Friday, August 20, 2010

Been Travelling

I got back from a family trip to the Northeast US and Canada on Monday. Our college aged son, John, was out of summer session with a week to spare before getting back to Gainesville to prepare for his fraternity's fall rush. Prior to leaving, I got in one last run with buddy John, a 10 miler, while attending a Florida Bar conference in Palm Beach.

The trip started with the Newport Jazz Festival on Sunday. Our flight had gotten delayed and we only made the last two performances, but they were good ones. Herbie Hancock played from his new album. The set contained jazz versions of John Lennon's "Imagine" and Bob Marley's "Exodus." Chris Botti closed the evening with several special performers. All in all, a great afternoon of jazz. I'd like to do more of these live jazz festivals. I think you never appreciate jazz more than hearing it live and watching the musicians play their instruments. Not sure why that is, but it seems to be the case.

We traveled up to Maine, staying with some friends who have had a place up there for decades. The views of the water during the day and the skies at night were spectacular. You know you're away from light pollution when you can actually see the Milky Way. I love just gazing into the night sky's when you can see countless stars in the night sky. We toured Acadia National Park, as our son John wanted to do this for years. We did some hiking and rock climbing. At one point, the Bob Marley's "Exodus" came up on my iPod and young son, Alex, sang along to the music. I guess he got something out of Newport Jazz too.

Next up, we drove through Maine and up to Quebec City, Quebec, an unexpected pleasure in several ways. As we checked into our hotel, we were informed that Cirque de Soleil had a free performance at a nearby open air performance center at 9 PM. We grabbed a quick bite and then caught the show. Like most Cirque shows, the story line was somewhat vague and in French, but was marvelous. The next day we caught the changing of the guard and toured the Citadel, ate lunch at a sidewalk cafe, hiked a nearby waterfall park, and ended the evening in the Port area. All we unexpected pleasures in that we originally didn't plan to visit Quebec City. However, it was also in Quebec City that I came down with a pretty bad head cold.

The next couple of days were spent in Montreal. Our hotel was newly renovated in a modern style. Very luxurious. We visited the Montreal Art Museum, toured Old Town, and walked the gardens next to the Olympic Stadium. Meanwhile, my cold got worse. By Sunday morning, I developed laryngitis, which I'm just getting over now. Salome & the boys kept joking that they liked me better this way.

Sunday afternoon, we drove to visit our friends Guy and Noami, who have a summer home in Vermont. Their home has a lovely view of seven mountain ranges going from Vermont into New Hampshire. Guy & Naomi had some neighbors and friends over for an evening barbecue. We ended the evening watching an open pit fire burn. It was nice getting together with a couple we really enjoy, but don't see often enough. Our sons also connected nicely with their two boys.

As we were making our plans for the drive back to Providence for our flight back home on Monday, I noted that we could drive through Springfield, Massachusetts, home of the Basketball Hall of Fame. I'd been floating the idea of a trip to several of the sports halls of fame, but the family has never signed onto that idea. When I mentioned that we could knock off one of the halls of fame, they eagerly agreed to add this new stop to our travels. I'm not sure whether they were trying to please me, or were just eager to knock one of these things off the list. In any event, all of us enjoyed touring the Basketball Hall of Fame and learned a lot about the early history of the game in addition to seeing our favorites. To top it off, Scottie Pippen was recently inducted. Scottie's son was on my son Alex's team this last year and Scottie occasionally coached the kids. Thus, it was nice that Alex had a personal connection to one of the hall of famers.

Other than the 10 mile run with John, the only workout I got in was a 30 minute run up Mount Real in Montreal. Otherwise, I've been off the grid workout wise. This cold had me down, but I'm just about over it. I'll try to get some workouts in this weekend and next week in preparation for next weekend's Miami Nice Sprint Triathlon. It will probably be more for completion and getting back on the horse, than for time. Besides, I don't know if you've noticed, it's pretty hot out there in these dog days of August.

1 comment:

  1. Free Cirque de Soleil ?? Sweet. That will usually drop you back $100 a ticket.

    Gainsville, huh? You have any connections to get a kid in? My son is a senior this year with great GPA but since he is ADHD, he tests poorly on all day tests (ACT & SAT)