August 2017
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Where I’m not staying because they cancelled my reservation: Radisson Hotel Cheyenne

Radisson Hotel Cheyenne - A Hotel to Avoid.

The Radisson Hotel Cheyenne: Cancels Reservations Because they can.

Normally I would not choose to visit the US during August, but this year, I am. Like thousands of others, I want to see the eclipse on Monday, August 21st.

But a wrench was thrown into my plans by the Radisson Hotel Cheyenne after they cancelled my reservation for the evening of August 20th — the night before the eclipse.

Understand that I planned ahead. I made my reservation more than nine months in advance. On November 13, 2016, I examined my options on Booking.com and chose the Radisson Hotel Cheyenne. As I am a frequent user of Booking.com, I was offered a “Booking Genius” rate of $86.90, including tax. The reservation was confirmed and guaranteed with a credit card. I was given the option to cancel for free, as long as said cancellation was made on or before July 20, 2017.

On July 18, 2017, Booking.com sent me an email reminding me of the penalty-free cancellation deadline.

Then on August 11, 2017, Booking.com informed me via email that the “Radisson Hotel Cheyenne is unable to accommodate your reservation” due to overbooking.

The alternative offered was the Estes Park Resort in Estes Park, Colorado, which is not really a realistic substitute for Cheyenne, Wyoming. The alternative hotel, in addition to be almost two hours from Cheyenne, is $319.49, with taxes, for one night. While Booking.com is willing to pay the difference in price between the two rates, this, of course, does not account for the additional expenses related to fuel and getting up substantially earlier in order to make it to totality in time.

I’ve complained about this on TripAdvisor in order warn other travelers about the shittiness of the Radisson Hotel Cheyenne and its propensity to cancel reservations – and the manager responded,

I am sorry for these circumstances. Your reservation wasn’t actually cancelled. Unfortunately, your reservation did not properly transfer into our system. There is an active investigation occurring between the booking channel and our brand to determine exactly what happened. The situation is beyond our control and as soon as we realized there was an issue, we reached out to all entities to try to resolve it as quickly as possible. I realize this doesn’t help you because there are no rooms available in the area but please know that we don’t cancel reservations based on rate and if I could accommodate your reservation, I absolutely would.

Yours in Hospitality,

Jennifer Walker
General Manager

So… short summary: never reserve a room at a Radisson – whether in Cheyenne or elsewhere – and never use Booking.com.

My 2017 Western America Tour: Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park

I’ve been trying to route myself through the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve for a few years, but the trips have never quite worked out.

The goal was to find out if it is as awesome as an adult as it was when I was a kid.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Short Answer: Yes!

Long Answer: Next time I am going to time the trip so that I can get there when the sun is coming up and before it gets hot.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

I arrived at the park at about 10:00 on Tuesday – and although I had over a half liter of water on me, I decided to heed the warning signs that the sand gets hot. Because I was not wearing the recommended shoes – my comfortable sandals instead – ultimately I only hiked out to the first rise in the sand, where I watched people slide down and surf down the dunes for a while, before heading back to my car.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Along the way I got to listen to a woman and a man argue: she wanted to see the dunes, he wanted her to see the view from the top. He was carrying only a camera, she was slightly heavy and wearing a small backpack. They had quite the argument – I suspected she was right; the man appeared to have zero water on him. Later, as I started back to the car, I noticed that she was coming down, without the man; I thought about tell her that I admired her, but instead I kept my mouth shut.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

It’s easy to tell that the best times to be there are as the sun comes up (when it’s cool and you have time to hike to the top of the dunes before it gets hot) or in the evening as the skies turn red and shadows play across the dunes.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Next time…

My 2017 Western America Tour: New Mexico

I’m now just over a week into my tour of Western America – last Wednesday I flew from Berlin to Albuquerque. The day was long: I woke up at 04:00 for a 06:45 flight, connecting in Frankfurt and Houston, with a reasonable connection in Frankfurt and an excessively long one in Houston. Ultimately, I got to Albuquerque on time at 18:45ish, but then proceeded to argue with the car rental agency.

