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The Vacation/Travel Thread
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[guidogodoy] Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:57:43 AM 
The Kona manta ray dive. Absolutely amazing.

[acolyte55] Saturday, February 11, 2012 2:39:46 PM 
we drove out to the lava flow from the kona side, and that is truly a road to nowhere , a state highway that ended in flow right to the hilo side , we were going to hike out tto the actual fresh flow but the sign at the ranger station warned us to have boots, a full days supply of water, and flashlights, as you know at sea level in hawaii it s light out and then its dark with almost no dusk/twilight to speak of. also the warnings of methane gas balls that people have been known to step on and KABLOOIE!!! no more person except a  shoe with a foot in it and not to mention pieces the size of a couple of football fields have snapped off and fallen into the ocean at with no warning kept us back. we got back to the hotel at 8 pm  and this is where it got disappointing for me as well, we went down to the bar/rest. and it was closed , we asked where to eat and every place on the strip was closed we finally found a bubba gumps that was open for another half hour so we at least got to eat, but man the place shut down at 9pm at night ! and we had to walk a couple of miles to find a place for some beers , you want to relax , go to the big island, if you like a night life that goes past 10pm go to oahu !! love the waikiki stroll and all the beach bars !!!!!
[spapad] Friday, February 10, 2012 10:24:09 PM 
So that's what black sand looks like. Kinda looks like caviar.

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by guidogodoy from Friday, February 10, 2012 10:03:14 PM)
[guidogodoy] Friday, February 10, 2012 10:03:14 PM 
Good questions, one and all, Acolyte. I flew into Kona and rented a car hitting all the major attractions on that side of the island with the manta ray dive being the main draw. Biggest letdown? Being in Kona on New Years Eve! Damn city was absolutely dead! Nothing like O'ahu. While they promised fireworks and we made it back to the city after our dive (after all, the marina is only two exits down), the most we saw was a bunch of kids throwing jumping jacks! LOL! It even drew a crowd!

While I drove all around the Kona side (including the Waipi'o Valley..freakin' STEEP hike! All the cars flipped over the edge?!? Holy crap!) hitting both possible roads there and back to see different views, I stayed away from the rich resort areas as it seemed too boring.

In Volcano (stayed right in the city), yes. I hiked the tubes as that is where the other end of the crater pictured below let out. Drove down the end of crater road, saw the petroglyphs, went outside the park to the county park to try and hike to the active lava flow (saw a glowing dot but bought GREAT snapshots from a guy selling them claiming to have taken them the month before) and three days+ in the park itself as I stayed at a bed / breakfast about five minutes from the park itself.

Made plans to fly out of Hilo so I drove and hit all the fruit stands / "place of refuge" and black sand beach on the ride to Hilo. Stayed at a mansion there! Another bed and breakfast but it was a freakin' castle run by an oriental family. Only regret, I spent too much time in Kona. Went snorkling in Hilo, the thermal springs (had to drag me out of that sucker) and, yes, did know about, consider but finally caved and brought back samples from the Goddess Pele. Tears of Pele, spatter and even that rock pictured below. I figured, hey, I didn't know about it when I was in O'ahu the year before and brought back lava and even bought a tiki made IN Hawaii (hard to find as most everything is from China!) so I figured that I had protection. Real fragile stuff but most survived as I packed it in with my scuba gear. Oh yes, the mini crater inside the big one is still there.

You are right. Impossible to capture how massive the lava is with a camera. I had a wide lens and didn't post many as it was futile. Looks like black on black as far as the eye can see in all directions.

LOVED this guy's house, though. Only house spared from the last eruption. He blogs all about the current flows. Look at the road. Helicopter pilot named it "road to nowhere." I can see why. For those who don't know, the red dot pictured is a mansion of a house. Nice neighborhood, eh? Wonder why they named the road?

A few more...

LOVED the plants that grow so quickly out of the devastation of a lava flow.

My paultry lava rock sculpture (compare it to the expert one below!)

Finally, one of the last true "black sand" beaches in the world. Predicted to disappear in a very short time. See it while you can!

