3.7.21

A Visit to Chicago, Illinois and a Brief Re-Encounter with a Favorite Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago

In this post, I finish a voyage on Amtrak's Empire Builder route, and stopover in Chicago for a spell where I re-encounter one of my favorite paintings of all time!

Chicago's Millenium Park Near Sunset
Greig Roselli wears a surgical mask while traveling on public transit in Chicago, Illinois
All masked up in Chicago, Illinois
I’m in Chicago for a brief stopover (to visit @artinstitutechi to see my favorite painting, Georges Seurat’s “Sunday on La Grande Jatte”). I’ve been traveling this month — seeing America on the backend of a global virus outbreak that shook the economy, health, and morale of people. 3.97 million people have died worldwide. On the street, people don’t wear masks, and restaurants and shops have signs that read “If you’re fully vaxxed — no mask,” and a woman on my train a couple of mornings ago wore a tee that reads “Vaccinated AF.” In museums and on buses and trains and in the post office — people don their masks. But I had breakfast this morning — and maybe 5 out of 100 people wore face coverings. And lo did I behold a ginormous pump bucket of hand sanitizer.

A Chicago straphanger rides a Red Line train
People seem ready to move and socialize. Bars and clubs have swung open their doors. Streets are closed off for pedestrian use only. Summer is in the air. A young man seated next to me on the train from Seattle tells me it’s the first time he’s left his Lincoln Park neighborhood since February of last year. But the guy is moving out big — bought himself an @amtrak USA rail pass. That ticket gets you ten legs of a 30-day journey for like four hundred bucks. Coach class, only. He grins. And shows me his itinerary. It feels good to share train travel camaraderie. And I start to dream of journeys I have yet to take. Is the Ethan Allen Express to Vermont open? When will the train travel to Canada?


One of the Art Institute's Lions
Checking Out "Sunday Afternoon"
A Red Line train approaches
the station in Chicago.

I’m also worried about @britneyspears, and I hope she and her lawyers can roll back the strictures placed on her by her conservatorship. Leave Britney alone!

Bonus points — name as many Chicago locations as you can find in my post. Go! The winner receives a free digital download about Mythology from @stonesoferasmus

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29.6.21

Feeling Kinda Heated in a Heatwave — A Solo Adventure to Washington State (And How I Was Almost Stuck Without a Ride at a Safeway in Monroe)

In this post, I recount moments in my solo adventure to Washington State during a historic heatwave — a brief stop in Seattle, and how I managed to get back to my hotel in Skykomish (after missing the last bus). Read on, readers!
Greig Roselli feels heated during the Summer 2021 heatwave in Seattle.
Feeling heated in Seattle

The theme of my post is weariness. I hiked, and I walked, and I explored random parts of Seattle. Do you see the face of Greig? He’s bone-weary.

I’m not used to such locomotion. But I feel like the photographs capture the mood of the day — sultry, hot, relentless. A boy on the bus this morning played a Schecter electric guitar. And then told me a rational argument for gun ownership (although privately, I think to myself I’d never owned a firearm).

Evening in the Pacific Northwest with a wild flower bed on a patch of grass in a residential neighborhood..
A Glorious Patch of Wild Flowers
Seattle is beautiful. I shop for groceries in the Safeway in Monroe. I miss my bus to Gold Bar — and thus miss my subsequent connection to Skykomish. It’s 10 p.m., and I’m stuck on a hot evening somewhere near Highway 2. In front of the Safeway, a gentleman has a long conversation with another guy — he looks like a professional hiker. I ask them for a ride to Skykomish. I’m lucky because one of the men lives in Sultan. And I’m given a ride back to my motel in the mountains.

At night the stars beam, and I feel restless. I consider the prospect of living in a rural area like the mountains of Washington State — “Fun to visit. But I prefer New York.” I gather my things in the motel room — today, I board the train again.


Early Evening
Early Evening in the Suburbs
   I take a photo of an empty bus stop near Everett Washington
Bus Stop Near Everett














Where do you think I’m going next?

28.6.21

When You’re at a Crossroads: Take It from Me, It’s Okay to Feel Lost (Notes from the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest)

In this post, a high school English teacher gets lost in the forest of northwest Washington.
I am stuck at a crossroads — which way to go? Following the course of the Foss River in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, I’m allowed to be lost, a wanderer. I’m happy I found a rock to sit on so I can gather my thoughts, drink some water (from the mountain creek, of course). If you don’t hear from me, it means I’ve taken up residence in the forest. I’ll come out when I’m dang ready.
Foss River
The Foss River

27.6.21

That Weekend I Stayed in a Small Mountain Town in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (along the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State)

In this post, I write about why fantasy for the rustic life is really a sham. I'm not made for the mountains. But I liked my visit to Skykomish, Washington.

