Open thread — It’s Friday!!!!



I’d love to go to Australia, and this is one of the places I’d be sure to stop.  Where have you traveled?  Where in the world would you love to go?  You don’t have to choose just one.  🙂

66 thoughts on “Open thread — It’s Friday!!!!

  1. Antartica and the Kruger Game Reserve in RSA.

    I was remembering an old Mike Harding song called She’ll Be Right Mate about his trip to Australia…. will try to recall…

  2. New Zealand for the scenery (not so much for the sheeps).

    Cappadocia and Istanbul

    Czech Republic (BEER!) and maybe the Baltics.

    Denmark, Sweden & Norway.

    Alaska (not Wasilla) (or maybe a drive through Wasilla for photos)

    Costa Rica (in 2010!)



    South Africa

  3. Where to go:
    Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia (Angkor Wat), Japan, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Belize, Argentina, South Africa, China, basically anywhere there are natural wonders and ancient civilizations.

  4. I would like to make a circuit of the U.S. of A., taking in as many of the quirky little museums as possible. The Mrs. and I really enjoy road tripping the blue highways on our travels. In the Navy I toured the Mediterranean twice, going to Barcelona, Palma de Majorca, Cannes, Gulf Juan, Naples (armpit of Italy), Trieste, Taranto, Athens and the Isle of Rhodes. I would give just about anything to be able to return to Rhodes. It is a paradise.

  5. mikerush, you can do that vicariously with Bill Bryson’s book: “The Lost Continent”.

    Forgot about Rhodes and Malta, too – right on!

    Gummitch, did Wasilla already, can’t remember if I stopped for a burger or a shit, didnb’t see anything worth photographing.

  6. THBT, I forgot about Malta. My ship stopped there on my first cruise. We couldn’t stop the next year, because the government had gone communist. It was a shame, too, the people were very friendly. One thing that I remember, though. We were told that if the police grabbed someone on the street that we were not to say anything, or even watch what was going on. I saw one incident like that, and as I was told, the citizens in the neighborhood didn’t stop, look as they passed by, or say anything at all. It was as if nothing at all were going on. It was rather chilling, and reminded me that I definitely was NOT in America.

  7. I forgot Malta, as well. I recently read a brilliant novel set during the Siege of Malta in 1565, Tim Willocks’ The Religion, and started digging into the history of the island.Sounds like a fascinating place, and small enough to be explorable.

  8. We are in the process of finishing up travel plans to attend the big Highland Games in Glasgow, Ky. in May. My wife and I are both of Scots/Irish extraction and we enjoy the heck out of the games.

  9. nice picture of the ayers rock……i too would love to go there once.

    going to costa rica next year to visit friends.

  10. Gmund, Austria, then Stuttgart, Germany, and anywhere in Scotland I can get to.
    For a domestic trip, when I get my car restored, anyplace with two-lane mountain roads, probably in the Smokies first.

  11. Mike I think Malta’s government has mellowed. I have a cousin who has lived their for many years and my parents found him to visit too and relaly enjoyed it. ‘The Kapillan of Malta’, by Nicholas Monserrat is a great novel to become familiar with Malta in more modern times than the great siege by the Turks.

  12. There are places in the US I’d like to see too–Yosemite, Monument Valley, Death Valley etc.

    I’ve spent 27 years in NY/NJ and I still haven’t visited the Statue of Liberty (even though for a year I could see it out of my kitchen window and even now I’m no more than five miles from it).

    In 81 I did a ‘tour’ of England, driving from my home in Surrey through UK drove from Surrey through London, up to Northumbria, across to Newcastle and Durham, over to Manchester and then down to Wales, then south and east through Dartmoor to Salisbury and back to Surrey–about 1200 miles in three days. I was surprised at the variety in landscape and culture that I saw.

    I’ve been to Spain, Andorra, France and Italy (for the skiing), Germany (to see my brother a couple of times), Lebanon, Bahrain ( several times to see my parents), Jamaica .

