How would you like to add 8 years to your life? I found this article both interesting and wishful thinking. I like to think we all have a sense of humor. But I have noticed, as I get older, fewer things amuse me or make me laugh. Why?
For one, the jokes I receive via email are not as funny. And the cartoons posted on FB seem less amusing. But when I see what I think is a GOOD one, I do smile or even laugh out loud. So, it takes more to amuse me, and it happens less often.
The cartoon above (Ask Alice) is a great example, for obvious reasons. The joke fits my age group and taste in music.
Speaking of music, I find myself listening to more classical music these days. I strongly suggest you try it, even if you are relatively “new” to classical music. It is relaxing, often uplifting, and mainly, void of negative words!
I think after four years of contentious politics, it is time for all of us to lighten up. I was as guilty as anyone, passing along trump and orange man jokes. Thankfully, and hopefully, we have all moved on.
It was so refreshing to hear Amanda Gorman at the Inauguration of President Biden. Yes, there is hope for the youth of today, with people like her.
One of the most negative inputs into our lives are the media, both printed and electronic. Television news is perhaps the worst, yet I still watch, but much less than before. The insurrection of the US Capitol on January 6th was one of the worst things I have ever seen on TV.
But thankfully, many of you are very diligent about sending jokes, good stories, and travel information. You know who you are, and I thank you profusely.
Much of our musical and artistic journey begins with stepping outside of our comfort zone. This has occurred several times in my life, many times enjoyable, many times confusing, but always richer for the experience.
Like most teens, I enjoyed rock and roll music. But when confronted with attending a classical pianist’s concert in San Francisco, I balked at first. But my honor society advisor practically demanded that I attend the concert of the world’s most famous pianist, Artur Rubenstein. It was transformational, both for its formal introduction to classical music, and for sitting through the concert wearing a suit!
I cannot say the same for my introduction to opera. I just thought it was a waste of time to listen to music sung in Italian. Though the music and limited choreography were beautiful and soulful, I just could not make a connection. It remains so to this day, perhaps my loss! Would you believe my little hometown produced an opera singer, who went on to fame with the San Francisco Opera? And I ended up meeting her some years later!
But my response to ballet was as funny as it was shocking. Someone gave us tickets to the San Francisco Ballet. We reluctantly went, after having argued over whether to go, dine in the City, and otherwise give up a perfectly nice evening. As soon as the dancers appeared, and twinkled across the stage, we almost broke out in a laugh!!! Such was my level of understanding of the ballet, its artistic interpretation and message.
Modern dance was a slightly better experience, though equally confounding to this country boy. Fortunately for me, my introduction to fine art and museums was more guided, both from friends and high school trips to the museums of San Francisco. I had a college girl friend, who introduced me to the Impressionists. And I ended up taking a “History of Modern Art” class during a summer session. It certainly made my first trip to Europe a more enriching trip.
But the exposure has taken me to great places: Royal Albert Hall (above), the Marinsky Theater, Carnegie Hall, The Concertgebouw (above), Red Rocks, Sistine Chapel, the Rijksmuseum, the Louvre, the van Gogh, Musee’ d’Orsay, the British Museum, Tate Modern, and National Gallery in London, The Winter Palace Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Met and Guggenheim in NYC.
I love the Symphony, whether in San Francisco, London, DC, or St. Petersburg. The opera and ballet, maybe not. And the museums, I am strongly partial to paintings of the Impressionists.
Oh, and don’t forget the tango in Buenos Aires!!!
Certainly, and as my travel buddy, Mr. Mike and I often say to each other on our adventures around the world, “not bad for two country boys from the Valley!”
My new favorite baseball cap arrived Thursday. It simply says “Notorious” in honor of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The second letter “o” has a picture of her face instead of the letter.
As I may have mentioned, she was one of my heroes. She was my hero as much for the life she led, as her outstanding career in the Supreme Court as a champion of women and minorities. Let me tell you a little about her. Her Mother died before the day she graduated from high school, as valedictorian of her class. Her Mother, despite financial struggles, saved enough money for her to attend college, though she ended up with a full scholarship to Cornell. She made the Harvard Law Review while being a wife and Mother, then graduated at the top of her class at Columbia.
