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Old 09-03-2016, 09:56 PM   #76
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Uneventful flight over. The rental car agency near Reagan wasn't too swift, but eventually got going.

Took a wrong turn and ended up in Washington instead of going around. Apparently something at the Kennedy Center going on tonight.

"Hmmm...Massachusetts Avenue...that sounds familiarish..."

Anyway, Reagan the the Dollar-rent-a-car place are kinds of down in a little basin. Once you go north and turn over to Washington, you go up on this bridge and ...ta-da!... Oh look, there's the Jefferson Memorial. The Washington Memorial...probably other stuff I didn't focus on trying to go highway speed.

Never been here before, kind of interesting to see those things IRL I've seen on TV/movies for forever.

The drivers over here are the worst, though. Either 10 MPH under the limit, or 20 over, in any lane, and any car might change from one to the other at any time.

Found my way over to the Eastern Shore. A really nice sunset with the clouds from the storm offshore, but I failed to record it. Connected with my friends for dinner and a couple beers.

Tomorrow we'll get together and see about taking the boat out, or just relaxing around town, weather dependent.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:49 PM   #77
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So Sunday we connected and I got to see the boat in person.

It's a 37 foot Gozzard. Seems really nice to me, but I don't know boats.





We mostly just hung out in the marina and caught up. Did go for lunch and a little drive around the town. In the evening, their dockmates had a Labor Day BBQ up in the common area. It was nice to meet a bunch of those folks, they are all really nice. Great evening just hanging out talking with a couple beers, then went to watch the sunset.







Once again, a complete failure to capture the green flash, and not great sunset photos. Should've thought to bring the telephoto.






Anyway, this morning after breakfast, I cleared out and went to the Reheboth Beach in Delaware (eventually), poking along through the Delmarva peninsula. Rough seas and cloudy/windy weather due to the storm, but no rain.



Just hung out a little while, then headed north. Did stop and go into Dover Downs, but there was one cash game going and a tournament, didn't feel like waiting around. Saw Delaware's magnificent state house



Kind of drove up near the shore as much as I could. Saw that somebody decided it was a good idea to put a nuclear power plant in a wildlife area.

Got up toward New Castle and Wilmington planning to stop, but they both looked like pretty rough towns. Crossed into New Jersey, which seems better (among the sentences I never thought I'd write) and am now in Pennsville.

Return the rental car to Reagan Wednesday afternoon, so I might pop into Philly, and/or drive a little more west. Going to do planning now.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:48 PM   #78
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Drove through Baltimore and DC today. Not too much to report. I'd heard about the horrible traffic on the highways, and had plenty of time, so chose to go (mostly) non-interstate. That worked out pretty well, seemed like traffic kept moving, and I got to see a bit more of the places I was going through.

NE Baltimore looked pretty rough. Eventually found my way to US 40 (West Baltimore seemed kind of nice), which starts I-70. Found out that Baltimore is apparently 1700 miles from Denver. I don't know, for some reason I found it kind of funny that the first mileage sign showed Columbus, OH, St. Louis, Denver, and wherever I-70 ends in Utah (2200 miles).

Anyway, kind of looped around, back to US 1, and drove that through to the rental car place. Coming through, DC, I saw this



which I thought was the top of the Jefferson Memorial. But it's the National Gallery of Art.

Churned through DC, dropped off the rental car. In a nice coincidence, my hotel is only a few blocks north of the rental car place, so wandered up there.

Radisson undergoing renovation, but seems nice:



Went to the Nationals game for a few innings tonight. Unfortunately, discovered that "Pups in the Park" is tomorrow night.

Tomorrow, off to the Mall, Friday to the Capitol then dropping in on Barack and Michelle in the afternoon.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:18 PM   #79
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Spent a long, long day walking around DC to see the monuments. Super tired, hope I'm able to recover for tomorrow.

After getting to the train from my station, found my way to L'Enfant Plaza. Heading to the National Mall, I look up and see



as kind of the first thing I come across in DC. Walked down toward the Washington Monument



where the elevator was broken, so it's closed. Could see Lincoln Memorial (WWII Memorial on near end of reflecting pool)



and the White House from there



Went down to Lincoln







On the sides, the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural speech are carved



One thing I didn't know is that each of the big memorials has a bookstore/gift shop inside. In Lincoln's case, it's a small room just on the right-front.

