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

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
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 252020

Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona
November 19, 2004

While I was living in Sedona, Arizona, my nephew Brian came down to look at a few colleges in Arizona to possibly attend. During his visit we drove up to the Grand Canyon. This was just before Thanksgiving, so to spend time with family after, we drove to Santa Rosa, California for the holiday that year.

 Posted by at 05:03
Mar 052015

El Fortin de Santa Rosa, Uruguay

on March 5, 2015

After the first long day of movers packing the belongings that were to be shipped back to the USA, went down to the beach and great friends Cristian and Juan were in the surf, first time try for Juan.  A bit of tranquilo and memory making after a long day.


 Posted by at 14:57
May 052013

Canelones, Canelones, Uruguay
on May 5, 2013.

The ciudad of Canelones celebration of its 200th year anniversary had a day of activities including a parade and concert in the park.  After watching the parade we wandered around the park to watch the rugby practice and see the zoo and as we left the concerts were about to begin.  Hearing the warmup it was not exactly the music we would like to hear, but the crowd seemed as if they were going to enjoy it.

Canelones is like most other small towns in uruguay in design… 1 main square with a church, police, store, bank.  Then a secondary square that is not really used.  It is one of the cleaner cities in Uruguay as some of the residents try to make a difference.

 Posted by at 14:22
Oct 182012

Oregon, California, Arizona

September and October, 2012
On to Uruguay

Moving from the USA to Uruguay…
Some photos of leaving Ashland, Oregon.  Driving down south through California, to Phoenix, Arizona.  Back west over to Los Angeles then on the flight to Uruguay!

 Posted by at 14:54
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
Apr 112010

Buenos Aires, Argentina

April 11, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

Evita museum, and San Telmo and Boca Neighborhoods

 Posted by at 23:19
Apr 102010

Tigres, Argentina

April 10, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

Two trains from retiro station in buenos aires, a switch to the tren de la costa got us out to Tigres for a great day and a boat tour around the canals.

 Posted by at 23:15
Apr 072010

Salta, Argentina and Border Chile
April 7, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

The Train to the Clouds goes early morning from Salta, Argentina up and over the border of Chile to a large bridge called La Polvorilla.  

Then a return on the same line, back.

 Posted by at 21:49
Apr 062010

Mendoza, Argentina
April 6-8, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

We took an 18 hour bus ride from Mendoza, Argentina to Salta, Argentina to go on the tourst railroad called Tren De La Nubes but enjoyed the town of Salta while there.

 Posted by at 06:52
Apr 042010

Mendoza, Argentina

April 4-5, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

Not a full 24 hours but over night and enough time to wander around Mendoza, Argentina before heading off again on a long 18 hour bus ride to Salta


 Posted by at 06:40
Apr 042010

Andes Crossing, Chile and Argentina
April 4, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

On Easter Sunday, a bus over the Andes from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina.  The bus was double decker where we sat above the driver in the front.  Beautiful but at time very frightening.

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 032010

Sewell Mine, Chile

April 3,  2010
Trip to South America, 2010

Sewell, a Unesco World site is an old abandoned mining town, with an active mine underneath.  First in the day after taking a bus from Santiago and seeing some more earthquake damage on the way was seeing the old town on the mountain.  lunch then suit up to go in the mine way in the mountain to see an amazing huge crystal.


 Posted by at 07:20
Apr 012010

Santiago, Chile

April 1 – 2, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

Santiago, Chilie was a bit, or a lot smoggy, but was one of the reasons for going to South America.  The Earthquake had happened not long before and there were getting no tourists and asking people to come so we did.  It was strange with the ‘catwalks’ all down on the sides of the freeway/highways and overpasses gone, and the cracks in every wall of the hotel.


 Posted by at 20:59
Mar 312010

Argentina and Chile

March 31, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

This was a long but exciting day, leaving the hotel in Bariloche, Argentina before dark, hopping on a bus to take us to a boat, that took us across a lake, to check out of Agentina, to get on a bus and go through a jungle, where the luggage truck went off the road during the rain, then check in for Chile, then stop and eat, before busing to the next boat, then busing to Puerto Montt, Chile… The rain was bad almost the whole day, except for at the end of the last lake sadly so it wasn’t as spectacular as it should have been.  But now in a new country.

 Posted by at 12:03
Mar 302010

Bariloche, Argentina
March 30, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

A day in Bariloche, wandering town, doing laundry, finding a good mexican restaurant! Watching the police practice rescues and the sleep early for the long next day on the buses and boats to Chile!


 Posted by at 20:20
Mar 292010

Perito Morino Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina
March 29, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

Wow, amazing so see this large chunk of frozen nature and watch as pieces crash into the water.

 Posted by at 21:20
Mar 282010

Cerro Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

March 28, 2010
Trip to South America, 2010

An amazing day driving over to the park and seeing El Chalten and the Fitz Roy.


 Posted by at 21:15