Friday, November 25, 2016

holiday time

well it's the time of year when everyone gets into holiday mode- first Thanksgiving and then Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year's etc.... and like everyone else we have our traditions and it's a busy time for all.
We began our holiday eating with a meal at Michael's on East -

then the following night we joined John, Barb, Barbara, and Beth at Captain Brian's (lots of Bs in there LOL!) before the theater to see Guys and Dolls- which gets a very tepid review from me- tired- very tired- it should stay a High School Musical as far as I am concerned.  Who has an iota of belief that a missionary for the Salvation Army would hook up with a high rolling gambler and "convert" him to her work due to instantaneous love... ahem... seriously?

Then brother Larry came up from Miami the morning of Thanksgiving and we had something other than turkey LOL- which Phil doesn't like... this year it was a QUADUCANT (pheasant stuffed with quail and duck and pork sausage), We had cajun meat pies (which were excellent) and corn and crawfish chowder and then some of the usual - mashed potatoes and haricot vert and then PIES!

this was our afternoon snack/lunch-

 then we had a real starter of corn and crawfish chowder-
 Larry sent flowers for our table but Lucy was more interested in eating ferns LOL-

This was our main this year- a QuaDucAnt- then we had the usual sides- the "bird" was really good so we will order that again!

It wouldn't be a Friedman Thanksgiving without the PIES - many PIES! LOL so while we only had two last night - we have four desserts to choose from for the weekend... french silk, apple crumble, turtle pie and bread pudding with dulce de leche topping YUM!

tonight we are off to Indigenous and tomorrow to Harry's - first time on the welcome back tour for each of those favorites- then we have to get serious about getting ready for our Colombia trip- but first we will catch up with CBGB... no rest for the wicked as my Dad used to say- LOL.... stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

good thing or bad?

This morning I found I had several messages from software that I use to remind me of things I had done - in Facebook, on Google and now even Shutterfly has gotten into the act of reminding where I was X years ago on any given date.  Today Shutterfly sent me a collage of photos from ELEVEN years ago from Yangon (you may know it as Rangoon) in Myanmar (you may know it as Burma- LOL) Which means the Zaw Lynn and the two of us are now eleven years older than we were when we were last together - our tearful departure at the airport.  We worried so much about how he would fare under the repressive regime that ruled his country.  And in the eleven intervening years good things came to pass.  When there we could only come to the end of the block where Aung San Suu Kyi lived under house arrest and now she is a participant in government of their country.

Things change - some for better - others not so much.  When Jennifer and I traveled around Tunisia, it was after the December Jasmine revolution when everyone was so hopeful for their future having left behind the onus and corruption of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali but before the elections in the following July when much to the consternation of the college educated revolutionaries- the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to the majority of positions in the government, thereby shutting down even some of the freedoms they had under the Ben Ali regime.... the wheel turns.

so as I mentioned the various software reminded me of time fleeting--- Google sent me a message about where we were FIVE years ago- (in Ljubljana, Slovenia) visiting Barbara Bedenk whom I had met in six years prior to that, on a trip to Croatia, Montenegro and Greece (which I had done with my mother and Aunt)... I have mixed feelings about this but in the end a clear view.  I am struck with a bit of sadness of how quickly the time flies by, and how much I miss those who are no longer here physically with us- my mother and sister passed in 2010 before I got to Slovenia and saw Barbara again.  And my originally planned trip to Tunisia had been delayed four years (from 2007-2011) because of my mother's failing health.

And when I showed Phil the post from Shutterfly with the Myanmar photos I said I remember the day so clearly because we had gone to Shwedagon Pagoda in the late afternoon and the low sun was glinting off the amazing gold of the stupas there.  The photos are some of my all time favorites but that day Phil was ill with a stomach bug and he was not really enjoying the temple and skipped dinner altogether - which I ate alone in the garden of our hotel.  His comment on the photo collage I showed him was "I was just a kid.." LOL - well not exactly but certainly we have both grown eleven years older.

Which brings me to the why these are such a good thing- sure they remind us of passing time and of those lost to our day to day lives but it also reminds of us of how blessed we are to have the opportunity to travel the world and to meet people from all over- make friends everywhere and to do it all together.  To do it all together.  When you marry later in life I think the perspective differs.  We knew it would be highly unlikely that we would see a fiftieth wedding anniversary like our parents did. (We both turned 47 in the year we got married.) We also have a longer view/more life experience so we value the time we spend to together and the things we get to do.

We are so lucky to lead the lives we lead and to have the resources and health to enjoy so much! So yes I do come down on the side of good.... even though sometimes the memories are bittersweet.

So from the various "helpful" software I learned that -

eleven years ago I was in Myanmar-
here is my own collage from the trip which I called "offerings"

and here is what Shutterfly posted - they picked a few of the same photos I had back then...

NINE years ago in Amalfi-

and SIX years ago in Uruguay-

FIVE years ago in Croatia/Slovenia - where one of my broadest published photos is from - it made AFAR magazine....

and THREE years ago we had just returned from the hinterlands of China (along with Shanghai)

and ONE year ago we had just seen our friend Iryna in Ukraine-

recently I found a map of the world with "where I have been" and then I made a new one for my new countries scheduled for 2017- Uzbekistan in March and Georgia in October-
 for 2017-
So yes- overall- time flies- which is why you have heard me say and will keep hearing me say GO NOW... not only is the clock hand turning turning turning- many of the places I have been to no longer exist- for good or bad- time changes everything- the river flows and when you step on the bank - it goes on- when you get back on the water - it is different water.... nothing stays to same so GO NOW - explore the world- I promise it alters your perspective and gives you a better view of the planet... so soon- off to Colombia for my return to Cartagena..... we will see how it has changed -

stay tuned.....

Monday, November 21, 2016


so a beautiful - if cool- Sunday afternoon found Barb and I at the historic Opera House in Sarasota for the ballet performance.

Balanchine, Ashton & Tudor...

wonderful program which - as usual - got better and better as the performance progressed.  It started with Apollo-

then got better with Sinfonietta-  I especially was astounded by the performance of the second movement- where the performance of Ellen Overstreet was truly awe inspiring- what strength she has!

photos follow the three movements in order - and ALL photos are taken from the program for the Sarasota Ballet season-

then finally the comedic Gala - lots of laughs - and a lovely performance by the entire group!

a fun way to while away a few hours-  then Barb and I headed to meet the guys at an early dinner - at the Shore Diner in St Armand's Circle-

  we had the pork belly tacos and tuna tartare as starters-

then as mains - John had the meatloaf and I had a burger and Phil had shrimp & scallops with risotto and Barb had a veggie burger made of black beans...
everyone was happy- so happy they were all smiles - but in different photos which I then made into a combined one-

so on we go - as usual-  now we are heading into Thanksgiving week: a play at Asolo for all four of us plus Beth (Barb's sister, who moved here just this past summer from Baltimore) and Barb's mom Barbara (one of our favorite people - a woman with a lot of history to impart!) and a visit from brother Larry.  Then in another week - our trip to Cartagena with Barb & John - it's all planned all we have to do is pack and go- hotel booked, guide booked for two days, all dinners booked - we should be good! So stay tuned!