A Friend in the Cellar

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Travel | 1 comment

A Friend in the Cellar

Phillip and I are walking through the passage into the cellar under Monticello, when a woman coming the other direction stops us. Because she wants to take a photo. Of us. For us. Wait…what? “It just looks so cool with the light filtering through the fog behind you…it’s okay…I work here,” she reassured us with that non-sequitur. Still slightly stunned, we hand her a phone, pose for a photo, and then find ourselves in a conversation about our visit to Virginia and her work at Monticello (which does not...

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Our Time at Monticello (part 1)

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

Our Time at Monticello (part 1)

The fog had started rolling in as we wound through the woods on the way to Monticello and had thickened by the time we were standing outside the House itself. It obscured the view, swallowing up all but the nearest trees. We stood on the side of the House away from the waning crowds, and, for a few moments, it was as quiet as if we were the only ones in the world. As if we had traveled back in time. As if, at any moment, we would hear approaching hoof beats and see Thomas Jefferson emerging through the white-gray veil. Even in his day,...

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Fingers Crossed

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Travel | 4 comments

Fingers Crossed

I’d like to think I’m not superstitious, but then something good happens, and I’m afraid I’ll jinx it. Can I whisper this to you? We booked tickets to Europe. There was a killer deal on round-trip flights to Madrid at the end of August. And, while I love Spain, it’s not our final destination this time. Neither of us have been to Italy, and I have wanted to go since I was a kid, since learning that Venice had streets made of water, since I first saw photos of Pompeii’s ruins frozen in time, since my...

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6 Airbnb Getaways in the Western US

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 in Travel | 4 comments

6 Airbnb Getaways in the Western US

There is something so restoring about getting into nature, whether you’re taking a hike or just taking in the view. If you’re feeling like you need a weekend away, here are some peaceful spots we’ve booked through Airbnb that are perfectly positioned for enjoying the great outdoors in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada. All of them are close to hiking and most have kitchenettes. I’ve included drive time to nearby cities and towns for reference. Airbnb 101 For those who have never used Airbnb, it’s a...

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February 2017 Photo: Purple Sage

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Travel | 9 comments

February 2017 Photo: Purple Sage

When we drove to Tucson for the world premiere of the opera Riders of the Purple Sage, I was on the lookout for things to photograph that might complement the story, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to take photos of the actual performance. We stopped on the way to take some photos of desert landscapes and considered pulling over when we saw a few wandering cows. Our first stop in Tucson proper was Mercado San Augustin for lunch at our new favorite, Seis Kitchen. Phillip pointed out purple blooms in the planters outside, “I think...

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Bartlett Lake Marina

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

Bartlett Lake Marina

Don’t believe the rumors. The road to Bartlett Lake Marina is definitely paved. I couldn’t help laughing when I learned that some guidebooks still list it as being rough and “unimproved,” like you’re blazing a trail through the wilderness. We had just made the drive – it’s an actual road, just like the highway we turned off to get there. You don’t need to machete your way through the undergrowth. You don’t even need 4-wheel drive. Reservoir This perfectly good road takes you all the...

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When You Need an Umbrella

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Travel | 7 comments

When You Need an Umbrella

On Phillip’s military chaplain shadowing day, we woke up in the sunniest city in America under a brilliant sky with a few pink clouds. Sometime between then and leaving to meet the Marine who would escort Phillip onto the MCAS Yuma base, it must’ve clouded over, and we stepped out of the lobby into an unexpected downpour. For a second, I thought of getting the umbrella from our room, but I was worried about being late (and didn’t want to keep the U.S. Marines waiting) – plus, I figured I’d just be dropping...

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Riders: A Novel Approach to Opera

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Travel | 0 comments

Riders: A Novel Approach to Opera

It’s not every day that a new opera is born. Especially not one about cowboys. Sung in English. That opens in Tucson, Arizona. However, this past weekend, Phillip and I got to see the world premiere of Arizona Opera’s Riders of the Purple Sage at Tucson Music Hall. While other U.S. cities have premiered new operas, I doubt any of them had as many audience members wearing Stetsons and bolo ties. The Story Riders of the Purple Sage is about fighting for love, power, and, ultimately, survival in the harsh western landscape of...

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Travel Trade-Offs

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Travel | 4 comments

Travel Trade-Offs

There’s no such thing as an ideal trip – or even an ideal itinerary. It’s more like a series of bargains you make with yourself, hoping to get the best deal based on what you value. Do you see more sights or spend more time at each one? Pack to be prepared for every situation or have less to carry? Visit familiar places or risk venturing somewhere new? Have the security of making reservations or the flexibility of winging it? Spend extra money to stay close to the main attraction (city center, theme park, historic...

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Local Art Loves

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 8 comments

Local Art Loves

A couple weeks ago, I invited everyone to share art from where you live. Since then, we’ve seen #localartloves from the east coast to the west coast! San Francisco, CA Matt McKinley of McKinley Art Solutions shared work from Justin Hoover’s ‘Martial Spirit’ exhibition, currently at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco. New Hampshire Traci York shared some of her nature photography from the chilly Northeast. Cottonwood, AZ The northern office of Local First Arizona shared shirts hand printed by Christy...

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