We're off to NYC for David and Sandy's wedding!
Another great day here in Basel. We got up and played in the house for a while and then went to a great cafe for brunch. We walked around town and took another ferry ride and then came home on the tram. After playing cars and paper dolls at home for a while, Paul, Seth and I went out to the paper museum, which was really cool - - we got to make paper, see them make type letters and do some of our own printing. After that I took a much needed nap and then Seth and I played pirates, we all had dinner, and then watched some more tv before the kids went to bed.
Many more photos to come!
Basel is really wonderful and I'll have lots and lots of photos to post from today. Seth is a giant bundle of creative energy and Fiona is just adorable. After a morning of playing at home and a brief walk to the store and bakery, Paul and I wandered all over the city while Aimee took the kids to a birthday party. We wandered through the streets looking at the lovely little stores and even took a tiny ferry across the river to the other side. I can completely see why they love it here -- the city is the perfect scale and is absolutely filled with magical things.
Until I get my photos uploaded, here's a live webcam view of one of the squares we walked through.
And tonight, Aimee is making us raclette for dinner. I am SO lucky!
Update: a few photos from the day:
The work part of the trip is done, and now I'm heading back to the airport to catch my plane to Basel for a weekend of fun with Paul, Aimee, Seth and Fiona! Yay!
And now I'm in Munich in a lovely (but slightly strange) hotel. The room is great but the layout is a little weird (since the first thing you see is the bathtub, and you can't close the curtains and still use the desk so I'm feeling like I'm sitting here working under a spotlight (and its only a second floor internal courtyard room). But the internet access is free and it really is a very nice room. Tomorrow I'll go find our offices and do my 5 training sessions before working my way back to the airport.
I thought my French was bad, but by the time I got to the airport today I was realizing how much French I actually do know. I was still failing pretty miserably in actual conversations with people, but I had a decent internal dialog going where I could name most things and understand what was going on around me, as well as order food, thank people, etc. On the other hand, the moment I stepped off the plane in Germany I realized how completely and absolute my lack of German is.
I don't think I've ever actually been completely alone in a foreign country where I didn't speak a word of the language. When I was in Germany before, I was with Hanna, who at least had some high school German behind her (plus we were staying with Bellamy, who was fluent). Even when visiting Israel and Japan I had brushed up on the language quite a bit before embarking -- and so even if I'll never be able to talk to anyone, I could at least handle the basic pleasantries and count (though the concept of having different terms in Japanese for counting round things, flat things, people, etc. was what made me drop the classes I was taking). When Carrie and I were in Amsterdam, we at least were lost there together. So I'll have to brush up on a few stock phrases for the morning and should be just fine once I get to the office... and my co-puzzler Lisa's husband is in town on business today as well, so at least I have one person to call in the case of a real emergency, which is nicely reassuring.
I've made it to Paris -- and promptly realized how much of my French I've lost since living here (not that I was so great at it even then, but Paul and I did occasionally have our "good French days" as we called them). I thought I'd try to watch some TV to re-tune my ears and am watching Nouvelle Star, their version of American Idol and burning through my one hour of paid internet access before bed. I'm hoping to wander around a bit in the morning and then head over to the office for my next training session. Then its right off to the airport to head off on the next leg of the trip (and the last set of trainings before a fun weekend).
On the way here it was so much fun to see so many familiar sites (like the FNAC that Paul and I bought our super snazzy financial calculators which calculated net present value, which for some reason just cracked me up during my cab ride from the train station).
Updated with some photos:
Just finished my two training sessions here in the UK office and after Petra finishes with another meeting I'll head off to the train station to continue my journeys (and probably catch up on sleep on the train if I can). More from the next stop...
Our presentation here in Dublin is over so we're waiting for a cab back to the airport to fly back to Heathrow. One more training session today in the office there and then two tomorrow before I head to Paris (I decided to go to Paris tomorrow night instead of catching the 6:30 am train Thursday morning so I'll at least have one morning to wander around there).
Petra and I just arrived here in Dublin and have checked into our hotel for an hour of regrouping before we head out to dinner with all the people we'll be presenting to in the morning. Today's two training sessions went very well and the trip from London was quite painless. Tomorrow we fly back to London and, if the passport line doesn't hold me up too long, will have another training in that office tomorrow afternoon and a couple more on Wednesday. Turns out the office is a LONG way from Hanna's (who lives in the East End) so I'm not sure I'll be able to get back into the city to have dinner with them all again unfortunately.
I've safely arrived in London and am hanging out with Hanna, John and Albert. Betty and her friends and Bryan and Stacey are all coming over for dinner later.
Update: a few photos:
Dinner time for Albert and then a bath before bed
Betty came over with 2 of her sorority sisters from DC who are visiting during their spring break
Bryan and Stacey also joined us for dinner
Betty introduces Bryan and Stacey to the world of Facebook and everyone gathered around for a look
I thought I was leaving later tonight, but sometime in the process I changed my itinerary and it didn't sink in, so I'm actually leaving early this afternoon on my whirlwind business trip (with some fun stops to see friends as well). I'll try to blog from there (of course) and will be back on March 19.
Lots of photos and updates to come, but its nice to be home!!!
Reentering the country was much easier than we expected -- we didn't even have to split up into different lines because of our different passports. The only hangup was in Heathrow -- word of advice, do not buy any duty free liquids when you have a layover. Turns out in London you have to change terminals and go through security again, and are subjected to the liquid ban at that point even though you purchased them at the airport. So our brief layover in London was spent going through passport control there (in the long, non-EU line of course), racing upstairs and checking in our nice bottles of organic Israeli wine that we thought it would be nice to bring home (the last time I'll be buying duty free liquor I think), and arriving at the gate just in time to board (but luckily we had had our fix of Heathrow shopping on the way through 2 weeks ago, so I didn't have to miss out too much and Love Actually was one of the Video on Demand movies which always makes me feel better about Heathrow... and I did have time to buy a few Mars bars, which are the key to travelling in the UK -- and yes, they are very different from US Mars bars!!).
Mitzy seems quite suspicious, but hopefully she'll forgive our long absence and remember us soon. Time to dowload all the email, open up the piles of bills and belated holiday wishes, take a long hot shower, and get ready to catch up on everything we missed.
Today was our last day in Israel so we decided to make it as long as possible -- we have a really early flight tomorrow and would have had to leave for the airport at around 3 in the morning anyway, so we thought we would try to stay up at the bowling alley until then (its open until 2am). We'll see if we last that long (if not, there's a place to nap in the office). Its almost midnight here now, so there's not all that much longer to do. We've already bowled three games tonight but there's internet accesss and a pool table so we should be able to entertain ourselves pretty endlessly.
Today we got up in time to see Tomer off to the army (and of course I'll be posting photos of him in his full uniform once I get home). Then we picked up Hila and the three of us explored the Old City, buying lots of baklahva and having a fantastic lunch of more hummus and falafel. We stopped and had tea and sweets in one place and found ourselves sitting under a series of photos of Sadaam Hussein and Arafat so Hila wasn't sure we had made the best choice of place -- and besides, the baklahva there wasn't so great and they dropped the first glass of tea. As we left lunch it started pouring rain (again) which cut our visit short a bit, but it was a great experience to wander through the city and see all the people and crazy things for sale in the market. Afterwards we went back over to Hila's parents house and hung out there playing backgammon (Shachar and Hila) and ping pong (Dido and me) and drinking more tea. From there we went back to the house and packed up our bags, swung by Hila's house so she could change shoes and we could pick up her husband Amit and then we drove to Safta's for a big family dinner. Shachar and I left from there to pick Shimon up at the bowling alley and delayed there a bit because it was too busy for him to leave. We met a really interesting family and dropped the Dad off at the checkpoint down the street so he could move his car. They were an American family from Colorado, the Dad is working for Shevet Achim, a non-profit bringing children from Iraq for heart surgery in Israel. The family had just relocated from Jordan and their car still had Jordan plates so they were stopped at the checkpoint and walked the last 2 blocks to the bowling alley. It was their oldest son's 16th birthday, so the family was bowling to celebrate. From there we joined Safta, Rikki, Yair, Sari, Sharon, Ran, and Hila's brother for a wonderful stuffed chicken dinner (photos to come later as well).
