10 Questions About…

34 hour trip to Winnipeg – Lily’s digs, CKUW and the Jets by Ann Treacy
May 9, 2018, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Winnipeg

We had the quickest international visit ever this week – Grandpa and I brought Lily and her roommate back to the University of Winnipeg. (We are super thankful to have a grandpa that would drive so far so quickly!) First – the rumor of it being cold in Canada – wrong. It was 86 degrees, which was a pleasant surprise. Second – it was really fun to see how well Lily is doing in Winnipeg. I’m so proud of her!

We got to see her apartment. It’s definitely a place for students but a nice place. She has her own room and it’s big. And there’s a fire escape-type porch on the roof. She has two roommates right now – and a big fat cat. They’re done a nice job decorating the place, including some really awesome art by Lily. (I snuck a couple pictures of her art here – without permission!)

I got a fun tour of the U of Winnipeg radio station, where Lily has a regular radio show Friday afternoons (2-3:30). They have about 32,000 CDs/Albums/cassettes and add about 1,000 each year.  Turns out they don’t have a lot of younger students with shows so that made me especially proud of her show.

We had a nice dinner with grandpa and got to walk by a number of Lily’s regular haunts – her yoga place, her old job, her current job, favorite restaurants. At night Lily and I took a walk around town. Turns out there was a Jet’s hockey game. Wow! There were thousands of fans happily watching. Well, happily at the start, kind of sad at the end of the game.

The city had set up 6 (or so) giant TV screens set up around town in a spoke a wheel pattern near the hockey arena. And they hosted a “white out” – which means everyone dressed in white. Apparently it costs the city $60,000 – but it a great investment for local businesses. My favorite moment was the guy (post loss) who chucked everyone on the arm and say – we’ll get them next time. The game tied up the series. I think the final game is tomorrow night.

Austin Texas – a conference, walking, some music and an awesome pair of boots by Ann Treacy
May 9, 2018, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Texas

Last week I spent a fun time at a broadband conference in Austin, Texas. I went with a couple of my favorite colleagues – so that was fun. Our presentation was well received.

We spent the first day checking out Austin. We visited the Texas Capitol, the Driskill Hotel and street art around the city. For eating we had oysters (royal we there), brisket and shrimp and grits.

We also saw some fun music at C-Boys Heart and Soul, The Continental Club and The Elephant Room. I was particularly fond of Dale Watson at the Continental – but the highlight was seeing the guy on the horse outside the door of the C-Boys. To be clear – it is located on a city street.

Another big highlight – finding red cowboy boots at the local Good Will – unfortunately the second best purchase was a box band-aids after I wore the new (to me boots) without socks.

Road Trip – Santa Fe, Colorado Springs and North Platte by Ann Treacy
April 2, 2018, 3:08 am
Filed under: Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska

Today we traveled for 12 hours. We went from Santa Fe to North Platte (600 miles) and a few stops. The stops started in Santa Fe. We checked out Canyon Road – a haven for top art galleries. Of course it’s Easter and it was 7:30 in the morning so none of them were open – but the area is covered in statues and other works for art.

Then we had a quick visit to the Cross of the Martyrs at the top of the Fort Marcy Park. It is a monument dedicated to the Franciscans killed in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. It was sort of the perfect thing to do Easter morning. Also it gave us a glimpse of Santa Fe. It was fun to see how different the houses are. Apparently the style is called pueblo style – they are low-slung, earth-colored buildings made of adobe bricks, which consist of a mixture of sun-dried earth and straw.  They are a little reminiscent of Whoville.

Our next stop was Colorado Springs. We stopped to see the Garden of the Gods – huge rock formations at the base of Pike’s Peak. We stopped at the visitor center, which had a great view of the peak. We saw some animals, much like we might run into if we were hanging in the wild looking for animals and then we drove around to see some of the rock formation – like the balancing rock. It was pretty cool.

Finally we landed in North Platte, Nebraska. North Platte is a rail road town and home to a home of Buffalo Bill Cody. We won’t see much of the town – but we had a nice dinner and the hotel feels pretty new and serves cookies. So it’s a winner. Oh and the sunset was very pretty. Gorgeous at Arizona is the sunsets there happen so quickly. It was nice to be back in the land of the long-lasting sunset – even if it means snow and cold.

Road Trip – Sedona to New Mexico by Ann Treacy
April 1, 2018, 4:43 am
Filed under: Arizona, New Mexico

After a few super fun days in Phoenix, we’re making our way home. This is when we’re most thankful for everything digital because we put in some long hours – especially grandpa, the driver. But we’ve had some fun along with the long drive.

We started in Sedona and everyone was a little surprised that I insisted that we go to the Chapel on the Hill there – until we got there. It’s awesome. It’s tucked into the red rock mountains. It’s the perfect place to stop and check out the scenery. Also the crucifix in the chapel is amazing. And of course there’s some family lore related to the candles in the chapel – but you have to go there to hear the story.

We had a super quick stop in Rock Creek Overlook between Sedona and Flagstaff. It’s an incredible view of the Oak Creek Canyon.

We also made a stop in Winslow, Arizona – such a fine site to see.

