Hittin’ the road

In a few hours, I will be embarking on a road trip that’ll take me all around the rocky mountains. It should last me a good couple of weeks to do this, especially being the Sunday driver that I am. But it’ll be fun and I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends in Phoenix, as well as the Grand Canyon. Yes, it’s been 9 years since my last visit to this incredible “must see before you die” place. There’s a lot to see out there and I really don’t have any hard plans. I’ll just drive and drive and see where I end up. I think that’s part of the excitement, not knowing what’s ahead but looking forward to the adventure and fun of it all. And what a way to spend Christmas! I haven’t done a major road trip in a long time and it’s about time I got out of the house and did it.

Worry not as I will be bringing a camera to document my trip. Expect to see them sometime next month, most probably on my Flickr page. Speaking of which… Yes!!! I sucked it up and went Pro! So, I should have plenty of space for the photographs.

If I don’t get to blog during my trip (I’ll try), I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Be safe as I plan to be. Love, peace and green cheese! I will see you on the other side…

Now, where was I? Oh yeah… packing!

Songs about Heaven, part 4 (Over Yonder)

I’ve been away for a couple of weeks on travel. It was nice to just be out of the office for awhile and not to be at my desk. It was good to drive away somewhere and be far from everything. Even if it was all about work still.

But what’s more interesting is that I was able to finally see the gorgeous mountains of north Wyoming and south Montana; and experience the beauty of this part of the Rockies, for the first time.

My mouth was open; simply stunned and made speechless by what I have seen. Mind blowing terrains, towering boulders, tunnel passes under the mountain, long and winding roads, buffaloes, hot springs. Even ghost towns that looked like scenes from a spaghetti western. You name it, I saw it. The big bummer is that I forgot to bring a camera. I didn’t think I’d be passing through scenic routes after scenic routes.

So just trust me when I say I’ve seen a corner of heaven. Where the angels wore boots. I really have! It may be a bit of a drive but from where I live, it’s just ’round the bend! Over yonder… if you will.

Oh, by the way, it’s good to be home. Or should I say, it’s good to find it.


I’m incomplete until we meet
When it’s over
Seems so far away from yesterday
Now it’s closer

Light shining at the end of the tunnel, I believe
To help me find my way, way back home today

There’s a house over yonder
Never lost, never wander again
Knock on the door, step inside, walk on the floor
Here in the house over yonder

You don’t have to know, just let it go
Free your mind, heart and soul
Go fly away, yet learn to stay
When you hear the voices say

Light shining at the end of the tunnel, do you believe
To help you find your way, your way back home today

There’s a house over yonder
Never lost, never wander again
Knock on the door, step inside, walk on the floor
Here in the house over yonder

How many times we miss our chances
And when we close our eyes
How much more before we die

There’s a house over yonder
Never lost, never wander again
Knock on the door, step inside, walk on the floor
Here in the house over yonder

©2004 Chris Alma Jose

And here’s the video…

Musings on food, culture and travel

Ahh, the restful atmosphere of Saturday mornings. After a hard week’s worth of labor, I seem to always look forward to it. No plans. Just a good dose of French Roast and Channel six to keep me company.

wacky characters

When I was a kid (not too long ago, I’d like to think it was), I, too, was glued to Saturday morning cartoons. But instead of Spongebob and Teen Titans, it was more like, Dick Dastardly and Superfriends. You do remember these Hanna-Barbera classics, don’t you? Granted, they were before Cable TV but, that’s beside the point.

Anyhow, this morning, I skipped the cartoons and opted for my usual fare of commercial-free PBS shows, instead. I love the relaxing effect of watching a painter demonstrate how to compose a nature scene on an empty canvas; or a host taking the viewer to the best yard sale bargains in town. But my favorite ones, by far, are the cooking shows. You learn so much about people’s culture by seeing them in action in their own kitchens. Right now, I am watching back-to-back episodes of different cooks highlighting heritage cuisine from Scandinavia, Naples, Yucatan, Louisiana, Shanghai and yes, even Martha Stewart’s own kitchen.

Right this moment, it’s Julia Child watching a featured Chef bake some French pastry. Not only are these shows making me hungry for a quick brunch, perhaps; but more significantly, it’s triggering my desire to travel to cultural destinations, at some point in my life.

Now, it’s really easy to want to go to places where it’s fairly safe. Where they speak your language. Where they eat, more or less, the same stuff you do. Maybe, even have somewhat similar landscape as your own backyard. That’s why I love shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation. This is brave. This is adventure. A real traveler’s dream. Also, last year, Jamie Oliver had a short series where he traveled all over Italy and cooked for monks, among other things.

I like the hands-on approach to traveling. Instead of being touristy and watching things from a distance, I like the idea of temporarily living as a local. I believe, this is how you grow tremendously in your humanity. You only grow so much if what you understand goes no further than your own neighborhood. Being a citizen of the world is what I consider one of the greatest fulfillments one can ever achieve in life. It’s when you are able to really practice humility in its sincerest form. Because, it’s a fact… the more you experience the world, the more you realize how small you are in the scheme of things.

One day, I would like to visit as many places around the world as I can. And learn. And grow. I would love to be able to smell the aroma in the air. Taste the spices in their food. Hear the music of their ancestors. Listen to their diction as they converse with each other. And, who cares what they’re talking about?

However, if time and money would ever get in the way, I could at least narrow it down to three places. China, India and Italy.

spice of life

Now, I’m seriously hungry. 🙂