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Old 06-27-2019, 10:39 AM #16
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Most bizarre, meeting someone in Taos New Mexico who claimed to have been abducted by aliens..

Scariest, driving to my property in W. VA in March. Left FL it was 75..Got to the town where my property is right around sunset, temps had dropped to 30 and it was snowing. Driving up the mountain in my buddies 2wd pickup (another reason I'll never be without a 4wd) we started down the road to the property 1/2 mile, barely single lane rutted road on the side of a mountain, it's now pitch black and the temp has dropped to 25 degrees. I consider myself an outdoorsman, but we weren't prepared for it to be that cold..In the dark, we passed the gate to the property, and in an effort to turn around my friend gets his truck stuck, almost driving off the edge of road.

Leave the truck and walk to the gate, found the key but couldn't get the lock open..it's was frozen..grabbed our gear and hiked to the cabin, another 1/2 mile in the dark..finally got there, locked door, no key..fortunately, I had the foresight to bring my ax..it's freaking cold at this point, so I bust the door open..there was a good size pile of dry wood outside and we were able to get a fire started in the stove to warm up, but it was a long cold night..
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:27 PM #17
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Just thought of another memorable experience. My brother and I were flying back from a friend's wedding in Louisville,KY.

I guess there was some kind of music convention going that same weekend because our plane was full of barbershop quartet type groups. Thankfully they were all amazing, it was so cool listening all of them harmonizing. Sadly they all departed at the Ohio stopover, the remainder of our flight home was boring

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Old 06-28-2019, 08:31 AM #18
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My most memorable travel experience happened last summer. I traveled for 3 months straight across Europe. It was a fantastic experience and I managed to see a lot and make some new friends. For all travelers, I highly recommend this website Search by Algolia , it helped me a lot while my trip, as there are collected all kind of travel sites/apps.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:55 PM #19
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I was really lucky to have travelled a lot all over the world for my work. It has led to many unusual, educational, and fun experiences that I'll cherish and remember forever - from Toronto to Mumbai to Moscow to Tokyo and far beyond.

What led me towards that career was my most unforgettable travel adventure - moving to Munich, Germany for 9 months in 1988. Me and my GF moved there after college because we didn't have anything better to do and I had musician friends with a place there. It led to dozens of ridiculous adventures and fun times all over the Continent. I even got a great P/T job at Radio Free Europe while I was there.

Some stories are great in the moment. Others take time to develop. Of the latter category during that time, my friend and I travelled to a huge music festival in France (MIDEM) to shop our music and our friends' music from the states. It was an amazing long weekend in Cannes, but we were ultimately unsuccessful at getting any attention. Big missed opportunity. One of the albums we had was really great. It turned out to be Pretty Hate Machine by Trent Reznor, a friend of my partner's. It hit the radio within a year and was just huge.

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Old 07-01-2019, 02:54 PM #20
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Oh, I've been already to more than fifteen countries all around the world. But the most unforgettable travel experience was when I lost my hotel address in Prague and couldn't find it for 12 hours. It was a pity, that I didn't have a zip code at least. Zip code finder worldpostalcode.com help can help with it by saving needed zip code in bookmarks at least.

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Old 07-02-2019, 10:21 AM #21
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I spent 8 months hitch hiking across the US and Mexico. Went up to Alaska and worked for the summer, hitched back down the west coast, found a guy who needed a hand sailing his boat around the Baja peninsula, crossed over to the mainland at Los Mochis, caught a train through the Copper Canyon, hitched to the border at Juarez, back home to Louisiana in time for Christmas. I can't recall the exact number but it was well over 100 rides, met a lot of nice people especially in California and Texas. This was 8 years ago.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:02 PM #22
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I'd say San Fransisco and Los Angles not far behind.

San Fran was unique. Interesting city with history but dirty and filled with douchey people. Parking sucks, roads suck, cant really walk the city. Weather is spoty at best.

Los Angles is massive, it was a layover on our way back from Hawaii. We have always flown in/out of San Deigo. Spent a couple of days just to see it. Traffic everywhere (And I'm from Boston), not a walking city, public transportation blows, have to pay for expensive parking. Lots to do but pay to park everywhere, everywhere seems to be a 30 min drive at minimum for anything you do. Its not bad for a pit stop but I would not set it as a destination.

