Tag Archives: Florence

He Went to Paris

28 Jun

For a while, I have been planning a European trip for my family. It will begin in Barcelona. Then, we will cruise to Marseille, which I have wanted to visit since I first saw a Derek Flint movie. After that, we will travel to Florence, Rome and Pompeii. Once we are off the ship, we will go to Paris, which has been my stepdaughter’s dream.

Except, none of that is going to happen. Last week, I was stricken with a medical emergency and needed a procedure. Most of it is over, but we have decided to cancel our trip. I was not comfortable being that far away from my doctor. I understand that there are great hospitals in Europe, but there are times when it feels better closer to home.

Tonight, we started the cancelation process, which I am sure will take a while. We have travel insurance, but you know how insurance companies can be. I am sure there is some subparagraph somewhere that turns it their way.

Anyway, I am bummed. I am disappointed, and, although they are saying it is alright, I know my family is also disappointed. I promised to take my stepdaughter to Paris, and I am keeping that promise. I just cannot keep it this year.

The title is misleading. He is not going to Paris. we are only left with the words of a Jimmy Buffett song. Actually, I like this Waylon Jennings version better.Waylon

He went to Paris
Looking for answers
To questions that bothered him so

He was impressive
Young and aggressive
Savin’ the world on his own
But the warm summer breezes
The French wines and cheeses
Put his ambition at bay
His summers and winters
Scattered like splinters
And four to five years slipped away

There will be no warm summer breezes nor French wines and cheeses for us. Well, unless we buy some at the grocery store. However, we will get to Paris and Barcelona and Marseille and Florence and Rome and Pompeii. I have a promise to keep.

A Guide to Finding Interesting Places and Meeting Interesting People in Oregon

17 Sep

I went to Oregon to watch a football game, but I am not going to write about it. Sitting through it was enough, and I have no plans to relive it. Instead, I am going to write about the day before the game, back when Tennessee fans still had their innocence.

Friday started out simple enough. We ate at IHOP, and that is always a good way to the day to begin. After that, we drove to the stadium to see what was going on. Turns out, there was a lot going on. The Oregon cheerleaders and dance team were practicing. People were shopping for souvenirs in the bookstore. The Oregon football players were warming up.

As we walk around, a man toting a box came up to welcome us to town, and he introduced himself as the Director of Football Operations. That’s a pretty big job in an athletic department. However, that wasn’t all. In addition, he serves as the director of Peyton Manning’s quarterback camp. Mentioning Peyton’s name is always a good way to endear yourself to Tennessee fans.

Next, we drove over to the basketball arena. You see, Elliot went on the trip, and he is a huge Oregon fan. He really wanted to see the inside of the basketball arena. We went from door to door, and everything was locked. However, I learned a long time ago that there always an unlocked door. We found it, and he got a great picture of the interior of the arena.

After this episode of trespassing, we took a short drive to the coast and the town of Florence. We didn’t really see the ocean, but we had a nice drive over. Florence is a river town and has a history of a fishing-based economy.Oregon 001

Today. Florence has a tourist-based economy with shopping and restaurants. We ate at Mo’s, which sits on the river and has a nice overlook. It was pretty cool to watch seals playing in the water.

However, that wasn’t as cool as who we met while in Florence. Larry started talking to a man who introduced himself as Don Essig. That didn’t mean anything to a Tennessee fan, so he explained that he was the public address announcer at the Oregon football games. Apparently, he invented the phrase, “It never rains in Autzen Stadium!” The next day, we learned that the entire crowd says it with him. Anyway, Larry replied that he is the public address announcer for the Lebanon Blue Devils, our high school team. Don was impressed an informed Larry that there is a national organization of announcers.

The Voice of the Oregon Ducks and the Voice of the Lebanon Blue Devils

The Voice of the Oregon Ducks and the Voice of the Lebanon Blue Devils

We figured that we had topped out in Florence and headed back to town. We drove around for a while and made our way to the downtown area. Elliot and I walked around. I know that doesn’t sound exciting, but when you hear a homeless man yelling up ahead things get exciting. It got even more exciting when he told a woman to do something anatomical with a goat. Oh, I also saw a sign for an upcoming concert by Five Finger Death Punch.

Yeah, that was probably enough for downtown, so we went back to the stadium. Remember when I said that there is always an unlocked door. Well, a door opened up for us. A worker was going into the stadium, and Elliot asked if he could go in. Larry and I quickly followed, and we all found ourselves standing in the middle of the field. I was in the end zone more than the Tennessee football team.

That’s about it for our day. Well, there was one other thing. We went to dinner at a local brewery, and our waitress was a professional bodybuilder. She looked like she could have kicked everybody’s asses. It’s a good thing she didn’t because we were going to have enough of that the next day.