Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Photo: The Most Beautiful Buddha

Our guide in Thailand was very proud of her culture and country and would regularly take add additional stops – usually ones with a magnificent Buddha of some sort – to our itinerary.

After a long day touring Sukhothai Historical Park, we are all exhausted when our guide suggests we make one more stop at Wat Si Chum to visit “the most beautiful Buddha.”

Having been previously told many times that we were about to see “the most beautiful Buddha,” most of our group stayed on the bus to nap.

That was a mistake because this may indeed have been the most beautiful Buddha we saw during our stay in Thailand.

I still don’t have my pictures from this trip edited and posted yet (it was only in 2006!), but pulled this image for printing last week and thought I would share it with all of you. Maybe I can find time to get back to those pictures soon!

For more great "Photo Thursday" viewing, visit Nancie at the Budget Travelers Sandbox and Eileen at Digital Photography and Multimedia Digital Art.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Urbanity from the Mississippi

Late this morning friends emailed my husband asking if we would like to go out on “the river” with them that evening. He had silly questions like “What river do you suppose they plan to go out on?” My only question was “You did tell them yes, didn’t you?”

“The river” turned out to be the Mississippi River.

We slide the boat into the warm, swift water near Hidden Falls in Saint Paul late in the afternoon, headed up stream to Lock and Dam Number 1 by the Ford Dam.

It is a perfect evening to be on the river and it’s fun to see my “city” from a different vantage point, one that remains very rural in feel until we reach the University of Minnesota (with particularly good views of the Weisman Museum), the new 35W Bridge, and the Upper and Lower locks at Saint Anthony Falls.

I’ve always had a soft spot for locks. Usually, of course, I am standing above, watching the boats go by. The few times I’ve gone through here myself, I’ve been on large river cruisers or paddle wheelers – not in a tiny speedboat. The perspective is rather different from a small boat!

The views of the city are gorgeous,

but I really like the below-deck view of the bridges!

Dusk comes much too soon.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Karrin Allyson at the Dakota

I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with the Dakota in Minneapolis:
  • I love the music and intimate setting, but am put-off by the extremely short sets, relatively high ticket prices, and class priority for seating;
  • I adore the brilliant meals devised by chief (and my former neighbor) Jack Riebel, but hate the fact that 90% of the menu is unavailable to late show-goers like me;
  • I love the “new” venue (it's hardly new anymore), but wish they would have designed it to allow space for comfortable pre- and post-show lingering, which would have made for a more relaxed evening for customers while increasing the Dakota’s bottom-line through increased food and beverage sales. . . .

You get the idea. The cost and irritations mean that we don't go as often as we would like.

On the subject of Karrin Allyson, however, there is no question: I simply LOVE seeing her perform.

She’s a wonderful musician with an interesting repertory (Monk to the duck song), a fascinating voice that is both rich and deep and little-girl-like, and odd mannerisms which make her fun to watch. She usually is backed up by a really good ensemble and, because she has family and professional ties here, shows may include spur-of-the moment duets with local entertainers pulled out of the audience and close with her mom selling CDs in the back. In other words, he performances always promise both great music and good fun.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Photo - Linden Hills Shop Door

Linden Hills is a charming up-scale neighborhood near the lakes in Minneapolis. I don't get over there very often, but a quick visit last week provided ample evidence that summer has arrived!

Photo of the week is part of "Photo Thursday," started by Nancie at the Budget Travelers Sandbox. Please visit her site for links to more great photos.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lake Harriet Peace Garden in Summer

The Peace Garden was created out of an earlier rock garden that had fallen into disrepair as a remembrance of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Spirit of Peace Sculpture is surrounded by stations that guide one through the process of folding a paper crane and many cranes are tucked into the sculpture itself.

The Peace Garden is just one of a number of gardens that make up the Lyndale Gardens complex.

The Annual/Perennial Gardens are just visible from the Peace Garden.

That garden features two large boarders that are just beginning to take on their summer blossoms.

The Rose Garden lies just beyond.

The other side of the Peace Garden nestles alongside the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary, another oasis of peace.