    In the US I’ve been to PA (multiple) CT (4x), Michigan (5x), Illinois (a year), Minnesota (5 weeks), Indiana, Georgia, Florida (4x), Texas (3x), CA (3x), Washington DC (multiple), Virginia ( multiple) .

  13. Hmmm, let’s see. I have been to almost every state in the union, Belize, Guatemala, Canada, Mexico, England, Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, Thailand, France, Switzerland and a few that are slipping my mind.

    I would like to go to Machu Picchu (sic?) in Peru and Costa Rica.

  14. Hi All, I’d go anywhere, where the norovirus does not live. Unfortunately it’s alive and kicking here 😦

    Four down sick in my family – meself included.

    Back to bed..

  15. 5th,
    It’s not surprising you haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty, I’m a native Huntsvillian, and I’ve never been to the US Space and Rocket Center, in the thirty eight years since it opened. Living here all the years of the space program, feeling the SaturnV rocket tests create an artificial earthquake while sitting in class in junior high school, was enough for me. But I could go tomorrow if I wanted.

    Sorry you’re sick. Was wondering why we hadn’t heard from you, lately. A big get-well to all of you ‘n’ yours.

    • I’ve been a few places though I’d like to see a lot more. Been to England, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Virgin Islands, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Utah, Arizona, and Texas. Some of those places I only visited the airport or the hotel where a convention was held.. That’s really not saying much… 😐

  16. house, muse, thank you for your concern.I’m getting better but still exhausted. I lost more than five pounds in a day on tuesday and still can’t eat properly. That’s not the way I wanted to lose weight, besides this kind of weight loss never stays.

    I Darik’s boot and nuked my sons PC, he wants it set up properly again after it crashed. I wonder whether that was a good idea.

    I’m off again, just wanted to peek in because I miss you guys.

  17. My visit to Malta was in ’71, so, I would imagine that there have been many changes. Our dream trip would be Ireland, then over to Scotland to visit the ancestral homes in Dumphrieshire (sp?).
    Lived in Texas for a couple of months on my way home from the Navy. It was…eh. I want to visit the artist colonies in New Mexico, too.

  18. My dad was a food scientist with Birds Eye (old people will know what I mean) and he got transferred a lot, including a move from New York state to Oregon and then back five years later. My dad took this as an opportunity, and in 1955 we drove west through the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone and all. In 1960, we drove down through the Southwest (Bryce Canyon impressed me more than Grand Canyon), the Carlsbad Caverns and traveled on back roads through then-impoverished reservations of Hopi and Navajo (buckboards! satin shirts and braids!).

    We came through Kentucky where I first smelled a valley full of bourbon and learned about bonded warehouses, and through Memphis, where I learned that drivers licenses were freely mailed to new 14 year olds, no test required. I saw for myself separate waterfountains outside the little gas stations we stopped at in the South.

    In 1976, I drove to Kansas City with friends, through Utah and Colorado and Kansas (Colorado is flatter!), then back through New Mexico and up to Flagstaff, for a passionate week with a cowgirl waitress . . .

    I count myself fortunate to have seen as much of the US as I have — pretty much everywhere except the Deep South, the arc from Louisiana up to North Carolina.

  19. Feel better soon EV.

    I spent a year in Arizona one week. I don’t get its appeal. It all looks alike. Of course unlike gummitch I was with family and not a passionate cowboy. 🙂

  20. I was in Flagstaff! I’ve been to Phoenix twice and hated it (except for the brilliant museum of Native America). Flagstaff is completely different. No oxygen for one thing. Good thing Mona worked days so I could catch up on breathing.

  21. Been there, Done that:

    US: Maui, Seattle, Crater Lake, Washington D.C. and a lot of California.