I’d reserved an intermediate car – and when I got there, I specifically told the guy I must have a trunk. I said it several times, but… alas, they were out of my type of car and they had exactly to options for me. The first was an “upgrade” to an SUV, the other was a Mustang – but the Mustang would cost me $17 extra per day because it was a lot better than the SUV. I pointed out that if I got an SUV, I should get a discount because SUVs have terrible fuel efficiency. I think the guy wanted to go on break so he finally offered me a Ford something – a basic car. Not knowing what it was, I accepted it went out and discovered it was a fucking hatchback. Something I specifically did not want. I went to a different person who typed on his keyboard for about five minutes and then gave me a VW Jetta. It had a trunk. It was perfect.

Albuquerque is an interesting city; I could say a lot about it, but I will keep it short. I stayed with a distant cousin and spent my days wandering alone (Thursday) and with a cousin-in-law (Friday). Both days were good: Thursday I did a bit of shopping and then wandered Old Town. I also visited a museum that was good, but the guy at the front desk told me it was impossible for me to see the museum without me telling him where I live. This caused me to blow my top and it probably took me 20 minutes to calm down – and since the museum is apparently run by an arm of the US Stasi, I won’t tell you which museum it was. Friday was a journey to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – the visit was awesome – and the Turquoise Museum – which was stunningly good. More amazing, the Turquoise Museum has been in Albuquerque for 25 years and my (extremely well connected) cousins had never heard of it!

Pantry Restaurant: Huevos Consuelo

Huevos Consuelo at the Pantry Restaurant in Santa Fe; a great start to Sunday morning!

The plan for Friday night was killed by rain: I’d hoped to see an Albuquerque Isotopes game, but it was cancelled.  Then, on Saturday, after hitting up the Saturday Market, I headed north to Santa Fe in order to see art by Kent Monkman (if I had a spare $170,000, I’d be in heaven) at the Peter’s Project and to eat dinner at Maria’s, an amazing Mexican restaurant I first ate at in the 1980s.

Route 68 to Taos

I wish I could tell you exactly where I took this photo, but it was closer to Taos than Santa Fe and it was a picnic area by the highway. This is why I love The West.

Sunday marked new territory: Taos.

Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo — Certainly a pretty setting.

I’m not quite clear how I’ve overlooked Taos. The city has a huge reputation for being a great place to visit, but my parents never took me when I was a kid and it just never worked into my previous travel plans. A slight mistake – I spent two nights wandering the area, having a splendid time. My hotel was across the street from Michael’s Kitchen, which is one of my Mom’s favorite restaurants and is as old as I am.

Taos Pueblo

One of the doors in the Taos Pueblo.

Monday, I started at the Taos Pueblo – paying $16 for the privilege. I then donated $5 to a tour guide who explained life in the Pueblo. It was a beautiful space and I am super happy that I got there when the place opened and took the first tour, before it got busy. There might not have been many shops open, but I did end up buying a pretty suave tote bag with a beautiful buffalo motif stamped on both sides of it.

Taos Pueblo

The changing light on the Taos Pueblo makes for fantastic photos. And art.

Later, after stopping by the Martinez Hacienda, I went to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge – which is, essentially, a popular bridge to walk across that is, perhaps, slightly too narrow (in my opinion) to carry both heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffics. I walked a short distance on to the bridge, holding on to the handrail before taking a few snaps over the edge and turning around to the edge. While I was walking back a heavy truck drove across the bridge and the resulting vibrations were a bit too much for me; I was glad I was close to getting off of the bridge and not out in the middle.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

That’s the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge!

With that, I went back to my hotel and got ready for Tuesday’s adventure: The Great Sand Dunes.

View from Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

This is what the bridge goes over….

Watching what YouTube tells me to watch: Mormon Missionary Call Videos

A couple months ago, YouTube started recommending to me that I watch Mormon Missionary Surprise videos. For a week or two, I was addicted.

Basically, the genre works like this: some kid (and by kid, I mean guy aged 18 or girl aged 19), has received their letter from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is ready to open the letter. Many of the videos feature large crowds of people – various relatives and friends – gathered together to watch the event. Before the opening of the letter, the camera asks people to guess where their relative/friend is going and they make wild guesses. Then the letter is opened, a bit of shuffling of papers, and then the kid reads aloud the letter, revealing to everybody where they are going and what language they will be preaching the gospel in.

Then there are the slight twists – like when multiple family members open their mission calls at the same time.

