Daily Archives: May 20, 2022

And Now Another One . . .

First there was Immersive Van Gogh last year,

Immersive Van Gogh

then Immersive Monet next month.

Immersive Monet

And now there’s another one.

Immersive King Tut
Immersive King Tut Placard

No firm date yet. Just later this Summer.

Another one going on the list, I guess.

Tomorrow it’s lunch at Gator’s and then Jan’s getting a haircut.

After that, who knows?


May 20, 2009

Last Day in Paradise . . .

Today is our last full day here in Key West.

After lunch at the Eat N Grinn deli, we headed over to Mallory Square to catch the Conch Train Tour.


We had already taken the Old Town Trolley tour on Sunday when our friends were here, but we wanted to take the train since although there is some overlap, the Conch Train concentrates more on the historic Old Town part of Key West.

Old Town Trolley

One of the places we visited was the Southernmost Point of the United States.

Southernmost point of US

Another place we drove by was the old shrimp boat docks.

Key West Docks

Twice in the early ’60s I was on one of my father’s shrimp boats when we docked here at Key West for supplies. There wasn’t a heck of a lot in Key West then, except for the docks and the Naval Base, which closed down in the ’70’s.

After wondering thru some more gift shops, we headed down to the Old Town Mexican Café for our last Key West meal.  We ate here Monday and really liked it so we thought we would try it again. Still great!

After dinner we headed back to our rig at Geiger RV Park. We’ve been parked right on the water with a great view.

Geiger RV Park

When we got back, Jan was putting clothes in the washer to run a load. Right before she locked the door she noticed the clothes were ‘moving’.

A few seconds later, Mister popped out. He’s bad about crawling into places, and this time, he almost got washed and dried.

Mister in Washer

Tomorrow we head north to West Palm Beach to meet up with our friends again. It’s about 234 miles, but will take us 6-7 hours due to the slow speed limits getting off the Keys.

A Three Hour Tour

May 20, 2010

Pelicans and One-Eyed Crabs…

We picked up Al and Adrienne about 9 am and headed out for breakfast at The Fogcutter restaurant down near the beach.

After breakfast we walked across the street to check out the Gray’s Harbor Light Station, the tallest lighthouse in the state of Washington. Very picturesque.

Grays Harbor Lighthouse

Next we walked down to the end of the road to check out the ocean. Certainly a lot calmer than yesterday.

Ocean 1

Ocean 2

Then it was on to the marina area to look for pelicans and sea lions. And boy did we find them.

But this picture is just the beginning.

Pelicans 1

When we got to the marina itself, specifically pier 21, they were everywhere.

Marina 1

The whole end of the pier had about 300 pelicans all lined up.

Pelicans 2

And some sea lions too.

SeaLions 1

And more pelicans.

Pelicans 3

It looked  like a pelican convention.

Pelicans 4

Pelicans 5

And more sea lions. They kind of sound like dogs barking.

SeaLions 2

These guys look like they’re doing some serious thinking.

Pelicans 6

And this old guy is just catching some rays.

SeaLionBig 1

I think he knew we were talking about him. Note the one eye open now.

SeaLionBig 2

I think this one’s kind of old too. He was the last one to fly away when we came down on the pier.

Pelican 7

They had some really nice boats here, like this trimaran.


But this one looks like something you’d take a “3 hour tour” on.


Next we drove over to Grayland to check out the clam beach.  Here’s Al, Adrienne and Jan walking out to the waterline.

BeachWalk 1

The sandpipers were running around too.


The surf was still pretty rough, Note all the sand still stirred up in the waves.

BeachWalk 2

This is a razor clam which is what everyone goes clamming here for. They’re called razor clams for a reason. The edge of the shells are razor sharp and it’s very easy to cut your hand just picking one up. Don’t ask Jan how she knows.


We didn’t realize how far we had walked until we looked around for the truck.

BeachWalk 3

On the other side of the main road from the beach there are cranberry bogs everywhere.


After getting back to the rig, about 2 pm we headed over to Aberdeen for the 3 pm showing of Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe. Although it changed the story up from the conventional telling, it was really good.

