Archive for 'travel'

There’s a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost, the ship has sailed, and that only a fool will continue. The truth is, I’ve always been a fool.

Do you remember the movie Big Fish? It’s a Tim Burton film that came out in 2003 starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Matthew McGrory, Danny DeVito, and (oddly?) Miley Cyrus, to name a few. Dad is a wonderful storyteller and has very tall tales for his estranged son. Reconciliation and southern gothic fantasy are heavily featured. I’m pretty certain this film partially explains my love of daffodils.

The movie is filmed in Alabama, lots of small town spots. Some of my favorite scenes happen in the town of Spectre. They couldn’t find the right space so they built it. And parts of it are still standing. I’d never visited a film set before and jumped at the chance when I learned it was just outside of Montgomery. And it’s truly an experience I will always cherish.

If you were ever curious about what the inside looks like, not as glamorous as one would like. Served their purpose well for the movie, but not what you’d call move in ready. 🙂

Don’t go inside the buildings. Wouldn’t call them safe. The Mayor’s House is more fleshed out than the facades, but you’re better off on stable ground.

It’s a lovely little island in a lake that’s peaceful and relaxing. You can fish, camp, and walk around to your heart’s content. Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter are two of my favorite Hollywood talents. It was delightful wondering about the same spaces they worked in.

I adore how many people have brought their own shoes to leave in Spectre. The messages on the bottoms are wonderful. Lovely way to leave your mark on the space, just like the one it left on our hearts.

Want to visit yourself? Learn more at the Jackson Lake Island FB. But keep in mind, it’s over 15 years old and decaying. The downtown shops burned down a few years back. And Jenny’s house was lost in a flood. Make that trip sooner rather than later. It’s well worth the drive.

A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories.

Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel and within walking distance of Notre Dame. It was begun in 1238 and a stunning example Gothic architecture. My favorite part is the vast collection of 13th century stained glass. I stood in awe in this space for well over an hour. I cannot suggest it enough if you get the change to visit Paris!













Once I finished my doctorate I decided to revisit Paris. I studied abroad there in 2000 when I was a wee lass and just beginning my college education. It was a wonderful time and Notre Dame was one of my favorite places to visit.








Big bada boom! I spent the 4th of July in Minneapolis. We went down to the river area (near the old Pillsbury factory/plant) to watch the fireworks and eat fried cheese curds. Can we please import fried cheese curds from the Midwest? I don’t know how the South hasn’t started frying these little white gold nuggets (we fry everything else though!).

I used this as a chance to break out my camera and play with some long exposures using a Neutral Density filter. Props to my Joby GorillaPod tripod! Thanks to it I was able to secure my camera to a very sturdy and stable iron fence.

The fireworks this year were also a tribute to Prince and included segments from 15 of his songs. For a special bonus, it was also very windy and a cool 76.






Hope you enjoyed your celebration! Happy birthday, America!

One of the first things my friend said when I was situated in Minneapolis was, “Prep your gear. We’re going to see my friend’s band tomorrow.”

Turns out it was the CD release party/show for Highchair Kings at Nomad World Pub. Opening for them was Mary Bue. She’s a singer/songwriter from Duluth who has made her was to Minneapolis. She has an EP available for pre-order and in other exciting news she’ll be spending 3 months in 2017 as the Artist in Residence for the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. Congrats to Mary! Listen to her latest work on SoundCloud.



Highchair Kings play in the key of ROCK (or much more specifically, they’re Alternative Noise Power Pop). Anyone who references Aimee Mann and American Music Club’s Mark Eitzel are winners in my book. For bonus points, the song #STUMPS was written in reference to an exchange singer/songwriter Trevor Lettman had with the previously mentioned musicians over Twitter.






I’ve been listening to them since the concert and I’m falling for their lyrics and arrangements. It feels both fresh and familiar at the same time. But don’t take my word for it, listen for yourself on SoundCloud.

Thanks to both bands for a great introduction to the Minneapolis music scene!

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