• Adventure,  Travel

    Cuba: Day 3

    There is so much to do in La Habana. There are old buildings to gawk at, street art to discover, museums-that-are-also-working-pharmacies to wander through. This post is only covering the morning of Day 3 because DUDE. The Colon Cemetery. So much. Ahem. So, the morning of our 3rd day, we took the time-honored traditional tourist excursion: the hop-on, hop-off bus. This red double decker bus makes a loop around some of the farther out sites and then returns back to Central Parque. The one thing I wish we had known ahead of time: The bus follows the same route away from Habana Viejo as it does returning. We would have stayed on top…

  • Adventure,  Travel,  Writing

    Cuba: Day Two

    We woke up in La Habana. It felt surreal, dreamlike; the way Latin American authors write about magical realism, that which is true, but cannot be. Breakfast was Cuban coffee (distilled and black and delicious even to a heavy tea-drinker like me), a bowl of fresh fruit (bananas and papayas and pineapple, and something else I never quite figured out), and eggs with a slice of cheese, a slice of ham and a slice of tomato. We chatted with the other travelers at the table, and Adele, a British lady was nice enough to give me a stash of PG Tips tea bags. I had not brought any with me (I…

  • Adventure,  Travel

    Cuba: Day One

    Oh, Cuba. Even preparing for Cuba, I was at a loss. What to pack? I’d read many personal accounts and had friends who’d been there, but Cuba seemed to change daily. What was one person’s experience, was not at all how another experienced the trip. There were some things I wish I had known beforehand, such as the rapidly changing circumstances. Travel We took the first flight out of Jacksonville, FL to Miami, and then what appeared to be the earliest flight from Miami to Havana. We bought our visas at the gate, amidst a crowd of people from many different countries. Still, this step, which some airlines seemed happy…

  • Adventure,  Travel,  Writing

    Cuba! An Introduction

    I wish I could tell you all about Cuba. But I don’t know enough. I wish I could tell you all about the history of Cuba, but I am unqualified. I wish I could tell you all about Cuba today, but there are too many things I didn’t even see. Cuba seems to change on a daily basis, a world shifting and changing to suit its own needs. I say that only as a tourist. I don’t know what it is like to be Cuban, or to live on an island nation governed by a unique set of principles. There seems to be a purposeful divide between the local daily…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    2016 in review

    I had some big goals for 2016. Most of the goals were reasonable, but still some entirely unreasonable ones snuck in. These were the goals I wasn’t going to hold myself to because I had no control over other people’s actions, but I couldn’t help but keep these outlandish expectations as a yardstick. Maybe I watched too much Parks & Rec because I made a binder for my Writing Year, made quarterly goals, and decorated it with stickers. Some of my goals I now see as unrealistic (like blog 4 times a week. Who has time for that?), and some of them I forgot to write down, because I didn’t…

  • Romanian Rib
    Adventure,  Travel,  Writing

    Romanian Rib – Red Rocks

    There are many sports metaphors that equate to struggle. Marathons, extra innings, overtime: all of these immediately conjure up the physical struggle of a human being. But perhaps we need a sports metaphor for the less demanding endurance trail. Romanian Rib could be just such a metaphor for patience. Romanian Rib is a specific route near Red Rocks National Park. The climb itself is about 1000 feet of vertical. There is a parking lot on the side of the road, and a marked, maintained trail for about half of the 1.5 mile hike-in to the base of Romanian Rib. That morning we got started a little later than usual, despite our promises…

  • Red Rocks
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel

    Red Rocks

    Red Rocks is an incredible formation of sandstone 15 miles outside of Las Vegas. One of the best things about a trip to Red Rocks is that all of the gambling and drinking of Vegas tourists subsidize the inevitably less expensive food and lodging of a climbing trip. We stayed at an AirBnB on the West side of Vegas, near Red Rocks, big enough to have plenty of room for four people. Though only 15-20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, we were also 15 minutes from the garage to touching sandstone rock. The first day we arrived, Andy ran up Mount Wilson (I do not use the word “run” in…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle

    Hurricane Matthew

    The Savannah Film Fest was this last week: an eight-day film extravaganza in the always quaint downtown. This same town which rolled out the red carpet despite having weathered Hurricane Matthew only two weeks prior. While our house (built in 1936) managed the storm just fine, I wanted to post images of what my neighborhood looked like once we were allowed back after the evacuation. Downtown was hit much harder than we were, though we were without power for four days. Please note that I am not a photographer. When I took these photos, I was sending them to friends who had not yet returned, who wanted to see the conditions they would…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Big Climb Prep

    In a few weeks, we are going to Red Rocks outside Las Vegas to climb. Not much for gambling, we will be subsidized by all the people do: cheap flights, cheap places to stay, easy food. I have to admit something too–I am not a great climber. Nor particularly good. Aaaaand I don’t really climb very often. (There is a sincere dearth of elevation near Savannah). For the past week or so we’ve been practicing for my benefit. I have my own rope length to practice my knots, and while I watch TV or listen to podcasts, I tie and untie my handful of knots.   I keep all of my…

  • hiking and camping
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    3 Sisters: Day 6

    I had not slept well. The first few nights of sleeping on the ground were great, straightening out my back in ways I didn’t know it was crooked, but the last night was painful. My side of the tent was on a gentle slope, so I tended to slide to the edge of the tent, waking every few hours, pressed against the canvas. My right shoulder hurt from my fall, so I couldn’t put my arm over my head if I laid on my stomach, and I certainly couldn’t lay on my right side. Andy got out of his bag first that day. The next water wasn’t for another two and…

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