Then look back the other way



At this point, it's probably 10AM or a little after, and getting pretty oppressive. I don't know how people managed in the days before A/C. Really humid, and 90s. Sweat just pouring off me the rest of the day. Also failed to get sunscreen, but I don't think that's too bad here (compared to Denver with the thin air).

Fortunately, the Park Service does a decent job of maintaining water fountains here and there along the mall, and there are some small shacks and vendor carts for water, soda, something to eat.

Of course, on the Lincoln Memorial was where Martin Luther King, Jr, delivered his "I have a dream" speech.



Nearby is the Korean War Memorial



which I thought was very well done.

Then over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I thought it was a freestanding wall. Also didn't really understand the dimensions of it, each side is quite long, and about 8 feet tall at the top.



They also have statues nearby to commemorate all the servicemen, and the women who went through that.





All this made me pretty sad. So much thrown away because we're trying to impose our lifestyle on others. At least we've gotten away from that.

Not far away is the White House, South and North views, respectively.





Somebody was out mowing the South lawn when I came up. Good that Barack's found something for Joe Biden to do.

In Lafayette Park, this guy had his protests set up



I thought it was more widespread than that. It was just him, and on the street there, a couple people had pull carts with literature about the magic man in the sky or some such. Maybe on the weekend.

Eventually found my way to the ML King Memorial



which is on the same Tidal Basin as the Jefferson Memorial



Washington Monument isn't really that close, but it kind of dominates the area



And the FDR memorial is over there. I'm pretty tired by now, so just kind of wandered through it, but noticed this piece



I'm not sure we're passing the test.

Jefferson up next





Then a long walk up to the National Archives. On the way, got a new shot of the Capitol in better light.



Can't take any pictures in the Archives. Not that impressed. They have the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in a pretty dark room, sealed in with only dim yellowish LED lighting. Of course, all that needs to be done to protect them, just makes seeing them less than I thought it might be.

Anyway, wandered up Pennsylvania Avenue, these are from the corner of 10th & Pennsylvania





White House west (though less visible), Capitol east.

On the way by, saw that the Trump International hotel is at 12th and Pennsylvania. It's nice and convenient for him if he should win then.

Anyway, up earlyish to go to the Capitol tour in the morning, then Barack and Michelle asked me to drop by at 1. Since it'll be Thursday afternoon, I'm assuming that means a late lunch, then maybe go up on the patio for a couple beers.

I'll let you know.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:42 PM   #80
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So today was the Capitol and White House tours. Got over to the capitol early, so wandered around a bit



The Supreme Court and Library of Congress are across the street







On the tour, we learned they built the wings first, starting with the north (right on the above photo), then the middle piece we think of as 'the capitol' today.

So, early on, the house, senate and Supreme Court all in the one building. Good thing we had fewer states, I guess.

This was the old Supreme Court room



then saw the rotunda





Lined with these huge murals, and the artwork above. The statues are scattered about the Capitol building. Most of them are given by the states (each is allowed two), and represent some famous person from their history. There are a fair number which are 'national' sculptures, though, of just generally famous Americans, ranging from Washington and Jefferson to ML King, Jr and Rosa Parks (four statues, not two with two people in them).

Anyway, it didn't come out that well in this photo, but that ring around the top is a long mural depicting Columbus up to the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk (which is where we were when is was painted. Grrr analog).

The part that didn't come out is that it's painted to give the appearance of depth. From the ground, it does look appreciably like a series of statues, not a painting.





Next, we went through the old senate room, which was from when we only had 32 states. Left it to look like it did back then.



and to the old house room



Note the fireplace in back. A few of the black squares were brass plaques for the spot where representative X, who later became President, had a desk. The only one I remember for sure was Lincoln's, in the back.

Anyway, somehow saw about visiting the gallery, so inquired. I had to go across the street to my representative's office to get a ticket. Wandered over there, found the right building, got some help because I misremembered the office number, and eventually found him.

