I found my retirement “calling” on the Hillsdale cruise to Hawaii

I found my retirement “calling” on the Hillsdale cruise to Hawaii

I am 69 years old and still working full-time as a buyer for an aerospace company. Aside from vowing never to draw Social Security or be subject to Medicare (as a reason for keeping working), I couldn’t think of what I would do with myself if I retired. I play violin, but there’s not much opportunity to play chamber music in my town. I wouldn’t want to just sit around and read all day, which is my favorite pastime when not working.

Funny, but my retirement calling was staring me in the face, and I wasn’t seeing it. My husband and I are big supporters of Hillsdale, and we are members of the President’s Club of donors. It’s also convenient that his employer matches both our contributions and my employer matches mine (so my contribution is tripled). While sitting in one of the excellent lectures on the cruise, it hit me. If and when I retire, I intend to become a Hillsdale Associate, someone who recruits students and donors for the college and generally talks up the place. After reading Dr. Paul Rahe’s post on the Main Feed over at Ricochet.com, perhaps I’d enlist a letter-writing campaign to the Wall Street Journal to get them to add Hillsdale to their yearly college rankings.

In my everyday life now, I always talk up Hillsdale. My work coat closet has a Hillsdale flag on it for all to see. On the cruise, we provided Hillsdale literature to our cabin attendant! I can’t think of a better way to spend my retirement years than promoting Hillsdale College.

Last Half of the Journey-Hawaii Cruise Travelog-Leaving Hawaii for Mexico…And Home

Last Half of the Journey-Hawaii Cruise Travelog-Leaving Hawaii for Mexico…And Home

Wednesday, July 25 through Monday, July 30, we were again at sea, and you know what that means…  Lectures!  The weather wasn’t conducive to much deck-walking, but I did get a few ocean and cloud pictures.  This was the last picture of Hawaiian waters.

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July 25 speakers were Roger Kimball on “Trump vs The Elites”; John Steele Gordon on “A Brief History of American Medical Insurance”; Dr. Arnn on the history of the Administrative State; and George Neumayr on the political papacy of Pope Francis.  The Pope has been the subject of lively discussions, both on the cruise and on Ricochet among the site’s many devoted Catholics, and Mr. Neumayr’s talk generated lots of questions.  In fact, the ship’s Irish-Catholic chaplain had some slightly-hostile remarks which Neumayr fended off masterfully.  We took home a signed copy of his book entitled The Political Pope, which is a must-read.

Thursday, July 26 saw a new roster of speakers.  Nick Lloyd discussed the part of World War I from 1915-17; Patrick Caddell discussed media and polls; and Walter Russell Mead spoke on “Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World”.  I brought home Mead’s book God and Gold, and it is proving to be a very interesting treatment of the history of Western Civilization with an emphasis on the invaluable contributions of the English-speaking countries.

This is what the view was from the Promenade Deck that day.

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And this is what we saw from the Churrascaria restaurant that evening.

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Friday, July 27, brought more captivating lectures.  Michael Ramirez gave a history of the editorial cartoon, with ample examples of his own work.  Victor Davis Hanson discussed the Battle of Midway, and John Steele Gordon spoke on the history and future of money (which everyone was very attentive to, for obvious reasons).  After lunch, Michael Walsh spoke on the decline of music in Western culture, a subject that interests me greatly.  I have never been very fond of recently-composed music, since it seems to me to be aimed at the composer rather than the listener, and if you can’t please the audience, your music might not get played or sung very much.

Here’s the view from our balcony on Friday.

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On the trip home, the sea was pretty rough, and we got excellent balance practice every time we walked anywhere.  I was lucky, and never completely lost my balance, even in the pitching, rolling shower!  Saturday’s lectures were by Walter Russell Mead on US foreign policy, George Neumayr on the “never-ending investigation”, and Nick Lloyd on the end of World War I.

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On Sunday, July 29, we approached land again, toward Ensenada, Mexico.  I could tell that we were nearing land when the color of the water changed, the skies grew lighter, and the air was warmer.

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I couldn’t sleep well Saturday night, so I was up at dawn to capture this beautiful sunrise.

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The water was very calm, and almost seemed to melt into the sky, making the horizon almost disappear.

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My followers will know that I love watching the wake of a big ship, and I have pictures of the Washington State Ferries, as well as the cruise ships I have sailed on.  I just love the patterns the wake makes in the water.

