe. I spent a week in Ystad once and I loved it. The same goes for the South of Finland. My favorite city in Italy is Venice.

  • Erin Kleider says:

    Not Albany, NY? I am shocked! (hear the sarcasm)
    My favorites…I am not as well traveled as you are, but I have some favorites.
    Paris
    London
    the Lake District
    Oxford
    San Francisco (lived there, but it is still one of my very most favorite cities)
    St. Simon’s Island, Georgia
    The Grand Tetons in Wyoming
    Upper Wisconsin
    the orange groves of Southern California
    Napa Valley
    Boston
    New York City is nice but a little too big and a little too busy for my taste.
    Decidedly NOT South Dakota where I got pulled over by a cop and interrogated like I was a drug runner.
    I am sure there are more, but I can’t think of them, so I guess it is a good indication that if these popped into my head, they are indeed my favorites.

  • Gianna says:

    well thats so funny. i’m from basel and a regular reader of your blog. i never had guessed your roots are in lörrach. lörrach has changed a lot and is a nice little city now. you should visit again.

  • Kirsi says:

    Great topic! My list, in no particular order:
    -San Diego, love the sea and the beach
    -Tucson, Arizona, cactai and desert are so exciting!
    -Brighton, good shopping, restaurants, seaside……have loved the place
    for a long time now!
    -Whistable, Kent – best place to really chill out totally
    -Helsinki, in the summer, everything there, home sweet home.
    -Las Vegas, absolutely crazy
    -Paris, so romantic!
    -Brussels, great food + good sights
    -Lisbon, great atmosphere, just all round interesting and lovely.
    -London, I have a love/hate relantionship with London as I live there.
    hate the crowds, but love the city, does not make any sense…there is not
    much you cannot do or find there. looking at people is the best.
    so many places to see, so little time. and finally top 3 places I would like to see:
    -Rome
    -Austin, Texas
    -Oporto

  • Anna says:

    You haven’t been to Prague? It’s a charming city, I can reccomend you ;).

  • Marianna says:

    It seems that you also missed Greece :))
    I know it sounds bad nowadays, but most places are really dreamy.
    I hope someday to read a post about you coming here, and i will send tons of info :))
    Happy weekend!

  • Ooh – a couple of places…
    1. Montana, USA. A remote ranch, not too far from the Canadian border. Awesome!
    2. Sydney, Australia. More specifically a place called “West Head” up on the northern beaches.
    3. Anywhere in New Zealand. Remote. Beautiful. Life changing.
    4. The Badlands of South Dakota. Totally breathtakingly amazing. It’s like you can hear ancient Indian voices on the wind.
    5. NYC. Nothing quite like NYC. The vibe. Seriously the city that never sleeps. (Neither did I while I was there).

  • Kristi says:

    Wow! Loved your pictures and pins depicting your wanderlust. What a great post! We lived in Switzerland for 4 years and did a lot of traveling. It’s hard to just pick a few. Some of my favs are
    *Zermatt, Switzerland
    *Actually anywhere in Switzerland…the Alps were breathtaking!
    *Italy~ primarily Rome, Venice, and Portofino. Gorgeous!
    *Ireland~ took a week driving tour and loved every green inch of it! Friendly
    people who just want to have a pint and tell a story or two. Cliffs of Mohr were breathtaking.
    *Scotland~ Edinburg. Loved the moodiness of the weather and warmth of people.
    I better stop because I could go on and on and on. Starting to ramble.
    In the US I love NYC, Seattle and the San Jose Islands off the coast, Montery, California and LA.
    This was a really fun post! Thanks for posting it. I’m a new follower…would love for you to stop by and maybe give me a follow back. 🙂

  • MareeP says:

    Wow – you have Finnmark on you list! Me too. I’m Australian, but my father is from Finnmark – from Karlebotn way up in the north-eastern corner of Finnmark. There is something very special about the landscape, the people, and the light. A pity lots of people don’t head that far north when exploring Scandinavia.
    So, also on my list:
    – Berlin, Germany: such a fascinating place, arty, historical and yet modern and I feel very at home there.
    – Vancouver, Canada: so beautiful, the friendliest people in the world. Mountains and sea, and that fabulous north-west Pacific combination of drizzly weather, pine trees and grey seas… gorgeous!
    – Surrey, England: we lived in the countryside near Farnham for nearly two years recently. Woodland galore. Utterly gorgeous. Like living in an episode of Midsomer Murders.
    – Hobart, Australia: we head to Tasmania at least once a year. The best food in Australia, the most amazing, pristine environment and such varied scenery.

