27 January 2007

Christmas in Paris

Welcome to Paris
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.

26 December 2006

What? You didn’t know I went to Paris over the holidays? I am sneaky like that...but truth be told, this part of Paris was firmly rooted in the Texas soil of Lamar County.

Around Christmas, I spent a few days visiting my friend Rochelle in McKinney, Texas, which is north of Dallas. When we learned that the town of Paris had erected a 64-foot steel structure in homage to the original (and two of her brothers were, indeed, in that famed city at the time), we knew a day trip was in the making. Of course, Texans have to put their own unique stamp on it, and perched atop the tower was a bright red cowboy hat!

Only in Texas

The central business district of Paris is part of the National Main Street Program, and even in the bleak tones of midwinter one can sense the charm and hospitality the town must exude during warmer months. The Culbertson Fountain dominates the center of the downtown plaza, a gift to commemorate the rebuilding of Paris after a fire in 1916.

Paris plaza fountain

To the north sits the renovated Plaza Theatre, and down the street you’ll find the Grand Twin theaters, with a bevy of antique shops and small businesses sandwiched in between. Paris is also the final resting place of John Chisum, a cattle baron during the late 19th century. His name had become familiar to me during the time I lived in southeastern New Mexico, and the name of West Chisum Street in Artesia finally made a connection with its roots.

Grand theater

We also spent some time on the outskirts of town looking at the unique headstones in the Evergreen cemetery, one of which is a 12-foot statue of Jesus with cowboy boots. Yup, we must be in Texas.

When the Temperature Drops

ice sconce spout
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Earlier this week, I was in Hermiston to help with training. This small, agricultural community was a new location for me to explore. Hermiston sits near the McNary Dam overlooking the Columbia River in eastern Oregon, and likes to favors itself with the title of "Watermelon Capital of the World."

When I first passed this water fountain, I did a double-take. What was that? The cold, winter temps and lack of wind provide the perfect conditions for an evergrowing ice sculpture that will slowly thaw as spring approaches. In the meantime, the row of bubbling geyers adds a playful element.

fountain of ice

20 January 2007

Six Pic Saturday

I've decided to introduce a new element on my blog this year, called "Six Pic Saturday." One Saturday each month I'll post six pictures that either capture my activities for the day, or are photos that haven't made it onto the blog yet. Enjoy!

walking along dam

The Buffalo River Dam in Island Park, Idaho. I love the deep colors and the reflections in the water. My niece, Madeleine, is walking along the edge in her red shirt.

Hyatt sundries

Yes, I took photos of the toiletries at the Grand Hyatt in Sao Paulo. (But they were so chic!)

Reflection in windows

This is the reflection of the old Spokane Journal Building in the windows of the new Journal building across the street. I'm sensing a theme here...

railing shadow

I like the visual juxtaposition of the railing and its shadow. This in on a building in downtown Bend, Oregon.

greek pastries

Pastries from the Greek Festival in Portland, Oregon, held each September. Yum! I've missed having access to good Greek food in Salem. I was spoiled in Salt Lake City.

Lincoln Theatre

Some Art Deco architecture to enjoy from South Beach, Miami, Florida.

01 January 2007

Traveling Feet

traveling feet
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
There were travel delights, mishaps, and surprises during 2006.

The delights: Enjoying the home-grown ambience of the Chile Pepper Festival near Sunnyside, Washington. A one-woman show at the Lee Center for the Arts in Seattle. Getting up close and personal with alpacas. A night hot-air balloon glow in Bend. An irreverent breakfast with friends in Salt Lake City. Hiking around Iguaçu Falls in Brasil. Exploring Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

The mishaps: A seven hour wait in an overcrowded São Paulo airport while the pilots were on strike. A tropical storm in the Amazon that caused our river pilot to lose his bearings as our boat was tossed around on the Rio Negro. A “severe weather threat” at the Dallas airport complete with a tornado drill.

The surprises: Making connections with others in locations near and far because they have stumbled upon my blog entries.

Travel shapes, informs, and inspires me. I travel because it stimulates my creative mind, it helps me to better understand myself, and it makes me a better world citizen.

I write about my travels because it frames my experiences in a new context, and it connects me to what is most important to me – my relationships with others.

What travel adventures will 2007 bring?