Archive for the ‘Tours’ Category

Off to Spain with a Jaunt to France

September 23rd, 2010 at 3:04 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

We had not planned on going anywhere for exploration for the rest of the year, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose for us (the adult half of The Traveling Richters) to dine at the famed elBulli restaurant in Spain and personally meet famed chef Ferran Adrià, so we have wrapped an expedition for all of The Traveling Richters to explore parts of Spain around that event to take advantage of being in Spain for the special occasion at elBulli.

Our Itinerary:

  • Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2010 – Bilbao & San Sebastian, Spain
  • Oct. 1 – 2, 2010 – Toulouse, France. Just passing through southern France
  • Oct. 2 – 4, 2010 – Roses, Costa Brava, Spain
  • Oct. 4 – 5, 2010 – Zaragoza, Spain
  • Oct. 5 – 8, 2010 – Madrid, Alcala de Henares, and Toledo, Spain

In addition to having secured reservations at three of the top restaurants in the world for this trip, we’ll be exploring various museums like the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Prado and Reina Sofia in Madrid. We also have a docent to guide us through the history of Toledo, the life and times of Cervantes (author of “Don Quixote”), and an olive oil, ham, chocolate, and Tapas tasting tour in Madrid. It will be tiring, but we’re up for the challenge!

And we’ll be home just in time for our country to change on 10-10-10. We stay on the same island, of Bonaire, but the country of the Netherlands Antilles will be dissolved on 10-10-10, and Bonaire will become a municipality of The Netherlands. More on that here.

Depending on how busy we are in our travels, we may or may not post travelogues. Jake has started an on-line graduate program in photography, so we expect most of his on-line time on the road will be spent meeting his obligations for his classes.

However, if any of you have recommendations on other places we should not miss in the areas we will be traveling in, please let us know!

 

Taking Separate Trips

July 10th, 2010 at 4:42 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

It’s now a third of the way into July, and Linda and I find ourselves childless. It’s kind of a strange feeling, but liberating as well.

Bas is back in New Hampshire with his maternal grandparents, who have the pleasure of taking him to his first-ever overnight camp – two weeks of learning robotics, designing video games, and exploring his potential.

We just got word from Krystyana that she arrived safe but exhausted in Beijing earlier today. She’s in China for three weeks with 11 other teenagers and a couple of guides as part of National Geographic Student Expeditions. She will be spending her time looking at Chinese culture on a local, intimate level as well as honing her photographic skills. Her group has a blog set-up, and there should be occasional posts about their activities, as well as the ability to get e-mail notification of new posts – look at http://ngsechina2010.wordpress.com.

And Linda and I are presently at San Francisco International Airport awaiting our flight to Hong Kong, having flown in this morning from Los Angeles. We’ll be spending five nights and four days (not a typo) Kowloon-side, then three days in Macau, and another three or so days on the island of Hong Kong itself. Not much in particular is planned other than two dinners at reportedly excellent restaurants and a full day cooking class learning the ins and outs of Hunan and Sichuan/Szechuan cuisine. I will try to report on those experiences over at A Foodie Moment at some point.

No guarantees on regular updates here on the blog, especially if we’re having too much fun as a pair of temporarily childless parents.

http://www.ngstudentexpeditions.com/

 

Back Home Once Again On Bonaire

March 13th, 2010 at 4:59 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

After almost exactly five weeks of travel The Traveling Richters finally made it back home, in a trip that spanned the South American continent twice, touched below the Antarctic circle, and went as far north as Atlanta, Georgia, where we connected from Miami this morning.

It’s going to take a while to get used to the humidity and heat here on Bonaire, but it will be welcome.

Even more welcome will be hooking up with friends visiting Bonaire this week, including new friends Doug and Erin whom we met in Charleston around New Year’s, and old friend Todd with his significant other Jenna (whom we’ve not met in person but corresponded with) when they come in via a cruise ship later this week.

