Shen Yun, Boston

Shen Yun weekend, Boston March 3-4, 2017

 

Time flies when one is busy. It seems like ages ago I enjoyed the weekend in Boston with Ronda, Aria and Nate and I still haven’t written about it here. I must get better at this!

Coming back to New Hampshire in March after leaving for Michigan at the end of January was very welcome. It felt good to see friends at work and to spend time with my daughter and my grandchildren.

The highlight of the trip was an overnight trip to downtown Boston with my family. We stayed at the Boston Loew’s Hotel housed in the old Boston Precinct building. Located in the heart of the city near Boston Commons, the theater district and museums it was perfect for enjoying some of the best of Boston downtown. The room, while small, was first-rate.

We arrived at Loew’s in the afternoon well before check-in time of 4PM. We used our time to walk to the Museum of Modern Art, a cold, windy trek. The museum was an interesting and worthy destination. Besides ship models and early American art, there are also Asian rooms, carousel animals, folk art, and far more than I could appreciate in the few hours we had to explore. One of my favorite exhibits was the MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS miniature sculpture by local artist Nancy Schon and original out-takes from the book by Robert McCloskey. Larger sculptures of the famous ducklings are in Boston Commons. In 1995 a duplicate of the beloved ducklings was given to the Soviet Union by First Lady Barbara Bush for the enjoyment of the Soviet children.

The bitter cold and fierce wind prompted a taxi ride back to the hotel to warm us up before we enjoyed steaks and lobster at the Precinct Bar and Grill. The food was delicious and left nothing to be desired.

The next morning was even more bitter than the previous day. The force of the wind made walking around difficult to enjoy. We never did make it to nearby Boston Commons to see the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in the park. It was just too cold. We abandoned the effort and returned to the Loew’s to warm up before taking a taxi to the theater to see Shen Yun.

I was expecting a visual extravaganza and Shen Yun exceeded my expectations. The dancers flew across the stage, their brilliantly colored costumes swirling and floating around them. The dances entranced us with graceful gymnastics, clever use of props and stunning leaps. Chinese history, folk dance and even humor blended to create an enthralling experience.

Happy trails,

The Road Gypsy

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Michigan

Hi Everyone!

Life happens and the Travel Gypsy's plans have been changed.  My mom needs my help and I am going to keep home base in Michigan to give it. My mom is Wanda Hayes and will be 93 on August 8 this year. She still beats the family at cards and is a delight to be around. Our current card game is usually Five Crowns. A few years ago my very talented brothers and sister and their spouses worked together to create an extremely nice studio apartment for Mom in my sister's home. My mom gave us a scare in January by going to the hospital for dehydration and for falls. I left New Hampshire about 5 days earlier than planned to get home quickly. Thanks to Steve, Thom, Dan, Alex, and others from Home Depot in Plaistow for helping my daughter empty my apartment. Because of their kindness,  I was able to leave early on Saturday January 28th and get to Michigan by the next day.

I am glad to say Mom is much better now. She has more strength and can walk short distances with her walker or her cane. Such a relief.

This coming Sunday I am still traveling to Boston to spend a week with my daughter, Ronda and grandchildren, Aria and Nate. Last week Nate's basketball team became the local champions! It was Nate's first year playing and he really enjoyed being on the team. Next week is their winter break from school and we plan to have fun all week. At the end of the week we will be spending the night in downtown Boston's Loew Hotel, having dinner in the Precinct Bar and Grill and seeing Shen Yun, the Chinese dance program. The Precinct Bar and Grill is in the old Boston Police precinct. That should be an interesting bit of history to see.

On March 9th I will be traveling to Phoenix to start a road trip to San Diego, California with my son Robert and granddaughter's Elliot and Selah. I won't detail plans here now but will write about it when I return.

May the roads you travel be kind to you.

Love from the Road Gypsy,

Dee

 

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Iceland 2016

Iceland!

Wow what can I say? Being in Iceland was fantastic. The wind is fierce and constant. The scenery is rugged with raw beauty outside of Reykjavik and the city is colorful and engaging. The Icelanders are friendly, helpful and speak English that is easily understood.

When I texted Ronda and Rob to ask them if they’d like to go. I got a 2 second response from Rob, yes! Ronda echoed a yes a minute later. Traveling to Iceland with my children was really a treat for me. We haven’t traveled with just the 3 of us since they were teenagers. Rob brought along his travel buddy, Fluffy, with the bugged-out eyes. Don’t ask me why. Fluffy was the best traveler of all of us though and didn’t seem to be affected by jet lag at all.

One thing I found interesting about Reykjavik is the unusual use of color on their houses and businesses. The cheery splashes of color brightened the icy streets and distracted us from the windy chill. In the pictures you can see examples of their use of color and playful artistic expressions.

We rented a car rather than go on tour buses. We saw most of the Golden Circle sites, relaxed in the Blue Lagoon and drove to the Black Sand Beach. All of it is not to be missed. My favorite day however was the drive we took from Reykjavik to Vik and back. On the way we saw many spectacular waterfalls, geysers, a farm that miraculously was spared by the volcanic eruption that shut down European air travel in 2010, and frequently the road cut through rough, churned up lava fields of black rocks that are cracked and split. The black sand beach in Vik is impressive, but not a warm setting. I doubt the beach sees many bikinis even in the summer as it rarely gets hot in Iceland. On the beach there is a statue facing south toward the British Isles to commemorate the peace between the two countries when the deadly Cod War was finally resolved. A matching statue is facing Iceland on the British shore. On the return trip to Reykjavik a snow storm blew up suddenly and Ronda drove through white-out conditions to get us safely back to our Guesthaus, Erik the Red. The winds that race across Iceland constantly make even the smallest snowstorm a white-knuckle driving experience. Thank goodness for Ronda! Dinner that night was delicious Reykjavik Crisps and sauces, easily the best seasoned French fries I’ve ever had. Although the harrowing experience of traveling a couple hours in a white-out conditions may have added extra spice to our unusual meal.

If you visit Iceland I highly recommend our guesthaus, Erik the Red, located in downtown Reykjavik, across the street from the spectacular church in the pictures and only a few blocks from shops and restaurants. Our room had a kitchenette and small private bathroom. It was clean and comfortable. This is not your ordinary bed and breakfast inn however. The breakfast is what sets this inn apart. Besides normal fare of cereal and juice, there was 4 or 5 different cheeses, breads, caviar paste, pickeled herring, and sliced fish and meats and fruit. All guests serve themselves and sit together family-style at one big table. The guests during our stay were from Switzerland, England and Pennsylvania. It made our stay even more special to visit with them while we enjoyed the smorgasbord.

Did we see the aurora borealis you ask. Unfortunately, due to very cloudy conditions, we did not. Even so, there were enough other amazing experiences that it is still a trip I’d love to do again.

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Hello World!

As of January 11, 2017 I will be retiring from full time employment and beginning almost full time retirement. Tentatively I plan that I will be closing down my apartment in New Hampshire by the end of January.

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