Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category.

Four lounges in one day

When I weighed myself this morning, I found I’d lost a kilogram over the past two days. While I’m in no danger of wasting (waisting?) away, a little weight loss one day should allow some weight gain the next, don’t you think? And what better way to achieve that than by visiting four airline lounges in one day!

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Climbing Mt Taranaki

Mt Taranaki from the North Egmont Visitor Centre

Mt Taranaki from the North Egmont Visitor Centre

Midway through a New Zealand road trip, I’ve set aside one day to climb Mt Taranaki, a 2518 metre volcanic peak. The mountain is also known as Mt Egmont, and is in Egmont National Park, south of New Plymouth in the North Island.

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Lightshows in Disney World

I wrote earlier about a crazy trip to Florida just for the purpose of  acquiring frequent flyer status credits. As it turns out, I converted it from a strict mileage run to a quick trip to Walt Disney World, specifically Epcot.

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The wonders of in-flight wi-fi

This post (and the previous one) was written and posted while flying at 33,000 feet on AA534 from PDX to DFW, thanks to GoGo Inflight Internet.

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Off to DjangoCon

I’m sitting here in the Qantas Pub, er, Club, lamenting the lack of cheese, and waiting for my flight to the US for DjangoCon.

And now I’m sitting here in Honolulu, waiting for my flight to Portland. The flight from Sydney was delayed about 40 minutes due to thunderstorms on the ground, and we continued to see lightning in the distance for some time after we took off.

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Planning a status run

A status run (also known as a mileage run) is when you take flights to places you don’t need to go to just to accumulate status credits in a frequent flyer program. Why would anyone fly when they didn’t need to? Flying is usually sufficiently uncomfortable that you’d have to be crazy to do it unnecessarily — or would you?

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Following Apollo 11 for the first time

I wasn’t born yet when Lance Armstrong first set foot on the moon in 1969. I was less than nine months old when Eugene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon, left its surface in mid-December 1972. So I was born in the Lunar Age, although I was too young to remember it.

I vaguely remember when Skylab returned to earth over Western Australian in 1979 (earning the US a $400 fine for littering), but the most prominent memory I have of a space mission was when my father woke me early in the morning to watch the first launch of Space Shuttle Columbia in April 1981.

While I followed the shuttle program with great interest (and horror in 1986), the Apollo program was mostly unknown to me until I saw the movie Apollo 13 in 1995. While the movie had its share of artistic fiction, it was a great introduction to the space program that captured the world’s attention 40 years ago.

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Days 22 and 23: LA and home

Today is my last day in the US. It’s been a great trip, and it’s gone very quickly, and so I’m a bit sad to be leaving. However, today I’m driving into and through Los Angeles, and I can’t think of a better way to convince me to leave.

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Day 10: Yosemite to SeKi

View from Glacier Point

View from Glacier Point

As with previous trips to Yosemite, I always find it hard to leave. Have I bought enough tshirts and Ansel Adams books? Do I need another photo from Valley View or Tunnel View? I managed to tear myself away eventually, having taken the detour to Glacier Point first for the overall view of Tenaya Canyon, Half Dome, and Vernal and Nevada Falls.

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Day 9: Water in the valley

After the strain on my legs of hiking Half Dome yesterday, I wanted an easier day today. So my plan was to concentrate on what I hadn’t seen in Yosemite since 1984, that is, all the waterfalls, creeks and rivers flowing strongly with spring snowmelt.

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