Big Apple Beard
After our enjoyable visit at the National Gallery it was time for our appointment at The African American History Museum.
Definately an amazing museum and wonderful addition to the Smithsonian, this museum is worth the visit. Still being the new kid on The Mall it was packed and tickets hard to come by. We enjoyed it immensely, but we will make a point to come back at a later date when it isn’t so crowded and can be enjoyed as a Museum of its caliber should be. I know they have a lot of people waiting to get in and that tickets are limited in number, but I think they could do better limiting the number of tickets issued to an even smaller number.
The Contemplative Court Waterfall Fountain was worth the trip itself alone. Overwhelming. Fearsome had some tears to catch as I began to sob. Cleansing.
Jackie Robinson is truly an inspirational man of honor. Integrating baseball was not an easy task. Jackies strength was in his own personal restraint and self discipline. Fearsome highly recommends the movie about Jackie’s life. The movie is simply “42”. Jackie is one of Fearsome’s heroes.
After our time at the Hirshhorn we crossed The Mall to check out have some lunch over at The National Gallery of Art. After sharing a wonderful lunch in the Garden Cafe we discovered their current exhibit Frederic Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism.
Federic Brazil was an early impressionist who came of age with Renoir, Monet, Manet, Cezzane and likes. They were a close group and there are many paintings where they painted the same subjects and each other.
This last painting above is a Bazille that includes many of his impressionist friends in his studio, Bazille is the tallest standing beside the easel. Bazille’s parents always kept him in a studio in Paris and his young impressionist friends, including Renoir & Monet, often stayed and even lived with him in his various Paris studios. Note the painting on the upper left above the man on the stairs as it is the painting of the male nude featured above.
Bazille joined the Army at 29 years of age and left his young impressionist friends behind to only be tragically killed on his first assignment. He never gained the refinement nor fame that his contemporaries did due to his unfortunate untimely death.
Rumors do swirl around why he left and joined a faction of the army to fight on the front lines. Was he in love with one of his contemporaries that couldn’t be fulfilled? Did he need to get away? Was it almost an act of suicide? Or was he just looking for male companionship in the trenches? Rumors that will never be confirmed.
Homosexuality was quite frowned upon at the time and the place where he and his friends lived and bromanced. His counterparts went on to marry, he ran away. He housed and supported them and maybe it was only friendship. We will never know. We do know that the loss of his life at such a young age deprived the impressionist movement of a budding young talent who had hardly began his journey.
Fearsome, The Better Half and I are all three galavanting about on holiday. Our first stop was in our nation’s capital. We took the opportunity to focus on the beauty and inspiration that is available in D.C.
First up was the Hirshhorn and what a treat to find part of Ai WeiWei’s @Large which he designed for and exhibit at Alcatraz.
This part of his Alcatraz exhibit is entitled Trace. It extends for one full circle of the Hirshhorn’s second floor. Stunning.
Ai WeiWei himself is also an imprisoned freedom activist who isn’t allowed to leave his own country of China. The entire Alcatraz exhibit was created by him for the prison space with the help of many other artist who could aid in its design, creation, set up, delivery and installation. Ai WeiWei never was able to visit his own work in the space for which it was designed. The Twitter bird represents his own ability to speak freely beyond his confines while being detained and monitored continuously.
Why it is that every time I have a trip to make I get crazy busy right before it is time to leave?
Is it Murphy’s law?
Since I’m busy getting ready do I attract more busy?
Busy attracts business?
Dont get me wrong, I like busy. Busy brings me income. Busy creates meaning. Busy gives purpose.
I think I’ll decide to sit in my seat 2B to Chicago this morning in gratitude for being busy.
So this happened…
I’m passing through TSA, something I do about once a month, and I’m stopped and asked “Sir, is your Beard for religious reasons?” It’s very early in the morning and I am am in a hurry and my focus is getting through to grab a snack in the United Club Lounge prior to lining up at the gate. What the TSA agent said to me in my Known Traveler TSA Pre-Check express line didn’t register at the moment and I quickly blurted out “No, it is not” to which the agent replied “Ok” and let me pass on through.
It wasn’t until much later when I replayed the exchange in my mind that I realized what had actually happened. What if my answer was yes? I mean Fearsome is a rather large fellow. He stands out, really stands out. And so what if Fearsome is a Beard of religious reasons? He is an American citizen and last I checked these United States are a land with freedom of, and from, religion. Was I being profiled for having a Beard and possibly for having a religion? Is it a TSA agent’s business why Fearsome adorns my face or what religion I do, or do not, follow?
