Getting a Mile High in More Ways Than One

Since becoming a first state to legalize marijuana in 2012, its residents have taken it to heart. Walking this mile high city is a great but pungent experience. 

I judge a city by several criteria: public transportation, food, cultural activities, architecture, and walkability. I was pleased to quickly learn Denver has it all. I couldn’t have chosen a better city to roam for a few days. It took me no time at all to fall in love with Denver.


Thomas Wolfe Was Right – Probably

There is the old adage that “You can’t go home again.” It comes from Thomas Wolfe’s 1934 novel of the same name. 

There are many reasons why this adage probably is true. “Home” will never be the same after an absence of decades. In the off-chance of becoming overly nostalgic, one should visit their old childhood stomping grounds; but at the same time, childhood memories can be shattered by the reality of how things have changed.

I briefly visited my childhood home, drove its roads and observed its changes. It was not pretty. 


2021 – The Year of Flâneur?

Illinois – The Land of Lincoln: 18-22 June, 2021


Travel writers love to make up lists of the “10 Best” be it for living there or just visiting. I have been fooled before by pretty pictures and a tourist board’s rosy use of adjectives. But in the case of Naperville, the recommendation was what these flâneries needed as a welcome respite from the trees and seas of Michigan.

River Walk along the DuPage

2021 – The Year of Flâneur?

Yooper Blooper: June 16

“Why would anyone build the most spectacular bridge in the world at the top of Michigan instead of at Detroit where everyone could see it?”

—letter from an irate “troll” taxpayer to the Governor of Lower Michigan, 1980—

The taxpaying troll’s question reminds me of the man who lived close to my hometown in Indiana. In 2011 he wrote to a local newspaper: “A lot of deer get hit by cars west of Crown Point on U.S. 231. There are too many cars to have the deer crossing here. The deer crossing sign needs to be moved to a road with less traffic.”

Perhaps deer are flâneries.


2021 – The Year of Flâneur?

Yooperland: June 13-15

“The best thing that could happen to the U.P. would be for someone to bomb the bridge.”
—John Voelker, former Michigan Supreme Court Justice and the author of Anatomy of a Murder and Yooper resident—

Well, I have to say blowing Da Bridge might be a little extreme. Permit me to say the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is unique and it is obvious Yoopers want to keep it that way. Too late. Hordes of tourist are upon them each summer. Nancy and I, flâneries at heart, wanted to discover the U.P. This is what we found:


2021 – The Year of Flâneur?

Da Yooper: June 11-12

“It’s an edgy place… it still hangs on out there like a rawhide flap of the old frontier…The U.P. is a hard place. A person has to want to hurt a lot to live there”.
— John G. Mitchell, Audubon Magazine, November 1981—

For years I have heard the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a “must see” destination. Flâneries Nancy and I chose to find out why. As Bette Davis remarked: “Fasten your seatbelts; we’re in for a bumpy night.” 


2021 – The Year of Flâneur?

Wisconsin: June 8-10

Flâneur is a wonderfully descriptive French noun referring to a “stroller, loafer, a lounger,” or as the Italians describe it, enjoying a “passeggiata.” In any language, it describes the passionate wandering traveler. In this, the aftermath of a disastrous Covid 2020, my heart is true but can it be a reality? Can’t go everywhere I want, so, seeking somewhere new, I join my friend Nancy and these Flâneries chose Wisconsin. 

First, what’s it like traveling June 2021? I seldom travel during summer tourist season. Add hoards escaping “stay at home” requests and families traveling = challenging.