July 2005 to December 2006
Yes, it has been a year and a half since our last update. We're still traveling, but we haven't done much
sight-seeing. Besides our normal winter stay in Mesa (during which we didn't get out much), we have just been
visiting family. But we know you like to see interesting pictures, so we'll do our best....
Kansas City pass-through
We only stopped for a week in K.C. to see family, and didn't take any pictures of them
(after all, we've seen them before and we'll probably remember what they look like).
But just so we don't disappoint, here are a couple random K.C. photos from previous visits.
The shopping cart hot rod was spotted in a parking lot one day. Yes it's that big (see the steering wheel up at the top) --
it's not just a trick of the camera angle.
The fireplace sculpture was on a college campus and is supposed to be art, I suppose, but at least it's curious.
(Click photos to enlarge)
New York, summer 2005
After zipping through Kansas City, we stayed in New York for a couple months to see the grandson (and his parents of course).
While we did do a lot of walking around the city, it seems the camera was almost always pointed
toward the grandson rather than the sights.
Central Park always seems an anomaly to me, being in the center of all of the high-rise buildings. To make things even more
anomalous, there's a small amusement park set up in the park. It's actually in an ice skating rink, since
it's too warm for ice in August. You might have seen the skating rink on the show "The Apprentice" a couple years ago.
Oh, and here's a particularly perky pigeon and a bit of the city traffic (in case you need proof that we were actually in New York City).
Kansas City, fall 2005
Once again we spent the fall in K.C. visiting family.
As I suspected, we remembered what they looked like without the aide of photos.
New Mexico - sunset storm
While this isn't exactly a sightseeing event, I did enjoy this view of a nearby rain storm as we were stopping in New Mexico.
Is the rain going to reach the ground before evaporating???
Mesa Arizona, winter 2005/2006
Yes, we're getting a bit repetitive with our winter stays in Mesa. What can we say, it's a nice place to winter!
They even had a Luau, complete with the appropriate party drinks (well, virgin equivalents) and Hawaiian dancers.
Believe it or not, we actually took a day to go to a museum. After all, it was only about 10 minutes away. Being in the
small downtown Mesa area and called simply the "Mesa Southwest Museum", I expected a short visit of maybe an hour,
viewing local artifacts. Five hours later, we still hadn't finished all of the amazingly interesting exhibits. While not large,
the quality and diversity of the exhibits were as engaging as any large natural history museum.
Outside, there's a small statue of a dinosaur (not exactly raising our expectations),
but once inside the lobby you're greeted by a full-size skeleton.
But even that doesn't prepare you for the primordial rain forest display with dozens of dino models,
spanning 3 floors and featuring a periodic rainstorm and waterfall. My camera simply couldn't capture it all. Honest, I tried!
Personally I enjoyed the fossil displays, with some of the most detailed examples I've seen.
While we didn't take any other inter sting photos (at least none that came out well), the museum does have many other interesting exhibits.
These include a large exhibit of the settling and growth of the Mesa area, a full-size display showing the daily
life of the original native tribes,
a Hollywood tribute showing all of the movies that have been filmed in the Mesa area and Arizona in general,
a nice display of other animal life (prehistoric and modern), displays covering space science, rocks and minerals, art, and more.
One of the most unusual displays was an "art" exhibit of interesting burial markers (grave stones, crosses,
and any type of burial marker you could imagine). The way some people have memorialized their loved ones is amazing, from
crosses made of tin cans or barbed wire to elaborate reproductions of the bedroom in their home. No photos of the
exhibit were allowed (nor would they have been appropriate, as we quietly paid our respects to their tributes).
Spring in Mesa
Spring in the desert is an amazing time when the cactus blooms, the bees are buzzing the and scent of wildflowers and orange blossoms is in the air.
OK, I guess most deserts don't have orange blossoms, but there are plenty of orange trees in the resort. Anyway, here are a couple
photos of the bloomin' cactus just to illustrate my point.
New developments are springing up all over the Phoenix area like, well, like wildflowers. Along with these come new shopping areas.
We particularly like the one pictured below. There's a very nice natural-foods grocery store where you can eat a great breakfast or
lunch on the patio in front of the store. Afterwards you can get a nice walk by browsing the trendy stores.
It's like a little oasis in the desert.
Summer in New York, Fall in Kansas City
After leaving Mesa, we did our normal "family-seeing" trip to New York for a couple months. But this time we not only got to
play with our grandson, we were also there when our new granddaughter was born in August. We now have two grandchildren to enjoy!
While we were in New York, we also went to "Bodies - The Exhibition". I've been wanting to see it ever since reading about it in a magazine,
but I didn't even realize that it was in New York until we saw the poster at a bus stop.
Wow, it was amazing. At first glance it looks like it would be some gruesome
display of carved up bodies -- but it's much more than that. And yes, it's real
bodies, amazingly preserved with silicone and presented for up-close study.
There were many families there with people of all ages.
Rather than being grossed out, everyone was engrossed. These are awesome displays of
human physiology, extremely educational (and I think extremely cool).
Once again I had figured we might spend a couple hours browsing the
exhibits, and it wouldn't be a good idea to go right after eating.
But 6 hours later we were starving, our feet were sore and we still hadn't finished it.
They don't allow any cameras or even cell phones in the exhibit, so I just took a couple pictures of the posters. You can see more
at their web site, http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/. If it comes to your
city, or if you can get to one of the cities where it's showing, we highly recommend it!
That's all for now -- we're winding up our 2-month visit in K.C., and we'll be heading back to Mesa soon.