Travels

I've been around. To be more specific, I've visited some places and lived other places. Please note: I have never yet been south of the Equator.

North AmericaEurope
Wyoming
Washington
New York City
California
Arizona
New Mexico
Texas
Louisiana
Nevada
Utah
Colorado
Illinois
Georgia
Florida
U.S. Virgin Islands
Eastern Seaboard
Gotcha!
England
Ireland
Spain
France
Italy

Wyoming
Thermopolis. Bighorn Mountains and Meadowlark Lake Lodge in an early fall blizzard. Buffalo. Sheridan. Laramie. Medicine Bow. Cheyenne. This state is stunning. It is the West, except for Laramie, which seemed like an Eastern upscale university town. And I could never forget Ten Sleep, where I had my first shot of tequila. top

Washington
My father and stepmother recently moved from Sequim, a sleepy little town on the Olympic Peninsula, to San Diego. It is very quiet and beautiful, except for the logging. Looking out over the mountains through my Dad's windows, I saw a patchwork of different-sized trees. They're all new, softwood pines. There is no old forest left. It is somehow not real, but it is. top

New York City
Spent a week there in July 2003. I walked Manhattan around 12 hours a day nearly every day I was there. As the saying goes, great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. top

California
I spent two and one-half years living in Los Angeles, where I met some lifelong friends. It is said that LA is the land of fruits and nuts and this may be so; however, I met some of the most down-to-earth people I have ever known there. I had fun. But it was too big, too many people, not enough space to think. On the other hand, San Francisco blew me away. I absolutely loved the place, but who can afford to actually live there? top

Arizona
I live in Arizona. Through my job and with friends, I have covered almost every inch of this state, and have been many places more than once. Everything is here, except a beach. Unfortunately, too many people have figured this out. Phoenix is now one of the ten most populous cities in the US. It is a spread out town, growing by the moment (and I'm not kidding). The sprawling city gets so warm that it drives the life-giving rains away from us. The asphalt absorbs the heat, to the point where you can burn your hand just grabbing your car door handle. I love the desert and the mountains, but this land of extremes is somehow empty of feeling. Or maybe it's me. Come here if you wish, but remember that Arizona is mostly desert, with limited and fragile resources. Something will have to give, sometime in the near future. top

New Mexico seems a different matter. Although I have managed to avoid visiting the larger cities, I cruised around the southwest part of the state and fell in love. Different type of desert, but noticeably cooler than the deserts of Arizona. Grasses. Railroads. Masses of wide open spaces. I recommend staying a few days in Deming and exploring the area. top

Texas
Wowie wow. Spent a week in eastern Texas and wished it could have been more. Actually canoed down a bayou! So many turtles sunning themselves.... If you're into fossils this is the place to be. Eastern Texas has them everywhere, from parking lots to railway sidings. I picked up a fist-sized ammonite that was laying on the ground at Lake Texoma, on the border of Oklahoma and Texas. I once lived in Houston for 3 months in the 60's, but the most memorable part was the thousands of tiny black frogs that appeared on the sidewalks at dusk. The place is humid. top

Louisiana really charmed me. I'd driven through the state once with a friend in 1986, stopping only in New Orleans for a walkabout, great food, and chicory coffee and beignets at the Café Du Monde. Do this at least once in your life. top

Nevada
It took me 2 years to realize that I'd never included Nevada in these pages . . . . I've been to Las Vegas more times than I care to count, often for concerts, sometimes for gambling, but mostly for the history. My favorite hotel/casino is the MGM Grand. Although Las Vegas is just a shadow of what it was in the 50s and 60s, I try and pretend that Jerry and Dean are doing a show at the Sands tonight and Sammy will play the Dunes tomorrow night. Ah, dreams. However, I've also taken an incredible roadtrip up the eastern border of Nevada, and if you're looking for a beautiful, desolate piece of the Old West, I suggest you do the same. top

Utah
Utah is the state we drove through on our way to Wyoming. Be sure you stop in Vernal. There is a motel there, the Dinaville, with the coolest plastic dinosaur ever seen guarding the front entrance. This is dinosaur country, with a museum across the street from the motel. Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention: Utah has to be the most beautiful state in the Union. You really should see it. top

Colorado
This is another one of those states that everyone has been to. I fell down a mountain in Aspen in my early 20's (you might have called it skiing), stayed overnight in Denver at the Oxford Hotel, spent time at a family friends' dude ranch in my youth. If you are into outdoors, this is the place. No surprise there. Over the last several years, I've been spending some time in Denver with friends. top

Illinois & Midwest
I was born in Chicago. I do not like it there. That's enough of my life spent on that subject.

