Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘shopping

Still Ely

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Having a day off in the middle of our week of riding is a nice change of pace. Unfortunately, it wreaks havoc on the organization system I had established for keeping track of things in my duffel bag.

Yesterday was a chance to sleep in, pick our own restaurants for meals, and shop Ely.

After an early hike to get coffee with Laura, which scored me a chai, a larger gang formed for breakfast at Insula restaurant.

Breakfast salad was my choice and I was not disappointed. Poached eggs and smoked salmon! Mmm. It was delicious and just what I wanted.

Look at that morsel of blue sky!

We shopped the main drag and I got to visit my two favorite outdoor gear retailers: Wintergreen and Steger Mukluks.

One of our riders from California, Bob Murin, paints watercolors and I came upon him mid-picture.

In the afternoon, we visited the International Wolf Center and were lucky to spot the four males that made an appearance right before we left, three of whom are visible sprawled out in the image I captured.

It was all good, but paled in comparison to the social-hour surprise we got in the park where we tented.

An Ely cake baker, Susan Laine, showed up with a treat she baked to welcome us!

That is love, I tell ya.

 

 

Written by johnwhays

June 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

Shopping Dining

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Yeah. Remember that thought I tossed out before we left, about considering posting one picture to portray each of our days. Never mind that.

Yesterday, we shopped the Miromar Outlet mall.

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In the evening, we dined at Divieto Ristorante.

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In between, we snuck in a little swim.

Rinse. Repeat.

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Written by johnwhays

January 23, 2019 at 7:00 am

‘Tis Season

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‘Tis the Christmas season for sure, as we’ve reached the final week before December 25th. If you sense anything about me, it might include a perception that I am a bit mall averse. I do not like going to shopping malls. I avoid them on weekends whenever possible, and I especially seek to stay clear during the holiday season.

Nonetheless, I try to stay flexible enough to go with the flow when events lead me to places I might not choose on my own. So it was, that I found myself yesterday, facing the double whammy of going to the Southdale Shopping Center on the Saturday before Christmas.

ForceAwakensNo, make that a triple whammy. I was also going to a movie theater there to attend a showing of the latest mega-event movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on its opening weekend.

I figured it was a recipe for every possible challenge related to having too many people in one place at the same time.

On top of preparing to face this adventure, my mind was also occupied with peripheral planning to deal with our animal care and a goal to also attend, on the same day, a holiday party in the evening, some 50-minutes away in a different direction.

We had a fabulous day. I credit Cyndie’s precious ability to send love to all around, and especially to those afar. We also did some intense planning which involved arriving to the movie theater early. It all played out flawlessly.

I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as crowded as I imagined it would be. We were second in line at the theater door, and when the doors finally opened, we discovered that being early enough to line up hadn’t been necessary.

Despite my ability to imagine the plan for our day being ripe for one hassle after another, it turned out to be nothing but peace, love, joy, excitement, and a fair amount of extra highway miles.

My movie review: classic Star Wars, doing justice to the genre and paying nice homage to the original.

It was sweet to see our kids and Cyndie’s family. Thirteen of us showed up for the flick. From there, we raced home to give Delilah some much wanted attention, feed and clean up after the horses, grab a quick bite for dinner, and then headed out into the darkness to find a holiday party at a home we’ve not visited before.

I negotiated one obstacle in a shortcut I had chosen, and we arrived in good time for a sweet visit to a BIG holiday party in a beautiful home in the country.

The day turned out just the way you would imagine it, if you were to choose to expect the best possible outcomes.

It serves as inspiration for me, to see if I can’t improve on the tenor of my visualizations going forward.

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Written by johnwhays

December 20, 2015 at 11:25 am

Water Taxi

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Lake Atitlán mapOn Tuesday of our fabulous Guatemalan adventure, Marco arranged for a boat to take us to several different destinations around lake Atitlán. The portion visible from the house where we were staying near Santiago Atitlán was a small fraction of the whole. It is the deepest lake in Central America, filling a caldera that was formed by an eruption many thousands of years ago. Ash from that eruption has been detected as far away as Florida and Ecuador.

The first thing I noticed after we got out on the water was the view of the two volcanoes, Volcán Tolimán and Volcán Atitlán, that were behind us and much less noticeable from our perspective on shore. Our view was dominated by the magnificently sculpted San Pedro filling the sky across the water.

I wish I could describe every detail of the unparalleled beauty of each place they took us for a meal, luxurious cups of coffee (or chocolate), more shopping, and every superb view that accompanied them. I’m unable to find the words at this point.

Here are some impressions from my camera to give you a glimpse…

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Written by johnwhays

April 19, 2015 at 10:28 am

To Antigua

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On our third day in Guatemala City we woke up to instructions to pack for a road trip. It immediately reminded me of the old stand up routine of George Carlin’s about “Stuff.” We needed to pack a smaller version of things we brought with us for an overnight in Antigua and then a few days in Santiago Atitlán

Trip Map

DSCN3079eDue to limitations of space in the vehicle, our larger luggage would be trucked directly to the beach house where we would eventually arrive. We packed a smaller version of our travel bags. That still turned out to be a lot of stuff, especially compared to the bag Jose packed. He put on shorts and a tank top shirt and told me “This is how you dress for Antigua!” The small duffel bag he carried looked like it didn’t even have anything else in it.

