Saturday, June 28, 2008

After Paradise, leaving Portal Az.

So, we left Paradise and started our trip to Silver City. The first place we hit was Portal Az. So you ask, why is it named Portal? As near as we could tell, because the town was at the head of the canyon you see here. Or, another words, Portal was the portal to the canyon in the Chiracahua Mountains. And in this case, the canyon was about to be whacked by an early monsoon storm. BTW, forgot to mention that we had to drive through a very impressive storm on the way to Paradise. Remember Alfred Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade?" It goes, " Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them" Well just substitute the word lightning for cannon and you'd have a real good idea of how we felt for a while.
The area around Portal is very beautiful and very rugged. I know I used the word "rugged" in my prior post to describe this area. I'm lobbying for a new 4x4 something (Jeep Wrangler) type thing so we can explore areas like this, so get used to words like rugged. Rugged is not a BMW 330xi. Rugged is something with ground clearance that doesn't have super low profile tires. You know what I mean? Well, unfortunately, you don't count. And you know who does count? You've got it. Mountain Monica!!!!
I'd say she's looking pretty good!
We stayed in Portal this time just long enough to take a few photos. Next time, we explore in more depth. On to Silver City where we are now. Probably won't post any photos from there. Not that there aren't pic possibilities, it's just that walking a leashed Bisbee down a Main street with one hand and holding a camera in your other hand isn't conducive to taking loads of pictures. At least not for me. We'll come back here as well. Looks like there's plenty to see here and in the vicinity.
See you all soon.

HOLY CHIRACAHUA. GREETINGS FROM PARADISE

WELCOME TO PARADISE!!

PARADISE ARIZONA, THAT IS.
JUST BISBEE, MONICA AND ME, ALONG WITH THE COUPLE OF DOZEN FULL TIME RESIDENTS OF THIS FORMER MINING CAMP (ANOTHER BOOM TO BUST STORY, ANOTHER TIME) AND A ZILLION BIRDS.
BUT NOT JUST ANY BIRDS. NOOOO. SOME (MOST?) OF THESE BIRDS I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
IF YOUR A BIRDER (AND THEY'RE A BREED APART!) OR JUST LOVE BIRDS, THEN THIS REALLY IS PARADISE.


AWWWW SHUCKS.

WE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO FAR TO TAKE ANY OF THESE BIRD PHOTOS. RIGHT FROM THE PORCH OF OUR RUSTIC CABIN, ITSELF PERCHED 5400' IN THE CHIRICAHUA MOUNTAINS IN EXTREME SOUTH EAST ARIZONA.

THE BIRDS WERE SO OBLIGING, I COULD HAVE SAT THERE ALL DAY AND EXHAUSTED MY COMPACT FLASH CARD IN NO TIME.

WHAT, YOU LOOKING AT ME?

THESE BIRDS ARE A RIOT OF COLORS. IT'S REALLY SO RELAXING AND ENTERTAINING TO JUST SIT AND WATCH. BY THE WAY, I THOUGHT OF PROVIDING THE NAMES OF THESE BIRDS FOR YOU, BUT WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY NEED THAT FOR?
OK, I'VE NO IDEA WHAT MOST ARE CALLED.

THE VIEW FROM INSIDE THE PORCH. I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED A VIEW FROM OUTSIDE THE PORCH, BUT I BECAME FIXATED ON THE BIRD SHOTS. SO TRUST ME, IT'S VERY NICE!

EVER THE INTREPID EXPLORER, MONICA MANS (WOMANS?) THE CAMERA AS WE MAKE OUR WAY TO THIS WILDERNESS, TRAVERSING OVER 12 MILES OF DIRT ROAD. WE HAD OUR DOUBTS AS TO WHETHER OUR CAR COULD HANDLE THIS, BUT SO FAR SO GOOD.

