The Ultimate Bus Trip

is actually on a Boat!wp-1472118993716.jpg

My first date with my most recent companion/mate was on a bus. Yes, that was the date. We took the Fifth Avenue bus from Greenwich Village all the way to Washington Heights, an hour a half ride.  We then got really wild and transferred to another bus to go all the way to the Cloisters in Inwood Park) or possibly that was on our second date).

So of course it was a natural progression for us to get our Kadey Krogen.  How so?

Omimundo Gare do Oriente
Omimundo Gare do Oriente

Sitting on a bus, not driving, gives you the opportunity to see the world go by.  When we moved to the Bronx two years ago, I had the chance to take the MTA Express Bus to Midtown or the Upper East Side.  Even after having driven on the same exact route for 5 years commuting to my school in the Bronx, taking the bus was a revelation.  I saw all sorts of interesting sights that had eluded me as a driver.

When one takes the train, more often than not, the track is in a sunken grade.  So the most one sees are concrete walls with occasional level crossings and stations.

Omimundo Gare do Oriente
Omimundo Gare do Oriente A Busy Bus Station

An airplane, if you are sitting in a window seat, as you crane your neck to peer out of the 5-inch window, you may see tops of clouds, or the ground from 38,000 feet.  Not a very interesting panorama.  Besides, if you are in a window seat, your biggest concern is timing your bathroom breaks to minimize disruption of the row-mates (not to be confused with inmates).

So Planes, Trains and Automobiles are not the best vehicles for watching the world go by.

That leaves Busses and Boats.

Another Krogen owner once remarked that the KK affords us the opportunity to watch the world pass by from our living room.

So true and certainly one of the main reasons when we first saw the KK42, we knew it was the boat for us.

This morning I was in the bus station in Lisbon seeing my nephew off on his way to France for a week before he flies back to Alaska.  As I watched the people, I realized that the airlines, especially the discount airlines in Europe, have really given a large boost to bus transportation.  When you are being charged $2 per pound for checked baggage and your carry-on bag is the size of a large wallet, what family can afford to travel my plane?

Thus families with kids and the baggage train they entail can travel affordably by bus.

And best of all, they get to actually see the world they are both leaving and coming to.

Can’t ask much more than that.

 

 

Forests & Oceans

Seattle

The University of Washington, the Columns Grove
The University of Washington, the Columns Grove

Not the first place I communed with nature (is that now illegal?), but a most special place.  The University of Washington had a grove that was surrounded by trees, where the original columns of the University were located.  Since this grove was not a shortcut to anyplace, it was secluded and on a campus of 30,000 daily students, that’s not so easily done.

The University of Washington, The Columns
The University of Washington, The Columns

But it provided a peaceful place to commune with nature, think of the wonders of the world and a few times, commiserate with a girl on the special path that once brought us together, but was now going in different directions.  A grove full of beauty, but also melancholy.

In those days, the ‘70’s, what really made Seattle special was the ability to go in virtually any direction and find solitude, big trees and at worst, the occasional logging truck.  Many a night was spent driving around Mt. Rainier.  In those days, the mountain passes were kept open, yet at the same time, there was virtually no traffic after 9 p.m. so it was a quick four hour trip. By the time I left the UW 4 years later, there were few roads not traveled.

The University of Washington, the Quad
The University of Washington, the Quad

But the first place I communed with nature was not in Washington State nor the University of Washington, but instead in Washington Square Park, in the middle of a little place called Greenwich Village.  I’d ride my bike to the park and read James Fenimore Cooper, propped up against a tree.  I couldn’t be in the Adirondacks, so for a City kid, this is as good as it got.  Somewhat of a loner in high school, high school was chore to get done.  One of the reasons I think I was a good high school teacher, I understood the angst that high school brings to most kids.

The University of Washington
The University of Washington

Then as a principal, everything I did was to put kids first; the push-back from some teachers was intense and virulent, in a personal way that I had never experienced before, that people outside the system would find shocking. But it was the right battle to have at the right time and I had a wonderful team of teachers who supported kids and their learning.

Though It did get me to Dauntless, sooner, rather than later.  Fate is like that, a sweet kiss on the cheek as it smacks you on the ass.

So now I commune with nature on the seven seas.  Trading the damp smell of earth, the multitudes of forest green: ferns and grass, needles and leaves for the rhythmic swell of the ocean, whispering of storms far away, while dolphins frolic in our bow wave.

 

The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean