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In just a few hours, I'll be flying out to meet up with my mother, and then come Sunday morning, we'll be spending 18 days in Japan! Ergo, my presence on the board will be sparse, and I'm missing ReaperCon. With the travel group, we'll be going to Tokyo, and then go south. With stops at Mt.Fuji, Nagano, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Kobe, Hiroshima, and several other places. I plane on bringing back oodles of uniquely Japanese souvenirs. I'm particularly curious about their 200 flavors of Kit Kat bars. If I can find myself a nice nakiri vegetable knife, I'll be happy.
Believe me, I really did Google search this question to death before posting it here, but the internet is useless because all the top-rated results are commercial links, forcing me instead to use search terms like "best place to go on holiday in America FxxK" or "nice place to visit in Florida/Texas/California SxxT" - The addition of a four letter word being the only way to create an anti-commercial filter. Almost all the results I've had so far direct me to Trip Advisor, but Trip Advisor is notoriously unreliable, and to complicate matters further, I am going alone, so I also need to find accomodation that won't overcharge me on a single-room supplement. And no, I don't want to go hiking in the mountains or white-water canoeing. Why do people on Trip Advisor think everyone taking a vacation in the USA wants to go hiking or white-water canoeing? Okay, maybe it's not that I don't want to, but what would actually happen is that I'd be dehyrated, tired, suffer from a bout of cardiac arythmia and get a broken leg. I think I'll pass. Preferably I'd like to go someplace where there's not too much shooting or stabbings either.
Hey all! I just got back from the totally awesome country of Ecuador and their amazing Galapagos Islands. I thought I'd share some of the cool sights for inspiration. it certainly was inspiring for me! First, everyone expects tortosies, so here's he is: We upset his lunch so he hissed at us. They're different from island to island- with varying shells based on their food source. Next, birds. If you like birds, visit the Galapagos! Here's the albatross and one of Darwin's finches (theyr'e a whole bunch, and they all have different beaks based on what they eat!) We got to watch albatross take off, flying and courting. They have a funny honk a lot like the Bird from Pixar's UP! They also make a rapid beak clacking sound when courting. I have video. Next, the Boobies. And yes, I bought "I love Booby" shirts for family members. Here are the Nazca (masked) booby, the elusive and very sleepy red-footed booby and the famous blue-footed booby. In the last shot you can see the difference between the male and female- the pupil of the male on the right is small, whereas the female's is large. They are fantastic divers! They are; however, hilarious when they walk, hence the name, based on the spanish word for clown. more birds... The galapagos are the only place in the world to find penguins on the equator! The islands themselves were all different. They're all volcanic and oceanic (meaning they were never connected with land). For a location right at the equator they're surprisingly dry and arid and the Humboldt current makes the water cold this time of year. (used a wet suit) Bartolome in the first picture is one of the more famous shots. It also requires a climb of the volcanic cone of about 400 steps to get that shot, fyi. I love the way you can look at the cliff and almost look backwards in time and see all of the lava flows and layers! I got to walk inside lava tubes in the highlands of Santa Cruz! The lava formations are formations are fun! So are the sea lions! The second fellow came to take a nap on the boat and was cranky when we reminded him we needed the space! They'll swim in the water with you especially if you play and twist with them. I liked watching them hide under rocks and jump out to scare fish! misc cute animals: The Sally Lightfoot Crab, Marine Iguana and Razor Surgeonfish. I got to swim with sea lions, turtles, sharks... and lots of fish! That's the best part about going during the "cold water" season- the fish are awesome! ...and the obligatory equator shot with one foot in each hemisphere. this was near Quito, not the islands The animals have no fear. All of these shots were done with a point and shoot camera without any fancy equipment. You really can walk right up to them. The mockingbirds used to hop up on our jackets trying to get to our water bottles. They all look at people curiously, trying to figure out what we're doing in their space. It's unreal. I have more pics, but I tried to cut it down to essentials. Enjoy!
I find myself considering the logistics of travel to Texas. What were people's experiences and how did they pan out? I am a rather poor traveler, prone to vertigo and epic motion sickness if I am not extra diligent. But I do love visiting places. I have not flown on a plane since September 3rd, 2001 (and I would rather not go into that at the moment, thanks), but I have discovered some wonderful and far-flung places via automobile and train and boat. So how did people get There and Back Again, and how did it work out?