Houston was the first stop on the Texas leg of my trip. I never really could figure what I wanted out of the city so ended up visiting my cousin instead, though the rodeo or space center might have been interesting with more time.
On the way to Austin, I stopped at Buc-cees convience store super center. It had tons of varieties of beef jerky, fountain drinks and slushies, and every other road food and item you could possibly desire. It really surprised me and was a fun, unexpected stop.
Austin is the state capital of Texas. The capital building has color scheme of red granite that blends well with the states semi arid western environment. Full of history and relics from the states inception, you can also view the inner workings of the state legislature. The capital grounds are full of statues in a similar vein.
6th street is the best place to get a sense of Austins vibe/culture. Often described as a liberal mecca in a sea of red or a colony of California, it seems similar to several other west coast cities. The music festival SXSW (South by Southwest) was going on at the time so traffic and the local representation may have been somewhat skewed by people from out of town.
My favorite part of the city was the Colorado River which runs through downtown and is flanked by parks and woodland for almost it's entire length. It's a calm, low flower river and easy to navigate with any kind of watercraft, I took it as a chance to use my kayak. The best stretch is in Zilker Park at Barton Creek/Springs. This spring makes the waters hue a turquoise blue which contrasts to the greener water in the Colorado.
The Bat Bridge on Congress Avenue is the best place to end your evening. Around sundown, from March to November (peek season is July/August) a colony of 1.5 million bats emerge from below from under bridge and put on a show for the crowds of onlookers.
Reenactment of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landing Ballast Point at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego on September 28. This event celebrates and reenacts the first contact European explorers had with San Diego and by extension the state of California in 1542. The landing event starts at 1pm with the San Salvador, a replica of Juan Cabrillo's ship much like the Mayflower in New England, sails through San Diego bay and launches a smaller boat which paddles up to the shores of Ballast Point. There are military, culutural dancers, musicians, food, speakers representing the Spanish, Portuguese, Mexican, Native and America history of the area/event.
Scenes from the Viking Festival in Vista, CA on September 22, Saturday afternoon. Entry was $15. There were viking food, spirits/beer and trinkets sold at various tents, music, Viking era reenactors with camp and weapons displays, a fish toss, iron working and weapon contests with bows, spears and axes. Missed several other events.
Various scenes of protestors and supporters of Donald Trumps visit to the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, next to Hornton Plaza. Protestors and the Trump balloon were set up on the northeast corner of the plaza on 4th and Broadway while the supporters were one block to the rest, with several smaller groups gathering at the other surrounding corners of the barricaded area. There were some interesting characters.... Giant MAGA hat guy, Trump in Jail (which looked like Hillary in jail without the mask), "The Wall" Suit Guy, Anit Vaxxers, lots of signs, KUSI, FOX 5, NBC 7, CBS 8. There was some arguing between Trump supports and protestors on opposite sides of the street where he was exiting the hotel and heading down to the Otay Mesa border wall.
This is an itinerary for fall 2019 that will take you around the world for $571 USD. It goes through San Francisco (USA), Hong Kong to Macau (China), Bangkok to Krabi (Thailand) , Stockholm (Sweden), a layover in London(UK) and back to San Francisco. This is very similar to last years video on the same subject with the biggest change being that Icelandic discount airline WOW is no longer operational.
San Francisco to Hong Kong $164 (kayak search)
Hong Kong to Macau (via ferry, 30$ price not included)
Macau to Bangkok on Air Asia for $65 (air asia website)
Bangkok to Krabi via ground transport, price not included (this should be part of a larger itinerary around the country)
Krabi to Stockholm via Norwegian Air for $130 (Norwegian air website)
Stockholm to San Francisco via Norwegian Air (Again) for $212
Part 2 of snorkeling in La Jolla cove. More sea lions and schools of fish doing sea life stuff. Shot with GoPro Hero 7 Black August 26, 2019.
After leaving New Orleans, we head into Blue Bonnet Swamp Nature Center to check out the snakes, turtles and lizards that inhabit the area's swampland. A short drive into downtown Baton Rogue brings us to the banks of the mighty Mississippi. The most prominent sites and the new and old capital buildings, the former being the tallest capital building in the country and the later looking like a castle! Other highlights are the cities gambling river boats, military displays, sculptures, fountains and parks. Continuing on through the state I can't help but bring back my terrible Louisiana accent. The last portion of the state is a vist to Gator Chateua where we actually do see some gators (babies), followed by a scenic drive down to Louisiana's Gulf coast toward Holly Beach, passing nature reserves Creole Trail and Sabine National Wildlife Refuge and tons of gas/oil refineries on the way
Few days around La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores checking out the Sea Lions and Garibaldi Fish at La Jolla Cove and Leopard Sharks and Sting Rays at La Jolla Shores.
