Inspirations from Artists and Authors, Friends and Family, People and Places

From around home to around the world

We’re jubilados (Spanish for retirees) on the alert for inspiration from our travels be they near (the kitchen) or far (Cape Horn)


Pumpkins. Mushrooms. Persimmons. Mmmm…

Late autumn ripens my memories of Japan.

To the night Lynn, Ward, Magellan and I, dressed in kimonos, ate kaiseki at Ryokan Kurashiki. “Dishes of October, The feast to do the sight of autumn colors,” served by a kindly Japanese woman in the autumn of her life who Ward nicknamed “Ryokan Mommy.”

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When people ask, “How was the food in Norway?” they often follow it up with “Did you eat at that famous restaurant in the Faroe Islands?” “Did you get a reservation at Noma?” “Did you go to Fäviken in Sweden?” Super foodies specify the chefs: Poul Ziska, René Redzepi and Magnus Nilsson, respectively.

No, we did not.

Years before these men became world-famous chefs, a woman chef in Norway quietly pioneered New Nordic Cuisine—Heidi Bjerkan at Credo, the restaurant she opened in 1999.

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Ninstints Mortuary poles

I’ve wanted to see them for decades.

Ever since I saw their photos back in the 70s, mystical figures of ghostly grey imparting a powerful, compelling presence.

The totem poles at Ninstints on Haida Gwaii.

It’s the only place on Haida Gwaii where they still stand. A dozen of them, disciples of the supernatural, silently keeping watch.

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Robert Service at his desk

Discovering the literature and poetry of a country we’re visiting: for me this is one of the greatest pleasures of travel. And what a thrill when it happens in your own country like it did in the Yukon this summer. Read more

Roman city of ConÍmbriga, Portugal

What fascinated us about the Roman city of ConÍmbriga in Portugal were the intricate mosaics, uncovered and open to the sky— still intact after 2,000 years! Think of it. How will our living room floors look in 4019? Especially if we left them roofless and open to the elements for centuries?

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