I am a bit embarassed to admit I had to look up the significance of the Western Wall. I did not realize it is the holiest of Jewish sites in Jerusalem (or in any place, for that matter).
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
One thing I've noticed about almost all the postcards I've looked at is very few of them have any dates or any copyright information on them. Hmm.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Okay, two London postcards in a row maybe isn't cool. But they are posted for very different rea
sons. (In the spirit of full disclosure, it's what I scanned into the laptop before leaving for vacation.)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
My niece attends Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. She is the music director of the campus radio station, and absolutely loves it there. This must be a photo of graduation. She sent this to me as a thank you note after she and two friends came and stayed with us during spring break. We had a blast.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
When my grandmother died, we found a scrapbook filled with postcards sent from Europe in the early 1900s. This is one of them, sent from Paris on July 2, 1900.
The card is addressed to Master Emery Doan, who was my grandfather. Many of the cards in the book are to him, from an Aunt. I can't quite read what her name was, perhaps Aunt Walle? Interesting that the handwriting almost looks like it is addressed to "Master Mary Doan".
Friday, July 24, 2009
The real Matterhorn, towering over Zermatt, Switzerland. Our friends, David and Deborah, had gone skiing there. The faux Matterhorn, in Disneyland, looks a lot like this. Only smaller.
In my family, almost anything can be a competition. One of our competitions, when driving from San Marino to Orange County Beaches, was who would see the Matterhorn from the freeway first. If you were busy looking for out-of-state license plates so you could punch someone, you might miss it.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This is an old postcard, probably one found in my grandmother's drawers. You can tell it's old because you don't see palm trees looking like this anymore, with the fronds left hanging down the trunks. Rats love to live there, so now the trees are all neatly trimmed - no more shaggy fronds. I don't know when that started, but shaggy and natural seems to have disappeared in a variety of places in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
When I was 24, I traveled with my friend, Debra, all through South America. One of the highlights of this trip was visiting Machu Picchu. This is a postcard I sent to my parents and family during that time.
There happened to be a national strike in Peru when we were there, with riots and tank in the streets, and the complete shut down of much of the infrastructure, including the train to Machu Picchu. As you can imagine, many tourists rearranged their trips that year, opting out of Peru. However, we were traveling overland, and that wasn't something we considered. We were determined to get to Machu Picchu.
For a couple of days, we would go to the Cuzco train station, only to be told that yet again, the train would not be running that day. Finally, one morning we showed up and the train was preparing to leave, without much explanation as to when or why that day versus any other.
Our journey included staying in lots of very cheap hotels, often traveling by bus or hitchhiking and we were not on a fixed timetable or itinerary. For these reasons - planning and cost - there is no way we would have had a reservation to spend the night at the small hotel on-site at Machu Picchu. However, when we finally got to Machu Picchu, there was the opportunity to get a room, given that many of the reservations had been canceled due to the strike. I don't remember that we had anything with us beyond cameras and passports, but we went for it. We weren't sure there'd be a train the next day to get back to Cuzco, but decided it wouldn't be a bad place to be stuck and was worth the risk.
One of our better decisions. We were able to tour the grounds all that day, spend the night in the hotel (no electricity and not much food, again due to the strike), and get up at dawn to climb Huayna Picchu, which is the peak overlooking Machu Picchu. From there we could look down on the site, and see it with no people and no tour guides in view. I do remember being pretty happy when the train showed up, primarily to take the tourists at the site back to Cuzco.
If you look closely at the front of the postcard, you can see a little arrow pointing to the top of the peak. (If you click on the image, it will open up larger.) In re-reading the note I wrote my parents, I can see why my mom always says she was glad these postcards arrived after each of our experiences. Notice the casually thrown out line, "Debra and I almost died". So cavalier! As a parent now, I read these words and can't imagine receiving this postcard. (Sorry, mom.)
In case you're interested, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
I've been to London twenty or thirty times, almost always for business. I was there so often, it became difficult to find a postcard I hadn't already sent home. Here's one that shows a variety of classic London images.
The message reminded me that I was there on election day. It was fascinating. Everybody votes, but it's fast - you vote for the party. Then everybody goes to all night parties to wait for the election results. The next day, the results are in, and the new guy (in this case Tony Blair) moves in to 10 Downing Street. It's so FAST. I had to wonder how they had time to put up new towels and change the sheets.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's a bit of a challenge to keep to my postcard a day posting, when I'm on the road. But I made it, sliding in under the wire, after a 10-hour drive home from central Oregon.
In any case, here is a postcard from Uganda. My friend, Zanne, sent it when she was there to visit the clinic/organization founded by her father, to fight infectious diseases, particularly HIV. When her father died, she took up the mantle, and is now on the board of this organization. It's an incredible legacy for her father, and for her.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
My friends, Lorry & Jack, have an incredible beach house in Bethany Beach, Delaware. I've been lucky enough to visit them there every summer for the past 6 or 7 years. I'm not sure I'm going to make it this year, but Lorry sent this postcard to entice me.
Before I visited Bethany Beach, I never thought about Delaware having a beach area. In California, you hear about the Jersey Shore, the Outer Banks, Virginia Beach - but not a lot about the Delaware Shore.
