A Travellerspoint blog

Thank You General Sherman


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Jan. 12, 2011
Savannah, Georgia

As General Sherman led the destruction of the South to win the Civil War, at the end of it all he decided to spare beautiful Savannah. Thank you General Sherman. Savannah is the most charming city. Its historic district, nestled along the Savannah River, is comprised of pre-Civil War homes, churches, and buildings restored with prim dignity, lots of decorative flair, and information plaques to satiate the most fervent history buff.

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Savannah River from our hotel room

Buildings are shuttered, painted, and labeled with the year of original construction and, interestingly, for whom it was built. Hedges are trimmed, Spanish moss-covered trees canopy the streets, sidewalks are patterned brick or cobblestone. Columns, cornices, and moldings garnish stone buildings. Apparently not to be outdone, lattice and stenciled designs adorn buildings of wood. Savannah buildings are also beautified with decorative metal work that often serves a practical function, such as a balcony support or stair railing.

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Decorative metal work

Savannah neighborhoods are dotted with "squares," which are essentially one-block parks within the city. Locals usually gave us directions in terms of the square in closest proximity to our destination, such as, "Go north until you come to Lafayette Square" and it will be right there." Or, "It's about a block south of Telfair Square." There seems to be about one square every two or three blocks; so when walking we came upon them like dots in Morse Code, _ _ _ . _ _ _ . _ _ _ . Each square is unique, but they all seem to include grass, flowers, trees, brick walkways, and some sort of central feature, such as a fountain. Statues commemorating Revolutionary War heroes and previous centuries' civic honorees are also common. I loved all the squares. They are like jewels of nature among Savannah's jewels of architecture; a perfect complement to each other. However, my favorite central feature was a mysterious metal orb up on a marble pedestal. The orb rested on the backs of metal turtles. Inexplicably, in a city where so many elements, current and past, are detailed in informative plaques, we could find nothing to help us understand the lovely orb being carried by turtles. Oh well, it's still my favorite in a city with many worthy contenders.

By the way, it is freezing cold, 32 degrees during the day--part of the recent cold snap on the East Coast and across the country. The paper said that today 70% of the contiguous United States had experienced snow. Tomorrow . . . on to Florida!

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The orb, my favorite central feature in Savannah's squares

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The turtles holding up the orb

Posted by bradanddeb 19:53 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Land of Tee Shirts


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Jan. 8, 2011 Kailua, HI
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Soquel on Kailua Beach

We are enjoying time with my mom, her dog Zoe, and Soquel, in Kailua. Kailua beach is long, white sand, and perfect for walking. The regular attire here, at the beach or in town, is board shorts, "slippahs" (slippers, or flip flops), and tee shirts. For women, there's a bit more range, including sun dresses and sun skirts, but for guys it doesn't vary, young or old. Tee shirts well-worn, faded from the sun and many washings, and advertise local businesses such as Waimanalo Feed Supply and Island Snow, or lifestyle features such as surfing or flowers. It seems that's the Kailua wardrobe, summer, winter, fall, and spring: tee shirts, board shorts, and slippers. Nice.

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Here's a picture of the new garden at the Kalapawai Triangle, compliments of the Beautification Committee of the LaniKailua Outdoor Circle, and my mom, Lynn Rogers. The Beautification Committee has been hard at work improving the landscaping around Kailua and this is their newest accomplishment. The site offers some colorful plantings, grass, and benches around an old Banyan tree planted in 1954. A perfect spot to sip a morning coffee from the popular Kalapawai Store in the background.

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Brad and Soquel on Kailua Beach

Our time here has been way too short. But we put it to good use. Ate poke every day, walked on the beach a lot, swam with Soquel on the sunny day, registered our car and got it stored away until November, got to know the folks at our new bank and insurance company, checked out the house in preparation for all the remodeling we'll need to do when we return, played with Zoe, treated to dinner by Lynn at our favorite restaurant, Haleiwa Joe's, to celebrate our retirement, and all-in-all just relaxed Hawaiian style.

