Friday, November 25, 2016

Saluting in San Diego...and Reviews

Part of the San Diego Bay from the flight deck of the USS Midway
Once again this year I traveled to San Diego to learn from an exceptional group of beaders. There are women here from all walks of life who get together to take lessons from three outstanding people in the field and to share knowledge, techniques, and laughs with each other. This time Heather Kingsley-Heath, Virginia Blaklock, and Beki Haley were our fearless leaders – but more about Beader’s Dream Retreat later.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Heading to Hendersonville, NC

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons because I get to see beading buddies who I’ve
Red seed pods
missed for an entire year in one of my favorite places, western North Carolina. Our annual get-together was once again in Black Mountain, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and a few miles from Asheville (see Mountains of Art and Back to the Smokeys for a lot more information about this area of North Carolina). I landed at Asheville’s tiny airport and was met by Linnea, a Near-Normal Traveler in her own right. As soon as we’d hugged, talked excitedly, and dragged the bags into her car, we headed for our first adventure, Hendersonville. This cute little place is the county seat of Henderson County, North Carolina. Being just 22 miles south of Asheville, it’s an easy jaunt to check out the local arts and crafts. Traditionally known as ‘The City of Four Seasons’, it has a well-preserved Main Street and adjoining downtown areas.

Friday, November 11, 2016

On the Sea, on the Sea, on the Beautiful Sea…and Cruise Review

Since this cruise crossed the North Atlantic, there were several days that we were out of
Top: Three egg omelet
Bottom: Waffles
sight of land. This pleased Dave because he enjoys sailing in rather turbulent waters, fondly remembering his time in the Navy. I’m fine with a rocking boat, but there were folks aboard who were seasick before we pulled away from the dock. Generally on ‘sea days’ we slept in then ate breakfast in one of the dining rooms sharing a table with whomever appeared at the maître d’ station at the same time we did. This is much preferable than eating on the Lido deck where your only choice is to hunt a table then go through a buffet line. There are a variety of breakfast foods available and they can be prepared to your specifications; in almost all of the cases, there is a substantial amount of food – possibly preparing you to go out and haul fishing nets by hand.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Back in the Big Apple

Dawn over New York City
The first time I actually went to New York, other than to work from morning to night, or to buzz through the airport, was in 2012. Dave took me to upstate New York for our
Entrance to AMNH
anniversary and then down into Manhattan. I loved it all and was anxious to see everything. We had planned to visit the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I completely underestimated the size of these two treasure troves thinking we could see them both in one day. So since outrunning the hurricane gave us an extra day to explore New York City, we decided to spend it at the AMNH; I was delighted. The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world. It is just across the street from Central Park and has 27 interconnected buildings with 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library. Given that we had an entire day, we still couldn’t see even the small portion of the 32 million specimens of plants, humans, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and cultural artifacts that are on exhibit. We did see one of the founders, however; Teddy Roosevelt not only sits astride his horse to welcome guests as you enter, but there is a statue of him on a bench in one of the rotundas. I was also glad to see the T. rex and the cheeky monkey from Night at the Museum were still in residence, as well. Housed in the oldest part of the museum was a collection of Northwest Coast Indians artifacts; this portion of the museum was begun in 1874, with the Victorian Gothic building opening in 1877. Most of the rest of the museum exterior is in rusticated brownstone neo-Romanesque, except for the entry which is an over-the-top Beaux-Arts monument. The entry hall is a vast Roman basilica design that echoes with the excited voices of children and adults.