Seven Sisters Waterfalls in the Fjordlands of Norway

One morning, early for a musician, my cabin phone rang a few years ago and it was my buddy DJ JT. He’s been cruising for several years now and has “been there done that” just about everywhere on the globe. When you’re on a ship and JT calls with an idea to do something, you get up and just go. No questions asked.


Our trip up the Northwestern coast of Norway was just one of those situations. JT had been there and knew of some of the best things to see and do along the way. In a cruise ship environment, often times it’s the crew around you that make or break an entire contract, not just one day.

When JT called, I could still hear the engines and thrusters going and I really didn’t know why I needed to race up to the open deck. But I put on a warm sweater, my name tags and trainers and ran up to deck 17 to see what all the fuss was about.


The ship was sailing down a somewhat narrow channel between two very large cliffs. There was a fine mist and a light fog all about us. On the shore you could see a tiny bright yellow cottage standing all alone against the cliffs and the shores. Breathtaking. JT grabbed my by the shoulders and said, I’m not showing you that little house. Look over there, and he spun me around just as the ship was nearing these gushing roaring waterfalls. It was the Seven Sisters… called such because there are seven tightly woven paths that each of these waterfalls followed down the cliffs to meet the fjord below. As the ship got closer, I could feel their icy mist hitting me in the face, coating my sunglasses in a dense thick mist.


We walked miles circlingf deck 17 many times taking in the natural beauty of the falls and fjords. (In general walking around a Princess cruises ship 1.5-2.5 times, it’s a mile.)

Norway really is a nature lovers paradase. The entire country is interlinked with hiking and biking trails, different rail lines that take you out into the far reaches of their country.

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Garbage bin geese


A random day walking on Bell Isle Park in Detroit Michigan. From the overall view, it’s beautiful. However, people help create ugly, beautiful things like the garbage bin geese image. It’s like a where’s Waldo of trash. A flock of Canadian geese swimming in the river. They are so near the trash on the ground. But the irony is it’s only inches from the bright blue bin where the people can so obviously be responsible and THROW IT AWAY.

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One St Patrick’s Day in Dublin

O'Neill's Carvery Menu Dublin Ireland Travel Food

Did I ever tell you the story about Jake, myself and comedian Tom Briscoe in Dublin on Saint Patty’s Day? Well if you can imagine two rockers and the king of getting fired from jobs comedy ripping up the secret speakeasies, rocking out at the hidden gems in Temple Bar and drinking a bunch of Guinness and all the Irish coffees Ireland has to offer… You’ve got a great start for the day and be about 1/2 right.

Buy Lonely Planet Ireland Trave Guide

Lonely Planet Ireland Travel Guide is an Excellent Travel Resource

A couple of years ago while we were touring the British Isles, we were fortunate enough to land in Dublin right on the blessed day. What’s funny is in Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day it’s sort of just another day, everyone celebrates but there’s no 10 AM drinking silliness with leprechauns and parades. (Don’t get me wrong we found plenty of tourists in Dublin willing to live up to that side of St. Patty’s Day!)

We started the day on the second floor of Mr. Briscoe’s favorite Dublin pub, O’Neill’s, which happens to be in the heart of Dublin right near to Trinity College. O’Neill’s offers a carvery… It’s like going to Sunday Dinner, Christmas, New Years Eve, American Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl all in one lovely homey pub. They offer am amazing selection of meats and fish for you to choose from along with tons of traditional sides. Trust me, come hungry and plan on leaving extra full.

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Excellent Reference for UNESCO World Heritage Sites

After we filled our bellies, we wandered over to the Temple Bar neighborhood. Note: there is an establishment called “Temple Bar Pub” and the name also refers to the neighborhood surrounding the bar. Temple Bar has music pretty much 7 days a week. If you didn’t hear music in the streets, check out the many different bars for local artists performing both traditional Irish music as well as modern pop covers.

 

 

Many famous authors and artists hail from Dublin. It is and was a literary mecca for writers. Some very famous and classic authors hail from the fabulous city on the Liffey River like:

James Joyce, Ulysses

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Bram Stoker, Dracula

and of course Johnathan Swift, Gullivers Travels

Other artists that also hail from Dublin like U2, Bono, Sinead O’Connor all create a bit of tension when spoken about in the local pubs as people are very opinionate about their outspoken political and religious views.

 

If you get a chance to visit Northern Ireland, near Belfast, you absolutely must take the journey up the Antrim Coast to the Giants Causeway and learn about Finn & all the other folk lore associated with the hexigonical stone way. It’s an amazing sight of wonder and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We’ve written about Ireland a few other times. You can check out those articles here.

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Unicorns, Rainbows & Songs with Meaning

The other night I watched a grown man ride and LED lit unicorn through a crowd of screaming fans. Then they proceeded to blow up a giant rainbow on the stage. And the next he was in a giant clear ball singing while crawling across the crowd to a platform set up in the middle of the room.

The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Album on Amazon

Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of the flaming lips, has a special spirit about him and a way to control and excite people that is rare in performers today. You know from the minute he takes the stage, sometimes well before showtime or the band is even scheduled to start, that you’re in for a very very fun event.

 Flaming Lips album, Oczy Mlody

The most recent Flaming Lips album, Oczy Mlody for sale on Amazon


Before the show, we sat at the Iron Horse and chatted with a young man from Cincinnati. He didn’t realize that there was so much fun stuff going on in the Detroit area and had never really been to bustling downtown Royal Oak.  Like I said in my earlier article, most people don’t even realize that there’s so much great stuff going on here in the Detroit area. Even with the national coverage from the New York Times, we are still fighting all the stigmas to this day.

I love the fact that there are so many entertainment and dining options in our neighborhood. I think it’s super cool that national and international acts perform right here in town. There are also places where our local talent is featured nightly. Our arts community is vibrant and welcoming. Just like how I feel at a Flaming Lips show, like there’s something bigger, greater, more out there that I am apart of.

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