Saturday, March 4, 2023



Salvador Dali, born May 1904, is one of the most innovative, provocative artist to ever paint a canvas or weld a sculpture. His name at birth was actually Salvador Dimingo Felip Jacinto Dali Domenech. To say he was a surrealist would be a preposterous understatement. His work is considered by most art critics to be the most striking art of the surrealist movement with amazing technical skill and bizarre images.

And, during our three-week trip to the beautiful and art filled country of Spain, our kids joined us for a week of laughter, great food and amazing sightseeing. While in Barcelona, we saw many architectural wonders and great art in this beautiful city.
And of course - the food. Tapas is the only way to enjoy delicioso chow in this art filled country. 

One morning, we all piled in the car and drove the roughly two hours to see the Dali Musem Theatre and the Dali House - Portilligot. With five of us in the car, we had plenty to discuss on the road. LOL!

It's virtually impossible to explain and  
show the diversity and amazing work produced by Dali. You really must be there, in person, to experience all of its vivid, often bizarre colors, angles and other surreal images and physical artworks. One of the most surreal pieces is known as the Rain Car. The vintage car of the forties is always wet inside due to the never-ending rain. Ok. Yes, it's weird, but also provocative. According to the experts, Dali was enamored of his first automobile, a 1941 Cadillac, his entire art filled life.

According to the Dali Universe, a website completely devoted to the history and display of Dali's works online, he first created the Rain Taxi in 1938. Here is a partial quote from 
Dali Universe:

"According to Robert Descharnes, Dalí’s personal secretary, General Motors of America had asked Dalí to create a new model for a car they planned on producing; it would be called Cadillac de Gala. Dalí made a sketch and sent it to the company, he heard nothing back. Much to his surprise, the following year General Motors produced a new model called the Cadillac de Gala.  Dalí, never one to be hoodwinked, demanded $10,000  compensation else he would begin a lawsuit. General Motors sent him a cheque for the same amount the very next day!

Rainy Taxi (1938), Dalí’s famous art installation first premiered at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris, part of the‘ Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme,’ organized by André Breton and Paul Éluard. Two mannequins sit in a taxi which has a water system integrated, so that it appears, bizarrely, to rain inside the car.

The Cadillac that Gala used to drive, which the couple drove from coast to coast during their stay in the United States is now on display at the Museo Teatro at Figueras, it is a replica of the original Rainy Taxi installation."

So - let me encourage all Vagabonds, if you have never been to Spain, just get up and go! In Barcelona you will see one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Spanish Architect Antonio Gaudi, who managed the design and construction of Sagrada Familia from 1882 until his death in 1926. This magnificent church is still not finished. However, visiting this architectural marvel is an amazing venture for any Vagabond. It is projected to be complete in 2026. Then, after enjoying a tour of this edifice head to one of the hundreds of Tapas Restaurant/Bars for some great food. For more blog posts for other places, hotels and sights just enter SPAIN in the GO AHEAD ASK BOX on my Travel Blog thenomadarchitect.

If you can't get to Spain just now, just jump in the car and venture down to Saint Petersburg to see the largest collection of Dali Works in the world, except for his home in Spain. We lived in St. Pete for five years and visited the Dali many times. His work is now displayed in a seriously modern and fantastical museum - The Dali St. Pete. If you want to read my post on this amazing building and collection, then check out - Nomad Architect - Dal

Please accept my regalo to all my Vagabonds, Wanderers, Travelers, Lovers and Friends for this soon coming Spring to enjoy life and go somewhere.



And just to get you in the mood here is a very cool little ditty from the great Texas Troubadour Lyle Lovett and His Large Band - That's Right You're No from Texas!

‘The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.’ – Christopher Columbus

Thursday, February 23, 2023


Well - we haven't been ANYWHERE for Quite a While!

Here we are, 2/22/22 - Remember the insanity that started in 2020? Here is a partial quote from Yale Medicine concerning the actual, official date COVID cast its evil spell on the world: 

On March 11, 2020, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic. The announcement followed a rising sense of alarm in the preceding months over a new, potentially lethal virus that was swiftly spreading around the world. A year later, we look back on one of the most challenging periods in recent memory.

The warnings continued into 2021. And the warnings are still around now, coming out of 2022. Of course, we all know people - friends, relatives, and others that felt the sting of this malady. The rumor mill from many institutions and media outlets that we trusted gave us bad information as well. The reality is, in relation to travelers and vagabonds everywhere, countries all over the world went into lockdowns. Therefore, travel plans got cancelled and many of us just sat at home and watched TV and played Monopoly.


