Apr 272020

Blackpool, United Kingdom
October 3, 2011
Trip to Europe 2011

It was a long morning of 4 trains after leaving The Henry in Bath. The first headed back line to Bristol, where we picked up the next to Birmingham. A Virgin train to Preston ran late so the connection for the train the Blackpool south was missed, so had to take one to Blackpool North and cab to the hotel. We picked a hotel that cost a couple pence (pricy for the town) because there are some really bad places along the main promenade. Those hotels all have large windows where people are in the small lounge rooms looking out. A night, it’s fun walking by. The people look like they are in aquariums and look rather foolish in the kitschy decorated rooms. The whole town has seen better days, it could have been a week or two back in the 1800’s, but great to see the old brit playground.

Walked down to Pleasure Beach one of the amusement parks to wander and people watch. It was a mix of old a newer rides, now getting the same sponsership like US parks with a whole nickelodean section which is worth missing. The park was pretty empty as being monday and the weather less than pleasure.

The lights on the streets are a big jumble of wires during the day, we took the trolley along them on the promanade from the south to the north pier where we took a walk in some of the closing shopping district then found an Italian sitdown restaurant on the north end of town. One of the few non deep fried food spots in town. The waiters at “Taramisu” (Closed Now) worked every Italian flirtations they could use while singing old dean martin that was playing out in the dining room, as if they were working a large tip, but it seems that nobody leaves them in England. The 30 second shoulder rub before ordering wasn’t enough! Carrying luggage is heavy! I need a whole back rub! The food was good too.

Leaving the restaurant at sunset, the lights were beginning to bright as the sky to the west over the ocean looked like a sky from Hawai’i. The cold blowing wind told a different story. The first section of lights we’re a beautiful bright blue LED display but as walking down the promenade got into some older and tackier displays like the section called “faces”.

After walking to the hotel to turn in early for next days journey, the fire alarm went off. This is one of those things that follow me. It went off in the hotel in london also, and 4 other hotels at least in past travels. Luckily it wasn’t 3:30 in the morning.

The breakfast was great and we made it on time to the next train to York. Blackpool is kinda ugly in the daylight, but so is las vegas in the US.

 Posted by at 06:30
Apr 272020

London, United Kingdom
September 29-30, 2011
Trip to Europe 2011

The tripping begins. Sept 28, 2011 the first leg from medford, oregon MFR to SFO begins on a tiny prop plane that was “delayed” because of “weather” on an 88F degree day in San Francisco. Some kind of invisible fog that only forms when skies are clear. From the air I may be able to see the standard brown haze that covers the US, but through the invisible weather i can see a ship out on the pacific 100 miles out, and the invisible weather continues to the horizon.

21:07 PST – Flight was supposed to take off to LHR at 19:20, now supposed to fly out at 21:20, and no boarding yet. The good time of arrival in London has passed, and now it will be a “sleep in” with lack of sleep. The jet lag will be bad, bummer. The few hours before the show we are going to on the first night has become much a shorter time. I hear a crying baby across the room, how close will it be on the plane? It is in the seat directly in front of me, no surprise there.

During unexpected layover found a non-chain type japanese restaurant Sankaku in terminal 3. Didn’t have anything raw and the cooked food was good priced and edible. I am not a fan of airport food and the price gouging that happens, so it was a good value.

22:00 PST – Plane now waiting for papers on the runway,,, then finally in the air. The main thing I have noticed about the airport is that everyone seems quiet, nobody seems happy, and when they find out of more of a delay, they don’t complain, they just say to ho there with, oh, we are going to get in so late. On the plane it has been completely quiet, me and Tim are the only two people talking at all, and as most people know, I don’t talk loud enough for the person next to me to hear when the isn’t back ground noise.

They slapped down the beef product, wish mashed white tubers and carrots cut to the same shape as the green beans the were married with. There were 3 flavors I could not recognize, so I mixed them up well, poured some virgin mary mix on and at some. Luckily with the extra time before the flight we found a cheap japanese restaraunt in the terminal, normal humane pricing, and the food was not bad.

The Ambien and the Lorazapam are now kicking in at 00:31 PST its 08:31 GMT, bummer.

Maybe the pills that let me sleep are taken all day by all these people. they are too quiet. weird.

1500 london time, breakfast on the plane, bad cookie, unripe banana, yogurt from buffalo (must be good) and some redish jelly stuffed flat danish. I ate a banana, crunchy.

Conformity says I must stay in me seat and not use the loo.

Landing soon around 16:15 GMT

Amazingly there was no major jetlag, it seems the layover helped a lot, there was some but not the major amount of it that normally happens.

Since the late arrival in to London, there was only time for checkin to the hotel, quick shower before a run to the tube to get to the Waterloo rail station where a play was being put on in the old Eurostar train platform. The show “The Railway Children” was done really well, as far as the staging and mechanics and the acting was only lacking in some levels vocal audio over the background music. The special effects of a train going through the station was done really well with a real steam engine coming in at the intermission. Although it would have been nice to see the second half of the show, we decided due to jet lag feeling approaching and with the time lost during the plane delay, we needed to move on and eat.

We ended up in china town, finding one of the only places with street seating for great people watching. The hotel that night was mostly pretty quiet for a London hotel, it was really nice. Great convienient location. We decided to book the same place and same super delux room for the end of the trip in weeks ahead. This seemed a great idea! Until the end of the trip…

After missing breakfast, stopped to get a sandwich for 2 people at a nearby cafe, with drinks totaling about $30 US…. better to not miss breakfast again when it is included if possible. Then a trip to the train station to get the eurail passes validated and to the t-mobile store to tech up the ipad.

The tube took us to westminster station for some “oh… big ben” pics, then went to the Churchill museum and his war bunker. From the reviews of the museum it seemed as though you used to be able to get closer to the items and some of the rooms that were behind glass now, it was fun to see but not 4 star, maybe 3.