Another place I was kind of let down with was Aruba. Everything seemed to shut down at 9 pm. Lots of old people and casinos are tiny. I was on a bar on a pier on the ocean, Right in front of hotels. The bar shut down at 9 pm. Never got where the "Happy Island" saying came from, locals seemed fairly unfriendly. I travel often and I an NOT an ignorant tourist.

Pros: Cheap, warm, great beaches, easy to get around, no currency change needed.

Cons: Not many late night options, casinos are about the size of a cvs but plentiful, everyone says its safe (we had no issues) but armed guard at the grocery stores, everyones houses were fenced in with cameras and gates. Appearance doesn't come off as "safe". But we rented a house outside of the hotel area.


I have to say a GO TO MUST is Hawaii. Everyone should make it out there.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:24 PM #23
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The travel story that I will never forget begins in Richmond Castle in the UK.

After touring the local monastery and the castle itself, I went to the bed-and-breakfast that I had scheduled for the night.

After checking in, found out breakfast went till 10, then went out to dinner at the pub they suggested that was just up the street.

In the pub I had dinner, the ale was delicious, and I met two of my brand new best friends and although I'm not a pool player, played pool until they closed at two or three in the morning. The bartender even showed me the secret passage that ran under the pub and to the castle… Unfortunately it had been walled up, but it was neat to check it out anyway. At some point the cute bartender was replaced by someone I figure was her mother...NOT an improvement but I digress.

I don't recall getting back to the bed-and-breakfast, but I used the key they had given me to let myself in… And now the adventure started because my wallet was missing. So back to the pub I went, looking everywhere in the street for my wallet.

Not finding it, I was in despair going back to the bed-and-breakfast… But as I enter the door there was some kind of a shelf on the right hand side and there was my wallet… Like I said I didn't remember getting back to the B&B, so....


I wake up the next day, with the proprietor pounding on the door and yelling, "GET THE F*** OUT!!" In his very strong English accent. I looked at my watch, and it was noon! Check out was supposed to be at 11:30.

So I packed up my stuff and went, apologizing to his red and angry face on the way out, and made my way only a bit unsteadily to the rental car. The sun was very bright, and I began to make the 4-1/2 hour drive back to London, for my flight that evening at 7.

Driving the small roads in England is an adventure if you've ever done it, driving on the left-hand side, frequent roundabouts and poor road maps (at least mine was low quality). So of course I got lost… I'm driving around for 30 minutes at least, looking for the motorway which is a super highway back to London, but can't find my way… After searching for a while I saw two guys standing at the edge of a sheep field. Have you ever seen those guys on PBS making a parody of English farmers? Wool jackets, tweed hats, and knee length rubber boots?

Yeah, those guys. Well the guys on PBS are not a parody as far as how they are dressed! These guys could have appeared in a PBS show. So I asked them directions to the motorway… They gave them to me in their strong accents (I had to listen, hard, not an easy task in my condition) and I was on my way in just a few minutes. Their looks of puzzlement over some bloody yank lost in their country would've been funny had I not been so hung over.

So I think I'm home free at this point… Tooling down the motorway, full tank of gas… Then I get to London.

I haven't really recovered at this point, it's about five in the afternoon and things are still pretty gritty. So I enter the outskirts of London and it's rush-hour. Then the rain starts. The wipers don't work very good, my map stinks, and London is a twisted maze of roadways on the north side. It rains harder.

After an hour or so of this, I think that I'm in the same neighborhood where I need to return the car - at least that's how it looks on my map. But driving around another 20 minutes (shifting the manual transmission with the left hand....) and I still can't find it.

Checking the map on the fly I noticed that there is a park on the map that is near to the road where I'm supposed to drop off the car… So I make it to the south side of this park, stop the car and what I am sure was an illegal area, and take a good look… Rolling the window down, it's raining hard and by rolling the window down and squinting through the rain, I just barely make out the little alleyway where the rental car area was… Making a U-turn in front of the police, I head over there and drop off the car, grateful to complete the crazy driving experience. (Note to self: rent from the airport next time)

Took the subway out to Heathrow airport; I was spent and had to take the night in a pricey airport hotel before flying back to the US the following day.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:11 PM #24
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Unbelievable update to my original post, shown below for reference.

I recently posted this story in a couple of FB aviation groups I’m in, and included what I remembered the captain’s name to be. Three different pilots said they knew the guy & he’s on FB.

