Because of the global pandemic, Ruth & I have not traveled since last March. After joining a discussion of a fellow travel blogger whose specialty is Asia and learning that he is running out of ideas, I got to thinking about our final year of experiences before travel became impossible. It was a rich year from March 2019 to March 2020. I decided to write today about 5 vivid things we saw before the unprecedented months of only experiencing our familiar home began. My only rule was that the objects had to be things I had not previously shown.
Before our door closed for 9 months, we went to Texas twice. In fact, our travel year began and ended there. Our only extended international trip during that year was to England. One of our last trips of 2019 was to nearby Canada, which is now unvisitable due to a closed border. England proved to be an especially wonderful exploration of familiar London and unfamiliar York. We went to Wales for the first time on this trip and really liked both Cardiff and Swansea. We want to go back and learn much more about Wales’ unique culture. During the year before COVID, we also made it to upstate New York and several unfamiliar towns in Pennsylvania. We traveled to Phoenix and saw some less visited destinations in California like Fresno and Bakersfield. However, my favorite destination of this year was Canada’s Gulf Islands. Below are 5 objects of wonder that we saw in the year before we could not see anything that wasn’t already ours.
We saw the Kabinettschrank in The Getty complex. Los Angeles was the only California city we visited in 2019. This cabinet was among the items The Getty bought during 2019. Thanks to a very rich endowment, this museum above LA that almost lost some of its property in a wildfire during this year’s summer, had this 16th century cabinet of curiosities on display. People 500 years ago had them to show some of their unusual possessions. The Getty bought this one intact. The Meux House in Fresno was celebrating Christmas when we were there. The most interesting object in this house to me was a 19th century fire extinguisher. We saw an exhibit in Phoenix called “Legends of Speed”. It partially celebrated the success of the film Ford V Ferrari and displayed some of the cars used in it in addition to having several special cars from the Rob and Meloni Walton Collection. Bill Reid was a half-native jewelry designer and goldsmith who opened a museum in Vancouver, BC to display some of his works. It was sensational as was the Lucy and Desi museum in Jamestown, New York, her hometown.