Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Circular Quay, Sidney, Australia

This is a popular style in Sydney.  In a word: utilitarian.

Sidney's Circular Quay is the home of the famous Sidney Opera House and a beautiful waterfront. Robyn posed for me with some aboriginals dancing and playing a digeridoo.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cliffs of Moher, County Claire, Ireland

If there is a geographical punctuation mark to celebrate your 25th anniversary, then the Cliffs of Moher is on the list of the top ten.  They say it's 702 feet straight down from Hag's Head to the Atlantic. Impressive.   

It is in the countrysides that you begin to understand why this place is called the Emerald Isle.  The Irish say there somewhere between "terty-tree" and "farty-far" shades of green over there . . . and I believe em.

The urinal is actually from the ferry that took us across the River Shannon from County Claire to the Dingle Peninsula. 

View from O'Brien's Castle

For the record, this is not Hag's Head

pastures and hedgerows - hog-heaven for ungulates

cement fences

stone fences made of neatly arranged shale

chilling on the ferry - where's the steering wheel?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chinatown, Philadelphia

Sometimes the urinal is simply a medium to tell another story. So it is here at the Banana Leaf Restaurant, the first Malaysian restaurant I've ever eaten in.  Number 1 on the noodle menu was awesome--don't ask me to pronounce it.  Kind of a spicy version of Pad Thai; they served me up a bowl of warm sweet soup made out of what looked like pinto beans for dessert.

If there was ever an understatement written on a menu it is # 9 Crispy Pork Intestines: 'Please ask your server for advice before you order!' We decided to save it for next time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oahu, Hawaii

I think this should actually read WAHINE. It's from the International Marketplace on Waikiki. Check out the hairdos from the Nu'uanu Pali lookout. It is a cliff that overlooks the windward side of the island.  It's a good illustration of the difference between windward and leeward.  Finally, Jill & Robyn play in the surf at Bellows Beach, where Tiff & I were engaged.

Kudos to the girls for carrying the torch for me while they visit the Aloha State and celebrate without me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


This takes Lego to a whole new level.  I'm not sure who comes up with this stuff at Legoland, but it's pretty clever.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chinchero, Peru

Pastels are popular in Peru.  This bathroom is about as fancy as you'll find in Chinchero.  It is a small village about an hour out of Cusco with beautiful people and amazing sights. Every house has a ceramic statute (toritos) of two bulls (brings wealth, fertility and prosperity and is a relic of indigenous worship of Pachamama/Mother Earth) below a cross (Catholicism) and some jugs (disputes as to whether it's holy water or chicha beer).  Sometimes there is a ladder to make it easy for children to come from heaven and the dead to return back. 

We stopped for lunch and tasted their traditional cuisine, including cuy (guinea pig). The ladies gave us a demonstration of how they dyed alpaca wool for weaving. 

Peruvian Andes

Cuy before . . . 
Cuy after . . . lunch is served

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Darwin, Australia

In case you're not up on your aboriginal dialects, kigaruk means adult male and lookrukin means adult female in the Kungarakin language.

Darwin is definitely off the beaten path, the metropolis of the inhabited outback.  Though a city by Northern Territory standards, it's a quaint and lovely place.

We were able to visit the wildlife park in Darwin.  A jumping crocodile tour is a must: up close and personal as wild crocs jump up to snatch a pork-chop off a string (actually these wild crocs are pretty well-trained to come for dinner when they hear the sound of the boat).

We finished the day with all our Litchfield cousins in the beach-front park in Darwin for a picnic. I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to food, but have to say I'll pass on the kangaroo brats next time. Unfortunately the baramundi fishing was a bust.

Raptor at the Darwin Wildlife Park

Jumping Crocodile Tour

Working the barbie at the reunion

Billabong croc

Monday, June 4, 2012

Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

composting biffy
In honor of my dad's 93th birthday, I'll post a picture of a composting 'biffy' in Litchfield National Park. Dad frequently referred to the facilities as the biffy.  Traditionally applied to an outhouse--like here--but common use could also have it apply to an indoor toilet. Sadly, it's an under-utilized word.

Litchfield National Park is a a great national treasure to Australia, the equivalent of Yellowstone in that country.  Darwin, which is near the park, was one of the fiew places that I didn't have to spell my last name.

This is a vast and untouched park with scenes from the desert and amazing waterfalls that flow from spring-fed rivers.  You've got to know where you're swimming, because there are salt water crocodiles that swim up the areas during the rainy season and will hold up in the pools to snatch an unsuspecting tourist.

People were very chill. No worries that Roby and I were climbing up the falls and jumping into the pool. Darwin is very cool about these things. 

posing at our park--check out the crocodile warning 
Gladys Falls

The falls were massive and beautiful.  Termite mounds the size of a tree and all kinds of flora and fauna. This was a place that would take a long time to explore and appreciate.

Friday, June 1, 2012

North End, Boston, MA

The facilities:  you'll have to take my word on this one
Trattoria Il Panino is without doubt my favorite Italian Restaurant ever. It serves up authentic cuisine from Italy's Almafi Coast. TIP is situated in the historic North End of Boston; it's right around the corner from Mike's Pastry (a story unto itself with cannoli the size of a Yule log). It has the further distinction of being the only restaurant I've ever been in where you have to literally go into the kitchen to use the facilities. The picture doesn't do it justice.  Check out the ravioli colored with squid ink.

Squid-ink ravioli

The North End in Spring

Mike's Pastry: now that's a cannoli