How about Alaska?

My friend said, he wouldn’t mind going on a road trip and asked me if I wanted to come with him to Oregon to visit a friend he knew for a long time.

Well, I didn’t want to just come along.  Both he and his friend in Oregon are musicians. They like to get together and orchestrate music for hours. His friend usually invites other musician friends.  Initially it seems like it’s just me, my friend and his friend in Oregon and his wife.

Then the house gets packed with six to eight people, all with some kind of artistic background.  First we eat usually some homemade meals. Then people talk for a few minutes. Before the night gets dark, one of them will grab the guitar or the flute, and start strumming on the guitar or blow the flute.   Then the other person will start playing the piano, and then the next will come in play the tambourine.   The house changes to a music hall. Couple of times, I have watch and enjoyed. Since I don’t play, I thought another trip might be too soon for me.

He said, well, why don’t you plan another road trip.   May be I will go visit them just for a night and when I get back, may be we can go somewhere where you want to go.

“You have been talking about wanting to go somewhere, why don’t you plan one?

My past road trips have been fun. Some where quick weekend trips others were weeklong trips.

Something grand came to my head, like Alaska.

“Wouldn’t it be great to do a road trip to Alaska?

Yes, cruises are great but I wanted something less commercialized.  For some reason, I thought, , it would be better to take a smaller ferry boat/

When I googled how to get to Alaska from Seattle, here is what I found:

We could drive to Bellingham and take the ferry from Bellingham to Ketchikan. The ferry leaves every Friday at one time.

It looked like, once you get to Ketchikan, you can decide to go to Juneau, Skagway, or wherever the ferry stops. I wanted to see the beauty of Alaska and catch a train in Alaska.

If we were to follow through that meant, we needed at least 2 weeks. Two weeks, couple of day for driving there and back and then we had to take in account of taking the ferry to the destination, then driving from the arrival site to the original site.

I asked my friend, “What do you think of Alaska?”

He said, “I think you can file that under your travel dreams.”

Doing research on travels started to be therapeutic. So I will probably start researching some of the places that I would like to go and how I would get there as part of my therapeutic experience.

Trains, Trains, Trains

Because I miss riding on the train

Since I did Views from the Train, I took a few more short train rides.  One was with my father and my sister to Portland,Oregon.  I enjoyed it.  I think I like the longer train trips better. My father loved it.  I think that is where I get the love of trains from.

The other was with my friend.  We went to the Northwest Railway Museum. We took the historic train excursion from Snoqualime Depot to Northbend and back. The train was just beautiful.

The train was steaming up to take us for a ride.

Walking

I am simply trying to walk more as part of exercise and wellness.

Some days are just hard to go out even for a simple walk.

My plan is that every day that I walk I am going to take a picture and post.  Take a picture of whatever that I find interesting on my walk. They say there are thousands of treasures in your own backyard.  Well, I think I am going to go and snap some shots of  the atleast 100.  Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your backyard.  It could be your park, it could be your neighborhood, it could be any where in you town, your city, your state, your country, or wherever you would like to walk, as long as it is safe.

Here is one picture I snapped the other day.  I think road signs are very interesting.  In just one picture, it is understood, usualy universially what the signal mean.

Love the walking sign

 

One Light Year Road Trip Novel, character ability

One of my character in One Light Year (OLY) Road Trip has musical ability.  Lordy, this author just don’t have that kind of musical ability.  My character made me stretch, go and reach out.   I met a street player while I was taking a trip to the grocery store.  The man was  playing his instrument, right outside the entrance.  After he stopped playing, I asked him a few of questions about his music. He said that he was born into a musical family.  He always played music in good times and bad times.

We were talking about his instrument, which looked like flute but it wasn’t a flute.  It was called a recorder.  He played beautifully.  People stopped to admire his music and to tip him.

It was cool to know that the flute goes back thousands of years.  While I was doing research I learned that there are different types of flutes.
Native American Flutes
East Indian Flutes
Andian Pan Flutes
German Flutes also known as Western Cocnert Flute
No matter the origin, I think they all sound beautiful.
My close friend is also a musician, a guiatarist and tabla player.
He was giving me some lessons on how to strum the guitar.  There is so much to know, how to hold the guitar, where to put your feet when you are playing, frets on the guitar, tuning the guitar, pitch, notes.  Those are just basics.
Like many instruments, the instument can be further broken down to even more specific categories.
There is the Spanish Guitar
There is the elecric Guitar.
There is the steel guitar.
Learning music is like learning another language. You have to have good ear.  The good thing is you can train your ear.

One light-year road trip novel, talking about settings

What to do in Houston if you had couple of days to spend?

A scene I am writing from One Light Year (OLY) Road Trip Novel takes place in Houston, Texas.  Let me give you some no nonsense, don’t waste my time recommendations.

You would need 45 minutes to an hour going from one end of Houston to the other end. Depending on where you are staying, you might have to factor in two hours of going there and getting back, considering traffic is light.

Explore

If space interests you, then  the Johnson Space Center is a good stop for both the young and old. You would need at least good half day.

If you are a science and a nature junkie, try the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Eat

Find a good Tex-Mex restaurant.   Enjoy the warm chips and salsa.  Enjoy fajitas, enchilladas, burritos.  Cheers if you are having Dos Equis.  If you are not into that, try some good gulf shrimp, or some good Creole cuisine.

History

For history buffs, visit San Jacinto Battle Ground.

Activity

The train ride in Herman Park is a nice escape.  Good for kids, and adults too. Come on, adults like it too, if not for anything at least for the cool breeze.

Shopping

If you really, really enjoying shopping, the Galleria is a nice place to stop to shop, to eat, to get a hair cut, and to even ice skate.

 

Enjoy your stay.