My Traveling Dilemma

“As you grow older, you become faced with the problem of what to do with your time.” (Sunday Adelaja)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone:

I immensely enjoy traveling over six months each year. Yet why does the option of staying home sound increasingly more enticing? Why not buy a dog/cat and enjoy my simpler lifestyle as a pensioned retiree in South Florida? Turning more introspective at times in the face of the latest health, financial, or family challenge, my enthusiasm for taking grandiose *trips/ vacations now seems at times to be shrinking. At the moments of lifestyle doubt, some realistic questions thus emerge. Does a nostalgic glance at a past photo album now suffice as a suitable replacement for a journey to Paris? Can reading more travel blogs on Word Press satisfy my wanderlust urges to visit exotic places? What entertainment opportunities am I missing at home by being away so often? Why do I seem more intolerant these days to extreme cold or hot weather?

A past weekend jaunt to Cleveland, Ohio provides a suitable case in point. While I did witness a convincing Cleveland Browns win at First Energy Stadium amidst bitter cold and blustery windy conditions, I could have more healthily enjoyed the Browns win at a local sports bar in Fort Lauderdale. As I likewise paid my dutiful respects to legendary bands inductees at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, strong lingering thoughts persist now of missing talented writers speak at this year’s Miami Book Fair. Or in frolicking outside like a kid amidst fallen autumn leaves and festive holiday displays, I might have equally conveyed the changing of seasons spirit in warmer conditions by putting up our living room Christmas tree. As I sit in bed now sniffing with a nagging cold, I thus wonder how the following nostalgic highlights from frigid Cleveland might represent some subtle hints that I will soon experience travel-less, lifestyle times.

While I braved the unaccustomed to cold weather outside, Ruth more sensibly spent time with cousin Jo warmly indoors.

Why does raking up dead leaf piles up north in winter seem so depressing? Wouldn’t I rather relaxingly lounge on my patio at home overlooking our green, tropical paradise?

Why do I see these eerie looking dolls staring at me so menacingly? Are they trying to tell me something?

I embraced the rebellious spirit of student activism as expressed in these concert posters during my “heyday” of “rock and roll” times. To what extent does this restless energy still motivate me these days to travel?

As I ponder the inner meaning of this blog’s wander-less theme, was I experiencing a travel less omen by these flightless seagulls along the Lake Erie shoreline?

Why do I need to travel to Cleveland to buy overpriced Cleveland Browns merchandise at the stadium? I can buy them more inexpensively at home online?

Given my cold weather intolerance, I could have at least been sitting on the sunny side of the field during the game.

I consider myself a “Diehard” Cleveland Browns fan on game day wherever I’m at. So what difference would it make for me to endure the Sunday irritations of this kind of chaotic mob scene to watch the game live?

If so many dedicated Browns fans can gather at Browns Stadium to feel the energy of hometown game fever, then why can’t I similarly be contented at my South Florida home?

Spotting this beautiful Christmas tree downtown with children underneath, I sensed that the “Yuletide” message of giving to others can be best experienced with a warm gathering of family/friends at home.

*In past blog entries, I’ve elaborated about why I experience  vacations and trips differently. While vacations typically allow me to settle into more spontaneous enjoyment of a place over a longer period of time, trips normally relate to short term “getaways” of tightly structured, itinerary nature.

Cleveland: A Blast Of Rock & Roll Past


“It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled,
It’s been a long time since I did the Stroll.”
Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,
Let me get it back, baby, where I come from.
It’s been a long time, been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has.” (Led Zeppelin, Rock and Roll)

In spite of my inevitable emergence into the dreaded senior years of life, a steady dose of “rock and roll” fuels a renewed sense of youthful vigor these days. My friendships, it seems, share a similar anti- aging disposition. I think of my sports buddy in Santa Cruz California, for example, whose fanaticism for buying/selling oldies albums grows into a productive source of extra income after retiring as a teacher. Or I contemplate my spirited lunchtime chats about rock &roll legends with a former professor colleague in Fort Lauderdale who delivers popular lectures at a local Jewish Community Center about famed rock icons of the past. Social media interactions with my baby boomer Facebook friends daily also reveal a heavy bias toward classic rock postings of upcoming concerts, You Tube video clips, and nostalgic slang/paraphernalia.

As for me, a travel heavy lifestyle keeps rock music most relevant as I strive to search online ( eg.Stub Hub and Bandsintown…)for live concerts to book in conjunction with road trip itineraries, weekend “getaways”, cruise shows, and European festivals. Fittingly then, my short visit to Cleveland Ohio, last week, would provide plenty of magical musical moments in my latest visit downtown to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I urge you now to this settle into the musical vibes of “Cleveland Rocks” in the following photographs.

The intense Southern croons of Elvis Presley, the “King”, evoke timeless memories of his musical greatness at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cousin Brucie rolled the AM radio waves with rock&roll madness on date night Saturday’s as simulated on this music box.

Historic galleries here revealed that dressing for the part of rock and roll stardom in the past required creative imagination.

With teenagers buying 45 rpm records like this Beatles song in mass, early rock & roll appeal spread widely throughout America via record players and jukeboxes

So did “boombox” blasts from cassette tape cartridges later.

If you were cool to rock & roll music you often read Rolling Stone Magazines like the ones displayed in this exhibition.

Vivid memories of “The Who” presence in this gallery reminded me that a guitar never seemed safe from physical destruction at the end of their “gigs.”

An eye catching poster such as the the one shown here would often promote an upcoming live performance before the advent of the Internet.

In today’s times at the Rock Hall “Garage”, you might even create your own musical “riffs” of classic rock & roll tunes.

Or visit downtown Cleveland and re-embrace in an open arena setting the “retro” aliveness surrounding a classic rock & roll concert.

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