Celebrating The End Of Summer – Summers Of Years Past

“When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and, like a dream, glides away.” – Sarah Helen Whitman

And just like that, summer is lifeless. Many years past I started keeping daily journals and travel journals. When my memory is no longer what it used to be, I can rely on my written words to soothe me and remind me of summers long ago.

I love reading, and naturally writing followed suit. Remembering my summer moments was not enough. Therefore, I wrote about bars, ethnic food, shopping, meeting locals, nightlife, and all the fascinating clandestine stuff of my summers.

Years Past: Minnetonka And The Twin Cities, The Summer of 2009

person standing at the edge of building at night
Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Minnetonka, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas are no slacker type landscapes. The expanse of the surrounding cities – the Twin Cities, and their cityscape are fetching.  On the ground, they offer great restaurant selections, a healthy culture of sports, and ethnic mundies of all sorts. Some of my best memories were during the summer of 2009 – not scandalous at all. I practically lived in Minnetonka during that summer. It was the best of times and it was the height of my career expansion. As far as I was concerned, I was on my way to be a frequent traveler.

I was an auditor for three years. And I love the time I spent traveling from city to city. And, I was fortunate to be able to have a career that I loved and dreamed of having. With that career came living out of hotels and it often felt like I spent more time in the sky than I did on the ground. Also, I worked with someone who became one of my greatest friends. Our adventures, when we had free time, would become the top talk of weeks that following our trips. Minnesota was the start of our friendship and we would spend at least two weeks over the next three summers in this city. I wanted to remember these times. Not just with pictures and memories, but with words of my journey on written page. Therefore, it only made sense to journal.

The majority of my travel time in Minnetonka made for fascinating tête-à-têtes and stories, which I chronicled. The Ethiopian culture is alive and well in Minnetonka and the surrounding Twin Cities. After work, we would find a local mom and pop restaurant and savored the foods. An evening our weekend out would not be complete with sampling the local beer on tap. The best part about this summer is I relive the detail events when I revisit my journals. Importantly, a summer in Minnetonka and the Twin Cities is not complete without taking in a baseball game. This was the first summer in years that I spent in many cities. But Minnesota was home for a short period of time.

Years Past: San Francisco, The Summer Of 2011

architecture bay beautiful buildings
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“San Francisco has only one drawback: ’tis hard to leave.” -Rudyard Kipling

In years past, I spent time in San Francisco. Particularly during summer months. Honestly, this city has the coldest summers, but that did not bother me at all. Undoubtedly, San Francisco is my weakness – the entire West Coast. And, when the chance arrives to travel to the City by the Bay, I am ready. I think of myself as a campaigner of why one should always travel to Frisco. For this reason, I typically pull out my 2011 list of all things magnificent about Frisco. My first time in the City by the Bay was the Summer of 2011. I flew in late in the evening, at the rise of twilight. I remembered how the city shimmered and sparkled. My eyes, mesmerized by the expanse of such a lovely place, stopped functioning. I had never seen a more ethereal city.

My best friend could see the childlike joy in my face. She knew once I placed my feet on the ground, getting me back on a flight out five days later would prove to be a challenge. Once I was out-and-about in Frisco, I took a deep breath and digested the air and allowed it to fill up my lungs and arteries and committed it to memory. It traveled through my body and I knew this trip would be gratifying.

Here is what you should know, one cannot go to Frisco and not find something that makes you not want to leave. I discovered long ago that food, art, and local culture is the reason to return to West Coast cities. San Francisco’s social life, street designs, and redwood forest offers so many reasons to stay. In the end, why leave, because of the pleasure one receives of come back after days past.

Years Past: Los Angeles, The Summer Of 2013

photo of woman doing hand sign
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Pexels.com

“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.” -Simon Van Booy, Everything Beautiful Began After

My years past experiences in Los Angeles are pure love. I love cities, and this city did me proud. My summers are always about cities, celebrations, or summer events. The greatest city in the west is Los Angeles or LA. LA is known by a few famous names such as City of Angeles, La-La Land, Shaky Town, the Angels, or Southland.  And, whatever nickname you call it is entertaining and sensational. LA’s mountains and the seas are picturesque. Moreover, the skyline from anywhere within LA County is the backdrop on a sky canvas. My second trip to LA occurred during the Summer of 2013. In this place, outside of business, you can be whoever you want. If you want.

My partner in crime was a colleague who loves the city as much as I do – or more. If my previous post was not clear, let me restate, food is the spice of West coast life. Trips to the West Coast are often about play and some work. However, I believe I relax a little more in California than I do in any other state. Los Angeles is land and culture. I am all for taste. Moreover, it is a place where you can discover that you have multiple sides to yourself. I discovered that I like the bright lights and parties. More importantly, I like meeting new people who has something different to offer. And, Southland did that for me.

I believe that there is something new for each person that visits LA. It is for me, each time I visit I come back anew. My 2013 summer trip to the City of Angels taught me something about myself. No matter how much I love the East Coast, California alone has the same equal pull on my spirit.

