It’s time for another contest!! This one is my Win My Souvenirs travel contest.
Want to win my souvenir pack from my Fall 2013 European Tour?
Follow and win.
It’s time for another contest!! This one is my Win My Souvenirs travel contest.
Want to win my souvenir pack from my Fall 2013 European Tour?
Follow and win.
Kansas City and jazz are as inseparable as Kansas City and its BBQ; it’s a part of the city fabric. The vibrations of contemporary jazz echo throughout the many venues, and there is plenty of local talent.
Kansas City Jazz is defined by its bebopping free-flowing style. The term “jam session” originated in Kansas City at the Mutual Musicians’ Foundation, in the heart of the 18th and Vine District. Founded in 1917, the Foundation was a union for black musicians and since the 1930′s performers have gathered there for jam sessions every Friday and Saturday night that lasts to the early morning hours. It still attracts everyone from seasoned local performers to big-name acts.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to attend the jam sessions at the Foundation, however, I did have the pleasure of being at Blue Monday Jam, at The Blue Room. The Blue Room is the jazz lounge that is part of the American Jazz Museum. By day, you can put on some headsets and be carried away by the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Charlie “Bird” Parker. Then come back in the evening when The Blue Room is jammin’ with some of the best jazz in the country.
Even though it was a Monday night, the Blue Room still had a nice sized crowd. Blue Monday Jam is open to any musician that wants to join in the session.The environment is intimate and friendly, and everyone mingles; young and old, men and women, and black and white, on and off the stage.
There are numerous venues in the city where you can experience local jazz. Many of them are close to the city center, and are free, or next to free (meaning inexpensive).
I suggest picking up a copy of “Jam” magazine. It’s a bi-monthly magazine published by the KC Jazz Ambassadors, an organization dedicated to the development and promotion of Kansas City jazz. It will give you information on all the latest happenings, and where to go.
There were high times, and high attendance at Seattle’s Hempfest. Held August 16 – 18, Seattle’s Hempfest has long been a popular event with “indulgers” and non-indulgers alike. This year was no exception, with over 300,000 people passing through the entrances.
Seattle Hempfest is the world’s largest event advocating cannabis law reform. This annual event is held every August in Myrtle Edwards Park on the Seattle waterfront. Now in its 22nd year, this is the first year in which cannabis is actually legal. And, since I just happen to be in Seattle… I pretty much had to go.
A group of friends and I took the West Seattle Ferry to Pier 50 and walked the 2 miles it took to get to this year’s newest entrance, The Steven Colbert Bridge To Somewhere.
This entrance was smooth sailing. The line wasn’t long, and it moved fast. It also has a great view over the park, and Elliott Bay, and it puts you smack dab in the middle of Munchie Market, and Stone Village. Seriously. Those were names of this area. And,if you guessed that these were food vendors, you’d be correct.
How did the Seattle Police Department deal with Hempfest? The handed out bags of Doritos with stickers on them summarizing the do’s and don’ts of I-502 (the Initiative that legalized cannabis for recreational use). The point was to educate attendees about the marijuana laws. I loved this! I think the idea was humorous, and I love the positive attitude of the SPD at this event. However, they fell short on one thing. The Doritos ran out in the first 10 minutes.
Maybe that’s due to this event being a kind of a non-event’ for them. Yes, they were directing traffic, and others were posted in strategic positions “watching out.” However, there has never really been any major situations at Hempfest.
Police spokesman Mark Jamieson has been quoted as saying, “Actually, Hempfest is one of the easier events that we do. We haven’t had any major problems since Seattle’s been doing Hempfest.”
As I walked around, I found it to be pretty much as it had been in years past, lots of food stalls, average bands (based on my music taste), marijuana paraphernalia, and hippie couture made in Thailand. A few of the noticeable exceptions were; there appeared to be fewer petitions to sign. In fact, I wasn’t asked to sign one petition in the 2 hours I was there. It also seemed that I saw more people openly smoking. People have always smoked marijuana at these events. However, they “hid” out on the rocks. As it was then and as it is now, from all appearances the SPD really had no intentions of doing anything about it.
The biggest commotion, to me, seemed to be around event organizers kicking out the man who was attempting to roll the World’s Largest Joint. This begs the question, “Was he high when he thought up this idea?”