Unable to get a job with a big New York law firm, she ended up in Sweden on a grant to study the Swedish legal system. Her husband, Marty, fully supportive in every move, was a gourmet chef, an outstanding lawyer in his own right, Hers was a life well lived, and dedicated to a calling higher than herself.
So, where were you on September 18, when she passed? I just finished my first two weeks as a Red Cross volunteer. And even though we knew she was ill, and fighting pancreatic cancer, the news hit hard. We knew a legal giant had passed, and a big fight was coming to fill her seat on the Supreme Court. The recent book, “RBG” chronicles her life, as well as her landmark cases.
How could he have known, when he wrote “The Boxer” that his words would be so profound? The song was released March 21, 1969. Experts say the lyrics are largely autobiographical, and partially inspired by the Bible. It was written during a period when Simon was unfairly criticized. The lyrics discuss poverty and loneliness. I think phrases such as “workman’s wages” and “seeking out the poorer quarters” was biblical.
The original recording took over 100 hours to produce. The original version includes a pedal guitar, bass harmonica, and a piccolo trumpet. The song has only one drum beat. During the recording of “The Boxer, Artie met his future wife, Linda Grossman.
My favorite verse of “The Boxer” goes like this: Now the years are rolling by me— They are rockin’ evenly. I am older than I once was, And younger than I’ll be. That’s not unusual; No, it isn’t strange: After changes upon changes We are more or less the same; After changes we are more or less the same.
Good night, RBG and Ali. You are my heroes.
BTW: I met the greatest, Ali in 1976 in Miami, while we were both jogging outside the Fontainebleau Hotel in the Florida humidity. I had the audacity to ask him to be our fourth for tennis, then I realized who he was. Nice man!
Just for the record, I never had or wanted a proverbial “bucket list” that has become so popular with travelers. I rarely compiled a list of places I wanted to go. Visiting all fifty of our states was almost by accident, until the total reached the low forties or thereabouts. Trips to places around the world were never planned more than eight to nine months ahead.
Much of this I owe to my travel buddy Mike. He rarely wants to commit to a location, too far in advance. When we drove Chile from top to bottom, it all came together just a few months before. Same for our trek to Africa for the safaris and visiting Barry the V.
I have seen other people’s bucket list, and thought I would give you my “water pail” **list, which I consider complete at this point in my life. About the only trips left, that I can even think about are a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, the Tour de France, and perhaps the four eastern Canadian provinces. There will be some revisits, such as the Oktoberfest in Munich, wine regions in various European countries, and some cycling trips.
In no particular order of importance or sense of accomplishment:
Trek the Amazon Rainforest, Peru
Visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia (3 times)
Cross the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie (sorry, you cannot do that anymore!)
Take the Trans Siberian Railway across Russia
Visit my ancestor’s home city of Nagoya, Japan
Visit all 50 U.S. states
Taste champagne in Champagne, France
Spend two weeks at Wimbledon, England
Do the tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Amtrak across the country (several times)
Visit most of the western National Parks
See the Aurora Borealis in Alaska
See the witches of Salem, MA on Halloween
Visit all the ballparks in the west
See a play on Broadway, NYC
Traverse Chile from top to bottom (by air, land, and sea)
Visit Fenway and Wrigley
Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Jet boat in Queenstown, New Zealand
Bike down Haleakala Crater, Maui
Zipline in the Costa Rica cloudforest
Watch a lion hunt in the Serengeti
Play golf at St. Andrews, Scotland
Shop at Harrod’s for wine gummies, London
Visit the “Girl from Ipanema”, Rio de Janeiro
Sip wine in Mendoza, Argentina
Cruise Halong Bay, Vietnam
See peak bloom Cherry Blossoms in DC
Hear the roar at Sturgis, SD
Visit Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo
Find rare ports on the Algarve, Portugal
Attend a concert at Royal Albert Hall, London
Drink many beers at the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Eat smoked omul at Lake Baikal, Russia
Attend the U.S. Opens, golf and tennis
Climb Eiffel Tower, Paris