Naturally, Mormons like to pull pranks and there’s nothing more fun than giving your best friend a Call to some place improbable, like Antarctica:

Or maybe even Middle Earth:

What I’ve actually come away with is not something on my sarcastic side, but rather how valuable this experience is for people: individuals unlikely to leave home are compelled – for reasons of religion – to go forth for 18 to 24 months and live away from their parents. The Mormon religion seems to really value family and togetherness, so this forced departure from the nest is probably actually really valuable.

CSD 2017 – Before the Rain

A man painted in the rainboy colors, wearing green underwear, holidng a sigh, "Oh happy gay"

Rainbows abound at CSD

Saturday was CSD / Gay Pride / in Berlin. One of my work colleagues joined me for the parade; we got there maybe 15-20 minutes too late to get the perfect seats, but it was good enough and as the parade went by, I got claim the spot I actually wanted – standing on top of the crash barrier next to Klieststraße.

Sign that says, "If Harry Potter taught us anything, it's that no one deserves to live in a closet!"

A thoughtful thought about Harry Potter and closets.

The first three hours of the parade were perfect: perfect weather, perfect floats, perfection.

A man in a knitted rainbow dress!

Fabulous Dress!

But there were clouds gathering and at 3 hours in, the rain started getting serious – we fled to stand under a nearby store’s awning, where we waited for a good 15-20 minutes watching the city get drenched. There were some very wet boys coming down the street, shirts sticking tight to their chests.

Man in black leather police outfit, with a white tie.

I doubt he’s a real police officer.

After the rain let up, we headed back to our neighborhood, where we cozied up with warm beverages and light nibbles. While we were warming up, at least two more serious storms pummeled the great outdoors. Then, when it paused again, we paid and went home. The three minutes to her door were fine. The next 90 seconds, between her door and mine – the umbrella came out again.

Man in a white dress with an enormous circumference.

this is more beautiful that i can explain.

I must say that one of the greatest feelings in this world is that moment you remove your feet from wet socks.

Young man offering Free Hugs!

One of many young men offering free hugs!

Just thinking about it reminds me how good it felt.

A huge set of angel wings!

What a fabulous look!

Not that I need to repeat the experience again any time soon.

The full photo set can be seen on my Flickr, here.

Flashing back to Vancouver at Ostkreuz.

Two Construction Workers standing on top of a roof at Berlin Ostkreuz

Yesterday I was out at the Ostkreuz train station – a part of Berlin that I rarely visit because it’s not really between home and work. It’s not actually a place worth avoiding, rather my commute and regular habits really do not involve heading that direction.

But I was out there to meet somebody. The area is a bit messy because the Ostkreuz train station is under construction, with lots of fencing, a lot of incomplete structures, and a lot of dust.

So I as I emerged from the station, I happened to look up and notice that a couple of construction workers were standing on top of some structure, surveying the crowd. I immediately had a flashback to one of my first trips to Vancouver, British Columbia.

While there, I was walking past a construction site when a couple of workers came out and started walking in front of me. I did not object: these men were incredibly attractive in that muscular, hard hat, skin showing, let me lick the sweat from your body kind of way.

Needless to say, my walking pace matched theirs as they made there was down the street, and I was rewarded with one of my favorite overhead things – this hunky construction worker was telling his buddy that he liked downtown construction sites.

“After work, at the bar, there are all these hot women in business suits and they all want to fuck.”

In my mind, the guys surveying the crowd were talking about the people they could pick up – although upon examining my photo more closely, one was checking something out on his smartphone, while the other was vaping.

Actually not all that different from what people at my office do when taking breaks.

A quick trip to Washington…

Last weekend I made a quick — four night — trip to Washington, D.C.  The goal was to attend the 2017 Equality March.

Adam in front of the White House during the 2017 Equality March.

Although I’ve become quiet politically, I still have strong opinions about being liberal. With the election of Donald Trump, I’ve decided that silence isn’t appropriate at this point in time.  Trump is going to prove to be the worst president that the the US has ever had. As was pointed out by Nancy Pelosi, Trump is going to self-impeach. Unfortunately that will leave us with President Pence, whose chief virtues are that he isn’t Trump and that he understands that nuclear war is bad.

Enola Gay

Enola Gay – I’ve been to Hiroshima and Tinian; now I’ve seen the plane that connected the two.