I had hoped to post a GPS track from Miami to Bonaire, but we didn’t have a window seat from Atlanta, and our GPS wouldn’t read satellites from the middle of the plane.

I am still planning on getting more photos from our travels posted here in the coming week. Now that I have a real Internet connection I should be able to get more photos on Flickr too. So please stay tuned.

And for those of you who asked about our next big trip – no idea yet. Krystyana is off to China for most of July with National Geographic, and we’re not sure what we’ll be doing, but if you have suggestions, let us know.

 

Slide Show From The Antarctic Expedition

March 9th, 2010 at 2:01 am (AST) by Jake Richter

We had several photo pros on board the National Geographic Explorer, including Lindblad staff photographers Michael Nolan and Eric Guth and National Geographic photographers Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson. This photo “team” was always readily available to provide guests with tips and critiques, as well as technical assistance.

Some of the ways they used to help improve the quality of the photos taken by guests was to lead seminars on photography and photographic techniques, as well as have open critiques of submitted photos. There’s no question that general photo quality improved as a whole over the three weeks we were traveling the seas.

The culmination of the photographic experience was a computer-based slide show put together by Mike Nolan, including most of the submissions from the first two critiques, plus a final set of photos, all contributed by a large number of guests and staff alike. There are many amazing photos from our trip included in the slide show, including wildlife, landscapes, abstract works, and even ones of various people you might or might not recognize.

While the slide show was distributed to folks on memory cards on board the ship the last day at sea, I offered to Mike that I could also post it here on our site for on-line access by our fellow guests and their friends and family, and that offer was gladly accepted.

The link below leads to a .MOV file containing the slide show, which can be played back via QuickTime, iTunes, or any of a number of other video players. You can download Apple’s QuickTime here in case you need it.

The .MOV file is just over 50MB in size, and takes about 32 minutes to play through (there are a lot of photos there). There is no sound in the file, so don’t be alarmed if you hear nothing when you start the slide show. I would suggest playing some Jazz or Classical music in the room you view the slide show in to add a nice aural ambiance.

To play the .MOV file, click on the link below, and then save the .MOV file in a local directory on your system. Once it is fully downloaded, and assuming you have QuickTime or another compatible player installed, you can double click on the file to play it. You may also have to click on the “play” button in your video player to start the slide show.

NatGeoExplorerSlideshow.mov

Enjoy the show! And special thanks from all of the guests (including us) to the National Geographic Explorer Photo Team for all their advice, comments, and support!

 

GPS Tracking – Ushuaia to Miami via Bolivia and Peru

March 9th, 2010 at 1:20 am (AST) by Jake Richter

I guess we were more tired than I thought. The 17+ hours of time in transit over the weekend (not counting the couple of hours it took to board the plane in Ushuaia after leaving the ship) wore us out.

After picking up a rental mini-van in Miami early yesterday morning, we rented a hotel room just to sleep for a few hours, did some important shopping at Walmart (extra luggage, among other things), and dined on spicy wings at Hooters (I’m a big fan of hot wings, and in fact have one of the top 10 recipes returned by Google for “buffalo wing recipe”). We then moved on to our final hotel in Coconut Grove for the rest of the week, where we happened to bump into a couple of our fellow travelers, by coincidence.

I’m getting my notebook motherboard replaced tomorrow, but hope to have time to post some more pictures as well as write something up for the folks at Lindblad while I wait for the repairman to show up.

In the meanwhile, below is our GPS track from Ushuaia, which took us to a refueling stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a refueling and crew change stop in Lima, Peru, and then our eventual safe landing in Miami, plus our running around there.

This will be our last GPS track for the current expedition (unless I decide to include one for our return to Bonaire on Saturday).

 

We Have Arrived In Miami!

March 7th, 2010 at 5:44 am (AST) by Jake Richter

After over 17 hours of travel from Ushuaia, we just touched down in Miami, tired, but happy.

More later today after we get some real sleep and get settled into our hotel in Coconut Grove.