Greig Roselli
"Sheeeeeeshhhhh!"
The Amtrak Empire Builder Passes Through Skykomish, Washington
The Empire Builder 
passes through
Skykomish
I found a rock to sit on to do some writing. When you arrive in Skykomish, Washington — you're in the middle of the Cascades Mountains. Because a railroad tycoon by the name of Stevens, built a railroad from Spokane to the Puget Sound — the place is smack dab in the middle of train history U.S.A.
Crotchet Fishbowl in Skykomish, Washington
Fishbowl

By the 1890s, the United States had already built a few transcontinental railroads — thanks to the unsung contribution of cheap Chinese labor — which the government tried to put a stop to with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Even though Washington D.C. put a smackdown on immigration from Asia, the economy begged to open more portals to the West. A direct train route to Puget Sound. Open more trans-Pacific trade. But a train through the Cascades would prove to be a more difficult challenge. The mountains are a formidable presence — up to about 4,000 feet above sea level, which for a Louisiana boy, is a lot. I'm breathing air at high altitudes, refilling my bottle with water from the Foss River. 

Greig Roselli hikes along an interpretative nature trail near the Maloney Creek in Skykomish, Washington.
Shoes Made for Walking?
Loving being outdoors — but dang, it's uncharacteristically hot today — the high is 90 ° F. Even the people who live here say that’s hot. Sitting by the river — I don't jump in, but I feel the coolness of the rock, and the water is ice cold to the touch. 

What’s your favorite picture that I took?

Rock outcropping over the Foss River

Foss River in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Great Northern Railway Coffee Cup

Click Here to Read Part III

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22.6.21

All Aboard! The Capitol Limited is an Overnight Train between Washington, D.C. and Chicago (And Where I Hung Out with Mennonites)

In this post, I wax lyrical about the joys of long distance train travel via Amtrak. Also, I’ve started a travel log of sorts.

All who wander are not lost. If you know me you probably know I like to travel by train. It's been a bucket 🪣 list of mine to traverse the United States on every @amtrak route in the United States. 


So far, I've relegated train travel to the South and North East regions. But, hey. Now that the country is opening up a bit more after a year or more of Covid-19 restrictions, I'm venturing West — along with the Capitol Limited, to Chicago — and stay tuned; later this week, I'm boarding the scenic Empire Builder train. Yay.

And of course, I've already met some fabulous folk. Lonnie is traveling from West Virginia after spending time “with his woman,” and Burke is a college student studying Chemistry. And it appears, this morning, I've just run into a gaggle of giggling Mennonite women just outside of Toledo, Ohio. 

What should I do for my four-hour layover in Chicago? See y'all real soon, boo. Sprinkles!

Toledo, Ohio
Some Mennonite Women

31.5.21

Travel Diary #34598: On A Memorial Day in Oyster Bay, Nassau County on a Wet, Rainy, Cusp-of-Summer Afternoon


In this post, I recount a Memorial Day weekend outing to Oyster Bay.
It’s Memorial Day, y’all. Do you think of history when you think of Long Island? Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt, the 
26th president of the United States, was a New Yorker — and he had a Summer home in Long Island? It’s a beautiful area. And you can climb up a hill and see where he’s buried (and get a nice view of Long Island Sound). 


And we hung out in a nature preserve. OMG. I felt like a kid. Going down random trails. Even though it was rainy, it was glorious. And I cooked a whole chicken and watched Dangerous Liaisons on HBO Max — the one with Glenn Close and John Malkovich as conniving ex-lovers in nineteenth-century France. It was a fun diversion. 

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3.5.21

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! (And How to Download a FREEBIE from TpT)

Hi, Friends, and Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Share the Love

I know. I wrote that subject line with a lot of pride! But it's true. You guys buy stuff from my store because you must really love what I do with educational downloads. And that's the beauty of TpT. There are thousands of sellers on this site, and a part of you chose me. AWWWWWWW.

FREEBIE Creation Myth Individual Lesson Plan

Greek Mythology Series: The Orphic and Homeric Creation Myths
Access this Freebie on TpT

Get this freebie from my store -- it is now the featured free content I am showcasing. So download. And drop a like if you thought it was awesome. I created a lesson plan to teach Greek Creation myths. I hope you like it!

100+ Products and Counting

I recently topped over a hundred digital downloads on the Stones of Erasmus store. I am uber-proud and uber-excited to get more stuff rolled out soon. Currently, I am exhausting my creative output on Mythology.

Teaching Resources Based on Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

I am also making products related to Ibram Kendi's amazing book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You  a Young Adult non-fiction remix with author Jason Reynolds. So check that out, too!

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You — A Suite of Teaching Tools
A toolbox for Teachers to Use with Stamped

Love, Peace, and Harmony 

Greig from Stones of Erasmus

stonesoferasmus.com

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