Just got set up at www.davidmarchbanks.com
Sad a bit, but one can't be too sad after such a great trip. Today we made an earnest effort to wake up early, so we did drag out of bed by 8:30. Vacationing is hard work! We went down to the pool for a few minutes. This pool was a bit disappointing, in that it was tiny. Jessica read and sunned for a minute and I did yesterday's blog. I decided to jump in the pool for a moment before we went up. Seeing as how it was in the 70's and the pool does not get sun all day, the water was FREEEZING! It was a short swim to say the least. As we were getting ready to leave the pool, another hotel guest came down to enjoy the hot tub. The alarming thing about this guest is that he was wearing nothing but boxer-briefs. On top of this, they were flesh colored, well at least the color of his flesh anyway. It was a bit of a shock to see. Had this person been say, a ten year old child, or at a "swimmin' hole", this would not have seemed strange. But due to the nature of the situation, namely, a grown man at the swimming pool in a five star hotel in his underwear, was somehow surreal.
After washing our bodies and brains, we headed to see the Hollywood sign. This was an interesting drive. Now, I know that real estate is valuable in L.A. but for crying out loud, driving up the hill to the Hollywood sign was ridiculous. Basically, it looks like someone took an arial photo of this near un-navigable hill and built a house wherever and however one would fit. Then perhaps they stood back and said, "Oh yeah, we need a road to get up there." Then they poured haphazard road in between these indiscriminate homes. It was definitely an interesting drive.
When we made it to the top of the hill, we were a couple of hundred yards from the sign and had a great photo opportunity. Jessica REALLY wanted a picture with both of us. There was one family at the top of the hill with us taking pictures, so she was determined to ask them to photograph us. they were speaking in a middle eastern dialect that, despite my exhaustive knowledge of the middle eastern dialects, I did not recognize. So, as any thoughtful, world-aware American would do, we approached them as if they were retarded. "You take picture?" we screamed, "Take picture?" This time miming the universal sign of making the outline of a rectangle with your fingers and wiggling your right hand index finger up and down.
The man of the family replied, "Sure, dude. No problem." In perfect, unbroken English. So of course we were self-assured that we had approached that situation correctly and we got a great picture. Then we took one of their family and decided it was time for lunch. We headed out to find In N' Out Burger. We arrived at In N' Out on Sunset Blvd. and Orange Dr. in the heart of Hollywood. It was packed, and for a good reason. There are moments in your life where experience and expectation meet and you have a moment of clarity that defines the human experience. This moment was a cheeseburger from In N' Out. Everything there is awesome, and we had some of everything.
The family at the table next to us were interesting though, and the matron of the family, who was eighty if she was a day, at the head of the booth was methodically eating six baked potatoes one after the other along with a huge Tupperware dish of beets. Neither of these things are found on the In N' Out menu for those of you who are wondering. It was interesting to say the least.
Now we were back on the way to Grauman's Chinese Theatre to see if we could get in for pictures. If we thought for a moment that there was a big fuss over the Michael Jackson star on the walk of fame last night, we were not anticipating the draw of this spot to Michael Jackson fans, and pseudo-fans alike. the turnout was massive. There were 20 or so news crews, and the line forming just to walk past his star was about a quarter of a mile long. There were, in a brilliant display of tax dollars well spent, police everywhere to prevent a thriller-themed riot. We unwittingly found our way into this mob-like line to go past the star. We were actually trying to get to Grauman's and see the foot and hand prints. We found after we got to the head of the line, that the Theatre was completely closed off and no one was allowed in. There were two smarmy-looking overdressed ladies standing in the Theatre courtyard smirking at the Michael Jackson line. We overheard them say you have to have movie tickets to get into the courtyard. Upon inquiring at the box office, the only movie showing at the main theatre, which is the one you have to enter through the courtyard, was Imagine That with Eddie Murphy which we have no strong desire to see. So we dutifully bought our Imagine That tickets and went into the courtyard past the power drunk 18 year old security guard who was gleefully turning everyone away from the restricted area. We took pictures, and walked around feeling proud as all of the sweating masses waited through the Michael Jackson line. The theatre manager approached us and told us that all tours had to stay over to the side of the courtyard, but we showed our movie passes, to which he opened his arms to welcome us into his courtyard and admonished that we should have a good time. We felt like royalty. After our little tour we went and exchanged our tickets for the late showing of Land of The Lost. We sort of wanted to see that, so we felt it was money better spent.
