Riding the Rails

Today was spent riding the rails.  Why?  Well.. Years ago the National Park Service partnered with AMTRAK and formed the Trails & Rails program to give passengers an opportunity to learn more about a region’s natural and cultural heritage from NPS volunteers who ride the train on certain segments of very popular and scenic routes.  Earlier this year, AMTRAK and the NPS agreed to add … Continue reading Riding the Rails

 Germany & Vienna

The last time I flew out of San Diego on an early morning flight, I almost missed the flight because the lines to check in and through security were so long.  When 200 pair of eyes stare at you when you’re the third to last person to step on the plane, you remember what that’s like and vow not to let it happen again.

This time I arrived at the airport almost 3 hours in advance of my flight hoping to avoid the previous experience, and, wouldn’t you know it, I breezed through check-in and security in about 20 minutes.  So I began the trip with over two hours of early morning thumb-twiddling.

Continue reading ” Germany & Vienna”

Germany, Austria, & Switzerland


What follows is a transcription of the hand-written journal that I kept on my very first real trip to Europe.  (I had spent a day in Athens on the way back from Diego Garcia prior to this trip.)  I recorded my activities and observations as I went, and I was a bit verbose, so know that this is a long tale that reflects my excitement and curiosity of being there for the first time.

Sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy! Continue reading “Germany, Austria, & Switzerland”