Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Which the Pieces were Picked Up......

"We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean.
But, if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something." - Mother Theresa

Baby monkey at the Minnesota Zoo

And so, once again, life moves on.  Last time we visited this ongoing trip was an evening in Cincinnati, Ohio, after finishing a Reds game.  But first, one last story from the ball game.  At most sporting events, at some point during the game, they have a "kiss cam", and this game was not any different.  This was during the point when I was sitting in front of the group of guys that were goofing off, and they were planning which other guy they would kiss if the cam came their way.  Instead, it focused in on two of the opposing team's members, and tried to get them to kiss.  It stayed there for a few minutes, with the guys getting more and more embarrassed, and one finally reached over for a cheek peck, but the other one moved far away.  It was hilarious to watch.

When the game was over, my friends took me on a drive around downtown Cincinnati, which strengthened my resolve to return sometime to explore more.  The architecture, the atmosphere, the sights were all wonderful.  As we drove away from the stadium, the first thing I noticed was the river walk, which had many swings and lights that changed colors down the walkway.  The next big thing I noticed, though, was the dichotomy in the area, between the beautiful parks and buildings and the rampant poverty and homelessness that was obvious.  But the beauty......The music hall, whose large glass window was being backlit by colored lights, that changed in a way that it almost appeared to be a kaleidoscope.  Fountain square park, with, obviously, fountains, but beautiful, multifaceted fountains that had lights under them that also changed colors.  My friends told me of the wonderful events they have in the park.  Of eating at a restaurant nearby, and watching the game on a big screen when not attending live.

I feel like I'm seeing places in a different light this year, though I don't have the words to explain that.  But it's really cool.  

After leaving Cincinnati the next morning, I headed towards Wisconsin for their state square dancing convention.  On the way......the check engine light came on.  Darn it.  So, stopped by Auto Zone for a free check.  2 of the things that were showing up were old, but the third was a problem with something that had to do with the oxygen, and could have been related to a problem with the muffler, a couple of other things, or the catalytic converter (the worst possibility), but since none of these were going to kill the car in the next week or so, I decided to wait to get it checked out in Minnesota, where I had time to kill, and would be in one place for a while. 

And that's as far as we're getting today.  Still in Minnesota, but leaving in a few days.  Have hotel set up in Portland for Stay and Fly, and my car rental set up for Hawaii, so all ready to leave for that on the 8th.

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