Kathryn and I decided to take a break from our usual summer routine of doing absolutely nothing in the sweltering Phoenix heat. Instead, we made a day trip to the slightly cooler Payson area to do some hiking along Horton Creek, just under the Mogollon Rim in Tonto National Forest.
Shortly before the arrival of our main course at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas, my wife Kathryn leaned over to me and said, “This has been a very weird experience.” She was right. The service had been weird. Quite weird. However, the food was more than worth the weird.
Another road trip to Las Vegas gets underway in just a few hours. We’re going to try some new places to eat this weekend, and we’ll return to some old favorites too. As always, you’ll find updates and maybe even a few photos here.
I’ve never been on a commercial flight that’s had to make a go-around, so it was fun to watch a Southwest flight do one at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport a few minutes ago. I’m sure it was a lot less fun for those aboard.
For what it’s worth, I’d be okay not to see another bucket list ever. It’s probably the most tired, overused travel blogging meme out there. I mean, how many 20-somethings are really expecting to die soon enough to need a bucket list?
If you’re taking to the road on this long weekend, please stay safe. Check your tire pressure and keep one or two gallons of drinking water in your car, especially here in the hot, arid Southwest. Summer weather is here, and I’ve noticed a lot of shredded tires on the freeways the past few weeks.
I’ve been noticing a proliferation of travel blog posts that are outright bought and paid for by vendors. In and of itself, I don’t have a problem with that, assuming the proper disclosure. What does bother me is the shameful extent to which bloggers are eager to deny the transaction that took place, even going so far as to disclaim their own disclosures.
My mom and dad took a Mediterranean cruise about this time last year, to honor their 40 years of marriage. After an enjoyable and most uneventful cruise, my mom fell quite sick on the last day of the trip. They had to extend their stay a week, with my mom spending most of that in a state-run hospital in Civitavecchia, Italy. Recently my mom finished up her own series of blog posts about the trip, so I invite you to let her tell you the rest of the story.
I like coffee. I enjoy fast food. I live in Phoenix. You might be inclined to think I’d be a master at ordering a cup of coffee in a local McDonald’s. You’d be mistaken.
I managed to get out of bed this morning in time for an early hike before work. It’s one of those few beautiful weeks we see every spring in Phoenix. The sun is up early enough to start a hike at 5:30 am, but it’s not too hot outside. Today was gorgeous. There was no discernible wind, and yet the air was clear. The brown cloud that normally covers the city during the week was nowhere to be seen.
While the most famous Arc de Triomphe in France is undoubtedly the one at in the Etoile in Paris, the one in Montpellier impresses its visitors nonetheless. It is located on Rue Foch in a posh shopping area of Montpellier, in the historic center of the city, just a short walk from Place de la Comédie and the train station.
I took this photo of St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix several weeks ago, just before dusk. I was at the church for a meeting, and I liked the way the bell towers looked through the trees.
After not hiking for three straight weeks, I ventured out early yesterday morning and did my favorite hike at Shaw Butte in Phoenix. It’s amazing how quickly I can get out of shape. As I struggled to climb the south side of the hill, I thought of some additional tips I forgot to mention in my earlier posts.
In addition to adding new content, I’m constantly tweaking the layout of this blog. This morning, on a whim, I reset the default blog theme, essentially casting aside a year’s worth of customizations. Over the next several days, you’ll see more changes than usual. Unless you’re viewing on a mobile phone, in which case you … Continue reading Temporarily under construction
I took this picture of the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, France, in 2004, during my late-summer European tour. As you can see, it was a beautiful, clear day when I visited Nîmes.
Although I usually bring a computer with me when I travel, I generally don’t use it when I’m on an airplane. I value my privacy. I prefer to pull out a paper notebook and a pen and write in cursive. Even someone sitting next to me would have to strain to decipher that.
I took this photo of a statue of two cherubs in Brussels in 2004. I wasn’t in Brussels but for roughly a day, and I don’t remember anymore where I took this picture or what the statue was called. It’s definitely not Mannequin Pis.
Yesterday may have been my worst day of travel ever, at least in terms of what went wrong. Still, it wasn’t all that bad. After arriving in Orlando, we went to pick up the rental car we’d reserved with Advantage.
I recently uninstalled all the social networking apps from my mobile phone, so I’ll make my pithy observations here on the blog. The following are a few of my thoughts from Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix.
Shortly after passing through the security checkpoint at Sky Harbor, just before 5:00 am, we saw the departure monitor showing our flight to Charlotte would be delayed by 45 minutes. It turns out the first officer for the flight hadn’t shown up for work for some reason, so 45 minutes was just an estimate. In any event, we’d definitely miss our connection in Charlotte.
Kathryn and I are bound for Florida later this week. We’ll be spending four nights with Kathryn’s aunt in a beachside condo about halfway between Vero Beach and Fort Pierce. I’m hoping to spend the time relaxing, although it remains to be seen whether that will happen.
Sète is a coastal city in southern France, located a short drive from Montpellier, where I used to live. Sète has the vibe of a busy fishing village, making it a fun place to visit for an afternoon. I’d occasionally come for a seafood lunch at one of the tourist restaurants along the canals, then stroll to the harbor and along the shore.
When Kathryn and I were in Rome last winter, we used the public transit network extensively. The buses were most convenient for many of our trips, but we also used the Metro trains when we wanted to cover ground more quickly.
This photo, taken in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, was one of only a handful of couple photos Kathryn and I have from our travels in Europe in 2007. It was a mostly cloudy day in September, but the colors of the flowers seem to pop out.