However, I also spent a lot of my early years camping in Wisconsin and Michigan with my brother and father, and we had a blast. We fished, mooched off neighboring campers, and generally had a great time. Of course, this was 30 years ago, I'll bet things have changed. top

Georgia
I've spent time in Georgia twice in my adulthood. I had some friends in Athens, a lovely little college town. Here, I learned about the word "Antebellum", saw the world's only double-barrelled cannon, and generally had a splended time. This is small-town life, complete with enormous trees, stunning old houses, a beautiful university, and more history than you can shake a stick at. top

Florida
I have a photo of myself on the beach at around 8 months old. My mother took me down for a short vacation. I've been there several times since, mostly while my grandfather lived in Miami Beach. We fished off the pier of his condo. I caught a red snapper. My Sister-in-law, niece, and nephew live in Florida now. top

U.S. Virgin Islands
My father lived in St. Thomas for a long time. Summers spent visiting him were some of my fondest teenage memories. Working in his pet shop. Snorkeling off St. John's. Visiting his friends. Life in the jungle, so to speak. It's a small island, almost entirely mountainous and definitely mysterious, dark and leafy. I loved those summers. I guess I spent around 10 months there in total. top

Eastern Seaboard
Well, everyone has spent some time here. I lived in Buffalo, New York, and Morristown, New Jersey, in the 1960's. Nice memories, but there wasn't nearly the urban sprawl there is today. In Morristown, my brother and I used to play in the woods behind our house, at the reservoir, where my Mom told us never to go. We would sled down the hills at the nunnery nearby. I once found a tick glued to my ear after playing in a haystack, and have a mortal fear of those things to this day. This was strengthened by an episode in Georgia many years later, wherein a group of us found about 8 ticks each on our stockinged feet one evening and everyone, including the locals, just flipped. top

Gotcha!
In July 1975, I crossed the Atlantic from Southampton, England, to New York City on the Queen Elizabeth II. I had to mention it, because it was a wonderful experience and absolutely the last time I will ever cross a major body of water in a boat - excuse me, a ship. top

England
I lived in England from 1986 to the end of 1990. This was so different than living in California and Arizona. Different than life in the US. I found myself absorbing, over a period of more than 4 years, a completely different culture. Living in a foreign country is an experience everyone should have. You can never look at the United States the same way again. I won't go into too much detail here, or I will bore everyone, including me. But, I hope to live there again, someday. Update: 25 March, 2008: I revisited England twice in the last 6 months: 10 days in September 2007 and 13 days in February 2008. I hung out with friends, walked a million miles and had the best time of my life.top

Ireland
I've been to the Emerald Isle twice now. The first time, I spent 12 glorious days in Dublin City (Baile Átha Cliath) with some friends. I have never met such friendly, funny people as the Irish. I walked and walked and walked... it was sheer heaven, even though it was in late November. The second time was in Feburary 2004, and Dublin never fails to capture my heart completely. I prefer visiting Europe in winter, don't ask me why. top

France
Paris is heaven for me. I've been there twice, 1975 and 1988. Enchanting, but a little scary as well. But I love big cities like Paris and London, where I can walk all day and feel so happy, so alone. I like the feeling of knowing that no one on earth knows where I am. Just walking. Walking. Go there. top

Spain
1975, with my grandparents and cousin. Small cars. Fearless drivers. My favorite place in Madrid is the Prado. An entire room dedicated to Goya. Frightening, beautiful drawings. I bought a print and wish I still had it. top

Italy
Blew me away in 1975. We're talking some major history here. I visited Rome, Venice, and Florence, where I should have paid better attention. I want to see Cellini's Perseus. Of course, I must also visit the Uffizi. Chances are great that I have already seen both. top

Index

Last revision: 25 March, 2008
First date online: 05 May, 1997