On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,



Yes, good. So let’s return to something we all miss. I’m so thankful for the support and love you’ve all shown me in my time of need; as an only child losing my widowed mom, I’m destroyed.  I’ll be sharing more about her soon because she was just amazing, a great mom but also a great woman and influencer and a model for many women around the world. Remarkable, truly, and my heart breaks every minute without her.

But first, let me try to get back into the groove – before my joyous world ended. Let’s see what wonderful folks submitted previously, continuing into next week before new stuff:


This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

So please, speak up and share some of your adventures and travel news here, and submit your pictures using our speedy, secure form. You can submit up to 7 pictures at a time, with an overall description and one for each picture.

You can, of course, send an email with pictures if the form gives you trouble, or if you are trying to submit something special, like a zipped archive or a movie. If your pictures are already hosted online, then please email the links with your descriptions.

For each picture, it’s best to provide your commenter screenname, description, where it was taken, and date. It’s tough to keep everyone’s email address and screenname straight, so don’t assume that I remember it “from last time”. More and more, the first photo before the fold will be from a commenter, so making it easy to locate the screenname when I’ve found a compelling photo is crucial.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


Today, pictures from valued commenter planetjanet.

Last day of my cycling tour, strolling along Nyhavn harbor in Copenhagen.

Nyhavn sunset

Taken on 2017-09-11

Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhavn harbor in Copenhagen at sunset


Glorious! I can’t wait until late Spring/Summer, and the avalanche of pictures our readers will soon share.

Thank you so much planetjanet, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

75 replies
  1. 1
    SWMBO says:

    Welcome back. There isn’t any way of alleviating the loss of your mom. If there is anything we can do to help, you know this community will do whatever they can. Again, welcome back and on with the show!

  2. 2
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Welcome back! I missed this, and your positive nature. I’m glad you’ve found the strength to reengage after your loss.

  3. 3
    Elizabelle says:

    Lovely to see OTR. Alain, we have missed you. Very sorry on the loss of your wonderful mother. Glad to see you back.

  4. 4
    Pharniel says:

    Missed this. it was a comforting slice of ‘normal’ in this crazy world.

    All the sympathies.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    Good to see you back, Alain!

    Wonderful photo, planetjanet!

  6. 6
    raven says:

    Glad to see you back. From Joe Biden

    “There will come a day, I promise you and your parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later.. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I’m telling you it will come.”

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    What a beautiful, colorful, peaceful photo from planetjanet–great choice for welcoming Alain back!

    When you’re ready, Alain, I look forward to learning much more about your remarkable mother. I hope you’ll consider collecting your thoughts, memories, and pictures of her in the “Gone But Not Forgotten” space. She and our dearly-missed greennotGreen can keep each other company :-)

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I love that quote.

  9. 9
    planetpundit says:

    Welcome back!

  10. 10
    Yoda Dog says:

    @raven: Nice quote there. Welcome back, Alain.

  11. 11
    Quinerly says:

    Welcome back!

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nice to have you back Alain.

  13. 13

    Welcome back, Alain. I cannot imagine the feelings you are going through so all I simply offer is that you find peace and know that you have a lot of people who’ve never met you but hold you in their Light.

  14. 14
    Mary G says:

    So glad to see you back, Alain, however often or seldom. I loved Copenhagen and the picture is lovely.

  15. 15
    p.a. says:

    Welcome Back A.

    Beautiful photo.

  16. 16
    Aleta says:

    Thanks planetjanet.
    Thanks Alain. Thanks to your beautiful mother.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Welcome back, Alain 😄

  18. 18
    Ohio Mom says:

    Welcome back!

    This post is a wonderful thing to see right now: today is the day Ohio Dad has surgery to replace his aortic valve.

    We are at the hospital, in a small room, and staff are shaving him, and asking questions and taking notes.

    It’s good to have everything in Balloon Juice land back to normal while I go through this (though to be fair, of course it is Ohio Dad going through the big stuff).

  19. 19
    debbie says:

    Yay! Welcome back, Alain. And beautiful photo!

    @Ohio Mom:

    Hoping all goes well for Ohio Dad.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ohio Mom: All the best to Ohio Dad and you, and please give us a recap of the successful surgery on the other side.

  21. 21
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Elizabelle: yes, I will keep everyone posted — it is a long surgery and he won’t be done until twelve or one.

  22. 22
    d58826 says:

    IS THERE a problem with accessing BJ using Chrome on a desktop? takes forever to load. almost unusable. Just the past week or so.

  23. 23

    Welcome back Alain; anything I can do to help out, let me know.

