The Natural Resources Committee of Geneva, a small volunteer group that promotes the environment through education sessions and donations to various environmental projects, is conducting a fundraiser called Rain Barrels on Parade. They invite local artists and merchants to paint a rain barrel. The barrels are auctioned off during Festival of the Vine in Geneva. The proceeds will be used by the Natural Resources Committee to purchase trees – to replace the ash trees that we are losing. The Natural Resources Committee will provide a primed barrel, ready for painting. Contact Jay Womack for more info – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day 1: Montreal. Everything has gone smoothly. The limo ride to the airport: no problem. The lines at security: no problem. The flight itself: no problem (and those of you who know how I feel about flying know it must have been a great flight). We took a city bus in Montreal to the hotel. We ate at a place called Mike’s, where I had a great cajun shrimp salad. We walked around old Montreal in the evening – very charming. We arrived a day early, having learned a lesson on our last cruise: never fly in the first day of your trip.
Day 2: Montreal. We boarded the ship (picture of our ship is not Montreal). The boarding process felt confused – I already filled out the Holland America post-cruise survey and whined about it. After what felt like a lengthy delay we got on board and I was like a little kid in a candy store. I love ships. We left the dock around 5ish – seated for our first scrumptious meal.
Day 3: Quebec City. It was a beautiful October day. We took a tour to a winery (Isle de Bacchus) for a tour and then a tasting. Then we went to a canyon that had multiple suspension bridges crisscrossing it. Cool little walk (not a hike, a walk) around the canyon. Seemed backwards to me though. You really want to get people wandering around these paths and bridges after a wine tasting? But, it was a great day.
Day 4: Saguenay, Quebec. No tour today. It was very cold, very windy. We used the internet available on shore, as the ship charges a lot and it’s really slow. We walked through a park. At the end of the park was a bauxite processing facility. Not the most picturesque place.
Day 5: Baie Comeau, Quebec. No tour today either. Once again, cold and windy. We walked along the water into town. Rain bought foo-foo soap. We saw a really cool antique store and chatted with an Australian couple on the way back to the ship. The town had a huge paper mill – the main source of employment. We docked next to a massive ship that seemed just designed to haul rolls of paper. It had a crane that could pick up 8 rolls of paper at a time, using magnets, to load the ship. However, it was hard to imagine that crane could load anything but rolls of paper on that ship.
Day 6: Gaspe, Quebec. We had to take a tender to shore at this stop. We took a “nature walk” tour. Our guide was Francois and he walked us around some old cod fishing facilities. We saw whales, a bear, numerous fox, and seals. A beautiful sunny day.
Day 7: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. This is our favorite stop on the cruise. The town was gorgeous. We took a tour of lighthouses (we saw 4 of the 68 or so on the island). It was another gorgeous day. Even though some of the previous stops were cold and windy, we’ve had mostly sun the entire trip so far.
Day 8: Sydney, Nova Scotia. We walked about 6 miles today, past an enormous abandoned steel mill site, to a yarn shop that Rain had to check out. On the way back we topped at Artists in the Attic in there downtown.
Day 9: Halifax, Nova Scotia. Rain went on a tour of knitting shops and yarn makers with the knitting crew. I went to the Halifax Maritime Museum. The weather was great. The museum was cool. The picture is of the last remaining Canadian Navy corvette from the WWII era. Found a great coffee shop with blazing wi-fi!
Day 10: Bar Harbor, Maine. This was a tender port also. We were in the bay with a gigantic Princess Cruises ship. We went to a yarn shop (sort of) that had been set up in the Harbor Inn. We walked around town and had lunch at a great restaurant, the Side Street Cafe. It’s one of only 3 that stay open in town over the winter. We then took a tour (sort of) of Acadia National Park, even though it was technically closed due to the government shutdown. We walked on private land, owned by the Rockefellers, that was next to Acadia. We did step into the park briefly. I felt like I was living on the edge, breaking the law ever so briefly!
Day 11: At sea. I do like days when we’re at sea. However, I did eat way too much food.
Day 12: At sea. We’re heading south along the east coast of the US. Now it’s warm enough to sit out on the deck and enjoy the sun.
Day 13: Charleston, SC. We headed over to Patriot’s Point. They have the Yorktown aircraft carrier, the destroyer Laffey and a submarine. We took a water taxi over there, seeing a few dolphins along the way. Didn’t know they had dolphins in South Carolina. We toured the aircraft carrier. Lots of stairs.
Day 14: One more day at sea. We’re cruising down to Fort Lauderdale. Warm out – shorts and t-shirt weather!
Day 15: Fort Lauderdale. Getting off the ship was far more organized than getting on. Getting to the airport was smooth. Our checked luggage was 50.5 pounds, but we didn’t get charged for being over. Somehow I got “Priority Boarding”, so my bag was no problem on the completely full flight. The flight was smooth as silk. The limo got us home, in Chicago rush hour, in record time. Wow.
I read a blog post (modified thanks to the suggestions from fellow members of the Fox Valley Writers Group) last night at Waterline. I recorded it, and this is my first attempt at posting sound files on WordPress. Hopefully it works:
Dylan and Moira are standing in an abandoned factory. Old, broken machines and tools are scattered about. There is dim light coming through dirty smeared windows set high on the walls. The floor is damp, with puddles here and there. They are in a room with a door leading to another room close by.
Why? I’m not done here.
This is overkill, too much, unnecessary. I’m running out of words to describe your behavior.
Moira, I have to do this. It just won’t be right if I don’t finish what I started.
You know I can’t be here anymore.
I know. Go do your thing.
Moira starts walking out of the room. Dylan lights an acetylene torch and walks toward the other room. Inside is a man strapped to a chair. He’s burned and sobbing. Moira stops and turns toward Dylan
You wanted pepperoni and mushrooms on yours – right?
It’s been reported that Congress has the lowest approval ratings ever – at least in my lifetime. Imagine my surprise when I came across this recent report published jointly by the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings that showed statistics about recent elections. Are you curious how many incumbents were re-elected since the approval rating of Congress tanked?
House – 2010 Election: 85.4%
House – 2012 Election: 89.9%
Senate – 2010 Election: 84%
Senate – 2012 Election: 91.3%
We deserve the government we have. We keep voting the same people into office over and over, yet expect different results.
Writers: Drawn With Words is back this year and we need your stories!
Drawn with Words is a collaboration project between writers and visual artists. Writers are asked to create a story of 200 words or less which will be incorporated into artwork by local artists. The artwork and writings will be displayed at the Art in Your Eye Art Festival and incorporated into a book, which will include the entire writing, a photo of the accompanying artwork, and a profile of both the artist and the writer. NEW THIS YEAR: The book will be sold as a fundraiser for the festival! The artist may keep or sell the artwork after the festival.
WRITERS: We ask that you create a “story” of 200 words or less and submit the piece to email@example.com. It MUST fit on a single page, preferably double-spaced. Any submissions more than a page will not be considered. Include your contact information: Name, email address (if different from the one you sent from), and phone number. Visual artists will go to this website, choose a story and create a piece of art using it as motivation. When your story is chosen it will be marked as taken and you will be notified. Some portion of the words you write will be included in the artwork. The work will be signed by both the artist and the writer.
For more information: http://kevinmoriarity.com/images/drawn-with-words.pdf
Frank and I went to the Rochelle Train Park. This is where the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks cross the Union Pacific tracks on the way into and out of Chicago.