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by acolyte55 from Friday, February 10, 2012 5:48:54 PM)
[acolyte55] Friday, February 10, 2012 5:48:54 PM 
did you go in some of the lava tubes? and black crab beach? did you make it to the kona-kilaeuh side?  and the photos just cant let people know the sheer size of the volcanoes it took me 3 panaromics to fit the whole of the crater for a complete shot. when i was there , there was a mini crater inside the large one ,  is it still there?more importantly did you take a piece of the island home and risk the wrath of pele' !!!!! freaky stories about that man and to much truth  to it !!! cheers giudo
[HELL BENT FOR JUDAS] Friday, February 10, 2012 5:15:46 PM 
                      Guido's photos are amazing.But don't show some authors of the JUDAS PRIEST fanfics the photo with your figure!Please !
Edited at: Friday, February 10, 2012 5:21:48 PM
[Vaillant 3.0] Thursday, February 09, 2012 10:34:28 PM 
Holy poopies! Great shots of, well, everything (especially the rock stacks, the volcanoes, the manta rays and the craters). Hawaii sure looks beautiful.
[Becks] Thursday, February 09, 2012 9:55:31 PM 
Awesome pics Guido, looks like a fantastic trip!
[guidogodoy] Thursday, February 09, 2012 8:07:45 PM 
Where, Wal-Mart? Ah, they have pretty much the same stuff at the one in the picture as they do in most. Perhaps a bit more color to the shirts! HAAAAA!!!!

(ed. note: No, I didn't buy it. Just put it on and snapped a quick picture to the really odd stares of the masses in line! lol)

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Head banger from Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:35:30 PM)
[Head banger] Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:35:30 PM 
nice pics  I wanna go there.

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by guidogodoy from Thursday, February 09, 2012 11:28:39 AM)
[spapad] Thursday, February 09, 2012 5:15:02 PM 
Beautiful shots! Love the Rays, the flower shot is awesome, the lava flows are wonderful, the JP homage is very cool, and of course the Might Walmart. lol
Looks like a great vacation.
[guidogodoy] Thursday, February 09, 2012 11:28:39 AM 
Of course, all the posts below are to be read in backwards order. All save this one...HAD to take it. It is the helicopter coming in for a landing over the nearby Walmart! HAAAAA! Look closely at the close side (front-lower left), you can see the sign!

[guidogodoy] Thursday, February 09, 2012 11:25:51 AM 
Last shots for now. Helicopter ride out of Hilo over the active lava flows. It is in the first shot below. I highlighted the red. It was so far inland that it would have taken an 11 hour hike (each way) to get close. Rest of the shots are from the helicopter showing craters from different volcanic years.

[guidogodoy] Thursday, February 09, 2012 11:19:40 AM 
Best hike of the trip, by far. First shot is the GoPro wide shot of the Kilauea Iki crater. Takes about five hours to hike down there but, once there, it is like walking on the moon. Sulphur and steam vents everywhere. Dead silence save or the "crunch" of the volcanic rock under your feet.

[guidogodoy] Thursday, February 09, 2012 11:15:51 AM 
Spent most of my time either snorkeling, scuba diving or hiking. This was a great hike. Took hours to get down to the beach level but it was worth it. I loved the rock constructions. I made one. Only about four lava rocks tall. Don't thnk it will stand the test of time.

[guidogodoy] Thursday, February 09, 2012 11:11:47 AM 
Ok, by popular demand. I finally managed to pick through a few of the most impressive photos of Big Island.

December 31 was a big day. Put the Scuba diving lessons to good use. Night dive. You sit in the dark with a flashlight to attract krill which, in turn, attacts manta rays. Sometimes none show up, sometimes one or two. 17 showed up the night of my dive!

The size of these animals are just impressive. Mouth is easily the size of your body. They are the size and weight of a VW Bug. They say that you can't touch them but that doesn't mean that they can't touch YOU! I was filming with one hand and trying to grab lava rocks to hold me down with the other.

Two pictues. The first is one that I took as a still shot from a video I shot from a GoPro Hero 2 camera *great vid!" The second was from a german lady selling shots of the divers. That isn't me in the picture but a couple who will show the relative size of these animals.

Bucket-list dive. Check!

[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 7:02:18 PM 
Thanks, all! It was certainly a great trip. Definitely looking foward to what the rest of the year will bring as far as traveling and vacationing goes.
[Becks] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 11:48:20 AM 
Wonderful pics Vail, certainly make me wish I wasn't going to work today and instead winging my way over there! LOL!

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Vaillant 3.0 from Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:50:29 AM)
[HOT ROCKIN' METAL GODDESS] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 8:22:13 AM 
Beautiful pictures Vail!! Looks like you had a fantastic time!

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Vaillant 3.0 from Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:41:49 AM)
[Budred] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 5:30:34 AM 
Thanks for posting the pics. I love the shot of the rock formations in the water.
I wish more people would post pics. Other than people being excessive with it (joke), 
I think they're cool.

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Vaillant 3.0 from Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:41:49 AM)
[guidogodoy] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 2:21:17 AM 
Wonderful! Sounds like a lovely trip.
Hey, you came back in one piece. That is "the bar" as far as I am concerned!