JUST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT THE SURROUNDING AREA LOOKS LIKE. IT'S EXTREMELY RUGGED AND WILD. ABOUT THE ONLY TOURISTS YOU SEE ARE DIE HARD BIRDERS. IF YOU LOOK CAREFULLY AT THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THIS SHOT, THERE'S A ROCK FORMATION WITH AN ARCH THROUGH IT. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE'S NO WAY TO MANEUVER AROUND TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THE SUN OR MOON SETTING OR RISING THROUGH IT. NUTS. WHAT A SHOT THAT WOULD BE. APPARENTLY THE MYANS HAVEN'T BEEN THROUGH HERE.

THIS WASN'T AN UNCOMMON SITE. NO ONE ELSE HERE, AND THAT'S FINE FOR KEEPING THIS AREA SUCH AN EXCELLENT BIRDING AND HIKING AREA. THERE ARE HOWEVER, WILD FIRES. THE CENTER OF THIS SHOT SHOWS SMOKE FROM ONE OF THEM, ALTHOUGH WITHOUT BLOWING UP THE PIC, I DOUBT THAT YOU CAN SEE IT.

OK, MORE TO COME. WE'RE OFF TO SILVER CIY NEW MEXICO. WE'LL SEE WHAT WE SEE AND IF WE SEE ANYTHING WE THINK YOU'D LIKE TO SEE, WE'LL LET YOU SEE.
WHAT?

LOVE,
MONICA, LEIGH AND BISBEE TOO.

Friday, June 20, 2008

NYC JUNE TRIP, CONTINUED

FINALLY GOT TO SEE BRETT'S NEW APARTMENT IN MANHATTAN. ABSOLUTELY GREAT. IT'S IN A PARK LIKE SETTING AND IS WELL LOCATED NEAR THE PLACES BRETT LIKES TO SPEND TIME IN. WE'RE VERY PLEASED THAT HE'S PLEASED.

AND BECAUSE OLD DAD PROCRASTINATED ONCE AGAIN IN GETTING A BATTERY FOR HIS WATCH, BRETT SUPPLIED THE TIMELESS(?) FELLOW WITH A NICE WATCH FOR OUR STAY. TO MY ASTONISHMENT, THIS VERY WATCH IS BEING SOLD AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART. NICE WATCH BRETT, EVEN IF YOU DID TAKE IT BACK BEFORE WE LEFT FOR HOME.

ISN'T IT AMAZING THAT AS SOON AS YOU HIT THE STREETS OF NY, EVERYONE BECOMES A BLUR OF ENERGY? ESPECIALLY IN THIS FAMILY, WHEN THE FOOD ALARM SOUNDS. AND I MEAN THAT IN A GOOD WAY. I WOULD HAVE BEEN LEADING THE LINE HAD I NOT BEEN TAKING THE PICTURE.

AHHHHH. DINNER AT TONY NAPOLE'S. I LOVE TO EAT ON THE STREETS OF NYC. LOTS OF ENERGY AROUND YOU. AND IN THIS CASE, WE DINED UNDER A CONSTRUCTION SCAFFOLD. AND WE HAD GOOD FOOD AND HAD A GOOD TIME. WE DID CHECK TO MAKE SURE WE WEREN'T UNDER A CONSTRUCTION CRANE (NOT REALLY.)

UH OH. I'M GETTNG THAT LOOK. YOU KNOW. THE ONE THAT SAY, "ONE MORE SHOT AND YOU'LL BE WEARING THAT CAMERA!" OK, NO MORE...........TODAY.

I LOVE THE ENERGY IN THIS SHOT TAKEN AS DARKNESS DESCENDED WHILE WE ATE DINNER. AND THE RAIN DESCENDED AS WELL. BRETT TOOK THIS ONE. I REALLY LOVE IT.

A VICTORY CIGAR (TO CELEBRATE WHAT, I'M NOT SURE) AFTER BREAKFAST FOR STEVE.
EVERY DAY ON VACATION IS GREAT AND EVEN BETTER WHEN YOU CAN SPEND IT WITH FAMILY.

