Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

travel

aug
10
2012

The Mystery of 221B Baker Street | Design Decoded | Smithsonian Magazine

The mystery of 221B Baker Street is not one of secret passages or hidden symbols. Rather, it could be described as a sort of existential spatial riddle: how can a space that is not a space be where it is not? According to Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson lived at 221B Baker Street from 1881 to 1904. But 221B Baker street did not exist in 1881, nor did it exist in 1887 when A Study in Scarlet was published and Baker Street house numbers only extended into the 100s. It was a purely fictional address — emphasis on was. Time marches on, Baker Streets are renumbered, and 221Bs are revealed.”

jul
08
2012

Iceland Recap: Day 7

Tuesday, May 1, was our last day in Iceland, spent wandering around downtown Reykjavik before heading to the airport.

jun
25
2012

Iceland Recap: Day 6

Monday, April 30, was mostly a driving day as we made our way southwest, back to Reykjavik. The weather was gray and windy and rainy and cold, which made the drive all the more exhausting. The day started with breakfast …

Iceland Recap: Day 5

Sunday, April 29, was our sixth wedding anniversary. We celebrated by wandering a lava field, hiking up a volcanic crater and chasing daylight near the Arctic Circle. The day began with an excellent breakfast — maybe the best of our …

jun
14
2012

Iceland Recap: Day 4

Saturday, April 28, was a gray, gray travel day, as we drove from Höfn, in the southeast of Iceland, to Mývatn in the northeast. Before we hit the road, our host at Hoffell brought over some wonderful warm bread. I …

Iceland Recap: Day 3

Friday, April 27, was probably the “natural wonder” highlight of our trip. Our day started with a morning hike around Dyrhólaey, a peninsula (and puffin nesting ground!) just outside of Vik. It’s hard to go wrong with black sand volcanic …

Iceland Recap: Day 2

Thursday, April 26, was our first day on the road. A representative from Dollar / Thrifty picked us up from Kex Hostel, drove us to the rental office and set us up with a Ford Mondeo and a Garmin GPS. …

jun
10
2012

Iceland Recap: Day 1

Our Icelandair flight departed D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) the evening of Tuesday, April 24, and landed at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport (KEF) around 6 a.m. the following morning. Neither Rob nor I got much sleep on the 5-½-hour flight, …

Iceland Recap

So at the end of April, Rob and I took a one-week road trip along Iceland’s Ring Road. The trip was inspired in part by Rob’s layover there en route to Stockholm last fall, Icelandair’s aggressive ad campaign around D.C. …

may
12
2012

The Glacial Lagoon

One of the big highlights of our Iceland trip was Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon in southeastern Iceland near Höfn. Icebergs calve off the nearby glacier into this lake, and then drift out to sea. It’s an amazing sight.

may
11
2012

Glaciers Ahoy

This morning I went through a few more photos from the Iceland trip to post on Flickr. To help me plot them geographically, I pulled up Google Maps. It came up in satellite view by default and, just … wow. …

may
08
2012

The frequent fliers who flew too much | Los Angeles Times

Ken Bensinger writes, “Many years after selling lifetime passes for unlimited first-class travel, American Airlines began scrutinizing the costs — and the customers.”

may
06
2012

Iceland

Rob and I spent a week in Iceland at the end of April, in part to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. I’m still sorting through photos, but for now, I’ll just say WOW. What an amazing place.

mar
12
2012

Williamsburg and Jamestown

At the end of January, after a particularly trying week, Rob and I decided to skip town for the weekend, packing up the bikes (the weather was unseasonably warm) and heading down to Williamsburg.

mar
08
2012

Soup Dumplings in Philly

A few weeks ago, Rob and I drove up to Philadelphia (about 2½ hours away) to celebrate our friend Rachel’s birthday. She wanted to have lunch at Dim Sum Garden, a vaguely divey dumpling eatery under a bridge near Reading …

mar
01
2012

New Year's in Chicago

For Christmas this year, Rob promised me penguins — and he delivered, booking tickets for Chicago (and Shedd Aquarium) for New Year’s weekend. It was a short but productive trip, in which we were able to catch up with some …

feb
22
2012

Musical Instrument Museum

While Rob and I were in Arizona for Christmas, my mom took us up to Phoenix to explore the Musical Instrument Museum, devoted to musical instruments and traditions from around the world. The museum was full of wonderful cultural artifacts …

feb
01
2012

Delaware Cottage Weekend

Rob has been musing aloud for months about wanting to rent a cottage by the beach in Delaware and spend a week away — perhaps using that time to dig in on a subject he’s especially wanted to study or …

jan
23
2012

Yosemite

Absolutely stunning. Watch it in full-screen mode.

jan
07
2012

What Does Unesco Recognition Mean, Exactly? | NYTimes.com

Steven Erlanger writes, “Independence Hall is a Unesco site, but not the White House. The Grand Canyon, yes. Niagara Falls, no. Inside the odd politics and big business of World Heritage sites.”

jan
03
2012

StreetView Stereographic

Explore Google StreetView via stereographic images. Both awesome and mildly nauseating. Click the “+” sign in the upper left to manipulate the code that produces the images.

dec
29
2011

Get Them to the Debate on Time: Reporters’ Tips | Practical Traveler | NYTimes.com

Following the presidential candidates requires a journalist to be the most savvy of travelers.”

dec
12
2011

A Not-So-Straight Story | Opinionator | NYTimes.com

Frank Jacobs writes, “The American-Canadian border, famously said to run straight across the 49th parallel for hundreds of miles, is neither straight nor along the 49th parallel.”

dec
02
2011

Iceland: Midnight Sun

Yet another reminder that I really need to go to Iceland one of these days.