Posted on: Friday, October 18th, 2019
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The summer daze disappears fast when school starts. Then fall hits hard with its books, sports, and chilly breezes. Good news: Most schools meet (at most) only about 180 days a year. And the first big break happens right about now.

In Minnesota, we call it MEA weekend, which really stretches to nearly 5 days for students, and 4 for teachers. Oh yes, people get away. The airport gets slammed. Families seek one last road trip, cabin closure, or—in the case of this picture—campus visits to potential places of future higher education.

That’s where I’ll be. Touring grand old schools with my daughter, while spending rare time with my son who just last spring graduated from a fine university and now makes his home in Chicago working for Bears. Like family, travel and education go hand in hand.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Amazon Brings IT!!!

Posted on: Friday, October 11th, 2019
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, FOTOFRIDAY, Wily Mktg | Leave a comment

This perfectly mediocre picture may elicit mixed reactions. For me, another Amazon package arriving might make me excited about my new thing…angry about their wasteful deliveries and packaging…sad about all the local, face-to-face businesses that have died…and worried about materialism, neighborhoods, and their underpaid employees.

Travel can take you away from these worries. And my next major-league BreakAway should be Amazon-free—where no giant PRIME trucks block quiet streets. Where children don’t consume on their phones as a routine pastime. And where chirpy shopkeepers take pride in running a family business, and somehow make a living doing so.

I’ve been to these places—and hope you have too. The villages of Italy. The ports of the Caribbean. Small towns in the Midwest. And independent countries all over the planet that think outside the envelope. Meantime: I’m guilty as charged. When you need a THING, it’ll magically appear on your door the next day. May you shop in interesting times.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Only in California?

Posted on: Friday, October 4th, 2019
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Why do you travel? One reason many would mention is to see new things. Indeed, your sense of observation gets more keen when in a new place. You just plain pay more attention.

That’s not to say that a rainbow poodle would go unnoticed on the streets where you live. I’m guessing that’s the point of painting your poodle: To draw attention. This particular critter crossed my path in Carmel, California, and seemed almost as interested in me as I was in him.

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Posted on: Friday, September 27th, 2019
Posted in: Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment
Kirk Horsted

God Bless America gets plenty of play. Heck, they still sing the song during the 7th-inning stretch at every Sunday MLB baseball game.

God Bless Puerto Rico? Not so much. Talk about being thrown curveballs, spitballs, and beanballs! In recent years, this unlucky territory of the USA has suffered catastrophic weather, skimpy support (not to mention abuse) from Mother Country USA, and a rapidly declining population as people flee their beloved but beleaguered homeland.

This week, Puerto Rico got pounded again by nasty weather. Sad. These are real people—real Americans. I’ve spent some time there, and aim to again. So today I salute Puerto Rico and wish them continued toughness and tenacity as they brave all these rough seas.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Thursday Night Lights

Posted on: Friday, September 20th, 2019
Posted in: Unplugging, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

Here you see some high school girls enjoying a varsity soccer match on a Thursday night. America’s new pastime, of course, is football—so the pig-skinners get the Friday night lights. And usually, the youngsters and crowds follow in a grand American tradition.

Kids’ sports get plenty of bad raps these days. People fret about the costs, injuries, stress, commitment, and beyond. I get it. But this sports dad (and eternal coach and booster member) will kindly play defense. As everyday BreakAways go, athletics win. What better way to sidestep the routine, get exercise, make friends, experience competition, represent community, and get off-screen?

With any luck, those life lessons last a lifetime. And the kids will stay forever young and robust.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Take Your Children!

Posted on: Friday, September 13th, 2019
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Lots of people like to travel, especially children. Follow them, ride the wave, and thank them later.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Summer’s Last Blast

Posted on: Friday, August 30th, 2019
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These people appear to be heels-over-head in their thrill-ride that might make some of us feel guts-inside-out. They are oblivious to the ominous skies and apparently delighted to defy gravity at breakneck speeds.

It’s State Fair time here in the Twin Cities—the biggest event of the year that takes over media, minds, roads, parking lots, and beyond. The hoo-ha can be annoying. But one tries to embrace the aspects of community, diversity, tradition, and enthusiasm.

Hey, people are getting out and doing something. That’s what BreakAway is all about. It’s peaceful. It’s great people (and animal) watching. It’s a sensual end-of-summer ritual, and you can’t have too many of those.

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FOTOFRIDAY: The Dangers of Gardening

Posted on: Friday, August 23rd, 2019
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BreakAway advocates for taking time off and pursuing balance. A one-year faraway sabbatical is the rare grand slam. But even hobbies help advance your chance for sanity.

Gardening is a good one. You get some exercise, you work with nature, and you get off your butt and into the curative outdoors. Moreover, watching your garden grow can be a most magical experience.

Lettuce not forget, however, the hazards of gardening. My pollinator-friendly yard is just buzzing with hyper bees and hornets. The steep hillside hosts unseen holes and rocks, like wipe-out booby traps. And even this dang weed carries enough burrs to bury your clothes and gloves; I’ve had to toss much grubby gardening garb—and yanked it from hair and flesh.

Of course, during most growing seasons, I’ve stayed ahead of these weeds and avoided such terrible entanglements. But not this summer. There’s a lesson here, perhaps a metaphor. And I guess I’ll keep learning it—the painful way.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Yes, They Still Rock You!

Posted on: Friday, August 16th, 2019
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Kirk Horsted

Here at BreakAway, we preach the Gospel of Getting Out! The Right to Run Away! And of course, we are zealous rockers—and urge everyone to see and support live music ASAP and often! Few diversions can compare in entertainment, exhilaration, and escape.

Who else opens the show with a guitar-jeweled crown moving above the stage? What other band has VIP seats in those on-stage balconies? (Pay no attention to those magnates behind the curtain!)

It’s Queen, of course. And though we’ll forever miss Freddy, 18,000 rabid fans happily embrace Adam Lambert (The Voice), original members Brian May (guitar) and Roger Taylor (drums), and their bombastic supporting band.

You don’t often see that many people—ages 8 to 88—standing, weeping, singing along. But after all, we are the champions, my friends.

And we’ll keep on rocking ‘til the end.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Everyone Loves a Fountain

Posted on: Friday, August 9th, 2019
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This splashy character resides in Stockholm, and posed for this pic in July, 2012. Stockholm is a magical city—stretching out over 14 islands and featuring a cool, clean vibe.

Oh sure, the taxes are sky-high, the cost of living might make San Fran seem cheap, and buying a beer might make you gulp twice. But the Swedes don’t seem to mind—and neither does this robust fountain man.

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