Page 2 of golfkat Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Michigan » Ann Arbor October 23rd 2019

For those of you, and you know who you are, members of what we call the "Nifty Fifty Club", we have visited all 50 states here in the US. But it raises the question, why don't more people travel within this great country? I often figured it was the expense or the time off from work. In a poll by a famous luggage company, 40% of Americans (respondents) say they have never left the US. And remember that both Mexico and Canada are very close and friendly neighbors. Surprisingly, 54% have been to fewer than ten states, and most surprisingly, 11% have never the left the state where they were born. Why are the numbers so low? The poll said 76% want to travel more than they do. Better yet, 85% said they wanted to experience ... read more
Michigan was #50
Celebrate with steak and champagne

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow October 22nd 2019

Leave it to "Travel Trivia" to come up with facts we do not know about Russia. Having crossed the entire country, from Vladivostok to Moscow, and on to St. Petersburg, I can tell you this is a big place. Perhaps most noticeable, particularly in the big cities, women outnumber men by a large percentage, only 87 men for every 100 women. Why? World War 2 was particularly devastating to Russia. But the real reason could be Russia's love affair with vodka! One in four men will die before their 55th birthday. This is among the highest mortality in the world. I can attest to this, as the big cities are teeming with women walking around in groups, old and young. Where are the guys? Most of the population lives in urban areas. With over six million ... read more
Moscow train station
Siberian winter
Russian girls

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » LAX October 21st 2019

The travel experts always say that LAX is the worst major airport in not only the US, but world wide. While I agree, some others are also in the "not so great" category. I would place Heathrow, Houston, Kennedy, and Bangkok in the "worst or near worst" category. Why Bangkok? The domestic airport (the old Don Muang Airport) is all the way across the city from the new, ultra modern international airport, Suvarnabhumi. The minimum connection time must be close to three hours! Compared to that, LAX is a dream! Heathrow is just a behemoth, though fun airport. Again, connection times, particularly if changing airlines or terminals, pushes 2 hours plus. Fun for shopping, but certainly not the food. Houston is a nightmare, even when transferring on the same airline. I avoid it at all costs, ... read more
Big airport
Time to remodel?
A maze or ??

North America » United States » California » Fresno October 20th 2019

Having just returned from an ultra mega destination wedding in North Carolina, people (many from the south) attending the wedding festivities really did not understand why some relatives could not attend. I told them it was due to the importance of agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley. And that many in our family depend on agriculture for a living, and could not break away to attend this big event. Ag helped our family through college even though our Father was not a farmer. So, let's take a look at the statistics for 2018. For the first time since 2013, Fresno County leads the nation in agricultural production. The county produces $7.9 billion worth of agriculture just ahead of our neighbors to the south, Kern County with $7.47 billion. In other words, over ONE THIRD of our ... read more
My favorite melon, crenshaw
My rib eye
Best strawberries in the world!

North America » United States » California » Pebble Beach October 12th 2019

From 2010 What is so magical about the Monterey Peninsula's Seventeen Mile Drive? We have taken the drive numerous times in the past. Sheri drove it once or twice daily when I worked at Pebble Beach. She would drive between our company apartment and the Lodge at lunch time and again to pick me up after work. We arrived Friday afternoon, after a stop at the factory outlet stores in Gilroy. We saw the sun peeking out from the soft cloud cover, revealing the magnificent Monterey coast and bay. The highway exit for Pebble Beach and Seventeen Mile Drive is a welcome sight. We checked into the Lodge, and got to see our dear friend Carol (from Peru). We settled down for a quiet and relaxing afternoon. Little did we know that we were assigned the ... read more
Famous 17 Mile Drive surf
Inn at Spanish Bay flowers
Spanish Bay view from Roy's

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux October 11th 2019

Not a misspell, just to let you know this more about wine than you will ever want to know. I kind of enjoy it, and will probably keep going until someone says to stop. The year 1850, that the biggest wine-producing state—California—received statehood 169 years ago next week (September 9). Today, California has 3,900 wineries and 637,000 acres/242,400 hectares planted to wine grapes. Wine sales in California reached $40.2 billion in 2018. 95% of the $1.6 billion in U.S. wine exports came from California. I am proud to say that our family was involved in some phases of the wine industry over the years. Percentage, 50%, of rosé sold in the five months between May and September last year, according to a report in Seven Fifty Daily. Five years ago, most rosé sales were limited to ... read more
Me in Bordeaux, wine tasting
Bordeaux train station

Over the years, some strange things have happened here. Though nothing too strange has ever happened to me here, let's see if I can find something out of the ordinary. Check out the DEA's bong collection. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operates a small museum off its lobby, where exhibits on psychedelics and undercover agent paraphernalia (including a 1970s pair of green snakeskin platforms used in Detroit) supplement a whopping display of bongs and clandestine pill presses. The museum plans to close in late 2019 for an extensive, year-long renovation. I might check this out! Dogs at the Congressional Cemetery. Yes, that is a dachshund snuffling around J Edgar Hoover's tombstone, while a black lab lopes over the final resting place of composer John Philip Sou... read more
Schmooze with Big Al
The corpse flower
Jet engines recovered from Twin Towers 9-11

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta » Midtown October 8th 2019

Assuming you were around in the Sixties, you know the 1968 song, "Abraham, Martin, and John", written by Dick Holler, and sung by Dion. It is a tribute to four assassinated Americans, all great icons of social change, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and the Kennedy brothers. The song was written in response to the assassination of Dr. King and Senator Kennedy. Here are the lyrics. It is a powerful song. Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?Can you tell me where he's gone?He freed a lot of peopleBut it seems the good die young... read more
The childhood home of Dr. King
Six Principles of Nonviolence

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta » Midtown October 7th 2019

Has there ever been an American President as interesting or as admired than Jimmy Carter? And while he was a rather mediocre President at best, he has proven that he might be the best person to have inhabited the big house on Pennsylvania Avenue. Why do I say this? He was our 39th President, for one term only. He seemed a "fish out of water" in DC politics, and had a difficult time getting along with is own Democratic party in the House and Senate. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, and eventually became Governor of Georgia. He was guided by skilled politicians through the rather flawed primary process, and became the Democratic nominee for President. A political outsider, he narrowly defeated our only appointed President, Jerry Ford. Perhaps most significantly, he pardoned all Vietnam ... read more
Jimmy Carter and Fidel
Two great Americans
The Carter Presidential Library

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta » Midtown October 6th 2019

My first trip to Atlanta was back in the 80s as I recall. I was attending a convention, then on my way to the US Open Tennis in NYC (1982). I was greeted by my friend, Ken Bob at the airport, along with a large cooler of ice cold beer. Those were the days!! He proceeded to show me the Atlanta that he knew, as a native. We made all the visits, Stone Mountain, the Varsity, Mary Mac's Tea Room, The Fox, and many, many honky tonks and bars. I don't even remember where I was staying! My visit now is ostensibly to visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, and perhaps a few of the nostalgic places like Merry Macs and The Varsity. And who knows, maybe I can? From the Carter Library: Shortly after taking ... read more
Love Mary Mac Tea Room
The Varsity, an Atlanta tradition

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