Much LAZIER than your average blogger  
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4.29.2007 - 49 comments 

If you are asking yourself... "didn't LZ just do a blog post recently about Notre Dame?" I'd have to say "yes I did, but that was a church in Paris and this is a University in the Heartland of America." But that particular post did make me think about the other Notre Dame that has the "Touchdown Jesus" (an endearing term and not a sacrilege) I assure you.

But while we were on a student guided tour on this beautiful and pristine campus, we did hear the story of how the huge campus statue of Jesus just happens to be on one end of the Notre Dame Football Stadium and conjures up those types of images as the football program of home games unrolls each spring. Not only is that statue of Jesus a well known landmark, but the gold Dome pictured here is also just as famous. Our tour guide was a senior at the University and did a GREAT job of answering every question that was brought up on the tour.

The University of Notre Dame was founded in late November 1842 by a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Rev. Edward Sorin. His original land grant of several hundred acres was the site of an early mission to Native Americans, but included only three small buildings in need of repair. The land had been purchased by Rev. Stephen Badin, the first Catholic priest ordained in the United States, and left in trust to the Bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, for anyone who would found a school on the site.

Father Sorin and his companion Brothers of St. Joseph (later the Holy Cross Brothers) called the fledgling school, in their mother tongue, L'Universite de Notre Dame du Lac. The University was officially chartered by special act of the legislature of the State of Indiana on January 15, 1844. It is worthy of ecumenical note that a Methodist state senator, John B. De Frees, was responsible for this action and for the writing of the University's charter as a degree-granting institution.

I especially loved the story that our guy told us, that because the University had its own Post Office, the U.S. Federal Government was obliged to build a road to the Post Office. Over the years the Post Office was moved to different locations on the campus, thereby necessitating the U.S. Government to build another road on the campus. I don't know how much truth there really is to the story, but I sure enjoyed the thought of it.

Despite the university’s humble academic beginnings, Notre Dame from its founding enjoyed two significant advantages. First, its establishing coincided with the great opening of the Midwest by railroads and canals and with the great antebellum immigration, largely of Catholics, from Europe; "for most of the 1840s," historian Thomas Schlereth has written, "Notre Dame was the only Catholic college of consequence with access to such cities as Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and particularly the rapidly growing city of Chicago.

"The University's second, and even greater, advantage was the character of its founder, Father Sorin, whose overarching vision of a great American Catholic university in the tradition of the great medieval universities has inspired Notre Dame's growth over its entire history.Courses in physics and geology were added to the curriculum in 1863, and two years later the College of Science was established. In 1869 the University established the nation's first Catholic law school, and in 1873 the first Catholic College of Engineering. Its architecture program also was the first in the U.S. under Catholic auspices, and its circulating library was the first on any American campus.Even after a disastrous fire in 1879 destroyed the Main Building, which housed virtually the entire University, Father Sorin willed Notre Dame to rebuild and continue its growth.

In 1889 Sorin Hall became Catholic higher education's first student residence with private rooms. From that day to this, residentiality and the traditions that flow from it have remained central to student life at Notre Dame, with about 80 percent of current undergraduates continuing to live on campus. The campus is so clean and beautiful and seems more like a park than it does a university. It is just a beautiful place for a great eduacation.

"When you are everywhere, you are nowhere. When you are somewhere, you are everywhere." -Rumi

4.23.2007 - 39 comments 

One of the things that we enjoy seeing in most of the large cities that we visit, are the local Botanic Gardens. They are all very pretty and very unique, but not many compare to the beauty and size of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

There are many seperate garden areas that make up this huge place. One photo and one blog post will never do it justice, but here is one shot I took that I will post just as a futile attempt to capture its beauty.

Some of the gardens you can see there are: Aquatic Garden: Here you can see more Waterlilies than you can imagine.

There is also a Bulb Garden: Where there were no less than 100 varieties of bulbs. The Circle Garden: Where there are many violas (Viola 'Penny Citrus Mix', V. 'Sorbet Orange Duet' & V. 'Sorbet Primrose Babyface') and pansies (Viola x wittrockiana 'Bingo Red & Yellow'), tulip (Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Early Harvest').

Dwarf Conifer Garden: Where you can spot Greek anemone (Anemone blanda 'Blue Star'), glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa forbesii 'Gigantea'), cyclamineus daffodil (Narcissus 'Mite' & N. 'Golden Bells' – bright yellow, long skinny cup, swept-back petals), cyclamineus narcissus (Narcissus 'Snipe' - pale yellow, long narrow cup, swept-back petals), rock narcissus (Narcissus rupicola).

