.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

A visit to the Celestial Seasons Factory, Boulder

52CelestialSeasoningsTeaCenter(36)

My younger son is a PhD student at UC Boulder (astrophysics of all things) and visiting him has given me the opportunity to explore this pretty little city recently.  It’s got some nice attractions, especially it’s close proximity to the Rocky Mountains and a great summertime farmer’s market But there are many Americans who think of tea when they think of Boulder. You heard that correctly — a tea factory in America’s heartland.

Celestial Seasons may not be the biggest distributor of tea in the USA but it unquestionably has the most devoted following and is the country’s largest supplier of herbal teas.  I know several people who would have trouble going to …

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.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

St. Mary’s in the Mountain, Virginia City, Nevada

‘s in the Mountains

Virginia City is an interesting destination, being one of the best preserved “Wild West” towns I’ve ever visited.  Once a prosperous mining city, it was one of the largest communities in northwestern Nevada during the late 19th century.  Thousands of people flocked here when silver and gold were discovered in the Comstock, including many Irish Catholic immigrants.  Those of you who remember the popular television series, Bonanza, will remember that the Cartwrights frequently visited Virginia City to conduct their business.  They were not alone, as Virginia City provided services to local miners, ranchers and timber men. There’s lots to see in this old town, still a center of commerce but now catering mostly to tourists rather than locals.

I thought the …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 5, 2018: Prairie Sunrise, Alberta

00 Prairie sunrise

One of the things I enjoy about prairie winters is the soft diffused quality of the sunlight.  The sun is far to the south during the winter months and with cloud cover over the Rockies and its foothills the light is often filtered. 

Recently while making an early trip down the Cowboy Trail highway I enjoyed this lovely sunrise, which I thought I’d share with you today.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Black Sand and Green Turtles

‘u Black Sand Beach (5)

I love visiting the Big Island, my favorite of the Hawaiian Islands.  I think the main reasons are because of its active volcanoes and large stretches of undeveloped land.  The volcanoes especially fascinate me and draw me to see them again and again.  It’s because of its volcanoes that Big Island has so many black sand beaches — black sand is only formed by the breakdown of lava rock, often when hot lava encounters the ocean, solidifies, then shatters in the powerful surf.  White sand generally is due to the breakdown of shells, corals, and other organic matter. 

An excellent example of a black sand beach is Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park, located on the southeastern Kau coast.  Since black sand …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 29, 2017: Terry Fox Monument, Ontario

04 Thunder Bay (7)

The Terry Fox monument is located on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, just off the TransCanada Highway.  The monument honors a popular Canadian hero.  Terry had a leg amputated as a young man because of bone cancer.  Thinking he was cured, Terry began a “Marathon of Hope” raising cancer awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.  Every day Terry ran, in his hobbling manner on (by today’s standards) a primitive prosthesis, the full distance of a marathon with his goal being to run the breadth of Canada.  When he was nearly half finished, Terry became ill and had to abandon his quest.  Thinking at first it might just be a cold, Fox and the nation were heartbroken to discover …

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.All Trips / Central USA / North America / North Dakota

Sertoma Park, Grand Forks

08 Grand Forks Sertoma Park (29)

The city of Grand Forks, situated in northeastern North Dakota, is not exactly located on  main tourist paths.  In fact, it’s what most folks would call “flyover” country.  And that wouldn’t bother the friendly people of Grand Forks one little bit.  They know they live in a clean and beautiful city, of which they are rightly proud.

Most of my memories of Grand Forks are from when I was a boy, traveling to it from our home in Winnipeg for shopping weekends.  It had been several decades since I’d last spent any time here and what I found when we recently visited Grand Forks was a pretty city that was extremely family friendly and liveable.

We stopped at Sertoma Park, one of …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 22, 2017: Christmas Tree, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

00 Christmas Tree Reagan Airport

Washington DC dresses up beautifully for the holidays, as witnessed by this gorgeous and huge Christmas tree at Reagan airport!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

 

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Never Forget! A visit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

01 Pearl-harbor

Pearl Harbor is on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, not far from Honolulu, and is still a functioning naval base.  But it will always be best known as the site of the Japanese attack on the USA that drew the United States into World War II.

One of the most famous American political speeches of the twentieth century was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to Congress shortly after the attack.  Here are some of his words:

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.  The United States was at peace with that nation and, at

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