  • Chicago. So much fun, so sophisticated, so down-to-earth. One of the greatest art museums in the world, AMAZING public parks, great summer activities, fantastic shopping, incredible theatre, and really friendly people… if you haven’t been to Chicago you must go.

  • Maddy says:

    West Head on the Sydney Noerthern beaches…. well, that made us smile, my friend is from this area. The most magic sunrise can be seen over the Palm Beach Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.
    At home I see the sunset over the Indian Ocean!

  • Golla says:

    I still miss the Midwest, so many places to see!

  • Golla says:

    MareeP, that’s only about one hour by car from Tana, where my mother was from. Pleased to meet you here on Benita’s blog!

  • I haven’t, but it’s on my list!

  • Robyn :) says:

    Oh my, Benita, I have so many!!
    1. Laguna Beach, CA. My most favorite place on earth.
    2. Kansas — my current home. Love the Flint Hills, Topeka, Junction City(where I work), and Milford Lake.
    3. California in general. My home state.
    4. New York City. I have been there twice and love it!!
    5 Central Florida. Lived there for 3 years. I especially like Lake Wales. And the beach.
    6. Victoria, Canada. Literally the most beautiful city I have ever been to.
    7. Seattle. Love the Public Market, downtown and Space Needle
    8. Kansas City. Love The Plaza, Crown Center, City Market, Arabia Steamboat Museum and downtown.
    9. Boston. You can’t beat the history!! Or the Canoli’s at Mike’s Pastries!
    10. Maine. I fell in love with the southern coastal area and Freeport.
    11. Las Vegas. I love the lights!!
    I better stop LOL

  • Nancy says:

    Hmmm, where to start?…
    1. Hawaii. We camped there and had a wonderful time exploring and hiking and can’t wait to go back.
    2. Alaska. I want to go kayaking below the Mendenhall Galcier in Juneau next time.
    3. Iceland. Didn’t get to spend enough time there and I want to go back.
    4. The spectacular west coast of Canada from Banff to Vancouver, oh and Calgary is a pretty cool city too.
    5. Denmark and the charming Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen
    6. Stockholm – we stayed at the converted prison hostel, Langholmen 20 yrs ago and I would love to explore the city some more.
    7. Great Britain for the hills and dales
    8. St Kitts in the Caribbean – the people are charming and the beaches are wonderful.
    9. Toronto Canada, lived there for 10 yrs. Wonderfully, diverse neighbourhoods with great food and interesting shops. You can sample the world throughout the city.
    10. The east coast of Canada for the culture, the scenery and the history.
    On my list of places to go…
    New Zealand
    California
    Scandanavia
    Quebec – we may go there this summer!
    Iceland
    Alaska
    Hawaii
    Istanbul

  • Donna says:

    My favorite place in the world is my little piece of heaven…10 acres on top of my mountain in Colorado. That is number 1. I am so, so, so grateful that I live here. The next places would be (in no particular order) Costa Rica, Prince Edward Island, the islands off the coast of Washington state, New Zealand (both the north and south islands) Morocco (don’t ask me why…it just speaks to me….maybe the anthropologist in me!), Alaska, Australia, and all the places that I really, really, want to visit but that I might never ever get a chance to!

  • Marta says:

    Yay! I’m so happy, you like Poland! I’m from Kalish, the oldest polish city, mentioned by Ptolemeus in roman times 🙂
    Krakow is absolutely beautifull, have so many historical building and places! This city is a living history!
    Greetings from Poland!

  • Villagepig says:

    OMG! I live about 20minutes away from Ikea in Warrington 🙂
    You just made my day.

    A

  • Wow, you’re very lucky to have visited all those places. Envious! I hope one day I get to visit France too 🙂

  • kv barn says:

    you should visit prague! 🙂

  • kellee says:

    Love this post Benita! I couldn’t believe my eyes when you stated Warrington as one of your places! That’s where I was brought up, and so few people know it, so to read it on your blog was very strange and charming! I smiled at your description of it, as that’s exactly how we Warringtonians describe it’s location. The conversation often goes like this:
    “So where are you from?”
    “Oh, Warrington.”
    “Right. Wait, where?”
    “It’s between Manchester and Liverpool.”
    “Oh yeah, I know where you mean!”
    You had that spot-on!
    Also, it looks like Brighton is pinned on your little UK map there too, which is where I’ve lived for the past 11 years. I love it here too, it’s a wonderful place to live. And I clearly have exquisite taste if Chez Benita is namechecking my homes!
    x Kellee

  • ~Michelle says:

    Thank you ma’am! We appreciate it, and our pizza parlors are always open to ya!