The young woman who booked these tours was there, so it was nice to meet here and thank her in person. Got the tickets, found a cafeteria in the basement for lunch, and back to the capitol.

Could only stay a few minutes, as Barack and Michelle told me to be there at one. They were voting on some bill which looked like it was losing at the time. Pretty dull, a bunch of people milling about the floor. They don't vote by roll call of course, it's all electronic. Every once in a while the total would change, and there's a large board above the speaker which shows everybody's name and vote.

Still, it was kind of interesting to see the place where the State of the Union comes from every year. No photos allowed of course.

Off to the White House. This tour was actually kind of meh for me. After going through security, you wander through a few rooms, mostly paintings and old furniture.











You may notice that the wall is curved. Curious, I asked the Secret Service agent (all of whom double as knowledge dispensers) if that was just the style back then.

According to him, the oval room here and the office were specific requests of George Washington (even though he never used the building). This was a reception area at that time, and Washington wanted a room where everybody could be equidistant from the center, and (literally) nobody could be backed into a corner, to promote the notion of equals.







Apparently the painting on the back wall was painted by Mrs. Obama. This painting of Kennedy is something I recognized, for reasons I can't quite explain.



Barack and Michelle failed to appear and ask me up to the patio for Friday afternoon cocktails, so then my tour's done, and I was out the north door.



Anyway, I did wander down the to Bureau of Engraving and Printing, but tours ended for the day. Got to see the gift shop and entryway, meh. Back to the Capitol, sat in the gallery again, but the House had finished up for the week.

Then train back here, some meh Indian food. Thinking about wandering down the street, there's a block with restaurants and bars, maybe stop for one or two.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:09 PM   #81
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Today, started out at the Pentagon, to see the memorial for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

At most metro stops, there's big posters for Chipotle or whatever business is nearby. At the Pentagon's, it's posters for Northrup Grumman.

Anyway, the memorial was incredibly well done. Simple, and got the story across. There's a simple monument for each victim, with their name inscribed on it. Running across the area are these little rails for each year a victim was born. Between the rails and under the monuments is a flow of water.

So, they are ordered by year, and they're kept proportional. Years where no victims were born just have empty spaces.





and then this lists everyone alphabetically



I was surprised how much I was moved by it.

The youngest were a couple of kids, ages 3 and 8 or so. Had the same last name, so I'm guessing they were there to visit Mom or Dad at work.

WTF, can we stop with the "my magical man in the sky is better than yours" **** already? (Or even better, stop with the magical man altogether).

OK, rant over.

By this time, it's about 8:30 AM and already oppressively hot and humid. Walked up to Arlington, and saw this on the way.



IDK, I liked the juxtaposition of Freedom and Defense.

Saw the Tomb of the Unknowns.



A couple of times, the guard had to yell out in a commanding tone, "Visitors will remain silent and respectful".

I get more and more sad that people can't learn to just observe without commenting. Douglas Adams had it right.

If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

The gravesite of John F Kennedy and his family is in Arlington as well.



Then, it was off to DC. The Smithsonian has a nice garden.



And a sculpture garden down the street



But I was heading for the National Air and Space Museum. There's too much there to describe or really to take in.

Walk in the door, and there's a Viking lander from the 70s, the Freedom 7 and a Gemini capsule, and an Apollo era lunar module.









then I looked up and noticed this collection of stuff



and that the Apollo LEM and Spirit of St. Louis were positioned right above one another. Imagine both of those things happening in the same century.



Buzz Aldrin's actual moon suit (Armstrong's was out for restoration work)



Insert your joke here about how the dust looks like an Arizona soundstage.

And Gene Kranz' actual 'white team' vest from Apollo 13.

"Uhh...Houston...we've had a problem."



Sorry on the blurriness, they were in a low light area.

For you nerds, this is the original model of the Enterprise from the opening shots.



There's a bunch of wires on the back side; the Enterprise was only ever shown going this way.

I'm not so much into the aviation side, but here's a replica of the Wright Brothers' plane



I found the actual Apollo 11 command module



Then I wandered into the Museum of American History. Really well done, lots of interesting exhibits, but nothing I felt like, "wow, I need a photo of that."

They did have the original Star Spangled Banner from Fort McHenry, but of course no photos allowed.

