Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All Good Things Must Come To an End

I had a wonderful time visiting family in California, and it seemed like it was over in a flash. We were on the go most of the time, and we spent as much time as we could with family. We did take two days on our own to go to Knott's Berry Farm (see my previous post about their crummy hotel by clicking here), but that was about it.

I even got to meet a friend of mine, and his family, for an afternoon of mall shopping and lunch. Gary, and his family, were great, and we had a wonderful time with them.

Alas, I didn't get to do as much geocaching as I would have liked, but there just didn't seem to be enough time. Three weeks doesn't last as long as you might think when you have family that you haven't seen in years (and grandkids that they haven't seen).

I did see a really neat vending machine on the way back to Okinawa; it's full of electronics and video games. Who knew they had vending machines in airports that sell ipods? Are cars next?

Ipod vending machine?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Palm Springs Air Museum

My trip to California is going well, but it's really flying by (no pun intended). I thought three weeks would be a pretty long visit, but it's not as long of a stay as I thought it would be.

Yesterday, my dad and I went to the Palm Springs Air Museum. They have a very impressive collection of vintage aircraft, most of which are WWII era birds. Almost all of them are in flying condition!

I've always had a fascination with aircraft, particularly the older war planes. I think my favorite plane at the museum was the F-4U Corsair, but it's a tough choice between that, and the P-40 Warhawk that was parked outside.

If you're ever in the Palm Springs area, be sure to stop in at the museum. It's co-located with the airport (for obvious reasons), and easy to get to.

Here's a couple more photos from my visit:

Monday, July 20, 2009

California Caching Part II

After our family trip to Knott's Berry Farm, we headed toward Mountain Home Village to visit with my Father In Law and his wife. We've had a great time here, as the surroundings are beautiful, and we all get along very well.

He and I spent yesterday afternoon doing some geocaching along Highway 38 near Forest Falls, the route to Angeles Oaks, an old dirt road that leads to 7 Oaks, and back to Mountain Home Village. We found ten caches, one of which had been muggled. The contents of the geocache were scattered about the area. When you find happy meal toys, balloons, and a geocaching signature coin laying on the ground near the cache coordinates, it's a safe bet that it has been muggled.

We had a great time, and the scenery was nice. It was warm yesterday, 101 in Mountain Home Village, but a bit cooler up in 7 Oaks.

Scene of the crime:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Knott's Berry Farm Hotel Is a Ripoff

Today we drove in to Buena Park to visit Knott's Berry Farm, and we had a room reserved at the hotel of the same name. It's supposed to be their "resort" hotel. It's not much of a resort, and it's a complete ripoff. For the price they charge for the room, I would expect a pretty nice room. The room is kind of shabby. The Best Western we stayed at a few days ago was head and shoulders above this place.

There's not even wireless internet in the room. Well, there is, but you have to pay ten bucks a day to access it. You can even get a little bottle of water for three bucks. Three bucks for water, after paying an outrageous rate for this dumpy little room with peeling wallpaper and stained tile? Ripoff!

Don't ever stay at the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel. I regret the decision to do so, and would never recommend this place to anyone (unless I thoroughly disliked them).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

California Caching Part 1

I've made it safely from Okinawa to California, and have had a couple of days to visit with some family. It was a long few flights, and we're still stuck on Okinawa time.

I made a day trip up to 29 Palms, in order to take care of some business on the Marine Corps base. I made a couple of stops along Highway 62 to grab a couple of geocaches, and then spent a couple of hours in Yucca Valley and 29 Palms.

We had lunch at Santana's, one of our favorite little Mexican fast food places, and then I dropped my wife off at Wally World for a couple of hours. Caching time! I was able to find 16 caches yesterday, all which were in either Yucca Valley, or 29 Palms.

Geocaches sure are easy to find when they're not surrounded by jungle! As an aside, it became abundantly clear how spoiled I am in Okinawa with geocoins and travel bugs. Out of the 16 caches, none of them contained any trackable items. I dropped off a geocoin that I picked up in Japan, and since its goal was to make it back to California, I was able to help it along its way.

It was a fun day of caching, and the dry desert heat was a nice change of pace from the cumbersome humidity of Okinawa. Here's some pictures from the day:

Yucca Valley near the airport

Wife sitting in the air conditioning with Mt San Jacinto in view

One of the many murals in 29 Palms

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fire Causes Geocaching Website Outage

An early morning fire at Fisher Plaza has caused a longer than anticipated power outage that is keeping the Geocaching website offline.

Jeremy Irish, the co founder of Groundspeak, the company that owns the website, writes about this on his blog (click here).

I hope they get it fixed soon, as many thousands of people rely on the functionality of the website.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Roadside Stops

I stopped at this little spot on my way home from work today-- No real reason for it, I just wanted to stop and walk around for a few minutes. I quickly found myself wishing I had my swim trunks with me. It was a nice day today, albeit hot and humid. These are the sort of things that I will dearly miss when I leave this island for good.