Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fabulous February

Not only does the arrival of February make me feel like spring is just around the corner, the month is filled with holidays and many other unique events. February 2nd was Groundhog’s Day. Sunday is Super Bowl 50, which is especially exciting for me this year. Go Broncos! This February has a Leap Day, which won’t occur again until 2020. And no discussion of February is complete without a mention of Valentine’s Day, a day to be celebrated with the one you love.
Here are a few others of interest:

February 8 - Chinese New Years It's the Year 4714!
February 9 - Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)
February 10 - Ash Wednesday
February 11 - 12 Lincoln's Birthday
February 15 - President's Day  (always the third Monday of month)
February 15 - Singles Awareness Day
February 22 - Washington's Birthday
February 28 -  Oscar Night 2016 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Nuggets From Life in Fiction – Human Sacrifices

“The last stop on the tour will be at the sacred well. The sacred well is a sinkhole about sixty-five feet across and is located a half mile from here. Legend is that the sacred well was used for human sacrifices. Skeletons of about fifty people have been found at the bottom, giving credibility to the story. It’s a magnificent feature of the ruins, but if anyone is not up for the hike, you can wait here or meet us back at the bus.”

This tour guide spiel in Marked In Mexico is close to the narrative I heard while visiting the sacred well at Chichén Itza in Mexico many years ago. Chichén Itza is home to some of the most magnificent Mayan ruins I’ve ever seen and a perfect place for the action, adventure, and danger to begin in Marked In Mexico. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Travel With Impact – Transporting Cattle Solomon Island Style

Life can be tough on an island with few roads.  The Solomon Islands is a country made up of over 900 islands, many of which are very remote and have little modern infrastructure. While visiting a rural training center on the island of Makira, we quickly learned that when the horn blew everyone was expected to run to the beach and help pull incoming boats up the steep sand beach before the next wave came in and flipped the boat. Having no roads, this was how we arrived, along with all other people and goods.

After having done this a number of times, we we’re stunned when one canoe was nearly too heavy for the group to pull to safety in time. Once out of harm’s way, we realized the source of the extreme weight was due to two full-grown cows lying with legs bound in the bottom of the canoe. The islanders had also developed an ingenious way to get the cows out of the canoe. Yes, necessity is truly the mother of invention. Seeing how difficult it can be for some people to have fresh milk, something most in America take for granted, was an eye-opening experience which made me all the more appreciative for the simple things in life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Adventure Scrapbook - Medieval Nuremberg

Nuremberg is Germany’s second largest city, and most notable as the site for the post-World War II Nuremberg trials. But, what may be a surprise is that it is also a stunning medieval city surrounded by 13th century walls. Within the walls are half-timbered houses, beautiful cathedrals, statues, cobble-stone streets, and quaint little shops selling local-made handicrafts.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Nuggets From Life in Fiction – Assault on the Senses

She rubbed the ache in her neck, thinking over the project’s progress, while the sounds of honking horns and the smell of rotting food from the encroaching city assaulted her senses. At one time, the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza overlooked ancient Cairo, carrying on its business at a respectful distance. Now the structures appeared to be losing the battle to avoid being swallowed up by the growing metropolis of nearly twenty million people closing in on the Giza Plateau from all sides.

In the second chapter of Shrouded in Secrets I was able to use a visit to the pyramids to describe the area. Although Egypt plays a minor role in the novel, I wanted to give the reader a realistic vibe for the area. I was surprised that something so famous and grand was being swallowed up by the city and the best way I can think of to describe Cairo is an assault on the senses. The sites, smells, and sounds create a magnificent chaos.