March 19, 2019

Trip Reports – places we’ve been

These are just some of the places we’ve been. Note that each link will create a new window – just close it when you are done and you’ll still have this original page for further exploration. Enjoy! Japan (Oct 6-16, 2018) Japan – Day Zero – Real worries Japan – Day One – Transpacific Japan – Day Two – Anime and Altitude Japan – Day Three – Towers and Clocks Japan – Day Four – Shrines and Temples Japan – Day Five – Mt Cloverfield Japan – Day Six – Cloverfield unmasked and shopping Japan – Day Seven – A thousand […]
April 13, 2024

Netherlands – Day One – Vikings (4/1)

think you should go later. Two hours is fine, and we’re so close to the airport.” I was at my brother’s house, having ubered over to stage for the airport. We were there to pick up my mom (90 years old and traveling overseas; what could go wrong?) and also to cage a ride from my brother. “You can hang out here. It’s four and a half hours until flight-time.” Being an wormy early-bird type, I told him I’d rather waste time there than at his house. And really, there was nothing for me to do here anyway. “Okay, okay,” […]
April 14, 2024

Day Two – Close Shaves and Camelot (4/2)

e descended like a night raven out of the arctic sky, stuffed to capacity with Vikings and coming in to Reykjavík thirty minutes late. As mentioned earlier, we needed to get through passport control and over to the new flight gate, with a ninety-year-old mom in tow, in one brief hour. And we were in the very back row of our slowly unloading plane. I was already figuring out how to get a following flight after a presumed missed-connection. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t cover this. I will mention that the man I had simmering hatred for, […]
April 15, 2024

Netherlands – Day Three – Tulips, Houseboats and No Gogh

‘ve got to say that our room here in the Westcord Fashion Hotel is one of the best I’ve ever stayed in. The light panels are a little wonky but the bed is the bomb. Like a cloud. Even while dead-eye awake at 2am with Jet Lag, I was in total comfort. And my new Zen power of falling asleep while meditating worked once again! The day before we’d picked out our careful and deliberate route, all of us buying train passes (well, everyone bought, I paid) for our various activities. The first bit was to ride Tram 1 in […]
April 16, 2024

Netherlands – Day Four – Boats and Trains

oday we went on our first official tour of the series, a ride down the canals of Amsterdam on a long, low tour boat. It sure didn’t look like the best day for it – it was cold and windy and raining pretty consistently. We got on the bus, a bunch of boisterous Americans. The counterweight was the charming Dutch woman, our guide who lives here. She was amusing on the ride out, talking about commuting by bicycles in this city (yeah, soul sister!). When we got to the boat, it was coming down heavier – thank goodness it was […]
April 17, 2024

Netherlands – Day Five – Boarding Action

‘m listening to sirens. Well, right now I’m listening to the Dutch Youth Choir on the Monarch Baroness, our ship for the next few days. But those aren’t my only sirens, This morning, we woke up to a notice on JB’s phone that our home alarm was going off. And it was five hours out of date. Well, crap. So I called my brother (whom I sell short in every regard, and unjustly, since he really comes through for me). 8 am Amsterdam time is 2am Orlando time. But he drove across town and checked things for us, walking the […]
April 18, 2024

Netherlands – Day Six – Easy sailing

asual day today. Woke up, had a light breakfast with the family (and, as always, other old folk whose names I don’t remember) and then we walked over to the north street market (about a half mile away, just up the road, under the low, century-old railroad bridge, up a couple of cluttered streets, and there it was, filling a church yard with all manner of wares (and, need I mention, keeping a careful eyes for the literal hundred bikes that passed us). This is Amsterdam at its best; a warm sunny April day, a light breeze, the residents out […]
April 19, 2024

Netherlands – Day Seven – Mayonnaise and Pot

oke up in Antwerp this AM. Getting in here was an indirect adventure. From about 3am on, we were doing hard thrusting and tight corrections, as well as crashing into occasional locks. It was like we were under hard burn to land at some hidden pirate asteroid base. I lay in bed feeling the boat shiver under thrust and grind against God knows what. But it’s 7am now – the boat is abandoned and I’m sitting in the stern lounge all on my own, having the run of the boat. Already been topside to look at pre-dawn Antwerp, to marvel […]
April 20, 2024

Netherlands – Day Eight – Reflections and more Medieval Stuff than you can imagine

e’re currently docked this morning in an industrial town outside of Ghent. Kinda bleak and, well, industrial. Just off the fantail, there is a very utilitarian “barracks”, a three-story floating block of flats, tied semi-permanently to the dock. Notices of this and that taped to three stories of end-side entryways (off something that looks like a fire escape). It is nothing but a big square box where presumably workers reside (for the industrial yard itself, or some nearby project?). On the shore, there are a hundred bikes drawn up, hinting at the numbers inside. It rather puts me to mind […]
April 21, 2024

Netherlands – Day Nine – Windblown windmills

uestion – whose bright idea was it to place a small bit of chocolate on your pillow at night? If you pop it down then and there (as I did for the first few nights) then you have to brush your teeth all over again (or lay there in the dark tasting it as you fall asleep (perhaps this explains all those yellow Dutch teeth I’ve seen in recent days?)). Further, there is that final sugar spike you get, not so perfect when you lay me down to sleep. I’ve gotten enough sugar in recent days (with the waffles and […]