Wow Place #191: Te Mata Peak, Hastings, New Zealand

“Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes.” –The Buddha Quite an upbeat fellow, that Buddha guy. Not that he’s wrong, mind you. As Donica and I are climbing ardently up Te Mata peak on the North Island of New Zealand, death is definitely on my mind—and not just tomorrow. I’m […]

Wow Place 187: Wimbledon, England

[This is my last daily post for a little bit as I wing off to New Zealand tomorrow in search of fresh new Wow Places. 187 posts down…178 more to go to reach my goal of 365! 😊 I’ll be back writing again in the new year. See ya in 2024 folks, and thanks for […]

Wow Place #186: Denver Soundwalk

City planners are very good at installing serious monuments. Go to any European capital, for example, and you will undoubtedly encounter a sober equestrian statue dedicated to some valiant general seated triumphantly upon his noble steed. Somber statues and sculptures abound in cities big and small, sending the message that serious, important people lived here, […]

Wow Place #185: Plaza Mayor, Madrid

There is an art to hanging out. I’m not saying I’m an expert, but I certainly know my way around an outdoor café on a lazy summer day, a steaming cup of strong coffee in one hand, a long, juicy novel in the other. In a world where everyone is rushing around, stressed, multi-tasking, trying […]

Wow Place #184: Mickey Coffee Pot, Old Salem, North Carolina

For time immemorial, kids have asked the question, “Why?” Most of the time, it’s about rules and limitations. “Why—do I have to eat these peas? Why—do I have to go to bed now? Why—can’t I throw mud at my sister?” The rest of the time, the why question seems to be about how things work, […]

Wow Place #183: Jolly Green Giant Statue, Blue Earth, Minnesota

As mentioned in my last post, I was definitely a TV kid. Especially on Saturday mornings, between cartoons there was this one commercial that got stuck in my mind from repeated viewing: “In the valley of the giant, ho, ho, ho…” If you’re “of a certain age,” you’ll recognize this as the jingle of the […]

Wow Place #182: Paley Center for Media, New York City

Wow Place #182: Paley Center for Media, New York City If you’re a certain age and grew up in the States, you probably (like me) watched a lot of television as a kid. While young people these days have a lot more ways to distract themselves, ie. video games, social media, YouTube and Tiktok, for […]

Wow Place #181: Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Arthur C. Clark once wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This is pretty true, I think. If say, William Shakespeare, was transported in a time machine to the present day, what would he think of smart phones and TVs and elevators and, heck, electric toothbrushes? He’d no doubt think a magician was […]

Wow Place #180: Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I won’t lie that I was a bit nervous before going to Rio. My friends who’d been there had warned me, “Don’t carry anything of value on your person. You WILL be robbed.” How’s that for a warm welcome to a country! On my first day of sightseeing, I heeded their advice and emptied my […]

Wow Place #179: Padma, Kyoto

As my winter New Zealand vacation looms nearer, the thought occurs to me that maybe I should pay all my bills early so I don’t get dinged with late fees. Particularly when it comes to my biggest bill, my estimated quarterly taxes, a part of me is thinking, “Why not just pay them now so […]