Given that I was going to D.C., I packed in as much as I could: a trip to the Air and Space Musuem’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Washington Nationals baseball game (my first baseball game in America in about a decade — the Nationals ), the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, a wander down the National Mall to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as some shopping.

Space Shuttle Discovery

Underbelly of the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Some of the planes at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Of course, there was also the Equality March. Which was worth it, despite it being 34° out — 93F. Before the march started, I was in the hotel lobby pondering what to do about water, when a grandmotherly type walked past and told me, “hydrate, be sure you hydrate.”

2017 Equality March - Washington DC

2017 Equality March - Washington DC

2017 Equality March - Washington DC

2017 Equality March - Washington DC

I was also joined — as planned — by friends, including two bloggers (who don’t blog any more, not that I really blog that much). Then, after they left, I discovered that another friend happened to be in town. He’d been unaware of the march and was surprised to stumble upon it.  We ended up having dinner and wandering through DC for a bit.

Washington Monument

I found the shadow of the Washington Monument to provide relief from the relentless sunshine. It was hot Monday morning!

Although the trip was short, it was by far one of the best long weekends that I have had in recent years.

Vietnam Wall Memorial

I think the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is probably the most powerful and effective memorial on the National Mall. It’s probably the only memorial that I’ve visited on every single trip I’ve ever made to D.C.

Roman Around… Rome

A couple weekends ago, I escaped Berlin to Rome – my first visit to Italy and, naturally, my first visit to the Vatican City.

It was a short, four-night trip, with a lot of activities crammed in. Perhaps too many activities, but ultimately I think that I saw everything that one stereotypically goes to Rome to see: The Vatican, The Coliseum, and the Spanish Steps.

Rome from Bramante Staircase

Rome from Bramante Staircase

Friday morning started early with the Extended Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Tour with Bramante Staircase and St. Peter’s Basilica tour. What we’d forgotten is that the tour is scheduled to last 4.5 hours. And it really lasted, I believe, just over five hours.

Bramante Staircase

Bramante Staircase

Our tour guide was excellent: An art historian, his instinct was to view the Vatican museums through the prism of art techniques lost and regained, pointing out the importance of perspective in the paintings, as well as the importance of sources of light. It made for a quite interesting tour as it relegated the tedious Catholicism stuff to secondary discussions. Certainly I came away from the tour knowing more about Catholics – one cannot help but learn about St. Peter – but what I really learned is that the Christians managed to forget a whole lot of artistic techniques that needed to be re-learned after they took over, and that it took a few hundred years to do so.

St. Peter's

St. Peter’s

The tour included “exclusive” behind the scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, which included, to be frank, excellent views of Rome.

Our guide’s talks certainly helped me understand the context – because generally speaking, my understanding of art (and, in particular, Christian art) tends to be pretty superficial. About the only thing I would have changed was the timing of the lecture about the Sistine Chapel: it happened long before we got there (probably an hour, if not 90 minutes), meaning that by the time we got there, I’d forgotten a lot of detail. And we only had ten minutes in the Sistine Chapel. In theory, people are supposed to be silent in the Sistine Chapel. In reality, I felt like I was in the Spanish Infanta episode of Blackadder, when the officials would shout “SILENCE, SILENCIO,” and so on into their microphones.

Largo di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina: A cat sanctuary.

After leaving the Vatican, we grabbed lunch, and then wandered some more: Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Largo di Torre Argentina, the Typewriter, and, last but not least, Fontana di Trevi.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain: Look at all those people! And it’s MARCH!

It was somewhere in there that I think I maxed out: ready to call it quits. We did push on and take a look at Trevi fountain – or, rather, the crowds surrounding Trevi fountain – before deciding to go back to our hotel. But then we made one more push to actually look at the fountain.

Trevi Fountain

Oh yes, and Trevi Fountain. No need to visit again.

If this is Rome in the low season, I hesitate to imagine what it must be like in the high season.


Coliseum from the stage.

Saturday we had a tour of the Coliseum, thankfully starting at 11:40, which meant we got to sleep in. This tour was the Colosseum, Dungeons & Upper Ring plus Ancient Rome tour – a mere 3.5 hours. Not so long, which was better for the feet. Unfortunately, the guide was not nearly as good as the first guide. He didn’t really have a comprehensive plan for the tour, which resulted in a slightly disjointed and self-interrupted tour. I ended up not listening to everything and instead imagined that I was Romulus, sucking at the teat of my Momma Wolf.


