Friday, June 28, 2019

San Diego & U2

San Diego - September 2017

Continuing on with my documentation of our travels in 2017, our next trip was a quick one for just Alison and me to San Diego to see U2 in concert.

Obligatory Grand Canyon from the plane photos.

We stayed at the downtown Embassy Suites. First order of business was a workout.

Next order of business was dessert at our favorite San Diego spot, Extraordinary Desserts.

This dessert is my favorite, the chocolate croissant bread pudding.  I'm drooling just typing about it.

One of Alison's friends from high school was there for the concert as well so we met up at Miguel's for dinner.  (Another of our favorite restaurants.  Free queso and salsa!)

The concert was at the San Diego County Credit Union Stadium.  The Chargers aren't using it anymore, so this was a suitable use.

The concert was great.  We had good seats straight across from the stage, but as you can see we were far, far away.

Can you spot Bono?

We flew home early the following evening.  I don't have a single photo from that day, so whatever we did has been lost in the ether of time...

Next is our epic trip to South Africa!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thailand & Vietnam - Day 12

Day 12 - Beijing, China - September 5, 2017

The long trip home started off with a red-eye flight between Bangkok and Beijing, China.

When we arrived in China, we had a one-day visa and a quick tour to the Great Wall of China all lined up.  It took us a while to figure out how to get through immigration and passport control, but once we did we joined our guide and driver for the ride to see the Great Wall.

We visited the Mutianyu portion of the wall, which was nice because you ride a chair lift up to the top of the mountain.  I had never really thought about it before, but the wall runs along the ridgetop from mountain peak to mountain peak, so there aren't too many portions of the wall that are super accessible.

The view with the wall snaking behind us.

The view to the opposite side.

It was amazing.  One other thing that I found fascinating was that while there is the Great Wall that everybody is familiar with, you could also see remnants of many previous iterations of the wall.  Over the hundreds of years, the wall was built in different chunks and portions.

As you can see we lucked out with the perfect September day to visit the wall.  It wasn't too crowded and the sun was shining bright.

Wedding photos.

Now this was definitely the coolest way to get down from the great wall - by alpine slide.  Lyla rode with me and everybody else took their own sled. It was awesome.

After a fun layover visiting the wall we returned to the airport to await our long flight back to LAX.

Next up is a quick trip for me and Alison to San Diego!  Eventually I'll be done blogging about 2017 I promise...

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Thailand & Vietnam - Day 11

Day 11 - Bangkok Day 2 - September 4, 2017

Today we visited Wat Pho and The Grand Palace.

First though we walked from our hotel to one of the malls to find some lunch.  Some of us would regret this decision later...

First stop was Wat Pho.  Be prepared to see lots of golden Buddhas in the photos below.

The Wat Pho Reclining Buddha.

This guy was huge.  Too long to fit in one photo.

Donation jars for each of the monks.

Spiky hair.

Our next stop was the Grand Palace, which also houses lots of temples and lots of Buddhas.  We were not allowed to wear shorts in the palace complex so Ada and I had to purchase these awesome pants.

Lots of gold everywhere.

We have so many photos of the whole family because we hired a guide who took us through both Wat Pho and the Grand Palace and happily acted as our personal photographer.

With our guide.  I think his name was Tom.

We took a crowded boat on the Chao Phraya River to a stop closer to our hotel.

First stop was dinner at Pizza Hut.  Our pizza had hot dogs in the crust.  Mind blown.  What will they think of next?

By 10PM we were at the airport waiting to check in for our red-eye flight to Beijing.

Ada doing some homework at 11:30 PM in the Bangkok airport.

Remember that suspicious lunch that we had in the mall earlier today.  It did not sit well with poor Alison and she spent the late evening in the airport puking.

Waiting for our flight.

Tomorrow we have a long layover in Beijing on our way home.