At some point in there, I realized I'd forgotten to go to the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, so headed back over there.

On the way, saw the statue of Admiral Byrd.



Since we're both Antarctic explorers, I felt like there was a bond.

Then got to the memorial





I like how the Washington Monument and Capitol are in the background from there.

Walking back to the train, I noticed that the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol make a nice line-up



I think tomorrow's another day in the museums, then Monday morning I have a few hours, but mostly that's back to the other DC.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:42 PM   #82
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Got up a little late today. Was actually at the Pentagon stop at 9:20. Briefly considered going to see a 9/11 service, but figured a) it might not be for public and b) I shouldn't intrude on other people's memorial.

So off to the Mall. Started with the Natural History Museum, which had all manner of interesting things. Mostly, things were grouped together, but by the entrance they had
  • a moai from Easter Island
  • A T. Rex skull
  • The stone 'money' from the island of Yap







Some cool dino stuff in that area







The gems and minerals type area had some really cool looking stuff





Along with an exhibit of a bunch of gold.



Unfortunately, no uncapped 1-2 NL tables nearby.

A display with some fluorescent minerals, which was kind of cool when the lights went off.



They have the Hope diamond



A bunch of other diamonds/emeralds/rubies/etc set into jewelry.

They had a red diamond on display. I think the sign said it was one of only two in the world? It wasn't deep like a ruby, actually hard to see the red, but when you looked just right, it was pretty interesting. Never heard of such a thing.

Then over to the National Gallery of Art. I know nothing of Art, so this was pretty much wandering around, looking at pictures and recognizing the occasional name.

As it turns out, to go between the two buildings, you detour through Las Vegas though:



The Gilbert portrait of Washington seemed familiar



Lots of other things from around the world, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gaugin



This was painted by da Vinci, and is the only one of his on display in North America:



So that's about it. I have a late afternoon flight, so I'm hoping to hop over to DC one last time, go on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing tour, then back home.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:23 PM   #83
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Last day in DC. Got up and went back into town. Sunrise behind the Capitol. Nothing really turned out, here's the best.



Took the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's tour, which was pretty interesting. They only allow photos in the reception area, this was out there.



So that's $10MM in hundreds. I'm guessing George Clooney and the gang didn't really carry $80MM out of the Bellagio in those six duffel bags.

Wandered back into the American History Museum, there were a few parts I didn't go through. Found the Tucker



The lunch counter from the Greensboro sit-in during the civil rights movement



Then I wandered into what seemed to be a popular culture type exhibit. (It turned out to go back to the early days of USA #1, but I happened to come in on the current side. In a glass case, there's this



Hmmm, WTF? Then I saw the card at the bottom: Walter White's isolation suit from Breaking Bad. Also Hanke's DEA ID and the Heisenberg drawing



A bnuch of other stuff in there, Edit & Archie Bunker's chairs from All in the Family, Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, a suit and piano of James Brown's. Also the ruby slippers



On the way back to the Metro, I noticed this sign describing the work that's being done on the National Mall



I like the "...is scheduled to be completed by January 2017..." bit. It's ok if it runs over, there's nothing going on around there in January anyway.

Went in the Museum of African Art on the way by, liked this



It turns out in Ghana, coffins are often made with a theme of something the deceased liked. Although I got more the message that stress over technology is going to kill us from this example.

Anyway, at Reagan now, leaving for Denver at 4:20 (which I find kind of nice).
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:09 PM   #84
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Heading to Vegas tomorrow. Just needed to burn some time off or lose it sorta thing; Vegas kinda came up as a default answer.

I don't expect this to be an amazing (or even interesting) travel report, just wanted to get this in.

Brag: Got B02 at Southwest checkin. I'll take the co-pilot's seat, please.
Beat: Went to the bank this morning and they are out of $100 bills. WTF? (This is chase bank, BTW, not some podunk S&L or something). So I've got a bunch of fifties.
Variance: Caught some illness earlier in the week, but feel as if it's passed. Hopefully one more night a decent sleep tonight will get me feeling normal-ish.