Enabling Garden: At the entrance are Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana 'Frizzle Sizzle Blue') and many varieties of annuals including Texas bluebells, pansies, pot marigold, forget-me-nots, California poppies and Morocco toadflax. West Flower Walk: Many narcissus starting to bloom, including cyclamineus (Narcissus 'Itzim') & jonquil (Narcissus 'Sweetness'), and periwinkle (Vinca minor 'Dart's Blue').

English Oak Meadow: Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis), Northern Gold forsythia (Forsythia 'Northern Gold') on top of hill. To be planted: Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule 'Champagne Bubbles Mix').

English Walled Garden: Which had Dutch hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis 'Delft Blue'), reticulata iris (Iris 'Joyce' & 'Violet Beauty'), Elizabeth magnolia.

Heritage Garden: English daisy (Bellis perennis 'Bellissima Rose'), pot marigold (Calendula officinalis 'Bon Bon Yellow'), glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa forbesii 'Pink Giant'), Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas), Morocco toadflax (Linaria maroccana 'Fantasy Yellow'), Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), pansy (Viola 'Bingo Blue w/ Blotch' & V. x wittrockiana 'Delta Watercolor Mix').

Lagoon Garden: Daffodils (Narcissus 'Beersheba', 'Duke of Windsor', 'Ipi Tombi', 'Spellbinder', 'Yellow Cheerfulness' –all in bud), Siberian squill (Scilla siberica).

Lakeside Gardens: 'Spellbinder' -light yellow, cup changes to white as it ages & N. 'Obdam' -double creamy white); large cupped daffodils (Narcissus 'Manon Lescault' -white perianth & N. 'Misty Glen' -late, white), small cupped daffodil (Narcissus 'After All' -white perianth, orange-rimmed yellow cup), jonquil (Narcissus 'Curlew' -long, pale yellow cup, ivory perianth), & cyclamineus daffodil (Narcissus 'Surfside' -yellow-white, swept back petals), Siberian squill (Scilla siberica).

Other gardens were: The Landscape Gardens, Rock Garden, Sensory Garden, Water Gardens, Waterfall Garden and my personal favorite was Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden. It was almost like its own little island out there.

By now, I am sure you have gotten the idea on just how huge and beautiful this place is. I hope you have enjoyed this little trip to an unusal part of Chicago, where the beauty of nature downplays the beauty of the city?

"All the pathos and irony of leaving one's youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveller learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time." -Paul Fussell

4.15.2007 - 44 comments 

If you really knew me... you'd know that I have absolutely loved Jelly Belly® Jelly Beans since the first one I ever tried way back in about 1976 or 1977. That is when I was actually working in Downtown L.A. That is why I have posted this picture of me taken at the Jelly Store in Wisconsin of all places. Just to prove how far I will go to prove my obsession with these delicious little morsals of taste pleasure!

So what actually started the Birth of the World's Most Famous Jelly Bean? The idea was born in Los Angeles, just next door to Hollywood. Yes, the home of countless famous movie stars is also the birthplace of The Original Gourmet Jelly Bean®.

Back in 1976, a Los Angeles candy distributor had an idea for a jelly bean made with natural flavorings. So he called up the candymakers at Jelly Belly® (formerly known as Herman Goelitz Candy Co.) who had a reputation for making the very best candies. Creating "true-to-life" flavors was, well... if you'll pardon the pun... a natural evolution. The candymakers cooked up a recipe for a new kind of jelly bean -- intensely flavored throughout, with natural ingredients for flavoring whenever possible. In 1976 the first eight Jelly Belly® flavors were born: Very Cherry, Lemon, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Root Beer, Grape and Licorice. Funny enough they are still some of the most popular flavors made.

I love almost all of the flavors (except a few odd ball ones like bloody Mary mix and the Jalepano flavor). There are some that they come up with and then don't continue to make, but they now have 50 standard flavors of Jelly Belly's. But all of the miriad of these sweet sensations and a world of delight await you at the Jelly Belly Center, a mouthwatering stop located off the I-94 Milwaukee/Chicago corridor,near the state line. The Center is designed so visitors can take a tour of our warehouse (really, it's fun!) and taste the magic of "the original gourmet jelly bean," Jelly Belly®.

