Tuesday Fives – late from vacation edition

 

snipperoni

When you travel to a new city, what kind of points of interest do you research to check out?

Whenever possible, I really really like to have someone local with me.  Someone who can say “don’t do that, that is a scam and not all that interesting.  Here is the real gem of the city only locals know about.”  And things like traffic info ‘the best way to get around here is the subway’, or ‘make sure you rent a car and go do _______’  you can’t get there by bus and it is amazing.

They are also great for restaurant feedback and local dishes you should experience and avoid.

What’s the last attraction/museum/landmark you visited?

Glacier National Park in Alaska.  Even cooler than it sounds.  Take a look at these photos.  Also, that picture up top?  I took that there, from my cell phone.  Look how the glacier traveled like lava through that valley (which it carved as it went) all the way back to the mountain top in the middle.  See the waving ice valley as lava.  You can totally see it’s path.  It just took hundreds or thousands of years to get from that mountain top to the sea.

Ever been to a cool off-the-beaten-path landmark you’d like to talk about?

Yeah, Bobo took me to this super weird and awesome secret hamburger spot in Manhattan, NYC.  It was in this huge building lobby.  To the corner of the lobby was a large black curtain.  It appeared to be nothing, and had no signage or anything.  It just look like it hung in the corner, maybe obscuring some ugly wiring or cable.  Behind it, though, was a secret entrance to this amazing and supey divey hamburger joint.  How divey?  Well, the only menu was a cardboard sign written in magic marker above the order window.  BUT… it was a fully functioning and very tasty burger joint.   This is something Anthony Bourdain would know about, but never tell you.

This type of bizarre and awesome nonsense is EXACTLY why I made the point above.  How having a true local guide you around is always the most superior travel adventure.

If someone were to visit the city where you live, what’s the coolest thing to go see?

Red Rocks Amphitheater.  It is everything you have seen and heard and better.  Even cooler?  You can go anytime… for FREE!  When it isn’t a concert venue, it is a state park.  So, on non concert days, you can walk right in and stand on the stage.  Hell, you can bring your acoustic and play guitar on stage.  THEN, you can tell all your friend that you played Red Rocks.

Is there any place you’ve visited that you’d love to go back to?

Just about everywhere we have been internationally.  Haven’t been in any city overseas for more than a week, and obviously you can’t scour a whole country in a week.  Top choices?  Italy (everywhere), Barcelona, Spain, and… well… everywhere.  Heck, give me more time in Seattle and San Fran.  God, those cities are SO cool I would move tomorrow if we could afford anything there.

For Barcelona, it was worth crossing the Earth just to see the Guadi buildings.  He is this amazing and somewhat insane architect who builds the coolest shit on Earth.  He is also the guy behind the Sagrada Familia.

Friday Fives – pets and relocation edition

If you could move anywhere in the world and be guaranteed a job, etc, where would you go?

Italy. Not Rome, mind you, but a little seaside village. A close second would Barcelona. Third place? Right here in Colorado.  That pic up there is the ‘Sagrada Familia’.  It is a church being built in Spain.  Look closely at the crazy architecture.  It’s like a combination of a cartoon and a hallucination.  They have been building it for about 100 years, and they expect it may be another 100 years.  Wanna work there?  You can.  It doesn’t pay, but if you show up they will teach you a trade because they (the family carrying on Gaudi’s work) needs all the help they can get.  That is the kind of society I want to live in.  Even though I am super atheist, I will gladly give my days and nights to see such a marvel come to life.

If you had a time machine, and could witness any one event without altering or disturbing it, what would you want to see?

Easy, the Kennedy assassination. Not necessarily to stop it, or even solve it. But, I have a LOT of questions that have never been answered sufficiently by the Warren Report. In fact, I wouldn’t mind a loop – Groundhog day style – of being there 30 minutes before it happens. I wanna do that 5 times. I could just be a ghost and not interfere. I wanna be behind that car, then I wanna be on the grassy knoll, then I wanna be in that room wit Oswald.

Which do you prefer: cats or dogs? Why?

Both I love very much. Obviously, a dog’s love and loyalty are extraordinary. I am still trying to be the person my dog thinks I am. However, there is something to be said for the independence of a cat.

I just envy their life. They serve no master but themselves. They live in the moment, and still seem to have a sense of wonder about life that the rest of us (dogs included) lose over time.

How many animals do you have?

