- The Thumbnail Traveler
- Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
We'd like to wish Americans a very happy and prosperous Thanksgiving, with our
hopes that you keep the holiday's core message in your hearts.
May your feast be a happy one with family and friends, and a thought in your mind
for those of us who are so much less fortunate, and for those who have passed from our lives.
WE'RE THANKFUL FOR OUR LOVED ONES AND FOR OUR HAPPINESS, WITH HEARTFELT MEMORIES FOR THOSE WE NO LONGER HAVE AT OUR DINNER TABLES.
(Our parents, gone but never forgotten.)
|Beverly and Jim Barber|
|Frances and Sam Howard|
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Highway 89, Montana. South of the Blackfoot Reservation.
Twenty miles to the nearest town, and there's a traffic break.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Heading to Las Vegas today for our Thanksgiving.
From the desert west of the city, south of Red Rocks State Park.
Mile Marker 11
Monday, November 20, 2017
Sometimes we get the urge to just get away from it all. And I mean away from it all. In my decades of driving longer road trips I've found myself in such places with some frequency. Whether it's on rural roads or highways in the vast southwest, there are times when I'm the only car on the road for miles. And it can be disconcerting. But invigorating at the same time.
Usually we call it "off the beaten path" to put it mildly and adventurously.
But it's "waydafuggoutdere" at other times when it's more inconvenient.
It's a matter of perspective.
Either way you slice it, sometimes we simply find ourselves miles and miles from miles and miles.
Sometimes it's accidental.
And sometimes that's exactly what we wanted to find.
|Mojave desert. Nice road, miles from anywhere. California with volcanic cinder cones.|
Friday, November 17, 2017
Often the best way to create a lasting memory is to embark on an adventure.
Some sort of activity you cannot do at home.
Plan ahead. Plan an adventure. Get out of your proverbial Comfort Zone.
And the memories will follow.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Kind of a dramatic title for this blog entry, but in this case it's referencing the real thing: sunset.
The end of the day is an event which can be a specific reason a person is drawn to a particular destination. Sunsets are global, for reasons any nearby astrophysicist will be happy to explain. But in many, many of our detonations sunset is a spectacle, even if it's largely ignored by the masses.
Like it's mirror opposite, sunrise, sunset is full of light and color, and a kind of solemn quiet which allows some introspection. It's a moment to reflect. And it has the added bonus of being scheduled while most of us are awake.
Sunrise and sunset are wonderful times to add to that vault of memories of a place.
Best of all, they're free.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
The primary reason we travel to strange lands is to discover something about them.
While obviously keeping within boundaries which are relatively safe, one of the best ways is to do what I call "going Walkabout". It's an Australian aboriginal term for an adolescent male sent into the wild to survive on his own and prove his manhood.
It's an important rite of passage.
My own definition is far less extreme, but has something of the same effect for the not-quite-casual Traveler. Going Walkabout means putting things aside, grabbing a camera and some small amount of cash (and your ID) and setting off to explore a new place. Wandering the streets and alleys - again, within safe boundaries - and getting to know a destination a bit better by getting off the beaten path.
It's a wonderful way to connect. To learn. Stop for a while, grab a cup of coffee. Window shop.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
A memorable meal in a stunning location with an ideal dining partner is an
excellent way to make a lasting travel-related memory.
Though the shot is not my usual standard when posting, this is on the fantail of the MSY Wind Surf in the Adriatic Sea. The hills in the distance are the heel of the Italian Boot. My wife is to my right.
The chef on board made it a requirement that the meals somehow reflected the locale, up to and including visits to local farmer's markets at each port. Obviously the Mediterranean is rich in local fare.
It is one of dozens of meals I can easily recall from our travels around the world, several from that trip alone. They aren't all in such exotic places, they just have to be special in some way.
(One such "opposite end of the spectrum" is of stopping with my wife at the In'n'Out Burger in Barstow. Just a perfect confluence of experience becoming memorable. And a damned good burger.)
Memories of our travels are the primary reason we do it. Learning about a place, and enjoying all it has to offer are fundamental to building a foundation of understanding and appreciation for this incredible world we're born into.
Monday, November 13, 2017
I've featured the below sculpture previously. It's entitled the Seven Magic Mountains, and was designed and installed under the supervision of artist Ugo Rondinone.
(Only six are visible in my shot below. You can see the seventh shyly peeking out from
behind the tower on the leftmost side of the gathering.)
My experience of the installation was standing along in the rocks, enjoying the bright colors and almost regal silence of the sculpture in the morning light.
Having been to Stonehenge I had to fight the urge to place some sort of spiritual meaning on the arrangement and setting. Day-glo rocks silently standing watch in the desert.
It's beautiful and...in a small way...spiritual.
You just need to bring the latter half with yourself when you visit.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Standing at the foot of the famous Wilshire Boulevard, which bisects Los Angeles from downtown to the Pacific Ocean.
Along the way it passes through MacArthur Park (yes, THAT MacArthur Park), the La Brea Tar Pits and the LA County Museum of Art, the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills and Westwood (home of UCLA) before entering Santa Monica and its eventual terminus near the beach.
The drive will give the visitor a true sense of LA's diverse culture, ranging from the dynamic downtown. Downtrodden neighborhoods as well as the very wealthy. LA's Art Deco history is on display with a number of famous buildings still clinging to life despite LA's reputation for tearing things down.
The tallest building in LA (thanks to the 100 foot spire on its roof) is the new Wilshire Grand Tower on the left of the construction crane here. This shot is from the appropriately named One Wilshire Building.
One boulevard, decades of history.
Friday, November 10, 2017
Back to the beginning.
I had a great conversation from a dear friend and trusted mentor last night which leads me to completely revamp the book. Hate it when that happens, but it promises to make the read a much more fun one. I hope. And if it isn't, that's nothing two or three quick martinis won't improve.
So here's to new beginnings and to a terrific weekend.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
The world is a bit crazy these days, and so we need to find those quiet moments when everything seems to pause, and a bit of peace and quiet descends to sooth the mind and the heart.
Seine River, Paris. 2001
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Yesterday I mentioned a way to help rebuild a small but important business on the island of Anguilla which had been utterly destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
How about helping an entire town?
Grand Case, a town just across the straights from Nat's Place, was considered to be the Culinary Hub of the Caribbean. A dozen excellent restaurants loaned the beach, with stunning views and spectacular food.
They are gone if not badly damaged. Hundreds of lives disrupted without any hope.
We can make a difference.
Please take a read and spread the word on this desperate need for help. And if possible, send a few dollar, euros or pounds their way.
Below are shots of Grand Case as it was before the hurricane.
Monday, November 6, 2017
One of our most wonderful culinary discoveries - ever - was Nat's Place in Palm Grove, island of Anguilla in the Caribbean. Excellent food amidst isolation and beauty.
Resting on the beach on the eastern end of the island, Nat's was casual but delicious food, and one of the most peaceful spots on the planet. A true getaway.
Sadly, word came a month or so ago that Nat's Place had been utterly destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
As part of our "WE CAN HELP" week we want to start with the GoFundMe page for Nat's Place.
Contribute what you can, and add this little heaven to your Life List.