  24. 24

    @d58826: Just did a refresh, no problem(Chrome on Win10).

  25. 25
    debbie says:


    Chrome on Mac (laptop) has been slow from time to time, usually in the early evening.

  26. 26
    Ohio Mom says:

    Most reassuring thing so far: even though we had to be at hospital at 5:30, I spied the surgeon strolling down the hall in his street clothes and outer jacket at seven. Glad to know he gets more sleep than the rest of us.

    Most annoying thing so far: tv news is on in the waiting room, and chairs are not very comfortable.

    What I wish I had done differently: brought a pillow and lap blanket. It is nippy in here.

  27. 27

    @Ohio Mom: Best of luck with Ohio Dad’s surgery, they do keep hospitals cold. I should ask the young’n about that since she works in one.

  28. 28
    satby says:

    Welcome back Alain! You were greatly missed, and I look forward to hearing more about your beloved mother too.

    Wonderful picture planetjanet; it’s just how I remember Copenhagen, my first international trip way back when I was 16.

    @Ohio Mom: keeping good thoughts for Ohio Dad and you today.

  29. 29
    Ohio Mom says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Please share what you find out. Maybe there is a good medical reason for keeping the thermostat down. Else, they charge so much, they could at least keep us toasty.

  30. 30

    The best to you, Alain.

    @Ohio Mom: Hope all goes well today.

  31. 31
    debbie says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    When I had surgery a long time ago, the OR was freezing. I assumed it was the surgeon’s preference.

  32. 32
    jayboat says:

    Glad to see you back, Alain. Love this feature of the site and have missed your posts.
    Also, condolences and positive thoughts to you. Nothing else I could say would put it into words better than raven’s Biden quote.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    Welcome back, Alain. We’ve missed you and our morning photos. Copenhagen looks lovely. Thanks, planetjanet.

    @Ohio Mom:

    We are all rooting for Ohio Dad and you. Sorry about the waiting room.

  34. 34
    Currants says:

    Welcome back! I (we) missed you.

    Planetjanet—lovely photo (and I’ll bet the cycling tour was wonderful too).

  35. 35

    @debbie: At least in the OR(the kid’s a surgical nurse) that may well be the case. The surgical getup can be pretty warm, especially the mask and shield that they wear.

  36. 36
    gvg says:

    germs reproduce faster in a warm environment and slower in a cold one so it’s been a hospital protocol for a long time to keep them cold as they can. I think operating rooms are even colder. When I had chemo, the infusion center nurses would offer and bring prewarmed blankets to keep the patients from shivering while we got the IV’s. When he is out of surgery you can ask for blankets for him. they may allow you to also if they don’t want you bring in outside personal blankets.
    Maybe you have a friend or neighbor dropping by to watch with you who could bring supplies?

  37. 37
    Sab says:

    @Ohio Mom: I think they keep it cold because of all the equipment running round the clock. The problem is the waiting rooms don’t have all that equipment.

  38. 38
    aimai says:

    All my love, Alain.

  39. 39

    Welcome back, Alain!

  40. 40
    MelissaM says:

    Welcome back, and best wishes as you find your new normal.

  41. 41
    father pusbucket says:

    So good to have you back!

  42. 42
    Ohio Mom says:

    @gvg: I have a friend keeping me company and am snuggled under her winter coat.

    So far so good.

  43. 43
    laura says:

    Welcome back Alan and looking forward to the report of good news for Ohio Dad.

  44. 44
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Welcome back, Alain

  45. 45
    Miss Bianca says:

    Welcome back, Alain! Missed you, missed this feature.

    And like SD, I look forward to hearing more about your mother. As someone who had a..shall we say, “fraught”…relationship with her own, I am always so wonderstruck when I hear stories about happy mother-child bonds. It’s almost like getting to view fabulous photos of someone else’s trips! : )

  46. 46
    HeleninEire says:

    Welcome back, Alain. I just sent an email with a pic from Dublin.

    Glad to have you and this BJ feature back.

  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Miss Bianca: Seconded on your latter point. Seeing through Alain’s posts how he was grieving the loss was almost anthropological for me.

  48. 48
    Meyerman says:

    Welcome back, Alain. Looking forward to hearing about your mom’s life.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    Positive thoughts for Mr. Ohio Mom.

  50. 50
    Barbara says:

    Nice to see you back. When my dad died one of my colleagues told me how hard he had found it after his own father died to realize how so little changes when a person dies. I came across a card one day with a quote from Robert Frost that captured that thought just about perfectly, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life, It goes on.”‘ I hope you can go on and at the same time keep your mother’s memory bright.

