Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

UK Vacation

Friday, August 1st, 2008


On Friday I flew from Shannon to London for a short vacation. There wasn’t an immigration officer in sight when we walked off the plane – so much for a UK stamp on my passport. However, there was a sign in the immigration area requesting that people please not assault the customs officers. In the US, I would be worried about getting sent to Guantanamo for doing something like that. (more…)

Mexico Vacation

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Puerto Vallarta

scribblings on our guide bookWe left a dreary Boston on Sunday afternoon bound for Puerto Vallarta via St. Louis and Dallas.  Even the seasoned check-in agent was surprised about the stop in St. Louis, but I guess you can’t complain when you are using frequent flyer miles.  I’ve never been a fan of Chili’s One (or as I call it Chiji’s), but strongly suggest avoiding Chiji’s Too if you are ever in St. Louis.  By 10PM we were in mild nighttime Peurto Vallarta.  We chose to take a shared taxi to our hotel.  After we dropped off some resort-goers, Kate started practicing her Spanish with the taxi driver.  It turned out he was better than a tour guide and spent at least 15 minutes telling us (her) about some of the places we planned to go after we picked up a rental car.  Every time Kate mentioned somewhere we were interested in, he would get a light in his eyes and tell us about it and write down [pic] some interesting facts.  He was pretty emphatic about Tapalpa, “Taaappppalpa – si, Talpa – no,” he said a number of times referring to two different towns.  I was very disappointed that we did not have time to visit Tapalpa to try some “birria de conejo” (rabbit stew) as suggested by our taxi driver.  It was great to get his opinions, and as a bonus he told us the best map to get, the mapa Roji, a real road atlas. (more…)

Ireland 2007

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

At the end of October, I traveled to Ireland to do a week-long training for a work. However, not being one to pass up an opportunity to explore, I took some vacation time as well.

I left Boston on Friday night bound for Shannon, via Dublin. Unfortunately I had a 6-hour layover in Dublin – no doubt anyone who has experienced this layover has said “never again,” as I did. When I arrived in Dublin at 5:30 AM, there were a few people starting to filter in for early-morning flights. The airport pubs were open too, and they were already pouring Guinness. Something just didn’t feel right about drinking before dawn, so I held off having my first Guinness [pic] in Ireland until about 8:30, with my breakfast bagel. It was excellent. (more…)


Monday, July 10th, 2006

The flight was uneventful; I liked JetBlue. I couldn’t help noticing “Outdoor World” as I drove to my hotel. As I was a little lazy the next day, I was able to stop in just after it opened. They have everything the outdoor person or outdoor wannabe could need. From thousands of fishing rods to furniture to make your house look like a camp to stuffed wildlife to waterfalls and guns. The building was Huge, designed in a Rocky Mountain style complete with huge lodgepole timbers hollowed out to fit around the I-beams holding the building together. It wasn’t until I checked the internet that I realized there are quite a few of these stores around the country.


Puerto Rico

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

6 Days 5 Nights
496 Miles Driven

Not that we were counting, but we noticed 3 Wal-Marts, 6 K-Marts, 1 CompUSA, 3 Home Depots, and 43 Condom Worlds
Of course there were countless McDonalds and Burger Kings and even a couple Dunkin Doughnuts

We left Boston for San Juan, PR on Wednesday morning, and arrived in time for some sightseeing. However, since we hadn’t bothered to get a map, and had only a GPS and the Lonely Planet, the trip to the hotel took most of the afternoon. We quickly found that numbered roads are often far from highways in PR (case in point). Our first hotel was a small hotel in a residential neighborhood (read: gated community) right on the beach in “Ocean Park.” During a walk around the neighborhood, Kate went into a liquor store to get a bottle of water. The conversation with the cashier went like this: “Where are you from?” “Massachusettes.” “Where in Massachussettes?” “Near Boston” “Where near Boston?” “Worcester” “Where in Worcester?” (more…)

Cross-Country Travel, Chapter 5 – Highest Point, Lowest Point

Monday, September 30th, 2002

September 2002

This update starts right after Burning Man. Luckily my friend had relatives in Carson City, so we drove there and had the first shower in a few days of desert dust and heat. His uncle also made a really good dinner which was great after days of canned vegetables and instant soup. It was especially good to be able to taste something again. The dust on the playa got into my tastebuds and my nose, until everything tasted and smelled the same (including Bud Light, and the porta-potties). It turned out there was a place to go 4-wheeling right nearby.


Cross-Country Travel, Chapter 4

Saturday, August 31st, 2002

This part of the trip starts after I had been in San Francisco for a week with my parents and my sister. My parents and I headed out for Olympia Washington from San Francisco via the coastal route. The coast of California and Oregon were beautiful, but also VERY foggy. So foggy that one town we went through had an all-time high temperature of 69 degrees. From the coast we headed into the Columbia River Gorge. The scenic drive has many waterfalls. The Columbia Gorge, as it turns out, is also a wind-surfing “Mecca”. (more…)

Cross-Country Travel, Chapter 3

Sunday, July 21st, 2002

June 25, 2002-July 21, 2002

I’ve started reading 400-page “Blue Highways” by William Least-Heat Moon. The book is about his trip across the country on “blue highways” (two-lane roads). I was surprised to find out that he was only on the road for 3 months (which makes me a little skeptical about the length of the book). Anyway, get ready, because I’m taking the challenge, and my monthly updates are going to be about 120 pages from now on. I added links to pictures in this email, since I haven’t managed to make a real website. I can’t take credit for the pictures of Chaco, and ballooning; they are borrowed.


Cross-Country Travel, Chapter 2

Wednesday, June 12th, 2002

June 1, 2002-June 12, 2002

I started in Atlanta, and then headed to northern Georgia, to the mountains and National Forests. Northern GA reminded me a lot of NH, and I started to feel relieved to be out of FL. In GA I did alittle four-wheeling in the National Forest, camped at the highest lake in GA, drove to the highest mountain, and then headed to Asheville, NC. In Asheville I went to my favorite Chinese Buffet, and got ready to head to the Great Smokey Mountains.


Cross-Country Travel, Chapter 1

Friday, May 31st, 2002

May 6, 2002-May 31, 2002

We left NYC on 5/6 and made a small loop through North Eastern PA, and the Delaware River Water Gap, and then down the coast of NJ. I wasted a whole $10 on the slots in Atlantic City, but it provided about 2 hours of entertainment. We then crossed the Delaware Bay on the Cape May Ferry, and drove down the coast, stopping at the Assateague Island National Seashore to see the wild horses. We stayed in Hampton, VA with Dustie’s relatives, and got a tour of Langley AFB. When we turned inland, we stopped at some of the historical towns (Yorktown, Jamestown, and Colonial Williamsburg). We went to Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, which was well worth the visit. We then did a quick drive through the mountains in Western Virginia and West Virginia. It’s amazing how windy the roads are with switchbacks up one side of a valley, and then down the other side, with a new valley every few miles. It’s doesn’t make for very exciting driving in an SUV. Even the main roads in WV are constantly curvy.