Jessica really wanted to find a seashell, so we asked the girl working at American Apparel where would be a good place to find a seashell. She suggested Venice beach which we wanted to see anyway, so we headed there. Venice Beach was really cool, if a bit strange. It has the most diverse mix of people you can imagine. There are rich tourists walking right past the basketball and handball courts covered in graffiti and packed full of teenage locals. Scattered down the beach market you find some of the most degenerate looking homeless people you can imagine. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
We walked along the beach and found some great shells, and after a few minutes we decided to head back. We had voted to skip the public toilets because scary does not quite cover the level of repulse the toilets emitted. Well, as a direct result, I needed to pee so bad that I was fast becoming a bit more than uncomfortable. We finally broke down and used the public toilets further down the beach. They were a bit less repugnant, but still very bad. the worst public toilets imaginable, but we survived. We did a quick bit of shopping at the market, it was mostly cheapo souvenirs, and then we headed to dinner.
We found a place that came highly suggested on Yelp which is a site that reviews restaurants, as being good and cheap. It was called Zankou Chicken. This place had a valet when we pulled up who parked our car for us in the parking spot that was thirty feet away. What a waste. I hate valet parking anyway, especially when it is nothing more than an excuse to have a guy who gets tipped in front of your establishment. It was all forgotten when we ate though. They serve Greek food, and they have tons of rotating spits with gigantic haunches of spinning, unidentifiable meat on the back counter. We played it safe and ordered rotisserie chicken. You can order whole, half, and quarter chickens. It is served with this garlic spread that is awesome, and strong, and pita bread. We also ordered rice, and everything was phenomenal. They lost one star with Jessica for not having coke, but my Dr. Pepper was perfect. Overall, the meal was amazing and we had a whole chicken with sides for like $13. You can't beat that.
Next we headed for the movie. It was funny if a bit dumb, but seeing a movie in Grauman's Chinese Theatre was kind of cool. The day was eventful, but it had come to an end. We were beat, so we headed back to the hotel and sacked out. The last real vacation day ended, and it was an awesome trip. We do have a couple of days of travel left, but I doubt they will be worth writing about. If anything cool happens I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath.
Thanks for reading and have a great day! Pictures -
What is up with all of the celebrity deaths? Crazy right?
Well today we head to LA! Wooooo hooooooo! Up this morning and I was waiting for Jessica to get ready so I was lazily leafing through the coupon book that the hotel gave us at check in. I found a coupon for free $25 of slots play. Score! We went down and redeemed it. We meandered through the sprawling casino filled with 70 year olds trying to find some promising quarter slots. Let me just say that this hotel undoubtedly caters to the retired crowd, (it has bingo for crying out loud) so there are an unusual ration of penny slots to anything else on the casino floor. So, of course we chose penny slots since we found nothing else. The interesting thing about this $25 credit is that of course you can't cash it out, but anyhting that you win is yours. So, we cashed out everytime we hit anything. This gave us lots of little tickets for $1.60 and the like. We relished in it, and at the end of the twenty five bucks, we were $6.80 richer. Double score. So of course we did what any sane and responsible people would do witht that new-found bounty. We went to Del Taco for luch. Oh, it was gooood! I love Del Taco in case you didn't notice.
After that we headed out. We were almost to California and we had one more Vegas souvenier that we wanted to grab. Fortunately there is a pretty good-sized gambling community just inside the Nevada state line. I think the town is Prynne or Prymm or something like that. It had three good sized resorts buched up together on two sides of the highway that were connected by monorail over the interstate. There was also a large outlet mall connected to Terrible's Resort and Casino. We parked at Whiskey Pete's and rode the monorail over to Terrible's. They had a Bonnie and Clyde display complete with a replica of their shot-up car and the shirt Clyde was wearing when he was killed. Weird. Well we found our souvenier and we were off. Back over the monorail and on to cali.