Goodness... at midnight a huge crowd of people just came into the bowling alley, so we're going to try to help out. We'll be flying all day tomorrow and hopefully will be back online from home late tomorrow afternoon California time.
Updated from Ben Gurion Airport at 6:20 am (the flight boards in about 10 minutes), so more will be added later:
The trip is definitely starting to wind down and our pace has slowed considerably. Today we drove up to Tel Aviv and met with Shachar's uncle Yuval who runs a software company that makes Invoice By Click, a great tool for small businesses. After chatting about the software in his office, we went out to lunch at a fish restaurant that they apparently always traditionally go to. Then Shachar and I walked around the port area (which has been turned into stores and restaurants) and drove around some of the main areas of the city before heading back down to Jerusalem We stopped in at his great-uncles' nut and dried fruit factory -- his two great uncles were there and they were just wonderful to meet (hopefully the photos will come out of them, unfortunately I still don't have a flash). These are two of the brothers of his grandmother (Safta), a third lives in Vancouver and we hope to visit him there sometime soon now that we can travel internationally again (assuming our reentry on Saturday goes smoothly :)) Now we're at Shachar's Mom's and also hope to see Sharon and Ran and possibly Hila and Amit tonight, as well as Rikki (who we keep missing the past few days -- probably because we've displaced her from her bedroom at home so she's been elsewhere).
Update: in the end we ended up going to a great French restaurant with Rikki and Sharon.
Updated 1/14 with photos:
We're back here in Jerusalem, where the whole downtown has free wifi access (though it took me a while to figure out how to access it). We're sitting in a coffee shop now called Kadosh which is owned by an elementary school friend of Shachar's (who unfortunately was walking out the door when we walked in). We ate breakfast in our hotel in Eliat, checked out and then made the drive back up North along the Dead Sea, driving past Sodom (where we saw a rocked named "Lot's Wife") and then came back up to Jerusalem and we've been wandering around downtown a bit. Tonight I think we're going bowling with Tomer and see what else is going on. Tomorrow it's back to Tel Aviv, Friday the Old City of Jerusalem and then we fly back SUPER early Saturday morning.
Hello again from Eilat. Today we visited the Underwater Observatory Marine Park (which wasn't all that exciting in the end) and mostly took it easy. We napped, walked along the beach, and now we're checking in from Aroma (the coffee place) with spotty wireless (too slow to get to my email or VPN to work) so I think we'll pack up now and find somewhere else to try from. I added some photos from yesterday and will have to work back through the past days as I go.
Photos added 1/10:
Today was our first day in Eiliat, a resort town at the very southern tip of the country. We got up and had breakfast at our hotel (which is pretty rundown but did have a nice breakfast buffet) and then headed to Timna Park to see King Solomon's mines! I have a million photos to post later because it was a spectacular landscape and the first day that I could be out and about in the sunshine after all the rain that we've been having everywhere else. We saw old rock drawings, climbed up cliffs, poured colored sand into souvenir bottles, rowed paddle boats (though the tiller was broken so we went around in circles for a while and then gave up), had tea and sweets, and just enjoyed the park. I even drove for a bit of it (my first successful stick-shift driving -- it seemed like a good place to learn given that it was a deserted desert road and a rental car...)!!
After the park we went to the famous Yot Vata dairy store for ice cream (I had frozen yogurt with dates) and to take photos of cows (Ran's mother lives at the Kibbutz but we didn't have a chance to make contact this time around). Then home to the hotel for a rest, out to do some much-needed laundry at a laundromat (with a falafel and pita snack while we were waiting) and now we're about to see a 3D IMAX movie (mostly an excuse to use the free wifi in the lobby so I could post a couple of quick things).
We'll hopefully carve out some time tomorrow to post another round of photos as well...
thank you every one for following along and the nice comments! More postings to come over the next few days of our trip!
Updated with some photos (1/9):
Just a placeholder until I have time for a proper post with photos. Here's what we did:
Drove through Be'er Sheeva to see Shachar's university and old haunting ground (though the campus has changed radically in the last few years and many of the buildings were brand new) then drove to Sede Boqer where we visited his favorite professor (who he had actually been working with since high school -- he went to an environmental boarding school in Sede Boqer and then returned there for grad school after studying at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheeva). We toured the lab that S used to work in and the gardens and greenhouses (mostly filled with cacti). We had lunch with Prof. Guterman and his wife and granddaughter and looked at some of his fantastic paintings which cover every wall of their house from floor to ceiling. We then drove to Nizana to see Nava (another grad school friend) who lives with her family in a small settlement right next to the Egyptian border. On the way, we stopped and bought goat cheese at a small farm (they are trying to develop a whole route of small wineries and farms to attract tourism, the goat cheese was excellent). With Nava we went to visit ruins of a Nabatian ranch and learned about how they irrigated by building up a series of walls and clay mounds that distributed the runoff water. We hung out with her for a few hours and then continued our drive towards Eliat, through a huge crater (which unfortunately it was too dark to see).
Updated 1/14 with photos:
No net access yesterday, so yesterday's update (mostly Tel Aviv and Jaffa) will be posted next time I can get my laptop online. Right now we're on our Southern trip -- we've been to Beersheva and are visiting another friend before heading down to Eliat late tonight. Hopefully I'll be connecting from there...
[posted 1/8 from the IMAX theater in Eliat]
Followed Shimon and Sari to Tel Aviv where we visited Shachar's uncle Yossi and Anat (pregnant with a daughter they appear to be calling "blueberry" for now) and Itai. After touring their amazing house, we drove to Jaffa for lunch where we met up with Yossi's older son Daniel, Shachar's other uncle Yuval along with his wife Yael and their three daughters Michelle, Gal, Sheli (born 5 days after our wedding). Lunch started with a selection of about a dozen small salads (including the typical tomato/cucumber, humus, 2 eggplant dishes, calliflower, 2 cabbage ones, corn, and various other things) and wonderful warm pita (plain and topped with za'atar). If one of the small bowls was emptied, a refill appeared immidiately until everyone had their fill. In the mean time we all ordered our main dishes -- most people had fish (the restaurant's speciality given that we were right across from the beach). I opted for chicken on a skewer (shish, I learned, not kabob -- though I always thought the whole thing was a "shish kabob" -- turns out kabobs here are more like meatballs). Plus lovely fresh lemonade (with mint of course) and either turkish coffee or tea with mint afterwards.
