As Partner and I make final preparations for our trip to Spain in mid-June, I was piddling around this afternoon and, experiencing a surge of nostalgia, I decided to review some photos of another trip that I call The Grand Tour. (This is a reference to a past tradition of monied people who, from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s, would travel about Europe for a year or so, because they could, being monied.) We only took two weeks, because we aren’t trust fund kids and four of us still had jobs that didn’t just let one go on a lark for a year.
Still, we crammed a lot into those two weeks, and as I clicked and smiled my way through the photo archives of that adventure, I realized that I hadn’t really shared many of the snaps and stories from that time. I’m not sure why, as the romp easily contends for top billing in my personal list of “best things I’ve ever done”. (Perhaps I didn’t want to possibly tarnish the glow of my memories? This can happen, sometimes, when one reflects on past reflections. Digging too deeply can lead to forgotten stones in the hallowed ground.)
To be fair, I did pontificate rather profusely about The Grand Tour in a piece called “Goodbyes and Hellos”, found here. I’ve shared it a few times before, so please forgive my redundancy if you’ve grown weary of going down that path. But that piece remains one of my personal favorites, for various reasons (mark this down, should you hope to fare well in the next round of Bonnywood Manor trivia, because you know there will be one). On the morning I wrote that, there were no stones and the soil was rich with nutrients and, frankly, everything I’ve written since then has been based on the hope I felt that day.
So, full circle, in the lead-up to our departure for Spain, I plan to release little snippets of The Grand Tour for your perusal. I don’t know where it’s going to take me or how much fidelity I will have with a concept that seems like an exceedingly swell idea at the moment but may not play out in the manner imagined. (Bonnywood Manor is littered with the carcasses of short-lived ideas, truth be told.) We shall see.
For this first entry, I’m starting on a rather low key. The above photo is a snap from a flower market in Amsterdam. As is obvious, I had brought along a fancy new Fuji camera that had more filter options than Oklahoma has Democrats. But I like the focus of the color, the pop. It symbolizes the sharp intensity of so many exhilarating moments we had on The Grand Tour, some much more dramatic than this, of course. Really, though, isn’t life all about the colors you see at any given moment?
Fair warning: There will be more use of the Fuji filters as we stumble along.