Friday, June 29, 2018

Women Get This Once A Year!

Mammography, Bless You  I just went in for my annual mammogram the other day.  I go in every year and have since I hit the age of 40. I do not have any history of breast cancer in my mother, aunts, or other relatives but I still do it - Just in case.

A few years ago, my sister called me to tell me she'd found a lump in her breast.  Her doctor sent her in and it was found to be stage 3 breast cancer.  Specifically, invasive ductal carcinoma, the type of breast cancer women get 80% of the time and its more common in older women.

When I heard, I wondered why she had not been getting regular mammograms.  In my mind, it was obvious she hadn't done that, otherwise it wouldn't have been so far along but later on when I spoke to her, she'd told me the previous one had no sign of cancer.  None.

She underwent chemo and a double mastectomy.  The mastectomy was a precaution to prevent the spread.  In the process, she gained a bit of weight especially around the abdomen but when my father pointed it out, she replied she wasn't going to lose it because it was her future boobs.  We laughed over that and laughed hard.

Until her breasts were rebuilt, we'd laugh any time she had to adjust her boobs.  They were actually knitted triangles designed to fill in her cups.  Since they were not glued in place, they'd slip and she'd look crooked.

One day, she called to tell us everything was in remission.  We cheered and picked up our plans.  The plans that we'd move in with each other when we were old and grey.  We'd be like those spinster sisters you saw in the movies.  Life was good filled with family picnics, trips out on her boat, and a future but one day, she experienced a sudden pain in her back.

She went to the doctor and came back with a diagnosis the cancer had returned.  It was in her spine and a couple of lumbar collapsed due to the cancer.  It was back to more treatment.  She told me that cancer returns in 75% of the cases but I never actually researched that particular figure. 

The fight was on.  The first time through, she continued to work taking only a Friday off for treatment and on Monday, she'd be at work but the second time through, it was so much harder.  The company laid her off so she went on permanent disability. 

During the second round of treatment, she had her ups and downs. At the end, it looked like things were improving but someone shared some germs with her.  In less than 48 hours she died.  I hate it took her life so young but because of that, I make sure I go in and get my mammogram.  I make sure I do it every single year.  I do it because she had cancer and because I suffered cysts on a regular basis.

Will it catch cancer early?  All the nurses who work in that part of the hospital tell me, this is the best way to detect certain types of cancer earlier enough to treat.  I believe them and I encourage every woman aged 40 and above to go in and get a regular mammogram, especially if anyone has had cancer in your family.

I miss my sister but I will continue going in for the mammogram in her memory.  Let me know what you think and make a commitment to your health.  If you can't afford one, check around because there is often money donated to get mammograms for women.  Its important. 

Have a great day.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

History of Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum Cleaner Vacuuming Cleaning Washing  A few months back, my landlord called to let me know they were redoing the floor coverings over the summer while I'm off traveling.

They game me a choice of new carpeting or replacing it with linoleum.  I opted for linoleum because it is so much easier to clean. 

I do not like carpets even though they keep the floor warmer because they never clean up properly and the dirt kind of remains at the bottom. 

Besides, vacuum cleaners never seem to work quite right.  I've found they never seem to pick up all the crud on the carpet so I have to go over it several times to get it clean.  My mother had a vacuum cleaner that is older than me and worked well for a very long time but the new ones don't seem to last that long.

So you every wonder about their history? I remember seeing an episode of Downton Abbey where the maids try a new fangled thing called a vacuum cleaner and the women were afraid they'd be electrocuted by the machine.  You know the brooms as we know them today were not perfected until 1797 when someone figured out how to make one that didn't loose strands or fall apart. 

By 1858, patents were being granted for carpet sweepers which were nothing more than a system of cranks and pulleys designed to push dirt around into containers.  At this point, it was still a manual system.  Two years later, someone added air circulation via bellows to improve suction but it was still manually operated.

Within ten years, another person added a fan to an upright version to improve suction and air flow the inventor sold for $25 but it had a hand crank and was much harder to use than a broom so it didn't sell well.   Come 1898, someone got the bright idea to create a gasoline powered machine that used blasts of air to move the dust into a container but it was the size of a car.  A gentleman by the name of Booth tinkered with this design making it suck the dirt up instead of blowing it.  He called it the "Puffing Billy" which was huge. 