After picking our car up from Yossi's, Shachar and I drove back over to Jaffa and, despite the rain (yes, it was still raining all day today, sigh), we walked around the old city, starting with the clock tower. Nearby there we stopped at a street vendor selling sofflab (sp) (one of a row of about 6 selling them from big urns). I added cinnamon, coconut, raisins and banana chips into mine and we walked around in the rain with the delicious (and thankfully very warm) treat - just the perfect thing in the cold wet weather. We went to the visitor center, read about the history of the town (mostly that it was repeatedly destroyed throughout its history) and watched the English video (with Russian subtitles). When we came out the rain had slowed down and we were able to continue the walk through the old neighborhoods, though all the art galleries were pretty much closed by then. We walked along the water, back to the car, and then drove through the city for a while (some of it on purpose, some I'm not so sure, but it was a great tour). We drove back towards Jerusalem, stopped in at Shimon & Sari's and then went and met up with Sharon and Ran at the Jerusalem Mall to see Happy Feet (English with Hebrew subtitles) and to wander around the mall a bit (checked out the bookstore of course). Since it was Saturday night and there were lots of beginning-of-the-year sales, it was utterly crazy and so we didn't stay long before my mall-aversion kicked in and I was ready to head back home. Unfortunately no net access here right now, so this will be posted later and back dated (I'm writing at 10pm Saturday night, but am not sure when we'll log in next to post...) Tomorrow we begin our big trip down to the South of Israel, where hopefully the weather will be much better!!
Updated 1/14 with photos:
Well of course because I was so excited about seeing Haifa and remembering Mom's photos (which she wrote to say were from 1983) and how blue and sunny it was, we woke up this morning to absolute pouring rain. After breakfast with Faina (Beni's wife), we drove over to Haifa in time for the 10:45 tour of the garden terraces at the Bahá'í World Centre. Standing outside, we realized it was hailing. Luckily the rain and hail stopped just in time and we were able to walk down the 500+ steps and enjoy the amazing view (though it wasn't exactly bright and sunny and blue skies).
After the tour, we met up with Shachar's friend Orly who he had met in California but who has since moved back to Israel and is now studying math and physics at the Technion (like MIT in Israel) so that she can combine it with her law degree and be a patent attorney. We had a nice brunch at Shany (another coffee chain). We dropped her back off at the campus and drove to Netanya (near Tel Aviv) to see Omer, who is in Israel visiting his family (yes, we just saw him in Colorado over Thanksgiving) and then drove back to Jerusalem.
Tonight we're hanging out with some of Shachar's grad school friends. We're at Haggai's house now in Jerusalem (its still thundering and lighting outside, but is nice and cozy in here -- he's cooking dinner and I'm taking a moment to update all of you...) waiting for Hila (a different Hila) and possibly some others.
Tomorrow we're heading to Tel Aviv to see Shachar's uncles and their families (hopefully the weather will pick up a bit... )
[Updated 1/17 with photos]
Today we explored the North of Israel some more with Beni, visiting the Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth (where we stopped at a famous sweet shop for knafeh). Actually the whole trip has been, not too surprisingly, about food. On the way from his town we stopped at a roadside stand selling fresh strawberries and pita with Za'atar (one of our favorite spices that S puts on pretty much everything at home and which we stocked up on while we were here), then in Tiberias we stopped for a hummus and fava beans (and french fries) along with Turkish coffee, and by the Jordan River we stopped at a store selling all sorts of things made with dates and tried out some new things.
We also drove almost to the border where Israel meets Jordan and Syria (apparently a very safe border), where there's a nice spa that may need checking out on a future trip. Nazareth was really interesting to see -- lots of Christmas decorations (apparently there is still a small Christian community there) and all the signs were in Arabic instead of Hebrew so when I woke up from my car nap and looked out the window, it was as if we had switched into another country. There's a neighboring city that is the Jewish section, but the great knafeh is definitely an Arabic treat.
Now we're back at Beni's house where we hung out with his family (he and his wife have two adorable boys who like to jump on us) and I'm going to call it an early night and let the guys stay up and watch movies or something.
Tomorrow we're going to finally see Haifa, which I've wanted to visit since Mom brought home photos of the city when she was there (1980 or so?)
Updated 1/17 with photos:
Tonight we're in Yokneam, near Haifa, staying with S's friend Beni (who I have spoken to many times over Skype from home). We packed up this morning, loaded the car and set off for the first of our mini-trips. I had a real Israeli post-office experience (and I thought people were bad in the post office lines in France -- Paul will no doubt remember some of our experiences being cut in line there) and a nice stop off at a bread factory where we stocked up on some wonderful fresh breads and chocolate rugala. Then we drove around some more, stopped at an Arab village which apparently boasted the world's best hummus and took hummus and falafels (the best falafel I think I've ever had) with us on the road.
On the way North from Jerusalem we stopped at the The Zoological Center Tel Aviv - Ramat Gan where S's friend from grad school Karen works. She took us "behind the scenes" at the zoo and we got to feed the giraffes and one of the elephants (I have a bunch of photos that will hopefully come out well of S feeding them). It was really tons of fun, and the place itself is really quite wonderful -- as soon as you drive through the gates the animals are right there coming up to your car. Then we drove through Caesarea and stopped for coffee before heading here to Yokneam.
Updated 1/17 with a few photos:
Today we picked up Shimon at the bowling alley and the three of us headed down to Mineral Beach on the Dead Sea where we were able to float in the salt water, smear ourselves with the mud and soak in the mineral hot springs. It was significantly warmer there than it has been in Jerusalem and it was wonderful to be able to soak in a bit of sun (and salt) and to just sit and watch them play backgammon while we ate really good grilled cheese sandwiches on the deck. There may be some incriminating mud-covered photos later (but they are on Shacharś camera, so weĺl have to wait and see). Then we hung out out the bowling alley some more, had lunch at the restaurant next door (which Sś grandparents used to have their restaurant in but now is mostly a base for a catering company) and then headed back to Saftaś for another visit, where we met up with Osama, who I have heard millions of stories about and finally got the chance to meet. We had sachlab ( a hot drink made from vanilla orchid with coconuts and cinnamon and stuff) and chatted and then took him back to Shulaś where they played chess for a while. Shachar dropped him back near the check point to the West Bank and now weŕe over at Sharon and Ranś transferring computer files (and I of course am blogging). And now it appears to be dinner (yes, its 10pm here).
Updated 1/19 with a few photos:
Today we picked up Safta and went to the hardware store (super grandson was replacing her leaking toilets) and the supermarket (which is always one of my favorite things to do in a foreign country) to get supplies to make the kubeh. Then we spent a couple of hours there and were joined by Shimon for our kubeh lunch. After that we picked up Hila, hung out at her apartment, saw her marionette collection and raided her music. Then we did a bit of site seeing, walking through the really lovely Mishkenot Sheanamin neighborhood, the first Jewish neighborhood settled outside of the walls of the old city (which had a great sunset view of the old city). After that we drove over to Hila's parents house (where we had been the other night) and are hanging out here and I am taking advantage of their very nice wi-fi connection to post photos while Shachar continues to download music and to challenge Hila to games of backgammon. (Its now 7pm here)
Later tonight we're going out with Hila and Amit for tapas (since we all had such a nice time doing that in DC when they were visiting in July and John took us out near his office.
Unfortunately the flash has given out on my camera (ack) so you'll have to wait for any other inside or night photos until we get Shachar's photos developed at home and then I'll try to add some more in. Tomorrow we're going to the Dead Sea with Shimon (to a hot spring area apparently) so hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities for outside shots).
And finally (for today's mass posting set), here are some photos of Shimon's new bowling alley -- the most high tech one in Israel and a great space (with of course the world's best staff!)
