Tag Archives: travel

Five for Friday – Impressive Rock Formations

This is likely just a cheesy attempt to highlight some of my favorite bands, so I thought I should also include something scholarly, therefore… Five for Friday – Impressive Rock Formations:

Wave Rock – Australia

This 15 meters high and 110 meters long impressive natural rock formation is located in Western Australia. It derives its name from the fact that it is shaped like a large, smooth wave. The total outcrop covers several hectares. The unusual shape of the rock is greatly highlighted by vertical darker streaks of algae, which grow on the surface of the wave, and by dark black stains which change to brown during the dry season.

The Beatles – England

The Beatles were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England: John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Former members included Pete Best (drums, vocals) and Stuart Sutcliffe (bass, vocals). Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and skiffle, the group worked with different musical genres, ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, style and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon successful solo careers.

 The Wave – USA

This spectacular sandstone formation called “The Wave” is located on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, Arizona. This incredible formation can be reached by hiking approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) across rugged, trail less landscape, making the round-trip to and from The Wave a nearly 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) hike that climbs about 350 feet (107 meters) in altitude.

Aerosmith – USA

 Aerosmith is an American hard rock band, sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”.  Their style, rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, glam, and rhythm and blues, which has inspired many subsequent rock artists.  The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970.  Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith.  By 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston.  They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972 and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album.  In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars.  By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army.”

Brimham Rock – England

 This 300 meters high incredible rock formation located on Brimham Moor in North Yorkshire, England is part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

…and a bonus:

The Traveling Wilburys – Earth

Traveling Wilburys was a supergroup consisting of George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan.  The band recorded two albums during the two years they were together.  “Wilburys” was a slang term coined by Harrison and Lynne during the recording of Cloud Nine as a pet name for various types of equipment in the recording studio.  The term was used again when the entire group was together.  Harrison suggested “The Trembling Wilburys” as the group’s name; instead, Lynne suggested “Traveling”, which was agreed on by the group.


Vanity of Vanities

At last, an honest driver.  Although I didn’t take this photo, this is what I see daily – people more concerned about themselves than they are about me.  What happened to me?  Why aren’t we thinking about me?  I have simple expectations when I drive – please stay out of my way (I said please, so I am at least polite).

Some Most All of the above is probably more true than I would like to admit, but I don’t think I would ever have the courage to get this vanity plate:


Carpooling – An American Tradition

Carpooling (car-sharing, in it’s inception) is historic and patriotic – an effort to save resources for the war effort during World War II (besides, who would want to be responsible for this passenger?). 

It’s interesting the tactics we will take to guilt people into helpful behaviors.  These days, you ride with Al Gore if you carpool:


Fun with Balloon Missiles

Now this could be fun.  Just tie these balloon missiles on the back of your vehicle and drive like crazy.  Can you imagine the innocent commuter who is driving along the freeway then looks over to see this go by?  It would be fun just to see it unfold:


Droll Troll

Although this is an incredible likeness, this is obviously photoshopped since I haven’t been to Seattle in years (and was just a child at the time).  What a phun photo!  It reminds me of when I visited London and went to Drury Lane to see if there really was a Muffin Man.


A Day with THE Mouse

I took my kids to Disneyland yesterday (my wife was out of town) and learned a few important things.

  1. September and January are the optimal times to go to Disneyland if you wish to avoid crowds.
  2. A stroller is an annoyance to everyone but the person pushing it.
  3. The Indiana Jones ride hurts.
  4. My kids are cool.

Ok, so I already knew #4, but the others were kind of new – well, actually I had ridden Indiana Jones on a prior trip and had forgotten how bruised one can get.  It’s a fun ride, but it’s fun that hurts.

Regarding attendance, I noticed some interesting (at least to me) things about the way Disney takes care of business.  For example, although attendance appeared down, they did not want it to seem so.  As we were walking through the park, there was every indication that the park was full.  The lines for food seemed about right and the lines for rides were spilling out of the entrances to the rides.  However, I noticed that only a few of the windows at the food counters were open and most of the lines for the rides were fairly straight shots into the ride rather than the famous Disney twists and turns around ropes, chains, and poles.  I started asking employees if attendance was down and the typical answer was, “not for September.”  One employee actually was willing to admit that September and January are their slow months.  She attributed September slowness to “back to school” and January to “the rainy month.”  We were able to ride 15 rides, take in a show, and eat lunch and dinner in about an eight hour period.  We arrived at 9am and planned to stay until about 10 or 11pm, but by 5pm had done everything we wanted to do, so we left for home.

Most of the people who were at Disneyland yesterday were in Fantasyland.  We cut through there a couple of times on our way across the park.  The lines were really long (winding around) and strollers were everywhere.  It looked like the pictures I’ve seen of China with all the bicycles.  Almost all stroller drivers expected everyone else to yield (probably appropriate, but still annoying – and, yes, I did purposely observe their driving habits).  As we passed through I expected to see happy families (this is the “happiest place on earth” after all), but instead I noticed that very few people were actually smiling.  It was hot, kids looked tired, and parents looked bored.  Some fun!