Make homemade Italian sausage
Dine on pork knuckle in Prague
Eat stone crabs at Joe’s in Miami
Wine tasting in Stellenbosch with Barry the V
Enjoy Grand Marnier soufflé in Zurich, Switzerland
Go hiking at Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Walk on the parquet floor at the Boston Garden
Win a ski race at Aspen
Ride/walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
Shake hands with Arnold Palmer
Attend Paul Simon’s farewell concert
Attend a Tom Douglas farm to table dinner
Make my own umeshu (sour plum vodka)
Drive over 100 mph on the German autobahn
Sip Tokaji in Budapest
Visit Dracula’s castle in Brasov, Romania
Stare at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
Eat black hoof jamon in Porto Banus
Give a new pair of Nike’s to my tuk tuk driver in Chiang Mai
Attend the Grand Ole Opry
Dine in the Surgeon General’s private dining room
Run the Bay to Breakers (world’s largest footrace)
Enjoy Shabu Shabu in Tokyo
Taste the best salmon sushi in Queensland, Australia
Stroll the medina in Morocco
Visit Ebenezer Baptist Church and childhood home of MLK
Visit both Capes (Horn and Good Hope)
See the Rose Parade
Eat beignets at Cafe’ Du Monde
Visit Alcatraz Island
Marvel at the great Willie Mays
Shop at the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Cycle and taste wine in Bordeaux
Cross the Continental Divide
Enjoy several custom tailored suits in Bangkok
Adopt the most beautiful Labradoodle in the world
Write a book (several)
Visit a Relocation camp of my ancestors
Complete my lifetime sports-fecta (a separate email a few years ago)
What Have I been unable to do:
Hole in one (got close several times)
Publish my autobiography
Visit all of the Canadian provinces
Play on the grass court at Wimbledon
Impeach a President! (Or at least elect a different one!)
It is not only John Phillip Souza‘s Stars and Stripes Forever that features a piccolo solo. The tradition began long before Souza even put his band together.
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) wrote his piccolo concerto, Concerto in C Major for Piccolo, Strings, and Continuo, RV. 443, with orchestra strings and harpsichord. Vivaldi was actually ordained a priest in 1703. He taught violin, but was fired 6 years later from the Pio Ospedale della Pieta in Venice. Fired and rehired many times, he began composing operas around 1710. His reputation as both a composer and violinist launched a career that led him far from Venice.
Vivaldi led a rather tumultuous and unpredictable life
He died a pauper, though Franz Joseph Haydn was one of six choirboys, who performed the mass at his burial. He was prolific, as twenty one of his fifty-six operas survive today. But it is his instrumental composition that made Vivaldi’s enduring mark on music, as he wrote more than 500 concertos. Vivaldi’s flouting was probably a rather high-pitched recorder, since the piccolo did not come into existence until around 1730. But Vivaldi’s concerto fits the piccolo perfectly.
What do we really know about the piccolo, other than its size? It is the highest pitched woodwind instrument in orchestras and bands. It is a small, transverse flute, mostly cylindrical with a Boehm system keywork, witha pitch an octave higher than the regular flute.
Britannica: The piccolo’s compass extends three octaves upward from the second D above middle C. Its orchestral use dates from the late 18th century, when it replaced the flageolet (also called flauto piccolo). A six-keyed piccolo in D♭ was formerly used in military bands to facilitate playing in flat keys. Piccolo is also the name of an organ stop; the word can be applied to other instruments, such as the piccolo clarinet or the violino piccolo (“small violin”).
Going back even further, in the Middle Ages, military musicians played a transverse flute with only six finger holes. Instruments were further adapted to mimic the human voice in the 16th century. The flute family also included the treble recorder, and the bass flute, to complete the instrument family.
From the Vienna Symphonic Library: The piccolo, and the concert flute, both evolved from the military transverse flute of the Middle Ages. When in the mid 17th century the art of flute-making underwent a process of rapid innovation, the technical improvements made to the flute were passed on one by one to its smaller sister, the piccolo traverso. In the early 18th century the piccolo began to appear with one to four keys, and more were added as the century progressed. In the years that followed the piccolo’s development mirrored that of the flute.