We hit LA fianlly and fought unreal traffic. We made it to the hotel pretty much without a hitch though and checked in. This place is way to nice. Thanks Priceline! Then we were off like a shot to Malibu for dinner. We found a good cheap place online that is just on the beach, and let me tell you; pacific coast highway views are breathtaking. We were surrounded by cool breeze, ocean, gulls, and multi-million dollar homes. It was amazing. This restaurant is called Malibu Seafood and it is little more than a shack with tables outside, but the weather was perfect, and the food was so fresh it was hard to believe. I had an ahi tuna burger and Jess had grilled shrimp. It was the first time I had ever had a tuna burger and it was perfect. Jess is a sucker for shrimp, but declared this iteration the freshest that had ever touched her lips. The place had a sign that read, "The reason we don't serve breakfast is that we are out getting lunch." So the fish is fresh and tasty.
After that we walked the beach in the sunset for about and hour, and wow. It was amazing. Cold water though! We still had some tome to kill so we decided to head to Hollywood Blvd. We were glad we did. Let me tell you, parking is a nightmare but we lucked out. We stumbled into some garage that had all of these crazy prices posted that we couldn't make sence of, but as it turns out, any place in the mall above can validate your parking and then it is $2 for the first four hours. The crazy thing about this is that there were tons of lots all around charging $2 per fifteen minutes. Yikes!
Well, we were sad that they had the Grahmen's Chinese theatre blocked off for the world premier of Bruno. You win again Sacha Baron Cohen! But we walked up and down in front of Kodak theatre and took pics with some of the stars on the walk of fame. One thing that was amazing though was the Micheal Jackson memorials going on at either end of the block. Since Micheal Jackson's star is right in front of the theatre and was blocked off, there were two memorial crowds at the barricades. They were blaring Jackson music, painting portraits, leaving tons of flowers and lighting candles. There was a huge party atmosphere as everyone was dancing and cheering after every song ended. It was a neat experience, and hundreds of people were taking part. It was a bit sad though, when we headed down and found Ed McMahon's star and there were three white roses and one little candle. Still it was a nice gesture, and a sweet thought.
One other neat thing happened. When we were trying to push through one of the Micheal Jackson crowds to get back to the car, Jessica bumped into someon and looking up to say sorry and she saw it was Sarah Silverman. Jessica was suprised, so she touched Sarah's shoulder and said, "Hey! It's you!" Sarah Silverman couldn't have been nicer and she smiled really big and said, "Yeah." Then walked away with her big guy friend, walking fast. It was pretty neat.
Then we headed to the room, fighting traffic all the way, but we made it, and sleepy time! Photoooooooos!
Sorry I missed a day, but Vegas has a way of keeping you up late, and I was tiiiired!
So day four started off in a relaxing, if sweltering way. We went down to the amazing pool at South Point, and Jessica sunned and read while I worked on the day three blog. It was freaking hot, the AstroTurf by the pool must have been 200 degrees. My poor tootsies! The laptop got so hot in the sun it was freezing up. I finally found some shade and finished up. Then we went swimming and boy did that feel good. The pool was amazingly cold for the 107 degree heat. Whew!
After that it was time for lunch. We had an awesome suggestion from the awesome Guy and April to get sushi, which we have never tried, at a place called Yokohama Kaigenro. It is a little hole in the wall Asian market, and restaurant. The sushi was amazing! We had California roll, which was ok, but we also had spicy tuna roll and tempura - crab and shrimp, and it was delectable. Man, my mouth is watering thinking about it.
