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PurpleDawg

Places To Go (aka The Travel Thread)

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It's crazy that we haven't ever created a thread devoted to travel. Steel started one for travel in Texas and I started the camping thread, but we don't have one for general travel. So, here it is. I'll post first.

 

I went to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge today in Ridgefield, WA. It's only about 40 minutes north of my house. I've visited before and really enjoyed it and have wanted to return in the fall to see more of the birds that over-winter there. I was not disappointed.

 

Today I saw four Northern Harriers! That's a big coup for birders, as they are rather hard to spot in most areas of the country. I also saw a golden eagle, several great blue herons, a great egret (another big deal), three nutria, and a Columbian White-tailed Deer doe with her two fawns. The refuge has a four mile auto route through it and, as most everyone knows, a vehicle makes the perfect blind for watching wildlife. You can spend as much time as you like driving through and you can also stop on the side of the road and hang out. However, you have to remain in your vehicle; no roaming around. Dogs aren't allowed at any NWR in the country, but it's OK if they remain in your car. Limited duck hunting is allowed at Ridgefield in a remote area well away from the auto route.

 

It was a great way to spend a few hours on an overcast, cool day. We are blessed with so many outstanding natural areas in this region.

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If you like to visit national parks, this is a really nice website written by outsiders (i.e. not park employees) about traveling within the individual parks, history about the parks and park system, stewardship of the parks, and current evens affecting the parks in general and individually. There's an eBook library for adults and kids, too. There's also a "Trails I've Hiked" section to get the best information from others about trails in lots of the parks. They also enable comments on many of their stories about current events. It's interesting to see what others think about the "surge-pricing" plan the Interior Secretary has proposed at 17 of the most popular national parks during the peak travel season. Lots of other good stuff on the site, too. Anyway, just sharing because I know there has to be somebody else here who loves our country's "best idea".

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/

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I’m in Belize right now. Staying the Rain Forrest instead of the beach. It’s beautiful. San Ignacio. Highly recommend 

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20 minutes ago, DirtyThirdFrog said:

I’m in Belize right now. Staying the Rain Forrest instead of the beach. It’s beautiful. San Ignacio. Highly recommend 

Are you getting engaged to the gf?

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On 10/30/2017 at 12:21 AM, PurpleDawg said:

It's crazy that we haven't ever created a thread devoted to travel. Steel started one for travel in Texas and I started the camping thread, but we don't have one for general travel. So, here it is. I'll post first.

 

I went to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge today in Ridgefield, WA. It's only about 40 minutes north of my house. I've visited before and really enjoyed it and have wanted to return in the fall to see more of the birds that over-winter there. I was not disappointed.

 

Today I saw four Northern Harriers! That's a big coup for birders, as they are rather hard to spot in most areas of the country. I also saw a golden eagle, several great blue herons, a great egret (another big deal), three nutria, and a Columbian White-tailed Deer doe with her two fawns. The refuge has a four mile auto route through it and, as most everyone knows, a vehicle makes the perfect blind for watching wildlife. You can spend as much time as you like driving through and you can also stop on the side of the road and hang out. However, you have to remain in your vehicle; no roaming around. Dogs aren't allowed at any NWR in the country, but it's OK if they remain in your car. Limited duck hunting is allowed at Ridgefield in a remote area well away from the auto route.

 

It was a great way to spend a few hours on an overcast, cool day. We are blessed with so many outstanding natural areas in this region.

An egret gone blown here in a nor'easter a couple of years ago. Hung around in a swamp near campus for a couple of months and then disappeared.

 

I could, I suppose, have posted more about my very frosty trip to Dripping Springs.

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I’m going to OKC for a few days of SB.  We have tours of the National Weather Center in Norman and Braums scheduled already.  We also want to go to the OKC memorial.  I’m not really sure what else we should try and do with a 11, 10, and 1 year old.

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1 minute ago, SFA Frog said:

I’m going to OKC for a few days of SB.  We have tours of the National Weather Center in Norman and Braums scheduled already.  We also want to go to the OKC memorial.  I’m not really sure what else we should try and do with a 11, 10, and 1 year old.

Casinos!

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25 minutes ago, PurpleDawg said:

Casinos!

 

I’ve actually never been to a casino, but I don’t think my 10, 11, and 1 year old can go.

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8 minutes ago, SFA Frog said:

 

I’ve actually never been to a casino, but I don’t think my 10, 11, and 1 year old can go.

You and mama take turns staying out with the kids. Maybe one of you could get lucky enough to finance your trip!

 

I've always thought casinos should have daycare centers. I bet they'd make even more money.

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18 minutes ago, SFA Frog said:

 

I’ve actually never been to a casino, but I don’t think my 10, 11, and 1 year old can go.

 

Save your money.  The Oklahoma Casinos are mostly smokey places full of sad desperate people.

 

I once won $20 but that was on my trip back to DFW to get laid off.

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Some of the casinos inside Oklahoma are funny, once you get inside the border.  Once we got past Choctaw (which is pretty nice, but much smaller than Winstar) in Durant on our way to Tulsa, we passed 4 or 5 'casinos', all about the size of your average fast food restaurant.