In 1832 the Munich flutist Theobald Boehm invented a revolutionary mechanism for the flute and by the middle of the 19th century it had already found its way onto the piccolo. Nevertheless, piccolos with older key mechanisms remained in use into the 20th century.
Piccolos were made in the tunings C, Db and Eb (fundamentals C5, Db5 and Eb5 – the latter tuning was favored particularly in military circles). The tubing was made first of wood, later of metal and was slightly conical.
Finally, in the 18th century, the piccolo started to appear in musical scores. One of my all-time favorites, Handel’s WaterMusic, uses the piccolo extensively.
More Vienna Symphonic Library:
Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the first composers to use the piccolo in his works to imitate sounds of nature, e.g., the whistling of a stormy wind in the fourth movement of his 6th Symphony (“Pastoral Symphony”, 1808). In his “Rigoletto” (1851) Giuseppe Verdi first used a piccolo to symbolize lightning. In addition, the piccolo was used for special effects, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in “The Magic Flute” (1791), for example, for a humorous portrayal of eunuchs. In many works the piercing and shrill fortissimo of the piccolo is used to heighten terror in frightening scenes.
Composers of the Romantic period, particularly Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, integrated the piccolo completely into the orchestra’s woodwind section. Since then it has been used extensively to add color and shading to the sound of the orchestra and occasionally even as a solo instrument.
Theobald Böhm (1794-1881), Hanfstaengel, Photographie ca. 1852
If you were in the marching band in school or college, you, like me, probably envied the piccolo players. Their instrument was much easier to carry than a bass drum or tuba! Both of my sisters played the flute and piccolo.
So, sit back and enjoy the piccolo solos during your next symphony concert (whenever that might be).
Though I rarely feel self-conscious when I travel, I am certain some people do. I figure it is fairly obvious what I am to natives, so I don’t really worry about it. But people do seem to ask about my ethnic heritage, when they see me, and hear perfect English. The question becomes, “What are you?” When I say I am an American, they ask further, “No, what are you, really?”
Invariably, I have to ask them what an American looks like. Then I further confuse them by saying that they look like an American! Whether I am in Europe, Africa, or South America, I tell them that Americans look like just about anyone.
But are we that obvious when we visit some of these countries? There might be some stereotypes among us.
(Some borrowed for Alot, some are my own)
Nose buried in cellphone This started out as just an American thing, but it has caught on, both among the young people in foreign countries, as well as older travelers.
Requesting ice in drinks Now, I really resent this one. My friends in South Africa not only request ice for their wine, they request an ice bucket filled with ice. But I think most of us know not to drink the water (ice) in most places we visit outside of the U.S.
The ubiquitous baseball cap I see nothing wrong with this, but I am guilty as charged. I need a cap to keep the sun off of my continuing bald head. But I think the cap worn backwards is somewhat irritating to our hosts in more conservative countries.
White socks Who does this anymore, except the octogenarians, who should not be exposing their untanned legs anyway? But it is getting “cool” again to wear white socks with white tennies. Go figure!
White teeth Who else but Americans are obsessed with white teeth? Nobody.
Fanny packs I thought this fad died about a decade or two ago.
“Hey Bro” Why do we call everyone Bro or buddy? Is it a term of endearment? Or are we just trying too hard? I prefer the more respectful version, “sir”, don’t you?
Pfootbol Yes, we prefer our football to theirs. Nothing can be done about this. But, I will say, walk into a “soccer” bar and I guarantee you will have an entertaining evening.
Walking while eating Are we always in a hurry or is it a bad habit. I say, join the cafe’ culture, and enjoy the moment.
Eating at American chains Please, if you just spent 8 to 12 hours on a place, please try the local cuisine!
Getting drunk Why?
Prudish about nudity Certainly not about their female nudity!
Talking to strangers I do this all the time. How do you think I met Barry the V, Katy, Jason and Chun??
Feelings We tend to show our true feelings quite easily. I don’t see anything wrong with tis, as long it is not offensive or vulgar.
