Christmas, travel, Christmas travel, Vienna, Mexico

December 24, 2014 Author’s note: I revised this slightly from last year after reading it on Christmas Eve, 2014, thinking of Christmases past, and present, while waiting for a train in Irkutsk, Russia to Ulan Bator, soon to be plunging forward into the darkness of a Siberian night aboard an east-bound train rolling towards Mongolia. “It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is…

Two trips in Italy’s Dolomite mountains, years and seasons apart, complete a circle.

Val Gardena, Italy, February late 1990’s. Two trips in Italy’s Dolomite mountains, years and seasons apart, complete a circle. The first was a skiing trip, a coincidence, and a reason to return. I flew into Milan from Las Vegas, took the next train to Bolzano, and luckily caught a bus to Santa Cristina Val Gardena where I stepped onto the snow covered sidewalk. It was snowing hard, and that was good. I was here to ski. I’d picked the Italian valley of Gardena, Val Gardena in Italian, mostly…

President Clinton honored by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

November 7 through 10, 2014 Road trip, friends, horse races, family and jazz . . . the Western Americana Road Trip continues. After our Western Americana Road Trip from fabulous Las Vegas to soaring Downtown Los Angeles, we called it a night. The next morning we woke up in downtown Los Angeles, strolled down Grand Avenue for breakfast and—so L.A.!—watched the police cordon off the street for a movie shoot. Breakfast, coffee, checkout and ready for the road. Easy two-hour drive to Del Mar and the race track….

No more famous sign than this!

November 7 through 10, 2014 Sometimes I just need a Western Americana road trip headed down a wide-open highway towards a fine steak, ponies and jazz. Sometimes I just need to a Western Americana  road trip headed down a wide-open highway towards a finely aged steak, ponies at the track, and jazz as my soundtrack. This was the weekend for it, and we are hitting the road. By 10:00 in the morning we had the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign in our rearview mirror and Interstate Highway…