Some photos from yesterday's visit to Shachar's Grandmother where she showed us some of the fantastic paintings, embroidery and other art works (including the one she's holding in the first picture, which is our wedding present) that she's made (and she just started artwork after retiring!). We spent the afternoon there today learning how to make proper kubeh soup (which was much better than our gallant attempt) though I got a lot of grief from Shachar's father and uncles for changing the 3000 year old tradition since she made it for me with chicken instead of beef (but it was still wonderful and it may start a new tradition (or at least occasional variation)
and some photos from today's visit:
Photos from our pilgrimage to the Miflezit sculpture (actually called Golum, its a sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle) on 12/30 -- I've been wanting to see it since we saw the film Sliding Flora at the Israeli Film Festival in San Jose in May.
Here are some of my photos from the food market in Jerusalem where we went on our first day visiting here:
Another packed day here (and still no photos, sorry) Here's today's rundown:
Shachar, Shula and I went to the The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem (aka the Biblical Zoo since they apparently have one of every animal listed in the Bible - oh, and a giant Noah's Ark) Unfortunately it started raining about half way through so we were pretty much soaked by the end, but it was a nice zoo. Then we visited Shula's office and dropped her off there to work (the end of the year being a particularly busy time there) and Shachar and I went to see his Grandmother (we're going back tomorrow to learn to make the soup we had tried to make unsuccessfully at home). In her retirement, she has become a really amazing artist in a variety of media and her house is full of beautiful paintings and embroideries and other objects (I'll post some photos of some of my favorites of her works). From there we picked up Hila from downtown and drove to one of the big shopping malls where we hung out, got amazing hot chocolates at Aroma (a big coffee chain that my last Hebrew teacher had highly recommended) and then headed back to the bowling alley for a few games and a really good dinner (most definitely the best bowling alley food I've ever had!) We stopped back for tea at Shimon's before coming back here to Shula's where we will greet the new year in a nice quiet manner (especially since we're in a country that for the most part doesn't commemorate Dec 31 as New Years...)
Updated 1/19 with a few zoo photos:
I'm hoping to get some photos up tomorrow, but before I forget what we did today, here's the brief rundown:
Woke up and had fresh pitas and smoked tuna that we had bought at the market yesterday and then Shachar, Shula and I went to the Israel Museum where we saw the Model of Jerusalem in the Late Second Temple Period, a great exhibit on bread and the Shrine of the Book which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls! We're going to try to go back to see more of the exhibits another day. Then we went to see the big monster sculpture that we had seen in the movie months ago (and it was just as cool as I had hoped). Then we had a wonderful lunch at a restaurant whose name translates to People (ah-na-sheem) in Ein-Karem and then stopped by to see an old high school teacher of Shachar's and his family.
After that we went to check out the famous bowling alley, which was amazing (and I even bowled a pretty decent first game, only losing by 2 points to Shimon, but fell apart in our second match), then met up with a big gang of family members for dessert (and a birthday celebration), and then went out to the Link Cafe with Shachar's wonderful cousins who we had seen in DC a couple of months ago, her brother Ohad, and Sharon and Ran.
So now its after midnight on a very fun day, and I'll wrap up for now and fill in more details when I can add photos.
We arrived this morning in Israel (at 5:30 in the morning, after a late night flight from London -- its actually only a 4 1/2 hour flight in the end), picked up our rental car and headed to Shachar's Mom's. After a trip downtown to exchange money and visit the amazing vegetable market (loads of photos of that to come), I was able to take a much needed nap and now we're visiting Sharon & Ran's apartment (and borrowing their net access) before heading over to have dinner with the rest of the family. Its colder than I had expected (thereś even a little snow left on the ground which is very rare here) but the sun was shining and the city looked amazing. I can´t wait to see more!
A few photos:
Sharon and Shula in the kitchen
Bob the dog
Sharon and Shachar
Ran on the phone
Sari in her kitchen
Shimon, Sharon, Riki and Safta (Grandma)
Tomer, Ran and Sari
Shimon and Shachar at dinner
Sari, Riki and Riki's boyfriend Yair
The group in the living room
Riki and Shachar
A few photos from our visit to Hanna and John's house and neighborhood where we finally got to meet Albert! (we also walked over to Victoria Park, went out to lunch, and stocked up on different English chocolates to sample)
Part II of our trip, we're now in London. Got up early this morning and caught the 8:01 to Crewe and from there to London Euston (everything was completely crowded after the holiday and they kept making people get off the train before they would start for the next station, luckily we found seats and a place to stash our way-too-large baggage). Took a cab to our hotel and met up with Hanna and John for an afternoon wandering around London (we were going to try to go on the slides at the Tate but they were sold out and the line for the London Eye was way too long to bother with). Had dinner at Wagamama, a fun noodle place, and then walked around Convent Garden (where we had our photo taken in a snow globe -- which I'll post once I can scan it in at home) and then hung out with Hanna at the bar in our hotel. We're going to go see their house tomorrow and finally meet Albert, and then catch our plane to Israel tomorrow evening!
Some photos of Christmas in Wales -- their family tradition includes a morning walk (this year to a near by waterfall), then getting dressed up and lighting the tree (with real candles), reading Christmas stories (in German), and singing carols (12 Days of Christmas) and then presents.
Checking in from Wales, where it is green and beautiful (if cold and grey) and absolutely filled with sheep wherever you look. We're here visiting Eliazer, Helga, Thalia and Ariel and will be here through Christmas and my birthday and then head to London on the morning of the 27th and then we're off to Israel the day after that!
Happy holidays to all of you!
The castles were closed so we went to look at an ancient tomb and the lovely shoreline.
Just offset the carbon we'll be using up on our flight at Terra Pass
San Francisco, CA ↔ London, United Kingdom
10,700 miles : 4,173 lbs CO2
London, United Kingdom ↔ Tel Aviv, Israel
4,455 miles : 1,737 lbs CO2
total: 15,156 miles : 5,910 lbs CO2
People keep asking if we're flying through Denver and I was so pleased to be able to report we are flying direct to London. Of course now I learn that they're having fog issues (but it only seems to be disrupting their domestic flights, so we should be fine)...
Some (and soon more) of the photos from the trip are now up on Flickr.
Here's a random sample (many are from the Botanical Garden in Denver since it was so much fun to take pictures there)
We're logged in now from The Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, one of the world's best (we stopped by the Explorer Bookstore when we were in Aspen, which is one of my all-time favorite bookstores in the universe, and which was for sale, which spawned a brief fantasy...) We had lunch with Anna and Fran at their house in Denver, toured lovely Bontantical Gardens, said our goodbyes to Omer (who headed back to CSU to do some work) and now we're spending a relaxing afternoon before heading to the airport for our flight back to SJ. It was a very nice Thanksgiving trip -- the play Wednesday night was wonderful and Uncle Doug was great as the stage manager, we went up the new gondola on Thursday and enjoyed a beautiful clear view of the mountains and then had Thanskgiving dinner at the Jerome Hotel. Friday we drove up with Omer through Rockey Mountain National Park and then got a chance to see his favorite Ft Collins haunts (including a fabulous coffee shop, The Alley Cat Cafe which had really divine chai) Lots of photos to post when we're home (and luckily we have tomorrow to catch up on email and things before Monday).
We're off on an early flight this morning to Colorado to met up with the family and see Uncle Doug's play. Have a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving everyone!!