Wearing shorts Now I am really offended. I work out and have a tan, so I earned the right. Those of you with skinny, fat, hairy or pasty white legs, you wear the long trousers!
Tipping Yes, guilty as charged, Americans tip too much!
Accent or lack thereof Other than our Southerners or Bostonians, we come off as fairly neutral. Don’t try to imitate the local accent, it pisses them off!
Speaking loudly Yes, we Americans are guilty as charged. Try to tone it down!
Respect the local customs Like taking your shoes off when entering a room in Asia. Or asking permission to take a photo.
Using hand sanitizer Even before Covid, I was a firm believer in using hand sanitizer, particularly in Third World countries. But it is an “American” thing!
Logos Personally, I could care less about your logos. But it does mark us as Americans. We love them all, but North Face seems to be the once that marks us as American.
Obnoxious T shirts This is definitely an American thing. But while in Hanoi, with Mr. Mike, his T shirt was getting all the attention from passersby and other tourists. What did it say? In about 15 different languages, “Not my President!” Everyone wanted to take a photo with him.
Laughing too loud Okay, it is mostly the young females, but it is an American thing.
Leaving a mess This goes for your restaurant table, your hotel room, or your airline seat. Please!
Overpacking Actually, I think with the ridiculous baggage fees, we are getting better. I see the Europeans and Chinese as taking over this dubious habit.
Disrespect Nothing embarrasses me more than a fellow American who acts like an ASS!
Too many selfies I think everyone is guilty of this, not just American teenagers.
Haggle or negotiate Americans are typically not good at this. Just remember to do it with respect and in the right spirit.
Smoking or vaping Asians and Europeans are worse than Americans!
Barefoot Never go barefoot, except for the beach!
Torn jeans I know it is popular, but not for travel.
Just remember, you are representing an entire nation, a rich and educated culture, and something that many people in the world aspire to. Just be respectful, and everything will take care of itself!
Do you know how many notes are in a chromatic scale?
In Western music, there are 12 familiar tones, each a half-step or a semitone apart. To visualize this, think of the keys on a piano: A half-step is the shortest distance between two keys, so if you start on C (which is a white key), one semitone up is C# (a black key), and one semitone up from that is D (another white key). The sequence in this case would continue as follows: D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, and B. This type of scale, where you play every semitone in ascending or descending order from one octave to the next, is called a chromatic scale. Other, more common scales have fewer notes. For example, if you play a major scale — the familiar do-re-mi one — you’ll run through only seven of the 12 tones before repeating the sequence. Major scales include both whole steps and half-steps in a specific order, starting from a “tonic” note: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step. Again, it helps to visualize a piano. If you start on C and play up, hitting only the white keys (D, E, F, G, A, and B), you’ll be playing a C major scale. (Courtesy of LiveAbout) I once took piano lessons in my youth, but the piano teacher was older than her piano! My brother and I quit when my Mom would not let us switch to a younger teacher.
A piano has 88 keys, 52 white, and 36 black keys. The inventor was Bartolomeo Cristofori, who started as a harpsicord designer and maker in the late 1600s.
According to those who know, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is the best piece ever written for piano. Best pianist of all time? Chopin, Horowitz, Brendel, Liszt, Mozart, Rachmaninov, or Schumann. I vote for Artur Rubenstein, who I had the privilege of hearing in the 60s.
Which European capital is also called, “The City of Music”?
From Travel Trivia: Also called the music capital of the world, Vienna has been home to some of history’s top classical composers, including Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart. And it is no great wonder that the picturesque “City of Music” inspires equally stunning music and dance. The waltz was invented here, and starting during Carnival and lasting well into March, Austria’s capital city continues to have a ball season with dances in the city center. Can’t dance? Duck into the Volksoper theater and be a spectator, where operettas and ballets often draw international audiences. I would love to waltz here again someday soon!
