Travelcraft Journal

Navigation Menu

7 Things to Love About High Speed Rail

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

[Some thoughts Phillip wrote down during our journey from Rome to Venice on a high speed Italo Treno train. –S]


Italo Treno

How do I love thee high-speed train travel? Let me count the ways!

After my first trip on high speed rail in Italy, I’m a believer!

View from train in italy

Here are some things I loved about traveling on a train instead of flying:

1. You don’t have to check your luggage, so it’s way less likely to be lost.

2. Quick boarding and deboarding time.

Luggage on train

3. You can move around. Since there’s no turbulence, there’s no “fasten seatbelt sign,” and you can get up and down whenever you want.

4. No extreme pressure changes.

5. No taxi time or Air Traffic Control delays. (For example, when we were traveling back to Phoenix, our plane was stuck on the ground close to 40 minutes at JFK airport).

Luggage on train

6. You can keep your phone on. No need to put it in “airplane mode” on a train.

7. Still very fast (250 kmh/150mph). A plane travels around 500 mph, but with all the extra time and hassle at the airport, it might still take about the same amount of time to get to your destination.




We were guests of Italo Treno.

Read More

October 2017 Photo: Sedona

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Travel | 7 comments

Sedona

During a mid-October camping trip in Sedona, I took this photo from the terrace of a coffee shop that closed just before we got there. At least we still got to enjoy the view!

Speaking of which, I was trying to take a panoramic photo of the same view and this (I’m sure perfectly nice but totally oblivious) couple just stepped right into the frame when I was mid-pan. Oh well. Bob and Doris, you’re part of this now.

Finally, I also messed around with time lapse shots a bit on the same trip. I propped my phone on the hood of our car to capture the sun setting over our campground.

 




Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

Read More

Art Inspires Expeditions in “Headhunt Revisited” Documentary

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

An unusual expedition set sail from San Francisco in 1926.

Headhunt Revisited Lagoon

It was composed entirely of two women with cigarette tins full of art supplies in tow. Their destination was the South Pacific. And their mission was to document cultures in danger of disappearing.

Headhunt Revisited - Caroline Mytinger

Artist Caroline Mytinger and her partner Margaret Warner did not seem fazed by the western dismissal of Melanesians as ruthless headhunters. In fact, Mytinger often turned the phrase around, referring to the search for faces to paint as her own “headhunt.”

Headhunt Revisited documentary

The documentary Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera follows another woman-lead expedition with photographer and filmmaker Michele Westmorland retracing their steps 80 years later.

Mytinger Sketch and Westmorland photo

We travel along, not just through the Pacific but through time, as the film superimposes past and present. Its cinematographic shots are interspersed with grainy archival footage of traditional dances, art, and daily life on the islands. Westmorland’s narration dovetails with excerpts of Mytinger’s writings (as voiced by Lauren Hutton).

Elders, artisans, and family of Mytinger’s original portrait subjects share stories that give us a window into their worlds and the lives of their ancestors.

One of the artists we meet is Papua New Guinean painter Jeffry Feeger, who created a series of portraits that parallel Mytinger’s. His subjects come from the same places but are dressed in street clothes, rather than the traditional attire.

Mytinger’s portraits are like a colorful time capsule. The film is an equally vibrant exploration of the people, places, and traditions behind the paintings.

Headhunt Revisited screened recently at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival, and LA Femme Film Festival, where it won Best Foreign Documentary.

Hopefully, it will have a wider release soon. If you have a chance to see it, I recommend taking that journey.




Images and preview courtesy of Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera.

Read More

Free Admission to Arizona Museums with the Culture Pass

Posted by on Nov 4, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

Culture Pass Kiosk

You can get free passes to over 30 museums and attractions if you have a library card from Maricopa County or Pima County, Arizona.

