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Category: vacation

10/14/16 12:46 - ID#60689

Finally home

I was ready to go back home. I would have like to seen downtown Las Vegas to see if it was any different, but (e:paul) and his boss were at the conference and my flight left at 3.

I decided to walk to the airport because I didn't feel like being in a car anymore and thought I might run across something interesting. From the Cosmopolitan to the airport terminal was about an hour walk, including the pedestrian bridges.

I was actually suprised you could walk there at all but I got the idea here michaeldorausch.com/walking-from-the-las-vegas-airport-to-the-las-vegas-strip/

There was not much to see and I had to change my shirt when I checked in, I was so sweaty.

The plane ride back had a ridiuclous view. I never looked out a plane with a cloudless view. On the way to the stop over in Phoenix, you could see Humphrey's peak in Flagstaff from forever a way. The desert is really almost empty between besides mysterious groupings of trailers. I wonder why they're there.

You also could spot forest fires on the hills and the smoke choking the valleys next to them.

As you go back east so much light appears again. Almost an hour from Buffalo Chicago is completely visible. It's cool that you can see the gridlines via streetlights, just like a map.

When I got back (e:terry) brought me some vegetarian poutine. I think I realized I barely ate on this trip.

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Category: vacation

10/09/16 09:44 - ID#60686

I hate Las Vegas

Las Vegas Boulevard is an assault on all senses.

12 lanes of speeding traffic honking and barreling through pedestrians.
2 story screens screaming advertisements at you
A bigger, brighter 3 story screen, commanding you to DRINK. EAT. PLAY.
Homeless people with festering wounds begging on the sidewalk.
All while people walking by with a bag full of $9 miller lites.
Malls pumped full of perfume.
Stores with $10k fur coats and watches that cost more than my student loans.
Literally lighting water on fire in the desert.
People fighting with their prostitutes.
Strip club promoters throwing their cards at you.
Bars on the sidewalk herding you into the casino.
Desperate retirees pouring coins in the machine at 6am.

(e:paul) told me he referred to Caesar's Palace as satan's lair when he got there. I can't say I disagree.

The most impressive thing about this city is that they manage to convince so many people to move here.

Let's not ever come back here again.

Sorry if I killed your fun time (e:paul). I really tried to appreciate it lol. But you had a few more days without me, so I know you'd be fine.

The highlights I would say we found were a delicious ramen stand that was sanely priced along with a cheep beer store, right next to our hotel.

I'll update this as I think of more reasons why the Vegas Strip is the worst place in the country.

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Category: vacation

10/09/16 09:42 - ID#60685

Hoover Damn and Lake Mead

The drive between Flagstaff and Las Vegas was about three and a half hours. The landscape changes from cool, mountainous pine forest to a hellish 90F+ gravel desert, with no vegetation. At one point we stopped for (e:paul)'s coffee in one of the touristy route 66 towns called Williams. It was the most western looking town I've ever seen. It had cow hide stores and shops full of Navajo trinkets.

On the drive over you cross the Hoover dam. (e:paul) and I pulled over and walked across. It's really impressive, especially for something engineered before computers, CAD and finite element analysis programs. Constructed in the span of only four years!

On top of it in the 2000s they constructed one of the largest concrete arch bridges I've ever seen. Wikipedia says it's also the highest. It crossed probably double the height of the dam itself.

The water in Lake Mead was many meters under the usual level. You could tell by the bath ring up the canyon walls.

Anyway the dam overlook was pretty crowded with a million tourists, so we skipped the tour of it, and drove down to Boulder Beach on Lake Mead. I'm glad we did.

The water was clear and felt icy cold in the sun. It got deep so quickly. I wonder how many people have swam across from that beach.

On the way back we drove up the Lakeshore Road to Las Vegas. You could see a dry marina that used to be in the water, probably a mile from the actual water now. There were houses perched on a hill, probably sold for a previous water view that now just had the view of a dry gravel pit.

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Category: vacation

10/09/16 09:33 - ID#60681

Walking around Flagstaff

After the mountain we rested a bit and went to a ramen restaurant called Sosoba. At 5pm the food is half priced for an hour. I got a vegan tofu ramen and (e:paul) got a spam and pork one (blech) for half off, so dinner was about $12 before tip. That's Fast and Tasty level prices.

After dinner we were critically full. We walked it off around the NAU campus which just like Case has gone crazy building chain restaurants and huge metal buildings. I guess tuition is now for who can build the biggest mall.

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I saw (e:paul)'s first dorm there, along with the Language building where he and (e:terry) met.

This is McDonald Hall, where (e:paul) roomed with a parole officer and rancher.
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Downtown Flagstaff is packed at night. There's so many students everywhere it looks more intense than Chippewa at some corners.

It seemed like every other storefront is some sort of bar or brewery. I didn't really feel like the bars too much, but (e:paul) and I went and visited a fancy wine bar and the Flagstaff brewery.

