Celebrations, Summer, and Stories

lights canada day fourth july stephanie mccabe

It is mid summer in the northern hemisphere. News and conversations are filled with comments on social upheaval, political change, choices and uncertainties and the darker sides of all these things as well as the brighter ones.

It is summer, though. Conversations and news also talk of the bounty of fruits of the season and recipes to enjoy, summer festivals of all sorts, sports of summer time both professional (Euro Cup and American baseball, lookin’ at you) and backlot, kids out of school, and family gatherings at home and on the road. In North America mid summer also brings celebration of two major national holidays, Canada Day on 1 July and in the United States, Independence Day on 4 July.

In honor of those days and as a reminder that travel can bring about connection, understanding, appreciation, and friendship, here is a bit about several stories of places and people in the United States and Canada we have shared over the years for you to explore.

Mike Gerard has followed his love of blues music to Louisville, Memphis, New Orleans, and places beyond. He also had good visit with organic blueberry farmers in Michigan, and learned why blueberries are forever.

Though you most often find him in Singapore and other points in Asia, Brian Spencer is a Detroit native. On a return trip to his home state he followed the trail of craft beer made made in Michigan.

Sheila Scarborough has walked through through a historic neighborhood in Illinois, given tips on how to spend your time if you have just one day in Milwaukee, and checked out breakfast places in Lake Placid. I have explored intersections of history, faith, and tribal customs at what remains of a little known Spanish mission in Florida’s Big Bend and looked into layers of history (and a balloon festival) in northern New Mexico.

san luis bell by Kerry Dexter

Blueberries, beer, balloons, breakfast, and history: that should be enough to brighten your days, right? Perhaps add in some Americana music to go along, from the likes of David Olney, Carrie Newcomer, and others.

There’s more to explore. Quite a bit more.

Sheila has the story about an icon of the American south, the bottle tree, and I take you for walk along Boston’s Freedom Trail and to a pub in Somerville, Massachusetts, known as a welcoming home of music, both Irish and American.

red bricks Boston Freedom Trail

Irish pub Christmas window copyright Kerry Dexter

Dana McMahan goes to Utah for a ski adventure. Sheila explores the tastes and sights of the Main Street City of Kenosha, Wisconsin. I introduce you to places to savor your greens in Washington DC.

Sunset as seen from The Oasis on Lake Travis in Austin Texas (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Sunset view from a table at The Oasis on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas

Kristin Winet muses on photography and landscape at Yosemite, Sheila reflects on a sunset in Austin, Alison J. Stine looks for fall foliage in the Adirondacks, and I take you to a world music and arts festival in Bloomington and along a Christmas cookie trail across Indiana.

We know about Canada, too.

Liz Lewis brings you along on a visit to historic Fortress Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. Sheila makes maple candy in Edmonton, and I invite you along for fiddles, stories, and songs in English, French, and Scottish Gaelic at the Celtic Colours International Festival on Cape Breton.

natalie macmaster donnell leahy

There’s music for your Canada travel, too, with recordings by artists from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and other provinces.

All this is just a hint of the stories of travels in the United States and Canada we have for you here at Perceptive Travel, and there are more of those to come.

If you’ve been reading our stories for a while, thank you. If you’re new here you’ll want to know that we bring our unique perspectives to places across the world as well, from Thailand to South Africa, Mali to Mexico, Turkey to Denmark, Estonia to Ireland, and beyond.

New friend or repeat visitor, we invite you to stay with us as more adventures unfold.

Photographs by Stephanie McCabe (sparkler), Katie Chase (blueberries), Kerry Dexter (mission bell, Freedom Trail bricks, pub window), Sheila Scarborough (Lake Travis in Austin), and courtesy of Canadian musicians Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.

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