According to some "experts", we still should never leave our homes. Well, I'm here to say - Get out your maps, your laptop and plan, plan, plan. And now that the travel bug is biting us all again, you must plan smart to avoid paying too much for what was, pre-2020, just a nice place for a reasonable price.


From many hours of research on travel places all over the world I am going to offer some suggestions on how to get where you want to go without breaking the bank. In addition, I have travelled to some of the most beautiful, romantic and poetic places on earth with the greatest travel companion on earth - my bride of almost fifty years. And, as I always say - NOTHING IS TOO GOOD FOR MY PEOPLE! So, let's take a look at what, when, where and how to plan the trip of a lifetime or just another romantic week in the old country.

IMHO - The most expensive places to travel to may be in the good ole USA. Anything on the West Coast - from Southern California to Seattle or Hawaii will drain your bank account. And the big cities like New York, Chicago or LA are always in the upper range for travelers. However, if you do some research, you can find places that will please you and not blow your credit limit with AMEX or Capital One. However, generally they will not have all of the amenities that the $650 a night places have. 

So, how do you Find Cool Boutiques for reasonable prices? First - I will concentrate on Italy. Italy should be at the top of every vagabond's Bucket List. It is truly an amazing country - the food, the wine, the architecture, the art, the history and the people. Perfetto! And it is one of the most economical places to enjoy travel.


That is a question all travelers ask. And it's not a simple question to answer - weather, crowds, prices, distances, how to get around, etc., etc., etc..  My recommendation is to not go anywhere in June, July or early August, particularly in Europe. If you go from June to early August, you will, generally, pay more and it will always be crowded in most places in Europe. My experiences in Italy and Spain in early to mid-Spring were perfect - small crowds, decent prices and good weather. France was also close to perfect in late September. 

Train travel in Italy is the best way to get around. Spain and France also have decent train travel.  Here's a little trivia for you - The first wine was made in Italy around 1,000 BC. How's that for a little history? In some places you may have to rent a car. If you plan your trip early enough, you will be able to take advantage of early deals most rental companies offer.


OK - You've been walking all day to see the sites. You've traversed numerous stairs and rocky paths to see the beauty of Lake Como and the great architecture aligning its shores. Or you've wandered around in the Galleria d'ell Accademia in Florence for a couple of hours and spent at least thirty minutes staring at Michelangelo's marble Statue of David. Bottom line - You need a nice bed to lay your weary head. Also, most boutique hotels in Europe have large walk-in showers and balconies, terraces, or courtyards to enjoy relaxing outside. Here are some of the best Travel Sites to find, price and reserve hotels that meet your budget with the amenities you desire.

I-ESCAPE - I have used this hotel website for years to find some of the most amazing small, elite hotels for pennies on the dollar compared to others. In Matera, Basilicata in Southern Puglia, one of the new hot places for wandering vagabonds in Italy, you can rent a very cool place to lay your heads from a Standard Classic for $105 to an amenity filled suite, including a huge hot tub with a nice terrace just outside, for $232 - L'Hotel in Pietra. It's an easy three hours by car from the Amalfi Coast, which you simply must see to believe. I-Escape has countless other hotels, mostly small boutiques, with great prices. And, you should always check the hotel's own website to ensure the best deal.

AIRBNB - I am a huge fan of this service for finding great houses, apartments, unique environs and even hotels. Generally, they are inexpensive, and you get very personal service from owners. We've stayed at many AIRBNB's where the owner checked us in and showed us bowls of fruit, cheese and bread, a nice bottle of wine and then sat down and showed us all the places he recommended that we see while there.

TABLET HOTELS - This site prides itself on showing the very best hotels. They tend to be a little higher in cost. However, you can also find outstanding boutique hotels under $200.

HOTELS - On this site, like the others listed, you can find hotels for under $100 a night. It's also a very user-friendly site with simple links to find what you're looking for.

TRIP ADVISOR - I must list this web site since it is the world's largest travel site with everything from very cheap hotels to ridiculous. In addition, it lists places to see and things to do. It also has excellent reviews of all the hotels and places to see, and it has easy to use links to find hotels with all the amenities you desire.

It is my hope that the above Travel Sites will help you plan your trip, find cool places to stay close to all the sites you want to see. I must admit, I have a preference for European Countries. If you go at the right times, generally early to late spring or late August into September, you will find airfare to be fairly inexpensive and hotels, food and places to visit not very pricey. You will also not have to wait to see those places because of large crowds. We have visited Italy, Spain, England and France. We adored all those countries. And don't believe any American that tells you how rude the French are. We found the people in Paris, Provence and other places in the la campagne to be welcoming and delightful. As the great Hollywood Actress of the forties, Audrey Hepburn said - "Paris is always a good idea"!