In 1902, Booth was paid to use this machine to clean Windsor Palace for the upcoming coronation.  It appears, the machine was on a carriage with hoses almost like those trucks with hoses that are brought into the house.  With a bit more tinkering, Booth was able to adjust the machine so hotels, buildings, etc to set up the machine in one room, creating a central vacuum system.  Unfortunately, only the rich people could afford it.

But a 60 year old janitor in Ohio took a broom, pillowcase, and an electric motor, tinkered and crated the first motorized cleaner.  He patented it, found investors to begin making the machine but even after mortgaging his home, he went to a satisfied customer Susan Hoover.  In 1908, her husband purchased the patent, researched the market, set up door to door salesmen and the newest version of vacuum cleaners began hitting homes and became a success.

Over the years, vacuum cleaners have increased in amps, rotations, and such but overall have not really improved since the early years but they have gotten smaller, more portable, and easier to use. In addition, other companies have sprung up to produce vacuum cleaners.

Oh, at one point, people referred to vacuuming as "hoovering" because hoover was the brand first sold.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  I still prefer bare floors because I don't need anything fancier than a broom or mop to clean.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Goodbye To Germany

I'm actually home but finishing up sharing the last few pictures of Germany with you.   Germany is 10 hours ahead of Alaska, my body finally adjusted to being over there but since I came back, my body has not gotten back to Alaskan Time.  I think it's because it does not get dark at all right now.  The darkest it gets is a twilight dusky where you can still see everything clearly

Compared to the United States, many German towns have a unique way of handling parking.  The "sidewalks" are much wider than normal because cars pull up and park there.

Sometimes there was enough space to walk other times, you ended up moving around the cars.

Another thing, was mail delivery in the town I visited.  The postmen rode bikes piled up with packages and mail.  They rode bikes with bright yellow baskets labeled "Deutch Post".

My niece said the job of postman doesn't pay very much so they have trouble finding people to fill the positions.

Most of the houses built in the town I visited were made of concrete. I'm told that is because houses are so close to each other, it prevents the spread of fire. 

 After we finished checking out the palace,  we headed over to where the car was parked.  On the way, we passed this park full of sculptures.

It wasn't a large park, just a small piece of paradise in the middle of the place but the sculptures were fun.

It seems most of the roads and sidewalks were made of bricks or something similar. 

I took pictures of the art because it was interesting and livened up the area.

No, I didn't get the name of this piece.  My ride needed to get us back to the house before returning to grab a second group.

It was decided running two loads of people was faster than hustling everyone home via train.

 The painting adds quite a bit to the bench in the park.  I think the seat back is based on one of the early bicycle models.

The set is painted half red, half blue to coordinate with the color pattern of the back.

There is a lot of art in Germany, statues, these, and lots of great artistic tagging also known as graffiti.

Yeah, they aren't supposed to tag but they do it anyway.  If they are caught, they have to clean stuff up and pay a fine.
At first glance, I thought this might be a statue of The Pied Piper of Hamlin but there are ducks instead of rats.

I loved the two birds who were sitting on the side of the fountain to the side of the statue birds.

When I first thought I saw this another bicyclist, just like the others speeding through town.

I love the detail of the sculpture added to the bike. 

One of the folks with me that night thought it was a really strange bicyclist until he realized it was a sculpture.

I took these photos after eating a German interpretation of Mexican which is nothing like I'm used to either in the states or in Mexico.

It was also the first game between Germany and Mexico for the World Soccer Cup.

I'll be heading off to Bellingham and Denver for the weekend and July 4th celebration.  I'll share photos of my travel with you.  Share some of my fun.  Next summer, I'm hoping to head off to Ireland, back to Germany and maybe throw in Paris along the way. 

I hope you enjoyed the bits I shared from my trip.  I enjoyed it, especially when my niece told me that most apartments do not come with kitchens already done.  The renter brings in the cabinets, refrigerator, stove, etc. and when they are move, it all goes with them.  We take our furniture, they move their kitchens.

Have a great day.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Apothecary Museum.

Apothecary is the term used long time ago to indicate drug stores or pharmacies where you'd get your medicines.  The museum takes you through the history of the field from then to recently.  It even explains the history of various signs used to indicate the pharmacy.  It includes the explanation of how the current red A came into use.

Over time, the state has collected intact "shops" to place in the museum.  The displays show the development of pharmacies over time.  The pictures are not in any particular order but each shows a style from the past.

Some of these remained in families for years until such time as the families moved on to other careers so things were sold off to others, eventually ending up here.