After getting back from the movie, we headed over to have dinner at The One-Eyed Crab again. And it was worth the 2nd trip. Just as good as last night.

We got home about 8:30 pm, just in time to watch the season finale of “Fringe”

Mad Donkeys

May 20, 2013

Jan was lucky . . .

Apparently Jan was really lucky she only got nipped by the donkey while we were at Oatman, AZ about 10 days ago.

Oatman Burro Bite

Here’s a guy in Hungary who was attacked and killed by two donkeys who apparently didn’t like him riding his mobility scooter through their pasture.

Note to self: Don’t make donkeys mad.

After a quiet morning, around 1pm I drove down to the office to check for any mail, and also to ask if we could get a picnic table brought to our site. All the sites around us have one. I want mine.

While I was there someone else was checking in and I saw they were given a hanging tag for their power pedestal. I guess we didn’t get one since we arrived after hours, but everyone else has one. I want mine.

When I asked if they expected the park to be busy this weekend, the young young lady said, “Oh, Yeah”. So it looks like our semi-isolation may not last too much longer.

A little before 4pm Jan and I headed out for supper, planning on trying one of the casino buffets in town. But after driving all the way back down to Stateline, NV, we found none of the buffets at any of the 4 casinos here was open. Right now they’re only open on weekends, at least until this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend.

So we ended up at Big Daddy Burgers, voted the Best Burgers in South Lake Tahoe.

Big Daddy's Burgers 1

And if it’s not the Best Burger here, it’s certainly in the top 2 or 3. One reason they are so good is the fact that they have a very limited menu. Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, and a Hot Dog. These, plus two sizes of fries, and the drinks, wraps up the menu.

Concentrate on what you do and do it well.

Jan had a Cheeseburger, and I had the Bacon Cheeseburger, both really good. We shared a large fry, which was more like a GIANT fry, with more than enough for both of us.

Big Daddy's Burgers 2

Coming back home we stopped off at the Sno-Flake Drive-In for a soft-serve cone. Sno-Flake looks like one of those old-timey drive-in from your childhood.

Sno-Flake Drive-In

And as it turns out, the Sno-Flake Drive-In is also well-known for their burgers, and especially their fries, both with garlic and pesto seasonings.

We’ll have to give them a try before we leave.


May 20, 2016

It Works!

I spent most of the afternoon working on client webstuff, trying to set up an online MySQL database and link it to a webpage so the customers can search for their orders and their status.

But since the website is done in Godaddy’s Website Builder, which does makes some things much easier, but restricts my access to the bare code, I’m having a problem setting up the programming I need. But I’ll get it figured out eventually.

Later in the afternoon, while I was let some ideas percolate, I decided to take a little time and check out the Winegard Carryout Satellite Dome that I found by a park dumpster last Sunday. You can check it out here: Kitty Road Trip

The dome looked in good shape, and since whoever left it at the dumpster didn’t through it actually throw it away, I was hoping it was in working order. But there was no power cord with it. So since Jan was reading, and we weren’t recording anything, I took the power cord off my dome and plugged it into the new one. And I heard it immediately start running.

So I took it over to where my dome was sitting, and replaced it with the found one, and plugged in the signal cables. And by the time I got back inside I had video on the screen. I decided to just leave it in place, so I stowed the old away in the truck. That way I can double check that there wasn’t a long-term problem with the new one.

So my dumpster-diving pays off again. And I have no idea why someone would throw away a perfectly good satellite dome. But I still need a power cord for it. Checking online, I found prices ranging from $30 to $52, for the same cord. But then I remembered something I think I might still have tucked away

Three years ago or so, the power cord on my dome broke off at the dome end of the plug. So I called Winegard and they sent me another one for free. But I’m pretty sure I saved the old one. Of course I would need to replace the plug on the cord, but since it’s some kind of proprietary connector, I’ll just replace both ends with a generic one.

Miss Karma is pretty much back to her old self and her old ways, and seems to have recovered fine from her operation.