Well, that and a couple beers, maybe some Main Event Final Table action.
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:09 PM   #85
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Got in last night. As the plane was delayed getting to Denver, it was checkin, then In-n-Out, then to the Orleans. Got there about 7:10, played til just before 10.

I think I won 3 or four hands total. Just getting crap unplayable cards; pairs in Razz, 6-3-2 when we changed to Stud. Grrr.

On the plus side, it was a very friendly table, and made for a nice evening, even though I couldn't compete.

Then off to the Rio. Got there during the TV break just before the sequence of hands that ended the night when Hallaert busted, so didn't see much. Still, glad to have experienced it in person.

Staying at Monte Carlo, which isn't nice. The room is clean and everything, but the walls are thin, the windows are ****, so I-15 traffic kept me up all night.

Anyway, after dinner, go out with my Saul Goodman costume, see if anybody gets it.

The question is, how do I tell the hookers from some woman who just dresses that way for Halloween tonight?
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:32 PM   #86
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Not much since the last post. Just kind of bumped around the Strip for Hallowe'en. Played a little Monte Carlo $1-$2 NL to pass the time in the late PM, up $49.

Went for a long walk this morning, then caught the Deuce up to downtown for something to do today.

Think I might head over to the Rio and catch the final table tonight. Probably plunk down somewhere and watch at least some of the World Series.

Up tomorrow, breakfast, fly back home. That's be it for a few weeks, then Miami the week before Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:12 PM   #87
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A few photos from my trip. First night of FT action, just after Hallaert busted to end things:



A view from the 30th floor of the Monte Carlo



Final night, just before action starts (Lon, Norm and Antonio on right-hand side doing the intro)



Qui Nguyen's entrance



Cliff Josephy



Unfortunately, security guy was between me and Gordon Vayo, so I didn't get a good shot of him. Saw Josephy out in the hall before, seemed to be enjoying the moment with fans. Also was out in the lobby after he busted, but didn't want to bother him as some unknown.
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:30 AM   #88
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Sitting in Houston waiting for my connection to Miami. "Houston Intercontinental Airport" seems a bit pretentious; just say International, like every other airport in the world.

Anyway, up early early early to catch the bus to DIA. In line for security at 4:25 AM, out at 4:55. Where are all these people going they have to be at the airport at that ridiculous hour?

Walked right up to the 5:30 flight, the middle seat was open so got to put my feet in that spot. Half-slept a bit, hope to make up some more on the way down to Miami.

Have an interview for Global Entry upon arrival, then no real plans. Depending on sleep on the way over, I might hit one of the casinos for a while, then find a hotel.

In S. Fla until Thanksgiving; probably Everglades at least some, maybe down the keys for a couple days. We'll see, maybe there will be pictures worth uploading.
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Old 11-18-2016, 09:56 PM   #89
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After landing in Miami, I talked to customs about the Global Entry thing, got the rental car, and started heading southwest.

Just south of the airport looks like a somewhat rough area. Saw a place called the Magic City Casino just by the airport, wandered in to see the poker room. Looked pretty lively, maybe I'll wander by on my last night before going bcak.

Anyway, got down to Florida City and found a motel. The next day, went out to the Everglades. Saw lots of birds of various types, got bit by hundreds of mosquitoes. I don't see how the Zika virus could've missed me. They weren't as bad as I'd experienced in an Alaskan summer, but second place.

Anyway, the Everglades looks like a midwestern prairie grass, but it's actually a river feet to inches deep, with a slow current.



The Everglades appears to be a birdwatcher's paradise, Many different varieties.

It turns out there's some kind of NASCAR race in town this weekend, so I thought it better to GTFO.

Day two was driving to the Shark Valley entrance on the North side of the park and seeing what's there. There's a path which goes about 7 miles each way to an observation tower from the visitor center. You can take a trolley, rent a bike, or walk. Nice day for a bike ride, so off I went.

I have a bunch of other birds, but here's a few that seemed like they turned out well.





So I've been riding along about 6 miles or so, and wondering where all the gators are.



Oh. Well. There you go.

Got to the observation tower, and found this guy about head-high across the ramp.



Anyway, that's all the more I feel like writing about tonight. Lots of gators on the ride back, saw a manatee later on. Ended up in Naples for the night.

