Seldovia isn’t on an island, but it might as well be—it’s practically surrounded by water, it can only be reached by plane or boat, and its single main street is lined with small businesses owned by locals, with nary a fast food joint to be found. The minute we stepped off the boat, I felt myself relaxing into the place. We were in the hands of the locals, and the stresses of daily life were behind us. There was no place to be and nothing urgent to attend to. The only thing missing was my flip flops (it was too chilly); otherwise, the trip was perfect.
We stopped by Eklutna on a cool, rainy day at the end of April. In most parts of the U.S., spring had long since arrived, but here, 30 minutes north of Anchorage, the trees were still bare, and patches of snow lay on the ground.
This is one post in a series of articles about our 2015 trip to Paris.
It goes without saying that Notre-Dame Cathedral was at the top of our Paris sightseeing list. It’s one of Paris’ most iconic buildings, a sprawling, Gothic feast for the eyes. We returned several times, tiptoeing through the massive interior, listening to live music in the small park around back, and, as part of the Paris Museum Pass, climbing hundreds of steps to the iconic belfry.
Here are the highlights:
The snow started Friday and didn’t stop until mid-afternoon Saturday.
We’ve never experienced so much snow. Granted, that’s not saying much, but we heard old-timers in the grocery store commenting that it’s the most snow Seward’s seen in years.
Before moving to Alaska, we spent two weeks bouncing around Texas, visiting family. That meant going from central to south Texas and then back again. We may be relocating to the biggest state in the Union, but Texas is no slouch, so this meant a lot of time on the road.
It was on one of those drives, on a rural stretch of U.S. Highway 183 from Refugio to Gonzales, that we had a very pleasant discovery—Goliad State Park and the Mission Espíritu Santo.
We spent a few days sightseeing in Taos, a tiny town with a fascinating mix of cultures–Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo, not to mention the influence of artists and free thinkers who have made their residence here for over 100 years. For such a little town, there’s a lot going on.
This is one post in a series of articles about our visit to Paris.
With its beauty, romance, and history, Paris is one of those cities that was made for the Silver Screen. Hundreds of movies have been set in the City of Lights, including some of our favorites—Midnight in Paris, Before Sunset, and Julie and Julia just to name a few, and all of these evoke the ephemeral magic that only Paris possesses. And it’s because of a movie—The DaVinci Code—that we recognized the Church of Saint-Sulpice when we happened upon it during our trip to Paris.
An exploration of the Norte Region of Portugal with a local
In our last post, I talked about touring Viana do Castelo with Paulo. The remainder of our visit with our friend was spent exploring the stunning countryside around his hometown. We went to an ancient village and then to an even older monastery tucked away in a forest. We also drove a winding road through the mountains. The next day, Paulo drove us from Viana do Castelo to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where we would catch a bus to Madrid for our flight back to the U.S. On the way to Santiago, he took us on a meandering path up the Spanish coastline, showing us some of his favorite Atlantic Coast beaches.
Barcelona’s bold Gaudi
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be a writer. In elementary school, I wrote all the time, stories about my family and ghosts and about a talking cow name Betsy who had super powers and a knack for saving the world. As I grew older, my desire to write didn’t lessen, but I developed something most people are familiar with–fear of failure, a death-knell to the creative spirit. I abandoned the fantastical stories, instead joining the newspaper and writing articles about sporting events and the Homecoming Dance. After high school, I gave up writing altogether, except for occasional attempts at a novel or a short story, all of which sputtered to a halt as soon as self-doubt entered the picture. I had lost faith in my ability to create.