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Old 05-26-2013, 12:17 PM   #941
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Thanks y'all........and TeeRuh love the pics!

Here are a few more of my pics...one from NM and two from CO.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:19 PM   #942
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Oh...and I can't leave out Jellystone Yellowstone...

I love WY.....
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:39 PM   #943
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Thanks y'all........and TeeRuh love the pics!

Here are a few more of my pics...one from NM and two from CO.
Great pictures !
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #944
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Great pictures !
Love the natural beauty of the American West contrasting with the beautiful classical buildings in Italy. Both breathtaking.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:18 PM   #945
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Just drove from the states to Playa del Carmen. Here's some pictures from Palenque, Bacalar Lake, Mahahual and Xcalak...
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:14 AM   #946
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Just relocated from PV to Vancouver. Humidity (89%) had got unbearable late last week. Restaurant week is still going strong and we had gotten to four of them.

Direct charter flight was tight, especially with our 2 cats under the seats. Enjoying the cool weather here now. Some road work around the condo mostly completed. Was glad to have missed that. Cats took a day to adjust their routines.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:41 AM   #947
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Just got back from visiting my 24 year old son and daughter-in-law in Cary, NC, outside of Raleigh. Wow, is that a booming area! Lots of building of offices (Research Triangle Park) and homes/apartments. Folks moving in from all over the world. Seems like it would be a nice place to retire to...
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:54 PM   #948
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Getting ready for a big trip next month:

First week starts in Seattle then cruises up the inside passage of Alaska.

Second week is in Denali National Park.

Third week is relaxing in Vancouver and Victoria.

We have a few plans, but any suggestions for anywhere in those regions would be most welcome!
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #949
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Well, yes, I DO have some travel planned.

Just got back from 12 days on the beach in Florida - leave for beach area near Venice Italy 6/12 - RI at some point to see family - FL again in Sept. and Dec. and a blues cruise in October and January. This is insane and unlike any other year.... but I'm loving it

Retirement is great.... GREAT!
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Fire on board Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas
Old 05-27-2013, 04:09 PM   #950
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Fire on board Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas

Yikes, these photos are a little scary! That is not a small fire. It's a good thing they were not in the middle of the Atlantic.

Fire breaks out aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship - CBS News

Grandeur of the Seas fire cuts 2000 vacations short for Royal Caribbean customers | World | News | National Post
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:24 PM   #951
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Just spent a week in New York City. Thought is was going to be a leisurely vacation on my own but it turned out to be so busy I couldn't get everything done that I wanted to do. Wore my feet down walking all over the city and my leg muscles salsa dancing 5 nights. Mon-Wed was hot (80deg+), humid, and sunny followed by cool (50deg), windy, and drizzly. Made it to 3 museums, the Circle Line tour, World Trade Center memorial, and a lot of good food and bars. I spent a day each with 2 friends in NYC but the weird part was running into 4 people from home (San Francisco Bay Area) just by chance. One on the street waiting in line for a restaurant. One in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two in salsa dance clubs. What are the odds of that?

Here is the World Trade Center Memorial last Thursday:



Resting my weary feet today.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:29 PM   #952
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Just returned from biking the Virginia Creeper Trail and the Shady Valley, Tennessee area.

Next, I will soon be heading to Wallops Island, Virginia to build a skin-on-frame kayak. Really looking forward to that trip and returning with a sea kayak that I can use at my local state park.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:39 PM   #953
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Getting ready for a big trip next month:

First week starts in Seattle then cruises up the inside passage of Alaska.

Second week is in Denali National Park.

Third week is relaxing in Vancouver and Victoria.

We have a few plans, but any suggestions for anywhere in those regions would be most welcome!
I would definitely recommend you take the ferry to the Olympic peninsula. See Port Townsend, Olympic National Park, and Lake Crescent.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:59 AM   #954
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Just booked 4 days in Chicago in late August. We'll be traveling with our 2 girls (7 and 8 years old) and leaving the 1 year old at home. Nothing much planned so far for the trip, except we scheduled our trip around being there on a Sunday morning/afternoon to go to the Maxwell Street Market and get some good Mexican street food. And we plan to hit up one or more of Rick Bayless's restaurants (Frontera most likely).

I feel pretty clever - booked the whole trip for 20 bucks and some frequent flyer miles and hotel reward points. All we will have to pay for are food, public transit, and maybe admission fees.