What to Read

I have read so many travel books - my list is way too long and varied. However, I highly recommend any book by the American Traveler and writer, Rick Steves with the TV Program RICK STEVES' EUROPE. And, if you are planning a trip to France, you must read the best-selling memoir about a couple who purchased and renovated a house in Provence - A Year In Provence. There is also a great website with that link. You will laugh and cry as you enjoy this trip through living in one of the most historic and beautiful places on earth. You can find thousands of books with reviews for specific places you are planning to venture to with your favorite travel partner, kids or friends.

Here are some quotes that I hope will inspire you to JUST GO!

1. The joy of discovery is the single most important thing in life. Don't forget it. - The Common Wanderer

2. Better an Oops than a Whatif. - Beau Taplin

3. If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. - James A Michener

4. Once the travel bug bites there is no antidote, and I know I shall be happily infected until the end of my life. - Michael Palin

5. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

6. I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. - Mark Twain you, make you smile, maybe make you see something that will literally blow your mind

So, there you have it my fellow Vagabonds. So get out your laptop and your notebook and start planning your next adventure. I can tell you from personal experience - travel is one of those things that will enlighten you as you walk through an ancient city, or ride a train in a comfortable seat to see a world you have never seen before. And for you old souls, travel will bring back memories of past treks far and wide.



"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." - Confucius

And here is a little road tune for you to play while planning the trip of a lifetime!

What A Wonderful World

Friday, January 27, 2023



OK. I was remiss all of 2022. Busy, Covid, Excuses, Blah Blah Blah. I have posted nary a travel post in over a year. The first week of this year I was recovering from the Love and Power of Christmas. I was sitting in the recliner watching reruns and being utterly worthless. My significant other, my one and only, my lover, my wife, and my best friend found an article on LANGUISHING. I am paraphrasing as to what the commentary actually said but basically, it said the following:

You are lying on the couch or sitting lifeless in the recliner - you are napping on and off all day - you have no desire to actually do anything - you think you may be despondent or depressed - but you are not. You are Languishing. According to Adam Grant of The New York Times, this long word means "A sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield." The word has been used in mental health circles since 2021. But it can come upon you at unexpected times - like right after Christmas and New Years.

I made up my mind - I WILL LANGUISH NO MORE - I will write, I will work and I will listen to great music and plan our next trip to places known and unknown. 

To get you thinking about Travel, I thought I would share some random thoughts from mild humor to insane dreaming. Great travel thoughts by famous and not so famous travelers who think travel, at the very least, is a requirement for an interesting, thought-provoking, and searching mind.

So here goes - Quotes from Afar!!

  • “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag
  • “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” – Susan Heller
  • “Vacation calories don’t count. Right?” – Unknown
  • “I need six months of vacation, twice a year.” – Unknown
  • “The most stylish country in the world is Italy.” – Nick Rhodes

  • “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
  • “France is to me the heroine in the romance of all the nations of all time.” — Lt. William Arthur Sirmon
  • "The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.” – Wallace Stevens
  • “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
  • “In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine.” – Robin Leach

  • “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • "Paris is always a good idea" - Audrey Hepburn
  • The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.” – Mark Twain
  • "France is the most civilized country in the world and doesn’t care who knows it.” — John Gunther

  • “You may have the universe if I may have Italy” – Giuseppe Verdi

  • "America is not just a country, it's an idea." - Bono

  • “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.” – Lovelle Drachman
  • ‘If I ever get lost, don’t look for me too far. I’ll be walking in Madrid.’ – Unknown
  • “In Paris, they simply stared when I spoke to them in French, I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.” — Mark Twain
  • “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “Life is short and the world is wide.” – Unknown
  • “France is beautiful. I stood at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower today and looked up at it. There are very few times in my life I’ve felt so small.” — Leisa Rayven
  • ‘The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.’ – Christopher Columbus
  • Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Never go on trips with someone you do not love" - Ernest Hemingway
  • “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” — Charles de Gaulle

And finally a profound quote for all Vagabonds who just can't wait.

“Please understand, I have been waiting to leave ever since I figured out that there were roads willing to take me anywhere I wanted to go.” - Unknown

So, get up, make a plan and just GO!!! You always learn new things when you travel. And, if you become a true wandering Vagabond, you will stay in amazing cool places, you will meet some of the most interesting people and you will enjoy some of the greatest food on the planet, no matter where you decide to go.

Enjoy, Jouir, Godere, Disfrutar, Mwynhau

In any language, just travel and ENJOY the world - It's still big enough to see what you dream!

Here's a little ditty, written by the Man in Black, performed by The Sunny Cowgirls.