After work on Friday we drove North. Because of the traffic we only got as far as Red Bluffs, CA before stopping for the night. The next morning we were back on the road and made it to Crater Lake, OR in time to score a nice campsite there (and to finally cash in the National Parks Pass Carrie had given us). We hiked around the crater, including a really steep hike down to the boat dock (though the boat tours were all sold out for the day) and back up. My favorite was the wildflower walk through a gorgeous meadow. Back at camp, we were able to try out all the fun camping gear items that we had received as wedding presents! That night there was a ranger talk in the outdoor amphitheater about birds, but I could hardly keep my eyes open. The next morning, we packed up and drove towards Ashland, OR, home of the famous Shakespeare festival. I had found a camp nearby online (The Resort at Howard Prairie Lake) before we left, and our timing was perfect to get a recently vacated lakeside spot (S-38). We set up camp, ate lunch, and then drove back to Ashland, arriving just in time to purchase tickets and take our seats for the 1:30 show of The Winter's Tale. It was fantastic production and then we had a chance to wander around Ashland and get some ice cream. I had been to Ashland once before, years ago on a trip with Lisa (where we saw The Tempest), and there's just something about the town that I think is so wonderful. Back to camp by the lake for dinner and a campfire and then we packed up this morning for the drive home (with a stop at The Olive Pit in Corning, because I can't resist well-signed roadside attractions).
Here are a few photos from the weekend:
Its not like I didn't know if was going to be hot and humid here, and it wasn't even that bad compared to what it could have been, but I really really don't miss living here in the summer. Its was a very nice day though -- we met up with Hila and Amit at their hotel and grabbed some coffee before walking down to the Mall. We picked Betty up at her super fabulous internship at The Castle and popped over to the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery where we were thinking of having lunch with John, who turns out to work right across the street. The cafe was small though, so John took us to a fantastic tapas restaurant a couple of blocks away which was scrumptious. Then we let him go back to work and we went back to the Mall and spent the afternoon at the Museum of Natural History where we saw the 3D IMAX movie Aliens from the Deep (which unfortunately put Hila and I to sleep). Then we walked through the outdoor sculpture gallery, walked over to the reflecting pool and up to Dupont Circle where I thought we could see a movie but forgot that it was the arts house and we were set on Pirates. So we cabbed over to Georgetown and caught the movie, which I enjoyed but I think the general consensus was that the cliff hanger left everyone pretty disastisfied. Tomorrow the zoo to see the baby panda...
Update: photos from the day:
We're off to DC for a couple of days to meet up with some cousins visiting from Israel and to see a bunch of our favorite DC-based siblings and friends. If you're around and want to meet up, you know how to reach me! (And yes, we know its going to be hot and humid...)
S pointed out that Terrapass lets you offset your carbon usage from flying (he just got his car sticker too). So for our flights, it reports that "You've calculated a set of flights that cover 9,748 miles, creating 3,946 pounds of CO2 emissions. The TerraPass Intercontinental offsets 7,500 lbs of CO2 emissions, so that you can fly carbon balanced."
According to the site:
Planes use a lot of fuel. A cross-country flight burns more than 100 gallons of fuel per passenger. Airline travel already creates a significant proportion of the world's global warming pollution, and it's growing faster than any other single source.
The best way to reduce those emissions is to cut back on unnecessary trips, or to use more fuel-efficient transportation for short trips. But when you have to fly, you can use a Flight TerraPass to balance out your impact.
So I paypalled them my $30 to cover the two of us.
A few of my favorite photos from the Getty
And we had tickets to the Selected Shorts reading there in the auditorium. We heard:
"Grandfather Knows Best" by Calvin Trillin, read by Isaiah Sheffer
Trillin talks takeout: an essay comparing the takeout scenes in San Francisco and New York City.
"How to Tell a Fine Old Wine" by James Thurber, read by Raphael Sbarge
How to become a great wine connoisseur—or learn to fake it.
"I Was Really Very Hungry" by M.F.K. Fisher, read by Christina Pickles
A fantasy meal in a French country inn.
(which was really fantastic!!)
Some photos from our weekend visits --
I have about 100 photos from the Getty museum to sort through and then will post a few. I absolutely fell in love with the place!
We're heading on a mini roadtrip down to LA (to see cousins David & Michelle and finally get to the Getty Museum) and then to San Diego (to see Paul, Aimee, Seth and Fiona before they move to Switzerland). Back late Sunday night.
Have a good weekend!
So we're home from our brief honeymoon trip but unfortunately I caught whatever was going around the family during the wedding and spent the days quite sick (trying out that "in sickness" clause a bit earlier than I had expected unfortunately) I hear that Lisa and Liz have it too but that Betty is finally feeling a bit better. At least we have tomorrow and the weekend off to regroup and take care of some errands before heading back to work on Monday. Mom reports that the photos and videos should be available for sharing soon, so I should have some more highlights to post in the next few days. If you took some, please send them along!
All packed and ready to go... we'll be in Connecticut tomorrow morning if you need us.
stolen from kottke, there's a meme going around where you list all the cities you stayed one or more nights in during 2005... I really don't travel that much these days -- I'd love to see Brian's lists!
Morgan Hill, CA
State College, PA
Joshua Tree, CA (Joshua Tree Park)
Los Gatos, CA
San Diego, CA
Three Rivers, CA (Sequoia National Park)
Santa Rosa, CA
* multiple trips
I think that's it. It's so nice to be able to scroll back through my blog entries to remember where I've been!
Blog your list of cities and get your friends to do the same.
We're back home in time to celebrate New Years (or at least to download all our email messages while waiting for midnight).
Happy New Year to everyone! Here's to a wonderful 2006!
We had a bit of an issue with the computer mouse, so I haven't been keeping up with email or blogging (which does wonders for vacation mentality) but since Mom bought a new mouse and everyone else is off having a surfing lesson I thought I'd try to catch up a little. I'll post photos when I get back to my computer and blog about the books (4 down so far) separately. Yes, mostly I've been sitting in the sun and reading and then going out to very nice dinners with the family.
Tuesday: We arrived, Brian & Karen picked us up in a rented Hummer (?!?) and we went off to Constance's lovely house and settled in, stocked up on yummy things at Cosco, and went out to celebrate Bill's birthday at Roy's.
Wednesday: A delegation went to try parasailing while Shachar and I went to the Botannical garden and drove around the island, came back and took a nap and then we all stood in line for an hour and a half to tour Iolani Palace to celebrate the Queen's birthday. The Palace Grounds were decorated with lanterns as they were for festive events during the Monarchy period. And then we all went out to dinner at Chai's Island Bistro.
Thursday: We all went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation, took the narrated train ride and got very lost in the world's largest maze (Ok, Shachar and I took our time about finding the 6 stations but everyone else zipped around and finished as if it actually was a race... the two of us are not signing up for Amazing Race anytime soon). Fantastic Thai food in Wakiki at Keo's.
Friday: A gang went off to visit Pearl Harbour while I slept in and read in the sun. Shachar, Tomer, Brian, Karen, Betty and Katie are now taking a surfing lesson and I'm mostly caught up on blogging and can go back outside to start a new book.
Shachar, Tomer and I are heading back to CA tomorrow in time to start a New Year, a full time job and all sorts of other 2006 exciting things.
Grandma, me and cousin Harriett; Shachar with Grandma
Shachar with Uncle Jim and Aunt Joan
and of course we had to go visit their very nice new library branch. I fell in love with the cool vertical paperback display racks and the assortment of cool chairs along the window.
visiting Baby Sarah Michelle
Omer and Shachar in the greenhouse
Penn State Creamery
A snowy road trip
Eduard at lunch (wearing the Bucknell colored scarf I finished just in time to give him), calling in to say hello to Mom
Eduard and I (and a pie) in front of his dorm at Bucknell
Checking in from half way through our whirlwind Pennsylvania weekend tour, we're now at Shachar's friend Omer's apartment in State College, PA. We toured the campus, went out for Caribbean food for lunch, stopped by his office and green houses, visited the Palmer Museum (which had a fantastic altered book where the pages were coming out in strips into a ball of yarn looking thing - pictured on left) and the University Creamery for ice cream (despite the light snow flurry outside, the ice cream was worth the hype).