As I mentioned, my kids are cool.  They had a great time, were polite to everyone, said thanks at all the appropriate times and to all the appropriate people, appeared genuinely grateful for the day, took turns at all the times they should have done so, and were patient in the lines (as they should have been, since our longest wait was 20 minutes at Space Mountain – no other line was longer than 15 minutes).  Actually, at one point I mentioned that the line to one ride looked kind of long from the outside and my kids looked at me and (almost) in unison said, “it is Disneyland, dad.  What do you expect?”

Their mother has raised them well.

Going… Going… then Home

One of the good things about my job is that I get to travel quite a bit. 

One of the bad things about my job is that I have to travel quite a bit.

I am enjoying keeping in touch with several new friends since beginning this blog, but I’ll be out of town (and out of touch) the rest of this week (Temecula – good luck finding it on a map), home for the weekend, then off to San Diego next week. 

Don’t forget me while I’m gone.

Things I Discovered on Vacation in Hawaii

We arrived home from Hawaii this morning and are exhausted.  Just to update (all of this will be random, since I haven’t slept in more than 24 hours and my body feels like it is shutting down)…

No matter how hard we try, we are just not beach people.

It probably wasn’t a good idea to watch the movie JAWS with my 10 and 12 year old kids just before going to Hawaii.

We all really enjoyed the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Red-eye flights live up to their name.

We were impressed by the Arizona Memorial.

There is not much swapping going on at the Honolulu Swap Meet (unless currency counts as a swap).

We enjoyed visiting the Hawaiian Art Museum, the DeRussy Military Museum, the Aquarium, the Hawaiian Palace, and the Mission House Museum (we may not be beach people, but apparently we are museum people).

We did have fun at the beach, but we still aren’t beach people.

Our United Airlines flight crew was top notch.

My son has a great sense of humor (I already knew it, but it is still fun to think about) and my daughter has a charming smile (and used it on me more than once) and both of my kids really do understand the value and power of money (both really wanted to make their own purchases with their own money rather than allow “the parents” to just buy them what they wanted – they even wanted to buy their own food several times, but we kept reminding them that food was “the parents'” responsibility).

We aren’t great at being tourists (we feel self-conscious when pampered) and we aren’t really beach people (have I mentioned this?).

Enough, everyone else is asleep – my turn.

Fish, Flea, Culture – Quite a Week Ahead

Our kids (10 and 12) have planned their “once in a lifetime” events and we are on our way to Hawaii.  They are planning to learn to surf, visit the USS Arizona Memorial, visit the Polynesian Cultural Center, swim, hula, snorkel (my nightmares are recurring… meaningful, if you read an earlier post about swimming with the fish) and visit the flea market.  We are hoping to cram in tons of relaxation between rushing from event to event.

I’ll report back next week.

Building Community in Costa Rica

I had an opportunity to travel to Costa Rica with some high school kids from my church to refurbish a community center.  Each of the communities around San Jose (the capital city) has a community center, but many of them had been taken over by drug dealers and were unsafe for kids.  The particular community center we were to take care of was in serious disrepair.  It had been abandoned for several years and it took two days just to clean up the yard and make repairs to the building (including adding an interior wall to cordon off one end for a police outpost).

As we worked on the yards and made repairs, some of our kids walked through the neighborhood meeting people and telling them we were reclaiming the community center from the drug dealers.  We set up a couple of tables and some games as kids started spilling in from the neighborhood.  While we painted the building, kids played in the freshly cleaned yard and/or colored pictures at the tables.  Neighbors brought food and we ate together – it was great!

The person who set this up for us was a kind of renegade missionary – not really affiliated with an organization, just trying to make a difference among people who need an advocate.  He took us to a local government meeting one evening (with the mayor and city council) and made a pitch for them to hire people to run after-school programs at the community center.  They were very kind and told us they would consider the request (we found out later that they had some people in place within just a few weeks).

By the end of the week our work was complete and the police were in place in their new office, so we were free to do some sightseeing.  One of my goals had been to hike in a rainforest, and I had convinced the rest of the group to take a short hike.  We found some tour guides to take us into the rainforest (but off the touristy, beaten path).  It started raining about five minutes after we stepped out of the vans, rained for the next two hours while we hiked, and stopped raining just as we were getting back into the vans.  It was a fantastic experience as we hiked through lush jungle, along beautiful streams, and past small waterfalls.  This was the only time it rained while we were on this trip and it just seemed fitting that it was while we were in a rainforest (I don’t think anyone was upset about getting wet). 

Following our hike, we toured a butterfly farm and I bought a blue morph.  The farm only boxes butterflies that have died, so no butterfly was harmed in the making of my memories.  The one funny line from the staff, however, was that butterflies are not sold to be pets – they are sold to be food.  How odd.

A couple of goals met, time spent with some great kids, many new friends, a sense of accomplishment… good times – great trip.

I’ve added some photos – not mine, but they look just like my memories.  Thank you to http://www.monteverdeinfo.com/photo_gallery.htm


Costa Rica Jungle http://monteverdeinfo.com