 

 

Winstar is massive.  Hotel is very nice.  Missus and I have taken a couple quick anniversary trips up there.  Wife is a big hater of the cigarette smoke, but she was surprised by how clean it was.  Especially compared to the one in Eagle Pass, where they have indoor smog warnings.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Radio Shack Killa said:

all about the size of your average fast food restaurant.

Sounds a lot like Nevada.

 

The casinos here are mostly large-ish. Probably nothing like Winstar, but big enough to host touring singers/bands. No smoking allowed anywhere inside or outside within 15 feet of any entrance. The one closest to where I lived in NorCal was actually a tent.

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On 2/2/2018 at 10:38 PM, PurpleDawg said:

Are you getting engaged to the gf?

 

I did, 2 weeks ago! Lol. She said yes...

 

guess my life is over.

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I went to French Polynesia for my honeymoon.  While ridiculously expensive, it was worth every cent.  12 years later, it is still the best travel destination I have experienced.

 

Also, Baghdad is not worth the trip...just FYI. 

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45 minutes ago, DirtyThirdFrog said:

 

I did, 2 weeks ago! Lol. She said yes...

 

guess my life is over.

Woo-hoo!! Congratulations, sugar!

 

My advice is for just the two of you to go away somewhere and get married and then come back home and have a kick-ass party to celebrate. Do what I did the first time and go to New Zealand for a month, tramp around all over the place, get married while you're there (yes, it counts here) and have the marriage/honeymoon all in one. Don't spend the money on an expensive ceremony here and then have a honeymoon somewhere else. We chose NZ because they speak English and the dollar was so strong compared to the NZ dollar. We had a wedding, a month-long trip with no scrimping on expenses and business class flights RT for about $6K. We did anything we wanted and bought anything we wanted.

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Just starting to think about van camping for the month of September and renting my house out while I'm away. Anyone interested in coming to Portland and need a place to stay for part or all of that time? Dog friendly, quiet neighborhood, comfortable one bedroom/one bath house with queen bed. 20 minutes to downtown, 1.5 hours to the coast, 1.5 hours to Mt. Hood, 2 hours to Mt. St. Helens, 3 hours to Seattle, lots of other attractions close-by, especially outdoor pursuits. Haven't figured out a price yet, but cheaper than any hotel and you can cook here if you want to keep costs down. Oregon is beautiful in early Fall!

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Cruises.  We love cruising.  Crystal Cruises.  We go almost every year.  Going in May.  Los Angeles to Vancouver, via Hawaii.  We will run to our house on Saturday, check the mail and pull some wine out of our cellar for some special meals befitting the wines we've babied for a very long time.  We'll sail for another eight days and won't go ashore again until we head to the airport for our flight home.  The right ship is a floating resort with scenery changes.  Eat.  Drink.  Visit with crew we've known for decades.  Make new friends.  Relax and don't think about anything except our next meal, movie, or lecture.  No newspapers.  No work.  No Froghorn. :( 

No worries.

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If I wasn't so terrified of the open water, that would sound like a fun time. I can't swim well enough to save my life, so it sounds like hell to me.

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You dont even know you're on a ship most of the time.

 

 

 

And the Costa Concordia isnt exactly a normal occurence, so being able to swim is not a requirement.  Abby will be taking her 4th cruise this summer.

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1 minute ago, Radio Shack Killa said:

You dont even know you're on a ship most of the time.

 

 

 

And the Costa Concordia isnt exactly a normal occurence, so being able to swim is not a requirement.  Abby will be taking her 4th cruise this summer.

Oh, I'd still know. I realize it's completely different, but I sat on a whale watching boat in NZ scared s***less and glued to my seat (rather than strolling the deck and watching the whales) because I was certain one of those guys was going to come up under the boat and turn us over. My knuckles were white literally the whole time we were out. Water is just not something I have ever enjoyed. I think it's great you've gotten AbbyRSK so comfortable with it.

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1 hour ago, PurpleDawg said:

Oh, I'd still know. I realize it's completely different, but I sat on a whale watching boat in NZ scared s***less and glued to my seat (rather than strolling the deck and watching the whales) because I was certain one of those guys was going to come up under the boat and turn us over. My knuckles were white literally the whole time we were out. Water is just not something I have ever enjoyed. I think it's great you've gotten AbbyRSK so comfortable with it.

 

The ocean is not an amusement park.  We lose about two tourists a week to the ocean.  They think they're in the Caribbean.  They're in the deep Pacific.  It is deep, powerful, and will suck the life out of you in seconds.  If I thought for one second my cruise ship was going to go under, I wouldn't get on it.  I've crossed this ocean 15 times.  I have never been worried.  I literally slept through a typhoon that was the talk of our shop.  (We had to pull out of Subic Bay because a typhoon was coming.)  Our first class gave us permission to run to shore for the rest of the day as long as we were back before sailing.  I drank my personal record 52 26 (for a bit, my memory was 2xs greater than my feat) beers in a twelve hour period, starting at 8:00am, and made it back to the ship.  We counted our beers, having a contest.  My friend Gonzalo Ramirez (from Michigan and couldn't speak a word of Spanish) and I tied for the win.  I don't remember going to bed but my buddies helped me get there.  Evidently it was quite a storm we rode out.  When I woke up, 22 hours after going to bed, we were tied to the pier.  I didn't have duty so I took a shower and went back ashore.  It was a good time to be young.  I served my country well,  <_<

 

 

 

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