From Scottsdale, one week ago today. Taken on my hotel balcony.
Random photos from this past week!
I visited on Saturday the Japanese Friendship Garden in urban Phoenix. What a lovely and tranquil place this is, in spite of the fighting ducks.
Three studies of ducks:
And the ducks fighting with each other:
The Japanese lantern, studied from different angles and locations in the garden:
I’m currently at the Westin Kierland resort in Scottsdale, where the National Association of Schools of Music convenes the annual conference early Sunday morning.
Arriving in Baton Rouge late Wednesday morning, I heard a wealth of ‘yes ma’am’s at the airport. And I knew I was in the South.
I also felt the humidity in the air.
The hotel has given me a ground-floor suite. My patio windows look out on palm trees.
I like palm trees.
But the rain falls in copious amounts, and the bayous are running high already today.
Tex-Mex tastes the same down here. And the lunch menu at the Mexican restaurant, as everywhere, includes a “Speedy Gonzalez” special of a beef taco, a beef enchilada, and beans or rice.
Baton Rouge is FLAT!!!
The college-age server did not blink today when I ordered unsweetened iced tea at lunch.
Dinner at Galatoire’s Bistro this evening was a yum-fest. The grits, whipped with roasted garlic and heavy cream, were the best dinner grits I’ve ever had — and I make a pretty mean cheese grits.
My afternoon was spent in situ working on a grant application, which is now complete and ready to submit in time, thanks be to God.
And at 8.41 p.m., the Astros leading 5-0, the rain is still falling in Baton Rouge.
Thursday = New Orleans, city of my birth.
I love Chicago.
On this business trip, I took an extra day to catch up with alumni and go the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev, Poulenc, and Gounod, with the magnificent Chicago Symphony Chorus).
The Chicago visit (Amtrak both directions) included a huge meal at Berghoff’s, a college fair at Northwestern University, a late dinner with my voice studio alum Charlie Ingram, brunch with Ball State alum Josh Stierley, the symphony concert, drinks with my dear friend Adam Hendrickson, and dinner around the corner at an Irish pub.
And my new favorite Hampton Inn, just off Michigan Avenue, a block south of the Chicago River.
As I write on Saturday morning, I’ve spent some time in the Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago Union Station. I’m so pleased to see some Amtrak operations moved back into the splendor of the old terminal, and to find a dedicated & comfortable business class lounge at the station as well.