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Why Mozart Is My Favorite July 27, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
14 comments

This performance by members of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra  illustrates why Mozart is my favorite classical composer:

Mozart: Serenata notturna, K.239

Oh, did I mention that my nephew is 3rd from the right playing viola?

Yup, that’s him!

Aah . . . that’s awesome!

Experience A Little Deja Vu May 17, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
27 comments

Now that things are opening up after 14 months of masks and social distancing due to CoVid, experience a little “deja vu” by doing something again . . . for the first time.

Ride a bike, take a wagon ride, go roller skating, climb a tower, build a treehouse, spy on birds, stroll the water’s edge, plant a garden, wander the woods, pack a picnic, go horseback riding, step back in time at a local historic site, or, if you’re feeling brave, enjoy a canopy sail through the tree tops via parachute or parasail.

The sky’s the limit!

No man steps into the same river twice ~ for it is not the same river and he is not the same man. ~ Heraclitus

It’s The, The, The, The . . . GRINCH! December 9, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
14 comments

Filmed in London, airing tonight on NBC ~ it’s The Grinch!

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Aah . . . that’s GRINCHY!

Mount Ascutney, Vermont September 23, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, People, Sustainable Living, Travel & Leisure.
30 comments

I’ve never skied Mt. Ascutney (no big surprise, right?), but I’ve hiked it in the summer.

Many times.

Here’s how the town of Windsor (next town over from where Dad grew up), saved the mountain’s accessibility for the community.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Cat & The Caterpillar January 19, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

When I got to the fork, I saw a giant mushroom.  On it perched a Hookah Smoking Caterpillar.

“Hmm . . . curious and curiouser.”

From a floating smile, the Cheshire Cat emerged.

I asked the Cat and the Caterpillar, “Which way should I go?”

The Cat just grinned.

With that, the Caterpillar sat and started to chat, rather randomly at first and then with increasing clarity and wisdom:

Happiness is not waiting for us at the end of the road ~ it’s found here and now, by enjoying each step along the way!

“A good traveler has no set plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

I decided I was already exactly where I needed to be . . . so I sat to chat.

With the Cat and the Caterpillar.

And that was that.

I never reached the bend in the road.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have Bar Will Travel November 11, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

At a recent Harbour Isles event, the BAR arrived on four wheels!

What’s better than a traveling bar?

How about a traveling pizza oven?

Aah . . . that is better!

Giants, Dragons, & Unicorns November 5, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Magick & Mystery, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

After our aborted first attempt, we fit in a visit to the Bishop Museum to see Giants, Dragons, & Unicorns (The World of Mythic Creatures).

The exhibit features unique cultural objects (art, jewelry, masks, puppets) which highlight the similarities and differences in the ways people around the globe envision and depict mythic creatures.

As we wandered through the exhibit, we learned about Sea Monsters, Griffins, Unicorns, and Dragons . . . oh, my!

Giants, Dragons, & Unicorns (The World of Mythic Creatures) shared theories and research highlighting how misidentification, speculation, fear, and imagination spawned the creation of a myriad of mythic creatures.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to meet this guy in a dark alley . . . even if he has misplaced his dentures!

While at the museum, we also visited the Mosaic Backyard Universe where kids can run, jump, climb, and blast off into space in a cardboard rocket!

But first . . . here’s a Unicorn for Tippy Gnu:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Switching Gears November 3, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
24 comments

Yesterday morning, we planned to go to the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature.  In addition to the Mosaic Backyard Universe (opened this fall), we wanted to enjoy a special exhibit from  the American Museum of Natural History in NYC ~ Giants, Dragons, & Unicorns (The World of Mythic Creatures).

After touring the museum, we planned to visit the Bradenton Farmer’s Market to get some fresh local produce.

Of course, life is what happens when we’re busy making plans.

Just before leaving, I checked the museum’s website to confirm the time it opened . . . and learned that it was closed all day in preparation for a fundraising gala that evening.

OK.  Plan B.  We’ll go to the Farmer’s Market, get some produce, stash it in the car, and then enjoy a walk along the Riverwalk.

When we arrived at the Farmer’s Market, our favorite farmer wasn’t there. Greens On The Go was a No-Go.  We walked from end to end of the market without making a purchase because the produce didn’t look appealing.  Or local.  Instead of small farmers selling their current harvest, the vendors looked like they grew everything under the sun . . . a sign that they didn’t grow anything at all.

So we enjoyed our walk along the Riverwalk, made a couple of pit stops for provisions at Panera and Fresh Market, and returned home for lunch.

After lunch, I looked through the island papers and saw:

The Sandblast sandsculpting contest will be 9 am – 1 pm, Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.

BFF and I agreed to head over there for a pre-sunset stroll to see the sculptures.  When we arrived at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach at 5:30, we saw No Sculptures.  Not one.

If you’re feeling gypped too, type “Sandblast” into the search widget (upper right) to see past sculptures, like this one:

OK.  Plan B.  We drive up island to the Art & Culture Walk on Pine Avenue to see the featured artwork at the AMI Historic Museum and a sprinkling of area stores ~ Three Island Monkeys (featuring the work of the Florida Audubon Photographer of the Year, RJ Wiley), Emerson’s Studio, AMI Accommodations and the Flip Flop Gift Shop.

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Since the event ended at 6 pm, and we didn’t arrive until 5:45, our quick tour of the paintings and photographs was more “whirlwind walk” than “studied stroll.”  That’s OK:

Do What You Can With What You Have Where You Are.

Heading home, I thought it would be nice to stop in and pay G & W (two nonagenarian friends) a visit.  I reached for my flip phone to give G a call and see if the timing was convenient.  Oops.  No Phone.  How inconvenient.

Ok.  Plan B.  We decided to chance it, arriving at G’s door just as she’d started dinner preparations.  Imperfect timing.  Nonetheless, she invited us in for a quick visit and a few laughs.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Nationwide Scam on Airbnb? November 1, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in People, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

If you or your family & friends use Airbnb when you travel, you might want to read this article before making your next reservation:

I Accidentally Uncovered A Nationwide Scam on Airbnb (Vice)

The author, Allie Conti, investigated and reported on a potential Airbnb scam involving a number of “fake hosts” in multiple cities.

During her investigation, she received no satisfactory answers from Airbnb to her questions about its verification procedure to guard against scammers.

Aah . . . Be Wary!

Note to Self:  One more reason to stay home.

Wake Up! September 10, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

Did you hear about the guy driving on the Massachusetts Pike, with a passenger on board, while both appeared to be sound asleep?

Yup.  It happened yesterday.

The couple were in a self driving car and . . . (wait for it!) . . . Massachusetts State Police told WBZ-TV there’s technically no law against falling asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

Say what?!

Just think of the benefit of a self-driving car to people who want to drive while:

(a) applying make-up; (b) shaving; (c) texting;
(d) eating; (e) surfing the web; (f) having sex;
(g) reading a newspaper; (h) painting; or
(i) catching some ZZZ’s.

Time for a nap.  Guess I’ll take a drive.

Aah . . . that’s scary!

To read more:  TESLA Driver Asleep on the Mass Pike (CBS Boston) * Destined to Fall: Auto Safety Expert Calls for Oversight (CBS Boston)

F.N.  In a statement included in the second article, Tesla said the system reminds drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

“Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored. At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren’t detected on the wheel. Tesla owners have driven billions of miles using Autopilot, and data from our quarterly Vehicle Safety Report indicates that drivers using Autopilot experience fewer accidents than those operating without assistance.”

Aah . . . that’s better!