One Compass Attractions


Organizing files the other day, I realized that I’ve not written about perhaps 20% of the places Ruth and I have been to.  Not every destination when we travel is as interesting as it sounds. Many would not yield good stories so the stuff I gathered collects dust.  Below are some examples.

Earlier this year we went to the Annenberg Space for Photography on the Avenue of the Stars in Los Angeles.  Parking was difficult, it took us a long time to find it among a bunch of new office towers, and the current temporary show, a collection of photos, was of no interest to either Ruth or me.  “Generation Wealth”, the photo show, has since closed.   It was free but the parking was expensive and the subject seemed to be mostly LA lifestyles with photos of cosmetic surgery, celebrities-in-their-own-minds, etc.  The museum’s calendar said it might be called “Keeping up with Kardashians”.  We bolted.


There are now 4 Tate Museums in England.  One of them is in the too popular Cornwall town of St. Ives.   It’s large, popular with families, and everything on display when we were there seemed similar.  Then we learned that a new extended gallery would open in October, 2017, doubling this Tate’s exhibition space. We didn’t linger.

We live in Vancouver, Washington.  I feel guilty that I haven’t written about it as a travel destination. Working for the local newspaper, I gathered lots of stuff about its rather meager attractions that wouldn’t exactly enchant outsiders.  When friends or family visited, Ruth and I would dutifully show them our tiny aviation museum, historic Fort Vancouver, and this city’s best attraction, Officers Row; but there wasn’t much else.  Our downtown is, at best, ordinary.  Local media touts Vancouver as “The Northwest’s next ‘IT’ attraction, but this never seems to happen despite grand riverfront proposals.   My files grow.

In The Midwest at the beginning of the conflict between Russian and Ukraine, we went to Chicago’s Ukrainian National Museum.  It was a charged, emotional, fascinating visit because this city has become home to 100,000 Ukrainians.  We spoke to a woman who has a local radio show featuring news about her country of origin.  She couldn’t stop crying as she told us about what was happening there.  We went back recently.  The very young woman we spoke to was either new at the job or an indifferent volunteer.   We learned nothing of interest.

The only display of interest at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria was about Emily Carr, who is considered Canada’s best artist.  Eccentric Emily painted mostly trees and totem poles.  We like Emily Carr, who is not well-known south of the Canadian border.  Another exhibit was temporary and about Anna Banana called “45 years of Fooling Around with A. Banana”.  We didn’t linger.

On our last major trip, we went to the Columbia Museum of Art.  Their permanent galleries were closed for renovation and the only exhibit was called “Henri Matisse:  Jazz & Poetry on Paper” which didn’t appeal to us.

Not all travel is 5 Compass fun.


This covered bridge is another typical Vancouver area attraction.

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

One response to “One Compass Attractions

  • Anonymous

    Note that Vancouver was recently chosen as the “hippest” town in the United States. Tacoma was 5 or 6.
    Jim H

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