Some thoughts about spending money while traveling abroad

Two weeks ago, while getting to know our fellow Mexico City pilgrims, the topic of how to deal with spending money came up. This is a topic where it seems everyone has his own unique set of opinions based on his own unique set of experiences. I didn’t share all my thoughts with the group, … Continue reading Some thoughts about spending money while traveling abroad

The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Kathryn took this photo of the main altar of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, La Madeleine, located in the heart of Paris, over five years ago, in January 2013. It was one of those right-place-right-time situations we like to take advantage of. We happened to be walking by the church just a few minutes … Continue reading The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Mexico City pilgrimage planning, getting to know our fellow pilgrims

Last week, I mentioned Kathryn and I are still planning to travel for a week later this month. The trip is a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and to some other holy sites in the area. Having a religious motivation to our travels is not an entirely new … Continue reading Mexico City pilgrimage planning, getting to know our fellow pilgrims

Three weeks ago, everything went sideways

Three weeks ago, on Tuesday around 10 am, my mobile phone rang. It was Kathryn. She was crying. She could barely talk. Kathryn had been suffering with lower back pain for some time. Recently, the usual quick fixes — chiropractics, steroid injections, etc. — weren’t bringing her much relief. She’d already been out of work … Continue reading Three weeks ago, everything went sideways

Having another look at the Salisbury Beach boardwalk

Before heading back to Boston yesterday, we decided to take one last walk at Salisbury Beach. In particular, we hadn’t taken a good look at the boardwalk, a curiosity for me since it didn’t exist when I was a kid growing up in Salisbury. It’s hard to imagine if you look at it now, but … Continue reading Having another look at the Salisbury Beach boardwalk

Flight delay at Boston Logan

We’re still waiting at Boston Logan for our flight back to Phoenix. Our flight has been delayed twice, giving us a chance to get to know the bartender at the Legal Sea Foods next to our departure gate. Perhaps the third time is the charm, although I see no evidence the incoming flight has even … Continue reading Flight delay at Boston Logan

Eating our way through a busy first day in New England

Considering the only real sleep we got Friday night was on the flight from Phoenix to Boston, we stayed quite busy yesterday. After waiting what seemed like forever for our checked bags, we took the airport shuttle bus to the rental car center, which didn’t exist last time I rented a car at Boston Logan. … Continue reading Eating our way through a busy first day in New England

At Sky Harbor, waiting for our flight to Boston

It’s a relatively quiet Friday evening at Sky Harbor, so our check-in and transit through the security checkpoint were a breeze, leaving us ample time for a bite to eat before we board. We had an appropriate Good Friday meal of pancakes at Matt’s Big Breakfast, which happens to be on the same concourse as … Continue reading At Sky Harbor, waiting for our flight to Boston

Heading back east for a last-minute visit over Easter weekend

Kathryn and I will be traveling to New England this weekend to attend a memorial service for a loved one who recently passed away. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll arrive in Boston early Saturday morning on a red-eye from Phoenix, stay three nights at a hotel in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and depart on the … Continue reading Heading back east for a last-minute visit over Easter weekend

A long, beautiful weekend at Cholla Campground by Roosevelt Lake

Last weekend, Kathryn and I enjoyed a long, beautiful weekend at Cholla Campground, situated on the shore of Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest of Arizona. We hadn’t been there in over three years, and we couldn’t help but spend much of the weekend wondering why. Little has changed since our last stay at … Continue reading A long, beautiful weekend at Cholla Campground by Roosevelt Lake

Enjoying a quiet weekend of camping at Roosevelt Lake

Kathryn and I left this morning for a four-day weekend of camping at Roosevelt Lake, about a two-hour drive from Phoenix. After getting a relatively late start — 8:45 am being relatively late for us — and then making a stop for a second breakfast in a small town about ten miles from the lake, … Continue reading Enjoying a quiet weekend of camping at Roosevelt Lake

