Thursday, August 3, 2017

Harbor Bridge Climb- Sydney Australia 2013

The Harbor (or Harbour) Bridge was built in 1932 and it's height is 440 feet (134 m). It is nicknamed "The Old Coathanger". It's the world's tallest arched bridge.... and we climbed it in 2013! We boarded the ship Radiance of the Seas that same day and headed out into the South Pacific for a 9 night cruise.

"You can see it from every corner of the city, creeping into frame from the oddest angles, like an uncle who wants to get into every snapshot. From a distance it has a kind of gallant restraint, majestic but not assertive, but up close it is all might. It soars above you, so high that you could pass a ten-storey building beneath it, and looks like the heaviest thing on earth. Everything that is in it – the stone blocks in its four towers, the latticework of girders, the metal plates, the six-million rivets (with heads like halved apples) – is the biggest of its type you have ever seen... This is a great bridge.
— American travel-writer Bill Bryson's impressions of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in his book "Down Under", (2000).
 To get on in Australia, you must make two observations. Say, "You have the most beautiful bridge in the world" and "They tell me you trounced England again in the cricket." The first statement will be a lie. Sydney Bridge [sic] is big, utilitarian and the symbol of Australia, like the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower. But it is very ugly. No Australian will admit this.
James Michener assesses the Sydney Harbour Bridge in his book "Return to Paradise", (1951).

                                                       See the Radiance of the Seas?
                                                    See the Opera House?
                                      See our attempt at O-H-I-O & the face the girl on the side is making?

                                          Below you can see the 4 stairways each with 10 steps that you climb.
                                          It wasn't too bad!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Unesco World Heritage Sites

Unesco in their own words is " UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.
The broad goals and concrete objectives of the international community – as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – underpin all UNESCO’s strategies and activities. Thus UNESCO’s unique competencies in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information contribute towards the realization of those goals.
UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. The Organization focuses, in particular, on two global priorities:
Unesco World Heritage sites

I will note in this blog when I've visited an UnescoHeritage site. An informative blog to visit with great photography and information about the sites visited.  The blog everything-everywhere

San Francisco and Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend 2017

We flew out of Cincinnati on a nonstop flight. Frontier has a lot of delays so I'd be hesitant to use them for a connecting flight as we had a 1 hour delay but Stella kept us entertained:

 Overall a smooth flight....but I felt like someone was watching me....

It was great to see William after 5 months! His twin missed him most... I think.
Will treated us to dinner at a great Japanese restaurant -

William gave us a tour of Facebook. They take great care of their employees! He couldn't remember if he was allowed to bring us in the arcade so he didn't enjoy it as much as we did.
 The cafeteria gives him 2 meals a day. We got to join him for french toast Friday!

 The pop up libraries were cool
 Here is a parking lot, and they have a bike repair shop on site,too.
 Food trucks pull up everyday for variety
 And they have an ice cream shop
 The maps in the gift shop showing where the visitors are from was fun.

The street art as we drove around downtown was also cool.

 We enjoyed the visit to the California Academy of Sciences.  William wanted to check it out and it did not disappoint. The earthquake re-enactment was pretty cool along with some great animal viewing.
Butterfly house in the rain forest-
 Why do the meanest eels look like the friendliest?
 Cool sea horse

After we stayed a night in downtown San Fransisco we headed west towards the ocean a bit. Wes really wanted to see the ocean, but it was cold. Beautiful. Highway 1 had some closures due to the landslides, but it was a gorgeous drive:

Because of the music festival (3 hours to get in and 3 to get out?!) We skipped the Napa tours . This is as close as we got to a vineyard:
We relaxed for 2 nights at this great little hotel:Courtyard San Fransisco Larkspur 
 It had a market across the road with a brewery, a Starbucks, a farmer's market and great little eateries. This photo is in : Marin Brewing
Remember the Donner party? Donner Party  We didn't stop there for lunch!

We couldn't believe how blue the water was-

Wes thought it was funnier to take his picture than ours....

A beaver seemed to enjoy this tree:

The Lake was gorgeous and there was still snow on the mountain. The next weekend they had a rare late snow storm and people even had to break out the chains to June!

Jim & William really wanted to experience Lake Tahoe and they did! Pants were soaked and we had to buy American flag themed swim trunks at a Rite Aid.

It was a 3 hour drive from Lake Tahoe to San Francisco- Wes slept well. We did get to see Reno Nevada too!

We did find a great Italian restaurant in Vacaville though called Pietros No. 2

We originally planned to spend the night in Vacaville after visiting Sonoma and Napa Valley, but there was a big music festival so we just drank their wine from a time time!

We drove over the Golden Gate bridge a few times. I am all for toll roads if they are well maintained, and they were!

We ended our trip by visiting a great Peruvian restaurant in the Mission district called "Limon" We highly recommend it!

We flew a red eye back to Cincinnati on Frontier and the stewardesses were incredibly loud for the entire flight. Wes asked them if they could be quiet and he was told "Well, like we have to talk to stay awake so , like,!" Very underwhelmed with Frontier for a red eye (hint: Sit in the middle not near the staff!) .

It was  a great trip and I cannot wait to get back there!