Monday, May 21, 2018

Small Town Surprises: the Tulsa, St Louis and Omaha edition

Traveling is all about learning. Sometimes it is something as lofty as learning about yourself when you are presented with different perspectives. Other times, the questions are much simpler. Questions such as: "What the hell am I going to do with all this time in Tulsa, St. Louis and Omaha?"

Turns out the answer is: a lot. Like going non-stop and still not covering everything I wanted to do kind of busy.

Let's start with the first stop, Tulsa. I kicked off my midwestern outing with a visit to the Woody Guthrie Museum, not mind you because I am a huge Woody head. I actually just wanted one of the "This Machine Kills Fascists" t-shirts I had seen on their website. I could have just grabbed one at the entrance which doubles as the gift shop and ran but since I had come this far, I figured I might as well see what this guy was all about.

Monday, April 16, 2018

An Acropolis Kind of Day

Lately, I've been lucky enough to have a couple of chances to stay in Athens. Usually, it is not for very long but when you adopt my "I'll sleep when I'm dead" world view to traveling, you can usually get in a couple of sites, which is important in a city that has so very much to see.

Last month, that meant that I got to visit the National Archeological Museum and stumble across a cool hipster neighborhood. This month, I was back and staying within plate-smashing distance of the Acropolis.

This was my chance to check out the highly-recommended Acropolis museum, which is a relatively recent project, having only opened in 2009 after a lengthy search for the perfect location. I would argue that they found it.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Doing Dublin on the Greenest Day of All

Many years ago, I was excited to find myself in Acapulco on May 5th. Surely, Cinco de Mayo in Mexico would be a tequila-fueled bacchanal for the ages. I went to the hotel's front desk to ask what I should expect. "Well, the banks will be closed. The post office too." "Uh, ok, that's fine. I'm really more interested in the parties. Is it going to be crazy?" -blank stare-

As it turns out, Cinco de Mayo, which is not the Mexican day of Independence (that would be Diecisies de Septiembre) is primarily an American excuse to don sombreros, drink Coronas and eat unlimited nachos.  In Mexico itself, it is not much more than a Federal holiday commemorating an  unlikely victory over the French.

Fast forward to last month, when I learned that I would be spending St Patrick's Day in Dublin. My initial thrill at this news was tempered with the sinking feeling that this could be 5 de Mayo all over again.  And technically I was not wrong. The green beer drinking, leprechaun kissing, fiddle playing festivities, as we know them, originated in the US when Irish transplants were looking to celebrate their heritage (read: wanted an excuse for a good party). In Ireland, it was traditionally a religious holiday during which, shite in a bucket, the sale of alcohol was prohibited.

Not being ones to miss out on a party, particularly one that was ostensibly theirs to begin with, the Irish have come around. Now St Patrick's day in Dublin is the country's biggest party with an estimated 100,000 visitors joining in on the fun.