Sunday, December 25, 2022



Here we are - It's finally Christmas Day. Like all Vagabonds, I have memory after memory of Christmas from my growing up days to my kids' growing up days. It's the one time of year when you can just enjoy the stress and the joy of December. The gifts, the tree, the decorating - All fun! And the cooking. I've said it many many times - Without the women in our lives, it just wouldn't be worth it, and we would never have any good food to eat! But that's a story for another post on TNA. I fervently wish everyone who has listened to the music and read some of the stories on the 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - A VERY VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Here is a great tune to celebrate this day - NO. 1 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - ANNE WILSON & JOSH TURNER - THE MANGER.

IMHO - The greatest piece of music ever written is from the classical work Messiah by George Fredric Handel in 1741 - THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS. Here The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS with over 2,000 people from around the world virtually singing from videos uploaded to YouTube. Watch and hear the amazing sound of this classic piece of music by one of the largest virtual choirs ever assembled.

Enjoy your day with family and friends. And a Very Merry Christmas to all Vagabonds everywhere.


“For to us, a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9-6

Saturday, December 24, 2022



One of the most hallowed nights of the year will be here in a few hours. It starts to bring back all of those memories we have of trying to go to sleep as we were ordered by our parents. Very tough for your basic 5 or 6 year old. 

First up today is a unique reading by the one and only Louis Armstrong. If you have little kids, make sure they see this distinctive Christmas video. NO. 2 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - LOUIS ARMSTRONG - A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS ('TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS).

To celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ - NO. 2 ON THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - A compelling arrangement and video - LITTLE DRUMMER BOY.

And to wrap up Christmas Eve - One of the greatest radio personalities to ever wax eloquently over the airwaves - PAUL HARVEY gives us a different take on the BETHLEHEM INN KEEPER sometime in the early sixties.

Get plenty of sleep tonight, you're going to need it!

Merry Christmas


“Christmas Eve ought to be a very joyful evening to us in all its associations, in all the truths which it naturally brings to the soul…. A man’s soul is to be as the heavens were on the night when the shepherds looked up and saw them full of angels as well as stars.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, December 23, 2022


We are nearing the final days of THE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN. I have been hard at work finding mostly new tunes with some old standards thrown in. Today, you will hear one of the greatest Gospel groups to ever grace the stage. In addition, you will hear a group I discovered when they recorded Jingle Bells with Michael Buble'. And last, but not least, is a new discovery for me - A British phenom bringing a very cool song with some very cool dancing - Enjoy!

Bottom Line - I love Southern Gospel music. It just has a feel to it. Since 1981 The Gaither Vocal Band has ensured that the spirit and sound of Southern Gospel Music remains alive & well. It has changed members many times since then, but they are always performing new innovative tunes to audiences all over the world. NO. 3 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - THE GAITHER VOCAL BAND presents MARY WAS THE FIRST ONE TO CARRY THE GOSPEL.

OK - It's Friday and I know that many of you Vagabonds will be attending one, two, or even three parties or family gatherings to celebrate Christmas. So, today, we'll close out Friday with a couple of tunes that will fire you up for the weekend.


And if this last tune doesn't get you going - Sorry - Merry Christmas anyway. British sensation -
Si Cranstoun with three backup singers and dancers performs A CHRISTMAS TWIST.

This music makes me wanna' dance - LOL!!! Christmas is only two days away. I hope you're ready.

Merry Christmas


William W. Purkey
“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

Thursday, December 22, 2022



When I hear male singers hitting all those notes, high and low, and singing with amazing passion, fast or slow, I can't get enough. Today's post features some of the truly great singers both gospel and secular. Like any male singer I have always aspired to achieve the levels of inspired singing by the artists in today's post.

First up today features one of the greatest Gospel singers to ever record - NO. 4 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - Multiple Grammy winner LARNELLE HARRIS presents Sweet Little Jesus Boy with a strong Gospel Choir backing.

And then there is the one and only David Phelps, a longtime member of the award-winning Gaither Vocal Band, giving us his take on the classic OH HOLY NIGHT with the Vocal Band.

No list of great male singers would be complete without the great Tom Jones. I have had the pleasure of seeing this incredible singer from his early days to a show in Saint Petersburg a few years ago. Take a listen as Jones gives us a killer version of JESUS IS HERE TO STAY & JESUS ON THE MAINLINE at the tender young age of 77 with a power choir behind him! 

Once again - Crank up the volume. These guys peel the paint!

Merry Christmas


  • “Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it. You feel it. You know it. You remember it." — Kevin Alan Milne, "The Paper Bag Christmas"