Miss Karma

A little before 5pm Jan and I drove into Conroe for dinner and Wal-Mart. Our dinner choice was another visit to the Asian BBQ & Grill, Conroe’s version of Little V Vietnamese Bistro down in Katy. Not quite as good, but very close. And a lot nearer than Katy. And actually cheaper too. By about half. Nice.

Jan had her usual Grilled Lemon Grass Chicken Bowl with Vermicelli, while I went with the Grilled Pork and Shrimp Bowl with Vermicelli

Asian BBQ & Grill Bowl

After our usual really good meal, Jan and I went across I-45 to pick up some things at Wal-Mart, and then we headed home for the night.

Tomorrow we’ll head out about 9:30 to travel down to Brandi’s in Katy for Chris’ family birthday celebration.

I’m Your Huckleberry

May 20, 2017

Garrison . . .

We were up about 7 this morning wanting to get on the way by 9 or so. I said in yesterday’s blog that we were going back in to Pacific Time today, but I meant from Pacific Time back into Mountain Time.

Actually we’ve essentially been in the Pacific Time Zone since we entered Arizona on March 14th. Since DST had started two days earlier, and Arizona doesn’t observe DST, they’re the same as PDT. But another thing is that Idaho is in two different time zones, but not divided east and west like some states, but north and south, with the north, skinny part in the PDT and the south is in MDT.

united-states-time-zone-map 2

We were out of the park and on US90 by about 10:15 MDT. It was sprinkling slightly when we left  and that continued until we entered Montana. One thing noticeable was how much snow was still on the ground, not only on the surrounding mountain tops, but along side the roadway also.

After we entered Montana we started seeing billboards for the St. Regis Travel Center and their signature ‘Huckleberry Shakes’. So a little over 30 miles in Montana we took the St. Regis exit. Although the billboards didn’t say anything about RV parking, I was hoping that being a ‘Travel Center’ meant we could find a place to park.

St Regis Travel Center Parking

And we did, about a block away in a big rig lot with a couple of other trucks.

The place turned out to be a casino, a bar, a restaurant, a snack bar, and to Jan’s delight, a very large gift shop.

St Regis Travel Center

By the time we left 45 minutes later, Jan had a new moose ornament, a bag of Huckleberry Taffy, and we each had a Huckleberry Shake.

Huckleberry Shake

We pulled into the Riverfront RV Park in Garrison, MT about 3:45pm and were met by a camp host in a golf cart who verified my name and led us right to our long pull-thru.

Riverfront RV Park 1

Riverfront RV Park 2

We’ve stayed here twice before, once in 2010, and once in 2008. And in fact the 2008 visit in early April still holds our record for the coldest night we’ve ever encountered while RV’ing.

It went down to 6° that night, but with both propane heaters running, as well as our three electric heaters, we stayed nice and cozy. And our next lowest was 17° and strangely enough that was at Galveston RV Park in Dickinson, TX, south of Houston.

But tonight;’s only supposed to go down to the high 30’s. Much nicer.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 270 mile day over to Billings, MT, and dinner at Famous Dave’s BBQ.

“Sa Man Tha”

May 20, 2019

Total London Tour 5/20/19

Today was our first full day in London and we did it up right by taking the Total London Tour, a whirlwind, 9 hour extravaganza hitting the major tourist highlights of the city.

So we were up at 5:45, downstairs at the restaurant for breakfast when it opened at 6:30, jumping into our booked last night Uber ride at 7:00, and at the Victoria Coach Station by 7:20am. As it turns out, Coach Station is just the fancy British term for Bus Terminal.

Our tour bus pulled out right on time at 7:45am, and James, our tour guide, launched into his detailed description of pretty much every building we passed.

Our first stop was at St. Paul’s Cathedral, but something was going on inside the prevented us from touring it. Designed by Christopher Wren, this present building was began in 1675 after the previous one was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. But there has been a church on this site since 603 A.D.

London Total Tour St Paul's Cathedral

The tallest building in London until 1967, it has been the location of the Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilee services for Queen Elizabeth II, and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

After passing by many other locations, like both the Old and New Scotland Yard buildings, and the Houses of Parliament, our next stop was Westminster Abbey, the coronation site of every British Monarch since 1066 A.D. And here we did get to tour the inside.

