Out And About In Seattle

Big cities don’t thrill me, but Seattle, Washington, has many fun and out-of-the-ordinary things to do, beautiful scenery, friendly people, good food . . . I could go on.

During a recent trip, we spent a few days in Seattle, sightseeing and catching up with an old friend. Though it was typical weather for the US Northwest—with gray skies, occasional mist, and one day of actual rain—we made the most of our time there. And once again, we arrived back at our hotel one evening wondering why we thought we could pack so much into a day—at our ages. (more…)

I Need A New…

So now my first few short training runs are in the bag; six months to go.

Being well into “middle age” (and retired from professional life for a few years now) does not make me old. The body may age, but I refuse to get old. That’s a conscious decision we can all make.

Last year, my logbook indicated that I ran, walked, and hiked a total of 2,700 miles in calendar 2016. At the start of that year, our local running club, the Lake County Milers, posted a mileage challenge―speaking to my competitor’s spirit―and I had some big things planned for the year. For example, I trained for and ran only one ultramarathon, the Redwoods Creek 50K (31 miles), and then I planned for and hiked the John Muir Trail in California (approximately 220 miles plus an additional 30 miles to join the JMT from Cottonwood Lakes trailhead). I also walked my second Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Via de la Plata (625 miles). (more…)

‘Twas An Honor—The Chaperoning Experience

One partly cloudy day last week, I enjoyed chaperoning a field trip for my granddaughter’s fourth-grade class. When she called to ask if I would join her and the students, I immediately said yesas fear began to rise up in my gut. The trip with her class was to Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen, California. Spring is the most beautiful season in California with all of the green and dense patches of wildflowers that bloom before our summer heat turns everything golden brown.

I had never been a chaperone before, (more…)

Just Off The Beaten Path: Santa Rosalía, BCS, Mexico

The American at the border crossing in Tijuana said of Santa Rosalía, “That’s a dirty little town.” Since that was our stated destination, the man’s assertion seemed quite rude. But we handled his affront well enough. And, yes, one might think so, if you are—as most do—driving straight through Santa Rosalía en route to somewhere else, somewhere better known to the average tourist who spends his or her time elsewhere in southern Baja.

Santa Rosalia from Las Casitas, to the south

Treasures Abound in Southern Baja (more…)

The Far Away and Beyond

Grand Canyon National Park

A gentleman. Maybe even a scholar. Well into his sixties, I’d guess. Gray haired. A thin man, with an air of class. High cheekbones, straight posture; clothing crisp and perfect. Most would call him sophisticated. He was a member of the wait staff at the nicest hotel in a national park that we were visiting. He had been there for many years, and the regular visitors knew him by name. The man sought to please, was very efficient in his movements, and knew his job. No energy wasted. He even seemed choreographed. Poised, that’s what I would call it. Not pompous or contrite. He appeared as if he would be picked up in a casting call to play this very part on a movie set for a high-society restaurant in DC or New York City. Hollywood’s version. (more…)

Lessons Learned in Rome

Vatican City

This is the third, and final, post in our When in Rome series.

Early access is best. Make reservations online ahead of time if you can. Go for the “no line” opinion. We have been to several World Heritage sites and other places frequented by the masses. And we don’t like crowds or missing out on what we came to see because of those crowds. Therefore, we usually seek out passes with the early access option (Chichen Itza, for example). They don’t cost more. You just have to be willing to get up and to leave early in the morning, sometimes as early as 5:30 a.m. (more…)

Out and About in Rome

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument

This is the second post in our When in Rome series.

Our first full day in Rome, we loosely followed the Heart of Rome walking tour suggested by Rick Steves, visiting the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Pietra, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Bruno Statue in Campo de’ Fiori. Steves is the travel expert on Europe seen on PBS. We found a copy of his travel book for Rome in our apartment, and off we went. (more…)

Pickpockets – Put Them Out of Business

On a busy afternoon metro ride in Rome, Italy, a friend of mine had his wallet stolen from one of the pockets on his cargo shorts. You know the kind. The pocket down low on the leg, secured with a small patch of Velcro. The robbery happened when my friend was exiting a carriage, and he has played the event back in his mind enough times to know exactly when the theft occurred. There was a young (more…)

Announcing Camino Route Report – Via De La Plata 2016

Camino de Santiago

During the fall months of October and November 2016, Grandpa hit the trail for thirty-three days of walking the Via de la Plata in western Spain. Daily accounts of that journey to find history, peace, and new friends are now available on the blog site. Either follow the links in this post, or select Camino de Santiago here, or from the blog’s main menu.

The Vía de la Plata (Silver Way)

Starting in Sevilla (Seville), is 1000 kilometers from Sevilla traveling through (more…)