Then back to the strip for some more neato sights. We went to Caesar's Palace and the Forum Shops (the Caesar's Palace mall) to stop by FAO Schwartz to get something for Eli. The mall is awesome, mostly designer shops and stuff, but it is pretty amazing. The place is designed to look like an Italian street, complete with gigantic elaborate fountains with statues and ceilings painted to look like real sky. We also saw an animatronic show about the fall of Atlantis that was kind of cheesy, but neat to see. My shoes were falling apart at the seams (they WERE five years old, which seems a reasonable amount of time to keep shoes to me, but in Jessica's eyes, this is an egregious sin against fashion) so we went by the Gap to get new ones. They are Chuck Taylors and I love them.
After that we went for some more souvenir shopping, and saw a few more casinos. We walked around for quite some time and finally made it back to the Bellagio for dinner. Prepare yourself because I am going to spend some time on this one. We went to the Bellagio buffet because we had read online from a lot of sources that it was the best on the strip. It is pricey, but oh my gosh. Oh wow. This was the most amazing meal ever. They had everything, and it was all amazing. My favorite was the mushroom ravioli with truffles, and the Florida wahoo in teryaki sauce. Jessica loved the king crab and the boiled shrimp, both amazingly fresh and fantastic. We also had prime rib, veal marsala, roasted turkey, and an amazing selection of desserts from bread pudding to cheesecake. Oh was it good. The place was gorgeous and clean and the food was so good. There was not a single bad thing that I ate. Well, the cous cous was bad, but I think that is universal.
Walking back down the strip, we realized the definition of bad cos play when we saw a guy dressed as the Joker and two other guys dressed as Batman. One of the Batmen had his mask in his hand and was looking dejected as the Joker followed behind him and keeping character flung a string of insults at him. I then realized that the Joker is the ultimate super-villian, because not even two Batmen can keep him in check. He is the living end!
Then it was time to go back to the hotel, it was pretty late, but Jessica did want to check out bingo. I was dubious, but she was insistent. We went and it was pretty cool. We did not win anything, but the casinos sure now how to make it exciting. We had a good time and after an hour of bingo, it was definitely time for bed. What a day, and tomorrow morning I will fill you in on day five! Pictures -
All of those commercials that you see depicting lay-people doing the work of highly specialized and trained professionals just because they have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express the night before are true. We didn't need to ask directions, and I performed an appendectomy today, all because of our stay in "the Express". No seriously, it was an awesome room, and the breakfast bar was top-notch. Mmmmm omelet.
So on the road today, and we had a great drive through the mountains just outside of Tempe. We saw lots of the tall roadrunner and coyote cartoon style cactus that pleased Jessica to no end. She dubbed them cactus friends and there were millions covering every mesa and hill around. We didn't get a picture and i have been informed, that we HAVE to on the way back. So hold your collective breath!
We made it to the canyon and found bazillions of people waiting to get in. We didn't know how far we were going to be driving so we got Gas at the canyon village. I capitalize Gas because this must have been some sort of gas Deity, or at least the father of all gas, because it was close to four dollars a gallon. I remembered from the last time we visited with Sherry (more on her later) that this town has no water table. So all water has to be trucked in. That fact coupled with the proximity to one of the busier national parks in the nation, makes for guilt free price gouging on everything from t-shirts to ice cream cones. They also have an IMAX theatre that i don't even want to begin to imagine ticket prices for.
So we dejectedly pressed on. Not really dejected, the price of that gas and the ice cream cone are just more painful in retrospect. At the gates to the park we found; bazillions of people waiting to get in. this place was packed. We finally made it in after sitting in line for almost an hour and entered the park to be greeted by a long line of people waiting to drive up the road through the prescribed burn area. This is when the national parks serve burns some of the forest in a controlled way in order to keep the Eco-system balanced. This clears unneeded undergrowth and dead plants as well as encouraging new and healthy growth. It took a while to get through this area since only one lane was passing at a time.
