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Friday, September 25, 2009

New York City

My brother has lived in New York City and I had never visited. My cousin who also lives in New York was having her daughters christening and it seemed like a perfect time for a family vacation.

I left work at lunch on Thursday and flew across the country. I went from Reno to San Fran to NY. San Fran to NY was 5 hours and 10 minutes in the air, and by the end I thought I should be in a different country. Friday morning my parents showed up, and my brother and I met them at the diner downstairs from his apartment. Blake played tour guide as we explored the city.

New York is amazing in that every time I'm there, nothing is the same. One amazing new thing was the Highline Park. It was this old elevated railroad that was used in the meat packing district to move refrigerated train cars. It had been abandoned and an eye sore for fifty years, until someone decided to make it into an elevated park. They kept some of the original tracks and planted native plants and it is really a neat view of the city.

From there we went to McSoreleys Old Ale House which is a bar that is over 150 years old and not much has changed. Legend has it, Lincoln was a fan of drinking there. On a chandelier are wishbones from turkey dinners that navy men hung for good luck before WW2. It wasn't until 1970 that they let women in, it took an order from the city courts to do so.

We made the pilgrimage to the coolest mac store of all time. I couldn't believe how busy it was. That night I got to go out with Blake and some of his friends.

Saturday we took the subway to the Brooklyn and went to the Transit Museum. It was all about how the subway was built, and it's impressive how much of the city is really on steel stilts above the train tunnels. We walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge which was swarming with people. The only thing on our trip I had done before, but I still think it's the coolest thing of NYC.

That night my Aunt and Uncle, Stan and Georgia, took us out to dinner along with other guests in town for the christening. We had Italian with lots of wine and desert. It was great to catch up with the family over dinner. I hadn't seen any of them since Roberts wedding over two years ago.

Sunday we went to church for the baptism, then to Stan and Georgia's apartment for brunch. From there we took the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and then toured Battery Park. After grabbing a bite to eat, I left my family and watched a movie and spent the rest of the night enjoying the city myself. I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures, but it was nice to be free of a camera.

Monday I had a flight at five pm, so there was some time to tour in the morning. We went to the B&H Camera store that was incredible. So many cameras to look at and touch. After that we went to Bleeker street and just explored. I found a great tea store which is always a highlight. Then Mom, Dad and I went to the airport and had a beer together.

It was a great trip and we packed a lot into four days.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Green Lakes

Jessica wanted to go camping for a weekend so she came to Reno and we went out to Green Lakes near Bridgeport, CA. It's basically the backside of Yosemite. We had a lot of fun. It also became official, my camera had dirt stuck between two pieces of the glass and there's no way to clean it off.

We headed out Saturday morning and got to our campsite about 1 in the afternoon. Rain clouds were coming, so we hung out in the car. The rain soon turned to hail and was bouncing around everywhere. The ground was covered with pea sized hail. The storm cleared off, so we explored around the river, and about forty five minutes later, there was another storm. We spent most the afternoon in the car relaxing and watching the weather. When the rain began, we realized we didn't bring any kind of rain gear. I guess summer had spoiled us. I guess now, fall is rapidly approaching.

Sunday we got up, pack camp and went hiking. We headed up the canyon, past green lake and to East lake. It felt great to be hiking, surrounded by trees and granite. The valley was impressive and certainly glacial. At Burning Man the week before I had somehow sprained my ankle and it was still giving me trouble on the hike. The views were worth it and I was glad we made it to the lake.

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So instead of Burning Man, we went to the Tri-county rodeo in Winnemucca. A whole different side of the coin.

We went to the rodeo Friday and Saturday night. Friday night was great because it was the pig wrestling. Basically teams of 4 tried to get a pig into a barrel. Best of all, Jessica was in it!

They started out with the 2-9 year olds. They went after piglets. Then there was the guys and they went for massive couple hundred pound pigs. It was an impressive feat. Jessica's group was had a medium sized pig. The little pen their in was filled with mud that was supplied by a water drilling company, so the it was really oil soaked mud, and really slippery.

Saturday we went and saw the real bull riding rodeo. It was fun and authentic. Just ranch hands and cowboys trying to win the buckle. And after being in town for a few years, I knew some of the family names from the different large ranches.

Sunday I dropped Blake off at the airport and enjoyed a labor day of doing nothing!

Burning Man

So it's been awhile since I've posted and a lot has gone on. Most of August was spent moving, packing and being busy with work. At the end of August was Burning Man. I was excited because my brother was coming out and we were going to have a great time together. This was my third year, and certainly not my best. About halfway though I became sick and drained of energy. I couldn't really eat or move and slept a lot. So Thursday morning we decided to go back to Winnemucca for the weekend. I felt bad for taking my brother away from seeing the man burn but we had a great time hanging out in Winnemucca.

And it being my third year, things out there almost seemed normal. I didn't come away with to many great shots. I did take a picture of the most absurd thing I wandered into. It was a couple having a playa wedding (only for the week of Burning Man). The girl was on stilts, so the guy was up on a ladder. That was funny, but then afterwards there was a reception party. A random guy sat down and started playing ragtime as these people on stilts were dancing twenty feet in the air and then two of the girls started scatting with amazing alto and soprano voices.

Wednesday night I didn't even go out, I managed to sleep through the night in the worlds largest party. It did let me wake up for sunrise and see the man in the morning.

I checked in on the webcam occasionally and it looked like it got a lot windier and dustier as the week went on. I'm still waiting for some good pictures of the man and temple burning.