    Abroad: England, Ireland, Scotland, The Netherlands; Amsterdam; Brussels, Belgium; Luxembourg; Strausbourg; Paris; Zurich; Berlin; Salzburg; Vienna; Budapest; Prague.

    Bucket List: the rest of the globe.

  22. When I was in the Navy in the mid 70’s I did 2 Med cruises and 1 North Atlantic. My favorite places were Narvik, Norway, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Palma, Izmir and the all time best was Venice.

    My job took me to many places, mostly on the coasts. I love the Puget Sound area. Baltimore was interesting. Florida sucks (except for Tarpon Springs, great Greek food). Been to and through Dallas more times than I care to count and still haven’t visited Dealey Plaza. Bunky, La was a total hoot. Muir Beach is wonderful and there used to be a bed & breakfast/pub that served an awesome shepherd’s pie.

    My wish list is New Zealand, Ireland, the Four Corners and Mexico. Costa Rica sounds good too. I think I can still order beer and ask where the john is in Spanish.

  23. med, my good buddy is career Coast Guard (now an officer) and spent a whole lot of time at sea: Antarctica, New Zealand, SE Asia and Latin America. Had a girl in every port, I believe; I’ve seen the photos. Ah, to be young and single again . . .

  24. And having a gal in every port is sort of over rated. Remember the T.E. Ford song, 16 tons? Well, Hallmark got a big piece of my soul when I was younger.

  25. EV, you poor dear. 😦
    Regarding your son’s computer a complete ‘rebuild’ is generally a good idea ( though it can be a pain, but its for the best).

    MsJoanne that’s an impressive travel resume!

    mike; that would be Dumfries with an F 😀

    Gummitch… Ah Bird’s Eye!
    During my childhood we’d get our veggies straight from the local farms, or from the local grocers who got them from the local farms ,but only in season of course.
    Once we got a fridge/ freezer, buying frozen food of course allowed us to have certain veggies out season.
    Having known only fresh veggies up ’til then, we were prepared to accept a reduction in taste and texture in exchange for the convenience of frozen, but we were all impressed with the quality of Bird’s Eye frozen peas.

    Thank your dad for me/ (and for the battered cod fillets which weren’t bad and made my mum’s life easier).

  26. Med, try “Una creveza fria, por favor” and “Adonde est El Banyo” . That should get you a cold beer and a bathroom. That also pretty well exhausts my spanish vocabulary, except for a few words I learned in Tijuana, which I won’t share here. It’s too classy here for that.

  27. Terry, my sweetie lives in Sarnia. I am heading there over the weekend.

    5th, I travel a lot for work (and a lot for fun, too). But getting paid trips to Europe, Asia and elsewhere is much better than coughing up the cashola myself!

    EV, you poor sweet thing. I hope you and yours feel better. I miss you big time!! xoxox

  28. 5th state, I’ll pass it along. However, there was a period where we didn’t mention frozen peas around my dad, especially after he had spent a few weeks at the plant in Walla Walla, smelling them all day long. I finally understood that after working at a plant in Ceres where we ran celery for three shifts week after week. I couldn’t face the smell of cooking celery for years.

  29. There was once a time when I could order beer and ask for the john in five or six languages. Of course, that was the sum total of my linguistic ability.

    I was always fascinated by the various European versions of the pissoir. My favorite was in Italy where they just hung slabs of marble on the side of a building at the end of an alley over the gutter.

    And the old standby of the bomb sight toidy. A slab of porcelain in the floor with foot pads and a hole. Discouraged reading in the john.

  30. MsJ…right you are.
    My ski trips to Europe were all bargain-basement school trips, my Middle East Sojourns were due to my dad working in the airlines.
    The vast majority of my US travel has been for work, basically commuting, so airport/office/hotel isn’t what I’d call ‘travel’ per se, but even amongst the homogeneity of USA Inc. there’s still interesting variety to be found in many of the details.

