Wyndham Airport, $130/night
This unexpectedly-beautiful hotel sits about 300 yards from a runway at the Quito Airport, yet we never heard a single plane both nights we stayed there. It’s a great place to stay if you’re between flights in South America. It’s new, the rooms are big, there’s a restaurant on-site, it has excellent air conditioning (don’t under-estimate that!), and the staff is fantastic. The only con is that it’s 45 minutes away from Quito, so you have to make arrangements if you want to go into town (the hotel can help).
As I look back at this past year, and forward to more interesting travels in 2020, I’m amazed at the things I saw in Ecuador…the Galapagos Islands, on my bucket list for years; the Amazon rainforest, a place I never expected to find myself; and lovely Quito, the capitol of Ecuador. And it was all one trip, organized by Adventures for Solo Travelers. Continue reading
Historic Kansas City Foundation
Facebook page (the best place to keep up): https://www.facebook.com/HistoricKC/
QUALITY HILL HERITAGE HIKE
I’ve always been interested in history, and everywhere I travel I make an effort to learn about the local history, and take tours with local experts. I realized about a year ago that I could do that in my own hometown, but I hadn’t. I’m lucky to live in a city that values history and historic buildings, and cares enough to share both with the people who live here.
Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery (that’s really the name)
1100 Highway 101
Crescent City, California
Well, if you’re gonna name your art gallery “disturbing,” you’d better deliver. And this Northern California roadside attraction earns its name. One minute you’re cruising north on Highway 101, almost to the Oregon state line and promised nirvana, and the next minute you’ve U-turned so fast your dog yelps.
According to a Roadside America article, this gallery is the home of 3 artists, two of whom appear to be quite normal (driftwood sculptures and chainsaw sculptures). But the third, who luckily was not on-site the day I visited, has some issues.
This weekend provides a rare opportunity to peek into an artist’s lair and walk away with a piece of it at a relatively-reasonable price. This estate sale is at the home studio of Kansas City artist Allan Winkler, who will be in and out during the sale and is happy to sign his art for you.
Mike and Roger Estate Sales, July 26-28, (816) 309-2728
Each week I look diligently through the online posts for estate sales — a chance to walk into a stranger’s house and look at all their stupid stuff (it’s the stupid stuff that sticks around for the sales), and snoop around their homes. It’s fascinating to see what people spend their money on. And then, on my way home with a car full of someone else’s old junk, a brief moment of self-awareness sometimes kick in when I realize how I’m spending MY money.
But this week something unique caught my eye — a chance to walk into a strange artist’s home and look at all his piled-up art. I think most artists don’t appreciate their talent, so their basements collect piles of cast-aside work. That certainly seems the case with local Kansas City artist Allan Winkler, the talented sculpter, painter, cut-paper artist, cut metal artist, potter, poured glass, collage artist. He’s well-known in art circles for his outsider art.
The Bread and Puppet Museum, Theater, and Paper-Mache Cathedral
753 Heights Rd
Glover, Vt 05839
From https://breadandpuppet.org/museum :
The Bread and Puppet Museum is a massive accumulation of the puppets, masks, paintings and graphics of the Bread and Puppet Theater, housed in a 150-year-old barn in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, 25 miles south of the Canadian border. It is one of the largest collections of some of the biggest puppets and masks in the world. It was created in 1974 when Bread and Puppet Theater moved to this former dairy farm after a residency at Goddard College, and before that close to a decade in New York City. The museum is full to the brim; its population density is an expression not only of the accumulations of time but of the urgencies which inspired the making of so much stuff: the poverty of the poor, the arrogance of the war-mongers, the despair of the victims, and maybe even stronger than that, the glory of this whole god-given world. And naturally, all this will decay in due course.
The Bread and Puppet Museum is an immersive experience, even when it’s closed. During the winter and spring months the museum is closed, but their website proclaims “…you’re welcome to come in, turn on the lights, and have a look around.” You just have to turn off the lights when you leave.
A former television executive does the formerly-unthinkable…and never looks back
I cut my cable (in my case, satellite) TV cord over 5 years ago. As a former television executive for 20+ years in Los Angeles, and a major TV fan, I never thought I could make it work. And it did take a few years for enough streaming channels to emerge to satisfy me. Plus, I had to move out of the Valley and to an area where I could get the local channels over the air with an antenna (which ended up being Missouri), and I had to wait for streaming to get fast enough to not annoy me with constant buffering.
My current combo: Continue reading