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This is an island off the west coast near Ensenada, called Todos Santos Island.

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I had to zoom in to see it, but about 3/4 of the way down the slope to the right, there is a structure that I saw was a big cross, which is consistent with the name of the island.

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We could tell there was a big school of fish out there, due to the presence of seagulls and pelicans having a fine time fishing for breakfast.

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This guy came out to meet us.  The name on the boat was PilotoII, indicating that he was a Harbor Pilot, assigned to guide us into the crowded harbor at Ensenada.  See how his wake is twice as wide as he is.

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Then, I saw something that reminded me of home in the Puget Sound.  There were a few big buoys out in the harbor, and this one was occupied.  By a local sea lion, a kind of seal.

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In Seattle, big sea lions rest on the buoys, and use them as a spot to fish for passing salmon.  I’m betting this guy was fishing too, and he has a gull to keep him company (and compete for fish).

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That’s our wake in the water of Ensenada.

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We also saw numerous Mexican tour boats which go out of Ensenada, all filled with enthusiastic tourists.  When we landed and walked around, we saw people lined up for the next tour.

I saw this structure in the harbor, just outside the working waterfront, and wondered what it might be.  Followers, can you enlighten me perhaps?

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As we approached our berth at the cruise-ship terminal, we got to watch this container ship, the COSCO Indonesia, being loaded with containers.  COSCO is a big Chinese state-owned shipping company.  It was fun watching the orange crane picking up and placing containers precisely where they should go.

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Here are some more highlights of the Ensenada harbor.

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Homes on the hillside above the harbor.

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I think this is one of the biggest flags I’ve ever seen.  Those Mexicans are proud of their country!

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Nice Marina they have there.  There’s another one on the other side of the harbor.

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Our berth-mate that day was the much-larger Carnival Inspiration.

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The cruise terminal at Ensenada is very colorful, and has a building with lots of shops where the locals sell their wares.

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The fountain is a very convenient bird-bath, and this gull was taking his daily shower.  Ensenada, in Baja California, has a very dry climate with little rain, so you can understand how the gull takes advantage of what humans have provided.

Upon disembarking, we walked around the bay to a crowded, lively marina shopping area, and took in the sights and sounds of Ensenada.

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My husband, who plays accordion, got a kick out of this little band.

All too soon, it was time for us to board the Crystal Symphony, for the journey back to San Francisco.  Monday, July 29, was a sea day, and we had lectures by Michael Walsh and Pat Caddell.  The final lecture of the cruise was supposed to be Dr. Arnn discussing Hillsdale’s Mission.  But it turned out that Dr. Arnn left the cruise at Ensenada, to answer the call of Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, to go to Washington DC to discuss education.  Since he was not there, the Hillsdale crew cooked up a big panel discussion with all the remaining speakers, and the audience asked lots of interesting questions.  The Hillsdale cruisers are well-educated bunch, and we all thoroughly enjoyed all the lectures and all the speakers.

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Personnel, from left: Tim Caspar, Hillsdale Associate VP for External Affairs who moderated; John Steele Gordon, Michael Ramirez, Pat Caddell, Michael Walsh, Nick Lloyd, George Neumayr, Victor Davis Hanson, Roger Kimball, and Walter Russell Mead.

Monday, July 31, we arrived back in San Francisco.  We had packed the night before, and when it was time, we all filed into the Starlite Club ballroom to await our group being called.

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When we disembarked, we boarded a bus for the ride to the airport.  We got checked in, and awaited our flight back to Seattle.  Once in the air, I pointed my camera out the window, and got some spectacular cloud pictures.  And mountains, too.

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The cruise had been wonderful, but we were glad to be home.  And the kitty was glad to have us back, too.

Next year’s Hillsdale cruise will be to the British Isles, to celebrate the conclusion of the project involving the complete Churchill biography and documents.  We don’t know yet if we will go, but we will have this year’s cruise to remember for a long time.

 

 

 

Vacation Travelogue-Hillsdale Cruise to Hawaii, Day One

Vacation Travelogue-Hillsdale Cruise to Hawaii, Day One

Last month, Hubby and I took a 16-day cruise to Hawaii on the Crystal Symphony, with Hillsdale College.  We left from San Francisco for the round trip on Sunday, July 15.  We had four days at sea going each way, which were filled with lectures by a variety of conservative speakers.  I’ll be chronicling our voyage with a post per day.  Herewith, Day One of our Cruise Vacation.