    • I am lucky in my business travel (well, depending upon how you look at it). When I go somewhere, it is always Sunday through Saturday. When I travel overseas, I take extra days to acclimate myself to the local time and even more days when crossing the international date line. Plus, I usually take vacation time on top of that so my flights are covered, I only pay hotels for the extra days (since I am the highest level frequent stayer at Hilton, it’s often free) and the car for those extra days.

      I stayed in Berlin at the Berlin Hilton (which I think was 4 or 5 star) for four days and it cost me $90 bucks for parking the car. I was on the executive floor with free food, free booze, free internet and a concierge.

      Even when I am traveling within the US, I have nights and the weekend time to do whatever. It’s pretty sweet. Of course, I am single (new boyfriend not with standiing) so it never bothered me being gone as much as I am.

  31. Hello all.

    EV sorry about your health situation. Hope you all get better soon.

    5th, thanks for your kind comments on my blog. We had a great time in New York City, again. My wife and I are both very solitary but we looooove being in places like New York City. I guess it’s a feeling of being alone in that no one around you knows who the fuck you are and yet, if you really needed someone, you are never alone. Odd.

    I’m from Western Canada and I’ve been around a fair bit of the south from Manitoba to British Columbia. Have been to Toronto for 2 days when I was 24 with a friend and was drunk for 3 days. Had the pleasure of going to Churchill Manitoba (didn’t see a bear, but my sister and her husband really really appreciated some company).

    In The States (as we Canadians tend to say), I’ve been to: Houston and Brownsville, Texas; Palm Spring and San Diego, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Grand Forks and Minot, South Dakota; Honalulu, Hawaii;Various ski resorts in Montana and Idaho; Orca Islands in Washington State; New York City, New York.

    Outside Canada and The States, I’ve been to :Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Jakarta and Bali, Indonesia; Heidelberg,Ulm and Nurenberg, Germany; Dijon and Paris, France; Prague, Check Republic; Vienna and Innsbruck, Austria; London, York, Stockton-on-Tees, St. Andrews UK; Beijing, China.

    Would like to go to Berlin, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; Singapore. There are many places I’d like to see that I wouldn’t dare to go, because I’m too chicken or scared, like Mumbai – too chicken, or Middle East – too scared.

    I love traveling. I like an ever increasing level of comfort, which is bad, but I appreciate the ‘scenery’ on a much better level, which is good.

  32. MsJ…
    Sounds like a dream job!

    I did most of my US travel over about 18 contiguous months, all business of course (though never Business Class, dammit!) working first for IBM and Prudential on a nationwide IT project, and then for a division of Sears (I implemented the IT for the new stores they were setting up in select areas).

    The IBM/Pru project began as a fact-finding mission to satellite offices across the US preparatory to the planned company-wide hardware/software roll out.
    However the offices we were scheduled to visit weren’t chosen for their ‘representative’ IT systems but because they were significant sales areas with a lot of IT problems which the Pru Tech support couldn’t fix (and hadn’t fixed for weeks or months) but which we, as experts from IBM, would naturally be able-to.
    Yeah, well…the three real IBM guys in our team WERE real experts but I was more…umm…’reasonably skilled’ I suppose and the other two were more like apprentices.
    Initially the six of us traveled together for the first couple of sites, visiting each Monday through Thursday with a debrief on Friday back at base in NJ.
    But word quickly spread that we could fix anything and desperate offices demanded our attention regardless of our proscribed schedule and location so that destroyed any chance of location downtime as we ran around putting out fires (on immediate orders from head-office) within a two-hour flight of wherever we were actually supposed to be.
    Of course one picked-up flyer-miles but it was all very discombobulating and annoying. .

    Anyway that was relative luxury compared to Phase II, the actual rollout. I’d fly to work midday Sunday and work through to 2 or 3 am, up at 7am Monday for the 8 am ‘start’, work through until about midnight, up at 7 on Tuesday and then work through to about 6 pm, catch flight to the next site, arrive about 9 pm, work through to 2 or 3 am, up at 7 am Wednesday and work til midnight, up at 7 am Thursday, work till 2 or 3 am, up at 7 am on Friday, work till 8 or 9 pm, catch a flight and get back home at about 2 am on Saturday.

