Blogs from North America

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North America » United States » California » Apple Valley April 18th 2014

Getting ready for the Galapagos and Machu Picchu. Planning for this trip has been a little more tricky, the weight restrictions on the baggage makes taking all your gear impossible. So we opt in and opt out. 17 days on the road - got a pair of Keen sandals for water landings and hiking on the islands and a pair of lightweight Merrell hiking shoes for mountain trekking and Machu Picchu - neither weighing a pound. Opt in on the new binoculars (Vortex) opt out on the land camera. Opt in on the underwater camera (doubles for land shots), opt out on any extras. Opt in on the laptop and phone. Scan discs, thumb drives, batteries, and other techie stuff is heavy!!! Opt in - my own snorkel and mask, opt out - fins. Start adding ... read more

North America » United States » Florida » Orlando April 17th 2014

This is becoming a test of my stamina. So far - so good. The girls are way ahead of me, though. They spent Tuesday at Disney's Animal Kingdom.....riding the roller coaster Yeti ride several times until they were ready to hurl. Yesterday, we all loaded into the vehicles and arrived at Universal Studios for our 2nd day pass visit. The lines going in were ginormous....I almost wondered if they would close the park due to a maximum number allowed but we made it in. It was hot and crowded. The kids took off to do "their" thing while I led the adult pack to Harry Potter for the famous butter beer. Oooooo, so yummy! Lory noticed a fellow lying on the ground taking a photo. We all looked up to see what he was photographing. WOW....there ... read more
Still Wonderful.....
Butter Beer & Tropical Drinks
Sun Halo

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle April 17th 2014

Day 7 – Stand back, I’m going to try Science! Once more, Tony sacrificed himself on the altar of work while Michelle and Anne explored Seattle. They started out with every intention of getting to the Pacific Science Center at 10. First stop was another breakfast of pastries, this time with Tony. Then they set off for the monorail to take them to The Seattle Center. On the way Anne and Michelle discovered Marbles, a toy store full of science and thinking games, toys, books, music and gadgets. Every item in the store had a working example out to play with and try. Much time was spent in the store. Anne resisted mightily and didn’t buy anything, yet. There’s always tomorrow. They finally made it to the monorail, Michelle sat up front and got to honk ... read more
Squashed Dino
A replica of the Enigma Machine used by the Germans in WWII
Cheesy!

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland April 17th 2014

I didn't want to spend my last morning in Hong Kong sitting around the hotel room, so I packed my bags and then went out for a walk. I strolled along past little shops selling everything you can thing of: a tiny hardware store, a large number of shops selling dried seafood products (anchovies (I think), slices of fish, seaweed, and several items I couldn't identify), a money exchange office, a 7-11, a Starbucks, a shop that appeared to be selling 4x8 pieces of plywood, and others. After a while I hopped on a tram that runs along one of the main streets and rode it to the Bank of China building. I had my passport with me, so I was able to go up to the observation floor. Clearly the view was more impressive back ... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle April 16th 2014

Day 6 – Doin’ Nothin’ The gray and rainy morning drove Michelle and Anne’s desire to stay in and relax for a day. After Tony went off to the office, Anne and Michelle ventured across the street to get some oatmeal and pastries. The oatmeal was good but the still warm croissants were the best part. Michelle had been thinking about how to build a carousel in Minecraft since she saw the one in Central Park. She spent the morning working on it. They went to meet Tony and some coworkers for lunch at Portage Bay near the offices. Portage Bay serves breakfast all-day and has some fabulous food but the best part is the topping bar for the pancakes, waffles and French toast. It has a huge mound of whipped cream, bowls full of berries ... read more
Pretty Nails
Dance, Baby, Dance!

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North America » United States » California » Lake Tahoe April 16th 2014

Early start this morning waking up at 6.45, then just as we were getting ready we heard a strange noise coming from the window by stephs bed. It was a frog or a toad croaking away as if to wake us up! Natures alarm! We got ready then I went to reception to get some wifi to upload the last two days blog posts as we've struggled for wifi for the last 24 hours and to be honest I was too busy in Vegas to upload! When I get back I'll do a check through and upload some better photos. We've got a load spread over two cameras, my iPhone and video camera. It's been easier for me to upload the ones from my iPhone over the wifi rather than faff with sd cards, but to ... read more
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North America » United States » California » Lone Pine April 16th 2014

Today was going to be another longish drive so we decided to start no later than 9.30-10. Steph and I decided to go to the Bellagio breakfast buffet and left Kerry still getting up as she wasn't up got it. We'd been to the buffet a couple of years ago for lunch so knew what to expect. They have everything you could ever think of for breakfast and you can eat as much as you like! We had some fruit, pancakes, french toast, eggs florentine and some coffee and juice. This time we didn't overheat like last time! And had a nice leisurely breakfast then we went for mother bit of gambling where I lost $20 then bought a few more gifts and ended up to get out stuff and check out, we'd one valet parking ... read more
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North America » United States » Oklahoma » Oklahoma City April 15th 2014

Oklahoma City We are up at 4.30am to catch the 2 buses (No:6 & 10) to the Greyhound station for the 7.20am nine hour trip to Oklahoma City (OKC) via Dallas where we have to change. The journey goes to time but the buses are the worst condition we've been on by far; dirty seats, many broken and no chargers or internet. The driver for the second leg, Mr Bridges, is a star though; he runs the bus like a ship but he also jokes with all the passengers and says a prayer for safe journeys at the start and end of the journey - to which we all say "Amen!!" He clearly missed his vocation he should have been a preacher – he’d make a good one as well. In Oklahoma ... read more
Route 66 Motel - stroud
At the Motorcycle Museum - Warwick
The Crossroads -

North America » United States » California » San Diego » Hillcrest April 15th 2014

What a wonderful trip. For us two weeks was good. Getting tired of hotels and eating out! Last day in Christchurch weather was very nice sunny, and warm like San Diego. Hotels we stayed at were all pretty decent hilton and sofitel were very nice and made the trip luxurious when we needed it. wine excellent. food not too bad ,nothing spectacular. Mostly the cafés pretty good for food and people watching .mostly students from all over the world working as wait staff hiking on their off time. Expensive here though eating out very expensive. Hotels average prices as on states car rental and gas r high. Save a Lititle bit of NZ money for small food , drinks in airport, most vendors chArge fee if u use credit card for purchase. Farewell to our friends ... read more
bungy jumping off the Sky Tower
meet up with our niece in Quuenstown
at the Albatross Conservatory in Otago Penisula

North America » Canada » British Columbia April 15th 2014

Just because it's in the list of top ten things to do in Vancouver doesn't mean you should go. I went to Burnaby Village Museum. It's a replica of the old British Columbia. They have old houses, banks, grocery store, cinema, train station, train, etc. There were people in costumes assuming the identities of people who lived in the era that they were trying to portray. It was nice to see the antiques and stuff, but it was really just awkward. It was a place where parents take their toddlers. Yup, that kind of place. I was the only adult there that didn't have a kid in tow. The ticket attendant said I should really try the free carousel ride. What a depressing picture if I did. It would have been okay if I had a ... read more
old train
train station in burnaby village museum
old car




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