Coliseum from the third ring.

The coliseum, itself, was impressive: with our tour, we got into the backstage (or, rather, understage) areas as well as up to the third ring.

We left the tour and wandered off to the neighborhood of Testaccio, where we were scheduled to take the Testaccio Supper Stroll – but with an awkward amount of time to fill. Finding a café, we split a small sandwich and relaxed for a bit.

The Testaccio Supper Stroll was excellent – a group of ten, we went to six different restaurants/spots where we sampled a variety of foods and enjoyed a number of adult beverages. The tour guide was excellent – a local – he kept the group together. I think that it helped tremendously that the group got along. I found everybody fun to talk to, especially the two diplomats.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps from above

Sunday was the day for the Spanish Steps and wandering the city. I was, to put it mildly, a bit worn down. I ended up reading in the Park Borghese before returning to my hotel for an afternoon nap, and then another short wander.


A ruin in Park Borghese

Monday was the opposite: I went off and my partner in crime took a nap. I ended up back in Testaccio where I invested in some lovely Italian meats and wandered for awhile. Eventually I headed back to the airport and back to reality.

Rome was worth it.

Four Movies in a hectic life.

Sorry about my blog silence, but life’s been super busy at work.

In addition, my free time has been super packed with activities, to the point that whenever I’ve had down time, typically I’ve taken naps, read books, or otherwise vegged out.

That said, I did squeeze in four movies in February, all of which were great in their own way, three of which are nominated for Oscars, including best picture.

The first movie I saw was La La Land. Make no mistake, I think this film will win the best picture award, not because it is the best picture but because Hollywood loves an insider film that exploits insider jokes and allusions. That’s not to say that I think La La Land was a bad movie, but rather that it’s an OK movie, geared for insiders. It was a nice escape for a couple hours, but it wasn’t something that really affected me in either the short or long run.

Next up was Manchester by the Sea, which I think ought to win the Oscar for best picture. It’s hard for me to imagine that any of the other films nominated are better done: the characters were believable, the story engaging, and the visuals excellent. I found myself caring deeply for what was going on in the film and it was a film that I found myself pondering over the next several days.

While in the Netherlands, I saw Lion, the based-on-a-true-story film about a 5 year old boy who got lost in India and was subsequently adopted by an Australian family. Years later, using Google Earth, he identifies his hometown, which he returns to in order to reunite with his birth mother. I’ve seen the film and read the book – both are moving and, in their own ways, tearjerkers.

However, the film ended up annoying me: during the closing titles we see video of the actual Saroo Brierley with his two mothers. Not do diminish Dev Patel’s fine acting, but he is both substantially taller and much whiter than the actual man. It’s not clear to me why the hero of the film had to be so much taller and so whiter than the real person: surely there’s a fine actor who looks a lot more like the real Saroo than Dev Patel. Ultimately, it is a good film, but it is not a great film.

The last film I saw in February was Call Me by Your Name – which is about a 17 year old American boy who falls in love with a 24 year old man, while at his summer home in northern Italy. Here’s the funny thing: immediately the opening titles faded into a villa somewhere in northern Italy in 1984 and three lines of dialogue were uttered, I suddenly realized that I had actually read the book years ago – I actually found the book on my shelves as soon as I got back home. The film was two hours well spent, with it capturing the essence of the book extremely well.

It also had the hottest sex scene I’ve seen in a movie in a long time: Elio, the 17 year old, is killing time by eating peaches – he digs his finger into the peach, pulls out the stone, then he idly reaches into his underwear with the peach, using the peach to get off, before putting the peach on his side table and dozing off. Oliver, the older boyfriend, comes into the room, wakes him, realizes that Elio has used the peach, and…. Let’s just say that it was a good thing that I didn’t need to stand up at that point in the film because I was excited.

Call Me by Your Name was released in 2017, so it is not eligible for an Oscar this weekend, but I hope it is on the list in a year. But I have my doubts. Hollywood is too conservative to appreciate a love story of this nature.

Hopping West Across the Pacific

Leaving Honolulu meant leaving the 50 States – and since I chose United Airlines Flight 154 – I was going to get a whole lot of flying in that day.

