Sunday, July 27, 2008

Veiw from Below

Seen overhead at a garden party in Stillwater:

25 Years Ago I Went to Europe

It was a college seminar and it was the single best/most important/transformative experience I had in four years of college in that it made the wider world a real place in a way that no amount of reading ever could have. It was also one heck of a good time.

Last night a few folks from that trip got together.

Thanks to Kevin Peterson, John Jurgensen, Jay Lindgren (and Leah), Arlene Jorgensen-Hillestad (and Jay), Jean Nelson-Overn, John Montag, Brad Camrud, Tom Lehman, and Melanie Zahler (who snuck away before we got the camera out) for joining me in an evening of reminiscing.

Those who didn't make it missed out on a really good time, but (lucky for you) we've scheduled a follow-up for July 18, 2009 at Jay's house in Edina. 25 years was too long to wait to get together again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Alaska Update

The last couple of weeks have been good ones for getting the remaining details of our Alaska trip in place, we still have to arrange for lodging in Juneau and sign up for day cruises on Prince William Sound and in the Kenai Fjords. I'll get there.

Otherwise our plans are pretty much in place -- a couple days in Anchorage, the State Fair, three nights at Denali, a couple in Seward, a couple in Homer, the flight to Wrangell, the ferry up to Juneau, and the flights to Gustavus for a cruise in Glacier Bay. This last bit is may be the most exciting arrangements we've made.

Instead of touring the Inside Passage on the Empress of the North,

we will make the ferry run and then take what will probably end up being a private three-day tour of Glacier Bay on the Great Sea.

We won't get to spend time in Sitka or Petersburg, but I think it will prove to be a very good exchange.

Now, to finish the last of my planning so we can be off!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Here Be Dragons . . . and Dancing

This weekend it is possible to visit Asia without ever leaving Saint Paul simply by attending the local Dragon Festival.

Although the festival's centerpiece are the Chinese dragon boat races, this is really a pan-Asian festival with bits of culture from across Asia and the Pacific.

The festival opens with the awakening of the dragon with an energetic dance.

An opening ceremony concludes with the eyes of the dragon being dabbed with red.

Let the festivities begin!

The dragon boat races aren't until tomorrow, but today is practice day and the steady beat of the drum floats across the water as the teams work to perfect their technique.

Of course, there is food available, both the kind you eat and the kind you just look at because it has been carved into such lovely designs.

Martial arts demonstrations allow young practitioners to show off their skill.

There is also dancing, lots of dancing, beginning with hula.

There are also dances from Japan. . .

Burma. . .

and India.

The Indian dancers are my favorite, perhaps in part because a colleague's daughters perform after the younger children have finished.

I'm expecting classical Indian dance, but instead they perform a rollicking Punjabi dance. It is fun to watch, made more so by the obvious joy the girls take in it.

There is lots more to see and do here, but this seems like a lovely way to end my short visit to the cultures of Asia and the Pacific.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Paris Posts

Paris Travel Journals

All Saints Day in the City of Light  (November 2012)
A couple of days in Paris on our return home from the Seychelles.
Photo Thursday: Contrasting Travel Ideals on Display  (January 2013) 
Photo Thursday: Paris Metro View  (February 2013)

Crosses in Père Lachaise (February 27, 2013)

I Love Paris in the Springtime  (June 2008)
A week in Paris at the height of spring, including gardens, museums, and more.
Photo Thursday: Revisiting Paris in the Spring Time  (September 2012)

Other Posts


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm Jealous

Our friends David and Joe have been off touring Europe for the past few weeks.

Thus far I've received pictures from:

Rome. . .

Tuscany. . .

and now, London!

I hope you are having fun for us too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

They've Evacuated Big Sur and Closed the Pacific Coast Highway

A few years we did a wonderful trip to California that included a brief trip along the coast. I still think that the section of highway heading up into Big Sur is one of the most spectacular drives on the planet. It's an amazing place.

One of the delightful stops we made along the way was at the Big Sur Bakery.

Some time later the property came up for sale. Not that it was at all realistic, but I did spend some time fantasizing about buying it and starting a new life in that gorgeous place.

I've spent a lot of time this week wondering what ever happened to that place. Was it it still in operation? How close are the fires?

I hear that they have evacuated all of Big Sur now and closed 25 miles of the highway.

Here's wishing all the best to the folks who did buy the Big Sur Bakery. I hope you and all your dreams make it through the fires intact.