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    Cutting the Cord

    September 18th, 2008 by mary

    You know how people say that over time couples start to become each other? Well, that gets exponentially more magnified when you’re together 24/7 and are usually the only other person to intereact with. So suffice it to say that we have grown accustom to one another. But how will we get along with other people? Well, as we were headed back to the States on separate planes we would soon find out. Steve was going to do the family circuit through Wisconsin and Oregon. I was going directly to sunny California. So we’ll find out if the cord between us is of the bungee or umbilical variety.

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    Going Green

    September 18th, 2008 by mary

    No, we’re not wearing hemp clothes or starting our own organic farm. We went to Ireland and if I had to describe the island nation in one word that’d be it: Green. We only had a few days in the Dublin area on our way back to the States from Paris but it was easy to find the common theme. The countryside is all shades of grass. There are scary leprechauns standing on corners accosting tourists. On the street green is the perennial black. And don’t even pretend you can walk out of the Irish souvenir megastore without a bagful of shamrock paraphernalia.

    Oh yeah, and then there was Guinness. Can’t forget this highlight, Ireland won’t let you. It’s everywhere and it’s flowing freely. Going to where it all began and still brewing strong was neato. Sipping the free pint at the 360 bar overlooking Dublin made it all go down smoothly.

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    Tour de France

    July 10th, 2008 by steve

    Springtime in Paris may bring flowers, but summer brings the Tour. This year there are 21 stages and almost 2,200 miles. We caught Stage 4 and a moment of  Stage 5 as the race passed near the Loire Valley. The first day we saw an individual time trial, which was fun since there’s something to watch for 6 hours as the 178 riders are sent out one at a time to beat the clock on an 18 mile circuit around the town of Cholet. The start, finish and pits area were all within a few blocks of each other, so we got to see a little bit of everything including the riders slumping over their bikes after they cross the finish.

    The next day was a more usual road course between two towns. We picked a spot on the side of a country road and waited for the pack to come cruising through. The anticipation built as the helicopters, team vehicles, press motorcycles and police cruised past us in a seemingly endless parade. Then out of nowhere, the peloton appeared, and swept by us in a 20 second gust of wind. And that was it. We got in the car and drove to Leonardo Davinci’s house in Amboise for lunch.

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    Morocco Photos Posted

    July 1st, 2008 by steve

    After only three weeks of hoping they would get done by themselves, we finally sat down the other night and picked photos from our trip with mom and John to show you. Enjoy!
    spain and morocco photo album

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    Too much time on my hands

    June 11th, 2008 by steve

    Welcome to the new website. It’s impressive what a bit of caffeine and a few college-style late nights can do for you.  These days I’m showing my age by drinking more tea than coke, though.

    On the left, you can jump directly to photo albums and now you can move directly from country to country to follow the trip in order. The new-and-improved video collection is hosted by Youtube, so you don’t need to download the clips. Much nicer. There’s even a few previously unreleased gems hidden in there.

    There’s plenty to do still, so let me know if you find any egregious mistakes or bad links and I’ll add them to my todo list.

    Enjoy.

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    yet another vacation vacation

    May 24th, 2008 by steve

    We’re off on another adventure. Tonight we fly to Valencia, Spain to meet Mary’s mom and brother for a 10 day tour. We’ll spend a few days in southern Spain, seeing the Alhambra and a bit of the frontier before crossing the Straits of Gibralter and moving through Morocco. That means back to sleeping under the stars in the desert for us. I’m pretty accustomed now to hot showers and a clean sheet, so this is going to be rough.

    We’ll be following some of the same trail that we did almost exactly two years ago in Morocco. We pick up our car in Tangier and will drive to Fes the night. After wandering the ancient medina of Fes, we’ll head out to the big dunes near Merzouga. We’ll spend as much time on camels as our butts will allow and then head south, hopefully finding the Tondra Gorge and some nice kasbahs on our way to Oarzazate. The trip will finish up in Marrakech with our flight home on June 4th.

    Until then, au revoir.

    ps. we’ll leave the key to our place under the doormat if you’re passing through Paris while we’re gone. Just do the dishes before you leave, please.

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    success

    May 18th, 2008 by admin

    yay, new blog works sorta. i deserve some bacon 

     

     

     

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    Teasers from Nepal

    December 19th, 2007 by steve

    As if we’re not proud enough of ourselves for finally writing some new blogs (thanks, Mary), I’ve posted photo albums from Tibet and hopeully will have the Nepal photos up before you read this. I promise they’ll be done well before xmas. Here’s a couple scenic shots to wet your appetite and make me feel like I did something useful this week.

    In a near hallucinatory and frozen state, I started seeing snowmen. OK, that’s a stretch, but my fingers were nearly frostbitten when I finished with yetiboy here.

    Incredible vista from the 17,000+ foot top of Gokyo Ri, looking over the Gokyo glacier and back down the valley.

    And here’s what it was all about. One of about 5 photos we took above 18,000 feet on top of Kala Patthar before the freezing winds forced us back down. That would be Everest and Nupste (or Lhotse, I forget) in the background. Everest being the lower peak to the left.

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    Follow the yellow brick road

    October 10th, 2007 by steve

    It’s evening in Kathmandu and I just got a helpful phonecall from our travel guy (I guess?) to let me know that all the flights for the last two days to our Himalayan destination Lukla had been cancelled due to weather. But I shouldn’t worry, our 7:30am flight tomorrow will be ok. Whatever.
    So either we’ll be on a crack of dawn flight to the hills for a 16 day hike up near Everest… or I’ll be back here slowly posting pictures. But assuming all goes well, we’ll be on the trail until the 27th with nothing but our sleeping bags, 8 layers of clothing, cup-o-noodles and thoughts of you to keep us warm.

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    Run for the Border, the Hard Way

    October 10th, 2007 by steve

    The route from Everest to the border first followed a dusty frontier trail through rolling hills with Himalayan backdrop. Finally hitting the “Tibet/Nepal Friendship Highway”, we had road for 4 more hours before hitting a little outpost town just a couple hours off the border. The remaining road is under simultaneous con/de-struction and only open at night. Our plan was to circumvent this by sneaking in early in the morning before sunrise. It’s a good plan and we’re cruising on this one lane dirt/rock/rubble cliffside “road” by 7am.We slowly work our way through several sheep herds before sunrise (about 8:30 here) and then come across our first serious obstacle of the day, a cargo truck hanging precariously over 1000 foot drop – and blocking our passage. After a couple hours of discussion between the parties not involved, a bulldozer and backhoe work in harmony to simulateously upright and pull the truck to safety.A few more goatherds, several backhoes blocking the road and we make it to the actual border town. Unfortunately, this town is a one lane road that winds down a very steep hill. The cargo trucks waiting to cross block the single lane and makes passage to the immigration check and then across the 4 mile “no-man’s land” to Nepal an incredibly time consuming act. Nepal immigration was a snap. We were practically dragged by border guards through the throngs of Chinese and Tibetan travellers massed around the entry gate and into Nepal before we even knew it.Then there’s the 5 hour ride into Kathmandu. After a head-on bus accident, a flat tire, a couple goat herds and 4 hours we hit the thickest, grossest smog we’d ever seen. It’s like there’s a ring of soot around Kathmandu. Ugg. From there, it was an hour of horrible non-stop-honking traffic to get to the center of town and our hotel. All told, 12 long hours on the road for the day I chose to have food poisoning.

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