Former TravelPod Member: alreadypacked

Joined: February 8th, 2009
From: lives in Albuquerque,United States

"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

North America » United States » South Dakota » Rapid City August 9th 2017

First stop today—Starbucks. Since this hotel does not have its own restaurant offering breakfast, they offer coupons to use at the Starbucks on the property as their way to provide free breakfast. That was a nice change from the standard breakfast buffet. We drove a short way east out of Rapid City for sightseeing. The first visit was to Badlands National Park. A scenic road winds in and out of the rock formations of the park starting and ending at exits off I-90. We both enjoyed the drive, and we stopped at some of the overlooks for a closer look. In two places, bighorn sheep were close to the edge of the road nibbling the grass and ignoring the tourists snapping photos. Lots of bikers were at the park, too. Next, we drove up to Philip, ... read more
2017-08-09 01 Badlands NP (1)
2017-08-09 01 Badlands NP (2)
2017-08-09 01 Badlands NP (3)

North America » United States » South Dakota » Rapid City August 8th 2017

After having a light breakfast from the limited offerings at the hotel buffet, we checked out to start the drive northward again. A small coffee shop, Scooters Coffee, with drive through service across the street from the hotel looked open so we stopped there first and then gassed up at the convenience store on the same corner. The highway out of Scottsbluff was almost deserted. Driving along, I felt like the road was built just for me. We did encounter another one-lane construction zone with a pilot vehicle to lead the short string of cars and trucks safely through it. This time it took a little longer than it did yesterday to wait until it was safe to proceed. After that one spot though, the rest of the drive was easy. We saw lots of motorcycles ... read more
2017-08-08 00 Keystone, SD  (1)
2017-08-08 00 Keystone, SD  (2)
2017-08-08 00 Keystone, SD  (3)

North America » United States » Nebraska » Scottsbluff August 7th 2017

The day started cool and overcast in Colorado Springs. Philip was up first and walked across the street to a Starbucks while I was waking up and getting ready. He enjoyed the short walk and compared the weather to the cool, soft days we often find in Ireland. Just lovely. We finished breakfast in the hotel—only so-so—and got on the road by 10:00. Mist and rain started soon after leaving the hotel and made the drive through the Denver traffic more stressful than expected. Lots of construction and stop-and-go traffic made the ride slower than expected, too. The drive was north on I-25 to the southern edge of Cheyenne, Wyoming, then east on I-80 before taking off on the smaller roads leading north to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and the sights for today. We drove to Chimney Rock ... read more
2017-08-07 00 Driving to Nebraska (2)
2017-08-07 00 Driving to Nebraska (3)
2017-08-07 00 Driving to Nebraska (4)

We are off on another trip to see parts of the USA that we haven’t seen before. Left home this morning shortly before ten and arrived in Colorado Springs about three. The trip was fine the whole way with a little bit of traffic building up around Pueblo that stayed with us the rest of the way. We checked in at the Hilton Garden Inn, and Philip was able to catch up on his class’s posts before dinner. He has two weeks left in this class. The areas we drove through today started with the desert north of Albuquerque, then a few forested mountains before reaching the plains of northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado. The landscape is calming and quiet with a long way between roadside stops. When we did stop for gas, it was ... read more
New Mexico / Colorado border
Lots of named highways

Geo: 34.0533, -118.245... read more

Geo: 35.1241, -106.768Being on the small Pacific Princess ship was great again today. No long lines at disembarkation! We spent the short time after we had to vacate our mini-suite in the Platinum Lounge where they had coffee, tea, and breakfast snacks. Our disembarkation group was called right on time. We got through all the rigmarole easily and were on the transfer bus to the airport about twenty minutes after leaving the lounge. Check-in at the United counter in the airport was quick—no lines there either. When we were next in line for passport check in airport security, a man hurried up beside me and went ahead of me to give his passport. I let him cut in line without comment (except to Philip). That turned out to be a bad idea for him. He was ... read more

North America » Mexico » Baja California May 11th 2017

Geo: 31.2335, -117.978After breakfast in the dining room, we packed most everything and finished it up after dressing for dinner. On this ship, they have asked that we put as much of the luggage as possible out in the hall before going to dinner saying it will help the porters make much less noise after bedtime. We put the three suitcases out that we will check on the plane. The rest will be carry-ons although we'll have to move a few things around after we pick up the bags in the cruise ship terminal and before we check them at the airport.This afternoon, we went up to the Pacific Lounge for the final Happy Hour and Trivia Contest. Philip and I played as a team of two. Sunny and Dick have picked up some other teammates ... read more

Geo: 25.7524, -114.111Only one more day left on the ship. We had the last formal night, and all our tablemates showed up for dinner. Leonard and Allison, Estelle and Sam, Lori, Suzann, and we made up the table. They have been a nice group to spend dinnertime with.This morning when we had breakfast at the buffet, there was a woman monopolizing the toaster. After she touched all the English muffins that came out, I decided to wait and go back later to fix one for me. I went to two presentations in the Cabaret Lounge that Philip chose to skip. In the morning, Cruise Director Sammi interviewed the singers and dancers. They told how they came to work in the entertainment field and how they chose to work on ships, specifically Princess ships. They work hard, ... read more

North America » Mexico » Baja California May 9th 2017

Geo: 24.1385, -110.317Philip and I passed on the tours of La Paz today and decided to stay on the ship instead. I did walk off for a few minutes to look at the market set up on the pier and take some photos of the ship. We haven't been in any ports that provided a good photo opportunity until today. The ship looks so small compared to the photos of so many other cruise ships.We both checked email. Philip went to the afternoon movie but I skipped it choosing to sit on the balcony. The weather has been beautiful. As I write now after dinner, I am planning on going to the show—identical twins Will and Anthony who sing and tell jokes. Phil is going to watch another movie on TV. There is a stargazing night ... read more
La Paz, Mexico
La Paz, Mexico
Working Outside Our Suite

North America » Mexico » Nayarit May 8th 2017

Geo: 21.066, -106.838Today we were up in time for breakfast in the dining room. I like it much better than the buffet, but they stop serving at 9:30 most days so we must hurry to make it.We spent a lot of time in the Cabaret Lounge watching shows. This morning they screened a video which was recorded during our Panama Canal transit and compiled and edited by members of the photography crew on board. We were back there in the afternoon to hear the choir composed of passengers on the ship. They did a fine job. After dinner, we returned for the music of Duncan Tuck, whom we heard a couple of days ago, and Kuba, a talented musician from Poland. Duncan Tuck's set was pretty much like his first show. Kuba had also performed before, ... read more

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