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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Food, We All Love It!

America has become obsessed with the food from around the world and have take it to the crazy degree that fresh is king – which is great for those monied few who no matter the season can afford. I’m not mocking the craze because we all need good cooking, and veggies to our diets.  Food is the center of every home, and of course we often eat boxed lunches at work.  But it usually isn’t very fresh.  So how can you do both?  Well one way that is quite common along ALL U.S. coastlines – it’s the fabulous food trucks.  If you don’t believe it check out the show Eat Street on the Cooking Network!  But the small towns in the Midwest have somehow lost out on this often chef driven food that is above and beyond in taste.

So why have we missed out on this food phenomenon?  One of the reasons has to be the MANY food laws that are different in both towns, cities, counties, and townships.  Though there are reasons of health food laws are necessary I certainly wish they State could get together on the laws to facilitate the food trucks that populate our nations big cities!  If you think I am a foodie, you’re right.  Good food from all over is a great way of sharing our cultures.

The great thing about food trucks is it expands ANY local food scene and keeps all the area restaurants on their toes.  So why are they seen as a passing fancy?  They have certainly been around for ages as much as fast food has been and have fed people around the world.  if you think of food in the Asian world you see food being sold out of little family restaurants or off carts and bicycle driven trucks.  People KNOW the good ones and always frequent the very best ones.

But one of our biggest communities in West Michigan has a strong history of the food vehicle lunch.  The Hispanic food found here comes from so many cultures within these communities, and I would love to see great food trucks in our business districts as well as downtown in the cities along Michigan’s West Coast.  Is this a cultural need in our area?  Probably not.  I it something that might expand our lives as well as our tourist base?  Oh, YES!

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A Picture – Is It Really Worth a Thousand Words?

If you blog as I do, you put words to a page almost daily in the hopes of bringing it to fruition on a blog. But more often than not my thoughts for any given blog has been inspired by the pictures I take.

I’m really not that good a photographer, but there is something about an image in a given picture that sets my mind to thinking in phrases, or words pictures. Though words can seldom recreate the exact beauty or feeling that has captured my heart and mind I love to attempt the feat but seldom do it justice.

This is one of those pictures that is one of those impossibly beautiful photos that when I take it in I find myself touching an achingly sad feeling that immediately takes to the spot if I close my eyes.  Here I see St. Kevin’s Church.  Here also I see the graveyard of many who lived, and died and are buried in the hallowed ground.  But what grabs me and holds me by the throat is the green that envelopes the whole scene.  Like Ireland, this scene holds faith, life, and death but mostly the irrepressible spirit of a people who lived, fought, and died for the land.  Here they created a music that began to share personal stories about the pain and separation of families as well as of the loves and joys in the smallest things of life.  They sang, and sing, a song for Ireland.  The music of the Celtic soul of this land is often what makes life bearable and worth living.  It is not always beautiful, nor is it always easy to hear.  But like many a song it is a way to deal with those experiences and then continue on in living.  From the joyful songs to their most painful ballads and laments the Irish have allowed for a letting go in song and the music.  The pain is never really gone with the singing of the words it is only given and shared freely, and through that act permitted to be given away.  A load shared, is a load lightened for many.

A Long Room of Words

Courtesy of Wikepedia

On my trip through Ireland last spring my granddaughter and I had quite a wonderful time exploring in various cities and towns our tour took us through.  The first city we explored was Dublin the Capital.  On our free afternoon while there we decided to take in The Book of Kells at Trinity College.

The Book was so unbelievable, Looking at the various pages under glass it was easy to imagine  all the colors that were used when it was first created on calf-skins around 800 A.D.  Those calf-skin pages just reeked of the history of this fabulous country.  But for my granddaughter, Becca and I the real treat was as we exited the room where the Book of Kells was and climbed the marble stairs to the library’s Long Room of Trinity College.  Honestly, it was an amazing first look AND smell of any place I have ever been!  For those who love books the smell that is associated with them is so tantalizing.  It says, “Here lies ancient tomes that are truly precious!”

We walked every place in the Room that was not roped off and browsed and examined the many books under glass (that I so wanted to pick up and read!).   As we stood leaning on the rope after taking in all the books at hand we squinted at the shelves and shelves beyond trying to see what books we could, and I was really wishing for pair of binoculars to explore as far as we could. I really wished we could have been free to roam through those towering shelves and find a spot in this wonderful wood filled room to explore the many volumes held within its walls.

At least we did got to experience this room of stories, histories and medical books.  If you ever get to Dublin, do take time to visit and enjoy the Book of Kells, but also discover for yourselves this fabulous Long Room of books!  It is a real Irish treasure.