we finally made it through the choking smoke, not too bad since our windows were up, and on to the park. The first order was to meet up with Sherry Baker. She is a dear close friend of my mother's who works on the train that goes into the Grand Canyon from, Flagstaff I think? Maybe it comes from Williams, at any rate it goes into the Canyon and she works on the train. It is this awesome silver passenger train that was a quarter mile long on this day due to high crowds, and at Christmas time they do a Polar Express themed train run which sounds awesome. Sherry used to be a mule wrangler at the Canyon, which means that she would take guided tour groups down into the bottom of the canyon to stay at Phantom Ranch, which is a ranch, complete with Post Office on the Grand Canyon floor right next to the Colorado River. I was fortunate enough when I was younger to have the opportunity to take a trip to the bottom with Sherry and it was perhaps one of the greatest experiences of my young life. I will never forget it, partly due to the amazing nature of the trip, and partly because Sherry is such a fantastic lady. Seeing her again was a blast. It has been so long and I was excited to get to introduce her to Jessica. She walked us over to the Canyon rim and Jessica saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. Sherry had her look down until we got the the very edge, then look up to take it all in. That is the best way to see it. For those who haven't been, you can not explain it. It is breathtaking and humbling all at once. Pictures do not do justice, but it is simply majestic, beautiful and awe-inspiring.
Sherry gave us some travel tips, and we caught up super briefly, and we had to day goodbye. We went to the Bright Angel Trail, which is the trail that the mules take into the Canyon a little way down to see the Indian hieroglyphics on the Canyon wall. We then went and found a spot right on the rim of the canyon to have lunch. Awesome experience!
After this we had to say goodbye to Grand Canyon and the Grand Canyon State of Arizona. Onward ad downward to Nevada. We changed altitude rapidly down on this leg of the trip.. Awesome scenery again, but once you hit Nevada, it is some barren dessert stuff. Watch for Ram signs at the Hoover Dam were interesting and one of the few things that dotted the scenery besides rocks.
The Hoover Dam though, was Awesome. We considered touring, but we hit it too late. the sun was setting and the visitor center was closed. We got some good pics though and had a nice time. After that it is a hop and a skip to Vegas. We pulled in as everything was lighting up and our first stop: Del Taco! Awesome! they have Tuesday night taco specials including 3 tacos for 1.09 and three classic tacos for 2.09. You can't beat that and we had ourselves some Del Taco. I love this place, and Jessica says their nachos are top-notch. Fat and happy we headed out into the strip for trouble-making. after finally finding a spot to park, we started at the Paris, then on to Bellagio and we saw tons of awesome casinos. We walked all the way down to Mandalay Bay, and it was a blast. We don't really gamble, but every casino is like a theme park. Some awesome, and some suck horribly. Jessica loved the Paris coplete with an Eiffel Tower recreation and a full replica of a Paris avenue with shops and painted sky and all. I really liked the Bellagio. This whole place is like some kind of fairyland with big gauzy flowers and fountains with lights everywhere. It is pretty swanky. After we made it to the Mandalay Bay, which is about two miles as the crow flies, add probably another mile inside the casinos no joke, we were beat. We trudged back to the car, drove back to South Point, which is nice, but not amazing, and fell into bed. SLEEP!
All things aside in the seediest hotel ever, we slept well, everything was clean, and everything worked. Although, the continental breakfast was served in a dirty, dingy room, with no less than four signs reminding ne'er-do-wells that food was not to be removed from the "banquet room" and that breakfast was only for guests of the hotel. This must have been a particular problem for this hotel. We had a breakfast of self-cook, self-serve waffles and concentrated orange juice. We skipped the "fruit salad" that was swimming in some unidentifiable orange liquid. I had five plates of said breakfast, seeing as how the plates were roughly the size of silver dollars. The desk clerk did come in toward the end of our meal and apologize for the lack of larger plates and offered us the torn off half of a large Styrofoam to-go container the he was trying to pass off as said larger plate. We declined and finished the final three pygmy plates of breakfast, which was actually quite good.
Then we were off! We had a very long driving day today, but it was entertaining due to the continuation of Duma Key (So far so good) and more David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames) and the rapidly changing scenery. It is incredible how you can be driving along this amazingly clear, flat, and fairly nondescript desert and suddenly; BAM, you are in between 100 foot tall foothills. The driving was incredible through the closest thing to mountains we have driven through. Over the course of about 50 miles or so we went from 3500 feet above sea level to 8500 feet in Cloudcroft New Mexico, and back to about 4300 feet in Alamogordo NM.
