Have you traveled much this summer? Us, not really. Funds are low right now so we've had to keep the travels basic right now. Spent a week at the beach and lots of staycations here in Memphis.
In late July we enjoyed one of the little gems found in Manchester, Tennnessee: Beans Creek Winery's music on the lawn. For such a small town (home of the Bonnaroo music festival) Manchester has some interesting culture.
I could mostly drone on about the fabulous evenings out in Memphis, mostly related to the arts. But that I will save for a future post. One thing my wife has brought to my life in our 11 years of marriage (11 years today, actually. Happy anniversary!) is a great appreciation for the arts. I, like many kids, was an artist of sorts as a kid. I've been a writer my whole life.
And one thing I don't brag about but I was an award-winning trombone player growing up. Now, well, I can't even read music. But I love to listen to it, love to stare at art and learning to enjoy theater.
Spent a weekend in St. Louis with some friends. It was a guy trip to watch a baseball game. A funny thing I learned on this trip: I think my wife is easier to please on a trip. Find a few art galleries, plenty of shopping, some good local restaurants and throw in a museum and we have a great trip.
The guys, on the other hand -- well -- I'll just say it's a good thing the World Cup was going on because we were able to watch games while waiting on the Cardinals game to begin. There just wasn't as much to do during the day for five guys.
Of course this same group of guys spent several days in New York and only had one baseball game to attend. There were multiple museum trips and things not related to sports. Of course it is New York.
Our only other travels this summer have been to Panama City Beach, Fla., in late June. The beach was great, and there was no oil. Of course the oil spill, while we never saw oil and definitely didn't smell anything related to it, hovered over the week.
The hotel had oil -washing stations on the deck. Every morning we observed men and women wearing fatigues and work boots slowly walking the beach staring at what the surf had washed up during the night. Thankfully, it seemed, they never found any oil, although oil did wash up the week before we arrived.
And we only experienced two waits at restaurants. We were there the week before July Fourth when waits can be an hour or more. Not complaining but I'm sure the Gulf Coast economy is.
Which is why I was especiall happy to hear on NPR yesterday that a group from St. Louis recently raised $15,000 with the sole purpose being they would spend it along the coast. They began in Mississippi and traveled east drinking coffee at a local coffee shop, eating breakfast at a local restaurant, buying knicknacks at a local knicknack store and on and on and on.
$15,000 isn't going to go far along the coast where the local economy reportedly is being devestated as bad -- and in some cases worse -- as the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina. But it's a start. It encourages me even more so now to make the trip to New Orleans this fall we've been casually talking about.
What else have I done this summer? Well, As you've unfortunately seen I've taken a major step back from the blog. I hope to reverse that now. I hope those of you who have followed me along the way will be patient. I want to write about things that inspire me to write in addition to things you will find useful and I hope entertaining. I have several ideas. I promise.