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Vaillant 3.0 from Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:50:29 AM)
[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:50:29 AM 
I've got many more pics of the trip that need to be uploaded/organized, so to conclude for now here's one of me and my dogtag hiding in plain sight from the drug cartel crazies.

Best. Disguise. Ever.

[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:41:49 AM 
Best part of Ixtapa (IMO): the island.

[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:32:59 AM 

[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:25:49 AM 
Good evening, heavy metal travelers!

Just came back from staying a week in the town of Ixtapa in Mexico. 'Twas very nice. Beautiful beaches and all the fish and shrimp you can possibly eat.

[Becks] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:02:56 PM 
Great pics Vail, looks like your trip covered quite a bit of ground which is awesome. My sister has been to Berlin and Munich, she loved it. I'd love to go to oktoberfest one day haha!
Myself, I've only been to Paris on the continent. It was early January and it was FREEZING, lol! We walked everywhere, a drunk dude tried to pick a fight with me (which at the time was quite scary lol), Craig wanted to punch the guys trying to sell bracelet things on the steps leading to the Sacre Coeur cos they kept grabbing his arms to make him stop. LOVED the pastries, oh my goodness they were yummy Climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe was a highlight for me, so was the catacombes.
[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:05:35 AM 
A few more.

[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:54:27 AM 
The festivities were still no match for the buildings that stand in the historic part of the city. Beautiful.

[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:49:39 AM 
Ain't it cute?
Pssshhh! Who needs motors? Hand crank that sucker 'til those kids get dizzy!

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by guidogodoy from Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:43:31 AM)
[guidogodoy] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:43:31 AM 
Nice! Took me a minute to figure out what that bottom picture was at first. Thought it might be a medieval torture / dunking chair or something.

"Confess, kid, confess!!"

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Vaillant 3.0 from Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:28:02 AM)
[guidogodoy] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:41:25 AM 
That bit about dogs goes for all Europe, IMO! Amazing to see, really. Dogs don't even seem to mess with other dogs.

Then again, I didn't see many pit bulls, Japanese tosa's or fila brasileros wandering the streets.

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Vaillant 3.0 from Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:07:13 AM)
[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:28:02 AM 
Here are a few pics that I took while in Dresden on a class trip.

There was a state fair going on the day we got there, so we got to take in the festivities a bit.

[Vaillant 3.0] Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:07:13 AM 
Awww, that's a shame. Would'a been cool to see those pics. No biggie, though.

When I was in Berlin, I noticed that alot of dog owners there rarely have their dogs on leashes while walking. The dogs themselves never wander off into the streets, and they don't even bother other pedestrians!! They stood by their owners' side no matter what. I swear, most obedient dogs in the world.

So far, I've been to Mexico (multiple times), Germany and Arizona, New York, Nevada and Florida in the US. I would like to go back to Germany some day and maybe explore a few other European countries, too. I would like to go to Turkey, and maybe check out South America...not sure where, though. Argentina? Chile? Peru?

I still have tons pics that I took while in Germany that I haven't shown here. Methinks I'll post a handful of those soon.

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Becks from Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:55:48 PM)
[Becks] Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:55:48 PM 
Well I tried to post a couple of pics from our USA trip earlier this year but they came out tiny poop.
Personally I'd love to go back to the States, we had so much fun, we found food to be very cheap and portion sizes huge - we kept getting caught out that just because something is cheap, doesn't mean you're getting hardly anything! LOL! I'd love love love to go back to Disneyland, it's such a wonderful place. A fantastic trip overall which I want to repeat someday! I remember when we were in Tuscon AZ overnight (on way from Vegas to San Diego) we went in to to a service station and the girl there said she loved our accents, Craig asked her where she thought we were from and she said 'England! (nope) Scotland? (nope again) Australia? (closer!)' and then she finally got it LOL! Fair enough, our accents aren't very commonly heard in Tuscon I'd say LOL!

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Vaillant 3.0 from Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:43:34 AM)
Edited at: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:57:32 PM
[Vaillant 3.0] Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:43:34 AM 
*clears throat*


Welcome to the Vacation/Travel Thread. Talk about your vacation plans and your past experiences. Talk about the fun you had taking in the sights and buying souvenirs, or the horrors of getting sick from the food or missing your flight by a few minutes. Or talk about anything, really.
Got vacation photos? Post 'em!

Have fun, and don't forget your passport!
[Vaillant 3.0] Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:27:35 AM 
Yarrrrrr! Ahoy, me lads! Welcome aboard ye olde Vacation/Travel Thread, freshly resurrected from Davey Jones' locker.

Harrrrrrr-*cough* *cough* *cough*...damn it.

Anybody got some rum? Or long-exposure-to-salty-sea-air-in-a-can?
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