Some of these apothecaries fell into disuse but were brought back into use during World War II when drugs became scarce and the country had to rely on more natural remedies.

Although each has a different style, the make up of each is about the same with drawers for herbs, bottles of things and the tools to make the medicines.
The above picture is just one of several in the basement showing some of the tools used by pharmacists through time.  There are also several displays showing many ingredients used in these preparations.

I loved wandering through the museum because I love science, herbs, and history.  If you are ever in Heidelberg, you should check it out.  Let me know what you think.  Thank you for letting me share my journey with you.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Heidelberg Castle.

The day after exploring the palace, we headed off to the beautiful city of Heidelberg by train.  The main train station there was filled with people and tons of places to eat.  I discovered cheese covered pretzels in addition to regular pretzels and pretzels with butter.  One could grab a quick sandwich or salad to eat on the train until you got home. 

From the train station, we hopped the #33 bus that drove from the more modern part of town to the older part of town with its narrow windy streets, narrower buildings and cobble stone type roads.  The interesting thing about the castle is that you have to take a cable car up the side of the mountain. 

The cable car goes up the side of the hill making three stops as it goes to the top.  The first stop is the actually castle level. The second is where people make the change from a modern cable car to a totally wooden old fashioned cable car for the trip up to the top of the hill.
The view from the top is tremendous.  It is possible to see all the way to the mountains/hills off in the distance.  What you see in the above picture is more of Heidelberg.  There is a small place to eat at the top.  Currently, they are building a hotel so much of the area was torn up, making it hard to go the last few yards to the children's area.
The level where you change cable cars, also has a snack bar, a toilet, and a beautiful view.  There isn't much more on that level.  The castle itself is quite old.  My niece mentioned the castle fell after the 30 years war back in the 1600's.   According to her, people began stealing rocks from the rubble.  Somewhere along the way, someone chose to rebuild parts of the castle to turn it into  a tourist attraction.  Much of the original castle was preserved although at certain points you can see areas where it has fallen down and is not safe.  The day we were there, it looked as if they were taking down a stage from a show the night before.  The picture to the left is the entrance to the castle. What you don't see is the gift shop which is behind you, and more snack shops off to the left behind you.

 The center part of the castle is still pretty much intact, its the outer parts where you see damage.  The left side has a front but no back to the wing.
If you look carefully at the two photos placed above you can see the damage to the castle. Inside there are a few restaurants but the most exciting part is the huge wine casket.  When I saw it, I was absolutely amazed.

 When I first saw the two barrels next to each other, I thought the one on the right was the one my niece spoke of.  She'd said the castle had a wine barrel bigger than any I'd seen before so when I saw these, I agreed but she pointed me to a room behind these two barrels.  

The barrel turned out to take up a whole room. The barrel was about 12 feet across.  The stairs ran along the sides of the room and across the back end so you could stop on the platform on top.  According to my niece, this casket was built to provide wine for one of the folks who inhabited the castle.  The story is he was told he needed to slow down on his drinking so he agreed to cut back to 5 glasses of wine per meal.  That means he cut back to at least 15 glasses per day.  I wonder how much wood it took to build this particular barrel.  

 Even though the castle is not that high up the hill, the view is still fantastic. The hardest thing about this day, was the number of tour groups moving throughout the place.

This is a view from the farthest edge of the castle. The river is not the Rhine but it carried several cruise ships.  The city below is Heidelberg, the old town  specifically.  Around the castle entrance are beautifully manicured grounds with a grotto of sorts and lots of seats.

Another view looking at the river from the castle
Finally, a glance at the grounds themselves.  They are taken care of regularly.  The sculptures on the lawn are actually letters strewn in no particular order.

The one thing this castle has, that I've never seen anywhere is the Apothecary or Pharmacy Museum.  it was fascinating and I'll be sharing some pictures with you tomorrow.  I hope you enjoyed these photos.  Please let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Grazing Psycholelic Cows.

These cow statues were in front of the hotel I stayed at for most of my visit.  They are characters, aren't they?  Have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Come Walk With Me.

I found this statue in the park next to the hotel in Frankfurt.  I had to grab the picture quickly as the airport shuttle was on its way.

The park is small and there is a ton of construction going on around it.

I've never seen a green statue like this.

