East Coast Coasting: Orlando

00001.MTS.Still001Hot and humid. That’s about the most direct description of Orlando at this time of year I can make. But if you like swimming in body temperature crystal blue pools, then this is the place and time for you. It’s the kind of swimming you don’t get a cold shock stepping into the water. And the kind of swimming that you don’t get a blast of cold when you step out of the pool. Of course it’s a tropical climate and that means rain. The kind of rain that, out of nowhere, down-pours from the sky drenching everything and everyone. But, it’s our vacation, and you want something different (not like home) on your holidays; right?

DSCN0002Traveling anywhere in the world means that I’m cut off from Julia’s brilliant and healthy cooking. It means that I’m beholden to the food environment of that country, town, or place I find myself in. It’s sad, but oh so true that the good old US of A has one of the worst food environments in the whole world. I guess I should be thankful that it has food at all; some places don’t, but the Standard American Diet (SAD) is one of mass-produced food-like substances, made for profit, with no love, full of sugar, fat, salt, and so many other chemicals it could make your head spin; no literally it will make your head spin. But, when traveling this great land you must eat the Modern American Diet (MAD) or starve. Using the tobacco industries’ favorite slogan “harm reduction” Julia and I venture through the maze of fast-food and factory food labyrinths. Oh for some fresh food that hasn’t been enhanced by sugar, fat, or salt; and those other unknown, head-spinning, and inexplicable chemicals. The one redeeming thought to hang on to is we’ll be home soon and back to our fresh food diet.

DSCN0005Humans are endlessly fascinated by excitement, horror, and suspense. I guess that’s why Orlando and its theme-park world exist. For myself I am drawn to these attractions like everyone else, but once there I soon become overwhelmed by their cliché, tacky, and consumerism baseness. Once you’ve ridden one insanely gyrating rollercoaster why do you have to do it again? But, on the Universal Studio’s mad and frightening rollercoaster I found myself once again. I suppose this is due to my miserable meat-based-memory that seems incapable of remembering anything that falls into five, or four, or maybe even three years in the past. Because of my faulty memory I keep repeating these same experiences over and over again. And the theme-park industry continues to be profitable.

00019.MTS.Still001When I was a child I loved watching on TV and was a great supporter of space exploration. And let’s face it the USA was by far the leader in this area. And so I was a lover of the idea of America indirectly because of their great achievements in space. Today, within my poorly formed organic memory remain only vague feelings of my love for space exploration. It was these feelings that drove me back to the Kennedy Space Center. I had visited it in 1985 and like so many of the places I’ve returned to after 30 years or so things have changed. Back then the awesome and massive Satin V rocket lay on its side in an open grassy field. Today, the humongous machine is housed in its own building surrounded by exhibits, cheesy audio visuals, and the obligatory gift shop. But of course back when I was a child and watched Neil Armstrong step out on to the lunar surface there where only three billion people on this small blue dot. Today, we are at seven billion with no end in sight. I suppose that’s progress?

East Coast Coasting

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The Plan

It’s time to travel once again; we just can’t help ourselves. Julia and I head to Orlando (The City Beautiful), Savannah (The Hostess City of the South), and New York City (The Big Apple) for two weeks of coasting the East Coast. Here is a map of our trip.

Julia will be working in Orlando at a seminar related to her PhD. My plan, while the poor dear has to work, is to visit Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center, and perhaps even take a golf lesson; who knows.

The trip is train based, that is, we plan only to fly from coast to coast the rest of our transportation is via train. From Orlando we’ll take a day train to Savannah Georgia. From Savannah we’ll take an overnight train (with our own sleeper cabin) to the Big Apple. What will traveling via train on the east coast be like? Standby and I’ll let you know.