Hilary Paris at her Graduation from Cal State Long Beach in 2008
Time passes quickly. Just five years ago, I was attending her graduation from California State University at Long Beach. Today, I find she is engaged to be married. Hilary Paris has always done her father and me proud. She is a yoga instructor in the Seattle area, speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese (that was her college major), and is in general an attractive young woman with more poise and good judgment than most of her peers. You can find out more about her from her Yoga Blaze website.
Icelandic Weightlifters in the Rain
I had just spent a couple of hours at Isafjördur’s little Westfjords Folk Museum and started to trudge back to my youth hostel in a drizzle that was progressively growing worse, when all of a sudden I came across a sight that struck me by its incongruousness, especially given the weather. Just outside the tourist information center, several hefty Icelandic men were hoisting over their heads what looked like a hot water heater. Surrounding them were several locals cheering them on and taking pictures. I had never seen weightlifters before working with improvised weights, but I guess it’s all the same thing. After all, we were right by the fishing port, and there were several large scales in evidence that could be used to verify the weight.
Despite my eagerness to get out of the weather, I stuck around for the end of the show. Afterwards, I took several pictures of the contestants. They turned out to be a friendly group and didn’t mind posing for a few snapshots.
One of the things that I love most about travel are the little surprises, such as the time in Merida, Mexico, when there was a brass band concert on the zócalo around six in the morning. Another time, in Guadalajára, there was a parade of Mexican military cadets through the center of town, accompanied by several bands playing marching music. Finally, on a frigid day in London, there were a number of slightly blue fashion models in clad in skimpy bikinis for the opening of some store.
In the end, what remembers most fondly were the things one didn’t plan for, that just unfolded in front of one’s eyes. It is always special to be there on the spot when that happens.