In March of 2002, Kay and I along with friend Kathy took a trip to Italy. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a journal of this trip, so what I’m writing here years later are a few things that I remember. Looking at the photos of the things we saw, memories of the trip have been on my mind.
It’s been almost two weeks since the obscene incident we New Yorkers now refer to as the World Trade Center Explosions changed the life of our city so grotesquely. Since that morning of September 11th – a date that like December 7th, 1941 will live in infamy – I, along with most other New Yorkers, have been trying to come to terms with what has happened to us. Here are some of my thoughts and recollections.
Adventure Cycling Bike Tour with Judy Stoner – July 21-28, 2001
Friday & Saturday, July 21 & 22, 2001
Bad start. Arrived 7 pm, grey skies, no bikes. Northwest Airlines’ employees not reassuring. All turned out well, however, Bikes were delivered the next morning at Big Sky High School. Judy and I assembled ours in the parking lot, and then rode into downtown Missoula.
Town has a special atmosphere, sense of liberal tolerance. Young people on the street dressed like hippies from the 60s.
Kay and I have been to Florence only once and it was more than fifteen years ago. Unfortunately, I made no notes about the trip, but we both have our memories. I must confess that we were often uncomfortable during our week-long visit.
Saturday, May 5, 2001
Wacked out from the flight. Eating gelato in the shadow of the cathedral, an immense construction of pinkish marble that took five centuries to build. I wonder what was the original form. It was finished under Napoleon who knew how to get things done.
RAGBRAI is an acronym. It stands for Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. The Des Moines Register is a newspaper that claims to be the number one source for news and information in Des Moines and across Iowa.
The history: “In the beginning, when a few friends got together for a casual bike ride across Iowa in 1973, no one imagined that a tradition would be born, let alone that it would become the longest, largest and oldest recreational bicycle touring event in the world.”
Sometime in late 1994 or early 1995 in New York City, I bought a touring bike, a Trek 525, with the intention of touring parts of Western Ireland that I knew to be Yeat’s country. A novice at touring, I did know I would be facing wind, rain, and hills, so I began training in earnest around New York, riding mostly in the hills of Northern New Jersey. By degrees, I loaded my panniers with more and more weight, and picked rainy days and hills to accustom myself to the rigors I would encounter in Ireland. When the time came, I disassembled my bike and packed it in cardboard. Aer Lingus was good about checking my bike and gear, and the Shannon Airport authorities had no problem letting me assemble my bike in a quiet corner and even stored my packing materials until I returned. What follows are the notes I made in my travel journal of that adventure. Fortunately, I took photos with my Nikon SLR, and I’ve used some to illustrate my notes.
From Memory in 2017
Kay and I arrived by air in Budapest from Munich in December of 1989. The Malev Airlines flight that brought us served salami-and-pickle sandwiches. Naturally, it was cold, and the hours of daylight were short.
This was quite an exotic trip for us, our first to Eastern Europe that was just then emerging from decades of Communist rule. At the time of our arrival the red star was still standing atop Hungary’s parliament building, and, in Berlin, the wall was coming down.
Alas, I didn’t keep a journal of our extraordinary two-week travel adventure in England that we enjoyed between September 28th and October 12th in 1985. What I have are the photos I took and some keen memories.
Beginning as one thing in the southwestern-most corner of the island, it unexpectedly morphed into something else. In two weeks, we visited the towns of Penzance, Wells, Bath (twice), Oxford, and Stratford-upon-Avon. It was an historical and cultural adventure par excellence, and it had its share of natural beauty, as well. Continue reading Once upon a Time in England
9/11/81 NYC – Frankfurt. Went to Capitol Airlines to get standby numbers. Bought travelers checks. Went to JFK at 6 p.m. Took flight to Frankfurt instead of Brussels. Slept most of time on the plane. Met Christa, an interpreter from Munich.