March 16th, 2016

storyteller doll

Post-vacation Catch-up

Celebrity Death Watch: Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most over-rated novels of all time. Umberto Eco wrote better books. Pat Conroy wrote trashier books, but had no pretenses to anything more important.

Charlie Tuna was a radio personality in Los Angeles. Yolande Fox was once Miss America. Sir Peter Kenilorea was a former Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands. Nancy Reagan was first lady. Ted Szilva created the Big Nickel in Canada.

Road Show: Before I left, I went to see Road Show at Signature Theatre. This is the most recent reworking of the Sondheim musical previously titled Bounce. It’s been cut quite a bit and is definitely tighter. In this production, most of the music was performed by a lone piano, with various actors filling in on instruments here and there. The book and lyrics remain witty and the music is enjoyable. Overall, I liked the show (which I saw two different productions of in its previous incarnation). But I still dislike the ending, which sees the Mizner brothers reencountering one another after death.

Vacation Summary:
Flew to Brisbane, Australia.

Flew to Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Boarded Silver Discoverer for eclipse cruise.

A couple of stops on other islands in the Solomons, for a mixture of cultural presentations and snorkeling.

Stopped in Rabaul, Paua New Guinea for a fire dance (night time) and tour of Rabaul (volcano research center, Japanese boat tunnels, pig dance, museum, Queen Emma’s steps, market).

Stopped on Tatau, PNG for a ceremony and tour of village.

Could not enter Nukuoru Atoll due to high seas.

Stopped in Kolonia, Pohnpei for tour to Nan Madol archaeological site.

Could not enter Oroluk Atoll due to high seas.

Visited Chuuk Lagoon.

Saw my third total solar eclipse.

Because of weather, we had gone further north than originally planned, so could not visit Satawal Island.

We did go to Yap and dock at Colonia and took a tour, which included lots of giant stone money.

Ended up in Koror, Palau. I took cultural tour, which included stone monoliths on Babeldaop. Also included a visit to a waterfall by what was optimistically called a monorail. No Disney vehicle, but, rather, a bunch of seats bolted onto a platform and run by a lawnmower engine.

Flew home from Palau, via Guam, Honolulu, and Newark.

I expect to be jetlagged for at least a week.