    People complain about flying but on that job the flying was the best part—not for the miles, but for the solitude! 😀

  33. I’d love to do Europe, especially go to my ancestral town of Beauvais, 40 Km NE of Paris.
    Then do Germany properly, having spend a year in grimy Frankfurt and never having driven Bavaria.
    Then Italy, for the food, art, food, scenic beauty and food.
    Then Spain and back home.

    I am going to go back to VietNam with my wife and kids when Jayden is seven. Aside from that, Cancun would also be nice.

  34. dycker…

    good to have you back 😀
    And thanks for reminding about your blog.

    Everyone here is so-well traveled and/or so well-informed about the wider world, but also concerned about qualifying things they might write for fear of confusion that certain specificity is sometimes simply amusing but also revealing.

    It’s very sweet of you, dycker, to write ‘Jakarta’ followed by the explanatory ‘Indonesia’. As the kidz today would say, “well, duhh!” 😀

    But on the other hand its more than reasonable to specify London, UK, given the existence of London, Ontario ( yes? I’m not looking it up :D) which also has its own River Th-a(y)mes (as so many yanks mispronounce it).

    I’m as envious of your travels as I am of Miss Joannes. I’m off to your blog now to read of your NY adventures. Cheers :D.

  35. Terry, I was referring to Hull, Canada. Sorry!!

    UGH! I hate short trips. I don’t mind being in a hotel for a week but if I had to spend that much time at the nightmare they call airports, forget it.

  36. RUC…

    BBC’s Top Gear (a car-nut show which I like and hate at the same time) did a special episode in Vietnam and despite the presenters acting like assholes as they usually do, they went south to north on crappy little bikes and the process showed what an amazing country it is.

  37. Hull, if the Humber River is the arsehole of England, check the map, you’ll see what I mean, Hull is 9 miles up it.

  38. For general information… it is spelled (or spelt) ‘Hull’, but it is pronounced locally (and proudly) as ‘Ull.

  39. MsJ! Darling! ,D
    How about an automotive open thread for the weekend?

    (Alfa really strums the heart strings–more so than Ferrari, IMHO).

    Questions for all:

    What car did you learn to drive on?
    Who taught you, and how well?
    First car owned?
    Worst car owned?
    Worst/funniest driving experiences?
    Sex in car? (respond only if you have a funny story).
    Best/worst road trips?
    Five cars you would like to have, money no object
    Crappiest car you’ve ever seen, been driven in?

    What do you think? 😀

  40. Unless I find gummitch around here soon, I need a mixology open thread. My freegan thing is getting out of hand. I now have accumulated numerous containers of frozen fresh squeezed oj, lemon juice, and about 200 key limes amd several quarts of strawberries. Somebody must have some ideas on how to turn this bonanza into something highly intoxicating. I also landed a entire bucket of pickle spears but I don’t think they blend well. The shrimp, ham, and crabmeat probably fits into the later category as well. Screw the Borgen Project, maybe dbadass project might need to handle things…

  41. TerryHusseinBinTurtle

    Uhura’s generous presentation is timeless. I have been reflecting on it/them for some 30 years or so now…

  42. Thanks for the tip, 5th. I’m going to go on one of the vets tours of Hue, DaNang, Phu Bai and then spend some time on a liesurely train ride from Hoi An to Saigon.

  43. RuCerious:
    Any chance you might make a bird list. Vietnam has excellent wildlife. Can’t say I think much of Cancun. To me it is too much like Cabo. Still I really really enjoy Mexico overall. Trinidad and Iceland are the two most probably next stops for me hopefully but they may get bumped by Dominica. Hard tellin’ not knowin’…

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