We boarded the Crystal Symphony on Sunday afternoon, and had to wait for a couple of hours until our stateroom would be ready.  So we took some time to stroll around the deck, and, like the picture-taking fool that I am, I shot dozens of pictures of San Francisco Harbor from various vantage points.  It was a bright, sunny day, with a brisk wind blowing, which you can tell from the whitecaps on the water.  Gulls and pelicans flew around, and there were many sailboats and other watercraft plying the waters.

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Above is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

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How about those pelicans in formation!

We left port promptly at 6:00PM, to the strains of “Wonderful World” sung by Louis Armstrong.  This vessel escorted us from our berth into the harbor.

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Everyone recognized this famous place, Alcatraz Island.

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We said good-bye to San Francisco.  Then, we passed beneath this landmark.

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Once we had our luggage safely stored in our stateroom, we met some friends (who we had not expected to be there) for dinner in the Waterside, the main dining room.  Our friend had managed to corral some of the Hillsdale speakers, so we had a very pleasant meal in the company of Michael Walsh, Nick Lloyd, George Newmayr, and Tim Caspar from Hillsdale.  What a great way to start the cruise!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! (Dem) Pollster Pat Caddell Agrees with Rush Limbaugh!!

I am currently on a cruise ship, the Crystal Symphony, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, heading east toward Mexico, in the company of a large contingent of Hillsdale College supporters and employees.  On our sea days, we have been presented with a group of the best speakers known to conservatives.  Self-identified Democrat Pat Caddell has treated us to some inside secrets of the polling universe, and we have been often startled by how conservative he actually sounds. In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised at how many times he has seemed to agree with my Hero, Rush Limbaugh, about events taking place in the US recently.

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Nearly the first idea he expressed, that “the sovereignty of the US has been hijacked by the Political Class against the American People”.  Funny, but Rush has been saying this for years.  Mr. Caddell cited results showing that 70% of Americans have expressed the opinion that the country is “in decline”, and that today’s children will not be as prosperous as their parents are.  He says that the political class has all the power, and uses it to make their own rules-there are essentially separate codes of conduct for the political class, and the rest of the people (to whom they are supposed to be answerable).

Here is Caddell’s Law:  The Wisdom of the American People in the aggregate cannot be denied.  Pat notes that the elites are allied with the mainstream Press in telling the People what they should think.  Again, another place where he agrees with Rush Limbaugh, who has been discussing this for nearly as long as he has been in the public eye.  And he agrees with Rush that today’s Democrats and bureaucrats are attempting to nullify the results of the 2016 presidential election that brought Donald Trump to power.  He even used the same word to describe what is taking place!  Both men, one a staunch conservative, the other a Democrat, have described the same actions of those who believe that Trump’s election was illegitimate, and that he is mentally unstable and unfit for the high office to which he was elected.

In Caddell’s talk on the polling business today, he started by describing how the media’s polls are biased, and ignore responses that are counter to their anti-Trump narrative (thus presenting false results).  Bingo!  Another area of agreement with Rush! He pointed out the colleges, like Marist and Quinnipiac, that have started their own polling operations, and how their student poll-takers are subtly influencing the answers they receive from those they poll.  Remember now that most colleges in the US today are strongholds of progressivism, safe-spaces, snowflakes, and Trump-hatred.  And he also noted how often media and college polls over-sample Democrats. Bingo again!  Rush has been mentioning this for a long time, that this artificially lowers the ratings of Republicans, and understates the actual popular support for President Trump.

Caddell also notes how the media do minute-by-minute polls when the Republicans are doing poorly or in the midst of a (often media-fueled) scandal; but they go silent when the Conservative party is doing well.  Bingo!  Rush has mentioned often how the press kept the heat on President George W. Bush, and misrepresented the economy as doing worse than it actually was.  Our speaker went over the whole Benghazi scandals, and how the media and the Obama Administration perpetuated lie after lie after lie to deflect attention away from Hillary Clinton’s culpability for the deaths of four of our American diplomats.  Bingo!!  More agreement with Rush!

Mr. Caddell says that the media are telling us which “truth” we may know, and they suppress the Truth.  He thinks, and our audience agrees, that the press are making themselves the enemy of the American public.  He emphasized how the advent of 24-hour TV news coverage has expanded the power of the media, and enabled them to literally destroy a law-abiding American’s life and career.  Remember Joe the Plumber, whose life was turned upside-down when he was seen as not supporting the previous president?  He notes that in the 20th Century, the press deferred to presidents, and did not ask tough questions.  Now, they try to destroy the duly-elected president!

