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If my recent posts seem anachronistic, there’s good reason: they are. Rand and I are on the road for a while, so I’ve been scouring my Flickr stream  and the Drafts folder of my blog for old photos and stories I haven’t yet shared with you. This is a post I never got around to finishing from our Milwaukee trip in October, 2012

Sign inside the Miller Brewery.

I’m not a big drinker.

I’m sure some of you reading that are thinking, “Yeah, right.” But it’s true. The cursing and the brutal honesty and the divulging of way, waaay too much personal information to an audience of strangers? That’s me sober. (I once had a waitress cut me off. When I told her I was drinking water, she just stared at me blankly.)

That’s part of the reason why I don’t drink. I can’t imagine all the horrible things I would say if I had a bit of alcohol in my system. (more…)

If this posts seems anachronistic, there’s good reason: it is. Rand and I are on the road for a while, so I’ve been scouring my Flickr stream  and the Drafts folder of my blog for old photos and stories I haven’t yet shared with you. This is a post I never got around to finishing from our Milwaukee trip in October, 2012.

 

The Milwaukee Art Museum is gorgeous. The architecture is so lovely, it’s hard to remember much else about it. I can scarcely recall a single exhibit we saw there. I couldn’t name one piece in the permanent collection. Even the lunch we had at the cafe is hazy in my mind. But the museum stands out in my memory, tall and bright like the building itself.

 

I love my hometown of Seattle dearly, but I can readily admit: our art museum does not hold a candle to this one. It looks vaguely nautical, slightly organic, yet fully modern. Like the skeleton of some exquisite alien.

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Remember how I said, like, just last week that even though I wasn’t a religious person, I could easily get behind the beliefs of those who are religious? Let’s keep that in mind, and remember that I am sometimes open-minded and loving, and accepting of the beliefs of others.

This, however, is not one of those times.

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From the moment Rand told me about the Salton Sea, I wanted to go.

I’m probably one of the few people in the last 50 years to have had that sentiment.

Here’s why:

The Salton Sea is not a hot getaway destination, or even a particularly nice place to kill a couple of hours, but it used to be. The sea was created by accident at the beginning of the last century. Engineers goofed up an irrigation route from the Colorado river, and flooded an area of the Coachella Valley which then became known as the Salton Sea.

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Salvation Mountain, California.

 

Unless we’re talking about poltergeists or the healing power of cupcakes, I could not be described as a believer. I can’t even claim that I’m spiritual and not religious, because I’m not even that. The only thing that comes close in my life is my tendency to say “HOLY CATS” when I’m shocked about something, which brings to mind a rather delightful image of a higher power of the feline persuasion.

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The shadow of our car on the rocky mountainside below us.

 

For years, my aunt has tried to persuade me to move to California. Her tactic has been repetition of the state’s numerous glittering qualities.

“We have the beaches, and then the mountains are just an hour away. An hour! You can go swimming at the beach and then go skiing!”

When that fails, mostly because I don’t understand how such a thing could be true (I have seen no such evidence of the multi-climate environment she claims exists in Southern California. It is, all of it, very warm and rather pleasant), she tries changing tactics.

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The Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs is not terribly big. Fortunately, admission reflects this:

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Visiting Philadelphia during a government shutdown was a strange thing. The National Parks at the heart of the city – Independence Hall and the Benjamin Franklin Museum – were closed, and the surroundings areas looked all but abandoned. Fences were placed around many of the buildings, so you couldn’t even press your nose against the window to see what you were missing. Guards monitored the entrances to make sure no one made a mad dash for the front doors of the Liberty Bell.

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