I expected this year’s vibe to be over the top in its cool factor, and I certainly thought we’d hear rumors of celebrity attendance. Something to make it not just another hippie type event that people smoked marijuana at. Marijuana is legal. If the “cause” (in Washington State) has been won, is there a reason to keep attending? Is there still a feeling of camaraderie around an issue? Time will tell if attendance will continue with its steady growth. But for me, as a one-time Seattle local, who has attended two of these festivals in the past, I came, saw, got a Hawaiian Shaved Ice (Blue Bubble Gum ), got bored, and left.
In my family, I’m the driver. I don’t mind, I like to drive.. But, just because a person isn’t driving doesn’t mean they get to sit there all brain dead, looking out the window like they’re watching a moving picture. I’ve actually had to tell someone this, which is why I’ve decided to let people know, there are rules to being shotgun. The role of Shotgun comes with some responsibilities.
So…read up and learn!
Rule #1: She who handles the steering wheel makes the rules, and therefore also has final veto power in all things regarding the road trip.
Rule #2: Shotgun serves at the pleasure of the driver and is expected to assist in any way possible that aids the driver, be it by study of the sacred traveling scrolls of Thomas Bros or by programming of a GPS-device. If the driver says, “Keep an eye out for Highway 123,” you keep an eye out.
Rule #3: Shotgun is charged with entertaining the driver with light hearted conversation, clever wit and a constant rotation of music through XM Radio, FM radio, CD’s, iPod, etc. Particular care must be taken that the music selection does not stray far from the driver’s particular taste.
Rule #4: The Shotgun must maintain a constant supply of snacks and drinks, and be prepared to satiate the thirst and “munchies” of the Driver at a moment’s notice.
Rule #5: Per driver’s dictation, the shotgun must type and send out the necessary Tweets or FB status updates (ie. road side photos, cute or unusual signs, etc) for the driver.
Rule #6: The shotgun ALWAYS pumps the gas. Period.
Do you have rules for road trips?
It’s that time of year and the flowers are in good bloom.
For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world. The nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields® at Carlsbad Ranch, in Carlsbad, California, are in a full bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year – from early March through early May – literally bringing the famous fields back to life. This annual burst of color, which has become part of the area’s local heritage, is also one of nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in Southern California.
To Enlarge; click on the image, then click again.
Tickets are available for purchase onsite and online
Hours: March 1, 2013 – May 12, 2013 9:00AM – 6:00PM
Prices: $11,00 for Adults, $10.00 for Seniors 60+, $6.00 for Children 3 – 10, Children 2 and under are Free
Season Passes: $20.00 for Adults, $18.00 Seniors 60+, $10.00 for Children 3 – 10
Wagon Rides: $5.00 for Adults, $3.00 for Children 3 – 10
Information Line: (760) 431-0352
I had the pleasure of working the reporters line while on a recent trip to Los Angeles. It was awesome.
I was reporting from the premiere of Disney’s new Tim Burton movie; Frankenweenie. It’s a movie about a boy and his dog and what ensues when he brings his beloved pet dog Sparky back from the grave.
Check out my celebrity interviews while I was working the red carpet, that was actually white:
Chick Here: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-849211
One of my travel collections consists of KLM Delft Blue miniature houses. They come out with new house every year, and each one is numbered. Some might say that the coolest thing about them is that they come filled with Bois Jenever (dutch gin). What I find most cool is that they are replicas of houses that still stand today in Amsterdam or some other city in Holland. This collection was building slowly, however, over the past year it’s grown quite a bit. I’ve gone from less than 10 houses to close almost 40 houses. Roland added eight to my collection this past July. Eight!! I don’t know how he got so many when he should have just come home with four, but I’m gonna guess he was scheming and asking people for theirs. (Thanks Baby!! )
About a year ago, I came up with the grand idea to search out these houses and photograph them. I don’t know how I’m going to display the two together, but I thought it was a fun idea. That is what motivated me to purchase some of the houses when an expat leaving Saudi Arabia advertised her collection for sale at 20 Riyals (about $5.30) per house. So, I purchased 18 houses.
Well…I was in Amsterdam earlier this month for 4 days and I checked out some of the houses. It was so cool!! Based on the proximity to my hotel, I narrowed it down to 5 houses. I mapped them and went on my search. I was so excited when I found the first one. I was surprised that they were so easy to find and I think I expected them to “stand out” in some way. But, they look like the other surrounding canal houses, with the exception that this one has a porcelain replica reproduced by KLM.
I spent one afternoon walking a nice route that took me to five of the houses in my collection. This is just the beginning. The next time I’m in Amsterdam, I will select 5 – 6 more houses and do another walking tour of a new neighborhood. Following are the photos of the houses that I took. The photos of the porcelain house is courtesy of KLM.