Rush has often discussed how the Press does not report what happened, but what they Want to happen, and Pat Caddell is in agreement with that.  Mr. Caddell also discussed how in times past White House correspondents for major media organizations were experienced veterans of years in the news business, while today’s “reporters” are raw college recruits, with little knowledge of the way the White House should be covered.  They mainly report on events that coincide with their preferred narrative, and ignore things that don’t. Bingo!  Another agreement with Rush.

Mr. Caddell also discussed how today’s news-readers sound exactly alike when reporting a particular news story, to the extent of even using all the same words and phrases.  Triple Bingo!  Rush Limbaugh has had his experienced production team producing montages of all the news readers expounding on the same subject, and you can plainly hear how everyone sounds exactly alike!  In fact, those montages are the best part of Rush’s demonstration of how today’s media operate.

So, Mr. Pat Caddell, when are you going to finally admit the obvious?  Isn’t it time for you to leave the “dark side”, and come out and admit that you are not really a Democrat, but a Republican?  If you do that, and join us, you will discover that we conservatives are real people, who work for a living and appreciate all work and workers.  We conservatives do NOT attempt to destroy the lives and livelihoods of those with whom we disagree, we reason with them and try to help them see the light.  We clean up after ourselves, and don’t leave the mountains of garbage behind at political rallies like the “progressives” do. And we welcome new people-the best conservatives are reformed “liberals”.  You have already seen, over the past week on the sea and in Hawaii, how friendly we are.  Join us!

 

An Open Letter to the Owners of Kroger Corporation, and Makers of Products Sold There

Dear Kroger:

I am a buyer by trade, and I can spot cost-cutting, and price increases a mile away.  I and many of my fellow grocery customers, have noticed in recent years, the shrinking of package size on many of the items we purchase in your and other grocery stores.  It started with ice cream, about 15 years ago.  The standard package size for most ice cream was a half-gallon.  Then, the packages shrank, to one and half quarts, with the price remaining the same.  Did you think we didn’t notice this?  Hey, Tillamook and Unilever, and Pinnacle Foods, we NOTICE when the package shrinks and the price remains the same.  That is a Stealth Price Increase.

Lately, I have noticed that the size of the bottles of Simply Lemonade that I buy at Kroger and elsewhere, looked smaller.  Well, funny thing, they ARE smaller!  A bottle of Simply Lemonade used to be 59 ounces.  It is now 52 ounces!  With the price remaining the same, that amounts to a 12% price increase!  We Noticed!  The package of Canola Harvest soft margarine I buy (actually, they don’t even call it margarine any more-it’s “buttery spread”, whatever that means) went from 16 ounces to 15 ounces, and the price remained the same!  I Noticed!

Just this weekend, I noticed that the bottle of Kroger Brand Orange Juice, which used to be 59 ounces, is now 52 ounces!  Another Stealth Price Increase!  Now, I read the Wall Street Journal, and I know that the Florida citrus industry is in trouble, with huge losses to hurricanes last year and the “citrus greening” disease.  I know that the less you produce, the more expensive it becomes, and I expected the price of my OJ to go up.  What I did not expect, and definitely do not appreciate, is the size of my bottle of OJ shrinking!  Now, a bottle does not last as long, and I have to buy my OJ more frequently.

So, I have a suggestion for all you packaged-food makers and grocery store owners.  Instead of shrinking the package and hoping your customers won’t notice, try educating consumers.  Try hanging a leaflet on the shelf, explaining the elements in the food that cause the price to go up.  Try assuming for a change that shoppers are smart enough to notice when their food gets more expensive and telling them why.  I would rather pay a little more for my food than have to go to the store more often.

Thanks for your attention, and I hope you take my suggestions to heart.  Packaged food makers and grocers are already feeling the competition from online sellers and alternate suppliers courting their customers.  Please try not to make it worse!

Sincerely,

RushBabe49

By Permission of a Ricochet friend, “Progressive Thought”

By Permission of a Ricochet friend, “Progressive Thought”

Gender is a social construct; there are no differences between the sexes. All men are bad.

Race is a social construct; there are no differences between the races. All white people are bad.

No culture is better than another. Western Civilization is bad.

