San Francisco’s Most Blubbery & Boisterous Residents: The Sea Lions of Pier 39

They occupy prime San Francisco real estate overlooking Alcatraz and the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. But the lackadaisical California sea lions of Pier 39 don’t seem to be entranced by the sweeping vistas in their neighborhood. Instead, the boisterous mammals pass their days by barking, pushing their neighbors off the dock (to maximize loungingContinue reading “San Francisco’s Most Blubbery & Boisterous Residents: The Sea Lions of Pier 39”

The “Laughing” Wild Horse in Nevada

I grew up in a part of the United States that’s very different from the high desert of Nevada. As a result, it’s been a joy to get to know the flora and the fauna unique to the rugged American West. From geckos, coyotes, and snakes, to sagebrush, tumbleweed and saffron-colored rabbit brush, I’ve emitted manyContinue reading “The “Laughing” Wild Horse in Nevada”

Getting Our Kicks on Route 66: Highlights from a Cross-Continent Road Trip

As someone who fancies all things vintage, I’d long wanted to drive Route 66, the so-called “Main Street of America.” So when Shawn and I criss-crossed North America (from Saint Louis to Québec City, then on to Nevada, via Santa Fe, and the Grand Canyon), we declared it essential to hop on what remained of this legendaryContinue reading “Getting Our Kicks on Route 66: Highlights from a Cross-Continent Road Trip”

The Glorious Grand Canyon

What special hours we spent walking around the south rim of the Grand Canyon earlier this week! I shall always remember the sight of the birds regally soaring a mile above the canyon’s floor and the thrill on visitors’ faces as they glimpsed the canyon for the first time. It’s hard to believe that thereContinue reading “The Glorious Grand Canyon”

Happy Independence Day (& Birthday Greetings for a Special Someone)

The Gateway to the American West: The St. Louis Arch

“To the question, what is the purpose of architecture, I would answer: To shelter and enhance man’s life on earth, and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.” Eero Saarinen, architect, the Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. We have hopped the Atlantic for the summer, and are now exploring our homeContinue reading “The Gateway to the American West: The St. Louis Arch”

Candy Apples, Saloons, and a Sagebrush Cemetery: A Day Trip to Virginia City, Nevada

For a scribe who’s been in Germany for the past ten years, there isn’t much of a better way to reconnect with her American roots than to visit the wild, wild west. That’s just what Shawn and I did exactly one year ago when we spent the day playing in Virginia City, Nevada… Once aContinue reading “Candy Apples, Saloons, and a Sagebrush Cemetery: A Day Trip to Virginia City, Nevada”

Lessons From Erna: Remembering a Talented Musician, Teacher, and Friend

In a black and white image, bordered by a simple silver frame on my piano, she is seated behind the wheel of a classic roadster. Coyly sporting a riding cap, cream-colored driving gloves, and her trademark smile is a woman who not only taught me about arpeggios, flats, and sharps, but also about life, itsContinue reading “Lessons From Erna: Remembering a Talented Musician, Teacher, and Friend”