GoPro Hero 7 Black
Filmed in La Jolla, San Diego, California.
Footage from the Imperial Beach Surf Dog competition with solo, tandem with two dogs on one board, or tandem with one dog and one(or two!) humans on one board in southern San Diego. Was a lot of fun checking it out and the dogs looked like the were having a blast hanging 20.
Have a day in Iceland? I had a 24 hour stopover in Reykjavik with my parents after checking out the Christmas Markets in Germany/Czech R. and Austria. We rented a car which was pretty cheap, drove it from the airport to our hotel in the city, then set out at 8am to see Gullfoss Falls and Geysir, both a very short distance from eachother. Both destinations were incredible and the drive out was very scenic, feeling like we were driving in the Arctic. The sun didn't rise until around 11:45, so it was extremely dark when we left and the whole drive was like a slow motion sunrise. Since it was December, it was very cold everywhere, although there was no snow near the coast, almost the entirety of the road had varying layers of snow on it. We didn't stop anywhere for food, we ate in the car, stopping only to say high to the horses, a couple scenic photo ops, two bathroom breaks, gassed up the car before return (very expensive) then made it bake to the airport well before our flight. It would have been nice to spend more time in country, but for a short stopover, this itinerary, combined with checking out the city the night before, makes for a packed 24 hours. Video is done with a handycam and made more for family memories but should give you an idea of time and what you'll see.
Road trip into Louisiana and New Orleans. This was one of my better stops on the trip. While I had visited New Orleans before in 2008, I hadn't given it the time it deserved although part of that may have had something to do with hurricane Katrina having occurred more recently. While I only spent a full day in the city, I managed to take in a lot of the best sites, stopping in...
Bayou Sauvage - kayaking in the swamp/bayou (no alligators unfortunately but lots of birds(waterfowl) and lizards (anoles))
French Quarter - Jackson Square, St Louis Cathedral, Mardi Gras, eating beignets at Cafe Du Monde, French / Creole / Cajun colonial history, the Joan of Arc statue, Bourbon Street Jazz and Blues, the Mississippi River and the cities levee.
Garden District - Mansions
Cemeteries - above ground cemeteries Lafayette #1 and Lafayette #2
Parks - Louis Armstrong and City Park with Story Land, Art Museum, lakes, hiking trails, sports fields, swamp land and trees.
Downtown- Casinos, Mall, Audubon Aquarium, WW2 Museum, Mardi Gras Museum, Gallier Hall (former city hall).
This was a short drive along Mississippi's Gulf coast. I only stopped in Biloxi and Gulf Port, with most of my day being spent in the former. It's a city with a Cajun influence like it's western neighbor, having a decent Mardi Gras celebration like New Orleans. Biloxi also has legalized gambling, with the same casinos you might find in Vegas or Atlantic City like Harrah's, Golden Nugget and Hard Rock. Other notable sites are the Biloxi Lighthouse, Jefferson Davis's home Beauvior, the Hurricane Katrina Memorial (you can learn all about it at the welcome center) and the cities shrimping and seafood industries. Two road side attractions are Souvenir City with it's Alligator and Shark head store fronts. I didn't spend too much time at Gulf Port, but it seemed a little sparser and low key on the beach.
On my escape from the northeastern winter, I decided to make a B-Line for Pensacola, FL. It was an important stop in the sense that as I traveled westbound along the Gulf Coast, the water and beaches become increasingly murkier and grosser because of the Mississippi and other river sediment. Downtown Pensacola is decent for being a smaller city, having a mix of college, military and tourist to keep it vibrant. Gulf Shores National Seashore is a national park system that incorporates several areas from mainland Pensacola, Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve on Gulf Breeze and civil war ruins Fort Pickens on the western fringe of Pensacola Beach. The rest of Pensacola Beach is tourists areas, beach homes, and adjoining sections of National Park. The Fort Pickens section is the only part you need to pay for and costs $20. Kayaked in Gulf Breeze.
Our adventure in Alabama starts in the state capital, Montgomery. The capital grounds features the capital building and it's surrounding statues and memorials, some of which are to the states confederate and civil rights history with the Confedrate Memorial Monument, a statue of Jefferson Davis who was inaugurated as the rebel president on the capital steps and a plaque to Martin Luther King who led the Selma to Montgomery March which ended on those same steps. The city sin't too big and has a minor league baseball team, "The Biscuits". There are several other confederate and civil rights places of interest throughout the city like the winter house, a church where MLK preached, the bus Rosa Parks made history in. Up on the city heights is the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Part is a museum and the other is an art memorial to racial injustice in America, focusing on slavery, lynching and segregation. It's defining characteristic are 805 hanging metal boxes representing every county where a lynching was documented.
