Kathryn and I have two weeks of vacation coming up next month. How we’re planning to spend those two weeks has changed three times in the past two months. Plan A: Learning Spanish in Mexico City Our original plan was to return to Mexico City for two weeks of Spanish classes. We had picked out … Continue reading It pays to have a backup plan or three when travel plans fall through
After my last post from about 24 hours ago, it may come as some surprise that this post is being written from the couch in our living room in Phoenix while rain is pouring outside the open front door. Plans escalated quickly throughout the day yesterday. First, our planned trip to Prescott — the city … Continue reading Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.
We arrived at the campground yesterday early enough that the ranger station was still open. That’s quite unusual when we arrive on a workday. Kathryn and I have a rhythm of who does what we we set up our campsite, so we had everything as we wanted it within the hour, well before sunset. After … Continue reading Safe arrival, nice dinner, and an early morning hike in Cottonwood
To celebrate an important milestone in our marriage, Kathryn and I are spending three nights in Cottonwood this weekend, camping at one of our favorite Arizona state parks, Dead Horse Ranch. We’ll leave after work this afternoon. The car is already mostly packed. Only a few last minute items remain. There’s a slight amount of … Continue reading A very special Cottonwood camping trip starts this afternoon
A new German restaurant recently opened in our neighborhood in Phoenix, which is to say a seedy old dive bar is attempting to reinvent itself with ethnic food and a better beer list. I enjoy a good schnitzel as much as the next red-blooded carnivore — and who doesn’t like beer served a whole liter … Continue reading This is most likely the closest I’ll get to Oktoberfest this year
A couple years ago, I wrote a lengthy blog post challenging my family, friends, and followers to seek out reputable foreign news sources in languages other than English. After yesterday’s circus in Washington, I think it’s more important than ever to repeat my challenge, especially since I haven’t seen any English-language coverage of the spectacle … Continue reading Foreign sources, redux
A couple months ago, I added Jetpack to my self-hosted WordPress site. Installing Jetpack took what had previously been a standalone blog and tied it into the greater WordPress community. I’m pleased with how it turned out. This blog has gained some new followers, and at the same time I’ve discovered new blogs as well. … Continue reading Blog comments weren’t working correctly because I misconfigured Jetpack
I’d been waiting until I have an interesting story to post with this photo of two Sonoran hot dogs at El Güero Canelo in Phoenix. However, after four months, I’ve decided to go ahead and post it anyway. It was Sunday, Kathryn and I had just left church, we were hungry, and we hadn’t had … Continue reading Just a picture of two Sonoran hot dogs from El Güero Canelo, Phoenix
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
For better or worse, Kathryn and I are back home in Phoenix at the end of our three-day road trip to Las Vegas. Mostly we made good time today, but our travels were delayed somewhat by an In-N-Out Burger in Kingman and a Dairy Queen in Wickenburg.
Our Monday morning bureaucratic adventure in Las Vegas is complete. It took just over an hour, which wasn’t too bad. We’re mostly packed and ready to check out of the hotel and begin the drive back to Phoenix. If we’re lucky, we’ll get home before rush hour starts. In an earlier post, I mentioned having … Continue reading Leaving Las Vegas
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
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
After two refreshment stops, one of which took far longer than necessary, we’ve safely arrived in Las Vegas. New since our last road trip here, a stretch of I-11 is now open between Hoover Dam and Railroad Pass. It threw off my bearings to cross the Colorado River and almost immediately turn southeast, but it … Continue reading Safely arrived in Vegas
Las Vegas, here we come! Again!
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
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
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
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.