Memories are strange things. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of words, a flash of color or an unexpected image to open the book of my life to an earlier page and a vivid recollection of a special time. This post is about the beginnings of a life-long friendship that began with a mishap in a Chinese Restaurant.
It’s a bit curious how a casual conversation can result in a flood of unexpected memories. During a casual Sunday afternoon coffee, I started talking about studying Italian in Italy and suddenly found myself transported back through time and space to a wonderful vacation day.
My good buddy Bogdan and I were talking this spring about going on a bike tour together. It looked like it would be safe by the summer as the pandemic seemed to be subsiding. When I found out that Bogdan had never followed the Isar upstream to Bad Tölz, it seemed like a perfect answer. I had done this trip alone several years ago and really enjoyed it, so I thought it would be fun to do again together. As the song goes, I’ve seen both sides now – and doing it with a good friend is so much more fun!
It’s one thing to know that your father’s heritage was German and your mother’s was Irish and quite another to actually experience those cultures first hand. Living in Germany for several years allowed me to understand my father far better than I ever did while he was still alive. A vacation in Ireland had the same result for me with my mother.
One of the most picturesque places in Colorado is the Lake Dillon reservoir on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, not far from the world-famous ski slopes of Vail and Aspen. This is a story of a special adventure there.
Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and still categorized as an active volcano, although the last eruption happened more than 400 years ago. It is a cultural icon of Japan that has inspired artists, poets and pilgrimages for centuries. I promised myself that climbing Mt. Fuji was something I would do someday. “Someday” came in the summer of 2007.
The intimacy of the cyclist with the countryside during a bicycle tour fosters a deep connection with the land that is not possible in any other way. It sounds romantic, but the experience can sometimes provide a less-than-positive but nevertheless valuable life lesson.