MORE POSTS TO COME.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NYC JUNE TRIP

SO, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BLOG POSTING ABOUT A TRIP START IN THE BATHROOM?
ME NEITHER.
BUT THIS WAS JUST TOO GOOD TO PASS UP. TUCSON INTERNATIONAL HAS RECENTLY UNDERGONE SOME SERIOUS CONSTRUCTION AND NOW THEY'RE GETTING DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY. WE TRAVEL OUT OF HERE OFTEN AND THIS IS NEW. AND VERY GOOD. IT'S A TILE MOSAIC THAT NOT ONLY DEPICTS THE USUAL MEN'S ROOM DATA VIA TILE GLYPHS (MEN ONLY, WHEEL CHAIR CAPABLE, LUGGAGE WELCOME, KID FRIENDLY, DIAPER STATION AVAILABLE, ETC.,) BUT ALSO DEPICTS THE POTENTIAL HIGH LIGHTS OF YOUR VISIT TO TUCSON (FOX THEATER, CONGRESS HOTEL, "A" MOUNTAIN, RIALTO THEATER, THE TUCSON MOUNTAINS, THE INCREDIBLY HOT AT THE MOMENT SUN, BARREL CACTI, ETC..)
I GUESS WE WERE SO FASINATED BY THIS BECAUSE IT REMINDED US OF THE NYC SUBWAY STATION TILE WORK. FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T NOTICED, MOST SUBWAY STOPS HAVE ORIGINAL TILE WORK DEPICTING SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT THAT STOP. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE LADIES ROOM HAS A DIFFERENT BUT EQUALLY INTERESTING PICTO-TILE-MOSAIC. NICE JOB.


AND WHO SAYS FLYING IS BORING?
I LOVE THE WINDOW SEAT (AS LONG AS IT'S IN A TWO SEATER ROW, MONICA IS SITTING NEXT TO ME AND IT'S NOT A TRANS OCEANIC FLIGHT. SMALL DETAILS.) AND THIS TIME I WAS REWARDED WITH A MOST BEAUTIFUL CLOUD FORMATION SHORTLY AFTER LEAVING DALLAS.


EVERY VISIT TO NYC REMINDS ME OF WHY THIS PLACE CAN BOAST THAT IT'S THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. CASE IN POINT. AIM YOUR CAMERA IN ALMOST ANY DIRECTION AND YOUR LIABLE TO SEE A CHURCH (SEE CROSS ABOVE.) IF YOU CAN'T SEE THE CROSS, USE YOUR LEFT CURSOR BUTTON TO MAKE THE PICTURE LARGER. IF YOU STILL CAN'T SEE THE CROSS, GET REAL AND GET GLASSES. SO FAR NOTHING YOU WOULDN'T SEE IN ANY OTHER AMERICAN CITY ( I KNOW, THAT'S THE CHRYSLER BUILDING IN THE SHOT. YOU WOULDN'T SEE THAT IN TOO MANY OTHER PLACES. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT.)


NOW THE FUN STARTS. I DON'T KNOW WHAT RELIGION OR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN THESE FOLKS ARE FROM. BUT I PROMISE YOU I DIDN'T GO OUT OF MY WAY TO BUMP INTO THEM. THESE THINGS ARE ALL OVER NYC. AND I LOVE THE REACTION OF THE TWO WOMEN IN THE PICTURE. ABSOLUTELY NO REACTION. TYPICAL NEW YORKERS.


FINALLY, WE BUMP INTO THE ISRAEL DAY PARADE. SIDE STREETS EAST AND WEST OF FIFTH AVENUE ARE SIMPLY JAMMED WITH PARADE PARTICIPANTS, WAITING THEIR TURN TO MARCH DOWN FIFTH. AGAIN, NO INTENTION, JUST ON OUR WAY TO SOMETHING ELSE (MUSEUM OF MODERN ART TO BE EXACT.)
THE CONFLUENCE OF SO MANY CULTURES, RELIGIONS AND NATIONALITIES IN THIS ONE SMALL PLACE IS AMAZING. THE FACT THAT FOR THE MOST PART EVERYONE GETS ALONG ON A DAILY BASIS IS AMAZING AND A BLESSING. AND MAYBE A SMALL PIECE OF EVIDENCE THAT THIS REALLY IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.

NEXT POST COMING VERY SOON. STAY TUNED.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008