Today I learned the word tempura is not Japanese

Today I learned the word tempura is not of Japanese origin. It turns out it’s a loan word from Latin, and it’s connected to a centuries-old Catholic tradition called Ember Days. This morning, I was up and out of the house early enough to get to Mass before work. I went to the traditionalist Catholic … Continue reading Today I learned the word tempura is not Japanese

Sunday morning sunrise hike at Pima Canyon in Phoenix

Kathryn has been petsitting for the past ten days or so at a home in another part of Phoenix, about a thirty-mile drive south from our own home in Phoenix. Last night we spent the night there together and woke up in time for a sunrise hike at nearby Pima Canyon, an area in the … Continue reading Sunday morning sunrise hike at Pima Canyon in Phoenix

A chill evening at Banger Brewing on Fremont Street in Las Vegas

Most of our weekend road trips to Las Vegas end with us heading back to Phoenix after lunch on Sunday. On our last trip, however, we had some business we needed to attend to Monday morning. After our huge lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen early Sunday afternoon, we weren’t in any mood for a … Continue reading A chill evening at Banger Brewing on Fremont Street in Las Vegas

Teotihuacan, our day trip from Mexico City in photos

Although many of our fellow Mexico City pilgrims had started trickling into town Monday afternoon, Wednesday was officially the first day of our itinerary. The first and only destination for the day was the pyramids at Teotihuacan, but this was a pilgrimage group, so of course we prayed first. And ate.

A beer keg urinal in the men’s room of Virgil’s Real BBQ, Las Vegas

It doesn’t happen often, but on rare occasions beer can open up opportunities that may have otherwise passed us by. For example, if I hadn’t had a second pint of beer at Virgil’s Real BBQ on the Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, I wouldn’t have had to make a visit to the men’s room, and … Continue reading A beer keg urinal in the men’s room of Virgil’s Real BBQ, Las Vegas

Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron saint of ham radio

I don’t often blatantly repost old blog material. However, last week I had a conversation with some colleagues about my visit to Auschwitz in 2006, and it made me think about the following post I published three years ago today: I’ve been reminded that today, August 14, is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe. … Continue reading Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron saint of ham radio

A pleasant Sunday lunch at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas

Most of our road trips to Las Vegas involve tossing away a few hundred dollars on slots, video poker, or craps. However, on this most recent trip, we reallocated our gambling budget to an obscenely expensive lunch at one of the hottest celebrity restaurants on the Strip right now, Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, located in … Continue reading A pleasant Sunday lunch at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas

Caught in a sudden dust storm on the Las Vegas Strip

Kathryn and I were out for an evening stroll on the Las Vegas Strip last night when a sudden dust storm — or haboob as the weathercasters like to say nowadays — rolled in. After we took shelter under the escalators of the pedestrian bridge over Las Vegas Blvd. in front of Bally’s, I shot … Continue reading Caught in a sudden dust storm on the Las Vegas Strip

Early breakfast to start a busy day in Las Vegas

After a surprisingly good night’s sleep in Las Vegas — I realize people seldom brag about how much sleep they got in Vegas, except perhaps to say they didn’t sleep at all — Kathryn and I have had one of those weird mornings where everything took fifteen minutes less time than we expected, and now … Continue reading Early breakfast to start a busy day in Las Vegas

Donuts in Phoenix before heading out of town this afternoon

I haven’t yet finished posting photos and stories about the pilgrimage to Mexico City, but I’m going to set them aside for a few days while Kathryn and I take a 72-hour road trip to Las Vegas. Some of you may notice that’s slightly longer than we typically spend in Vegas. We’re taking a class … Continue reading Donuts in Phoenix before heading out of town this afternoon

Statue of Abraham Lincoln in namesake park, Polanco, Mexico City

I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised us to find a statue of Abraham Lincoln in a park called Parque Lincoln. Kathryn and I enjoyed a twilight stroll through this calm, tree-lined park in the upscale Mexico City neighborhood of Polanco after having a lovely dinner at a pizza restaurant nearby. After that, we took a … Continue reading Statue of Abraham Lincoln in namesake park, Polanco, Mexico City

Driving from Puebla back to Mexico City through a mountain hail storm

Yesterday I posted a photo of the mountain pass on the drive from Mexico City to Puebla last Friday. The return trip later the same day wasn’t quite so picturesque. While passing over the same stretch of highway, we encountered a light hail storm and a lot of rain. As was the case earlier in … Continue reading Driving from Puebla back to Mexico City through a mountain hail storm

On the road, passing through the mountains between Mexico City and Puebla

Since I was frequently called upon to navigate during our recent pilgrimage to Mexico, I often had a front row seat to the scenery we encountered. These verdant, rolling hills wouldn’t have looked entirely out of place in France, but the Chevrolet logo on the steering wheel reminded me we were elsewhere.

More photos from another full day exploring Mexico City

Kathryn’s proposal to create a WhatsApp pilgrimage group turned out to be a rather good thing. She had mentioned wanting to see the Frida Kahlo Museum when we first started planning this trip, so when someone else in the group suggested going Tuesday morning, it made sense to share a ride. We left the hotel … Continue reading More photos from another full day exploring Mexico City

Returning home after an amazing week in Mexico City

It’s Saturday morning in Mexico City. Kathryn and I will be checking out of the hotel later this morning and heading back home to Phoenix. The last three days have been exhausting, but nothing short of amazing. Between pyramids, stunning churches and chapels, and beautiful Masses, I’ll need several more days to find the right … Continue reading Returning home after an amazing week in Mexico City

The tilma, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City

Another quick update. Today was especially moving for Kathryn and me. Our group spent the entire day at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. We started the day with a Solemn Mass in a side chapel of the old basilica, which was beautiful. Then we moved on to seeing the tilma, … Continue reading The tilma, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City

Photo from Teotihuacan and another quick update

Since the other pilgrims started arriving, I’ve been too busy to write a proper post. Monday, with another couple and their daughter, Kathryn and I saw the Frida Kahlo House and the museum at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Yesterday, with the entire group having arrived, we visited an old church near the historic center … Continue reading Photo from Teotihuacan and another quick update

Hua-what? Spotting a Huawei boutique in a posh area of Mexico City

About a year ago, I bought a rather low-end Huawei Honor 6X smartphone to replace my ageing and quickly dying LG Google Nexus 5. Common reactions to my purchase were “what?” or “Hua-what?” A few months later, I traveled to Latin America with my new phone and discovered Huawei is actually rather popular outside the … Continue reading Hua-what? Spotting a Huawei boutique in a posh area of Mexico City