Archive | Travel


On the Road Out West Part 1

We just completed the first 11 days of our tour which includes 3,000 miles with 8 gigs in 6 states. We played for 3 milongas, in 4 cafes and 1 church performance. Our tour has been of course masterminded my Andy, who drives and also keeps close tabs on the finances. We are also travelling […]

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Rustic Thanksgiving

Rustic Thanksgiving Recipes MENU Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes, Cranberries Day before Pick up fresh turkey from Rakowski farms. Rinse turkey, then salt.  Separate wings from the rest of the turkey. Wrap body and wings separately in plastic. Make Cranberry sauce with 2 lbs fresh local cranberries, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. Put all ingredients in pan and boil until berries pop. Sweeten […]

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Composing in Cabrales

This last week we stayed in the Picos de Europa national park in Cabrales, a county in Asturias Spain. If you have heard of Cabrales it is probably an association with the super stinky cheese from Spain. This famous “queso de cabrales” is a raw milk blue that is aged for three-six months in one of the […]

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The Hills Are Alive

On our way to Milan we stopped for a couple day breather in the Austrian Alps.  Andy found us a sweet place for 40 euros a night in a tiny, tiny town called Mallnitz that is in the center of Hohe Tauren National Park. The best things about arriving here was the amazing train access that […]

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Vienna Gigs

We played a couple of gigs this week in Vienna. It was interesting to perform in and see the place that is talked about so much in music history. We were in the same place that Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Mahler, Schoenberg and so many other great composers and performers had worked and lived. Although we didn’t have […]

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der Mosel

Andrew and I spent a week in the Mosel Valley, a wine region in western Germany famous for its Riesling. The Trockenbeerenauslese (botrytis dried, hand selected, late harvest) wines from this region go for thousands of dollars in auctions. These are some of the “biggest” white wines in the world, but you hardly see them locally. People around here and in […]

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Practice Day Berlin

We arrived in Berlin a few days ago and today we spent the day in the park practicing for our gig here. Berlin’s parks rock…along with the coffee, art and music scene, delicious affordable food and of course the hearty German breakfasts. We are having an amazingly good time doing practically nothing!

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20 Hours in Copenhagen

On our way from Stockholm to Berlin we made a short stop in Copenhagen to play a gig at Cafe Retro, a volunteer run non-profit coffee house/bar. Besides the nice atmosphere and people, the cafe brings some good karma as it donates all of its profits to a women’s sewing school in Sierra Leone. At […]

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Guinée West Africa

These photos are from a 10 day journey I made to Guinée where I chaperoned for and participated in an Aquinas College cultural exchange trip. In between Senegal, Sierra Leon, Liberia and Mali, Guinée is a country the size of Oregon on the west coast of Africa and is in the top ten of the world’s […]

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Happy Llama

Goofing Off in Idaho

We spent the weekend with my parents and their friends llama trekking through Idaho’s public land. 6 people, 7 llamas, 2 dogs, and 2 dutch ovens! We camped at a lake around 8100 feet. Bristlecone pines and lupine guarded the whole area. For the food, I cooked jalapeno corn bread and my dad’s friend Ken […]

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Skiing Down

Stehekin Composing Residency

We just returned from a two week composing residency in Stehekin, Washington, a town at the end of 55 mile Lake Chelan in the North Cascade National Park. A park ranger named Mark Sherer invited us to come reside at his place, write/play music, and enjoy the Cascades. Stehekin is a Native American word that […]

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Cabeceo is Coming

Buenos Aires Living

We’ve stayed a week now in the Almagro/Abasto neighborhood of Buenos Aires which was originally the city center for wholesale fruits and vegetables.  The tango house where we are staying called La Maleva is a few blocks from the Abasto Shopping mall, which is the neighborhood where Carlos Gardel grew up. This area  is also […]

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Bikes and Wines

Andy and I spent the last week riding bikes to wineries in Maipú, a subregion of Mendoza, Argentina. In the neighborhood where we stayed called Coquimbito, many of the wineries are over 100 years old and still have 60-80 year old vines. The wine tourism though has only developed in the past 5 years, making […]

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Open for Business

Trekking In Patagonia

We decided to start off our first trip to Argentina “Carmen and Andy style” with a few days of trekking in southern Patagonia! After riding on five planes, 2 taxis, a van, and a bus we arrived 7,000 miles from Grand Rapids, MI in El Chaltén, a tiny town at the 49th parallel nestled just […]

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Jordan River Valley Excursion

This month, we decided to take a break from the city with a journey to Michigan’s Jordan River, an 80% spring fed waterway that was the first to be Federally designated as a “wild and scenic” river in Michigan . The river valley is a 160 mile drive straight north of Grand Rapids, so it […]

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Nordhouse Dunes

A few weekends ago we backpacked at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area in Northern Michigan with our friends Avik and Bridget. Besides the amazing weather, exercise and relaxation, we ate Andy’s coconut milk goat curry with couscous, a dish that would have been amazing at home but was even better on the beach. Recipe follows…. […]

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Alaska Tour Stats

32 days, 31 nights (16 in Canada, 15 in the U.S) 8,671 driving miles (Andy,8561; Carmen, 110; Dad, 0) 140 hours in the car 100 miles driven on dirt roads 60 miles driven on “roller coaster” permafrost damaged pavement 29 gas fill ups (we made around 30 MPG in our station wagon) 12 states and […]

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Off the Road in Tok

The town name Tok is reason enough for musicians to plan a visit; combine that with passionate and caring organizers and it makes for an awesome tour stop. In Tok we gave a tango class and a house concert at the Off the Road House, a Bed and Breakfast down a series of dirt roads […]

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Not A Bad View Eh

We drove to a spectacular park in the southwest Yukon today called Kluane (Kloo-WA-nee). It contains Canada’s highest and the world’s largest non-polar alpine ice field in the world. Kluane is also part of a chain of parks in Alaska, Yukon, and B.C. that make up the world’s single largest internationally protected area. In the […]

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