I’m Sharing My Horror Movies And TV Shows Binge Watch-list For October

In honor of October, ghost, evil nun demons, witchy woo woo, Michael Myers, demon clowns, Freddie “turn dreams to nightmares” Kruger and the best horror movies and franchises; I decided to share my favorite horror films, franchises and television shows. I’m doing a Horror marathon, I call 31 Days of Horror Movies and TV Shows To Make You Scream.  I’m overly excited to say, the Original Scream Queen, none other than Jamie Lee Curtis is on my list for the Halloween franchise or installment.

If you’ve read my past two post, you’re quite aware I love fall. There are so many events occurring.  With the heated high temps that the summer brings, fall events are a welcome. I’m out and about in a fall state mind.  In pursuit of a life of adventure only available during October and November. In addition, October is the best month for Horror movies and television shows.

Hulu has a category for the month of October called Huluween, I mean there is always a horror section, but for the month of October it is dressed up. I have been on my watch-list binge. It’s only the beginning of the month and I CANNOT stop watching all things horror. Yes, I am the person watching gory movies through their fingers because my hands are covering my eyes and forehead. My binge watch-list of scary or horror movies include individual movies or shows and installments or franchises.

My siblings and I have similar taste for horror, except my brothers love zombie movies. I can’t with zombies. However, my below list includes one TV show and movie for zombies, Fear the Walking Dead and Night of the Living Dead, but not the Walking Dead. Here is a little secret, I cannot get pass the zombies to enjoy the story line or storytelling.  I really try, but I give up and my enjoyment is ruined by the zombie. Below, I’m sharing what I’m watching for October. Here we go…

My Top 15 Individual Horror Movies and TV Shows (in no particular order)

  1. IT (the Original) – Movie
  2. A Quiet Place – Movie
  3. American Horror Story – TV Show
  4. Drag Me to Hell – Movie
  5. Rose Red – TV Show
  6. The Fog – Movie
  7. The Others – Movie
  8. Fright Night 1985 – Movie
  9. Fright Night 2011 – Movie
  10. Fear the Walking Dead – TV Show
  11. Supernatural – TV Show
  12. The Babadook – Movie
  13. Night of the Living Dead – Movie
  14. Grimm – TV Show
  15. The Shining – Movie

My Top 10 Franchise or Installment Horror Movies (in no particular order)

  1. The Conjuring
  2. Halloween
  3. A Nightmare on Elmstreet
  4. Friday the 13th
  5. Poltergeist
  6. Jigsaw
  7. Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  8. The Exorcist
  9. Underworld
  10. Jeepers Creepers

What are some of your favorite Horror movies, which becomes a must watch this during the Halloween season? Please share, I’m always curious about the best scary movies. I’m always on the lookout for a good scare.

A Fall and Winter Travel Affair

October, November and December are excellent months for travel and I have the travel bug. The timing could not be better if you have the funds and time. Travel is not expensive as you think or as some of my friends think. Good deals can always be found, if you search. Travel in during the Fall and Winter months allows you to partake in customary events of different towns and cities.

Hollywood Sign – Photo Courtesy of Pinnable

If have ever wanted to visit California then you should know there is nothing like Los Angeles in the Fall.  You can enjoy some of the same sites in the Fall as you would during the Spring or Summer Months. Enjoy the Hollywood Sign and eat some of the best road size tacos around. LA invented Taco Tuesday and takes it to a whole different level. If you decide to come into the city during the last couple of days in October, then you should take in Halloween in Downtown LA. Participate with the locals and dress up trekking down Hollywood Boulevard during Halloween night. You will not regret the experience.

Golden Gate Bridge – Photo Courtesy of Pinnable

If LA is a little too much for you, then you will surely enjoy the Bay Area during the Fall. Do not be fooled by the fact that it is the West Coast, a jacket and sweater cap is required  in San Francisco. My favorite place no matter what time of the year is the Wharf. No to mention, but I will,  buying as much Ghirardelli as your backpack can hold. Enjoy good food and venture out and try the local cuisine. A trip to The Bay is not complete until you have experienced the Red Woods and Golden Gate Bridge.  For me, travel is at it best when reality surpasses what you see in the books and pictures.

Bend Oregon – Photo Courtesy of Pinnable

Portland Oregon – Photo Courtesy of Pinnable

If you would like to give Winter Travel a go then Bend, Oregon by way of Portland, Oregon was a Trip I enjoyed during my auditing years. The snow in Bend is beautiful and beer is great. Bend is what I consider small town, but the sites are beautiful during the Winter. If Bend is too small for you then stay a while Portland but, be ready for a potential snow storm. Oregon does not disappoint on huge amounts of snowfall.

Radio City Music Hall – Photo Courtesy of Pinnable

Last, there is no place like New York City during Christmas Time! December in NYC is majestic and breath-taking to the tourist. Take in one of the best shows at Radio City Music Hall, The Rockettes with the Christmas Spectacular. You will leave this show with it owning you nothing, because the experience is unforgettable. The streets are light and lights shine just a little more brighter in NYC during December. Before you leave make sure you enjoy some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor and have some Juniors Cheesecake. NYC is money well spent and travel memories that will stay with you forever.