Comments, Poems, and Recommendation

Comments from Bob - A Month of Travel

Travel can broaden and expand the mind and bring new enriching adventures to life. Perhaps, because I was seldom able to travel as a young lad, it has become a passion for me. A good friend of mine has been sending regular updates as he and his wife explore the nooks and crannies of Europe. I must admit a tinge of jealously flares up despite my joy for the wonderful opportunities that they are enjoying. While I did not visit far off lands, the month of May provided me two travel opportunities. The first was to Las Vegas to attend the Hay House I CanDoIt conference. As you will read below, Vegas is not my favorite destination despite its offer of a myriad of sensory experiences. The conference speakers were outstanding, especially Gregg Braden and his discussion of time relativity and the power of the mind. (You will read more about Gregg in a future issue.) What I will remember most about the visit is not the conference or even the gourmet meal described in poem two but the reunion with my friend David and his wife Diana. Over fifteen years have passed since my brother like friend and I have visited. Our schedules somehow miraculously coincided so that we could spend an evening reminiscing, dining, and laughing. As the evening progressed, I again realized how busy we have become with the "unimportant" that allows friendships to wane, but also, how the sparks that may have turned into embers can flame up again if we only allow. At the conclusion of the evening, despite the fact we have been separated by miles and usually talk only once a year around Christmas, the ties of friendship still intrinsically linked us.

Arriving home late on Monday, I prepped for a three-day business trip to Denver that would start on Wednesday. Tim and Sue were the other two members of the team. Our task was to negotiate and build links with two other companies we hoped to partner with. Without boring you with business details, the days were long but ultimately fruitful. The point though is not the business but the fact that I came to know on a personal basis two people I have worked with for several years. Often in the name of efficiency, time management, you name it, we are discouraged in the workplace from socializing or as some say, "wasting time." But as humans it is the personal, the social aspects, that determine who we are. We kid ourselves if we believe we can ignore those human characteristics. Luckily, I work in a company that currently values the humanness of its employees.

In closing, travel this month was not about destinations and sights but served as the tool to allow me to renew old friendships and develop two new ones. As I review my many trips, perhaps that may be one of travel's higher gifts.

What happens in Vegas . . .

Glitz, gaudy, incessant noise
.......from horns and slot machines
.......envelops your personage.
Flashing multicolored images,
.......possessing the latest technology,
.......taunt the visual senses.
Lines of hawkers,
.......mostly from South of the Border,
.......offer cards extolling one-night pleasures –
.......gals or guys direct to your door.
Endless traffic,
.......including gas guzzling Hummers
......sstretched to the obscene,
.......race the Strip at a snail’s pace..
Dazed and numbed faces
.......anesthetized by booze abound
.......equaled by hungering, vacant eyes
.......wishing to live the city’s ad campaign.
Artificial everywhere –
.......Venetian canals,
.......Eiffel tower,
.......The Pyramid –
.......architectural edifices to the unreal.
Fountains, lakes, and abundance of water
.......exist in a desert clime
A multitude of flowers bloom
.......where nothing should grow.
This fantasy city worships the God of Green
.......coming in all denominations
.......including ones, tens, twenties, and hundreds.
Frequent offerings are made to scantily clad dancers
.......or to one-armed machines,
.......most now amputated
.......with buttons in their place.
False promises by a soulless city
.......are the only things freely given.
May what happens in Vegas,
.......stay in Vegas.

Comments: Perhaps, I am being too hard on Las Vegas. But the thoughts above are what emerged during my brief stay. I agree that there are outstanding entertainment venues and magnificent restaurants, the next poem speaks to one of them. Obviously, the city was not my cup of tea. If you happen to live there (I talked briefly with a conferencee who really enjoys life there.) or have a different view, please share with me. I am always interested in listening the other side.

Gourmet Dining is
......................Not for Everyone . . .

“I could have seen the fountain better from across the street.
.......There, the fried rice was only $4.95.”
Those words drift, irritant,
.......from the neighboring table I marvel at the delicate,
.......intricate taste of the hot and sour soup
.......and later savor rich prawns
.......coated with walnuts and uniquely blended spices,
.......all showcased on the finest china.
The expert, courteous service by Z, we banter about the wine selection and food,
.......adds the personal element to this dining event.
Gewürztraminers and Rieslings poured

.......into appropriate crystal goblets
.......elegantly complement each course.
The dessert,
.......the pièce de résistance,
.......prepared by award winning hands,
.......a coconut crepe with passion fruit and tangerine
.......accompanied by Far Niente’s Dolce*,
.......brings closure.
“If only the evening could be prolonged.
.......What would be the perfect ending?”
The Jasmine tea served in
.......a modern stylized teapot uniquely chosen fit the overall classical ambiance
.......allows me to extend the moments longer.
Hmm, I think,
.......She should have visited the restaurant with the $4.95 rice
.......and left me undisturbed to enjoy elegance and quiet,
.......something so rare in our fast-food, fast-paced world.
.......Then we both would have been happy.

Comments: Long time readers know that when I am dining alone I tend to eavesdrop and from the words overheard sometimes come a poem. Beware, remember that the lone diner has not much else to do but listen as he or she appears immersed in the book ...:-) However, in this case I could have been very engrossed in the book and still heard the woman's comment. I think she wanted all to hear. I regret that her experience was not nearly as pleasurable as mine. By the way, this amazing meal was enjoyed at the Jasmine located in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. If you decide to eat there, be sure to ask for Z to be your server.

* For the non-wine drinkers, Far Niente Dolce is a highly complex, prized dessert wine from California.


Jasmine Restaurant located in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas: If you don't mind spending substantially more than $4.95 for fried rice and are looking for a gourmet evening, than consider the Jasmine. An accurate description of the restaurant is provided by its web site. This quote is taken directly from it, "With its sparkling chandeliers, miles of pastel chintz and colorful bursts of flowers, Jasmine is a room built for romance. Chef Philip Lo, an originator of nouvelle Hong Kong cuisine, creates contemporary and classic Cantonese, Szechuan and Hunan dishes, as well as live seafood specialties. Specialties include Maine Lobster Dumplings with Ginger Sauce; Minced Squab in Lettuce Petals; Crystal Florida Stone Crab Claws; Garlic Beef Tenderloin, and Imperial Peking Duck. Surrounded on three sides by gorgeous lake and garden views, Jasmine also features music synchronized to the soaring fountains of Bellagio." Phone – (877) 234-6358

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