Anchorage, Alaska: Eklutna Cemetery and Spirit Houses

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.

Continue reading “Anchorage, Alaska: Eklutna Cemetery and Spirit Houses”

Exploring Alaska: Quirky Whittier, a hike to Portage Glacier, and our first whale sighting


An older couple stood at the guardrail, their car parked on a shoulder not wide enough to accommodate it.  It was an act so reckless that a semi blared the horn at them as it passed.

I could see what they were risking their lives for–beluga whales, two of them, swimming in a protected cove near the road.

Continue reading “Exploring Alaska: Quirky Whittier, a hike to Portage Glacier, and our first whale sighting”

Marfa, Texas: A surprising, hip, and quirky town in the middle of nowhere


On one of our trips to Fort Davis years ago, We visited Marfa, which is 21 miles south.  This was back when just about the only thing this tiny town was known for was its mysterious Marfa “ghost” lights.  I don’t remember anything about our time in Marfa other than the fact that we did see the lights, and yes, they were a bit freaky.  But other than that, Marfa seemed like just any other little West Texas town (population: 1,819 as of 2013).

Continue reading “Marfa, Texas: A surprising, hip, and quirky town in the middle of nowhere”

Paris, France: The (naked) sculptures of the Louvre


This is one post in a series of articles about our visit to Paris.

When I told my mom I was writing about our time in Paris, she asked, “Are you going to talk about the naked men?”  She was referring, of course, to the collection of sculptures that we saw at the Louvre, which, yes, did include quite a few nude male subjects.

“I’ve told all of my friends that there were lots of sculptures of naked men, and they look at me like I’m crazy, so now I can show them.”

Of the many fascinating artifacts we saw at the Louvre, the thing that most stands out to mom is the naked men.

Continue reading “Paris, France: The (naked) sculptures of the Louvre”

Antibes, France: Drinking “the Green Fairy”–absinthe

La Fée Verte (“The Green Fairy”–artwork inside La Balade absinthe bar)


Dale and I were intrigued by the idea of trying absinthe, an alcoholic spirit that up until recently was banned in many countries.  There’s a mystique surrounding this drink, also called “the Green Fairy,” a nickname referencing the drink’s green color (and no doubt thought up by someone who was more than a little schnockered at the time).  It supposedly had hallucinogenic–perhaps even dangerous–effects on its users, and the most famous artists and writers were drinking it, in part because of its mind-bending properties.  How could we pass up the chance to try this beguiling drink when we had the chance?

Continue reading “Antibes, France: Drinking “the Green Fairy”–absinthe”