Ten on Tuesday: solo travel edition

DSCN1449 web-sized palm tree, Tucson, Arizona

  1. I’m back from a weekend visit with my dad in Arizona.
  2. As nice as 85 degrees feels in late October, especially when I’m looking up at palm leaves ruffling in the breeze, I’m glad to return to wearing sweaters.
  3. Phoenix Sky Harbor airport is not appropriately air-conditioned — especially for this middle-aged woman. The only time I felt cool enough was when I was standing in front of a giant fan while I was being patted down for security.
  4. Note to future self: do not wear cute tops with bling on them when flying, or you will have to be patted down/around/over/under in front… and in front of many people. (This happened flying both directions because those were the shirts I had brought for the trip.)
  5. Arizona drivers are capital C, capital R, capital A, capital Z, capital Y. That’s right: C-R-A-Z-Y. And I’m not talking about the old, retired folks!  Speeding from red light to red light, weaving around those [very few] of us who are obeying the laws, taking tailgating to a higher level… with all of that going on around me, I had no trouble staying awake while driving. Fear for my safety kept me alert and defensive.
  6. Kia Soul is a great car for a 5’10” woman. It also handles really well on Rollercoaster Road in Tucson. However, I never did figure out how to adjust the balance/fade for the speakers. (What’s with that? Those controls are obvious and intuitive on my Kia Sedona.) 
  7. When playing “Go Fish” with Dad, who has Parkinson’s, it’s best to look away while he rifles through his cards and to pretend that he has never played the game in his entire life. (He has, but he doesn’t remember it and it would be sad to remind him of this.)
  8. Happy hour at the hotel isn’t much fun when I’m alone, although I’m not sure if this is because I’m not there for fun or because I don’t have a friend/spouse with me — or is it because I am getting old? I only had one of my two free beverages each night.  Eating alone is best done with a book, but if it wasn’t for the need for nutrition, I would probably skip the entire event.
  9. Sometimes, it’s awfully nice to have a king-sized bed and ALL the pillows. I didn’t wake up with sore arms or sore shoulders or a sore back.
  10. While I need my alone-time on a daily basis, I also need to spend time interacting with other people. After 48 hours of being on my own — and with none of my hobbies available — I found myself becoming rather bored.

Now it’s your turn… 
Do you ever travel alone? Do you enjoy it? 

MTM: Chinese Lantern Festival

Monkey Tunnel webshare

The month of October is rapidly slipping by with only a few photos taken of our fall colors.  Luckily, I did get the opportunity to visit the Chinese Lantern Festival a few weeks ago, and if you live near me, you still have the chance to go. They have announced that it will be extended two extra weeks into November.

Lotus Pond 4x6 webshare

SuperDad and I paid our fees and visited on a lovely Sunday night earlier this month.

The Peach Grove

The Peach Grove

Butterfly 4x6 vertical, LOMO-ish

It took months to create these incredible lanterns which are all for sale at the end of the festival.

Terra Cotta Soldier 4x6 webshare














This terra cotta soldier can be purchased for $500.

DSCN6931 4x6 Pink Lantern webshare

Do you know anyone who would like to buy a 200-foot-long dragon?

DSCN6929 Dragon

Dragon head 4x6 WEBshare

He’s rather impressive from head to tail.

Dragon Tail 4x6 webshare

As you might be able to tell from some of the photos here, I am trying to figure out how best to mark my pictures if I’m going to sell cards online.  I already make and sell photo note cards during the farmers’ market season, but it has ended and June many months away. On one hand, I enjoy sharing my photographs and offering cards at a reasonable price; on the other hand, I find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I wish to accomplish.  (Case in point: it has taken me 2 weeks, start to finish, to get this post ready to publish. It takes time to size pictures down and add the signature.)

Lanterns 4x6 Web-sized



Outdoors in Autumn

Birch Tree as Traitor to summer

There’s something about the beginning of the fall season makes me more intentional in my enjoyment of the weather. I am invigorated by the chilly air in the mornings; I revel in the cool evening air and am nearly gleeful when I feel the need to don a jacket. The leaves on the trees change color and drop to the ground like orange, yellow, brown, and red manna.

DSCN5153 overachiever, RESIZED

Along with being outside for my high school student’s cross-country meets, I’ve been making extra effort to go for walks. Soaking up sunshine on these beautiful fall days is something that my soul demands of me, even to the point that I become grouchy if I am indoors all day. Last Saturday, SuperDad invited me to go with him to the disc golf course (he plays, I walk along and take pictures). On Monday, we made a mid-day date of walking along a newly paved stretch of the Centennial Trail high above the river. We ate our picnic snack of cheese and crackers, talked about how much our old neighborhood had changed (this particular area was old railroad land 25 years ago) and then chose one of the new trendy restaurants with patio dining for the salad course.

I am outdoors for more than 5 hours each Friday for the farmers’ market. One of the new vendors is a craft brewery which had its grand opening on Tuesday afternoon. Since I knew this in advance, I went to work more than 90 minutes early on Tuesday so that I could leave a little early that afternoon. At 4:00 p.m., several of us walked the two blocks to enjoy a glass of beer together, sitting outside on the fenced-in patio as we talked and admired the work of the designer. (I also noted that I was in the presence of more hipsters than I had ever been before.)

Due to work, vending at the farmers’ market, and the times & dates of our “home” football games, I have not yet been able to see and hear our youngest play with the high school marching band. Nearly all of the games are played in a much-too-large (and aged) stadium shared by all of the teams in the league, so the designation between home team and visiting team is made by which side you are assigned to sit and whether or not you can bring your band. I have only one more chance next week to see SM perform and I’ll make a sincere effort to get out of work early to make that happen.

Putting up seasonal decorations makes me happy, and it’s something I haven’t been as timely about since I began working outside the home, but yesterday I managed to take down the spring/summer decor outside and replace it with more appropriate colors for autumn. A few more do-dads will come out of storage for the week of Halloween, but at least from the street it looks like I am aware it is no longer May.
The inside of the house will probably have to wait for a day I don’t want to be outside.