Quiet Beard Fearsome is of recent. I’ve been busy (no excuse) and haven’t allowed Fearsome any time to think. He’s a bit miffed at me.
Tuesday we flew to the east coast in order to attend one of my Real Estate seminars in Richmond Virginia. Friday we rented a Hyudia Elantra and drove ourselves through blinding rain to the old home stomping grounds of Roanoke.
Aboard the friendly skies of United to Richmond via Newark the handy dandy iPad Pro entertainment system treated us to two notable flicks. The first feature is a classic that I had missed along the way. Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown …
What took me so long to see this film? Needless to say Fearsome loved it! I’m going to follow up by purchasing it. Entertaining, campy, hilarious, fast paced, twisted, visually gratifying and memorable are just a few of the adjectives that pop into my head. It is highly recommended by both of us and therefore gets two mustache tips up.
Tip: if renting from iTunes it will default to the dubbed version. The dubbing is terrible. It at least allows one to hear the priceless lines in ones own native English… if English is ones native tongue. After which both of us highly reccomend re-watching with its original Spanish soundtrack which one can choose in the iTunes menu and also choose the subtitles in several convenient languages. Fabulous! Period.
Feature number two? You ask? A heartwarming documentary by the name of Chicken People.
Quirky, funny, interesting, endearing and enlightening come to mind. The human experience is an facinating adventure. Learning about interests other than my own through such an entertaining film as this little gem is a treasure. I simply adore being eccentric and therefore love other’s eccentricities.
You guessed it right if you predicted another two mustache tips up on this highly reccomended flick.
We’ve got ’em.
Saturday August 12.
And On that same trip there is this: …click on the headline for more info if you are so inclined…
It will be a quick summer trip. It’s gonna be great!
Mom is doing much better. Big relief. Physical therapy has worked well for her. She is much more herself.
Her birthday party was a success and she absolutely loves her new Apple Watch. She is calling everyone from her wrist. Seriously!
Yes, I made the cake. Kentucky Butter Cake! (You can find the recipe HERE)
After a wonderful time with mom, Fearsome and I boarded our flight to start our journey home. Due to the tumultuous weekend of policy changes by decree we figured we may see a bit of discourse along the way. San Diego International did not disappoint.
Outside baggage claim thousands of peaceful protestors as far as the eye could see, even on the upper level drop off area. We added our cheers of support as we made our way through the crowd having to walk to the smaller domestic flight only terminal for pick up. It was an uplifting walk after a weekend of disconcerting news.
We are glad to be home safely with our family. We pray for everyone that are separated from families/loved ones and for all those that are displaced from their home/homelands that are simply seeking safe refuge in order to live.
We arrived safely in Ft Lauderdale only 20 hours later than the originally scheduled arrival time. Thanks to a helpful club concierge we were rescheduled on the easiest most comfortable route to our final destination. Fearsome has taught me that a smile, patience plus a few kind words go a long way with those who work in customer service. His wisdom worked to our favor.
After waiting out our delay in snowy Washington DC due to the line for de icing we were finally airborne. Shortly into the flight or Captian let us know that due to storms aloft we were re-routing but would make it to Ft. Lauderdale. He warned us if a bumpy flight ahead and that services may be delayed as from time to time the flight attendants would have to sit down and strap themselves in. Yeah! A thrill ride!
Actually the experience aloft turned out to be fairly smooth and the re-route took us out to sea. When landing in Ft Lauderdale on most often arrives over the Everglades but due to storms we descended to our destination via a route over the Bahamas. As the Captian put it we were going to just “slip in between storm fronts” so we could land safely.
Our sneaky route between storms allowed some incredible vistas from my window seat the United Club concierge snagged for me:
What we found when we got off the flight in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International was a freakin’ mess. Due to all flights being cancelled the day before and the one whole terminal being closed as it was a crime scene, left our arrival terminal looking like something out of Night of The Living Dead. As we deplaned we entered a terminal packed to the point there wasn’t even a place for people to sit on the floor and the stranded passengers looked at us almost as if they were hungry enough to eat us. They wanted on to our aircraft and NOW!
The there was baggage claim. Oh shit!