You'll start from Jelly Belly® Junction, and hop on board the Jelly Belly® Express train for a tour inside the large warehouse and distribution center. The 30-minute ride makes stops at a variety of Stations with large screen videos showing the company's century of candy making and how we make candy corn, jelly beans, taffy, gummies and more. They even had those weird ones from the Harry Potter's films and the new J.B.'s which are sort of a knock off off M&M's (although for my taste) they are not as good as M&M's and now where even close to being as good as the Jelly Belly® jelly beans.

Fun sights make the Center a destination for family fun. You can see a dancing chorus line of Jelly Belly® characters and be surprised by "Candy Alley" with its six-foot giant jelly beans suspended from the ceiling. In the large retail store hungry fans can taste samples of the 100 candies we make, or shop for sweet gifts. Visitors can also stop for hot dogs and drinks at the snack bar. The snack bar was done simliar to a 50's diner motif with a lot of bright cheery colors. They actually give you free samples of any flover you want to try (as they hope you'll find several flavors that you just can't live with out)!

There were many interesting things that we learned on the tour about how they are made (via large screen video presentations). Like some of the historical facts I listed above. But really this one in Pleasant Prarie, Wisconsin is really just a distribution center and a place to take tours and NOT ACTUALLY the factory where they make them. The real factory is up in Fairfield, CA and is on my list of places to visit when we are out in California on vacation this summer.

This Tour site in the state of Wisconsin (not being the actual factory) was my biggest dissapointment. And perhaps NOT an exotic destination, but, "It doesn't make me love JELLY BELLY'S® ANY THE LESS!" ~ LZ Blogger

One additional note for those of you who may not know... My blogger friend Kelly over at the "Secret Squirrel" actually nominated my "LAZY Blogger" site for the Best Travel Blog. When I went to check it out, I saw that I had only 4 votes, so I quickly registered to make it a grand total of 5. I was somewhat surprised by some of the candidates on there. If you want to, you can go directly to my nomination and sign up at NO COST and vote for me... (well assuming) that you like my blog as the best travel blog that is? You'll find it at: http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/1024
As of this posting, I was up to 26 votes and was tied for fourth place at one time, but am currently 7th in their stack rankings. Just in case you wondered?

4.07.2007 - 39 comments 

As I look at this picture, it brings back just how beautiful I thought this particular view of the College was. The fact that you can see right through the arches of the college to the beautifully blue waters of theCaribbean Seas and the Atlantic Ocean is just amazing to me.

These significant buildings on the campus (which seem to have been lifted straight from an Oxford Quadrangle), yet seem to blend perfectly with the surrounding trees and hills, date back to the mid-seventeenth century.

From a historical perspective, Codrington College is an Anglican theological college in St. John, Barbados. It was founded by Christopher Codrington, who after his death in 1710 left portions of his 'estates' - two slave labour plantations on Barbados and areas of Barbuda - to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to establish a college in Barbados. Construction was started in 1714, and the College was eventually opened on September 9, 1745.

It initially provided a general education but began to teach advanced studies as early as 1748; this served as a preparatory education before the students - usually sons of the local gentry - went to an English university.

The first graduate was ordained in 1759, and in 1830 the college began exclusively to train students for ordination. This marked it as the one of the first theological colleges of the Anglican Church; only St. David's College Lampeter pre-dates it, while Chichester, the first English theological college, was only opened in 1839. In 1831 the site was almost completely destroyed by a hurricane, but was rebuilt.

In 1875 the college became affiliated to the University of Durham, which awarded degrees to Codrington graduates until 1958; it then affiliated to the University of the West Indies in 1965. Following affiliation with Durham, it began to offer degrees in Classics as well as Theology, but has concentrated on theological studies since 1955. For a while, it was managed by the Community of the Resurrection. It began to offer post-graduate courses in 1989.

The college currently maintains several archives relating to the churches of the West Indies. The college has, since 1965 been affiliated to the University of the West Indies and functions as the theogolical college of the Angelican Church of the West Indies.

We walked around the grounds of the College which was more like a traditonal large city aboretum than that of a college campus. It was truly beautiful and a wonderful trip and we will always remember it because of sites like this one.

"Clay lies still, but blood's a rover; Breath's aware that will not keep. Up, lad: when the journey's over then there'll be time enough to sleep." - A.E. Housman 1859-1936: A Shropshire Lad