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Wake Up! September 10, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

Did you hear about the guy driving on the Massachusetts Pike, with a passenger on board, while both appeared to be sound asleep?

Yup.  It happened yesterday.

The couple were in a self driving car and . . . (wait for it!) . . . Massachusetts State Police told WBZ-TV there’s technically no law against falling asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

Say what?!

Just think of the benefit of a self-driving car to people who want to drive while:

(a) applying make-up; (b) shaving; (c) texting;
(d) eating; (e) surfing the web; (f) having sex;
(g) reading a newspaper; (h) painting; or
(i) catching some ZZZ’s.

Time for a nap.  Guess I’ll take a drive.

Aah . . . that’s scary!

To read more:  TESLA Driver Asleep on the Mass Pike (CBS Boston) * Destined to Fall: Auto Safety Expert Calls for Oversight (CBS Boston)

F.N.  In a statement included in the second article, Tesla said the system reminds drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

“Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored. At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren’t detected on the wheel. Tesla owners have driven billions of miles using Autopilot, and data from our quarterly Vehicle Safety Report indicates that drivers using Autopilot experience fewer accidents than those operating without assistance.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Flygskam & Tagskryt August 7, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Sustainable Living, Travel & Leisure.
44 comments

Spurred by global warming, more and more travelers are spurning plane travel to ride the rails.  The savings in carbon emissions is considerable:

This is the season of flygskam, or “flight shame.” You don’t have to be Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist who recently announced plans to sail to New York in August, to recognize that a growing number of Europeans eager to reduce their carbon footprint are opting to limit air travel in favor of more environmentally-friendly means of transportation.

Significant enough that even airlines are taking note, flygskam–and its counterpart tagskryt, or train-bragging—is encouraging both European governments and private rail companies to consider investing in the return of long-distance night trains. But the revival of a form of transport that has long seemed consigned to the pages of Agatha Christie novels poses significant obstacles of its own.

Flygskam as a concept started in Sweden and is now taking off in the states:

The idea that acting responsibly entails flying less is even spreading to the United States. A jet propulsion scientist at NASA started No Fly Climate Sci in 2017 as a platform for earth scientists who wanted to make public commitments to reducing their carbon footprints. Kim Cobb was one of the scientists to sign up.

A few years ago, [Cobb’s] research into the large-scale destruction of reefs prompted the professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech University to examine her own carbon footprint a few years ago. “I was gobsmacked at how large a portion—85%—was locked in from flying, mostly for professional meetings and conferences, and, some for field research. As a scientist, I couldn’t unsee those numbers.”

In 2018, Cobb managed to cut her flight miles by 75%, going from an average of 125,000-plus a year, to 25,000 or 30,000.

To read more:

In Europe, the Movement to Give Up Air Travel Is Taking Off. Could the U.S. Be Next?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Roadside Rest Shelters Rock! August 5, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
27 comments

Before the arrival of McDonald’s drive thrus, parents often packed picnics to take on road trips (in case the natives in the back seat got restless or hungry).

To keep said natives occupied en route, parents assigned them the task of finding a suitable stopping point for lunch.  The task, thinly disguised as a game (complete with coveted prize) went like this:

“First one to spot a shaded picnic spot for lunch gets an extra cookie for dessert!”

Noses glued to the windows, kids scanned the horizon for a picnic spot that would score them an extra cookie.

And bragging rights!

* * *

Since a 2007 cross-country trip, Ryann Ford has been documenting historic roadside rest shelters with amazing vistas and views:

Roadside Rest Shelters: Destinations All Their Own

For a few more great shots of rest stops:

Attraction:  Retro Roadside Rest Shelters

I don’t know about you, but I think Ryann deserves an extra cookie for capturing these iconic images!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Don’t Be Jerky! June 27, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure, Vegetarian Recipes.
28 comments

We spent very little time in the town of Helen, other than quaffing beers to quench our thirst at creekside taverns while tubers floated past.

We did check out this unique storage facility with tubes stacked floor to ceiling beside life jackets and leashes.

Back on the Main Street, we saw some Jerky signs.

Imagine having to choose between Deer, Elk, Buffalo, and Boar.  Hmmm . . .

Or Goat, Gator, Python, and Alpaca.

Decisions.  Decisions.