I actually drove down to Florida after this, but for the sake of keeping the videos more oriented by state than consecutive order of the trip, I added a portion where I crossed from Pensacola to Mobile. The first stop was Elberta, Alabama. This area is road trip worthy because a millionaire decided to create a foam replica of stone henge called Bamahenge, random dinosaurs in the forest, a lady in the lake, and several other oddities on his property and it's all free for the public to visit.
The last stop was the USS Alabama. This WW2 battleship was purchased by it's namesake state before it was scrapped like so many others in the US navy's historic arsenal. The grounds not only includes the ship, but dozens of tanks and aircraft used during WW2, Vietnam, The Cold War and Iraq. Parking is $4 and if you want to actually walk onto the ship it costs $15.
My first stop in Georgia was Toccoa Falls at Toccoa Falls University. This is a actually a really good waterfall and it's easily accessible through the campus parking lot and visitor center. The School Bus Graveyard was an unplanned stop I just happened to be passing and it's one of the post apocalyptic looking roadside gems you always hope to stumble upon. Next up was Stone Mountain just outside of Atlanta. Entry is $20 which is not worth it, you can actually walk or bike into the park for free if you park outside of it's perimeter, I failed to mention this in the video. The giant stone the park is centered on is interesting and along the lines of Ulur/Ayers Rock, Sigiriya or Devil's Tower geologically, but smaller. It's somewhat controversial because of the confederate memorial sculpted into it's main faces depicting Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Hiking up to the top is relatively easy and there is a gondola for those less inclined to hike an incline. The park features several other attraction relating to southern culture and outdoor activities. Atlanta was the last stop for the day and state. I wasn't expecting a lot but appreaciated the vibe and layout. Top sites were the Atlanta Aquarium, Coca Cola World Museum, Centennial Olympic Park and the CNN Headquarters.
Just a short drive through the western edge of South Carolina, crossing the border from North Carolina and the Eastern Continental Divide. There were two stops in Natural Bridges Wilderness Area. The first is Caesars Head Overlook and the Second is Bald Rock. Bald Rock seemed noteable to me because it had a ton of graffiti scrawled across the entirety of it's surface. I had mixed feelings about it. By that point the sun had set and the rest was just nightly highway driving.
Driving through Raleigh, Chimney Rock and Dupont State Forest in North Carolina. Before stopping in Raleigh, I took a look at the Neuse River Trail on the city outskirts. The North Carolina State Capital building and grounds had a dozen statues from the civil war, vietnam to the presidents who originated in the state, Polk, Andrew Johnson and Andrew Jackson. The downtown wasn't overwhelming which was nice, but there wasn't anything that really stuck and grabbed my attention as unique or noteworthy. Chimney Rock is a large granite spire overlooking the Appalachian foothills and lakes. This and Dupont State Forest were the filming locations for The Last of the Mohicans (1992). While the movie/book is set in upstate New York, many of films locations, especially the waterfalls were filmed in Dupond State Forest, while I believe the end scene was shot in on the upper portions of Chimney Rock. This area is closed in the winter, but the $17 high season admission price is cut down to $10, which is still worth it as the site also includes a number of interesting geological formations like caves and Hickory Nut Falls. Dupont is free. Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls were all featured in Last of the Mohicans, it was fun comparing my footage to the scenes, but the movies water flow is noticeably less since it was filmed in summer rather than winter. While the waterfalls might look more impressive, the greenery makes spring/summer a better time to visit.
Fifth stop in a round the world trip in January 2018, a city that touches 2 continents, Istanbul, Turkey. Leaving Sofia by night bus with a short stop going through customs at the Turkish border, I spent 1.5 days amd one night in Istanbul but i recommend 3 days at least for first time. Exploring Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Tokapi Palace, Hippodrome of Constantinople, the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and the Grand Bazaar. Also walked across the bridge and checked out Galata Tower and Taksim Square. Took the ferry to the Asian side of the city over the Bosporus. Aksaray station to the Ataturk Istanbul International Airport.
Created 5 months ago.
I've been making travel videos for my own personal use for years. Finally decided to start uploading them and creating new videos more tailored to an audience with the hope of informing, inspiring or entertaining. Enjoy!