Edit to add: the 1 year old won't be left at home alone - one of the grandmothers will be keeping him.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:23 AM   #955
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That sounds great, Fuego--I need to try to get up there this fall sometime, with our SW companion pass, it is one of the places we would love to visit.

We had a Buddhist blessing for the bus yesterday, in preparation for delivering her to the Port of Charleston on Thursday. We won't see her again until July.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:37 AM   #956
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Just drove from the states to Playa del Carmen....
I am considering giving this a shot in a couple of years. Love to hear any pointers on must see/stay places along the way.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:52 AM   #957
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That sounds great, Fuego--I need to try to get up there this fall sometime, with our SW companion pass, it is one of the places we would love to visit.

We had a Buddhist blessing for the bus yesterday, in preparation for delivering her to the Port of Charleston on Thursday. We won't see her again until July.
Not sure about from your airport, but we have lots of southwest non stops from my local airport to Midway in Chicago, and you can get right on the Orange line of their subway and explore pretty easy in the urban and some suburban areas.

We ended up booking non stops on American with our British Air points to O'Hare since our free hotel is near O'hare (across town from Midway airport) and the hotel has free shuttle service, so no lugging our bags on public transit (with 2 kids and their stuff).

I saw your buddhist bus blessing on facebook! I'll have to show DW, she'll get a kick out of it. You might want to get a snake handlin stump preacher down that way to bless it too, just for good measure. Between that, the buddhist blessings, and Diesel Don and his toolbox, you are all set to conquer Mongolia Genghis Khan style.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:00 AM   #958
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Not sure about from your airport, but we have lots of southwest non stops from my local airport to Midway in Chicago, and you can get right on the Orange line of their subway and explore pretty easy in the urban and some suburban areas.

We ended up booking non stops on American with our British Air points to O'Hare since our free hotel is near O'hare (across town from Midway airport) and the hotel has free shuttle service, so no lugging our bags on public transit (with 2 kids and their stuff).

I saw your buddhist bus blessing on facebook! I'll have to show DW, she'll get a kick out of it. You might want to get a snake handlin stump preacher down that way to bless it too, just for good measure. Between that, the buddhist blessings, and Diesel Don and his toolbox, you are all set to conquer Mongolia Genghis Khan style.
Yeah--we've got the nonstop to Midway as well on SW. I was looking at other places, like Dallas, to just go and check out for weekend trips, but we haven't done as well as you have with getting hotel points, so we need to work on that when we get back.

Diesel Don got a huge kick out of hearing the monks that were working on the Sand Mandala talking about their golf handicaps! I did get an offer for a wiccan blessing, but no snake handlers yet!
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:51 AM   #959
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Retired at the end of March. A week later, DH and I packed the fifth wheel and left for our first real extended trip. On our way home now. Went to places I have never been before, including:
  • Nashville (the Hermitage was nice),
  • Camped on the Natchez Trace (not as beautiful as the Blue Ridge Parkway...but camping was free and we did go out to both Shiloh and Vicksburg Battlefields, which were very interesting places to visit)
  • New Orleans (lots of fun...we want to go back),
  • Houston (way too big...but enjoyed the Houston Space Center),
  • Galveston (loved the dead trees carved into statues and the historic homes),
  • San Antonio (LOVED the missions, LOVED the city, LBJ Ranch was cool too),
  • Navarre, FL (where we will be staying next winter on the beach....).
Also spent time near Asheville, NC and did the Smoky Mts and Blue Ridge Parkway. We had done that years ago and I forgot how beautiful it is!!

While on this trip, I booked a 15-day river cruise (Budapest to Amsterdam) for July with my best friend. And then in October, DH and I are going to visit his cousin in London for a week, and then will spend a week in Ireland and week in Scotland.

I have most of that itinerary figured out - but suggestions for the southern part of Ireland (outside Dublin and excluding Ring of Kerry - both we already have on the list) would be good. Also - suggestions for northern Scotland? Right now we just plan to rent a car and take in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, etc.


P.S. They say if you retire early, travel while you still have your health....so I am simply following the rules
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #960
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Diesel Don got a huge kick out of hearing the monks that were working on the Sand Mandala talking about their golf handicaps! I did get an offer for a wiccan blessing, but no snake handlers yet!
Oh you don't know any snake handlers? I'll have to introduce you to my cousins and my extended family that live "in the mountains" (you know where Deliverance was filmed?).
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