Last photos of the border wall at Calexico near Gran Plaza Outlets

During last month’s aborted trip to Mexicali for Chinese food, Kathryn, Dan, and I made a stop at the Gran Plaza Outlets in Calexico, California, for a bathroom break and, for Kathryn, a quick, successful bit of shopping. While we were there, we also took a number of photographs of the nearby border wall between … Continue reading Last photos of the border wall at Calexico near Gran Plaza Outlets

Taking a break for Café Bustelo at Gila Blend inside a casino

The play on words on this Café Bustelo sign — assuming it was intentional — might not be so obvious if you haven’t spent much time in Arizona. Gila Bend is a small town in Maricopa County, located near a bend in the Gila River, about an hour’s drive from Phoenix. However, it wasn’t the … Continue reading Taking a break for Café Bustelo at Gila Blend inside a casino

Camping with a fake but pretty propane fireplace

Before our last camping trip, Kathryn got on the interwebs and found us a nice, portable propane fireplace. We had looked into this idea before, but most of the fireplaces we found in the past would have taken up half the trunk. This one was a bit pricey, but it’s smaller than our cooler. Since … Continue reading Camping with a fake but pretty propane fireplace

Sunrise over Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood

The downside of crystal-clear blue skies is they produce some rather unspectacular sunrises and sunsets, mostly involving changing shades of blue. However, when we woke up on our last day of camping in Cottonwood, there were just enough clouds on the horizon to give the sunrise a little bit of color. The car in the … Continue reading Sunrise over Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood

A perfect weekend with no television, camping in Cottonwood

Kathryn and I have been in Cottonwood, Arizona, since Friday afternoon, enjoying a rare three-day weekend of camping at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. It has been gorgeous weather for tent camping, with crystal-clear blue skies, an occasional light breeze, and high temperatures in the 70s. Yesterday morning we did a five-mile hike in the … Continue reading A perfect weekend with no television, camping in Cottonwood

Fortune Garden, Chinese restaurant in El Centro

Our lunch several Saturdays ago at Fortune Garden, a Chinese restaurant in El Centro, California, was something of a happy accident. Dan, Kathryn, and I left Yuma around 11 am with every intention of driving to Calexico, parking, and walking across the border to a Chinese restaurant a few hundred yards away in Mexicali. However, … Continue reading Fortune Garden, Chinese restaurant in El Centro

Only six weeks later, we’re on the road again to Yuma

If it seems like Kathryn and I were in Yuma just six weeks ago, it’s because Kathryn and I were in Yuma just six weeks ago. Now we’re on our way back, not just as a stop this time, but as a destination. Our good friend Dan is in town for a few days on … Continue reading Only six weeks later, we’re on the road again to Yuma

More Chinese food in Mexicali at Restaurante Dragon

We couldn’t miss a chance for more Chinese food during our trip to Mexicali over Thanksgiving weekend. Our baseball game Saturday night and our early departure Sunday morning left us only one chance, at lunchtime Saturday. We were staying at Hotel Araiza on Boulevard Bénito Juárez, so we chose Restaurante Dragon, which was just a … Continue reading More Chinese food in Mexicali at Restaurante Dragon

Making a run for it, back in the United States

Kathryn and I just finished a late lunch on the northern side of the border, in Yuma. I looked at the CBP website around 10 am to get an idea of border crossing times, and I was a little shocked to see two-hour wait times so early in the day. Thinking it would only get … Continue reading Making a run for it, back in the United States

Baseball in Mexicali, a lively evening of winter league action

Last night we saw our first ever Mexican Pacific League baseball game, a matchup between the Obregon Yaquis and the Mexicali Águilas, at Estadio B-Air in Mexicali. The Mexican Pacific League is a “winter” league. The season starts in mid-October and runs through the end of December, making for rather pleasant baseball-watching weather in Mexico. … Continue reading Baseball in Mexicali, a lively evening of winter league action