We spent all day yesterday in Pittsburgh, visiting Aunt Jim, Aunt Joan, cousin Aaron and brand new baby Sarah Michelle, Grandma and cousin Harriet. I'll post some photos when I get home.
Tomorrow we're off to Bucknell to take Eduard to brunch and then flying home from Philly.
We're heading back East tomorrow night on the red-eye, and made the mistake of checking the weather... brrr
We're back! Camping turned out to be great (hiking less so, confirming once again how out of shape and directionally challenged I am). Here are some of the photos (Shachar's, which usually turn out better, will follow in a couple of days since he used actual film)
Our campground, Blackrock #94
Off for our hike
other plants and trees and things
We took the guided tour of the Keys Desert Queen Ranch
and drove up to the Keys View Point
More photos from the trip:
Visiting the Greens
Taking S to Stew Leonards:
Packing up to head East tonight. If anyone's around CT (or Boston) and wants to meet up, give me a call or drop me an email. And if you're looking for something fun to do Sept 25, stop by Bill's Car Show (disclaimer, the web site was redone by another designer -- it looks better but I would never put car sounds on a site I made... especially without an option to turn them off)
Some more photos (from S's camera) of our trip to Seattle.
Dinner, this time with some of his future in-laws:
With Jane in Dad's office
The view (mostly of sports stadiums) from Dad's office
And a neighborhood gathering to let people meet S:
We're off to Seattle to see Dad and Jane (and the new super-cool Seattle library). We may have some updates from there, and lots of pics to post when we get home.
Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!
A few photos from the weekend -- Seth is just so adorable! We went to the San Diego Zoo (the gorillas were the best part I think), had lunch at a nice restaurant in Balboa Park, walked through the botanical garden and just hung out with Paul and Aimee at their house. We drove back home along 101 and stopped off for great sandwiches at a cute little town (though I can't remember the name of it)
We're heading down to visit Paul, Aimee and Seth for the weekend! We'll probably have internet access if you're looking for us, but mostly we're taking the weekend off!
More photos from my trip:
We popped into Staples on Friday to see how the construction was going. They've built a new three story building in front of the old school and it connects with the auditorium, cafeteria, and field house. WWPT and the TV studio were just getting ripped out and will move to the 4 building. It still has a ways to go, but is quite cool (but very disorienting) We saw Mr. H and Dr. K, but there aren't many others that I recognized.
Saturday night was the Zombie Jam, the big final Beachside Express and Harbor Blues concert. Eduard was fantastic -- I'll try to convert the video clips I took.
The current exhibit at the Historical Society includes some of my grandparents' old uniforms. That's grandpa's navy uniform on the left and my grandmother's red cross volunteer uniform.
Got to see Maria's very cool new house -- and Katy happened to be in town as well -- so I got to tell them my news in person.
I'm off for a quick trip to CT. I'll get there right in time (hopefully) for Eduard's graduation tomorrow morning. It turns out the graduation speaker is my old college prez Tom Gerety... Of course the last time I heard him speak was at my college graduation where it absolutely POURED rain (so much so that everyone's grandparents melted and so everyone's families went inside to hang out in Valentine (the dining hall) while our poor class sat there and watched our robes and programs disintegrate into big puddles -- but of course the speakers were under cover, so they went on and on and on.... I'm really hoping the graduation weather curse has run its course by now. The weather forecast isn't entirely reassuring:
Mostly sunny in the morning...then partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Highs in the mid 80s. Lows in the mid 60s. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Anyway, that's where I'll be if anyone's looking for me -- or if anyone is in the area and wants to swing by.
So, as I wrote before, to celebrate being done with the last assignments of the semester, S and I went down to Sequoia National Park (about 5 hours from here). It really is a spectacular place.
Some of the highlights:
- The trees are amazing
- the wildflowers were gorgeous (and because it had rained so much this season there were tons of them)
-even the rocks are great (some had Native American pictographs)
- we went swimming in a lake
- and, most exciting of all... we saw a bear!!
The sign says, "Caution: Active Bear Area. Do not approach bears. Guard your food at all times." Trust me, we did not try to approach it.
Had lunch Saturday in Davis with Shachar's former colleague Kabir and his wife and then drove over to Santa Rosa where we were staying over, stopping at a particularly good produce stand to stock up on apples, kiwis, and sour gummy worms on the way. We checked out downtown Pentaluma, including a fruitful stop at Copperfield's Books Petaluma and dinner in a cool Armenian restaurant, Aram's Cafe. Here's Shachar and his mother Shula outside the restaurant. Turns out she's a knitter, so I got to introduce her to the wonderful world of Michael's on the way back from dinner so she could knit something when jetlag hit in the middle of the night.
This morning (after a stop at Starbucks to finally sample the new divine chocolate drink) we went to Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen (near Sonoma) and checked out the grave sites, the ruins of their house and the very nice museum. I guess you can't read this sign that was posted at the start of the trail in the picture, but it really does say: "Keep children close, as mountatin lions seem to be especially drawn to them." Luckily we didn't see any lions, or the rattle snakes that the next sign warned about. Other than that it was a really beautiful place and Jack London was certainly an interesting character. The Wolf House burnt down a month before Jack and Charmian were supposed to move into it and he died before they could rebuild it. In the museum, there were a series of photographs of people who had been strong influences in London's life, and I was pleased to read that one of them was the librarian Ina Coolbrith (someone who looks like an interesting person to learn much more about!)
Then we stopped by the Benziger Family Winery for a tour and tasting. It was a great tour (on a tractor-pulled tram) and they're one of only 9 vineyards in the US certified as using biodynamics, "a wholistic farming approach developed in the 1920s by scientist Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher who created Waldorf education." (which I thought Doug and Barbi would be interested in hearing!)
We also stopped at the nearby Olive Press where we got to sample different types of olive oils and I bought some really tasty Blood Orange flavored olive oil.
On the way home, we stopped for a late lunch at Saul's Deli in Berkeley and I got to have my diet black cherry doctor brown's, a bowl of matza ball soup, and a black & white cookie, so life is pretty darn good. Shula even tried her very first root beer float.
Safely home after a long flight... and already feeling that eek-there-is-a-lot-of-stuff-piled-up-and-waiting-to-be-done feeling. But it was a good trip and it was great to see everyone!
One last day in Disney World so we finally got around to the main attraction, the Magic Kingdom. We started out early to avoid the crowds and managed to hit pretty much everything we wanted to see before running out of energy. The only real wait we had was about 1/2 an hour for Splash Mountain, otherwise there really weren't any waits and we got fast-passes for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (the Fast Pass system is a great innovation where to get a ticket to return to one of the popular rides in an hour or so ... and then you can go on other attractions instead of just sitting in line). Mickey's PhilharMagic was a great new attraction (one of those 3D experiences with smells and things like the Bugs Life one in Animal Kingdom)
We've returned the rental car and are settling in at an airport hotel so we can get an early start tomorrow back to California and regular life.
Hope you all had a nice holiday break!