Apparently in the evacuation of the airport during the previous days shootings everyone was told to leave their bags and run. These were just the yet to be claimed bags from arriving passengers. Departing passenger bags were available for claim and re-checking to destinations on one’s newly scheduled flight upstairs. The nightmare the day after a nightmare.
My bag? After a reschedule and a night left outside on the tarmac at Dulles International it arrived! Still frozen, but here with me! Whew.
I made my way to Dollar Rent A Car and was greeted with no line in which to wait but a friendly face who discounted my rental and upgraded me to a full size car “due to the travel interruptions” I had endured. I was off to my hotel and welcomed not only by a familiar and friendly face at the front desk but also by my comfortable and familiar room.
So that’s what snow looks like.
Ft Lauderdale airport is now apparently open. Fingers crossed we can get out of here.
You guessed it, here we go!
Next flight… First Class into San Diego. Woo Hoo!
I love where we live.
Now I love it even more. I just saw this picture on Huffington Post. I didn’t even need to read the article. I just need to go for a walk on the beach and imagine I’m on vacation.
It was a delight to see this beautiful old Hotel featured. It us just a 15 minute drive from my front door to its front door. Currently still a Zika free warm climate destination.
The graceful Hotel Del Coronado was built circa 1888 and is the largest oceanfront fully wooden structure left on the west coast of the U.S. The beautiful old hotel has quite the history. From stars, royalty and presidents to famous ghostly haunts the ocean front resort’s walls contain many memories. My two favorite hotel legends are dear to the heart of many a male of my persuasion. Both Dorothy Gale and Marilyn have history at this Grande Dame.
Much of L. Frank Baum’s Oz was written on the island and at the Hotel Del.
Many of the scenes of Some Like It Hot were filmed at the Hotel Del. There’s a famous Dragon tree out front that had to regrow half of itself over after apparently being almost cut in half so the cameras could get the right shot. The cast stayed in the hotel during the shooting of the film.
The structure was the first building to ever have electricity in San Diego. Thomas Edison was hired to build a power plant for the hotel. He apparently oversaw and even installed some of the original wiring himself. The power plant produced more electricity than the hotel needed at the time and eventually sold the excess to San Diego as other buildings installed the new luxury of electric lighting.
The resort remains one of San Diego’s finest. The beach The Del sits on is one of San Diego’s largest. It is a wonderful destination for a week, weekend or just a brunch.
Come join us in San Diego. It rarely if ever rains here so mosquitos are almost non-existent and thus we are still Zika free. Our average temperature is about 70 degrees F, our beaches run for miles from soft sand to dramatic seaside bluffs and our elevation ranges from sea level to well over 8000 feet. Take a morning hike in the mountains then head into the surf in the afternoon.
Paradise. I’m grateful I landed in paradise.
Bonus double day!…
No worries, we will be blogging as we go.
Life, living it gets busy. I like busy. I believe a full dance card is a dersirable dance card. If it’s not full, I say get out there and fill it up.
I had a private comment from a dear friend and reader of Fearsome Beard that they thought maybe I had lost interest in this here blog thingy since I’ve had some breaks in written posts. I must have had a look in my eye because very quickly he said “or maybe you have just been busy?”
I had to laugh and then reassured him busy was the answer. I actually appreciate his enlightenment for it makes me pause and assess.
Being contemplative I thought about it and I definately haven’t lost any interest, in fact I am loving this here blog thingy more and more as time passes. I do have gaps in the written prose, but that’s ok. Life is busy. I have distractions. Sometimes I have something to say and haven’t the time to stop and say it. Other times I have the time to stop, yet nothing to say. The best part of the blog is that when the stars align, I actually do stop and write. I contemplate, laugh, cry, think, read, express, research, communicate, grow, interact, share and learn.
Some days I get busy. Some days I just go to the beach.
Today’s gallivant brings us back to our usual haunt of Ft. Lauderdale beach. We is just the two of us…Fearsome and me. The better half has commitments back at home on the west coast and the six pups are happy at least one of us is home. We will miss him but will have him on a future trip in the not too distant future.
This beautiful breezy and balmy Florida evening took us on a stroll to our favorite Casabanca Cafe to kick off our trip. Kick it off to a tasty start at a charming and picturesque location. Afterwards a long stroll on the beach will be grand.
Yep…living the dream…