Tomorrow is wandering back across to Hollywood.
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:06 PM   #90
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Nothing really of import today.

Got up, drove along the gulf a bit. Found a beach access and walked out, it wasn't great. Wandered back to the east near Lake Okeechobee, which also wasn't interesting.

Tomorrow I think it's get up, maybe drive along the ocean for a while. Have a stop in Marathon, which isn't too far, so probably will take the scenic route.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:35 PM   #91
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I guess I cut off too early the other day. Riding back from the observation tower in the Everglades, there were quite a few gators next to the path.



At one point, I noticed a disturbance in the bushes and stopped to look. Can't make it out too well through the growth, but there an anhinga in there who captured a fish. While I waited, it eventually positioned it so it could open the gullet, and down the fish went. I don't imagine that's super-common to see.



Bird's the kind of gray and black thing, fish is just right of center, tail downward.

Anyway, more gators. Next-to-last is a baby, probably 18"-2' long.











Kind of shows how little difference of elevation is needed to get out of the water just enough for other types of plants to take hold:



This is an anhinga in real life (not the same one). I guess it's pretty common for them to dry out a bit in the sun after diving for fish.



This morning, awoke in Hollywood. Went down the the Atlantic beach (kind of felt obligated, not really a beach person) and walked a bit, then started heading south on FL A1A, then US1 to the Keys.

Here's the only breach picture I liked



Miami skyline. That huge block on the right is actually a cruise ship, not an apartment complex.



Went to check Biscayne Bay National Park. Turns out that the big NASCAR race was on the road to it. Surprisingly, traffic not bad at about 1PM EST. No idea when the race started; I assume it wasn't on yet, as I couldn't hear engine noise passing by with the windows down.

NP was nice, nothing special. Got back to the highway and headed down the Overseas highway Stopped at a couple of breweries in Islamorada for one each, then got to Marathon. On the advice of the hotel manager, went to the Sunset Grille for dinner. It did not disappoint.





And back to the hotel. Tomorrow, poke on down the road to Key West for a couple days.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:12 PM   #92
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OK, was in Key West for a couple of days. If you're ever there, check into a bike rental. It's pretty flat and small, way easier to get around than driving/parking hassles.

Went literally to the end of the road.



Or the start, depending how you look at it.



Super-touristy, so meh on that part. One of the things to do is go down to Mallory Square for the sunset. Random photos from two nights' worth.



















I thought those clouds were going to color up on the second night, but no luck.

I wandered into Captain Tony's Saloon, where the words are indeed written on the dingy wall of the head.



Southernmost point of the continental US



It's kind of ridiculous in that area. Everything is the 'southernmost': house, guest house, motel, beach bar, gift shop, blah, blah, blah. Also during the day the line stretches down the block.

On the way back up, stopped at a spot where the old highway was still in pieces.







It's unclear to me why they left it standing. There were pieces at either end removed, and I think some in the middle, but to me, it looks like it's ready to fall down at any moment. Seems like it would be smarter to take it down safely.

One last stop at Anne's Beach on Islamorada



Now at a Days Inn wedged between the freeway and Miami International (surprisingly quiet so far). Get up tomorrow, return rental, then back to Denver via O'Hare.

In a bit of good news, the Global Entry interview went through well enough that United put the precheck symbol on my boarding pass, which should mean less hassle at the airport. Though it being a holiday morning, they might not have the staff to have anything but regular open.

Next trip, probably up north for the holidays. Never anything worth reporting or taking pictures of up there though.

Last edited by golddog; 11-23-2016 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:29 PM   #93
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Up north for a few days. Visiting Mom and various friends. The town I come from is pretty much a depressing ****hole, so while seeing the people is nice, the actual place is terrible.

Anyway, no photos or news to share, but since it is technically travel, I felt obligated to update. Escape Sunday, four weeks from Monday the Antarctic adventure beings. Not sure how much I'll be able to update photos from the boat's satellite interwebs, but I'll try to at least post some info.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:37 PM   #94
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Just about ready for the next adventure. Mostly packed, just a few more things. Monday, it's DIA -> Houston -> Buenos Aires -> Ushuaia -> Antarctica.