Have a great day.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Greatest Showman - This and That

Circus Arena Ring Manege Fun Show Entertai  Sorry, I am running a bit late today but I just flew in from Germany and arrived home around 1 AM after flying for over 14 hours and going through something like 10 time zones.

While I was off, I used my iPad to prepare columns while in Germany but it was so much harder than using my computer so I never really got a head.

In addition, I had to so some fancy maneuvering to put pictures in it.  The bottom line is that it took so much longer to do things and I was off touring through the Heidelberg area with family members. I still have a couple things I want to share but I'm so tired today, I've chosen to review a movie I saw on the airplane coming back to the states.  I'll save the other two things, including information on the apothecary museum in Heidelberg.

On to a look at "The Greatest Showman".   I chose to watch it because I'd seen almost all the other movies on my to checkout list.  I didn't even realize it was a musical.  I tried to watch LaLa Land last year but it never appealed to me.  This one I found much more interesting.

Where do I start when discussing this.  Hmmmm.  The dance caught my eye with its variety of styles ranging from something you might see in Carousel to the flash of Kenny Ortega's choreography in Newsies, to the funky style in The Knights Tale.  The styles meshed together quiet well from the first number showing PT Barnum has a child with his dreams, to the final number when the assistant takes over.

This was one of those types of musical with tons of musical numbers and not too many spoken lines.  I love the way they used one song to convey the growth of PT and Carolyn from youngsters to newly weds to having children.  The variety of musical styles reviles the styles of dance.  All song and dance number were highly energetic.  They made me want to get up and join in.

However, the musical chose a few events to focus on.   It looked at his creation of his American Museum and the tour of Jenny Lind, one of the most famous European singers of the time. In addition, it showed his group being invited to Britain and their visit to Queen Victoria.

So what did the writers not talk about?  He was born in Connecticut, moved to New York City to pursue his dreams.  He was a salesman, ran a boarding house and so many other jobs before striking it rich with creating a market for oddities.  He created the American Museum in 1841 and it ran till 1868.  In the movie they show the museum burning down but that wasn't quite correct.  The building did burn down in 1865 but he opened it up in another building soon after.  It burned down again in 1869. In 1871, PT Barnum launched his traveling circuses with his midway acts and elephants under the name of "The Worlds Greatest Show". 

The incident shown where they visit Queen Victoria is correct but that was during their European Tour.  He did arrange for Jenny Lind "The Swedish Nightingale" to tour the United States.  He offered her $1000 per concert for 150 shows.  The tour went so well,  PT Barnum netted over $500,000 for the tour.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie with its great dance numbers and wonderful singing.  It is pure escapism.  Just remember, it is not to be taken seriously and it is only entertainment, not historical. 

If you've seen the movie, let me know what you think of it, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

German Odds and Ends

My trip to Germany is coming to and end. It has been great but I have stumbled upon some differences that made me stop and think.  Yesterday, I took the train to Frankfurt to spend the night because I did not want to be up and at the airport by 7 am for a 2 pm flight. I rented a room at a hotel near the airport so I could sleep in later.

The German hotels I have seen are quite different than the ones in the states.  First off, they tend to be smaller with fewer floors and rooms.  In addition, the floors are not numbered in the same way.  What we call the Lobby is floor zero and the next floor is the first floor, etc.  at the first hotel, which was on the first floor.

 The hotel I stayed at last night had me in room 101 which was on the first floor.  Both hotels had a -1 floor which was the basement. One other thing is that most rooms are not huge but comfortable.  Many have a full restaurant while others have a limited menu with salads or pizza but both offer
breakfast, usually for a bit extra.  None of the ones I stayed at had bellmen or consierges.

To get between cities, I took a regional train to Heidelberg before transferring to one bound for Frankfurt.  You can buy a pass that is good only for the area or you can get one that allows you to go further afield for the day.  I am told the train people only spot check for tickets. If you do not have one or you have the wrong ticket, you are fined.  There is also a first and second class.  My niece says the cost difference is not worth buying first class.

The trip went well to Heidelberg. It was once we changed to the Frankfurt bound train that things

started happening. The train was about 20 minutes late leaving the station.  Then a little while longer, the train stopped for a bit longer while they checked out a technical problem.

Finally,, the train got underway.  Unfortunately, by the time everyone relaxed, the train pulled over again.  This time, everyone awaited the announcement that wasn’t happening.  I watched one of the train employees exit the train for a while before disappearing again.  Finally, they announced we had to change trains in order to finish the trip.