Got in touch and get this - when all this happened 33 years ago, he lived in Miami and I lived in New Orleans. I moved to Tampa, San Jose, the DFW Metroplex, to Roswell, GA and finally to Canton, GA, near Atlanta. He ended up flying for Airtran and now also lives in Georgia - in Canton, less than 20 minutes from my house.

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This is still one of the best experiences of my life and a perfect example of what a colleague told me when I joined the airline industry: one of the great things about it is that it attracts the same kind of people all over the world, so no matter whose logo is on the tail, new friends are as close as the nearest airport.

In 1986, I was brand new and traveling on an employee pass from home in New Orleans to Miami to shoot pics of the Concorde. An Eastern Captain, also on a pass, boarded at the stop in Tampa and happened to sit next to me. I asked what equipment he flew and that started a conversation that lasted all the way to the MIA gate.

He was a DC-9 instructor and mentioned that he was going to his office to do some paperwork while he waited for his girlfriend’s flight to arrive later. Then, as we were taxiing in, he turned to me and said, “You know what? I hate doing paperwork. You ever seen a flight simulator?”

We went over to the Hartley Training Center* and luckily for me, a crew in training was just going on their lunch break. I couldn't believe what was happening. If you’re not familiar with these simulators, they’re realistic enough that the FAA counts some sim hours as actual flight hours. (Video of one like I was in.)

The takeoff was awesome. We stopped climbing as the gear came up, banked hard, and flew across the airport, "crashing" through the FLY EASTERN AIR LINES sign atop one of their facilities (which I was surprised was even depicted in the visuals). The captain looked over with a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin and said, "I shouldn't do that." 😂

We spent about 45 minutes “flying” and he let me take the controls for about 10 minutes. Then an engine fire bell sounded and he shut the engine down and did a single-engine landing with a hydraulic failure, which was pretty darn impressive given the fact that I was sitting there doing none of whatever a first officer would have been doing.

That was a great day and that pilot's kindness to a wide-eyed industry newb is one of the main reasons I pay it forward every chance I get.

* It’s worth a moment of your time to learn the incredible story of why Eastern named their training center after James Hartley.

Image of the sign we "destroyed" courtesy of the State of Florida Archives

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Old 07-04-2019, 04:22 AM #25
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that one time I met a girl at band camp........
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:35 PM #26
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Originally Posted by Bluesky 07 View Post
Unbelievable update to my original post, shown below for reference.

I recently posted this story in a couple of FB aviation groups I’m in, and included what I remembered the captain’s name to be. Three different pilots said they knew the guy & he’s on FB.

Got in touch and get this - when all this happened 33 years ago, he lived in Miami and I lived in New Orleans. I moved to Tampa, San Jose, the DFW Metroplex, to Roswell, GA and finally to Canton, GA, near Atlanta. He ended up flying for Airtran and now also lives in Georgia - in Canton, less than 20 minutes from my house.
That's wild!

Just goes to prove the old saying..."It's a small world"!!!
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:39 PM #27
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that one time I met a girl at band camp........
I'm guessing ya'll were able to harmonize!!
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:51 PM #28
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This past fall I went to Connecticut to see a family member stationed there. Got to go to Boston and tour Fenway Park. I’m a huge Red Sox fan so that was an amazing experience. I Got to ride Amtack twice that was my first times on a train. Got to visit New York City and all the New England states. Fantastic experience. New Haven, Connecticut pizza was amazing plus I took in my first Division I NCAA hockey game.

Boston as a whole is amazing I love that city. My favorite place I have ever visited.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:45 AM #29
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Here's a rather long story about one of my most memorable travel adventures, back when I was a teen:

If I remember correctly this was the summer of 1972. Our family was given the opportunity to travel to the Mt. Lassen area in northern California, to attend a Bible camp. On short notice, my brother Jim and I came up with the idea to have a real adventure. Instead of returning home by car with our dad, we'd backpack and hitchhike home over the summer.

In hindsight I'm a bit appalled at how severely underfunded and under-planned this trip was, but what we lacked in cash and planning, we made up for with the confidence of youth.

At the end of the Bible camp we had someone drive us to Mt. Lassen National Park, where we donned our backpacks and set off into the woods. We spent about a week exploring that area, visiting steaming cauldrons, dead cinder cones, and climbing to the crater at the top of Mt. Lassen.