On the backside of that mountain drive we stopped in the Lincoln National Forrest at an amazing overlook of White Sands national monument. There was a hiking trail down to the river and we decided to go for it. The trail was steep! It was maybe 60-100 feet down, and in parts there was more climbing than hiking. We made it down in high spirits with no problem. Feelin' fine. Then we started up. Yikes high altitude mixed with doing physical work suuuuuuuuuuucks. I should like, work out and junk. We finally made it without throwing up, barely. Then on to White Sands!
I didn't mention this yesterday, but the admission to Carlsbad Caverns was free this past weekend. Score! Since, on a whim we decided to go to the Caverns a day early we got to take advantage of this. I mention it because, for whatever reason there was no charge for admission to White Sands today either. We pulled to the booth where you pay admission and there was a sign that said: "this station is closed, please continue on". So we pressed on valiantly and drove into the park. It is phenomenal, and indescribable. You are once again in this mostly green and tan scrubby desert with low, rolling dunes and amazing mountains in the background, and suddenly you find yourself driving through crystal white sand dunes between six and twenty feet high that are almost bare of any vegetation in most places. You drive into this amazing anomaly for miles and find that you are ages from anything resembling civilization and the sand stretches forever. It is amazingly serene and beautiful. The silence is shocking. You can climb to the top of the tall dunes and jump with all of your might landing safely, or semi-safely in powder soft sand and tumble to the bottom. It is a blast. We sat and enjoyed the incredible scenery and caught our breath on the top of a twenty foot dune. It was breath-taking, and we took a moment to enjoy how awesome this trip is.
Then back on the road with more amazing scenery and lots of driving. About 150 miles before the Arizona border we started seeing signs for a gas station that advertised "The Thing" describing it as the mystery of Arizona, and you could see it only there! There were signs every ten miles or so for literally 178 miles. So we had to see this thing. What were we to do? Well it turns out that ”The Thing" has been deemed by the proprietor of this fine Fina station as being worth one dollar to see. So we paid our two dollars and went into this spooky display complete with yellow spray-painted foot prints leading to the tin building out back. It contained, basically, a lot of junk. It had broken down antique cars which, according to their descriptive signs, were very valuable and rare. There were also old phones, old guns, old paintings, and lots of branches painted to look like surreal animals. The most disturbing display was a panorama in a huge iron cage of life-sized wooden dummies posed in scenes depicting medieval torture. It made us suddenly realize that we were alone in a barn behind a rural filling station in Arizona looking at torture vignettes, and this sounded like a great set up for a horror film where the bright-eyed and incredibly attractive young couple is killed by mountain people. We rushed through the rest of the display which contained a real mummy (scary, and could this gas station possible have proper permission to house a mummy?) and a spider-web laden Indian dummy that looked a little too real.
Then on to Tempe and an AWESOME Holiday Inn Express. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) There was a huge Arizona Mills (identical to Grapevine Mills) within walking distance of the hotel. Since we are two hours behind and had some time to kill, we hit it up. Fun time waster, and now we are going to eat, so I am DONE! See you tomorrow!
Today was fairly awesome. We left the house at about 6:30 AM, and had a great day of driving. No mishaps, we did some reading. Duma Key by Stephen King and it is pretty good so far. I am not a big Stephen King fan, but Jess assures me that this is a good book nonetheless. We shall SEE! Her entire reputation is on the line with me. She is walking razor's edge.
We also heard some Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris on audio book. Amazing stuff, and he is reading it himself. If you have never heard David Sedaris' work, much less performed by himself you are missing a real treat. Just a real treat.
Highlights of the day: stopped at Stillwater station, which is the first of the big west "travel centers" which are like mini truck stop malls complete with a tiny food court and an arcade, and saw an award winning rattlesnake from the "world's largest rattlesnake roundup". Also they had an armadillo with six shooters. We also passed through Midland, former home of former president George W. Bush and his wife I believe. Not much to see. Seriously. They did have some literally palatial construction companies along the highway which makes me thinks that there must be some nice buildings somewhere in that town, but none we could see.
