Marc's Public Blog - Trips to other locations


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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 | Japan in winter 2017 | Great Britain in 2017 |

Table of Content for trips:

More pages: August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997



2010/08/25 Fly Out Group trip to Seattle and the San Juan Islands
π 2010-08-25 00:00 in Flying, Trips
Dan Dyer organized another fly out group trip, this time ot the San Juan Islands. It was a nice trip.

Palo Alto to Boeing Field

Jennifer wasn't able to join due to work commitments, but I found a copilot to go with and share the flying. I did the first leg to KBFI (Boeing Field International) which was an easy 5H leg with nice weather.


good old thunderhill, I'll be back soon :)
good old thunderhill, I'll be back soon :)






argh, all this for junkmail I never asked for :(
argh, all this for junkmail I never asked for :(

viewing platform for Mt St Helens
viewing platform for Mt St Helens


Mt St Helens
Mt St Helens


KBFI/Boeing Field
KBFI/Boeing Field

Museum of Aviation visible on the left of the runway
Museum of Aviation visible on the left of the runway




Boeing Museum of Flight

Since we were there already, we went to visit the Boeing Museum of Flight at KBFI. It's actually one of the best flight museums I've seen so far: a full visit takes over 4H and even a quick one takes over 2H :)




I had no idea the concorde had an anti tailstrike tailwheel
I had no idea the concorde had an anti tailstrike tailwheel

Their warbird collection was quite good and well layed out
Their warbird collection was quite good and well layed out



old vs new is fun to see :)
old vs new is fun to see :)

old french plane
old french plane


a rare A12/M21 with D21 drone
a rare A12/M21 with D21 drone

the drone was supposed to launch with nukes in unfriendly territory
the drone was supposed to launch with nukes in unfriendly territory





Seattle

I spent the rest of the afternoon visiting Seattle



the smith tower is a nice view open later than the BOA tower and better view than the space needle
the smith tower is a nice view open later than the BOA tower and better view than the space needle




BofA tower
BofA tower

underground bus system
underground bus system

monorail to space needle
monorail to space needle

lots of work to 'drive' it :)
lots of work to 'drive' it :)





Smith tower on the right
Smith tower on the right

a seaplane was doing patterns with passengers on the nearby lake
a seaplane was doing patterns with passengers on the nearby lake

Mt Rainier in the back
Mt Rainier in the back


Dinner with FOG folks
Dinner with FOG folks





Boeing Factory

The next morning, weather was bad, so we just drove to KPAE to visit the Boeing Museum. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any pictures of the factory floor. This is too bad since it was pretty cool to see 787s and 747s being built from scratch on huge floors.
We were able to take pictures of the static displays and planes seen from the outside though:







Flying Heritage Museum

On the way out, I had a look at Paul Allen's private Flying Heritate Museum. It's actually a pretty nice little collection with knowledgeable guides.









Flight to Friday Harbour

Weather still wasn't great, but it was VFR in Boeing field and Friday Harbour, so we figured we'd be able to link the two somehow. It wasn't a very straight line, but we ended up doing a safe, albeit a bit silly considering, VFR on top flight where we climbed over 10,000ft to clear the clouds and leave the cloud area around Seattle. An other flight was able to get there between layers but I didn't find such a path and just didn't wan tot be scud runnings with no so flat land around.







cool shadow of our plane in the clouds with a rainbow around it. Neat!
cool shadow of our plane in the clouds with a rainbow around it. Neat!

little island just next to Lopez Island, pretty cool.
little island just next to Lopez Island, pretty cool.

Orcas Island
Orcas Island

Friday Harbour
Friday Harbour



Visit of San Juan Island

I used the rest of the day to start visiting San Juan.

whale museum
whale museum


recent whale sightings
recent whale sightings


another FOG dinner
another FOG dinner




Kayaking off San Juan

The second day, I went kayaking in case we could be lucky and see orca whales.









Looking for Orca Whales

Since kayaking didn't work, I went on a boat ride, which makes things easier since there are boats keeping track of orca whale sightings. We indeed found some Orcas just by the Canadian border.



they have a catalog of local orcas
they have a catalog of local orcas

we saw a few orcas after a long boat trip
we saw a few orcas after a long boat trip


Before leaving friday harbour, we biked around the island a bit:







Quick Flight to Orcas Island

After biking around the Island, we flew to Orcas Island for lunch:










Flight Back to Palo Alto

And after a late lunch at Orcas Island, we flew back to Palo Alto.


looks like a fun track
looks like a fun track



Portland
Portland


more Portland
more Portland


making sure my blood O2 saturation was still good at altitude
making sure my blood O2 saturation was still good at altitude

As predicted by my skypad with XM weather, weather got a worse as we were about to enter California and got closer to Mt Shasta. We had to make a sharp westbound turn and fly around it to stay VFR on top (I had no interest in getting under the cloud layer and being sandwiched between it, and the rising terrain, or ending up in a box canyon).


while in our way, the cloud made a nice wave, like surfing inside a crashing wave (this was just as we turned west)
while in our way, the cloud made a nice wave, like surfing inside a crashing wave (this was just as we turned west)

we then got some nice VFR on top all the way back
we then got some nice VFR on top all the way back

and by Oakland, we got under the forming overcast that was starting to cover the bay (incidently, not Palo Alto yet)
and by Oakland, we got under the forming overcast that was starting to cover the bay (incidently, not Palo Alto yet)

2010/08/16 Visit of Disneyland with my Dad
π 2010-08-16 00:00 in Trips
Since my dad was visiting and he had seen Disneyworld in the early, and then later days, he was curious to see Disneyland today, since it was the first park he had never seen.