As traveling by train is not commonplace, it was fun to do so in Germany.  The larger stations are filled with eating places.  I had a wonderful sandwich of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil on rye bread.  It was great.  The choices are huge and it is often hard to decide on just one.

While visiting my niece, I got to visit the bakery located next to her house.  They had a lovely selection of different types of rolls and pastries. I fell in love because their pastries are not as sweet as  found in the United States. The rolls seemed to have a lot more character than what I am used to.  I stopped in every morning to get fresh pastries.

For the most part, the price posted on food or clothing already included a 19% tax. So I didn’t have to worry about  having enough for the taxes.  Clothing was not really anymore expensive there than here nor was the food.  I picked up ripe cherries, blueberries, and gooseberries to enjoy from a fruit vendor.

One of the biggest differences is when dining out.  They do not automatically place a glass of water on the table.  You have to order it because they charge for it.  In addition, unless you specify plain water, you will be served a carbonated water similar tasting to club soda.  If several people at a table order water, the wait staff will recommend bottles of water to share.

If you go to the store, you will see whole sections of bottled water.  It seems that most everyone drinks bottled water rather than water from the tap.  As far as I can tell, all bottle water when sold collects a deposit that can be gott back by returning it to a store.

The last difference has to do with bakeries and baked goods.  There is a smaller variety of breads and rolls with more whole grains.  The sweets such as Danish pastry and cheesecake are much less sweet than their American counterpart.  Even the apple cake I had had lots of fruit with much less sugar and absolutely no frosting.  I shall miss my daily stops at the bakery next door to my niece’ place.

There are other differences but these were the main ones I noticed when visiting my niece.  I enjoyed my visit so much that I am trying to figure out how to manage it next summer.  Let me know what you think. I would love to hear.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Schloss Schwetzingen

The other day we all headed off to explore the Schloss Schwetzingen which is a palace from at least the 17th century.  The grounds have been renovated in the past 30 years to bring it back to the way it was.  My pictures do not do justice to the overwhelming beauty of place nor do they give a true grasp of the palace.

The above picture shows the entrance to the palace but there is more to the wings on either side. 
There is a guard who checks everyone’s ticket. Behind me is the town, complete with restaurants, hotels and sculptures. The day we chose to go, was the night of the Germany - Mexico soccer which 
Mexico won 1 to 0.

Once through the entrance, you head down this wide gravel boulevard to the fountain half way down. There are beautifully landscaped beds on both sides of the walkway.  The edges of the beds have been  planted with flowers and miniature trees.

This is a shot of the central fountain. At this point you are about halfway down to the lake. The 
designer of the gardens designed pseudomazes on each side of this area.  There are lots of statues scattered throughout the palace gardens.  

This is found at the end of the section of the garden near the walkway surrounding the center fountain. When I took this picture, I faced the entrance to the palace while the fountain is to my left.

This is a photo of the water flowing downhill from one of the buildings filled with stars and sunny faces, passages going under and through the building, even a way to peek at the world through the two sculptures at the bottom of the picture.  My niece said that one of the counts inherited the property when his father died early before he had a chance to tour the world so he created several buildings based on his ideas of how things should be.  To the right of this building is the bath house.  We were asked to refrain from taking photos, so I do not have any to share.

At one point, after reaching the lake, instead of veering towards one of the wings, we headed into the opposite direction to find the Mosque. I do no believe it is a real Mosque because my niece referred to it as a ‘folly’.  No matter, it was a beautiful building with extroidinary artwork.

This is a photo of the inside of one wing. The floor is not particularly exciting but you can see from the photo the walls are beautifully done. 

This map appears in several places in palace grounds. I hope you enjoyed the photos. This is not as well known as other places.  Tomorrow, I will share photos of a castle in Heidelberg.

Let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ermatage and the church.

As promised, I am sharing pictures from the two places involved in my niece’s wedding.  They started at a place called the Ermatage. It is a set of historical buildings owned by the city of Waghausel Germany. The brief history I received via the translator from the official is vague but here goes.

Sometime in the past, a bishop lived in the place but it was haunted. Later on in the last century or so, a company came in and built two extremely tall silo’s for molasses.  The company took over the building for its offices.  When the company went out of business, the city took it over and is currently renovating it.

View of the building from the parking lot. The entrance is directly on the other side.

This is another shot of the building.

