Holidays and absences [3]

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Post by halfwise Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:25 pm

One slight thought for a stop between New Orleans and Austin - if you detour north from Beaumont you will get to the Big Thicket nature preserve, which hosts carnivorous pitcher plants. Not completely sure it's worth the hour detour, but I don't see much else of interest on the way. There are German settlement towns like Brennan or Round Top, but for folks who live spitting distance from Germany the incongruity of seeing German architecture in a Texas landscape will be of only mild interest.

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:08 am

Yeah... I have German family so been there enough. Smile

I think it would be nice to find a quiet beach town on the gulf coast for some lunch and a chill out though.
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Post by halfwise Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:17 pm

Galveston.  Unfortunately all the restaurants seem to be on the the wrong side of the street from the beach due to the seawall construction.  You'll have to drive out west of the town to find what you are looking for.  Woody's beach bar.  Tipsy Turtle bar and grill. This will add a couple hours to your trip, but you have two drivers (I hope she drives).

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Jun 15, 2022 1:46 pm

I have German family - Lance

{{ Suspect }}

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:41 pm

Halfy - yes, we both drive. In fact she tends to drive because I can successfully navigate and it doesn't tend to go so well the other way around....

Thanks for the suggestions!

Petty - Yes, yes I do.
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Post by halfwise Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:55 pm

Coming clear across the country and not even dipping your toe in the Gulf would be a loss I suppose.  Worth a couple hours diversion.  The water should be a civilized temperature; not that freezing cold rot they've got in California.

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Post by Lancebloke Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:14 am

I come from the UK... Californian waters were quite palatable for me!

And I am of a mindset recently that it's not a holiday if you don't have a view of either mountains or sea these days.

I want to see mountains Halfy.... mountains.
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Post by halfwise Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:14 pm

Not on this trip you're not. You'll have to settle for rolling hills and the sea.

Though on a day trip from Austin I'll be suggesting you go to Enchanted Rock, which may scratch your mountain itch a bit.

https://fineartamerica.com/art/photographs/enchanted+rock+state+park

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Post by Lancebloke Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:18 pm

I'll hopefully be seeing Kilimanjaro again in a few months... but not from the top this time!

So long as I get one or the other I am good. Smile

Enchanted rock does look nice though
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Post by halfwise Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:19 pm

In both Austin and New Orleans you'll be wondering what to do during the day. One answer is to stay up until 4 am with the music so by the time you wake up most of the day is gone. The other (healthier) answer is day trips, and that's one of them. But if you find a mindblowingly great band, by all means stay up the night.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Sat Jun 25, 2022 4:51 am

Bleh, I have a head-cold. I'm having a little ramen to help me feel better.

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:36 am

I have a roaring hang-over.

What was supposed to be a quick happy hour turned into a marathon when I fell in with the last shift of a tapas bar that then hit another bar down the road after closing. It was my deep honor to be under the impression that a young woman was flirting with me (and that same honor prevented me from fully responding because I was sure she'd be dismayed once she found out how much older than her she was), but nontheless that kept me tagging along until she decided to hook me up with an interesting young man newly arrived in the city while she made her escape.

I'll eventually figure out what the hell really happened, but not until I deal with this hangover.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Jun 25, 2022 12:08 pm

{{ What you need their Halfy is a hair of the dog that bit you Nod }}

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:13 pm

Some breakfast helped restore the electrolytes.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:37 pm

{ Ah good greasy fry up lines the stomach Nod }}

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Post by halfwise Mon Sep 05, 2022 3:42 pm

So it's our Memorial Day weekend, and I was off to the hang gliding club in central Pennsylvania that I preside over; a scenic overlook that we launch from, camping at the landing field down below.  But the wind wasn't right for this site, and we went to a couple other places chasing the wind.  One such place I'd call the Valley of the Amish.

You may have heard of the Amish, a Dutch protestant break-off that left the old world to settle in isolation in the new.  The "English" have grown up about them, but they keep largely to themselves and their ways: riding horse-drawn buggies, the men in black suspenders and straw hats, with beards and no mustache if married; the women in frocks and often wearing bonnets (but more likely if they are Mennonite).  When you come near their homes with the woodworking and fairy tale gardens dotted with young barefoot kids pulling weeds and plucking vegetables you want to pull out your camera, but you just can't; these are people you want to interact with, not spectacles.  Everybody's heart melts around the kids, who are clearly equally fascinated with you but steadfastly untalkative until teenaged.  The homespun radio host Garrison Keillor has mentioned childless people of a certain age watching kids like kidnappers, and I have to admit when I see little boys, and girls in frocks, barefoot with mud up to their knees and wide clear eyes, I feel the kidnapping urge.

This was a site where the launch had been torn up nearly two decades ago, and the local game commission had locked the gate so we hadn't flown there since.  But a few hardy local pilots recently took it upon themselves to rebuild the ramp out of stone, and we hauled our gliders up the final hill to fly.  The Amish were ecstatic to have us back; telling us how they used to watch us as kids themselves, and seeing us reappear brought these old memories back to life.  The barefoot kids of course had only heard of it at best.  A couple of us landed and were immediately surrounded by a several large families.  I had a cinematic moment when I had gone to the car, turned around to walk back and suddenly I was surrounded by an absolute flock of kids rushing the other way: small ones running barefoot on the hard sharp gravel, older ones frantically pedalling their scooters, straw hats flying off and hair streaming in the wind.  The third of our party was finally coming in to land in a field at the end of the road, and they were rushing to watch the event.  It felt like a stage piece in a Speilberg film, and I could almost hear the whirling music.

The flights themselves were short, but I'd happily trudge my glider up again to have that lovely experience upon landing.  Good memories; no pictures to share.  :-(

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Post by Lancebloke Mon Sep 05, 2022 5:02 pm

That sounds like loads of fun! I still only have the one hang gliding experience but maybe will have more one day!

The Amish are a bit odd, but I suppose so are we to them. I haven't really interacted with any of those folk but they seem nice enough.
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Post by halfwise Mon Sep 05, 2022 9:44 pm

Dammit, I had written a full page of tips for your upcoming trip, Lance, but somehow closed it (and I was less than halfway through!). I'll write it on a file I can save periodically and post it later tonight.

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Post by Lancebloke Mon Sep 05, 2022 10:48 pm

Cool. We are a couple of weeks away from our main holiday this year and will need to get booking something up when we get back to hopefully get some favourable flight prices for next year.
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Post by halfwise Tue Sep 06, 2022 12:56 am

I thought you were doing the music trip this year, Chicago to Austin? If so I'll post, if not I'll wait until you are going.

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Post by halfwise Tue Sep 06, 2022 6:01 pm

Ah right, looked back and you said next year, not this year. By then I'll have forgotten that I made a list, so let me post my list the end of this month. If you were going THIS year it just so happens I'll be in Austin the last week in September, but I don't know if that will happen next year or not. If so, a link up would work.

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Sep 07, 2022 7:49 am

Yes, next year. I will be in Africa in 2 weeks so won't be meeting you in Austin!
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Post by halfwise Wed Sep 07, 2022 11:58 am

Oo - which country?

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Sep 07, 2022 1:40 pm

Uganda for Gorillas and Tanzania for safari and beach. Smile
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Post by halfwise Wed Sep 07, 2022 6:23 pm

You should have added hiking Kilimanjaro and done a clean sweep of the region. Not much snow left on the mountain, hope you get some nice views.

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