Thursday, August 31, 2017

Last Tram Picnic of the Summer

Each summer, Colin Sowa organizes group picnics were anywhere from fifteen to fifty people take the tram from Palm Springs up to the top of the mountain, and enjoy an evening picnic while overlooking the city below. The view is breathtaking, and on clean nights we can see all the way down valley to the Salton Sea. Last night was our fifth and final picnic for this summer.

Many thanks to Colin for organizing these events, and to everyone who came along on the Tram Picnics this year. It's always a good time and great to see everyone. I can't believe we're done for now. Big hugs to everyone and I hope to see you around town.
And an extra hug to Gary Dorothy who takes such great photos and never gets to be in them!!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Guy's B-day

Today is Herman's birthday, and I thought I'd share some recent pictures of him. In case you're wondering, Herman is the handsome, taller one with the great smile.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Heart and Soul to Awakening

Compassion is the heart and soul and awakening to enlightenment. Meditation and self-reflection can make us more receptive to compassion, but it cannot be forced or manufactured. When it gushes within, it feels as though it suddenly came out of nowhere by chance. And it can vanish just as quickly. It is experienced in those moments when the barrier of self is lifted and the individual existence surrenders to the well-being of existence as a whole.

Thus, we cannot attain awakening for ourselves. We experience it by participating in the awakening of all life.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Leaving Porto

We're about done eating here so I guess it's time to start making our way home. The food in Portugal hasn't been as exciting as Spain but we've had some very good meals here.
Duck Magret with chestnut mushroom risotto at Auroura. Hands down our favorite restaurant in Porto.

Foot stomped grapes in granite vessels and aged in French oak barrels. At least that's what the label says. We've had mostly Douro wines here. Some very nice inexpensive ones. 

An incredible fish soup with cod, mussels, and shrimp.

Nata and coffee every day. They're everywhere and more like a gooey custard.
Cod and cous cous at our second favorite restaurant here, Cantina 39.

Squid starter we had to return for.

Seared tuna at two Michelin star chef Jose Avillez's Porto restaurant. Not as impressive as other places we've been to here.  

Sandwiches are very popular here. 

Potato croquets, made with potatoes, dried cod, onions, and spices.

Pork face and shrimp starter.

Venison with foie gras and shoestring potatoes.

Believe it or not, chocolate banana cheesecake. Just stick your spoon in and dig.
Porto really is a fun tourist destination with great historic sights, and plenty of nice dining options.
Just about everyone in the central historic district speaks English, except for that one guy in the Port shop who kept trying to push a certain brand of sardines on me. I did buy some Port so he ended up throwing in the can of sardines.

We're about done eating here so I guess it's time to start making our way home.
The food in Portugal hasn't been as exciting as Spain but we've had some very good meals here.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Being Lazy in Porto

JIt's a great city with a vibrant cafe life, plenty to see, and sardines and Port wine everywhere.

The old library building.

Cafes and shopping.

Bear with tongue.

Chapels das Almas with some incredible tile work.


Old historic building with red tile work, now a hotel.

Aliens on the street.

Trams can help getting up some of the hills.

Santa Catarina, the main shopping street.

Sto Ildefonso.

Most of the streets in the old historic city are cobbled.

Another sardine store.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Porto--Relaxing After The Camino

We're in Porto, relaxing a bit after the Camino. It's a great place to chill out with a modern old feel about it. We're staying in the old historic center with lots of tourists and locals around, and at times it feels a little like Disneyland.
Porto is a city built on hills.

Probably more churches around, at least in the old historic center, than in Spain.

Igrea do Carmo with it's great tiled facade.

Jacarandas in bloom.

Local residential street with cafes.

Modern tile work.

Deco period building with tiles.

Tile work at the Sao Bento railway station.

Port boat on the river.

This is where we'll spend the week while in Porto.

Many older buildings in the historic center are being converted into apartments for tourists.
We rented this 600 sq. ft. apartment on for about $120.00 a night. A pretty good deal.

A tourist establishment lit up in the evening.

A great mixture of architecture.

Festive hotel lobby.

A skinny lamp.

Narrow winding streets in the city center.

Larger than life paper mache.

Gypsy performers with birds.

Plenty of tourists around and most of the local business people speak English.

Cafe life.