Gosh, a lot. 2 horses, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and some fish.  I wish I could have more.  However, it is already just about impossible to leave town on vacation.

Does this dress make me look fat?

God no, you look great! Wait, what the hell are you talking about?  We were talking about traveling, and love of animals… and then this?  You are a mess!

Friday Fives

What is your favorite way to travel (ship, place, car, train, etc)?

train.  I haven’t done it much.  I understand as a general mode of travel it is terrible.  The trains are slow, and always late.  However, we did some long trips in Europe somewhere and it was always fun.  Especially if you have a sleeper car.  Like the movies, it is a teeny tiny apartment… but you have some privacy and a place to lay down.

Oh, and on a long trip to the border of Figueras, Spain (to see the Dali museum) I got yelled at by an old mean French lady.  It was a perfect stereotype of an old mean French lady, too.  I mean, she was right out of central stereotype casting.

Who is your favorite person to travel with?

myself.  the smaller the crew, the more freedom and efficiencies.  Just going to dinner with 5 people can be a 45 minute negotiation.  No thanks.

What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

honeymoon to Spain and a week in Barcelona

Where will your next vacation be to?

most likely Hawaii next year, if our airline miles thing pans out.  I mean, there will likely be trips to Arizona and around the state, but I don’t count those.

If you had the time and money to go anywhere you wanted, where would you go?

that place in Puerto Rico where the water lights up when you swim.  Seriously, check it out

Friday Fives

Good morning team.  Last week’s Fives was half hearted.  I was writing from Rome.  Very tired, and likely a bit liquored up.  House wine costs about the same as water, so you can guess which one I chose.

holy-week-mandala-linda-pope

1. What exciting things are you doing this weekend?

well, I think I am having a birthday something or other Saturday night.  Also, hopefully meeting up with the terrific Chris Michas of Michas Guitars and get started on my custom guitar.  Also, will do a few hours of work at the dog shelter and maybe knock out the first disc of the madmen series on DVD.

Update – this happened.  Got the guitar, and it is stunning.  Take a look.

tiger-2017


2. Share with us some travel wisdom

This is from the great Rick Steves, who is a European travel guru… ours at least.  “Be flexible. When traveling, if you find things are not to your expectations, change your expectations.”  The whole experience of traveling, the highs and lows are all beautifully summed up by that one sentence.  Rick Steves is the bomb!  We used to be Lonely Planet devotees.  In fact, I contributed to a few of their Mexico books.  However, Rick is our new guy.  Free podcast audio tours, the works!

3. Ever gone to Spring Training?

No, because I don’t care about baseball.  However, I have done the football equivalent:  training camp.  When I was a kid, my uncle would take us to the Bills training camp in Fredonia, NY.  In AZ, the Cardinals would practice at NAU, where I was going to school.  So, I would watch them.  When I moved here (to Denver), I go see the Broncos every summer when I can.  Now that they have moved camp to their HQ, they are only 3 miles away!


4. Where is the most exotic place you have traveled?

That would be a toss up between Barcelona, Spain… and Rome, Italy.  Italy was amazing, and it is everything you imagine it… but better and grander and older.  However, Barcelona was covered in architecture by this dude Gaudi.  He is AMAZING.  Ever felt passionate about building?  Check this stuff out.  He is worth traveling the world to see his work.  Imagine, quite seriously, if Salvador Dali were an architect instead of a painter.  That is what you have here.  Oh, and Dali was Spanish too.

Bonus, after spending a week at Rome, I am churched out.  Jesus, they have a church there every 20 feet.  There churches have churches.  We did the Vatican and all that.  However, this is the greatest church on Earth.  It was designed by Gaudi, and is still under construction.  It’s called the Sagrada Familia. It looks photoshopped from a Scooby Doo cartoon.  No sir, this shit is real!

5. Where is your most recent travel destination?

are you even paying attention?  Just got back from Rome.  It was amazing.  So beautiful.  So simple.  and the food changed my life.  I have never had such sumptuous food and really good cheap wine in my life.  We ate like kings, and dirt cheap, too.  Some pics are here.  By the way, in case there is any question in your mind, after spending a week in Rome, the Catholic Church is the biggest for profit racket in history.  At the Vatican, I was in some of the holiest places on Earth… and they were pushing crap everywhere.  It was also the most expensive thing we did.  They are nuts, and none of this has to do with Jesus’ message.  It’s big business, plain and simple.  If I am going to shell out money for crap, let’s just go hog wild and follow Xenu.