Category Archives: Travel

30 Days to the 25th Anniversary

It’s getting down to the wire as my deadline to refresh the site and add more content before the 25th anniversary in June. Today I finally published my Japan 2017 Travel Diary which was amazing since I hardly had any notes from that trip and didn’t think I would ever publish one. I wasn’t sure what happened, but I think I must have been procrastinating about something to make me veer off course and write it down.

Part of my inspiration was cleaning out the Trip Diary WordPress installation. Like I did for the last couple of weeks with the main Daily Update, I went through and reformatted the entries to try and make them more universal with spacing and re-read a few to see if there were any glaring typos. I am sure I still have some or at least some grammar nightmares around, but they are actually looking better than ever.

For the Japan 2017 diary, I relied on my photos and some quick day highlights to serve as the foundation. Honestly, I think I remembered most of it but there are a few things I can’t remember what day they happened. Leslie and Daniel also have sketchy memories of the details of the trip, so I am actually glad I wracked my brains to commit to writing before its gone forever. I also discovered locked away on my phone – a mostly written Caribbean Cruise 2017 Trip Diary that I must have done during the trip. It falls apart over the last two days, but honestly I think I can recreate most of it.

Also with good notes is a trip I am now referring to as Asia 2015 which is when Daniel came to visit me in Shanghai and we went to Tokyo and Hong Kong. Again, I have brief notes on my phone from the trip which really help out a lot. I am hoping to get both Asian and the Caribbean Diaries up before the weekend.

One thing I tried out for the Japan 2017 diary was adding a photo for each day. Just something to break up the endless text scrolling. When I get my new template purchased and configured, I will work on adding some more.

Progress – Diaries Update

In the list of lockdown things to do, I finally crossed one off of the list. I was able to finally get the Europe 1996, 1997, and 1998 photos uploaded, edited, added captions, and keywords to my new local photo gallery. With that, everything from 1996-2010 is now hosted locally. I still need to go through remaining galleries that were imported and add some additional keywords and descriptions (I noticed Australia is a bit lacking). I haven’t decided if I will post the link now or wait until I have added the other galleries I want to post.

I am very happy to have the assistance of Google Maps, especially for the older photos, as it has allowed me to identify some mystery buildings that I took photos of in Bruges while I was sick with the flu.

Next up is to get the 2011-2014 trip photos uploaded with captions and then work on writing and adding 2014-2019. Don’t have to worry about 2020 that much do I? It is crazy to think that there is a good chance I won’t travel anywhere in 2020.

Salzburg, 1998

One of the re-scanned photos that are going to debut in the new Trip Diary photo gallery. This was taken of Salzburg Castle after we finished the Sound of Music Tour and were waiting to go back to Munich.

Progress Finally

Last night, I stayed up way to late but made progress in finally downloading all of my Flickr galleries to my local web site. My intent is to finally leave Flickr after 15 years. Originally, with the flux and server problems of my site, I wanted to have my travel photos somewhere else so it could be accessed by others and generate traffic. Unfortunately Flickr really died on the vine over the last decade and really only in the last couple of years when they merged with Smugmug did they start actively developing.

Sadly, I have little interest in doing anything productive with my photos and I want to have them locally hosted so I can easily integrate them (finally) into the trip diaries. The first part went well and all 4000ish photos are now locally hosted. I did some preliminary checks of the sort order and that left a little to be desired. Australia, with its reclaimed photos (from the Compact Flash error days) and photos taken underwater, was really difficult so I ended up breaking out the album by destination. One thing I am working on is what makes the most sense for displaying and organizing. The good thing about the software I am using is its super easy to move photos around.

Next up, I finally stared looking at scans of my late 90’s Europe trips. Some of them are in better shape than others. i managed to edit the Europe 98 gallery but the file sizes are huge. I was able to clean up and correct most of them, but I would still like some software with presets that would able me to fix how some of the photos are washed out. Most of the coloring issues are due to the age of the photos as well as scanner quality and let’s face it – poor film photography on my behalf. But they are fun to look at, especially since I haven’t really looked at them in over 6 years.

Next up – I will go through the rest of the imported galleries and make sure they are good and then start uploading the thousands of trip photos I have on my computer from the last 10 years. There are a lot of Gorn duplication in these photos but in later years I started taking photos with and without the Gorn so I can hopefully reduce that over time.

Yosemite in the Winter

Half Dome
Yosemite Falls
Tunnel View of Yosemite Valley

I had never actually been in Yosemite in the winter time. When we were heading back from the “Tour of California” we ran into a weather delay due to heavy snow on the Grapevine. We decided to take an extra day and drive through Yosemite and were rewarded with some amazing sights. Only the valley was crowded and don’t get me started on the food service…

A different kind of Christmas Tree

Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwood State Park

For Christmas this year, Mom, Gary, and I drove the “Tour de California” from LA up to the Coastal Redwoods with stops in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Paradise, and Sacramento. If you don’t spend Christmas at home, at least do it somewhere with fabulous trees..

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Glacier National Park was never on my top lists to visit until I looked up where the road to the Overlook Hotel was filmed in the Shining. Then I knew I wanted to visit. Well worth the trip even tough it is out of the way and a full day drive from Yellowstone.