London Total Tour Westminster Abbey 1

London Total Tour Westminster Abbey 2

Like St. Paul’s, there has been a church on this site since the 7th century, but unlike St. Paul’s, there are over 3000 people buried here, including, not only people like Mary, Queen of Scots, and a bunch of Edwards, Williams, Charles, Henrys, and James, but scientists like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and more recently, Stephen Hawking. And even actors like Sir Lawrence Olivier.

And supposedly there is another relationship between Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s. When it was under construction, St. Paul’s ran out of money to finished up the building. So other churches in the area were dunned to contribute to their ‘building fund’.

And since Westminster Abbey, officially titled “The Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster”, was a major ‘contributor’, this gave rise to the old saw, “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

At least that’s the way the story goes.

Unfortunately they don’t allow any photos or videos inside, so no pictures for the blog. However I must say that this was the second abbey, the other one being the one in Melk, Austria, that we’ve visited that was so ‘sacrosanct’ as to not allow even ‘non-flash’ photography, but not so ‘sacrosanct’ as to have you exit the church on your tour through a ‘GIFT SHOP’. Just sayin’.

Next up was a stop at Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard.

London Total Tour Buckingham Palace

After a short walk from where our bus was parked outside the palace gates, we lined up just in time to see the Coldstream Guards leave their post and their replacement regiment march by on the way to take up their positions.

London Total Tour Changing of the Guard

Then it was all back on the bus for a drive across the Tower Bridge,

London Total Tour Tower Bridge

to our next stop, The Tower of London. But first up, we were given an hour for lunch, so Jan and I chose the nearby Wagamama location, an Asian-styled fusion place, that turned out to be excellent.

First up was an appetizer order of Bang Bang Cauliflower,

London Total Tour Wagamama Bang Bang Cauliflower

crispy wok-fried in firecracker sauce with red and green onions, and topped off with ginger and coriander.


Jan got the Chili Chicken Ramen,

London Total Tour Wagamama Chicken Chilli Ramen

while I got the Chili Steak Ramen.

London Total Tour Wagamama Steak Chilli Ramen

After our break we met up with our guide who passed out our Tower tickets and we were left to explore the area for several hours.

This is the White Tower, the first building in the fortress.

London Total Tour Tower of London White Tower 1

London Total Tour Tower of London White Tower 2

Constructed between 1078 and 1100 by William the Conqueror, it was very formidable for its time.

Next up was the building that holds the Crown Jewels,

London Total Tour Tower of London Crown Jewels

but again no photos were allowed.

So I just took a photo of MY Crown Jewel.

London Total Tour Tower of London Selfie

Jan was also interested to see the memorial placed at the site of the execution of Anne Boleyn.

London Total Tour Tower of London Anne Boleyn

A historical group keeps fresh flowers on the site.

As we were leaving, I took this shot contrasting one of the oldest sites in London, and one of the most modern.

London Total Tour Tower of London and the Shard

The 1000 foot tall building, called The Shard for its broken glass-like top, is now probably the most recognizable things on the London skyline. Here’s a better shot of it.

London Total Tour The Shard

Then after a 45 minute cruise along the Thames, we finished up our day with a ride on the Millennium Eye.

London Total Tour Eye 3

At 443 feet, the Eye is the 2nd tallest Ferris Wheel in the world.

The tallest one, at 550 feet, is the High Roller in Las Vegas, and we’ve been lucky enough to ride both of them.

London Total Tour Eye 2

London Total Tour Eye

And of course the obligatory selfie.

London Total Tour Eye Selfie

Then it was an Uber ride back to our hotel, where we collapsed without even getting dinner, just had some snacks in the room.

Tomorrow, thank goodness, is pretty much a do-nothing day, before we start again on Wednesday with a day-trip out to Stonehenge.

Bowing To The Inevitable . . .

Following on the above blog, I thought I’d also repost this one about my teenage brush with British royalty, well, despite the fact that I’m related to Sir Thomas Parr, the father of Catherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII.