We had dinner in Albuquerque. We saw the area near the community college but I’d be hard pressed to say that I know Albequerque. With the university and various labs it does seem like a haven of techno-smart people in the middle of the desert. It is a gorgeous drive and fun to see the mountains all around. Driving it feels like you’re on the top of a plateau – so while it’s flat it feels high. Maybe because my ears were popping the whole time!

Art in Arizona – street art and art crawls by Ann Treacy
March 31, 2018, 1:12 am
Filed under: Alaska

After our hike today we had lunch near downtown Phoenix at Roosevelt Row. It’s an areas with a lot of murals and street art. Grandpa noticed that the sidewalk walk built in 2017. Often a sign of sprucing up an area. The community has a university-hipster feel. There’s a lot of building happening. But there are some boarded up buildings and we saw a fire truck come support a person who clearly had been outside too long – living outside I mean.

So it’s a community in flux, but it’s fluxing up. Also it looks as if it hasn’t yet gotten rid of all of the long term residents. It’s never sad to see a crack house leave (and apparently the area had its share at one time) but you hate to see regular citizens get the bump – better to have a good mix.

We also had an opportunity to check out the art in Old Town Scottsdale last night. It’s a very different scene. Expensive art to buy, but some free wine (which we didn’t have). It was fun to check out some of the kitsch. We left about 9 pm; I’d say that place can get a little rowdy, especially in spring break season after 11.

Forgot to mention – dinner at In and Out, a special request from Aine. The same girl who had filet mignon, lobster and caviar the night before!

Hiking in Arizona – saguaros, chollas and prickly pears by Ann Treacy
March 30, 2018, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Arizona

We’re not gone yet – but tomorrow we start the road trip home, I thought I’d get a jump on the archive of the trip. We’ve had a great time. First – it’s snowing back home and I’m sitting in an air-conditioned house with 90 degrees outside.

Second – we got in a lot of hiking. Aine, Grandpa and I made two trips to Tonto National Forest; both times to the Sears Kay Ruins, which are a pretty easy but high walk to the peak of a mountain. The ruins include a village, homes and fortification of Hohokam – an ancient Native American Tribe, who “may be” ancestors of the Pima Tribe.

The location is beautiful but it’s amazing to think that people would choose to land here – high up in the mountains with limited access to water. The village isn’t built on the side of a cliff as we were used to seeing in Ireland but it’s slippery enough. You can definitely see the where the rooms would be in the building of the ruins. It’s pretty cool to see. We also like see the rock formations that look like a strong wind would take them down. (Though none toppled while we were looking.)

On one visit we made a detour to see Lake Bartlett – a reservoir for much of the water used in the area. Pretty and huge.

Aine and I spent about 30 minutes climbing Piestewa Peak. It’s a much more difficult climb, many more people and it was a super-hot afternoon. I can’t tell you what the top of that peak looks like. I’m sure it’s not as nice as the Sear-Kay Ruin.

We three also went to the Botanical Gardens. The big highlight was the butterfly pavilion – and some of the art. It also gave us a quick 101 on cacti. We learned about saguaros, chollas and prickly pears. I think my favorite part of visiting Arizona is the fact that you’d never mistake a drive through Minnesota’s Superior National Forest with a drive through Tonto National Forest.

Musical Instrument Museum – country to country history of music in Phoenix by Ann Treacy
March 30, 2018, 12:41 am
Filed under: Arizona

Aine and I are in Phoenix visiting Grandpa. I’ll do a post on our visit and hiking and saguaros and maybe Aine’s steak, lobster and caviar dinner – but the visit to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) seemed worth its own post.

First – it’s huge. When you check in, they give you headphones. As you walk through the galleries, the headphones pick up the music being played at each station of the exhibit. The theme is musical instruments throughout the ages. The rooms are broken up by continent, then mostly by countries. There are 200 stations.

The docent suggested we start with Africa since so much music stems from there. Then follow the trail – which is shaped like a j. (I assume he meant the letter – but I’m not that great at shapes.) Each station includes a number of instruments, maybe some costumes, masks or other regalia and a video that includes music from the featured area. I am tempted to post the 100 or so pictures I took. But I will keep it to my very favorites.

It’s kind of amazing to see types of instruments that you find everywhere – drums for example. Or scrapers, which were my favorites. Instruments where you just scrap one things against the other – be it fork across a cheese grater or Cheshire cat with the bamboo mohawk. I loved the bowed lutes, which I feel I don’t see around now. The closest thing I can think of is Paul Metzger playing banjo with a bow. There are also lots of variations on bagpipes – the creepiest, yet coolest, was the one made from calf skin. You can pick is out below – it looks just like it sounds.

I decided that if ankle rattles count as musical instruments that maybe I could learn to play or I’d maybe try a belt rattle – but maybe not the one made of goat hooves.

After the geographic tour (and partially in the US rooms) there are a number of famous people instruments. Highlights include – guitar and suit from Johnny Cash, bodhran signed by the Chieftains, Glen Campbell’s suit and guitar, Ravi Shankar’s sitar and Tito Puente’s drums (timbales).

I thought we’d be lucky to get two hours in at the museum – we went for almost three and then came back for a while after lunch!

%d bloggers like this: