Monthly Archives: January 2015

Travel: The Great Educator

As I look back on all the travel we have done in our life time, it is clear that I cannot think of any thing that has provided more of an education to us. 

One of the key trips that we every took was to London with our kids.  They were High School/Jr High School age and it was their first time out of the United States.  We rented a flat in the heart of London and we have so many memories of the things that we did and learned.  In fact, after a few days in London, they were able to take off on their own on the “tube” and explore London.  They learned from that trip that they were capable of traveling anywhere they wanted.  And boy have they taken advantage of that as adults. 

SAM_0357Our last trip a few months ago was to France.  It was one of the greatest trips we had as the people treated us so well and we learned so much.  Our trip to the Normandy Beaches to see how much our troops gave up in the second world war was very emotional. 

louve lib 3When the Islamic terrorists went on their murderous rampage in Paris, it was especially painful for us as both shootouts were within walking distances from where we stayed or visited.  The French people watched their police fight and die to protect them and now look in wonder at the anti-police marches in the US. 

So much about travel is perception.  We dressed like the French, learned some of their language, treated them with respect.  They responded in kind.  We saw a few Americans in France with backpacks, treating the locals with disrespect and they were not treated like we were.  Perception:  Missed a huge opportunity the other day to 20150114_123854have the people of Europe perceive that the United States support them in the fight against the Islamic terrorists. 

Our visit from family this week was a joy.  That family is a great traveling group.  Good planners, not afraid to try new things even driving the infamous LA freeway at night in their rental car.  I love the pictures where their kids were enjoying the sunset over the Pacific ocean and the visit to the SoCal mountains.  A trip that will help educate them in a positive way for the rest of their life. 

Travel:  The great educator.


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Posted by on January 17, 2015 in California, england, France, politics



Busy Day for Amie and Her Crew in the Antelope Valley

After a long and restful night of sleep, the Minnesota family 20150114_111100fortified themselves with  waffles, bacon, OJ and coffee at our place.  Of course they came down with their shorts and tee shirts ready for a long day they had planned to explore and to the enjoy the sites and food of the AV. 

The sun was stunningly bright in the high 30’s in the morning…it did go up to nearly 70 during the day.  This photo was overlooking the AV from the Aqueduct 20150114_123854less than a mile from our home. 

We headed of to our world famous Devil’s Punch Bowl about 5000 feet in the mountains that are covered with snow.  There was a three foot long rattlesnake at the ranger station in a glass cage that looked like it was sleeping.  That was until he/she saw the Minnesota crew.  It then slowly raised itself to nearly two feet up it’s cage begging for “Bite of Minnesota????”No one felt that being eaten by a rattle snake was on their agenda.

After a short hike that did not show any more snakes, bears, mountain lions etc.  We headed for the In-and Out Burger.  Great food!

We headed home and Jeff and his kids were waiting for us for a visit.  In almost no time at all we headed off for our final meal of the day at our favorite Mexican Restaurant who gave us their private back room where we enjoy great food and a visit with Amie’s family, Jeff and his family and us old timers of course.  Great evening. 

Amie and her family are heading out this morning for the pacific ocean and a great resort hotel right on the beach in Oxnard, California.  They will have a great time and we will miss them.  Sure glad they came to visit. 

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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in California, Minnesota



Reverse Travel! The Family is Here.

Amie and her family arrived last night about 930 pm after a great flight from Minnesota and a horrendous two hours of LA traffic!!  Stop and go, stop and go in the dark in a rental car on strange freeways.  You gotta be a tough traveler to take that and they did.  Sure good to see them.

They are sound asleep as I write this and I don’t expect to see them for awhile as they need to let a restful night revitalize them. 

Have a fun day planned for them.  Fresh waffles from sister Connie’s waffle maker and bacon for breakfast.  An educational(geology, zoology and botany)trip up into the mountains(5000+ft) to see the Devil’s Punch Bowl which shows some of the most interesting twisted rock formations caused by earthquakes.  Doubt we will see the mountain lions, bears etc. in the cold weather but one never knows.  Then of course the high desert Joshua trees.   Sound familiar Rhynda, Tisha and the Simonson’s?   Sorry guys, dinner at the world famous In and Out Burger. 

Maybe a restful afternoon and then we are headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant where we will meet Jeff and his family.  We have reserved their private back room so we can eat and visit in private.  Risa and her family are all back in school and work and couldn’t make the 150 mile trip from San Diego unfortunately. 

Should be a fun day!

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in California, Minnesota



Keystone cop-out: oil politics in America

From The Economist Espresso: Keystone cop-out: oil politics in America

Interesting view.  On one of our many trips through Nebraska the people we talked to about the pipeline were angry that jobs were being withheld from them to please people who gave big bucks to politicians who didn’t even live in their state.

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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Best Cuban Restauant

With the amount of traveling Libby and I do, we go to a lot of restaurants, hotels and museums etc..  I have been ranking these places for quite a while on Trip Advisor.  Here is an example of one the places we have visited recently:


“Cuban Food at Its Best”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2015 NEW

20150110_173127Our first experience with Porto’s food was pastries and cakes. People drive 60+ miles from the Antelope Valley for their special sweet treats for their parties. We however decided we would try their top rated restaurant in Burbank after a basketball game.

Haven’t tried Cuban food? Gotta do it. I had the Cubana Sandwich and its plantain chips for $5.50. Outstanding! My wife picked up an Ropa Vieja(Old Clothes) beef sandwich. Outstanding as well for $7.50

Don’t be frightened with the lines…yes lines…they move fast. Heard the only day that there are no lines are Monday’s. For the line phobias. Clean, friendly and we are headed back very soon!

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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in California, Restauants



Thoughts About Traveling in France

Things in France are not getting better with the Muslim terrorists.  Now there two hostage situations.  Five women and children in resturant lib mel2one hostage situation.  A lot of blood there soon?

Because Libby and I are just back from Paris and have been in the areas currently involved, this seems very close to us.  The Jewish district in Paris was just closed down.  The Jews are always on the forefront on the hate of of the Muslims.  Sad.  A beautiful and active area that is full of energy and happiness.  Will the gay district be next?  They are hated by the Muslims as well.

We will be going back to visit France, no questions but will police in Paris be allowed to carry guns and protect themselves, citizens and tourists? 

Sky News reporting the French police went in to take out the terrorist brothers.  Now Sky News says six explosions in hostage situation in Jewish district as well.   Wonder if this occurred in the US would our current leaders have approved this police involvement or blamed the police for it all? 

Happier times in Paris.

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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in France



Painful Trip Planning

dollarUsually I love planning trips but this latest one is getting to be a pain.  Libby and I are unabashed Dodger fans we want to go to watch them play in Glendale, AZ just outside Phoenix.  Middle range motels are running about $65-$95 dollars a night right now and the “snow birds” from the mid-west are smiling.  Great you say, not a bad price BUT, look out for March when the Dodgers get to town.  Can you say $200-$400 a night!

Guess it’s supply and demand.  We will just have to make a decision whether the prices are just too high.  Will keep you informed. 

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Posted by on January 8, 2015 in Nevada