Hidden Gems

    • Anonymous
      April 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm

      Dear Friends:

      Is there something that just not a whole lot of people know about, but you think is really good? This thread is a place to tell us about something you enjoy that is off the beaten path. It could be a favorite vacation spot, a favorite food, a television show, a movie, or some music that has been lurking below the publics radar. Tell us what it is and why you think it is good.

      I’ll start if you don’t mind.

      I bought a CD by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova called The Swell Season which is really good. This CD has the song ‘Falling Slowly’ which won an Oscar for best song in the movie “Once”. Glen’s voice is deep and rich and reminds me of Cat Steven’s early work. The songs are simple and well crafted. The band consists of a guitarist, a pianist, a violinist and a celloist. There are no drums or electronics and it has a bit of an Irish folk feel. If your feeling in a mellow mood, this is a good listen.

    • Anonymous
      April 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm

      Lee, the CD sounds interesting and is my kind of music. I will need to look for that.

      My gem is the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan, Canada. People think SK is a flat prairie province but there is so much to see and do here. You can visit the Qu’Appelle Valley, head west and see the bad lands, or head north to the forests and quiet lakes and islands. Many people love to head north to fish in some of the best fishing lakes around. In the summer, we have some of the best displays of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) that you could ever hope to see. Last fall, we were coming home from a hockey game. We live on a farm away from bright city lights. The Northern lights were so beautiful, that we pulled the car over and just sat there and watched them as they danced across the prairie skies. Ken, you need to head this way with your camera….I would love to see what you could do with photos of the Northern Lights.

    • Anonymous
      April 17, 2008 at 2:15 am

      A gem for me is the creative minds that put together some of the emails using power point presentations in very creative ways!

    • Anonymous
      April 17, 2008 at 11:50 pm

      Our family has a small rural vacation home in a place called Underburg in the Drakensburg in South Africa,when I return to visit my family I cant wait to do this …..

      Between 10 and 12 at night, when it is cold out, we wrap ourselves in blankets and go and lay on the grass with everything in darkness. If you look up at the sky the view is amazing! Because we are hundreds of miles away from any big towns or cities, the stars and brilliantly blazing and there are billions visible, [B][I]but the best thing is looking up at the Milky Way[/I][/B]. We lay in silence, with maybe a comment here or there just staring at the wonder of it all. I have no particular knowledge of stars or anything like that, but it it is one of the most AWSOME things i have ever seen.

    • Anonymous
      April 18, 2008 at 5:12 am

      I’ll vote with Ali on that one – way back when I was in the Peace Corps we used to do the same thing – take our blankets out to the desert in Botswana and just stare at the stars – it’s completely amazing how many more you can see without light pollution. I’ve never seen so many shooting stars. 🙂 Thanks for the pleasant reminder Ali!

    • Anonymous
      April 18, 2008 at 10:50 am


      Thanks for that reminder, as well. Growing up, we would go to my grandmother farm in Idaho near the Canadian border. The farm was in a valley surrounded by huge mountains. The Milky Way was so bright with stars it looked like you could walk across it. It was just stunning. Now, I occasionally take trips to the high desert in Eastern Oregon with a telescope and really see some wonders. If you have never seen the swirling clouds of Jupiter, the valleys and volcanoes on Mars, or the rings of Saturn with your own eyes then you really should make the effort.


    • Anonymous
      April 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm

      An unexpected phone call today from a friend just around the coroner made my day.