Many of my fondest memories – travel or otherwise – are of gatherings with great food, drinks, and interesting conversation. I love a long drawn out dinner when everyone is telling stories. While dinner with new acquaintances can be fun, I’m talking about those occasions with family and close friends, when everyone feels comfortable and appreciated and there are plenty of shared references and inside jokes to keep a conversation going for ages. Continue reading
I have no cure for jet lag. Does anyone really? The upside of jet lag (to me at least) is that a sound sleep usually follows.
Hotel Emperador in Madrid was the perfect setting for crashing after a long flight.
Huckleberries! This is a berry that is unfamiliar in the area where I live, but apparently very popular in the Northwest part of the country. I remember being introduced to this berry in Wyoming a few years ago and reintroduced to them recently in Montana. Huckleberries are everywhere and in so many products.
This is a very versatile berry. I saw them in syrup, candy, jelly, lotion, and food. I tried a “Huckleberry Palmer” mixed drink with those berries and purchased some lotion that smelled really nice. We also purchased some jelly, but haven’t tried it yet. Saw lots of road side “hucks” stands in Montana, but most closed for the season. I thought it was amazing that such a little berry could do so much.
Do you smell that? You breathe in and you exhale with aaahh! The scent of Glacier National Park was amazing. All those pine trees smelled so wonderful.
That fragrant aroma of evergreen trees was so fresh and clean smelling. It brought back memories from my childhood, when Dad would bring home a fresh Christmas tree to decorate.
We bought souvenirs to bring home to remind us of our great trip, but that smell is something that can’t be put in a suitcase.
Dreamy Paris. City of love and lights, destination for artists and philosophers, historical backdrop for world events, setting of literature and films, longtime muse for creators and students and romantics and travelers. Even when you are walking alone, all your Paris references keep you company. Continue reading
It’s funny and endearing how many Americans will call out, “Hey, where are you from?” when hearing an accent similar to their own while in a foreign city. Sometimes they even stop to have a brief conversation. Or ask if you’ll take their photo.
When surrounded by another language and doing your best to understand, your ears do perk up a little when you hear a fellow English speaker, native or otherwise. Especially when you overhear amusing comments, like these in Paris. Continue reading
Spending quality time in an airport like Heathrow isn’t difficult. There is so much to notice. It’s enormous, one of the busiest in the world, with plans to expand. Prepare to navigate crowds, queues, escalators, elevators and moving sidewalks to get where you need to go. Continue reading
Flipping through television channels on a warm and sleepy Sunday, I noticed coverage of the Tour de France and was immediately transported back to an afternoon nearly 20 years ago. Continue reading
Graduation season is wrapping up, with the last of the crowds of students in caps and gowns with proud families blocking downtown sidewalks and slowing traffic. I wish them all well!
While I can understand the importance of marking the occasion, I thought my high school graduation was so boring, I skipped both the college and graduate school ceremonies. After I finished college, my Dad wrote a letter to me that I reread recently. I realize how lucky I am to have such constantly supportive parents, though I have taken it for granted at times. Both he and Mom taught my sisters and me the importance of hard work and education, a commitment to family and faith, and that being a good person matters so much more than being pretty.
I’d like to share some of Dad’s words of wisdom here – they still inspire me today and no commencement speech could ever have meant as much. I think both recent and not so recent grads can appreciate this – especially devoted travelers and aspiring writers. Continue reading
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One of the rewards of visiting another country is the opportunity to observe and appreciate what is different – as well as noticing what is the same. These flashes of familiarity can make you feel very connected to a place in ways you did not expect. Dad talks about this a little in his Travel Epistle post, how senses are often heightened during travel, and how the basic human need of eating and drinking can help visitors get to know a new place.
The other week my eye doctor told me about a recent trip to Portugal with his sister. I’m a longtime patient of his, sometimes obliged to visit twice a year because I’m blind as a bat with unusually high pressure readings for glaucoma. Luckily this bat can see well with contact lenses and doesn’t get quite as nervous about these appointments as she did as a bat teen. It’s pretty routine, we shoot the breeze and I ask what cool trips he’s taken lately. Continue reading