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Showing posts from January, 2012

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Finding Travel Excitement; Here, There, and Everywhere

Meet me in El Segundo? El Segundo, I know where it is but why would I go there? Suggested by a very hip and cultural poet friend, I was intrigued.  Although I had lived in the megalopolis my whole life, I had never been there.  But taking the hint, I said yes.  Located a half hour south of my home just past the airport, El Segundo is a small city with the reputation of having a small town feel. These days Angelenos carve out areas of activity due to spirit numbing traffic issues.  Certain areas, perhaps no more than ten miles away, can have such an aura of distance that it feels like you need a passport to go there.  I broke the mold this day, turn left , turn left again and suddenly I was off the freeway and in middle America, sampling the local vibe.   Main St is about three blocks long, with the high school at one end and the city hall at the other.  In between on the pedestrian friendly street are all manner of local shops from cleaners to beer bar to yoga studio.  I passed two ot…

Apocalypse Now to The Way: The Adventure Awaits

Ever have the experience of let down when you finally visit a famous landmark?  That sense of ‘is that all there is to it?’  That reaction is common and perhaps becoming more common as we get submerged in images and communications about just about every place and everything.  Freshness is hard to come by these days.   Adventure and novelty are essential stimulants for our minds and spirits.  Go back to that visit to a famous place for the first time, the memories you take away from that trip usually are about the people you meet or the weather or the local culture.  That site has been embedded in our minds for so long that often the image is less exciting than the surrounding experience. 
After a trip to a far off place, it is often a great joy to return home to the comforts and routine of our lives.  It feels good to reenter the known and relatively secure world of home.  Finding that sweet spot of the novelty balanced with the comfort zone is an interesting challenge.  Since we have…

Pursuit of Passion (Hot Springs) Leads to Adventure

Among my lifelong passions re-energized in this stage of life is hot springs (from luxury spa to hot water bubbling into a make shift pool).  My all time favorites include the steam bath/ pool in the lava flow on the big island of Hawaii as well as the chic full service spa at Glen Ivy in Corona, CA.  Orienting my internal compass to this avocation leads me to unexpected adventures and discoveries. 
Driving an unpaved road in my Volvo subcompact for an hour in Southwest TX, epitomized my devotion to hot springs.  The siren call of healing waters inspired a long side trip.  In fact, the call of hot springs was the theme of a three week driveabout  of the southwest USA.  From the recently upgraded Ojo Caliente (near Santa Fe, NM) to Truth or Consequences, NM (formerly named Hot Springs) to Eldorado (outside of Phoenix) each has its own particular style, mood, and reward.    And in each place the camaraderie of the hot springers prevails.  This spirit was highlighted at Chinanti (at the …

Detours Can Lead to Miracles & Art (Marfa, TX)

The typical reaction to a detour is frustration; the trip will take longer, the road may be rough, probably miss certain scenery.  But I discovered an intentional detour can offer the real boon of a road trip.  Even in daily life in the city, as was said by Robert Frost ‘the road less traveled made all the difference.’  Pushing through habits, routines, and expectations offers for the rebirthing Boomer, the excitement of discovery.  A side trip to the mysterious town of Marfa, TX had all of my favorite elements; desert, art, classic hotels, and hot springs.  Approaching from the east on I-80, the setting sun against the mountains in the distant horizon beckoned me to the unknown.  
The state highway, a straight ribbon of asphalt traveled only by jumbo, six wheel pick-ups and the occasional short semi, stretched to the end of the horizon.  I first learned of this town from a chance acquaintance at a gym in Santa Fe, I was challenged as an artist and an adventurer.  Is it worth a three …

No Tie, New Self: Review, Release, & Reinvent

A pile of a couple hundred ties lay strewn about a table in my bedroom.  Forced to move them when I painted the closet where they were hanging.  Collected over thirty years of professional employment, I treasured my ties.  They were a symbol of my professional attitude.  Although, not required to wear a tie in my former job, I chose to wear a tie virtually everyday,  even as the work culture became more casual  and ties became less and less common.  The tie was my symbolic uniform of my job.   When I put on a tie I was preparing for work.  Almost all are silk with various dramatic patterns from cubist renderings of Picasso paintings to musings by Jerry Garcia to red, white, and blue for American holidays and even one made of aluminum shaped like a zydeco washboard.  Ties were my expression of individuality and style.   Careful to wear the Casablanca tie on Valentine’s day as I was to wear the snowman around Christmas.  When it was hot out I would wear the cotton batik from Bali.  With…