Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wish You Were Here!

June's Gonna Be Busy!

Life never stands still, it just rolls on by. In my life that translated to two graduations in two weeks! Son from Brophy College Preparatory High School in Phoenix and daughter (Summa Cum Laude!) from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia. 

Both challenged themselves. Both kept their noses clean. Both have futures so bright they gotta wear shades.

Mr. B and a Friend

Miss M's Commencement at SCAD

Miss M in Front of "O" House at SCAD

In the next four weeks I'll be traveling to LA, Savannah, and Seattle. Then my family will get together and travel to San Francisco, Tokyo, Kyoto, Kamakura, and Nara Japan.

Whew! Expect lots of posts!

Roadboy's Travels © 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chihuly at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden

A Fine Morning Walk

Update June 2009
Enjoy the memories and photos
The exhibit closed May 31, 2009

I have always been impressed with the "Living National Treasures" program in Japan. The Japanese recognize individuals whose lifetime achievements are considered so profound and unique that they designate them as nothing less than national living treasures. 

I guess the closest thing we have is our national Poet Laureate (but that designation changes with each change of political administration). If I had my way the US would also have a living treasures designation. Then my first nominee would be a true American original Dale Chihuly. His stunning glass artwork breaks the mold of "glass for utility". Chihuly's glass art objects are treasured around the world and are displayed in places of honor in the worlds finest museums (my favorite installation is probably the piece in London's Victoria and Albert). Another excellent venue is the museum of glass he created along the Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma Washington.

For those lucky enough to get the last few tickets, a special installation is open for viewing here in Phoenix at our splendid Desert Botanical Garden. This garden is one of my favorite places in Phoenix anyway, so this morning's visit to see the Chihuly glass installation was a special treat. Being on the road so much, I frequently wind up missing the great stuff that is right under my nose. Thank goodness I did not miss this.

If you go, prepare to be dazzled. The pieces vary in size and shape. Some are small, others are majestic in scale. Some are carefully set among the desert garden's walkways and literally seem to be growing. Others just grab you and demand that you "look over here, now!"

From the very moment you approach the garden there are jaw dropping pieces seemingly everywhere. In this post I gladly used up a bunch of the megapixels blogger allows me. So please click away on these high res photos to get a feel for the arts real intensity.

On the Way to the Garden's Entrance
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Like Some Sort of Magical Agave
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Shimmering in the Morning Sun
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The New Walkways into the Garden
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"Flamingo's" With a Splendid Backdrop
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The Brightest Blues, Reds, Oranges, and Yellows 
Pieces Seem to be Growing  on Their Own
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In Spare Settings
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Some Scaled to be as Large as a Tree
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A Nestlike Element Suspended
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And the Blooms of the Garden Are Found Everywhere

This installation closes soon, so if you can, go see this one. Chihuly in the DBG is truly wonderful. 

Roadboy's Travels © 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This Is The Summer To Travel!

It Is Crazy Out There!

This will be a short post. Over the past two weeks I have seen absolutely amazing deals pop up in almost every travel related category.

Last week there was a 12 night cruise (during summer) on Celebrity (superb cruise line) from Amsterdam through every major port in Scandinavia all the way to St. Petersburg for $799 with a $100 on board credit. That works out to $58.25 per night for travel, food, and hotel!  

Marriott is giving 3 nights for every 2 nights in points that are cashed in for their resorts this summer. If you register Marriott is also currently awarding double credit and points for staying in their hotels. They also nuked their blackout periods and announced rollover nights for road warriors that exceed platinum this year.

I just went back and rebooked hotels tonight for my families' upcoming trip to Japan this June. The savings in hotel costs from my original reservations netted about $700.

There was a $799 deal at Sceptre Travel recently for travel IN SUMMER to Ireland for $799. It includes the five star Adare Manor, airfare, and a rental car. 

In the past few weeks there have been sales for coast to coast trips on every major airline for $69 - $99.

Not to downplay the human tragedy of the situation in Mexico, but for a country that desperately needs our travel dollars for its very survival, this spring and summer travel season has been decimated by the perception of a "Pandemic" that has so far claimed fewer lives than one day of auto fatalities in the US. After talking to travelers that recently returned from Cancun, I was told there is no one on the beach, the hotels are empty, and the staff of the resorts are literally spending their entire days sterilizing every surface a human can come in contact with.

I know the economy is bad. I know everyone is scared of getting swine flu. I know, I know, I know.

All I'm telling you is the dollar is up, prices are down, and gas is cheaper than anytime in three years. If there was ever a summer to hit the road, this is it. For goodness sakes, Go Travel!

Roadboy's Travels © 2009