“You told us to pack light!” he said to his parents when they remarked about his almost empty bag.

We dealt with a moderate amount of traffic on the relatively short trip to Antigua, where Marco strategically chose parking in a hotel that wasn’t the one we would be staying at, for reasons of convenience. That decision led to an unlikely coincidence of Cyndie surprisingly coming upon a Minnesota friend and colleague on the sidewalk of the hotel. What are the odds of that?

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We walked and browsed the bustling streets of historic Antigua. It was a superb experience. Cyndie was an excellent shopper, finding many potential items that captured her fancy. We enjoyed a lunch outdoor at an Italian restaurant that served delicious wood-fired pizza. We splurged on tiramisu cake for dessert.

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In trying to navigate the winding narrow streets from our daytime parking spot, to the exclusive Filadelfia hotel at a coffee plantation nearby where we had reservations, we came to a few roads already closed in preparation for Palm Sunday events the following day. Of course, that spectacle happened to be our objective for tomorrow. Having been naively and blissfully oblivious to many of the details of our itinerary, it was at this point that I began to grasp the enormity of what lie ahead for us in Antigua. Seriously, I had totally missed that it was actually going to be Palm Sunday.

I will never be able to adequately convey my full appreciation for the excellent and inspired planning that Marco and Dunia did to give us the absolute BEST experience imaginable while we were with them. There just aren’t enough superlatives to do them justice.

DSCN3082eWhen we arrived at the hotel we were floored by the greatness of everything. It is exquisite. Our rooms provided an amazing view of volcano Agua that is entirely captivating. We dipped in the pool for a swim after dark, soaked in the hot tub, and then went to dinner in the hotel/plantation restaurant.

It was another day that ended with us feeling as though the events were the equivalent of several days worth. Truly a magnificent experience for us.

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Written by johnwhays

April 13, 2015 at 6:00 am

Shopping

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sleep deprived
shopping done
dinner out
restaurant
average food
beautiful night
patio seating
makes food alright
choices galore
birthday girl
having fun
picking shoes
shop too long
bodies tired
driving home
setting sun
everything’s right
shopping’s done
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Written by johnwhays

June 5, 2014 at 6:00 am

Posted in Creative Writing

Tagged with , ,

Looping Loops

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Cyndie and I are growing loopy over the topsy-turvy world of uncertainty we find ourselves trapped in lately.

None of our possessions have a known location, and we can’t keep straight where we have put anything down at any given moment.

Yesterday was supposed to be the day Cyndie started her new job, but we have been forced to push back our plans by two business days to finally accomplish the second step in our 3-step plan to transition from old house to new.

We have already finished the third step, which was to get our possessions moved into the new house. Now we need to go back and complete the second step: signing closing documents, finally making this all legal and proper.

Yesterday, we set out on our half-hour therapeutic walk, and just up the road, met our first neighbor as she was headed to put something in her mailbox. Her husband eventually wandered out and there we stood, on the side of the road, getting up to speed on all the neighborhood tales. It was one of those wonderful conversations that seems to have no end. A little bit like some of my posts… So, no sooner than we had shared one last parting ‘nice-to-meet-you’ to set off on our walk, we found ourselves back in the depths of neighborly gab. It was a treat!

We learned there had been a tornado that moved through the area two years ago, just behind our property, which took out one of their sheds from behind the barn. They said it was 30-years, to the day, after an earlier tornado took the same path.

Later in the day, Cyndie and I heard our first rumbles of thunder here. It sounded GREAT! I’m gonna love watching the weather from our new perch.

It took half the day to determine any signing of closing documents wasn’t going to happen until Tuesday (today!!), so by the time we knew we were free to run errands, it was getting late. We made it to our new bank to make some deposits and get cash, then made a run to hardware and home improvement stores for things piling up on our shopping list.

This really got me spinning. There is so much for us to do, it is hard to figure out where to start. Of course, I like to start at a beginning, (any beginning!) , and proceed in a sequence. Cyndie likes to start everything at once and proceed in every direction, simultaneously. Shopping with her is a real trip for me.

I ended up bringing home things I was considering should probably be on my ‘future wants’ list, but hadn’t even begun shopping for. At the same time, we knocked off a few valuable items that we can put into service immediately, like a set-back thermostat, new shower head, push brooms, boot mats for our entry ways, and anti-fatigue pads for the kitchen floor.

To Cyndie’s credit, I was able to forestall a couple other uncertain decisions until we are able to spend a bit more time to be sure what we want. I do wield some calming influence on the shopping front.

By the time we headed home, it was dark, and I almost got us stuck in a looping round-about. Then I entered a turn lane, one turn too soon, and quickly ran out of pavement, making a last minute correction with too much speed. It was past dinner hour and I was loopy from too much shopping and too many days of disorientation.

We hope to get the last (previously, second), most critical step, wrapped up today. That will give me a solid beginning to plot my next step(s) toward our new orientation on our “Wintervale Ranch.”

Written by johnwhays

October 23, 2012 at 7:00 am