The best thing about today is that we pulled in to Carlsbad around 2:30, and thought, "Heck! We should see the caverns today." And we did. It was amazing. It is truly an indescribably experience and left us completely awestruck. It feels like being on a complete other planet under this one. We were enjoying some great New Mexico landscape complete with deserts and mesas, and then you step into this set from an Indiana Jones movie, which at times looks like a set from an Alien movie. It was amazing. Another great plus was that since we got to see the caverns at the end of the day, we had the opportunity to see the bats exiting the caverns at sunset. We had just enough time to go back to the hotel and check in (more on that later) and head back for the bat program. It was really an experience. For an hour you can watch between 300,000 and 400,000 Brazilian free-tail bats swirling silently out of the caverns natural entrance and flying into the distance. It was incredible.
Anywhoo back now at the worlds scariest hotel room (America's Best Value Inn in Carlsbad NM - STAY AWAY) and about to grab dinner. This place is a rat hole. The front desk clerk was very cordial, but the lobby decor was from 30 years ago, and the desk worker's girlfriend was on the Internet in the lobby. After we checked in and our attention was directed to the hand written sign next to the iron six foot tall frog sculptures letting us know that breakfast starts at 5:30 AM, the desk clerk raced to our room before we could, to let the neighbors know that there would be real guests and to keep the noise from the party down. The neighbors are a construction crew who are apparently renting rooms here by the week. They were sitting on the sidewalk drinking.
The room has a few eccentricities. The cardboard window and exposed wiring were a couple. Also it is just seedy. Oh, and this is the most expensive room of the trip. Oh well, enough about that. Here are pictures!
So I have to pick on Edna a bit even though I found her blog quite by coincidence when searching for "pretentious" blogs to emphasize my ill-conceived joke in my first post. I will just quote one of her posts here:
World Religion 30
Answer two of the following questions, in paragraph form:
1. Compare and contrast the beliefs of two religions on the origins of the world/humankind, OR their beliefs on the afterlife.
2. Virtually all religions have in common a desire to bring peace and justice to humanity. Many of these same religions, however, have fallen short of these ideals. Using specific examples, discuss this problem.
3. What challenges face religion and religious beliefs as we are about to enter the new millenium? Use specific examples.
4. What do the major religions of the world have in common? In what ways do they differ? Discuss, using examples from at least two different religions.
5. Does God exist?
TEACHER: Does God exist? Anyone? Yes, Edna.Cool. I bet that is exactly how it goes down.
EDNA: Well I think there is no God, see I am an ath...
TEACHER: Incorrect! Anyone else, does God exist?
We had dinner at a little restaurant in Dallas called Cindi's N.Y. Delicatessen Restaurant and Bakery. It was amazing. Simply put, it was the best food I have had in a while. It is a great place to get a taste of New York cuisine (or at least not local). I had sliced brisket served over potato pancakes with brown gravy. I also had an egg bagel that was fan-freaking-tastical.
The atmosphere was a little Luby's meets an outdated Denny's, but the food was great, fast, and moderately priced. The service was good, friendly and efficient. And we just had a great time.
It is located right off of North central Expressway at the Forrest lane exit. It is next to a casket store called, get ready because in an uncouth contest this name would wine the prize: "Casket Store". Its address is hard to remember, so get a pen and some carbon backed paper for duplicates. 11111 North Central Expressway Dallas, Texas. They do have some other locations though so check them out on the web.
Here is a blog that I will never use. I hope that comes as a consolation to you. I have been reading a few blogs lately, and I realized that most people use these to sound overly smart or just wax philosophical about things that they don't really know that much about. (I'm looking at you Edna!)So here is an attempt to not do that. I may, on occasion, write about things that are on my mind, but the more likely scenario is one where this becomes another one of many things I leave unfinished and unattended. Oh well, c'est la vie! (see what I did there?)