Stopped for a tea, well coffee and a chocolate bun thing at st pauls cathederal cafe, missing the tour by a few minutes.

Some hot tube rides back to the hotel for a shower to get back on the tube to need another shower ride to the theatre district later.. had a quick ‘pizza’ like thing and salad from alexi’s cafe, that was not on tripadvisor, then we saw “Cool Hand Luke” a new stage play. The show was done really well, and the acting was done well, with the actors all speaking in a US southern accent, y’all. I’m sure most of the audience thought they talk funny, the one actor sounded just like a male Miss Lucy from classic cajon, and looked her a bit. It was great to see a good show that didn’t get an automatic standing ovation like EVERY show in the USA! Ovations are for doing an above and beyond performance.

Meatless food rounded out the evening at Sagar Vegetarian Restaurant before heading back to the hotel for some rest.



 Posted by at 03:00
Apr 272020

Plymouth UK and Bath UK
October 1-2, 2011
Trip to Europe 2011

After a strange breakfast at the hotel, where service never happens the same as the US, we headed off to Paddington Station for the train towards Penzance, our destination for the night in Plymouth.

Plymouth, the town where the Americas cup is held was surprising. The housing around the train station felt completely dead, not a soul on the street to the hotel, that also had nobody, just a key in the box.

Plymouth has a university, and much housing near it with many piles of empties out front of them. The city does have a large new “Circus” (or mall) and thru it you can get to the small section of the old town that survived bombing in World War 2. A great meal at YukiSan, some sushi and wasabi steak, seagulls squawking out the door.

After a large breakfast of white scrambled eggs, brown toast, creamed coffee and some meaty bacon, ran for the train to head to Bath. The second time on a Great Western train, with bad smelling hot sandwiches that people seem to want badly, even though the pre-packaged ones look much better. One of the “Hot” sandwiches (just tossed in microwave) smelled to foul I tossed it before I would take a bite. Great Western is close to AmTrak quality, except the trains all travel over 100 MPH, and are ON TIME… so it’s the winner there.

BATH… Checked into The Henry on Henry Street, and made our way to the front of the roman bath to take a walking tour, which was very Informative of some of the different buildings and how the town continually goes through real estate bubbles since it was created. Cut the tour short to take the time to go through the roman bath before tour times ended. After a quick pasty at The West Cornwall Pasty Company, walked back to the bath entry. The lines were gone and there was plenty of time to go thru by avoiding listening to the “stories” on the listening device that would probably take 3 hours if you did all the information stories. The Roman Bath is pretty amazing to see, and all the areas around it that have been excavated.

Not having time, skipped having Tea in the Pump Room and went for a walk up the hill to the Circus and Royal Crescent Houses. The buildings in all of Bath are amazing, except of course one new building that’s being built will have a glass front in the middle of the old. Tragic stupidity.

We finished the touring with a walk through the Bath Abbey, then dinner at a fren-glish/tapas restaurant called Bistro La Barrique (closed now) with a table on the street. Other than the people watching, I wish we would have eaten at Jaimie Olivers Italian place, but didn’t find that until after..

 Posted by at 03:00
Sep 132011

Trinity Headwaters, California, USA
September 13, 2011

Hike! The headwaters of the Trinity River in Northern California.

Picked up our new friends s and t and drove to down to the headwaters about an hour and a half drive, then strained ourselves on a hike almost all uphill from Deadfall meadow. There were still some wildflowers but will not be for much longer this season.

Was hoping to get wet at the 2nd lake from the feeling of heat from climbing the path, but the lake had too cool of a wind, then the clouds started combining and spitting a few drops on the hurried way back to the car.

 Posted by at 14:37
Aug 182011

On 8/18/11, went for a drive down to Northern California and took a road west from just north of Weed, to see what was in the mountains. After first finding a nudist colony, we continued on the side paved road up the hill on the I P Rd. At the top was lot with some cars parked, at a crossing of the pacific crest trail.

We continued over the hill and down the other side of the mountain. Cme across another small lot across from a meadow of wildflowers. We thought we would stop for a minute, then found our how amazing the flowers were and took some pics.

After, continued on the road then back on a steep CA state highway 3 off the I P road, the went up a beautiful valley I didn’t know existed that led to Yreka.

After returning home, looked up more info on the meadow, and saw there were lakes above, so a place two go back to for sure. Tim went back, then saw how amazing it was, so we invited some friends to take the hike later.

 Posted by at 14:25
Aug 062011

Serena came to visit Ashland to see a few shows with her mom and a friend on August 6, 2011.

I had not seen Serena since the 1985 Santa Rosa High School Graduation. We met at the Oregon Shakespeare Festivals’ Green Show, where I was able to stalk her with the camera for a few minutes before the show was over.

Ballet Folklorico Ritmo Alegre was performing on stage.

We then met up, and went to Blue for some Greek food.

It was great to see such a great friend that was lost to me for so many lost years!

 Posted by at 04:21
Jun 032011

The Mt hood classic passed over the KOM or king of mountain twice on June 3, 2011.

The pictures were all taken at the top or near the top of Seven Mile Hill rd in The Dalles Oregon.

It a big rise in elevation with no break, so the strain at the top is an understandable look.

 Posted by at 02:41
Apr 022011

Benefit Gorge Jazz Concert
The Dalles, Oregon, USA
April 10, 2011

In The Dalles, Oregon, performed on 10-Apr-2011 with The Gorge Jazz band at The Dalles Civic Auditorium led by Sam Grotte.

 Posted by at 04:31
Apr 122010

Buenos Aires, Argentina

April 12, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

Leaving for north, the last day of the trip

 Posted by at 23:39