Street Performance… it’s a living.

Street performers add an element to the tourist environment that sometimes defies historical significance of location, but they do add sparkle. I especially enjoy musicians that add their artistry to soften the harsh sounds of daily reality on the streets, subway stations, etc.

Santiago, Spain

Santiago, Spain

Santiago, Spain

Segovia, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Chicago, Illinois subway platform

Downtown Chicago, Illinois

Downtown Chicago, Illinois


Santiago, Spain with a boot to collect donations.

Homeless not helpless

Sometimes it’s easy to walk by because we know we can’t change someone’s whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.”
Mike Yankoski

Netflix recently added the documentary Tent City, USA to its selection list and I happened to watch it.  Very interesting take on the homeless people living in this temporary community in Nashville, Tennessee. A major flood forced them out of Tent City and they had to scramble to find a new place to live.  Interesting that the group enforced rules of behavior to allow residents to stay in the community. It appeared that they had developed their own support system by looking out for each other and helping provide whatever they could to aid and assist their neighbors without judgement.  They all were cognizant of the fact that most were there due to poor decisions made in the past along with lack of employment, but remained hopeful to move forward toward a better life.

My only question is how any of them were able to purchase cigarettes and why would you smoke in front of the camera. It certainly didn’t help their cause. Other than that it was a very informative documentary showing the homeless as real people with skills, abilities and compassion for other human beings.

Homelessness is not unique to the United States:

spain2013blog-1030064  Madrid, Spain

spain2013blog-1030201Madrid, Spain

Chicago-1050681Chicago, Illinois



Living on the subway, Chicago, Illinois

How to experience nature and history near Chicago’s O’hare Airport

Looking for a hiking, exploring experience near Chicago’s O’hare Airport?  About ten miles from the airport you can find Schaumburg Park  which is an interesting and free nature center that is open to the public.  It is located at 1111 E Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, Illinois which is about ten miles from O’hare Airport.

Chicago-1050451dmvpopWe wander down the path to find a pond with lily pads lounging in the still water.

Chicago-1050453dmvInformation plaques are located throughout the park to educate us.


Spring Valley Volkening Heritage farm info gives a glimpse into life on a farm in this region of Illinois in the 19th century.  They host living history events from April 1 to October 31.  These events involve a recreation of activities on a 19th century farm. The August calendar of events included laundry, rural cooking, barn chores, German sweets and coffee time, bread making and historic gardening.
Chicago-1050487plhpThis colorful rooster roams the farmyard.

Chicago-1050473plThe chickens are too fast for a 21 month old.

Chicago-1050471plRandy found new friends in the pig yard.  These friendly critters remind him of doing pig chores during his days as a kid growing up on a farm.

Chicago-1050462dmvcrThe sign does not deter Randy as he has determined that these are friendly pigs that enjoy a little scratching and petting.  At least he didn’t feed them.

Chicago-1050498plhpBeautiful flowers line the walking path along the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary located in the park.

Chicago-1050502pophpcrInsects are buzzing and enjoying the flowers, as well.

Chicago-1050446fp20pop50dmvNicely paved walking paths wind through the nature area and farm and Rachel uses a walking stick just like Grandpa.


The beauty of taking a walk is the simplicity.  No fancy equipment required since comfortable shoes, curiosity and an appreciation of nature is good enough.