Monday, August 18, 2014

I HEART YA 2014: Top Ten Favorite Destinations by Author Kimberly Sabatini (Touching the Surface)

Woo Hoo!!!! This is a super fun top ten list for me because when I got married at the age of 23, my husband was in the military and we spent four years stationed in Germany and it became a hub for travel for us. 

Most of the time we could just hop in the car, jump on a train or sign up for a bus tour and travel all through Europe. It was amazing. But I’m going to start you off in the USA before we head overseas…

#10 Virginia Beach: VA Beach had to make the list because I just got back from a week there and it’s a wonderful beach with lots of waves to boogie board and body surf. Yet it was still kind of zen at the same time. And if you need to mix it up--nearby there is Busch Gardens, Williamsburg and Jamestown plus a lot of other fun things like the aquarium, dolphin tours and a really fun ropes course with zip lines. 

#9  Arizona: After my husband was stationed overseas, we moved back to the states and lived in Arizona. I stayed a little longer than he did because I was in the middle of getting my Masters at the University of Arizona—GO WILDCATS!!! But I wasn’t lonely. Besides a one legged road runner in the parking lot where I waitressed, I had lots of company (for instance my Grandma, Mom and Dad) We went to so many fabulous places. I love the Saguaro forrest. But I’ve also seen Bisbee, Tombstone, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon to name a few hot spots.

#8 Denmark: Drove to Denmark from our apartment in Germany. It was so much fun. Putting our car on the ferry, the canals, windmills, hotdogs (they sell them everywhere) and a Viking museum. Such a fun place to visit.

#7 France: We got to go to France a couple times and see a variety of different places. We even made it to the French Riviera (just gorgeous in case you’re wondering) but Paris was my favorite. There is just something about it. In this picture we are standing atop the Arc de Triomphe and overlooking the Eiffel Tower. And don’t get me started on the Louvre. There just wasn’t enough time. I must go back.

#6 England: Spent Thanksgiving weekend in London. Gahhhhh!!!!! It also wasn’t enough time to explore. And England was a bonus after living in a foreign country for several years, it’s always nice to go someplace where english is the first language. Here we were at Tower Bridge, but we saw a ton and even took in a show. My spoiled hubby gets to go back all the time for his job, but the boys and I really want to go and search for Diagon Alley and platform 9 3/4 LOL!

If we can have a Platform 9 3/4 I think this is also the time to mention my choice for #5.5 Switzerland and Austria!!!! Cheese fondue, Alps, chocolate, the Sound of Music and the gorgeous architecture. Loved them both!

#5 Prague/Poland: I know I’m cheating by putting two into one, but I’m half Czech and half Polish and I couldn’t just pick one. Prague is amazing and yes, it made me love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE even more having stood on the St. Charles Bridge. <3

My father’s side of the family is Polish and as far as I know, I was the first person in our family to return to Poland. Of course I made a splash. I was on a bus trip with some other friends from my military community and I got the stomach flu on the way there. The very first thing I did when I arrived back at the mother land was to get sick all over the public square in Cracow. *hangs head in shame* But they didn’t throw me out of the country. *fist pump* And I had such a wonderful time. The people were so friendly and nice. I would LOVE to go back again.

You get a bonus picture with Poland because I also had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration death camp while I was in Poland. It had a profound effect on me. I had repeatedly read the Diary of Anne Frank when I was growing up. The trip here was something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I hope to bring my boys here someday to allow them to be witnesses.

#4 Egypt: The more I move up the list of my favorite places, the more I have trouble narrowing down my favorite pictures LOL! The Hubby and I gave each other a 10 Day trip with a cruise on the Nile River to each other for Christmas one year. It was such a gift to have a local travel agent in Germany put together these pre-packaged tours. This was the most amazing trip. And the best part was at this time, there wasn’t as much political and religious tension going on. We were able to play with school children outside a mosque in Cairo. We met so many wonderful people. I’d need paragraphs to fill you in on the amazingness of the trip—so you’re just going to have to take my word for it and go some day.

#3 Germany: I forced myself not to do 18,000 German pictures. Seriously—I have that many. I LOVED living in Germany for four years. I traveled all over, from Berlin to Garmisch, with a ton of places in between. I can not wait to go back with my kids and show them my other home. That is how I will always think of Germany. This picture is of me and my Dad in the old city center of Augsburg, which was where I lived. I miss it sooooooo much. The German Fests, the soccer games and the Christkindlmarkts. The food, the beer, the people, the lifestyle, the history. It was a gift to be a part of that for so long. <3

#2 Italy: Venice during Carnival. But Venice in any season—say the word and I’ll be there.

Rome! I went twice and loved it. Hanging out in the Coliseum.

And taking a boat over to the Island of Capri. *sigh* So awesome!

Seriously—I did go easy on you with the pictures. Italy is one of my favorite countries in the whole world. And no—my Italian hubby did not brainwash me. Other than Germany (where we lived) this is the country that we traveled to the most. It wasn’t enough. I want more. The food, the atmosphere, the people, the history—amazing! I think we are taking the boys there for their first European foray. Can’t wait!!!!

And drum roll please….

# 1 My home—the Hudson Valley in NY: I was born and raised here—and even after all those amazing places I just told you about—this is where I’ve returned to. There is the river, the farm land, the suburbs, the city. There are mountains to hike and ski. There are amazing restaurants and Broadway shows. And most importantly—there's the people I love. And isn’t that what really makes some place the very best place to be. 

Thank you so much for letting me take a walk down memory lane. Now I want to pack my suitcase all over again. Have you been to any of these amazing places? What other places do I absolutely have to put on my Bucket List????


Kimberly Sabatini is a former Special Education Teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom and a part-time dance instructor for 3, 4 and 5 year olds. After her dad passed away in 2005, she used writing as a way to make sense of the experience and discovered that she’s full of questions that need to be answered. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and three boys. Kimberly writes Young Adult fiction and is represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency. She is thrilled to be part of the "Wolf Pack." TOUCHING THE SURFACE is her debut novel. (Simon Pulse - Simon & Schuster, October 30, 2012)

Where to Stalk Kimberly!

Check out TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini!

When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn't remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right. Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she'd rather keep buried. Memories of people she's hurt, people she's betrayed and people she's killed. 

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she's hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves, even if it means losing them both forever.

Win a signed copy of Touching the Surface over on the I HEART YA 2014 Giveaway page!! Go enter now!!


  1. Wow -- so many awesome places! That photo of you in Egypt is awesome! :D Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are right Jessica! So many awesome and historical places in for visiting in these countries. The Egypt is a nice country for visiting. I have been visited in this country before niagara falls tour with my business partner. It has covered a lot of attraction for visiting. I want to share some famous places in Egypt.
       Valley of the Kings
       Egyptian Museum
       Islamic Cairo
       Luxor Temple
       Al-Azhar Park
       Mount Sinai

    2. It was an amazing opportunity for me to travel like this. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone and I am a much better person for having seen more of the world. <3


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