Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chasing the Sun across The Pacific (Hong Kong)

Kristin and I woke up at dawn to attempt a visit to the "Full House" house before boarding our plane for Hong Kong. I have been very skeptical about this visit from the start, mainly because the significance of this house is lost on me, not being a fan of the show. 3 unattached bachelors raising a bunch of girls in the homosexual capital of the U.S. sounds like groundbreaking material today, but apparently these dudes were straight and their ringleader was a widower. This was the early 90's, a completely different century. These were the days of TGIF I suppose, when TGIF was more a weekly event than a restaurant with a 40 page drink menu. I had attempted numerous angles to nonchalantly convince Kristin that our visit to this sitcom mecca was a waste of time. I would casually look up from my laptop and mention, "Did you know that the house was only used for the opening sequence, and the show was filmed in front of a live studio audience, on a set? I had no idea...weird" She would not budge. She was an ardent supporter of this cause, and as a good boyfriend I reluctantly caved to her wishes.

To call this journey a disaster would be an understatement. We did not make it to the house. We almost did not make it back to the airport. The Bart rail system decided not to cooperate, a car malfunctioned, and as a result, all we have to show for our 2 and a half hour journey is this picture.

Some random neighborhood

We had to wait about an hour for the broken car to be moved, so that we could head back to the airport, so that we could catch a shuttle back to our hotel, so we could get our luggage, and then get back on another shuttle to the airport to board our flight. These were frightening times. We were stuck in the middle of San Francisco with a rail system that was only moving in one direction, which happened to be opposite of our desires, and we had numerous connections to make. I cursed the Olsen Twins and their television brethren.

We made it back to the airport in time to board our plane. With the full house debacle firmly in the rear view, Kristin and I moved on to tackling our 14 hour flight. We had booked two seats in a row, 1 aisle and 1 window, with an open seat in the middle. We wanted a whole row to ourselves, and figured with a little bit of monitoring and moving seats around, that we could make it happen. We checked the flight weekly to make sure that no one chose the seat between us. We were sure that we had scored a great victory until a friendly Asian man sat down in seat 21J, right in the middle. This was a bummer at first, but proved to be a blessing in disguise. We probably spent 5 hours talking to this intelligent, funny, and kind Hong Kong gentleman. He gave us the ins and outs of Hong Kong. How to get around, how to save money in Macau, trading stocks in China, and much more. He was a management consultant for the Hong Kong government, and had been so for 30 years. He had witnessed the transition from British to Chinese control first hand, which I found extremely intriguing. We had some interesting conversations, and we always find some of the most rewarding experiences are simple conversations across cultural boundaries. Ivan Chan was his name, and if you are reading this Ivan, I am glad that you sat between us. It was an absolute pleasure.

14 hours is a long time to be in a plane. We were both full blown gila monsters by the time we landed. Dry breath, sodium swell from the 3 zero-nutrition meals, waddling like desert lizards from being too cramped for too long, we were quite the sight. We basically boarded at 1:00pm on Monday, and arrived at 6:00pm on Tuesday, strange time issues, and the sun never went down.

After taking a gorgeous train ride from the airport, through Kowloon, and into Central Hong Kong though, a taxi took us to our hotel, The Metropark.

H1N1 is a really big deal in this area of the world. Half the people on our plane wore surgical masks, and basically all of the employees at Hong Kong airport were wearing these masks as well. When we checked into our airport, the front desk clerk took our temperature before giving us our room key. They have this infrared laser gun that fires a beam onto your forehead from a few feet away, and it takes your temperature.

Anyways, I am pretty beat. Kristin is already sound asleep, and I am about to do so as well. Here is a view from our room and pool. Good Night.

View from desk in our room

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saying goodbye to Dallas

Kristin and I are officially on our way out of Dallas. We had a golden retriever escort us to the airport. Kristin's dog, Lou, saw us off to our departure gate with her mom and
grandmother. It was a somber moment for us, but Lou paid no mind to
our sadness. He was too busy smelling strangers' bags.

We decided to grab one last meal at Cantino Laredo in the 
international terminal of dfw. We probably won't have another chance 
at Mexican food for quite a long time. We are staying in San 
Francisco tonight and leave for Hong Kong tomorrow. Talk to you guys 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Asia Map

Welcome to our blog. Kristin and I decided to do a travel blog because we travel a great deal, and want to share our experiences and advice with all of you.

We will be spending the month of July touring southeast Asia. Our trip begins with a flight from Dallas to San Francisco, staying a night to make a much needed pilgrimage to the "Full House" house, and then continuing on to Hong Kong. Our adventure takes us through a number of interesting places and we will do our best to update this website daily. We put some pictures from our past trips over the last year and a half up on the website over the last few days. You can find those trips in the sidebar.

What's with the name? Goboogo is a sort of inside joke between Kristin and I. For whatever god forsaken reason, there came a point in our relationship where we started referring to each other as "boo." Trust me, if I ever find a time machine, then tops on my list will be interrupting the series of events that set about this pet name transgression, but for now, it is what it is. When one of us is doing something noteworthy or special, the other will chant "Go Boo Go!" It is sort of a vocal encouragement. Now that you have been allotted a probably undesired and terrifying glimpse into our life, I will leave you alone. Here is a map of our trip:

View Asia 2009 in a larger map

We will be visiting China, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan for a layover on the way back home (and maybe for an extra week if we are not too exhausted).

I want to give a shout out to a few friends that have inspired me with their own wonderful travel blogs, Mark and Cathy Jackson, Jeff and Amanda Reierson, and most recently, Eric Rems. Thanks guys. Hopefully, our blog will be able to beat up your blog some day.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Everglades 2009

Katie and Kristin

We would be riding around on these airboats, very loud

Armless Freak

The first of 15 gators that we would see

The Everglades

Zipping along, gonna see a gator


A canal

A gator getting some sun

More glades

Kristin and a little friend 

Little Gator

Key West 2009

Ryan and I next to largest lobster in world 

We drove from Miami to Key West

Manatee mailbox 

Kristin, Katie, and Ryan swimming at Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

Kristin hogging our float

Borrowing womens glasses for a sunset cruise

Our gracious hostess while in Key West - Katie

Sunset 1

Sunset 2

Sunset 3

Sunset 4

Kristin spilled 3 drinks during this cruise

Taking a boat to a snuba dive site

Ryan - You can see snorkelers above him

Snuba is a good way to dive without actually scuba diving

The tank is on a flotation device at the surface with a 25 ft. line

Kristin and I have done it both times we have come to Key West,
and it was the impetus for getting open water scuba certified

I spotted a Moray Eel!


Miami 2009

View from our room at Hotel Victor

South Beach

Hotel Victor at night, next door to old Versace mansion

Bill Baggs State Park

Sno cone

Enjoying the scenery with a popsicle 

University of Miami campus

Pool at Hotel Victor

Perro on beach

Bavaria, Germany 2008

Winter Wonderland

Horse and carriage ride to a castle

Awesome Castle

Lone Swan in the lake where King Ludwig drowned

They called Ludwig the swan king

Me and Mom

Small German village

A real Christmas tree, somebody put some lights on this!



View of icy countryside

Another Swan

At the lake

Great reflection

Mom, Gram, and I

In the castle, so much space

An ornate carriage


Munich Christmas Market

Road outside of Munich

More markets

Nativity scene in Munich

A light snow

Such a great place around Christmas time

Lots of snow