Memories.

My most vivid memories from travel, both good and bad. (I have previously written about some of them.) In no particular order:

  1. The feel of a baby sea turtle in my hand as I helped him to the ocean (Cumberland Island, Georgia).
  2. Experiencing the Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain). Words fail me.
  3. Wandering the Metropolitan Museum of Art after having had two Apple Martinis in the museum bar (New York City).
  4. The homicidal sheep-truck driver who tried to force me off the road in rural New Zealand.
  5. My chant driving through Illinois on the way to Chicago (“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas and a half pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses,” Elwood Blues, The Blues Brothers). My family was not amused.
  6. Driving Big Sur by myself for the first time (mainly to get over my fear of driving Big Sur).
  7. Learning a lesson about democracy in St. Isaac’s Cathedral (St. Petersburg, Russia).
  8. Falling in love with Puppy, a flower sculpture outside the Bilbao Guggenheim (Bilbao, Spain). In fact, falling in love with the entire country.
  9. The “Prado moment,” where I nearly passed out due to jet lag and Hieronymus Bosch (Madrid, Spain).
  10. Penguins in their native habitat (Ushaia, Argentina).
  11. The one of the happiest days of my life, spent on a boat motoring in the waters around San Cristobal Island (The Galapagos, Ecuador).
  12. Going to the Musée de Orsay with the kids, especially the Not-So-Little Drummer Boy (Paris, France).
  13. The majesty of the Grand Tetons (Grand Teton National Park).
  14. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler (British Columbia, Canada).
  15. Driving a thousand kilometers in one day through Bavaria, and arriving after dark in a rainstorm at the castle where we were staying (Germany). I half expected Count Dracula to meet us, although the lodgings were quite nice, if dark and sort of “hunting lodge” in decoration.
  16. Eating king crab at a small local restaurant in Tierra del Fuego (Ushaia, Argentina). There are pictures of me with the crab; I named him Bertie. He was delicious, and absolutely fresh, having been pulled from a salt-water tank after we ordered.
  17. Echidna Quest (San Diego, California).
  18. Disturbing a black bear along a deserted road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee). We were frightened, but he was more so.
  19. Antietam, one of the most profoundly sad battlefields I have ever visited (Maryland).
  20. Sitting in front of The Kitchen Maid in the Vermeer Room in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, the Netherlands).
  21. The family – the mother in a hijab – in the nearly deserted St. Mark’s Square at nearly sunset after the tours had left. (Venice, Italy). The boy (who appeared to be about ten) put pigeon feed on his younger brother’s head, thus proving that boys are the same the world over.
  22. Walking through St. Peter’s Cathedral (Rome, Italy). Michelangelo’s Pieta moved me nearly to tears. I lit a candle for my dead sister, and thought of my mother, and wished she were there.
  23. The Service of Lessons and Carols in Westminster Abbey (London, England). Lessons and Carols has always been one of my two favorite services of the liturgical year, and being a participant at the seat of my religion was special.
  24. Wandering through a nearly deserted cathedral in Magdeburg (Germany). While I was looking at “the angels in the architecture,” ethereal music began drifting around me. A choir had chosen the cathedral because of its acoustics to record an album, and they were practicing.
  25. The beautiful New Mexican backroads we drove on a clear November day, the fields golden in the slanting late afternoon sun.

I have many more memories, but I decided that twenty-five was a good number to write about.

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