Reboarding at MAJ

Reboarding UA154 heading west from Majuro.

UA 154 is the westbound Island Hopper, going from Honolulu to Majuro to Kwajalein to Kosrae to Pohnpei to Chuuk to Guam. The non-stop westbound flight takes about 8 hours. The Island Hopper takes 14.5 hours.

But I wasn’t going to go the whole way – given that I was taking the Island Hopper, I wanted to get off the plane, which I did at Pohnpei, Micronesia.

Not to get too far ahead of myself though: the trip is a long one – and while I’ve had long flights before, this is different from typical long haul flights – the first bit is something like 6 hours, but bits after that are about an hour each (give or take). At each stop – except one – you’re allowed to get off (or maybe required).

The stop you’re not allowed to deplane from is at Kwajalein since it’s a US military base. You can only get off if you’re a solider or if you have an invitation to visit Ebeye Island, a neighboring island that is part of the Marshal Islands. I actually tried to figure out how to visit Ebeye, but The Republic of Marshall Islands apparently doesn’t want visitors to visit Ebeye. Perhaps it’s because the Republic of Marshall Islands appears to be a US puppet state, and Ebeye is the world’s fifth most densely populated island that also happens to be a slum.

However, I did de-plane at Majuro – wandering its tiny airport terminal for half an hour or so before re-boarding my flight. The excitement lasted about, oh, 5 minutes. I only bought a newspaper from the little stand inside the gate area.

I chose not to deplane at Kosrae – but that was because I was under the impression we were only going to be there 20 minutes. My plane had to get repaired and it ended up being a tiny bit longer – enough so that I wished I’d gotten off the plane.


I had sashimi for dinner my first night in Pohnpei — one of my favorite dishes.

As for Pohnpei, I got off the plane for three days—arriving Saturday, November 19th, departing the Tuesday the 22nd.

Tuna Omelet at South Park Hotel

This is the Tuna Omelet at the South Park Hotel.

A couple of overarching statements to make: First, Food is extremely expensive, except for fish. Anything with fish is not only inexpensive, but delicious. I wandered a couple of supermarkets and was happy to know that I wasn’t having to buy food there. The only place I’ve been where food is more expensive is Barrow, Alaska.

Kepirohi Falls

The Kepirohi Falls on Pohnpei.

Second, I chose the wrong hotel. I doubt any of the hotels on Pohnpei would meet so-called Western-standards. Mine was not geared toward tourists, but rather geared toward business and other long-term travellers. Thus I won’t bother to mention exactly where I stayed – the mismatch wasn’t obvious to me early on, and I was pretty laid back, but ultimately I later realized that I wasn’t that happy with the tour guiding services and that I should have stayed at a different hotel.

Nan Madol

Nan Madol is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Pohnpei. it’s called the “Venice of the Pacific.”

Regardless, though, Pohnpei is beautiful – and I wish I’d had more time to explore (and the right tour guide) its wonders.

Pohnpaip Petroglyphs

The Pohnpaip Petroglyphs are really an amazing site — although I think my tour guide didn’t really get it..

I was actually sad to leave behind its excessive greenery – making my way to Guam.

Skies from UA 154 (TKK-GUM)

UA154 is chasing the sun from Chuuk to Guam. It makes for some spectacular photos.

I spent two nights on Guam – I’d set it up for recovery and for laundry: when the United Airline flight works, it works. But when it has issues, you might need a day or two before you’re back on schedule. So, two nights in Guam seemed appropriate. I even went to the same Laundromat that I went to the last time I was on Guam, although that turned out to be a mistake because the machines I used did not really spin out the water, so I had to dry my clothes for excessively long periods of time.

Two Lovers Point

Two Lovers Point on Guam.

For me, Guam was a slightly surreal experience: clearly I am a tourist when visiting Guam, but I didn’t behave like the typical Guam tourist: I did laundry, I went to three grocery stores looking for one thing (Hawaiian coffee), and I visited the University of Guam (bought a T-shirt, arriving during the 35% off logo wear sale by pure chance). The only legitimate serious touristy thing I did was go to Two Lovers Point.

I left Guam on Thanksgiving – heading to Beijing, via Nagoya and Seoul.

That was a very long day.

Nagoya Airport

Coming in to land at Nagoya Airport, Japan.