You remember –  Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived, don’t you.

She was the ‘Survived’ one.

And because I’m a descendent of Thomas Parr, that also means I’m a descendent of King Edward III.

This is one of those blogs that results from the intersection of several recent events – Our recent time in London, and President Trump’s upcoming visit there in London.

There’s been several articles about whether President Trump will/should bow to the Queen. For the record, he shouldn’t and won’t. And neither will the First Lady.

To start with, our President doesn’t  defer to any other leader, and we’re no longer British subjects, anyway. There was that little dustup back in the late-1700’s that took care of that.

Last week as we were passing Buckingham Place, we saw a lot of fancy dressed women wearing big hats, getting out of limos, and Jan wondered if Sam was among them.

I’ve talked about Sam, though not by name, a couple of years ago in a long blog post called The Pixelization Of Memory. This part is about halfway down.

The whole idea started when we were visiting my old hometown in north Alabama a few years ago, and I mentioned to Jan that I had been checking out people around us, wondering if I would run into one of the several old girlfriends that I had back then. But as I told Jan, I realized that I was looking for them like they looked back when they were 16 or so, not in their 60’s like they are now.

And that’s why Jan brought up Sam as we passed Buckingham Palace.

It all started here.

Beginning when I was 13 we lived in South America for a couple of years, mostly staying at a large old hotel that had both nightly guests, and also residents like us.

Turns out there was a very cute British girl, about 14, also living there.

Soft red, curly hair and bright green eyes. Since we were the only English-speaking kids our age around, we naturally ended up hanging out together. She told me her name was Sam (Samantha) and that her father worked for the British government.

After we had been together for a month or so, one day she showed up to where we usually met on the large landscaped grounds, all dressed up for a party, frilly dress, hair pileup on her head, the works. A big change from the shorts and T-shirts she usually wore.

She told me her mother wanted to meet me for afternoon tea at 4pm. Told me in no uncertain terms that I was to dress nice, wear long pants and a nice shirt, and comb my hair. (Yes, I had hair back then)


As she left, I ask what suite she was in, and she said, “6th floor”. And when I ask what room, she smiled slightly, and said, “You’ll figure it out.” And I did.

When I got off the elevator, there was no hallway, just a vestibule and a set of ornate double doors with a pull rope for a door bell.

A few seconds after I rang the bell, there stood a butler in full regalia, but young and very fit looking, and about 6’6” tall. Looking down at me, he said, “Ah, Master Gregory, right on time, thank you.”

Then, after he closed the door behind me, he said, “Please follow me. The DUCHESS and LADY Samantha are waiting for you in the library.”

Wait, What?

When I followed Andrews into the library, I found Sam standing behind her mother who was sitting at a writing desk. And I could tell from the look on her face that she was terrified that I was going to screw this up. And knowing me, she had good reason to worry.

After Andrews introduce me, I said, “I’ve never met a Duchess before. Am I supposed to bow, or curtsy?”

Sam blanched white as the proverbial sheet.

Her mother looked at me very seriously, and said, “In this informal situation, neither is required. Then with a big smile she said, “But I would like to see your curtsy sometime.”

With that the ice was broken, and Sam started breathing again.

After that I was regularly invited for tea. The only time the Duchess ever got mad at me was when I made the mistake of referring to Sam as ‘Sam’ instead of Samantha in front of her.

Her eyes flashed and her voice got cold as she said, “Sa Man Tha”

Turns out that Sam’s stepfather was Consul General, and Sam would inherit her mother’s title someday, a title that had been in the family since the late-1600’s. And with that title came, not one, not two, but three ancestral estates.

And if that’s not bad enough, it turned out that both Samantha and her mother were actually royalty, and in line for the throne, though in the double-digits position.

So, was Sam among those limo passengers at Buckingham? I’ll never know, and I don’t want to know. I prefer to remember her when she was 14.

And I never did learn how to curtsy . . . or bow.

Thought For The Day:

We're Not Going To Make It

Of course this might explain why some people say their pizza tastes like cardboard.