Not sure what kind of access I'll have on the ship. Apparently there's satellite, but they made it sound really slow and unreliable.

I'll try to update if there's anything of interest, but I imagine photo uploads will not be successful.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:36 PM   #95
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Made it to Buenos Aires. The overnight flight was pretty miserable, as they tend to be. Going on a short tour of the city today, then longer tomorrow. Thursday leave at 03:45 to go to the airport to fly down to the bottom of South America. Hopefully I can sleep a bit on that flight. Or get some beers, if nothing else.
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:10 PM   #96
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Did the tour around BA today.

First, walked around Recoleta cemetery, which is where Eva Peron ended up being buried. (it's a whole long story about her body being moved around for reasons I can't recall). Anyway, it's still a shrine to people here, but what I found more intriguing is the effort that's put into the masoleums (and the juxtaposition with the live city just outside the walls):



It really is like a little city in there.

Went to a couple other parks, don't remember anything in particular about them. The tree that makes the national flower of Argentina, (Cebo or some such), a bunch of parks. I was pretty much falling asleep on the bus between stops and zombied through when we got off.

Cocktails and dinner tonight, then another tour tomorrow around town.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:04 AM   #97
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cool pics
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:28 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberajack View Post
cool pics
Thank you.

Today, we toured the southern area of the city. First stop was La Casa Rosada, the presidential house. Apparently was used in Evita, for Madonna fans out there.



It kind of reminded me of the White House (probably 20 years ago)--the roads right next to it were still open to traffic, the protective fence much closer to the building. Also have protesters out front, kind of like Lafayette Square.

Though the president doesn't live here, it's just the office. The guide says he comes in by helicopter each morning when in town.

Down the block was the Catedral Metropolitana, so we went in there. Pope Francis' home church, I guess. Looks more like a Supreme Court building or something to me.



If I heard the story right (lots of traffic and large crowd), the guide's father and Pope Francis went to school together and have been friends for many years. Apparently he called to wish her father happy birthday at some point after being elected Pope, which was a big deal for them.

Went through the San Telmo district just south of there whose name I forget, but is the oldest part of BA after the above.



Next, it was to the La Boca district, which is full of shops, restaurants, and bars.



We wandered around there for a bit, then back on the bus to Puerto Madero for lunch and back to the hotel.

I can't remember all the little bits of info we were given. I was more awake today, which made the tour better for me.

Tomorrow is up super early (2:45 breakfast, 3:45 depart hotel) to get to the airport for the flight south. Going to try to get to bed early and sleep a bit on the way down, too.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:14 AM   #99
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Flew down to Ushuaia yesterday. After lunch, we had a tour of Tierra del Fuego national park.

Unfortunately, mostly overcast then rain, so no good pictures of the southern Andes. The bits I could see reminded me of the Canadian Rockies.

I don't think I'll be uploading pictures; boat's internet is satellite, so slow and also unreliable. I'll try to recap when I get back to civilization.

Anyway, after the tour, we hand an hour to walk around Ushuaia in the rain, so not much fun, then on the boat.

Just kind of went out in the harbor last night. I guess we refueled somewhere in Chile overnight, then took off this morning. Just passed Cape Horn, so out in the Drake Passage for real now.

Seas noticeable but not terrible. 2-3 meters, they said, so I can definitely feel the roll and pitch of the ship. Occasional misstep, but nothing too bad so far.

They keep us pretty busy with various talks on ship's life, or naturalists talking about their specialty (birds this AM), so that helps pass the time. Two days over the passage, then sail around the Antarctic peninsula for a few days.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:56 AM   #100
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February 4:

Not much today. Woke to gray, overcast skies with rain which lasted nearly all day. So, it was just around the boat. We got the talks on how to do the onshore parts of this tour, and discussed a little bit about tomorrow's activities. We're going on shore to see an ex-base in the morning, then to visit with an active Ukrainian base in the afternoon.

Early evening, the clouds started to lift, and we could see the Antarctic peninsula in the distance. I don't think any of the pictures will be great, too far off and light too late. A nice a sunset, which I don't think I particularly captured either.

Hopefully tomorrow I manage not to fall off the zodiac, and can say I've actually been to Antarctica now.
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