Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Today we are on a train from Porto to Tunes via Lisbon.
Our ultimate destination is a beach resort along the southern Algarve coast.
Along the way, let's journey back three years to a post from May 31st, 2013.

En plein air
In my youth the only sidewalk
cafe in Manhattan that I recall
was The Cafe de la Paix at the
Saint Moritz. In those days the
city was such a dirty and noisy
place that most New Yorkers
preferred to dine inside rather
than brave the elements.
What a pest
While I now adore dining al fresco I did
not always feel that way. As a young boy
there was little I hated more than being
outside. On the other hand my Mother
loved the great outdoors. Not anything
as strenuous as hiking but rather sitting
in "God's cathedral." Ethel and Howard
constantly dragged me from my climate
controlled comfort zone to a dirty, pest
infested world beyond. My aversion to
insects made me itch at the thought of
an exterior adventure. I preferred lunch
at 21 to getting "antsy" on a picnic.

Ah wilderness!
Given Ethel's exterior motives she
adored camping. In her youth she
spent weekends in the wilderness
of Mount Kisco. Later she went to
camp in the Adirondacks. After
marriage my parents camped each
year deep in the White Mountains
of New Hampshire. Nothing made
my Mother happier than lolling in
a hammock gazing up at the trees. 
Totally camp
On the other hand I absolutely
hated camping. Think about it,
a fifteen year old aesthete stuck
out in the woods with two fifty
year olds. Not my concept of
paradise! Not only did I hate the
great outdoors, it was BORING.

Breath it in.
Even at home Mom couldn't get enough
fresh air. Her joy was sitting in +90%
humidity while sipping an iced coffee
on her screen porch in Williamsburg
Virginia. While one could appreciate
her fervor, a higher being invented air
conditioning to save our sodden souls.
Therefore why submit oneself to moist
conditions given technological advances
in modern climate control? Turn it down!
Cabin Fever
It wasn't until my first visit to
Montana that I realized Mother
was right as usual. Post several
nights at Frank's family cabin -
the silence, stars, and solitude
made me fall in love with just
sitting in the woods and doing
absolutely nothing. GET OUT!