Carnegie Hall is New York might be the most famous music venue in the world. And its prestige is based not only on classical music, but popular music as well. As you might guess, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie paid for the famous hall. Here is an old Carnegie joke:
Rumor is that a pedestrian on Fifty-seventh Street, Manhattan, stopped Jascha Heifetz and inquired, “Could you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Yes,” said Heifetz. “Practice!” — This old joke has become part of the folklore of the hall, but its origins remain a mystery.
Who, among many greats have performed here? How about Tchaikovsky, Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elton John, Beatles, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, B.B. King, Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Celine, Artur Rubenstein, Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen, Beach Boys, Moody Blues, Byrds, Doobies, and the Rolling Stones.
What is the best concert you have ever attended? Mine would be a tie between the farewell tours of Aretha Franklin, and Paul Simon. But had I been a little older and wise, I would have certainly said the great Artur Rubenstein.
And is Carnegie the best place for a concert? I have also been to Royal Albert Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, and the Sydney Opera House. Which is your favorite?
Outdoor venues are enjoyable too. Events like The Capitol Fourth, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, Red Rocks, while not perfect for acoustics, creates a casual atmosphere for enjoying music.
And from JoniMitchell.com: New York may have a lot of yellow taxis (and pavement), but it’s not what Joni Mitchell was referencing when she sang that “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Nor is “paradise” a reference to the Paradise area of Mount Rainier in Washington, despite a popular myth. Mitchell’s adopted home state of California isn’t the right answer, either. According to her website, the “paradise” in question is beautiful, scenic Hawaii. Mitchell herself said as much when introducing the song in 1969, saying that she was moved to write the now-famous lyrics to “Big Yellow Taxi” on a trip to Hawaii, when she looked out her window and saw a parking lot in the middle of the otherwise beautiful landscape of “green, lush hills” and “Myna birds all over the place.”
Music fills a void in our lives, perhaps for a reason?
During the stay at home order, self-quarantine, shelter in place, whatever you call it, we are all watching too much television. Me included. I have seen a few decent movies that I did not see before, like Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), and Taken 1, 2, and 3. Not bad.
But, for lack of better things, who watches this crap during normal times? What am I talking about?
Award for most similar to watching paint dry: Ellen, or anything with Shaq (tie)
Award for most misinformation (other than Trump): Dr. Oz and Dr. Philth (tie)
Award for most boring sports reruns: ESPN (show us something good), but the Niner Super Bowl wins were good!
Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx are very old school. Trump is very un school!
Music videos are helpful, to pass the time: Alison Krause, Shania, Aerosmith, Eagles, Doors.
Anyone else notice the shortage of travel related shows on the tube?
I have seen too many cooking shows. And I am a terrible cook!
I guess we answered the question, WHO is on first?
Good idea: here is a place you can go without worry. Place some flowers at your loved one’s grave at the cemetery!
Have you donated to anyone during this crisis? Wings of Rescue (animals), and Holt (adoption agency) are my favs.
Some bullshit artist on TV tried to say Trump is the most religious Prez ever. but I say it is Jimmy Carter.
All of the former Presidents (Bush, Clinton, Carter, Obama) have been strangely quiet.
Has your favorite sports team made donations to help the less fortunate?
How many billionaires have help the cause? Gates, Buffett, Turner?
And what about those mega-church bull sh*t artists with their billions?
Yes, your auto insurance earned a big rebate since we are not driving as much. But will your home insurance go up since you are home more often??
On Jan. 22, when CNBC asked Trump if there were any concerns about the virus spreading in the U.S., Trump said, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
Airfares are very low and fully refundable. Why are the airlines not advertising??
Over 58,000 Americans have died. The number should have been much lower.
So, if the churches insist on congregating, take their non profit status away! Simple solution.
I admire the way Governors Cuomo and Newsom have been leading, as leaders should!!
Bring back some old TV favorites: Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It to Beaver, Amos N Andy, Jack Benny. I actually saw a “My Little Margie” episode a few weeks ago.
From 2010 to 2019, I have had the good fortune to take many trips, both domestically, and internationally. I recently read a great article by julieabroad on wordpress.com, where I also have a blog. Her list is quite impressive. Though mine is modest by comparison, I decided to do the same, list my ten best trips of the decade.