The rest of the night we walked around until we came across this dance event at a western bar called the Gopher. The music was some sort of drum and bass and really good. It was fun and a little sad to watch straight girls try and dance with all the gay boys there. We found a few friends to hang out with and smoke.

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Drunk driving dog in the alley
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Category: vacation

08/14/16 11:58 - ID#60593

Train ride to Venice

The train ride from Munich to Venice is a long one (7+ hours, trains are slow in the alps) but has insane scenery. The train pops underneath mountains in tunnels, and comes out in the middle of the mountain range. I wish there was time to get out and go climb one somehow.
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Category: vacation

08/14/16 11:50 - ID#60592

Hofbrauhaus

Post treasure museum we were super hungry. We also were in the most touristy part of Munich. So what did we do? We went to the Hofbrauhaus. It's the German stereotype on steroids (its actually a chain that might even come to Buffalo soon). It's a beer hall with pretzels and blond ladies and 1 liter jugs of beer. Despite it being tourist central the prices weren't as obscene as I thought.

I think it was 8 euro for a liter of beer. (e:paul) got a pig's knuckle, (e:terry) and I ate a mushroom dumpling. (e:paul) scratched my last name in the table for my dad. At one point after we all had 1 liter of beer, the waitress came back and interpreted our request for one more liter to share, as one more liter for each of us. Drink up.
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Leave the brewery after it rained, we came across this Bavarian king statue turned Micheal Jackson monument. There were all these pictures of Micheal Jackson - along with a 10 page document in English and German defending him against the pedophilia charges. They claim it was a conspiracy.
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Category: vacation

08/14/16 11:42 - ID#60591

Bavarian Treasure Museum


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Try to tell me these kings weren't gay
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This is another pic dump only because there was more than one person could ever take in and read about. Basically the royalty of Bavaria had so much treasure they bought and gifted to them by other royalty they could open a museum about it. Once again the concept is disgusting, but the art and craftsmanship that went into these is insane. A lot of it was made it Italy which says a lot about how over the top these things were.

The trop of a pointy, jewel encrusted crown is real though.
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This is for drinking water.
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St. George slaying the dragon
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Sexy plates
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I appreciate the dogs here
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(e:terry) is royalty! Who's the fairest of them all?
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The golden penis
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Napolean's wife's toiletry kit. The amount of drawers on drawers on drawers is impressive
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Category: vacation

08/14/16 01:35 - ID#60590

My first time gambling

A night of debauchery in München. I bet money for the first time (casinos and gambling were everywhere in Germany). We put 1 euro in the slot machine, and won 24 cents back. Terrible deal, would not do this again.
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(e:paul) ate fried food
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I don't even know where we were that there were poles but there you go.

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(e:xandra)'s gift we spotted at the Halloween store.
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Category: vacation

08/14/16 01:31 - ID#60589

Critical Mass München

We were finishing dinner at this decent Indian/vegetarian restaurant called Kiss, on Landwehrstraße near our hotel. All of a sudden, a group of 50+ cyclists ride by the restaurant. So we ran as fast as we could to go get the bikes we rented a block away.

Somehow we managed to catch up with the ride. It turns out since it was the last Friday of the month, it was critical mass! I forget that it's a thing since Buffalo doesn't have one.

The ride had a lot of cycle cops and cars following along which was weird, but for the most part the police were cool.

We rode all around Münchens center. Even though it was a fraction of the city we got to see way more than we ever would have otherwise.

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The first stop we saw was the Oktoberfest grounds. They're empty in the summer but you can see how huge they are from the steps of the Munich Hall of Fame.

While we were up on the steps, a guy who worked at a bakery brought a cart of pretzels, doughnuts, sandwiches and cookies out for everyone. He was promoting his campaign to distribute wasted food.

The ride kept going around the city, and eventually it got weird with the police. They brought us through the English Gardens, which were packed. All the people in the park freaked out because they thought something was wrong. At this point we peeled off. Still a fun ride.
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Category: vacation

08/14/16 12:32 - ID#60584

Last night in Leipzig

Our last night in Leipzig, (e:paul) slept. (e:terry) and I walked around the old city, the south end, across the river to Plagwitz, it seemed like everywhere.

For future reference (e:paul) and (e:terry)'s favorite restaurant Kartoffelhaus Nr. 1 has a location here.

The Bayerischer Bahnhof, which was the second biggest train station in Leipzig but now with the Leipzig city tunnel is a brewery and S-Bahn station.
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(e:paul) and (e:terry) getting our daily cro-bag sandwiches in the train station.
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Is it possible to be in love with a city? Because if so I fell in love with Leipzig.
Maybe it's just because we were on vacation but I don't think I'll ever find a more beautiful and functional city.

The night we left I actually had a dream that I cried about us leaving. Meta.

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Last Modified: 08/15/16 09:24


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