Thursday, April 24, 2014

Travel Photo Thursday - Amarillo Texas

I'm posting over at The Budget Travelers' Sandbox 

Our friends Carol and Bill are on their way home from Mazatlan by RV. Today she posted about their stay in Amarillo Texas and going to the Big Texan.

December 2012 - Amarillo Texas

That made me go and look at our photos of our stay there on our way south last winter.

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.

We've been home for almost two weeks now. We have been getting organized, unpacking and decluttering. Yesterday was Easter dinner with some family members.

1 not finished as it expired so I will have to borrow it again. The Nightmare

Rules of Civility

I had hoped to be swept away into Manhattan in it's glory days. Smoky nightclubs, penthouses rising above Central Park, hobnobbing with the rich and famous. Instead I felt like I was in a remake of The Great Gatsby.

Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad

Alison Wearing led a largely carefree childhood until she learned, at the age of 12, that her family was a little more complex than she had realized. Sure her father had always been unusual compared to the other dads in the neighbourhood: he loved to bake croissants, wear silk pyjamas around the house, and skip down the street singing songs from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. But when he came out of the closet in the 1970s, when homosexuality was still a cardinal taboo, it was a shock to everyone in the quiet community of Peterborough, Ontario—especially to his wife and three children.
Alison’s father was a professor of political science and amateur choral conductor, her mother was an accomplished pianist and marathon runner, and together they had fed the family a steady diet of arts, adventures, mishaps, normal frustrations and inexhaustible laughter. Yet despite these agreeable circumstances, Joe’s internal life was haunted by conflicting desires. As he began to explore and understand the truth about himself, he became determined to find a way to live both as a gay man and also a devoted father, something almost unheard of at the time. Through extraordinary excerpts from his own letters and journals from the years of his coming out, we read of Joe’s private struggle to make sense and beauty of his life, to take inspiration from an evolving society and become part of the vanguard of the gay revolution in Canada.

I loved the story, it is candid and honest. It is an honest memoir and ultimately universal one full of empathy and compassion.
The story of a family in a pivotal time in Canadian history. The history of the struggle for gay rights in Toronto was new to me.
We have come a long way!

Hanging Hill

What if you found yourself divorced and penniless? With no skills and a teenage daughter to support? What if the only way to survive was to do things you never thought possible, to go places you never knew existed …

These are questions Sally has never really thought about before. Married to a successful business man, she’s always been a bit of a dreamer. Until now.

Her sister Zoe is her polar opposite. A detective inspector working out of Bath Central, she loves her job, and oozes self-confidence. No one would guess that she hides a crippling secret that dates back twenty years, and which – if exposed – may destroy her.

Then Sally’s daughter gets into difficulties, and Sally finds she needs cash – lots of it – fast. With no one to help her, she is forced into a criminal world of extreme pornography and illegal drugs; a world in which teenage girls can go missing.

The ending, not a big surprise but I felt there were some pieces that didn't get tidied up. A good read. I'd read her again as shown below.

Gone (Jack Caffery, #5)

Evening is closing in as murder detective Jack Caffery arrives to interview the victim of a car-jacking. 

He's dealt with routine car-thefts before, but this one is different. This car was taken by force. And on the back seat was a passenger. An eleven-year-old girl. Who is still missing. 

Before long the jacker starts to communicate with the police: 'It's started,'he tells them. 'And it ain't going to stop just sudden, is it?

And Caffery knows that he's going to do it again. Soon the jacker will choose another car with another child on the back seat. 

Dreaming of France

 The rules for this meme are: Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.

August 2012 - Paris France

Let's take a stroll around the Luxemburg Gardens on a sunny August day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Travel Photo Monday and Our World Tuesday - On the Road Again - Take 3.1 Tucson

Travel Photo MondayOur World Tuesday Graphic

Travel Photo Monday and Our World Tuesday

March 2014 - Tucson AZ

We spent a leisurely day around Tucson.

We started with breakfast at the Congress Hotel.

I t was built in 1919 in conjunction with the musical venue Rialto Theatre, which sits across the street. The rear of the building faces the historic Amtrak station, built by Southern Pacific in 1907. In addition to being a hotel, the Hotel Congress building also houses a restaurant, bar and music venue.

The Hotel is known for being the site of the capture of bank robber John Dillinger in 1934. After a series of bank robberies, the Dillinger Gang arrived in Tucson to hide out. On January 22, 1934, a fire started in the basement and spread up to the third floor, where the gang resided under aliases. After the desk clerk contacted them through the switchboard the gang escaped by aerial ladders. On the request of the gang, two firemen retrieved their luggage, identifying who they were. After being transferred to a jail in Crown Point, Indiana, Dillinger escaped again and was eventually shot down in Chicago, Illinois.

Floor made out of pennies!

Then we wandered around the area.

Construction began on what was to be called the Tower Theatre at Congress and Stone on August 24, 1929. The theatre was to be the crown jewel in the Diamos Brothers’ Lyric Amusement chain of theatres throughout Southern Arizona. Designed as a dual vaudeville/movie house, the Fox featured a stage, full fly-loft, and dressing rooms beneath the stage. The combined effects of "talkies" and the Depression limited the opportunities for live performance, and the dressing rooms were never completed.

Opening night, April 11, 1930, proved to be the biggest party the small community of Tucson had ever seen. With Congress Street closed and waxed for dancing, four live bands, a live radio broadcast and free trolley rides  The film "Chasing Rainbows," a MovieTone short, and a Mickey Mouse cartoon were well received by both audiences that evening, and the Fox Theatre began its 40 ­year life as the center of Tucson’s entertainment world.

Competition from other venues, drive-ins and television conspired to end the run of popularity the Fox had enjoyed. Partial remodels of the theatre left it with most of its original charm, but vanishing retail and housing downtown spelled the end in 1974. Various efforts to revive the theatre were unsuccessful, but luckily the property was spared the wrecking ball.

Outside the library looking across at the Pima Court House.

Gorgeous visitor center with very helpful staff.

We stopped at the St. Augustine Church - Click here for some details on the church.

Time to check out one of the many micro-breweries in Tucson Thunder Canyon.

Back to the Pima Courthouse and was so intrigued to see this statue dedicated to the Mormon Battalion. We had never heard of them until San Diego and San Luis Rey Mission.

This courthouse, designed in 1928 in Spanish Colonial style, is a nice architectural homage to Tucson's Spanish-Mexican past.
Downtown Tucson Partnership:
“Built in 1929, the Spanish Colonial Revival courthouse is one of Tucson’s most beloved landmarks. Its mosaic dome is one of the Old Pueblo’s most recognizable structures. A portion of the east wall of the original Presidio of Tucson runs through the courtyard and is marked with a strip of granite. The building is still in use with courts and county offices.”

Next were the mansions of Main St.

The Tucson Museum will have a separate post.

Barrio district.

Brewery stop

We then drove to San Xavier Mission but that will be a separate post.