Diversity of skin color is good. Diversity of thought is bad.

Religion leads to conflict and war. Islam is the religion of peace.

An especially harsh winter in one part of the globe does not disprove global warming. A single extreme weather event proves it.

Marriage is oppression. Opposing same-sex marriage is oppression.

Segregation is bad. Black college dorms and black graduation ceremonies are good.

“White flight” from inner-cities is bad. White migration to inner-cities (aka “gentrification”) is bad.

Diversity strengthens us by bringing in different viewpoints. Adopting diverse viewpoints is “cultural appropriation.”

The Constitution is a living document. The Supreme Court’s “Roe v Wade” decision is carved in stone.

Raising the cost of cigarettes will discourage people from smoking. Raising the cost of employing workers will not discourage businesses from hiring.

Slavery – an economic system in which people can arbitrarily demand others’ time, labor, and produce – is bad. Social Justice – a philosophy that holds that “the oppressed” can arbitrarily demand others’ time, labor, and produce – is good.

Monopoly by corporations – which must satisfy their customers to survive – is bad. Monopoly by government – which can use deadly force to survive – is good.

There are no absolute truths. Absolutely.

And that is only the Original Post over at Ricochet.com.  Behind a paywall, so here is a selection of the additional Member Comments.

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There are no s***hole countries. It’s cruel to send illegal aliens undocumented immigrants home because their countries are s***holes.

Government should get out of our bedrooms. Government must pay for our birth control.

Whites are evil, Western Civilization is evil, corporations are evil, police officers are evil, the right is evil. Conservatives are so judgmental.

A house a block from my apartment has two signs in the front window. One reads “Hate has No Home Here.” The other reads “Impeach Trump.”

Whirlwind Trip to Colorado, Hillsdale National Leadership Seminar

Last week, RB49 and Hubby flew to Denver for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.  I usually have an aisle seat on an airplane, but this time I had the window seat, and I saw some beautiful scenery below.

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We picked up the rental SUV, and drove south to the city of Colorado Springs, where we found the Broadmoor Resort, a very old, and very beautiful, hotel at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  We barely had time to get settled in our beautiful room, before it was time to attend the President’s Club reception.  Here’s the view from our room.

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At the reception, we met up with some people we already knew from Ricochet, one couple who live in Colorado Springs, and a woman from Texas (yes, Hillsdale has supporters all over this country).  We went in to dinner, and had a very nice meal.  Tuesday’s dinner was Frank Luntz, a well-known pollster, who told us that he became a conservative gradually, while learning about what motivates the people he polled over the years.  His theme was “how to speak about conservatism”, and he emphasized some of the points I have been saying over the years (you can’t convert liberals by arguing with them-you need to appeal to their emotions).  Here’s one of the many slides he showed about better terms to use in your conversations.

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After that dinner, Hubby and I went on a little walking tour of the building.  The Broadmoor has dozens of original paintings and sculptures by Western artists, accumulated over the more than 100-year history of the property.

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In a dimly-lighted lounge, I spotted this cleverly-designed footstool.  Very cute!

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Can you tell that he’s a turtle?

We fell into bed, exhausted from our busy day.  The room was sumptuous by our standards, and very comfortable and quiet, even though it was just across the hall from the elevator.

The next day, after continental breakfast, there were more speakers, including Sharyl Atkisson, a rather famous journalist (whose computer was compromised by Obama stooges), and Mollie Hemingway.  Both ladies had very interesting stories to tell.  Mollie used to be an editor at Ricochet, before she went to The Federalist.

After a nice lunch and one more speaker, the conference adjourned.  We had a bit of time before we had to head back to Denver for our 8:00PM flight, so we went to the hotel bar for a quick drink.  The main building is across a small lake, and I got to capture some of the beauty of the resort on the way over.

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Once we arrived at the hotel bar and ordered our drinks, I had the opportunity to pay more attention to the inside of the bar.  Very beautiful! This picture must have been of some patrons from the Robber Baron days of the late 19th Century.  I didn’t find out who they all were.

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After our nice drink, it was time for us to head home.  As is my normal, I pay attention to architectural detail wherever I am!  Here are some creatures who saw us off from the main entrance.

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We made it back to the airport in time, dropped off the rental car, and boarded our plane.  It was a very rushed trip, but certainly productive. The venue was gorgeous, speakers were fascinating, and our friends warm.  What more could a person ask for?