I know!  ~> Make mine pretzels & beer!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Pretzels & Picnics . . . & Pics! June 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
33 comments

We just returned from a fabulous trip to the GA mountains to celebrate our 35th Anniversary.

We made a quick pitstop in Atlanta on the way up to enjoy Happy Hour at Marlow’s Tavern with our oldest nephew who’s in school at GA Tech.  He flew out the following day for two weeks in China.

Once settled into our hotel in Helen (a Bavarian village that is the 3rd most visited town in GA ~ behind Atlanta and Savannah), we spent time hiking to waterfalls ~ Anna Ruby Falls (easy), Duke Creek Falls (challenging).

We drank German beer and noshed on Bavarian pretzels (and other German treats) beside the Chattahoochee River while watching countless tubers float by.

We picked three venues with riverside seating ~ The Troll Tavern, the Hofbrauhaus, and Cafe International.

Imagine if you took a chug every time a tuber floated by on the hootch ~> Down the Hootch!  No, wait!  Down the Hatch!

We enjoyed mountain vistas from atop Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia at 4784 feet.  From the lookout station, we could see four states ~ Georgia, NC, SC, and Tennessee.

The ranger said that on a clear day you can see forever!

We drove mountainous country roads, switching into low gear when necessary.

S~L~O~W~D~O~W~N

We had picnics by Smith Creek at Anna Ruby Falls, and at a covered bridge in Sautee Nacoochee, after stopping for sandwiches and Farmer’s Cheese at the Old Sautee Store.

We visited Willow Pottery, Nora’s Grist Mill, Betty’s Country Store, Jumping Goat Coffee, and an enormous antique barn with 3 floors packed to the rafters with “treasures.”  Talk about Stuff!!!

After the hike to Duke Creek Falls, we walked a Nature Trail in Nacoochee Village.  Our tired calves and leg muscles only balked for a moment, but they barked later ~> Nope!  No Way!  I am NOT climbing those stairs!

A highlight:  Tuesday morning, on the way to Duke Creek Falls . . . we saw a bear crossing the road just ahead of our car.

Of course, we rolled down the window to ask him why.

His bear-to-the-bones reply:  “To Get To The Other Side!”

Aah . . . it’s good to be HOME!

That’s Crazy! April 29, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Travel & Leisure.
20 comments

BFF dreamt that I was driving an RV . . .

out of a campground . . .

at full speed . . .

down a hill . . .

without stopping . . .

to unplug it first!

As a result of our hasty departure, the RV was dragging a 100-foot-long extension cord behind it as we careened down the hill.

Guess BFF doesn’t think much of my driving!   Flushed

Aah . . . that’s better!

Travel April 6, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Travel & Leisure.
36 comments

Travel gets us outside our comfort zones and gives us an opportunity to interact with strangers.

There’s a certain freedom and anonymity to interactions with people we will (likely) never see again.

They don’t know us.

We don’t know them.

We are not limited by pre-conceived notions of how we should act, what we should eat, how we should dress, etc.

We are free to just be.

And, still, there’s no place like home!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

The Green Book February 11, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.
24 comments

The Green Book: a Historic Travel Guide is now the focus of a movie about a black musician traveling through the country.

This video (by the National Trust for Historic Preservation) provides a fascinating backdrop to that movie:

Green means GO!  Let’s keep going.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Run Forrest Run! January 13, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Travel & Leisure.
28 comments

After the holidays, some of us (and we will not name names) gained a few unwanted pounds.  Before they settle in and get too comfortable, it’s time to kick it up a notch.

So, on our most recent trip to Universal, we stopped by Camp Jurassic to check out the playground.

It is awesome!

We climbed up.  We slid down.  We walked across rope bridges.  We bounced.

So much more fun than going for a boring jog!

No offense, Forrest!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Photo Ops December 31, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
15 comments

The parks are filled with Photo Ops ~ from mythical creatures standing guard.

To the wrecks and ruins of ancient civilizations.

To mighty tridents backlit by blue cloudless skies.

To giants of men with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

To super-heroes and villains.

To Marvel characters who are marvelous to marvel at.

And then there’s Marmaduke!  Always ready to take an unsuspecting toddler for a ride.

Hope your New Year gets off to a running start!

Aah . . . that’s better!