  51. 51
    sacrablue says:

    So thankful that you are back, Alain. From one orphan to another, know peace.

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @HeleninEire: I also sent a pic, but self-plagiarized, as I posted it in a nighttime thread last week. Also worth noting that the URL to the upload form is broken.

  53. 53
    Waratah says:

    Welcome back! Beautiful photo.
    This is the first place I go to every morning.

  54. 54
    manyakitty says:

    Welcome back, Alain! We love you.

    @Ohio Mom: Sending Ohio Dad wishes for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

  55. 55
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Alain welcome back. You have been missed.

  56. 56
    Aleta says:

    @Ohio Mom: Thinking of you and yours. Sending some warm out your way.

  57. 57

    Welcome back, Alain. {{ }}. I still have to send you some pics. Will do so this week.

  58. 58
    frosty says:

    Welcome back Alain. I look forward to hesring from the Road Trippers again.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    An absolutely true sentiment. It gets better. You get used to the idea, the reality you gain acceptance bit by bit. It never gets easy. But better is, well better.

  60. 60
    stinger says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: What a good idea.

  61. 61

    Welcome back! You have been missed.

  62. 62
    Ohio Mom says:

    I’ve been in the surgery waiting room three hours so far, and this is beginning to remind me of a long car trip: sitting still and upright too long, mediocre food, boredom, wanting to ask Are we there yet?

    I started out pretty calm but my anxiety level is definitely rising. The family sitting across from me and my friend were called into the conference room about twenty minutes ago, They came out a few minutes later with very long faces.

    Every time I look up from my phone, I see their deflated faces. I feel sad for them but also selfishly think, This is not doing anything for my mood.

    There is another family sitting around the only table, working on a jigsaw puzzle. That looks like it was a good idea.

  63. 63
    Yarrow says:

    Welcome back, Alain. Planetjanet, the photo is lovely.

    @Ohio Mom: You could ask the nurses for a blanket. Might be able to get one. Sending good wishes for Ohio Dad’s surgery.

  64. 64
    stinger says:

    @Ohio Mom: Best wishes.

  65. 65
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ohio Mom: I can’t imagine how it was for my wife when I was in back in March. I knew nothing whatsoever – don’t even know what the OR looked like – but she told me they had a status board (screen) up, which showed color-coded progress for each patient (by number, not name, of course.)

  66. 66
    stinger says:

    @Barbara: Wow, that a great quote too, along with Uncle Joe’s.

  67. 67
    stinger says:

    I’m so glad to have this feature back, both for it’s own sake–a peaceful/joyous way to start the day–and as a sign that Alain is beginning to find his feet again. Thanks to Alain and planetjanet for today’s transport to another place in this wide and amazing world.

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    @Ohio Mom: Hope all goes well. From everything I’ve heard from friends and doctors, these procedures today are usually smooth sailing.

  69. 69
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah, there is a color-coded status board here. It’s telling me he’s in surgery, D’oh.

    When I had my mastectomy, I saw the operating room because they made me walk in and climb on the table. It is very, very bright in there.

    I agree, it is much easier to be the patient than the waiting room person.

  70. 70
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Brachiator: The technology of heart surgery is amazing — I watched some youtubes of minimally invasive aortic valve replacements through half-closed eyes and it is a very elegant procedure.

    When I saw the surgeon walk down the hall in his overcoat at seven in the morning, his body language was someone who was glad to be starting a work day — calm, and happy to be there.

    It is scary to us but no big deal to the surgeons. They are a different species I think.

  71. 71
    bluefish says:

    Sorry to learn of your mother’s death, Alain. Lost mine 48 years ago and not a day goes by. Take it nice and slow. Having a good mum, someone to be proud of, someone who fills your heart when you think of her, is a great blessing. Sorry for you loss. And do tell us more about her and what she meant to you when you’re ready. Thanks, too, for all you do. She must have been oh so very proud of you.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    CSPAN has the livestream ready to go on their front page, but it obviously hasn’t started yet.


  73. 73

    I missed your morning photo posts, Alain! Glad you’re back and I hope that the BJ community continues to be a source of solace to you.

  74. 74
    sharl says:

    Glad to see you back, Alain. I look forward to your writing about your Mom.
    That photo is lovely. I wish I had looked into bike touring during my long-ago short postdoc in Europe, although Lyon itself wasn’t very picturesque (nor, as I recall, terribly bike friendly).

  75. 75
    arrieve says:

    Welcome back, Alain! We’ve missed you.

Comments are closed.