Weekend at the Oregon Coast

Last weekend, on the spur of the moment, I drove to the Oregon Coast. It’s just under an hour and half drive from home. I booked a hotel with an oceanfront view, which is the best way to go because you can spend half the time in your hotel room and still feel that the trip was well worth it.

I sat on the beach, eating clam chowder and a shrimp sandwich; later, relaxing in my room and listening to the sound of the ocean, I watched the waves. In the morning, as I walked on the beach, a flock of sandpipers busily dodged the surf. These creatures, with their spindly little legs, are very cool to watch, and they definitely work as a team!

On the beach in the morning, wearing my hoodie…looking and feeling like a monk.

An awesome flock of sandpipers!

Enjoying the waves from my hotel room window.

On Being Home

November 12, 2018 Sitting in my backyard in Oregon

Having traveled extensively and lived, studied, and done research abroad, I know how central the concept of “coming home” is to that experience. Of course, when you return to “life as usual,” you bring new memories, perhaps new distant friends, and hopefully personal growth. You might have reverse culture shock or see your native land in a slightly different light; you might even have a great shift in perception. T.S. Elliot famously wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time,” and Lin Yutang wrote, “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” After spending weeks in places where I didn’t know anyone, I have appreciated just going to my local supermarkets and cafes, being greeted by familiar faces.

Royal Coconut Coast — Kauai, Hawaii

In mid-September, I took my parents on a Hawaiian vacation. Last December, we went to Oahu and stayed a block from Waikiki, so we decided on a less touristic Hawaiian experience and chose Kauai, the Garden Isle. We booked a resort condo on the Royal Coconut Coast for eight days; however, due to Tropical Storm Olivia heading directly for Maui at the very hour we were set to land and connect to Kauai, we postponed our flight for two days until the storm had passed. It was a wise decision. Hawaiian Airlines was very helpful and accommodating in changing our flights.

We were greeted at the airport with a Lei placed around our necks and kisses on our cheeks (although I paid for that, it’s a lei greeting service), and thus started the beginning of a week of relaxation and enjoyment in paradise.

We stayed at the Waipouli Resort, booked through Kauai Calls, where we had an ocean front, two bedroom condo. The unit had a gorgeous, large kitchen; three bathrooms, two showers, and a very large jacuzzi bathtub and another regular size one as well. Waipouli is just next to the interesting, old town of Kapaa.

The resort has its own beach with a resident endangered Hawaiian monk seal. It also has an elaborate, winding, river-like, swimming pool with water-slides, grotto, and three sand-bottomed hot tubs. Next to the pool area is a good restaurant and bar called the Oasis on the Beach. The weather was always around 85 degrees during the day and just under 80 at night. I loved sleeping with my lanai window open and listening to the soothing sound of the waves.

Below are photos from beautiful Kauai, “the Garden Isle.” I also have a lot of video footage of this trip that I might post later. We visited Hanalei Bay in the North and Poipu Beach in the South, which I will cover in my next post. After my Hawaii posts, I will begin telling you about my 5 week European adventure. Kauai was definitely the most relaxing part of my six week travel. Yes, the island chain is the 50th U.S. state, but it has its own unique culture and way of life and that special Aloha spirit. I would like to return. Mahalo to all the nice and welcoming people that we met!

France in May

I spent the month of May working in Lyon, France and toward the end of my stay, I spent an afternoon and evening in Lille. Lyon is beautiful, and I enjoyed my time there in January and May.

I was impressed with Lille and the Lillois’ hospitality, friendliness, and their joie de vivre. Lille also has impressive architecture, interesting history, and an abundance of cultural sites.

They say, “When you go to the North you cry twice, once when you arrive and once when you leave.” I look forward to returning to Lille soon.



 Night out with the Lillois…super friendly people!

One of my favorite French songs!

Il y a du soleil à Lille

Lyrics translated into English (Google Translate)

One says
We say that the North is always gray
That there is only fog and rain
It is also said that there are heaps, wind and wet pavements
It’s said that people in the North have in their hearts the sun they do not have elsewhere
But believe me it’s a mistake

There is sun in Lille
Do not believe what is said
There are as many girls as in Monte-Carlo or Capri
There is sun in Lille
Do not believe what is said
There are as many idylls as in Saint-Tropez or in Paris

And when comes the month of April
In the streets of the old neighborhoods
Subtle spring tunes
Seem to resurface from the past

The little quinquin no longer cried
Since her mother sang
If he was wise and sleepy
He would chuck ‘galore
(Sleep my little Quinquin, sleep, ouè)
It’s raining all over France
Marseille and Paris are under water
It’s sunny in Lille
As in Nice or Mexico City
There is sun in Lille, you must not believe what is said
We meet as many girls as in Hollywood or Monte Carlo

There is sun in Lille, but yeah
But do not believe what you are told
Know it’s not hard to find good weather in our country

The little quinquin no longer cried
Since her mother sang
If he was wise and sleepy
She gave him a nice sabiot

There is a volcano in Sicily and a cyclone in Tahiti
There is as much sun in Lille as in Dakar or Brindisi

There is sun in Lille
You can believe what you are told
There is sun in Lille
As in the heart of all the ch’timis

There is sun in Lille
You can believe what you are told
There is sun in Lille
As in the heart of all the ch’timis

Scottsdale, Arizona in April

I spent a little time in  Scottsdale, Arizona on a business trip in April. Here are some photos from that trip.

Aquarium in Scottsdale
Dinner in Phoenix
With Alia the dolphin in Scottsdale. I always rather see dolphins out of captivity. These dolphins are raised in captivity but are given great care. It was a special experience, despite my desire to see them free and in the wild.
Dolphinaris in Scottsdale
Top Golf in Scottsdale
Hiking in the desert
Arrived a little early before my business meeting and enjoyed a little of Scottsdale’s nightlife at the May Day and Night Club, which features a lighted pool.