As we began to make our way out of the park, we set up camp a few miles outside of a small town. I had brought a water color set, pencils, brushes, and a pad of watercolor paper with me. With these I made a few watercolor paintings of interesting old buildings and other features we saw during our trip.

I only have two such paintings from that period, though not from that trip, and they are embarrassingly crude. Yet somehow I managed to sell some of them along the way, thus earning a few dollars here and there to replace our dwindling supplies.

I did a painting of a rundown shack we saw in that town and sold it to a local bar and grill. However, after walking into town and leaving our camp unattended, we stayed a bit too long and soon realized we wouldn't be able to make it back to camp before dark. We didn't have flashlights either, so we were forced to spend the night at a motel. It was nice to get showered and sleep in a real bed for a change, but it also took a huge chunk out of our cash.

Later we started hitchhiking south along the eastern side of the Sierras, usually catching rides in the back of someone's pickup truck.

Eventually we made our way to Yosemite. We were fortunate to catch a ride into the park with a family and didn't have to pay the entry fee.

By this time we only had a couple dollars left, and very little food. We would have to stay in the Yosemite valley until I could finish and sell a painting before we could continue on into the back country.

We set up camp at the east end of the valley, partway up a trail leading into the mountains. Somehow we made it through that first night without incident.

The next day we put what little food we had into a sack and tied it to the middle of a rope hung between two trees small trees. Then we went into Yosemite Village for the day.

When we returned in the evening, we found that a bear had managed to pull down the sack and ate most of our food. We moved to a different spot at the bottom of the trail, where the trees were large and we could get the rope higher off the ground. While we were setting up camp, a bear cub crept up behind us and snatched a box of crackers!

We put our last remnants of food into another sack and hung it as high as we could. It looked like it might rain, so we set up our tent, which was just a tube of plastic sheet, supported by a rope running through the middle and tied to trees. We settled in for what we hoped would be a good night's sleep.

That night we were woken by the sounds of a bear climbing the tree where our food was tied. This happened over and over, about every 30-60 minutes, all night long.

We tried yelling, blowing a whistle, banging pots, etc but the bear ignored us. So we got out the two highway flares for emergencies. When new, these have a blob of stuff that allows you to light them quickly and easily, like striking a match. As soon as the flare lit, the bear took off running. Then we'd stub out the flare to save for later.
But each time the bear became slower to leave. And after striking up the flares the first time, the only way to relight them was to hold the end over a flame. This was slow.

At one point in the night I woke up and was groggily aware something messing around with my backpack, just a foot or so from my head. I wondered what Jim was looking for? Then I realized Jim was still asleep next to me, and it was the bear nosing around in my pack!

Shortly after dawn, Jim woke me up and said the bear was about to get our food. I looked over and saw that the bear had managed to stretch out the rope enough that the sack could be reached from the ground, and he was just starting to come down the tree to get it.

By this time we just had one small stub of flare left, about two inches long. I told Jim to get the flare going, then I grabbed my hiking stick and ran over to where the food was. The bear was on the ground and reaching for the sack, so I yelled and poked him with my stick, forcing him back several feet. But he still wouldn't leave.

I figured if I had the food, maybe he'd give up. So I yanked the sack of food off the rope. Unfortunately that didn't deter him either, and he stood up on his hind legs and started coming at me!

Just then Jim finally got the flare to light, and gave it to me. I held it out towards the bear's face, and he grunted, dropped to all fours, and trotted a few paces away. Then he stopped, and gave me a look that seemed to say, "I've worked all night for that food, I'm not going to give it up so easy!"

The flare was almost down to my fingers so I threw it at the bear and hit him in the side with it. At long last he ran off into the woods.

Well, we'd made it through the night without losing any more food, but I still needed to finish the painting I was working on (featuring a stone building in Yosemite Village), and then try to sell it.

We figured that the bear was gone for the day. We hung up what we could. We had a canned of beans we'd bought the day before, thinking that a bear wouldn't know what it was or what was in it, so we left that at our camp without taking any precautions.

We went into the village and used our last 11 cents to buy fuel for our stove. Then I sat down to work on the painting while Jim returned to keep an eye on the camp.

A little while later Jim came back and told me what happened...