While I was not in a huge hurry myself, I figured why not? so there we went after a reasonably short flight directly to fullertown airport just 10mn from Disney (closer than LAX and all that crap).



Disneyland

I'll give the summary first:
  • The roller coasters, as expected, were not very impressive, but then again it's never been Disney's forte. Space Mountain was otherwise decent.
  • I was really dreading the "it's a small world" rides with dancing puppets everywhere. There were a few, we did 2 and missed 2 (we otherwise did pretty much all the attractions), and it wasn't as bad as I had feared.
  • They were open from 07:00 to 00:00, so 17 hours is actually a lot of time to visit the park if you want to be gung ho about it.
  • We were able to pretty much do all of Disneyland in 1.3 days without pushing horribly (if you really do opening to close, it's likely doable in one day with intelligent use of fastpass).
  • Fastpass is not that bad an idea: you can register for one and only one ride in advance and get a time 1 to 4 hours from now, and then come back later when your time has come and get in with almost no line. That was useful for Space Mountain for instance. You just have to keep in mind that you may not want your fastpass blocked for 4 hours when you could do 2 other 2H wait only fastpass rides during that time.
  • Disneyland actually has a mobile online website where you can check ride wait times with your cell phone without having to go check them out. Neat!
  • All in all, I don't think we stood in line for more than 10mn for most rides. Maybe 20mn for one, and that was it. This was most unexpected (that was both use of fastpass, intelligent ride scheduling, and the fact that they were just not that busy on August weekdays, which was a good surprise).
  • Anyway, here are the picts:




    moderately happy with the ride :)
    moderately happy with the ride :)



    Random pictures:








    The Jedi Training Show was actually fairly good:





    But Asimo in futureland was very cool, I had never seen it in person:






    More random pictures:














    California Adventure Park

    Half morning on the second day, we were done with Disneyland and headed toward California Adventure Park. I went to pick up some fastpass spots for the 2nd World of Color show (which turns out to only be the right to stand in line almost 1H to get a standing spot somewhere in front of the water, not necessarily with a good view of the show. Thankfully we later scored some VIP standing spots after getting dinner at a local restaurant.

    Anyway, back to California Adventure:






    The animated rotated animation lit by strobe was really cool (looks better in real life than my camera video where it flashes a lot, but it gives you an idea):





    We also got a cartoon drawing class:



    ok, I won't quit my day job :)
    ok, I won't quit my day job :)


    Some rides are really good decors, I was impressed:




    They also had a really well made Simbad Musical:






    More random pictures:

    this was a fun elevator ride up and down
    this was a fun elevator ride up and down







    The new 4D shooting show was quite fun
    The new 4D shooting show was quite fun


    My high score, and my dad's
    My high score, and my dad's


    This is the waterfront where the world of color show takes place, it's actually pretty nice:





    And we finished the day with the California Adventure World of Color Show. It was actually quite pretty, and cool to display video on water:








    It was a packed two days, but we pretty much got to see everything in both parks, which for my dad is actually a really good job :)
    Good fun was had by all as they say.

    Disney seen from the sky.
    Disney seen from the sky.


    See more images for Visit of Disneyland with my Dad
    2010/08/06 Visiting Boston
    π 2010-08-06 00:00 in Trips
    Since I was going to be in Boston for linuxcon, I used the opportunity to have a look around, and there is a fair amount to see in Boston, especially if it's not covered with snow :)

    I snapped a few nice shots from the plane:



    I then had a weekend in Boston before the conference. Below are a few random pictures from Boston.


    ok, they have somewhat historical buildings :)
    ok, they have somewhat historical buildings :)






    duck tour :)
    duck tour :)








    nice little desert at the viewing platform
    nice little desert at the viewing platform


    french dinner for our anniversary
    french dinner for our anniversary



    no, I don't have a DSLR or even a tripod :)
    no, I don't have a DSLR or even a tripod :)

    The Aquarium wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad. Their big tank that you can walk around and see from different 'depths', including the top where they have some giant turtles, is pretty cool.




    The science museum, however, was really cool. They have the bigger Van Der Graph belt driving generator in the world, which is understable considering it was built by its inventor at MIT which then donated it to the museum.





    They also had a nice butterfly exhibit:



    this is what they look like when they're very old
    this is what they look like when they're very old

    this one landed on my pants :)
    this one landed on my pants :)

    Next, I got a nice tour of MIT, which was definitely interesting.


    One fun thing MIT students do from time to time is a so called hack, doing something impressive and/or mind-boggling like putting a cop car on top of their main building

    that was a few years ago, this is how cop cars looked back then
    that was a few years ago, this is how cop cars looked back then

    putting it on top of the dome must have been hard, it had to be helicoptered down
    putting it on top of the dome must have been hard, it had to be helicoptered down




    new cop cars
    new cop cars

    A few cool picture from the MIT museum where the same exact picture seen from close and far looks different (look at your laptop screen from a distance to see):




    Harvard had a much nicer campus as seen from the outside though:




    and yes, they have their own cop cars too
    and yes, they have their own cop cars too

    A few pictures from a cruise dinner:





    I got lucky with this one considering it was handheld from a moving boat
    I got lucky with this one considering it was handheld from a moving boat

    All in all, it was a very nice city to visit during the summer.

    See more images for Visiting Boston

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