These are hers, in no particular order, she says:
The ruins at Baalbek in Lebanon
Going through the Panama Canal
Moving to Beijing
Cruising the Nile
Watching the volcano on Stromboli explode
Bus trip through eastern Europe
Walking under a waterfall in Domenica
Going to the top of the Atomium in Belgium
And her advice is great: “Never stop traveling!”
Here is my top ten or more, in no particular order, but with a few added comments:
Visiting Barry the V in Cape Town and going on four safaris
Super Bowl 47 in Nawlins with Dirty Pat
A top secret visit to the CIA in Virginia
Peak bloom day for cherry blossoms in the Tidal Basin, Washington, DC
Attending the great motorcycle rally at Sturgis, SD
A wedding at the Pink Palace in Honolulu of a dear friend
Visit the formerly drug infested Medellin, Colombia
Attend the Rose Parade and festivities as guests of Donate Life
NCAA Final Four in Dallas with Springsteen concert
Take the Trans Siberian Railway from Vladivostok to Moscow
Sip champagne in Reims and Epernay (Champagne region)
Kaiseki dinner at n/naka in Los Angeles with the Wilkins
Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
Pray at the Shwedagon Palace, Yangon, Myanmar
The farewell concerts of the two greats, Paul Simon and Aretha Franklin
Take Amtrak cross country four times
Drink a pint of Guinness at the Templebar in Dublin
(War Relocation Camp) where my relatives were incarcerated
View the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) north of Fairbanks
Take VIA Canadian Rail from Toronto to Vancouver
Attend the Fourth of July Concert and fireworks with the Boston Pops
Reunite with dear friends in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Siem Reap
Revisit several of my favorite National Parks (Bryce, Zion, Arches, Yosemite, Grand Canyon)
Visit Dirty Pat in Bucharest, and Dracula’s Castle
Wait, that is TWENTY FIVE!!!! How can I limit my list to just ten? Impossible!
I left off a few:
Cycling in Bordeaux, France
Exploring Istanbul and the Grand Bazaar
Return to Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm
A dinner at Uncle Ranni’s Organic Chicken Farm in Kuala Lumpur
Sail on Milford Sound, New Zealand
Dive on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Jet boat in Queenstown, New Zealand
Take photos at Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Complete the trifecta of ballparks: Yankee, Wrigley, and Fenway
I would love to see some of you try to list only ten!!!
As we begin a new year, I want to focus a little more on reflection than solely on travel. To broaden the quotes is to broaden one’s horizons, so to speak. So, any quote is open for saving, discussing, or discarding. Trying something new is always a great adventure, right?
This might be a great way to start the new year.
And there is always room for some good lyrics:
Simply, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” by Aretha Franklin
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all” – Helen Keller
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”— Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Life is meant for good friends and great adventures” – Anonymous (I like this one)
“In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him
‘Til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains.” – Paul Simon, who sang “The Boxer” on June 3, 2016, at our concert in the Greek Theater, UC Berkeley, when he told us that Muhammad Ali had passed away.
“A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual.” – Vladimir Nabokov
“He was a wise man who invented beer.” – Plato
“The legislature finds that the cigarette is considered the deadliest artifact in human history.” – State of Hawaii Legislature (trying to pass a bill to ban smoking in Hawaii).
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey (Moab’s most famous alum)
“Fascism is cured by reading, racism is cured by traveling” – Miguel de Unamuno (whoever he is)
“Education is not something you can finish” – Isaac Asimov
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another” – William James
“Wine is bottled poetry” – Robert Louis Stevenson
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in the gym.” – Bill Nye, scientist.
“Americans fear that former Trump staffers will be released into their cities” – Any Borowitz, The New Yorker
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself” – Groucho Marx
“Every man is guilty of the good he did not do” – Voltaire
“Be strong, I whisper to my coffee” -Anon.
“You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think” – Milton Berle
“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company” – Mark Twain
“I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It’s chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one” – Paul Simon
“I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you” – Robin Williams
“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it” – Buddy Hackett
“The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world” – Susan B. Anthony
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Tony Bourdain
Again, I invite you to share your favorite quotes with me. See you again in December!!!