This is room where the city performs civil weddings in this building only one month a year.  The bride and groom are in the center with the witnesses to your left and the translator to the right.  The civil servant is hidden by the happy couple.

It is set up so one couple after another is married.  The room is absolutely beautiful and the ceremony has character.

The second or religious ceremony was held at the Catholic Church just a couple of blocks from their house.  The church is so much more ornate than most Catholic Churches in Alaska.

The above is a photo of the church they married in.
The service wa held mostly in German but with some English.  Tomorrow I will have some sightseeing pictures. Let me know what you think, I would live to hear.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Weddings in Germany

I am in Germany because my niece found a lovely young man to marry. She came to Germany to work for a company translating German into American English. Along the way, she met him, got to know him before they decided to get married.

I arrived in Germany just in time to check into a hotel before heading off to a family dinner. The family dinner was actually in place of the “rehearsal dinner”because that is not done in Germany. The groom took time to explain the reason behind it, the next morning while waiting to head off.

In Germany, the only way to be considered legally wed is to have a civil ceremony. Ministers in this country have not been granted this ability. Couples are usually married by a government official before they undergo the religious ceremony later in the day, the next week, or even a year or two down the line.

Since many family members came over from the states, the couple arranged to have both the civil and religious ceremonies on the same day.  Their local town has a historical building and grounds they open one Saturday a month for weddings in addition to the usual Monday to Friday during working hours.

So the couple took advantage of it and by 9:30 we were off to the civil ceremony.  Once the couple in front of us were finished the official came out to let us know expectations before taking us into the room. The bride and groom arranged for someone to translate everything said into English because most of the bride’s family spoke little to no German.

The official spoke about marriage having its ups and downs, of being a journey, etc.  She asked a couple of questions before acknowledging they were now legally married.  The groom had to initial a box giving the bride to take his last name.  We all laughed when the translation of that part came up.

When it was done, we headed out to get pictures of the couple, the families, etc while the next couple headed in for their turn. Outside, our group had to avoid the “bride and her ‘babes’’ bachelorette party, and a third group doing something there.  When the photographer finished taking photos, it was back to the house for a light lunch, a bit of down time, before walking over to the local Catholic Church for the wedding.

My mouth dropped.  Most of the Catholic Churches I have been in were no where as ornate as this one.  The religious service began at 3 pm.  The service was mostly conducted in German with some English in it.  The priest did a great job of translating the important sections into English.  Before long, this was over and everyone stepped out for more photos.

The photographer managed to communicate exactly what he wanted done with little to no English. He made us laugh a lot.  When we returned to the house, dinner was ready to go and we partied till well after 9 pm.

The groom said, that cousins used to ‘kidnap’ the bride so the groom had to find here but they decided not to include this custom because much of the bride’s family being American would not understand the custom.  One of the guests read a tribute using as many slang words for money as possible while giving them green paper for ‘green’ or play dough for ‘dough’. At the end of this speech, they were given a small box of sand to dig through for coins to start their married life with.

It was different but lots of fun. Tomorrow, I hope to share a few pictures of the two places.  Let me know what you think. I would love to hear.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

International Market Place Stage.

  This past Friday, I went to the International Marketplace to check out the entertainment.  Each group had about 20 minutes to share their work.   I didn't get there till around 2 PM because I try to take some time to myself.  The entertainment ran from 1 to 4 PM.  I hope the video works.  It is of some Japanese drummers who shared their music with the audience.  The group ranged in age from about 5 on up and the leader was enthusiastic.  The festival provided a MC who spoke both Japanese and English.

This trio played some wonderful music both western and Taiwanese.  The female member is from Taiwan and played a traditional Chinese stringed instrument that produced some beautiful music.

One of the guys sang the song about flying to the moon while he and the female sang a traditional Taiwanese song about the moon, love, and the heart.  She sang it in Chinese while he sang the verses in English.

A lady who sat next to me, explained it is a very famous Taiwanese song.  It was so beautiful.
 The group that followed came from a university in Japan.  The group has only been together 5 years but did such a wonderful job.  The great thing about these drum groups is the way they play while moving as a well choreographed unit.

They bring excitement to the performance.  You can see some of the moves in the video of the first group.  Many of the rhythms are the same but they are put together to produce the number.
 To the right, you see a group of local Japanese dancers who use a small hand clapper to dance to a modern tune.  The first dance was simple with moves repeated several times through the dance but the second one was much faster and more energetic.