In reviewing all my postcards from US locations, and sorting them into states, I found that I have postcards from all states with the exception of the following: Rhode Island (never visited, only driven through), North & South Dakota (never visited), Kansas (had a business trip there but must have forgotten to send myself a postcard), Vermont (I must have a postcard from there somewhere, but none in the pile), West Virginia (it is pretty out of the way), Indiana (never visited) and Nebraska (ditto). If anybody lives in/is going to these states, send me a postcard, please! Post a comment with your email and I'll send you my mailing address, in case you don't have it.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
There's a purpose for a description on the back of a postcard! Spell check. I can never remember how to spell "Philippines". It doesn't do the M-i-ss-i-ss-i-pp-i thing very fluidly.
This postcard is from my friend, Evelyn. She used to travel a lot, doing branding and design work for a variety of airlines. In this case, Philippine Airlines. It made me realize something we're losing - being very familiar with our friends' handwriting. Evelyn's handwriting is quite distinctive - I would recognize it anywhere. But when she sends me an email from Morocco, where she now lives (see evelyninmorocco.blogspot.com for fun), I don't get that warm, friendly feeling that seeing her handwriting on a letter or postcard evokes.
One thing I like about this postcard besides the visual is the scalopped edges. Do you think that served a purpose? Something to do with post offices? Or was it just for fun?
Monday, July 13, 2009
Nothing lasts forever. I suppose Carol Doda is still alive, but she's no longer performing. And Ciao restaurant has long been out of business. However, both live on in the form of postcard advertising.
Ciao restaurant was on Jackson, in San Francisco. It was an advertising and media lunch spot, and they had really good Italian ices served in the rinds of the fruits they were made of.
Carol Doda was one of the first topless dancers in San Francisco, I think. I went to her show once, when I was in college. My college roommate's dad had taken us to dinner, and we were joking around about going to see her show. He pulled a fast one on us and took us there! We tried to act cool, but I do admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable. As I recall, we saw the whole thing, complete with piano descending from the ceiling.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This postcard is from my friend Duke's mom, Ramona and this posting is to honor her. She died this year, but the postcard and message capture her so well. A total character, an adventurer and a wonderful wonderful spirit. I love that she spent her 65th birthday taking a hot air balloon ride in Florida, where she lived. Her sense of humor comes through loud and clear.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
In sorting my postcards, there are a lot from Hawaii. I suppose picturesque has a lot to do with that. This is one I sent to myself when our entire family went to the big island of Hawaii for my cousin's wedding. I particularly like the comment "Reagan trying to start a war in gulf". I guess that was on my mind at the time.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I went to graduate school at a place called The American Graduate School of International Management, Thunderbird for short. The student body was about half American, half from other countries. Many of the Americans had been in the peace corps, or had parents in diplomatic posts, or had lived outside the US for a variety of other reasons. My friend, Rick, had worked in West Africa and then returned there after graduate school. I have no idea what ever happened to him, but I remembered him when I came across this postcard. In it, he describes the salt mines of Bilma in Niger as "truly one of those forgotten hell hole corners of the earth". I'm not sure "palmeraie de Bilma" means "salt mines of Bilma", but I've got to go on what he says. Looking at the Wikipedia entry, it doesn't appear much has changed there in 25+ years. (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I send postcards to my son and his friends, many of whom are in college outside of California. One of the benefits of sending postcards is sometimes people send you one back. Here are a couple I received from two college freshmen to whom I send cards, one at Boston College, one at Cornell. I love the comment on the Cornell postcard (on the right) that says "without the snow". Written like a true Californian, getting his first taste of a New York state winter.
These postcards have inspired me to add an additional section to my postcard collection: colleges and universities. Don't have many yet, but someday....
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The Mapparium is a huge glowing globe of the earth that you walk through. Except I remembered it as being called the "mappetorium". Hmmm. This must have been the first time I visited Boston. I sent this postcard to myself, sort of like a mini-journal, noting why I was there (focus groups, although I can't remember the product), the weather (hot and muggy), and different things I did while I was there. I do remember that the focus groups were at night which was why I could wander around the city as a tourist during the day. I was determined to visit the Christian Science Church, called the Mother Church by Christian Scientists, as both my grandmothers were Christian Scientists and I attended Christian Science Sunday school as a kid. The Mapparium was a wonderful surprise.
As I've been going through my postcards, it's been interesting to see the different addresses at which I've received postcards (I no longer live at the one above), and the different people who have sent postcards to me.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I'll have to dig into my postcard archives to see if I can find a postcard I might have sent from Bariloche in 1978. At that time, I was traveling throughout South America.. We had traveled by boat/bus/boat/bus and boat from Chile into Argentina and were staying in the cheapest accommodations we could find. This postcard was sent recently from a fancy hotel there.
Monday, July 6, 2009
I never imagined there were camels in India. But my friend, Andrew, went on a camel trek into the desert in India, I think in Rajastahn. It happens sometimes that the automated mailing marks on a postcard cover up the description or name of a place, and in this case the spelling is Rogistahn. Can't find that on google. (See card.) From his note and later descriptions of his travels, it sounds amazing.