Since neither Shachar or I had been to Disney's Animal Kingdom on previous trips (and because New Year's Eve is supposed to be the busiest day of the year at the Magic Kingdom and I couldn't face that), we set off early this morning for a day of safari adventures. It was like a nice zoo, with some of the standard Disney elements thrown in (the Festival of the Lion King is a must-see). It wasn't nearly as crazy as some of the other parks (though by the time we finished at about 1pm the crowds were getting pretty thick)
Lisa, John, Shachar and I went out this morning and met up with Steve Teicher and his family, who live right outside of Orlando in Winter Park (an adorable town) Then I dropped Carrie and Sam off at the airport and took a nice nap :)
Tonight the gang went out to dinner at Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure and then Shachar and I stayed and went on a few of the attractions -- Poseidon's Fury, The Cat in the Hat, Jurassic Park River Adventure and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges (where we got absolutely sopping wet) and then stayed for the fireworks.
Doug, Barbi & Brooke should be here any minute now!
We did manage to get one big (not-so-great) group shot of everyone in our matching Camp Ann t-shirts from Cafe Press.
Shachar and I took a road trip today to St. Augustine, the longest continually inhabited European-founded city in the United States (dropping Eduard off on the way to visit a friend in Gainesville)
Carrie, Sam, Betty, Eduard, Aaron, Shachar and I got up early and hit Epcot which was as wonderful as ever. Mid-day Brian and Karen arrived and met up with us at the Japan pavillion and we cruised around with them some more. My favorite attractions are still The Land (aka "the lettuce ride") and Energy (with Ellen and Bill Nye -- what could be cooler than that!) Here we are L->R, Aaron, Betty, Carrie, Sam, Karen, Brian, Eduard, Shachar.
Then tonight -- the whole gang (& Lisa and John who arrived this afternoon) went to see the resident Cirque du Soleil show -- which was just as amazingly awesome as ever.
Happy Holidays to you all -- we're off to meet up with family and friends in Florida.
Sitting using the free wireless at the snazzy Jet Blue terminal at JFK. They make flying rather fun again!
It was a very nice, and not even very stressful, trip home for Thanksgiving. It was great to see everyone!
See you all back on the West Coast.
Packing to go to CT for Thanksgiving... thought I'd compare the weather... Its not all that different, not nearly as cold there as I thought it might be but its still supposed to be an average of 9.4 degrees warmer here each day.
(and yes, I am now officially a California weather wimp)
Dad asked me what Iowa looks like...
(I have more corn photos to add from my laptop -- didn't see much hay (sorry Alan))
Carrie has captured the feeling of the place much better (scroll down to bottom of page)
Thank you to Carrie for hosting me and showing me so much of Iowa! I'm safely back and exhausted. I don't think I'd last very long on a presidential campaign - and am amazed at all the hard work you're putting in. We're counting on you to deliver those 7 electoral votes (no pressure)...
More baseball! Here we are in Davenport, IA at a game of the Swing of the Quad Cities vs. Clinton Lumberkings. A perfect way to spend a Sunday night in the midwest...
Saw this nice promotion on the lamp posts for the Davenport Public Library, but didn't have a chance to check the place out.
"The Grand Excursion begins at your library."
we will come! And we did! Here are Carrie and I at The Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa!
I of course called Dad and Brian from the field -- but couldn't reach either of them right then. Now Carrie and I are in Davenport for the night -- at a motel with WIFI (life is good) -- and have a labor day political event in the morning before we head back to Des Moines and then I head back home.
It wouldn't be a visit with Carrie without a sporting event! Here we are at the Iowa Cubs game! The cubs won 14-0 against the Omaha Royals and it was a beautiful night to be out at a game!
And tomorrow we're off to The Field of Dreams!!!
I'm off to Iowa this morning. Since Carrie is a blogger too, I expect we'll be online quite a bit, but if not, have a great Labor Day Weekend everyone and I'll see you when I get back.
Before Carrie moves to Iowa, I thought I'd try to pull together a list of movies one could see to prepare themselves for the experience. Other suggestions are welcome. I found a bunch of these here.
FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)
Filmed in Dyersville, Iowa, based on the book by W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa.
DVD 791.43 Fie
The obvious one, especially for Carrie the baseball fan.
THE BIG ONE (1998)
Documentary by Michael Moore. In Iowa he visits workers upset by lack of doctors covered in their HMO but unionization wins the day by the end of the film.
VC 658.313 Moo
I haven't seen this one, but Michael Moore movies should be pretty easy to find these days.
BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (1995)
Film portrays short love affair between photographer and Iowa farm wife. Filming was done in Winterset, Iowa
VC 791.43 Bri
Madison County is also the birthplace of John Wayne. And there's a Covered Bridge Festival in October!!!
JOE'S APARTMENT (1996)
The plot is of a naive, uncool Iowan's adventures in New York City.
VC 791.43 Joe DVD 791.43 Joe
Just for the reverse irony of it. I didn't see it, but remember something about cockroaches on the ad...
THE MUSIC MAN (1962)
Based on the book by Meredith Wilson, it is a musical tribute to Wilson's hometown, Mason City, Iowa. There's a museum and stuff... but I wonder if you can go visit Marian's library?
VC 791.43 Mus DVD 791.43 Mus
This film is about an alien visiting Earth and includes opening scenes at a truck stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
DVD 791.43 Sta
Appropriate given that I've been reading about visitors from other planets
STATE FAIR (1946)
Based on a book by Iowa author, Phil Strong, this is a Rogers and Hammerstein musical version of the adventures of the fair-going Frake family.
VC 791.43 Sta
The Iowa State Fair, which is celebrating 150 years, is August 12-22 (I LOVE fairs! Amytha and I were just talking about going to the Santa Clara County Fair, August 6-8, if anyone is interested)
This blockbuster film was made in Iowa and looks like it, though the movie is set in Oklahoma.
VC 791.43 Twi DVD 791.43 Twi
Though that might scare her offf....
And, according to the Blonde Librarian's Iowa Page, Ashton Kutcher is from Iowa!
I'm back home from my trip (but forgot my cellphone there, so call me at home if you need me... unless you want to talk to my Mom...)
I'm working on uploading some photos and then will try to catch up on all the emails and things I missed...
Great day! Hung out with Carrie, got manicures and pedicures with Carrie and Annie, caught up with Mr. Green, stopped by Grandpa's... even got to see Brian for about 30 seconds.
The weather cleared up just in time for Katy's wedding and turned into a gorgeous evening. The wedding was really wonderful -- Mom did a great job as the Justice of the Peace, Katy and Krzys did their vows in Polish and everyone cried. The food was amazing and their house looked great. I should have photos to post in the morning.
Then Mom and I went to the new Aldrich museum in Ridgefield for the opening night party of the Playhouse's show (without seeing the show).
Flying back to CA tomorrow...
Update -- some photos now that I'm home:
Breakfast with Eduard (who just hates to get his picture taken)
Carrie and I attempt to play pool (but mostly chase the same ball around and around the table)
We just don't have thunderstorms like this in California. It was grey and muggy here all day and then at about 6pm -- right when we were supposed to go to the Rotary clam bake on the beach -- the skies opened and it is absolutely pouring rain like there's no tomorrow. I'm sitting at my Mom's desk and her office ceiling is all skylights and the noise from the rain is deafening!
The rain got me and Grandpa out of having going to the clam bake, but poor Mom and Bill are there now. Then we're off to a fundraiser for Diane Farrell in Darien and then I'll be heading to Katy's night-before-the-wedding get-together at the pool hall in Fairfield we used to go to on occasion...