The group invited members of the audience to come and join them in learning the first dance.  It is traditional to share the dance or the drums with visitors so they can learn more about it.
Of course, there are always hula dancers.  The ones to the left are from Japan.  They come here every year to perform either at the International Market Place or the stage at the Ala Moana Shopping Center.    The hulas are beautiful and well done.  Even if they only speak Japanese, most hula dancers know the words to the hulas in Hawaiian. 

At night they have dancing at the hula mound at Kuhio Beach.  Three nights of dance to see the wonderful dancers from Japan.  The group below is from Japan.  The picture was taken at night by the Kuhio Hula mound.

As you read this, I'm just arriving in Germany.  I'll be busy this weekend attending a family member's wedding.  On Monday, I'll have my last blog entry on Hawaii with a few pictures of the Pan Pacific Parade, including one of the cheerleaders.  Don't worry, these are not what you are expecting. 

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Block Party

 The first night of the Pan Pacific, they always hold a street fare combined with a block party. There are multiple stages arranged down the road, each hosting a different act and named after the hotel it's in front of.

In addition, there is always something going on on the Waikiki Beach Walk down by Trump Towers.  I don't usually get that far down as I prefer staying on the main road.

Leonard's bakery truck is usually located at the farthest end from me.  I spent about 20 minutes in line waiting for my half dozen creme filled Malasadas.  The choices are more limited than going to the store and the product a bit more yeasty but they are still good.

I took my first photo looking down the street while I stood in line, waiting to order my Malasadas.  They are best when still nicely warmed and great.
The first stage had some Japanese drummers performing for the audience.  Tomorrow I'll have a short clip available for you to watch.  Japanese drumming is wonderfully energetic and syncopated. 

The next stage had Japanese drummers playing Caribbean style music with the steel drums and traditional instruments found with that type of music.

It was awesome
In between the stages you could find a great choice of meals from Thai, to local, to BBQ but each with nice long lines of people waiting to enjoy the food.

I stood in line at a Thai place because they had Mango Sticky Rice which is rice cooked with coconut milk.  When its finished, its like a thick rice pudding with more rice than pudding.  Its covered with a sweetened coconut milk and topped with sliced mango.  It is a very traditional desert.
 Of course, the Saltwater Taffy folks are there with their uniquely Hawaiian flavors such as Mango, Pineapple, Guava, etc.   I didn't stop but that place has a long line of people, always.

A couple tables down is the local lemonade place with locally flavored ice teas.  I prefer my teas, even ice teas, to be plain with no added flavors.
 As I said earlier, every stage has a different act going.  this stage has traditional Japanese dancers who share their type of dancing with everyone.

The music is traditional and quite lovely.  Another stage I passed had a very modern show with hip hop or rap.  I'm not sure which but I know the singer bounced a lot.

I hurried on because it was starting to get a bit thick with people.
 This artist created beautiful shining stars. The pictures do not do justice to the stars.  They are three dimensional, carved with lights inside.  Absolutely beautiful.

There were all sorts of crafts scattered throughout the area.  The street fair covers 4 maybe 5 blocks.

I saw someone offering golf stuff, others offering wooden pens, honey, jams, clothing, just about everything you'd find at a farmer's market except the fruits and veggies.

 The last stage parked itself in the middle of the street and hosted some sort of traditional Japanese street dancing.  It was fun watching. 

This stage began the Japanese tables where they advertised local shows or cities. Sort of local visitor bureaus for several places in Japan.

One had cotton banners of Kabuki characters.  They even had a couple of hats so you could become one of the characters.  This booth also allowed women to try out Japanese Kimonos. 

A huge gust of wind hit and started to tear some of the materials off the tables.
This is one of the characters from Japan but I don't know who. I took the picture because the character is cute and lots of people were taking photos with it.

I enjoyed my time at the fair but by the time I left at 8 PM, it was getting so filled with people I almost couldn't walk easily.

There was a police presence throughout the whole area.  Some on bikes, some on foot but they were all interacting with the crowd to build good relationships.  I even caught a few enjoying some of the tasty treats from various vendors.

This always happens the first night of Pan Pacific. The Pan-Pacific celebration has been around for the last 39 years.  It's mission is to promote understanding and friendship through an exchange of culture.

I've been coming for several years and enjoy it each year.  Tomorrow, I'll have a couple video clips showing some of what was presented at one stage.

Let me know what you think.