*To enlarge the photos, click to bring up its own page, then click again. *
Keizersgracht 140 – KLM House #45:
Unlike the facade of many old buildings in Amsterdam that lean slightly outward towards the street, the facade of the house at Keizersgracht 140 was erected in 1896 and stands straight up. Until the first half of the 19th century the house was in uses as a meeting for English Quakers.
Herengracht 203 – KLM House #53:
The house at Herengracht 203 was built during the early period in which the ring of canals was being constructed and is one of he original buildings. It was build in 1618 following the allocation of the land. A restoration was conducted in 1920.
Herengracht 64 – KLM House #56:
Herengracht 64 was built by Jan van Alderwerelt (1585-1636). This merchant’s house was rebuilt around 1700. An historic drawing shows that the house was once crowned by a globe with a cross on top but this ornament has since disappeared.
Herengracht 163 – KLM House #59:
A wine merchant named Jan Willemson commissioned the building of this house. The beautiful neck gable crowning the building at Herengracht 163 dates from 1721.
Singel 87 – KLM House #72:
This building dates back to 1730. The top is crowned with a bust of mercury, the god of commerce. This symbol was in common uses during the time when Amsterdam was one of the world’s most important centers of trade.
I’m coming down to the home stretch with the Dog Days of Summer Travel Game. And, there is not better place for the home stretch to end than in my hometown of San Diego.
All month I have been traveling around and it’s been a fun filled journey. I started in Saudi Arabia and hung out in Amsterdam, Seattle, San Francisco, Sonoma, providing clues and hints on Facebook and Twitter about where I’m traveling to, what sites I’m visiting, and/or how I’ll get there. People have been providing answers to these clues for their chance to win $500 in Visa TravelMoney.
With this week being the last week, we’re going out with a bang. The clues coming at you all week will feature San Diego. Make sure you’re following me on Facebook and Twitter and stay tuned as we showcase America’s Finest City.
Dutch people overwhelmingly support equal rights for gays, and the country became the world’s first to fully sanction gay marriages in April 2001. So when I found out it was Gay Pride week the weekend I was going to Amsterdam, there was no way I was going to miss the parade. I expected something fabulous, and I was not disappointed. This was one big canal side party.
The Gay Pride “Naughty Boat” Parade is the high point of Gay Pride week. The boat-floats feature gay, lesbian, and transgender people, some of them “dang near naked.” The streets along side Prinsengracht canal were lined with hundreds of thousands of gay right supporters. When I say this was one big party, I’m telling you, house music blasting everywhere; people hanging out on balconies, and windowsills of canal side houses. Oh yea…and pink, pink, and mo pink everywhere.
The video is below. The video and editing is rough; I’m on the road, and I’m slightly lazy. LOL But, this gives you an idea as to what I saw and experienced.
I was nominated by Runaway Brit to enter the Capture The Color Travel Blogger Competition. So, what is it? Basically, a travel blogger submits a photo that showcase the following colors: blue, green, yellow, white, and red. And, then they nominate 5 other bloggers. It’s a simple as that. Well…until I had to start sorting through my photos to decide which ones were worthy enough. And, I never think my photos are as good as they could be. But, I’m going for it anyway.
Following are my entries:
Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities. I’m there on a day visit 2 – 3 times a year on an extended layover in and out of the Middle East. This photo was taken early one rainy morning in December.
Off the beaten path deep in the woods in Sweden:
During an early Saturday morning photography meetup in Ocean Beach, CA, this bi-plane came right into my focal view.
Taken during a tour of the Los Angeles Arboretum located in Pasadena, CA
This photo was taken in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Though it’s not an awe inspiring shot, the way I got the shot was such a pleasant surprise and these guys were so “cool” that it will be one of my favorite shots of all time. Saudi’s typically frown on people taking photos, but these guys waved me over and let me share their world for this brief moment in time.
Now the pressure is on for these cool travel chicks. Ladies, you have been nominated!!
Try Anything Once: Terri is a foodie who loves to travel
Mo Travels: Monique is a globetrotting wife & mom isn’t content to travel the world, wants to run around it too.
The Absolute Travel Addict: April is a self proclaimed travel addict, Jamaicaholic and cupcake connoisseur.
Nicole Is The New Black: Nicole is Licensed Jet-setter and Perpetual Expatriate and has no intentions of turning back.
A View To A Thrill: Renee spends most of her waking hours plotting the next excursion outside of her zip code.
Copyright 2013 Black Chick on Tour