I'll have photos to post later -- after a morning visit to Dr. Bruce, Mom and I stopped by the exhibit at the Arts Center that Aunt Susan's pieces are in, we visited Farrell campaign headquarters, we stopped by Aunt Susan's to help with her computer, stopped by to see the new constuction on the playhouse and chatted with Joanne and Annie, did a bit of shopping, and went downtown and ran into Katy at her family luncheon at Tavern on Main. Never a dull moment around here!
Update - here are some photos from the day (now that I'm back)
Aunt Susan's pieces at the Art Center
Mom and I stopped by to visit Aunt Susan
The Playhouse under construction
Katy and I at Tavern on Main
Mom and Diane Farrell (first selectwoman, running for congress)
Mom with Rep. John Larsen
Reporting in from Westport where I'm lucky enough to get to stay in Betty's room (of course, it was once my room, so she can't object too much, and she's off at camp anyway...)
Uneventful day of flying - read a bit, did some knitting, slept more than I meant to. Mom picked me up at the airport and we sat in some of the worst traffic I've ever seen all the way back on the Merritt. Looked through some old diaries of my grandmother's and great grandmother's while waiting for Bill, Eduard and Annie to get back from Liz's graduation and then Eduard played some of the songs he's been writing on his computer.
Of course it still feels really early to me but everyone else has gone to bed. Mom passed on three books: A Princess of Mars, The Rule of Four, and 'Til Death do us Part... all of which look better than the Grant Seeker's Budget Toolkit which I'm supposed to be reading for homework... so I may curl up with one of those instead...
Since there was an extra hour until I had to be at the airport, Mom, Bill and I stopped by Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum which I had never been to. We saw a great exhibit called kid size: The Material World of Childhood and enjoyed their very nice gift shop. Here's Mom and Bill on the steps of the museum.
Then it was off to the airport -- where I found they had oversold my flight. Since this was one of the rare occasions where I didn't need to get somewhere at any particular time, hadn't checked any luggage and didn't have anyone waiting for me on this end, I volunteered to give up my seat and took a slightly later flight but have vouchers for two free tickets for later! It made for a slightly longer day, but was definitely worth it!
But I'm home and have posted a few of the photos from Carrie's graduation (where she gave a fantastic and very well-received speech) and Betty's play (another great performance) and will try to get caught back up on everything tomorrow and post a few more photos.
I'm off to NYC on the red-eye to see Carrie graduate and Betty perform her one-woman show! I'll be back Thursday night with photos!
Just got back from a volunteer fair at Solectron in Milpitas where I was representing the Tech with Judy from HR. It was fun to see people I knew from the Art Museum and from volunteering at KTEH (next pledge drive is coming up in June!) We're starting to recruit people for the big ASTC meeting in September -- which is definitely going to keep me busy! It was a beautiful day and we were outside under a tent. There seemed to be quite a good turn out and I think we recruited a couple of interested people and signed up a ton of people to be on The Tech's email newsletter list.
Well, I'm back in Dallas Fort Worth Airport, which is rapidly becoming my favorite new airport. I love being able to get online and, since I'm up to the last chapter of my book, I stopped by one of the many book stores between my two gates and managed to pick up the new Alexander McCall Smith! Mom, if you haven't already purchased it, you can have it next week when I see you!
Photos of the weekend will be up when I get home. It was good to see everyone!
Quick update from Uncle Gil's computer. We're all here in St. Louis getting a tour of their bathroom renovations before the wedding...
You thought I was kidding, but yes, we got a tour of the new bathroom... Here's Uncle Gil giving the tour, pictured with Karen, and Grandma Reich looking on.
Karen, Aunt Judy, David, Aaron and Grandma enjoy the tour
While Jane tests out the tub...
Woohoo! Dallas Fort Worth Airport is a T-Mobile Hotspot! Not that I have enough time to do anything, but it's nice to be able to check in. :)
I'm off to St. Louis for my cousin Aaron's wedding! We'll see what the net access is like from there!
Finally made it home -- took a couple hours more than I had planned, but I managed to get some work done on the plane and at the airports (though no, I didn't finish my paper). It was great to see everyone in DC -- but its good to be home!
Check out this great mention of Chautauqua that Howard posted on his Smart Mobs blog! I hope it gets a few new people into our author series. Stay tuned for an exciting "Super-Chautaqua" summer reading festival featuring multiple authors!
Well I'm stuck for the afternoon at BWI -- my plane to Chicago was so late in leaving (in fact, it hasn't left yet) that there was no way to make the last plane out to San Jose, so I'm now scheduled on a later plane through Denver.
Its not so bad though -- there are desk spaces set up with plugs and my tmobile wireless connect seems to work (though its really slow).
As Mom put it, now I have no excuse not to write my paper (though blogging instead isn't helping I guess).
And, by some miracle, I even figured out finally how to register for my two summer classes while I was sitting here -- Resources For Children, Ages 6-12, and Seminar in Contemporary Issues: Funding and Grant Proposal Development
Mom came down to meet me here in DC (since its a whole lot closer than California). Lisa, Mom and I are now sitting around watching Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect.
During lunch, I ran over to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. While I didn't have a chance to see very much (the breaks at this conference were way too short), I did see some very cool Calder's and a room full of Joseph Cornell, one of my favorites.
Spent the day at the Storytelling in Organizations conference at the Smithsonian, and then Susan and I walked around the mall a bit afterwards. Here are some photos from there:
Just reporting that I've arrived! Lisa and John are making dinner and we're all watching American Idol (of course) :)
I'm off on an early flight to DC to see the Group Jazz gang -- will check in from there!
Page A4 of today's NY Times has an article about the Marais in Paris, focused on the Rue de Rosiers where my favorite tea shop, Le Loir Dans La Theiere is. They also interview the owner of Goldenberg's deli, where we had lunch one of the days we were visiting there in January. Its interesting because the appeal to tourists like us is the combination of the old Jewish life (we went to the Jewish museum there this trip) and the great shopping and interesting restaurants, but I can see how the residents would object to more change.
In Seattle for the weekend visiting Dad and Jane. Dropped Eduard off at his friends in Olympia yesterday and will hopefully meet back up with him somewhere tomorrow night. Have tons of photos to blog when I get home...
Flew back to CT yesterday and I'll be here for a couple of days before heading back home to CA.
Just a quick posting to hold the space for photos from my favorite spot on the planet, a wonderful tea shop in the Marais with Alice in Wonderland murals. Le Loir Dans La Theiere (the dormouse in the teapot) is located on 3 Rue de Rosier.
Bonjour from a cute little hotel in Paris where they have Internet access from a little closet off of the lobby (its a French keyboard though of course so I'm having a terrible time with my q's and a's.) Hanna is napping but then we're off to explore until Dad and Jane arrive.
Met up with Aunt Susan (who is here in London on a theater trip) and went to the fabulous new Tate Modern.
One work we saw that we believe had haystacks was Raoul Dufy's The Harvest but since I've broken the hay database, I'll have to wait until I can fix it to check and see if its there already. Hanna and I are guessing that its mostly grain, but some haystacks in the back at least. Alan will know for sure.
Here are some photos of the Weather Project which I thought was stunning.
That's Hanna and I in the middle reflected on the ceiling. Everyone was lying on the floor "sunbathing".
We got JR's computer set up to be wireless today, so I was able to upload the pictures I've taken over the last few days. I'll take some more tomorrow because this is really just an amazing looking place.
Here's Bill testing the range of the wireless connection. Can you hear me now?