Sunday, August 23, 2015

Start Your Engines

With Miller Motorsports Park undergoing major ownership changes next year, we decide to check out the supercar races and the Pirelli World Challenge.  Nice of them to let us into the pit area.



Only one race pic, just too overwhelming and I'd rather watch...


And then there were the usual race babes...  I mean there's skinny, then there is skinny...



And where were they when I once again stood on the winner's podium?


New Favorite Tequila


Peligroso Reposado... smooth and delicious, NOM of 1535.  But a little pricey... around $35/bottle.  Well once in awhile...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Walla Walla, Fire Fire

Over the last 10 years, my friend, the poet and real estate entrepreneur (no, this is not an oxymoron) Charles Potts, has accumulated a large amount of forest land in the Blue Mountains outside of Walla Walla.  With plenty of land to graze, he's actively raising Appaloosa horses. However, in late July, a serious fire destroyed a significant portion of his forest land.  So I decided to drive up to Walla Walla and check out the damage and maybe lend a little moral support to Charles who was quite upset about the loss.  Here are some pics showing the damage (click on the pics for a larger size).



Many of the remaining trees are damaged, and will eventually die off...


Walla Walla in the distance...


Still some hot spots deep in the forest ravines...



Fortunately, the acreage around his house, corral, and support buildings was unaffected, except for the lingering odor of smoke and burnt foliage.  Potts and his horses all survived (unlike a neighbor who lost everything).



Perhaps I'll drive up again next Spring and check on recovery of the land.  Unfortunately, the trees will take decades to regrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Euro Trip--Finale

A picture of us on a canal in a small Dutch village, preceded by a postcard of the same site.



Finally, winging my way back home, I saw these wonderful cloud formations from the plane window.




Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Euro Trip--Back in Lyon

After our road trip, we had a few days in Lyon before I returned home.  I'd always wanted to visit the modern art museum in Lyon, so we hopped on the bus and took off to check out MAC-Lyon.  Overall, I think we were disappointed, the exhibits really didn't speak to us.  There was a major exhibit of modern art from Singapore, which had some cool pieces, but also had some very weird and disturbing stuff (Miriam can add a comment about the dead commies...).  Anyway, a few pics from the exhibit...






The museum is located in a modern development called Cité Internationale, an area of housing, theaters, restaurants, offices, etc.  A couple interesting sculptures...





(Yep, that BMW motorcycle was some piece of work...  real modern art).

At the end of the plaza was the headquarters of Interpol...  I wanted a pic on the stairs in front of the building, but couldn't get close...  are they afraid of a simple tourist???  But then I was almost arrested for this pic!  My goodness, Interpol is infamous, intriguing, spy vs. spy, international crime, I wanted more of it...  No tours???


Across the road is the major park in Lyon, the Parc de la Tete d'Or...  A wonderful place, with an emphasis on roses at the time we were there.  Some pics...




The next day, a big world festival began in the center of Lyon on Place Bellecour.  An amazing amount of countries had booths, particularly the African countries.  But I was immediately attracted to the Peruvian booth where Pisco was available.  I never imagined there were so many varieties...




And over at the Cuban booth, a very interesting rum...


And we won't talk about the Belgians, who were passing out samples of their beers...  Just to say those folks are insane!  A small sample and I was on my ass...  There was also a big international parade down the Rue de la Republique...  but I had to catch a plane (I did get to see the parade on a previous visit to Lyon).

So I'll finish Lyon with the most famous landmark, the cathedral at Fouvier.




Sunday, August 9, 2015

Euro Trip--Yet Even More...

Herein I try to post some pics and info on other events during our European trip.  First up, another bridge, pretty cool design, over the Rhine.


While visiting Millau, we got to stay in a cool Chateau, converted to a hotel.  A couple pics of the Chateau, the adjoining church, and the view.  Also, a panaroma of our fabulous (and reasonably priced) room.  We could also view the bridge from our room...  and from the bathtub!





Our road trip to the Millau Viaduct of course required a return trip to Lyon.  On the way, via some amazing mountainous back roads, was the Cave of Forgotten Dreams (ever see the 3D movie by Werner Herzog?).  While the cave itself is unaccessible to the public for preservation reasons, the French have built a beautiful museum nearby that replicates the cave and the drawings found inside.   The museum had opened only a month before, but already it was besieged by tourists.  But a pretty cool place, now called the Caverne du Pont d'Arc.



We stayed in that region of the Ardeche for the evening, at the Vaginas (well, a local joke).  The next morning, before driving back to Lyon, Yvonne just had to see a grotto, with all the stallagtites and stallagmites.  We chose the grotto at Aven d'Orgnac.  Here's some pics...









Then there was a very interesting restaurant called the Bamboo Bar.  Very odd sort of place to find in the very small town of Barjac, France.  But the food was good and we had a fun time.



We are getting to the end...  hey, I took three weeks of pics!  Anyway, I think I have enough for a couple more posts, then I have to save my money for another trip.