Culture pass
Heard Museum

How to Check Out a Culture Pass

The program is called the Culture Pass, and it works like this:

  1. Visit the Culture Pass kiosk at a participating library.
  2. Pick the pass you’re interested in. There will be cards for all the available passes – it’s first-come, first-served.
  3. Check the pass out with your library card. You will be exchanging the card from the kiosk for a receipt-like slip of paper, which is your actual ticket in.
  4. Go to the museum! Each pass is good for free general admission for two people one time. You have one week to use it before it expires, but you don’t have to return anything to the library.

You may be able to search the library’s catalog online to see ahead of time what’s available.

If you live in Maricopa County, you can get a library card from any of the County’s public libraries. Only ASU students can check out Culture Passes from ASU libraries, although alumni and community members are eligible for cards with limited access to other ASU library resources.

Culture Pass Arts Destinations

Some of the Culture Pass Arts Destinations we’ve enjoyed (with or without a pass):

Culture Pass Performances

More recently, the program has also expanded to include performances. It works basically the same way. Certain plays, ballets, operas, and symphony concerts will have Culture Passes available a couple weeks ahead of time on a first come, first serve basis.

These include performances from…

…and lots more!

Outside of Maricopa County

The Sedona Public Library also has passes for Northern Arizona destinations, like Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Route 66 Museum in Kingman, and the Sedona Heritage Museum.

Pima County Public Library branches have passes for Tucson destinations like Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Museum of Art, and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, as well as performances by Arizona Opera, Tucson Symphony, and UA Presents.

I believe there are similar programs at some libraries outside of Arizona. If you know of one, let me know!

Read More

Tucson Music Hall

Posted by on Oct 26, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

Tucson Music Hall

“There are still like 15 spots left.”

We were a few cars back in a long line for a parking lot that attendants were debating whether to declare full.

Fortunately, we made it in before they closed the lot.

When Caitie from Arizona Opera had warned me to get there early, I thought maybe she was joking about my tardy arrival to the lunch hour concert.

Turns out, Tucson Convention Center parking is no joke.

Tucson

Even though the world premiere of the Riders of the Purple Sage opera was a big event, it wasn’t the only thing backing up traffic at Tucson Convention Center that night.

After we’d parked, I asked a security guard the quickest way to Tucson Music Hall.

He replied with “Oh! Are you looking for the rap thing?”

I was wearing a long velvet dress and heels.

“No, not the rap thing…”

A few minutes later, someone asked if we were looking for the game.

Apparently, in Tucson, no one bats an eye if you decide to don formalwear to see hip hop or hockey. And we noticed several people wearing cowboy hats to the opera.

 

Riders of the Purple Sage

What to know about Tucson Music Hall

  • Tucson Music Hall is the site of Arizona Opera’s Tucson performances.
  • It’s located on the Tucson Convention Center campus, along with the Leo Rich Theater and the Tucson Arena (which the locals confusingly kept referring to as “TCC”).
  • Tucson Convention Center is not the same place as the Tucson Expo Center.
  • Sun Link Streetcar Stop: Congress Street/Granada Avenue (6E or 6W)

 

Tucson MOCA view

Nearby:

285 ft – Museum of Contemporary Art

.4 mi – Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block

.5 mi – Hotel Congress and Maynard’s (lodging + dining)

.7 mi – Mercado San Agustín (dining + shopping)

.9 mi – Mission Garden

 

Riders of the Purple Sage - Tucson Music Hall Lobby

Parking:

  • Tucson Music Hall shares parking with other convention center venues.
  • Event parking rates vary. We paid $10.
  • We parked in Parking Lot A, but Lot C may be closer.

Shopera at the Opera

Performances in Tucson also have a lobby full of shopping and refreshments for sale – wine, snacks, delicious-smelling coffee, and old school west-coast favorite Thrifty ice cream!

There’s also “Shopera at the Opera” with booths of Local artists and vendors, who give part of their proceeds to support Arizona Opera.

Riders of the Purple Sage crafter

We enjoyed seeing the inventive ways that Southern Arizona Artists’ Guild member Betty Harris found to upcycle fabric scraps and thrift store pieces. Next to her was a Barefoot Books booth with a selection of really neat-looking kids books, including the very fitting Stories from the Opera.

Read More