Well, folks, I’ve had a good, long two-week rest from my blog. It’s time to sit down and catch you up on where I’m going and what I’m doing. For your reading pleasure, here’s the latest edition of my not-quite-monthly “going places” series.
There are two easy ways to see the Pope when you’re in Rome. Kathryn and I were able to see him both ways during our visit to Rome earlier this year. As long as the Pope isn’t away from the city for his vacation or for an apostolic visit, you should be able to see him too.
Not a lot of words in this blog post. Just some photos from a recent hike at Shaw Butte. The hike was later in the morning than usual. The sun was bright, which put me in a black-and-white mood.
During a hike last weekend at Shaw Butte, I pointed my camera south and took a picture of downtown Phoenix under a thick layer of smog.
It turns out I didn’t get the sunrise photos I wanted on our last day in Las Vegas. It was raining when the sun came up and still raining when we left the hotel, although the rain let up early in the morning. We did find a decent donut shop, found a beautiful Sunday Mass, and had lunch with our friend Kerrie, with whom we couldn’t connect Friday evening.
Our weekend trips to Las Vegas tend to be busy. We usually cram everything we possibly can into the less-than-48 hours we’ll be here. Sleep comes only out of necessity. So it’s a little weird that I’m starting a new post at 6:20 am, after getting a full night’s sleep and then some. I think we were in bed by 9 pm. That’s pretty lame.
It’s just after dawn here in Las Vegas. I’ve been awake for an hour or so, and I’m working on my second cup of shitty in-room coffee. Our room at the Orleans has a view of the Strip. Since we’re west of the Strip, I’ve been watching the sun rise over Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and the McCarran airport.
The status of this weekend’s road trip to Las Vegas is now unambiguous. Kathryn’s doctor this morning ordered her to spend the weekend in Las Vegas. Sweet! I’ll submit a health insurance claim when we get home.
As of this morning, the trip seems much more likely. Kathryn has packed her bags and appears ready to go. There’s still one last hurdle to jump. I’ll know for sure in a few hours if Kathryn can go.
Kuba Kuba is a restaurant than left an impression on me when I lived in Richmond, despite having eaten there only a few times. It was high on my list of places to visit during our recent stay.
When I lived in Richmond, I wasn’t much of a church-goer. In the three years I lived there, I can count the number of times I attended Mass on one hand. Zero. Now, seven years later, attendance at Sunday Mass is part of my life. I don’t intentionally miss it. When planning our recent visit to Richmond, I found the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart has a Mass at 5:15 pm on Saturdays. It was a particularly convenient time, shortly after our arrival in town. It was also within walking distance of our hotel. We had a winner.
I looked around a little bit and found out we could get the Jefferson Hotel, a landmark, historic, five-star hotel in the center of Richmond, for $179 a night, if we prepaid. I don’t like prepaying for a hotel, but I decided to jump on this. I’d been to the Jefferson Hotel once for a Christmas party, but never to spend the night.
The easiest way to travel light is to limit the amount of footwear I pack. I typically travel with at most two sets of footwear. More often than not, it’s just the one set I’m wearing when I leave the house. This one set of footwear is often a pair of well worn hiking shoes. If any part of such shoes is going to fail, it’s most likely the laces.
I lived in several cities in Virginia for a total of about 13 years. Prior to our recent trip, Kathryn had never seen Virginia at all. We felt it was important to make sure the trip was new for both of us. In light of that, I’ve created a list of things we did for the first time.
My typical Sunday evening is spent with my wife and my parents, who have us over for dinner regularly. Today, however, my wife is in Chicago, and my parents are in Key West. It seems like everyone is traveling but me.
The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is perhaps the most photographed building in Puerto Vallarta. It’s located in the heart of the city center. We decided to go there for Sunday Mass during our stay.
Immediately upon leaving the customs area, we were forced to walk through a narrow corridor, maybe 50 feet long, with white desks and video screens on both sides. I now refer to this as the gauntlet. In the gauntlet, roughly a dozen men and women with official-looking badges work over the fresh arrivals, trying to convince us they are our ride to our hotel. They’re not.
Kathryn and I recently spent seven days in Puerto Vallarta. Other than the rides between the airport and our resort, we did not use a taxi once. All our travel around Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas was on the local buses.
Kathryn and I arrived home safely from Mexico yesterday evening. I’ll continue posting updates until I’ve run out of stories from the trip. More photos are coming too.
Kathryn and I decided to take a day trip yesterday to Sayulita, a village on a small bay some distance north of Puerto Vallarta. We traveled there by bus, one of the ones the locals use. I’m not sure how long the ride was, maybe a bit over an hour. The trip there and back only set us back 100 pesos for the two of us, so it was a cheap excursion, at least for the transportation. It was a different look at Mexico and an interesting change of pace from Puerto Vallarta.
Well, after all the preparations, Hurricane Juvo was a bust. Kathryn got some internet time today to track the storm. It has already passed us and has been downgraded to a tropical depression. The employees of the resort, who just this morning were bracing for the worst, have already brought back the chairs and umbrellas around the pool area, and it looks like dinner service will take place by the ocean as normal.
We’ve been gearing up for Hurricane Juvo since Monday, but it’s taking its sweet time getting here. The latest report is it’ll come ashore as a category-three hurricane much further south in the state of Jalisco, then follow the coast north toward us, probably having weakened to a tropical storm by then.
We knew before we left the States that a hurricane was looming off the Pacific coast, and the forecasts at the end of last week were that the eye would pass over Puerto Vallarta this afternoon. We can’t seem to find a weather report on the television, but folks we’ve talked to seem to think the storm is now tracking south of here.
Out of an abundance of caution, I’ve declined in years past to divulge the details of upcoming travels. Now I’m going to open up a little and provide an overview of our travel plans for the next few months.
During our trip to Rome earlier this year, Kathryn and I recognized how long it had been since our last confessions. Far too long. The gift of the Holy Father’s blessing at the General Audience earlier in the week, and the possibility we would receive it again after praying the Angelus on Sunday, increased our desire to receive the sacrament as soon as possible.