Posted by bradanddeb 19:29 Comments (0)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Michael Jackson sighting?

semi-overcast 79 °F
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Well, it has finally begun, we have packed up and left. Not such an easy multi-tasking chore. We were packing up for a move to Hawaii that will conclude November 2011. And we were packing for our 11 month adventure. Yes, it was very chaotic, confusing and tense at times. We spent a great deal of time testing what to pack and how to pack it. So no surprise at our consternation when we left the hotel with 4 bags and not the two we had planned on. But I guess this is to be expected when the final check is done at midnight the night after staying up literally all night and day packing, cleaning and munching PowerBars. The bags were so heavy we couldn't carry them the 400 yds to the train station. So, we called a cab at 5:45AM for the 3 minute ride to the train station, caught the 6:21 and the subsequent shuttle, and passing through security 30 minutes early for the 8:15 boarding. The flight was uneventful, though it helped having purchased bulkhead seats one row away from first class. A smooth and comfortable ride. We arrived early, caught a cab to the Matson Dock, picked up our car and drove to Kailua. There were no delays, everything went without a hitch, I hope this streak keeps on.
We were here for New Year's Eve: staying home was probably a mistake! Hawaii is made up of: Hawaiians, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Samoan, and Hoales (Anglos). Funny thing, once here they all have adopted the use of firecrackers in celebrations, and NYE is one big celebration. The sounds started aorund 7PM, and gained momentum hourly as time passed onward from the Eastern Seaboard. Now, the fireworks I am talking about are not just the sparklers, string-crackers, and cherry bombs, though they were certainly part of the din, but also the loud crackers that are preceded by a flash of white light. Much louder and sharper than dynamite IMHO. So by midnight the celebrants were well past primed. Lying in bed, hearing the mini explosions, the sky is flashing red, blue, and green with the constant white flashed, dogs are barking, people are yelling, radios are blaring, and the rain is pouring. Wow, I have been here before: Woodstock 1969. Where are the 'Dead?
Our days have been fairly calm, starting with a half-mile walf along the beach for coffee, and usually a longer walk up to the Obama compound before dinner. One thing, I am surprised at the morning traffic!
Aloha.
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Oh yea, in packing confusion I arrived with one black glove. Should have moon-danced at 12

Posted by bradanddeb 13:31 Archived in USA Tagged people travel packing Comments (1)

Where To Go?

Are we crazy?

As I mentioned earlier, about three years ago we dreamed of living in Paris for a year, starting about now. This eventually was altered to the present plan: a 10-11 month trip around the world. Planning may be tedious, time consuming and interesting: but it does not have the anxiety of starting the adventure. Next week we are leaving kinetic and landing in dynamic.
I have put an lot of effort planning this: clothes, electronics, essentials, tools etc, but all of this is based on a WAG, there really isn't any experience involved in why we planned what we have. Yes, we don't like to fly for more than 10 hours, we know we always take too many clothes, and we have enjoyed our previous trips to London and Paris. These foreign trips have been point to point for short periods, less than a month. The former two cities have more in common than say, and just guessing here, Istanbul and Budapest.
For sure, it will all be new and different, none of these places have we been to before: they are know to us by Movies, DVDs, TV and travel guides.
To be continued...

Email: bradanddebrtw@hotmail.com

Posted by bradanddeb 00:09 Archived in USA Tagged planninng Comments (0)

What to pack

Division by 1/2, when does it stop?

overcast

We decided on a carry bag for our trip: our bag would be light, no baggage to check in, and fewer items to keep track of. Travel guru Rick Steves says lay everything out that you plan to take, then cut that in half. I have read in travel sections the common complaint "too many clothes were packed. As of today: what we are taking has not been determined. Because our trip is long, and the climates are so different, our choices for clothes is not so simple. If we were going out and back, clothes selection would be a slam-dunk.
The criteria for most of wardrobe: light, quick-drying, well made and hopefully we don't look like rubes . At this time, I have opted for:
2 pairs of shoes: one heavy (ecco low-tops), one lighter (merril x-trainer): both water-proof.
2 pairs of pants: Nothface combo, Crag-hopper cargo pants
1 pair boarding shorts: swim truncks
4 pairs of socks: REI smart wool
4 pairs of underwear: Under Armor
1 long underwear: (Patagonia Cap#2)
1 silk night gown
3 light long sleeve jersey tops (Patagonia, Salomon, Mountain Hard-Wear)
1 light long sleeve button down shirt (Ex-offico)
1 outer shirt (Northface)
1 jacket liner (Northface permaloft)
1 outer shell, water-proof (Northface)
1 pair light gloves
1 Irish wool cap
Of course, the above does not include the toiletries, electronics and reading materials. This where the weight is.
To be continued....
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Email: bradanddebrtw@hotmail.com

Posted by bradanddeb 22:34 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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