The Color of Rest is Green: A Vacation in 37 Pictures

It occus to me that I do not really write blog entries any more, a truth that I would like to remedy at some point in the future. I am not sure entirely all the whys and wherefores, but I am convinced they are not all positive. Still, until those posts come, here is a brief photolog of a whirlwind vacation that took me from St. Louis to Milwaukee (to see the Cards win 8-0) to Green Bay (to catch the end of the Packers practicing with the great Favre himself taking snaps) on Thursday; from Green Bay to Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and back on Friday; and through Chicago (to spend the afternoon with Tanya and Heidi) and back to St. Louis on Saturday.
Needless to say it wasn’t the most restful vacation, but it was full of wonderful sites. Including a lot of the great outdoors. And, my, it was great, indeed, and awesome and lovely. My host in Escananba, my friend Dan’s step-father, said while I was talking to him about living in the U.P. that he has come to the conclusion that “The color of rest is green.” And I think that is well worth quoting and true, unless of course you sandwich it between a great, great deal of traveling.
This past weekend was also a great culinary tour as well. Mmm, mmm.
Wednesday: St. Louis pulled pork barbeque at house church.
Thursday: Steak at the Texas Road House (with peanut hulls on the floor)
Friday: Whitefish, Perch, and Walleye platter at the Buck Inn (courtesy of my host)
Saturday: Chicago deep dish at My Pie Pizza on Clark Street and a fully loaded Chicago style hot dog.
Brilliant.
And adding to all the natural and culinary splendor was the opportunity to visit Goodwill in the U.P. Now you may think it rather silly to go six hundred miles to simply to hit a thrift store, but though they are very similar generally, it is interesting to see if there are any regional goods. For example, if I had more time to peruse, I could have tried on a pair of snow pants. As it was, I did not think I came away with anything uniquely regional, though I did get a blingerific green t-shirt. But when I got home, I saw that my $4.99 green, wide-slot toaster, had both English and French writing on it. Pretty cool, eh? The thrift-stores in Chicago along Clark street were surprisingly affordable, but, no, the real thrift stores of Chicago will have to be left for another day, when I can find an accomodating and knowledgeable native to help locate them in all their musty glory.
Finally, thanks, Dan, for helping provide me with such a thoughtful and well-planned vacation, and thanks, Heidi and Tanya, for the silly and fun afternoon in the city of broad shoulders.
OK, without further adieu, here are the 37 pics, which is a lot, but you must know, if you know me at all, that there are actually many more ;)
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The Gel Series and Haiku Contest Notice

I am sure there are better things one could be doing when one is leaving for a trip at 6am the next morning, like packing, for example, or sleeping perhaps. But I saw this cool angular pattern of bubbles the other day after I had used some gel and as I packed it tonight I wanted to capture it for posterity. The first two shots are sink shots, the latter with some extra lighting.
Oh, and the haiku contest deadline is extended till next Wednesday. So, far we have only four entries, and with such great prizes on the line. Plus, I am going to be out of town for a whirlwind vacation, so that gives you haiku procrastinators some extra time. Come on now, we really have some quality judges in the wings, so lets get them a little more material to work on.
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Wedding Number Five – The American Side

I don’t think I have been to as many weddings of a summer as I have been to this summer. In addition to two friends having gotten married, three of my cousins’ daughters have gotten married. At the beginning of the summer, the daughter of a cousin on my Mom’s side of the family was the first. Then a few weeks ago it was the wedding reception of a cousin’s daughter on my Dad’s side of the family. This past weekend, to complete the symmetry, the sister of the first cousin’s daugther got married.
Looking at the pictures from these last two wedding posts and knowing that I deeply appreciate and resonate with the aesthetics of each, but more deeply with the latter, should go a fair ways in helping you understand my outlook on my cultural heritage and the dance my blood cells do within my veins.
Actually, for this wedding I was asked to be the informal photographer for the reception. Eek! I have as yet to get an external flash and was very nervous about missing key moments. And, alas, a few did go flittering by in the banquet room darkness as my little flash recharged. My cousin-niece (in Pakistan, I would simply call her my niece), in response to my worried banter, was as gracious as she is lovely in the pictures below, and that’s pretty darn gracious. Most of these shots I got just before she walked in (sometimes it pays to be a little late to things) and just after the wedding, respectfully staying out of the way the real photographer, which is an imminently sensible practice. Musn’t interfere with the professionals doing their work.
Enjoy!
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Some Color From a Pakistani Wedding Reception

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There were even more examples of lovely Pakistan dress than these but it was rather tricky to shoot these and maintain a level of propriety. Even these required a certain amount of surreptitiousness. Not so the shots of my cousin’s radiant daughter below, who got to wear not one but two wedding dresses during the course of the evening. Please pardon the slight lack of focus.
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