When he got back to camp, he found the tent torn up and everything strewn about. The bear was in the middle of camp, and Jim saw him pick up the can of beans.
Jim grabbed the biggest rock he could find and smacked the bear in the head with it. The bear dropped the can and then got up on his hind legs and started coming at Jim. Jim swung his hiking stick like a baseball bat and clobbered the bear.

The bear grunted and ran part way up a tree, then ran back down, grabbed the can, and then went back up the tree. Once he reach the safety of a high limb, the bear calmly tore open the can like it was paper.

After that, we decided we'd had enough of Yosemite, and started hitchhiking home. We caught a ride just before dark. The driver dropped us off near the freeway in Fresno around 2 or 3 in the morning. We were going to sleep next to the onramp, but a guy at the nearby warehouse offered to let us sleep in the back of one of their trucks, as long as we were gone before his boss got there in the morning.


We had to get up at dawn the next day, to get out of there in time. By this point we had almost no food left. I think maybe just a couple packs of instant soup, each of which only made one cup.

We wrote "San Diego" on a piece of cardboard and stood out on the side of the freeway on ramp, sticking our thumbs out whenever a vehicle came by -- which wasn't often. Eventually we sat on the curb. Hours went by. Finally someone stopped to give us a ride. I had to wake Jim up, as he had fallen asleep.

As we cruised down the freeway we told the guy all about our adventures. At one point he stopped at a restaurant and bought us a really good lunch. That was the first time I ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich.
Late in the day, the kind stranger had to leave the freeway and drop us off. Unfortunately this left us at an on ramp in the middle of nowhere, with no traffic at all. A sign indicated the nearest community was called "Pumpkin Center". By sundown we were getting desperate, so we went down onto the side of the freeway and tried to hitch a ride, and hoped no cops saw us.

Finally someone stopped and picked us up. I don't remember much about this second ride except that he dropped us off somewhere in Burbank, very late at night. We were surrounded by freeway, roads, and an urban environment, with a railroad freight yard on one side. We found a spot behind some bushes, next to the fence of the freight yard, and camped there for the remainder of the night. Occasionally our sleep would be interrupted by the rumble of a passing train and the blare of a locomotive's horn.

In the morning I got up before Jim and went looking around. I found a pop bottle and exchanged it for the five cent deposit. I used the nickel to buy a Tootsie Roll, because that was the largest candy I could find for the price. We split it for breakfast.

Then once again we set ourselves up at the entrance to a southbound on ramp and waited. At one point a guy in a small pickup truck stopped and said, "Hop in back." We started to put some of our gear in the bed of the truck, and suddenly he sped off! We lost a couple of canteens and a hiking stick, but the biggest loss was my art pad, which had my unfinished drawings and paintings.

Later that day we finally got a ride with another good-hearted driver who was enthralled with our story. He took us home to his house, where we were allowed to shower, had dinner, and even spent the night. If his wife had any concerns about this she was kind enough not to let it show.

So far we had just been concentrating on getting as far south as possible, without much of a plan beyond that. Our latest benefactor said we were in Garden Grove and offered to drop us off somewhere in the morning before he went to work, so we needed to figure out the next step. We knew that one of our dad's friends lived in Garden Grove, so we looked up his address and had the guy drop us off there.

Dad's friend had already left for work and his wife was rather startled by us showing up unannounced on their doorstep. All we really wanted was a safe place to sit for a while and figure out how to proceed, and possibly borrow a little food or cash for the rest of the trip. But I guess she got the wrong idea, and called our dad to come get us. While it was nice not to have to hitchhike the rest of the way, we still would have preferred to get home on our own.

Anyway, that was the end of that particular adventure.


.
You're right that was a rather long story. Can't hitch hike like that nowaday's.

I have a similar story, one afternoon my cousins called me up. They wanted to hitch hike to this thing called Woodstock,I hadn't heard about it. They told me it was a big outdoor concert and it was free,all we had to do was get there. They were 17,15 and I was 14 just graduated 8th grade.

Man I was in!! All the great groups!!! What a party it sounded like. I told my mom we were going to Woodstock!!! She asked what that was and I explained it. She said "I'm not driving you there." I said ? you don't have to!!! We're hitch hiking but we gotta leave now!!!" (We lived in Chicago at the time) She looked at me............. I couldn't believe her response!! She said " If you leave right now............ you can go...................clean your room before I ground you for asking such a stupid question."
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:25 PM #30
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New Haven, Connecticut pizza was amazing
Frank Pepe pizza place?
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