It was exquisite and exactly what I needed. We all need to get away once in a while: Away from the hustle and bustle, the commute, the office, the job, the work, the race, and just take time to relax. Our retreat was in a beach house and it couldn’t be more perfect.
We spent our days, talking, joking, singing together, dining, exploring, enjoying nature and even fitting in time for a steam and a massage at a spa. Overall it was a great experience and I highly recommend everyone do it at least once a year.
I’ve been to many exotic places around the world, but I’ve also been to exotic places in America. My recent trip found me in an exotic location in America, where grapefruit and orange trees grow in public places and yield their fruit freely. Where palm trees lilt in the warm breeze even in Winter and desert flowers decorated the landscape.
Where is this, you ask? Well, it is in Tucson, Arizona. I spent warm January evenings by the pool and hot tub, with an outdoor fire, surrounded by palm trees and orange groves. The even warmer Winter days are filled with wondrous flowers and scents and crowned by stunning sunsets. I recommend everyone visit Tucson or at least somewhere in Arizona in the Winter and you’ll be warmed, amazed and refreshed.
Every great city has a history. Every great city has experienced change, growth, advancement, tragedy, rebuilding, success, failure and taken on its own personality. Some great cities are transformed and grow so fast they split into multiple cities. Some great cities experience massive influx of residents and some experience massive exodus.
But no matter how great the city, how technologically advanced, how great its sports teams are, how fast its growth or the size of its productivity and profit, all great cities still retain the one most important thing of all: Every great city has its own soul.
I have loved trains ever since I was a boy. Still today the sound of a train whistle, the rumble of an approaching train and the thunder of a passing train still stir my soul and bring back great memories. When I was a child I traveled across the U.S. by train several times and each trip was memorable. I am still cradled by the click-clack of the wheels going along on the tracks, like a lullaby. Looking up I see the map of the Northwest, cities dotted by lights and the Pacific Ocean, gateway to another adventure.
When I lived in Europe, I fell in love with trains all over again, traveling all over the U.K. and the continent, on trains, under the Channel on the Eurostar and on tubes every day in the London Underground. From the Berlin Zoo train to the Paris Metro, I rode trains frequently and renewed that love. And in the sleeper cars of the long distance trains across Europe that love was sealed. Even today, when I travel by train up and down the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, my memories are rekindled and my soul is stirred. Even the club dining car with it’s chrome bar, leather seats and retro lighting are nostalgic!
Words and photo copyright 2016 by Eddie Edwards.
We drove together from Seattle down to Portland. He drove all the way, in his car. We listened to each other’s music, talked about everything from his job to my job, friends to career, to cars and girls. It was a very rewarding time and we learned a great deal about each other.
We have been very close, my son and I, since the day he was born and he spent the first night in this world sleeping on my chest. But as he has grown and become a young adult, we have found there are different things we both like. Even though he is my mini me just as I was my father’s mini me, this trip solidified our closeness and gave us even more great memories together. I highly recommend each parent take a road trip with each of their children.
I have finally made a choice and taken the risk and will soon be reaping the rewards. When you prioritize and put what’s most important first, family, you will find new opportunities will open up all around you. But you need to be smart, have faith and work hard to take advantage of those opportunities.
I am very excited as I move into the Christmas season and look forward to the New Year for a new job and many new chances to grow, learn, create, solve problems, travel and become a better person.
Remember to give thanks every day. Every day I try to remember to give thanks for at least one thing: My family, my job, nature, travel, being able to play music, being a referee of multiple sports at a Professional level, health, my house, my yard, anything I can think of.
I believe we all have at least one thing to be thankful for every day. And all we have to do is stop complaining for one minute, stop feeling sorry for ourselves, think of all the others we know who have suffered much worse than us, and we can be thankful each day.
“The Prisoner of Zenda” is a great and quick read for Oktoberfest. I love this tale about mistaken identity, trading places, Germany in the Summer, travel and the great outdoors. I also love Oktoberfest and the celebration of the harvest, feasting and great beverages. I also love to read. Having been to Germany and traveled there many summers, I can appreciate the great woods and forests, as I have hiked in the Black Forest and eaten wild raspberries there. I have also visited many German castles.
The film version with Peter Sellers is also well done and captures the spirit of Ruritania and Anthony Hope, the author, would be proud!
I recently accomplished and completed a quest. Travelling all over Washington and Oregon, the great Northwest, I have finished all of the experiences and obtained all of the location stamps to complete my Mcmenamins passport and become a Cosmic Tripster. I had many great experiences along the way, great road trips and some memorable overnight stays. I also encountered some very interesting people, ate some great food, discovered some new cultures and totally secluded places far from the tourist main destinations. I have also tasted some wonderful brews, wine and assorted beverages, heard some great live music and fed my soul. Now, I am contemplating a new passport and starting the journey all over again!
As a lover of quests, travel, discovery, scavenger hunts, exploring and relic hunting, I find many things that are not on travel brochures and are off the tourist’s routes. This most recent trip to Oregon, I discovered a medieval cathedral that has been built into a restaurant and decorated inside most exquisitely. There are large stone towers, in which medieval nooks with benches and table have been set up. There are floor to ceiling tapestries and coats of arms, as well as knights standing guard in full armor. This is truly a place everyone should visit. It is called John Barleycorns, the name reflecting both nature and magic, which this establishment embodies.