Travel With RJ

Travel, Travel, Travel!


My wife and I have been to the MIT Museum (that’s the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum) a couple times during our driving trips around New England. I must confess that I am fan of MIT. I have read a bunch of books about the school. I was excited when I learned they had a museum. Now I am not a big fan of museums in general. Most museums are boring! The MIT Museum is great.
They change their exhibits around regularly so you never know what you are going to see. Some of the exhibits I have seen at the MIT Museum include holography, strobe photography, and these cool little mechanical art work things.
My favorite part of the MIT Museum is the museum of hacks. A ‘hack’ is kind of an elaborate practical joke. Some of my favorite displays are the mocked up fiberglass security car that was place on top of the great done complete with box of donuts and I brake for donuts bumper sticker; the device that inflated a large balloon marked with MIT that was buried in the football field of the Harvard Yale football game and trigger to inflate after a touchdown; the special metal coins that if a student placed it in their pockets, their body heat would trigger a reaction causing the coins to superheat; buzzword bingo that was played when Al Gore visited the campus; the water fountain. I think I remember seeing the No Knife display at the museum, but I might be remembering it from one of my books. The No Knife art piece was thrown together complete with display card, and snuck into a real art exhibit. It simply a tray from the cafeteria with plate, glass, utensils (except a knife), etc, resting on a trash can. No one noticed that it wasn’t one of the real art pieces.
I bought a couple books on hacks in the MIT Museum store. I enjoyed them thoroughly!
I will probably revisit the MIT Museum any time I am back in the Cambridge area.
The MIT Museum is located at 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. They have a website at which shows what their current exhibits are.

Books about MIT:
Nightwork : A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT by Institute Historian T. F. Peterson

The journal of the Institute for Hacks, Tomfoolery & Pranks at MIT by Brian M Leibowitz

The Idea Factory: Learning to Think at MIT by Pepper White

I love the idea of The Amazing Race. When they originally announced The Amazing Race, I thought that sounds really cool! A travel reality show! But then I started watching the first season of The Amazing Race and I was very disapointed. What really bugs me is that the producers have engineered into The Amazing Race, stuff that will keep the race even. For example, the lead team is hours ahead, and then they arrive of some place that is closed. Then they have to wait till morning for it to open, meanwhile all the of the other teams catch up. Or maybe there is only one flight out per day, so the lead team arrives, and then has to wait while all of the other teams catch up. It is impossible for a team to get far enough ahead that the other teams cannot catch them. I see the reasoning for this. If one team was so far ahead that the other teams could not catch up, The Amazing Race would start losing viewers mid-season. That would cost the show money. But to me, seeing a team many hours ahead arriving at some place when it is closed, then seeing all of the other teams slowly arrive, catching up. It just seems rigged. So anytime a team has a huge lead, it doesn’t matter in the long run, because the producers have already planned in spots to slow them down so that every other team can catch up. So the only time I ever watch The Amazing Race is when my wife has it on. Otherwise, I wouldn’t watch it at all.
Maybe one of these days, someone will come up with another travel race show that be more interesting. I would like to see something that allows the competitors to try to find their own creative ways to get from place to place to place. Maybe have a bunch of check points, and the teams are on their own as how to get from one place to the next. Almost like a Cannonball Run of a travel show. Now that might be an Amazing Race!

We just got back from our fourth cruise vacation, and can’t wait until our next. We are planning another cruise vacation for sometime in 2008.
Our first cruise vacation was for our honeymoon in 1994. We sail on the Carnival Sensation out of Miami, to the Bahamas, to San Juan, to St. Thomas, and back to Miami. We had an absolute blast. The ship was so cool. Our tablemates were great. There were four couples at our dinner table. We were all close enough in age and stages in life, that we had a blast haning out together.
Our second cruise vacation was in 1996. My brother, and his family came with us. We were on the Carnival Inspiration, and sailed out of San Juan. The ports of call were St Thomas, St Martin, Dominca, Barbados, and Martinique. I enjoey all of the ports of call except Martinique which was boring.
Our third cruise vacation wasn’t until 2004. We were on the Carnival Victory. This time we opted for the western Caribbean. We sailed out of Miami, and stopped at Cozumel, Grand Caymen, and Jamaica.
This last cruise vacation was on the Carnival Legend, and took us from Ft Lauderdale, to Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize. These were probably the most exotic ports of call we have had.
I can’t say enough about cruise vacations. There is as much food as you can eat. And it’s really good food. And there are plently different kinds of food to choose from. The entertainment is generally pretty good, or at least interesting. The views are awesome. The service is excellent. You leave your cabin for breakfast, and then come back to find your cabin cleaned, and bed made. After dinner, you come back to find your bed turned down. The waiters are great. They get to learn your wants, and provide them. The drink girl got to know that I wanted a diet coke with dinner, and began bringing it before I even asked. It is actually a bit disorienting getting of the ship at the and of the cruise vacation. You have been pampered so much, and then you have to return to real life.
After taking a cruise vacation, you might find yourself addicted. My computer’s screen saver flashes photos from our last cruise vacation and I wish I could climb into them. Whenever I see a Carnival Cruise commercial on TV, or hear the song from it, I want to be back there in the warm Caribbean.
We are hoping to make our next cruise vacation longer. Maybe taking two 7-day cruises back-to-back! That would be a blast!
What are you waiting for? Go book a cruise vacation now!

On one of our driving trips through New England, we stopped at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is located in Concord, MA, and was right along our route back to New York after leaving Boston.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is not related to The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, the short story by Washington Irving. The Sleepy Hollow in the story is in Tarrytown, NY. Interestingly, Washington Irving is buried here in the cemetery.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is Concord’s largest cemetery and has around 10,000 graves. It is located one block east of Monument Square, on Bedford Street.
One of the most popular spots to visit in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is called Authors Ridge. Authors Ridge contains the gravesites of Henry David Thoreau (1862), Nathaniel Hawthorne (1864), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1882), Louisa May Alcott (1888) and her father, Bronson Alcott (1888).
Some other notables that are buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery are:
Elizabeth Arden, Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, Washington Irving, William Rockefeller, Thomas J. Watson.

According to Wikipedia, a honeymoon vacation is the traditional trip taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage, and presumably, consummate it. Today, honeymoons are often celebrated in places that are secluded, exotic, warm, or otherwise considered special and romantic — for example, warm, sunny beaches, scenic coastlines, and mountain retreats.

Antonia van der Meer – Editor in Chief of Modern Bride magazine said about honeymoon vacations , “The honeymoon is all about died-and-gone-to-heaven pleasure. It’s a trip for pulling out all the stops.”

In 2003, Modern Bride magazine polled travel agents for the top destinations for honeymoon vacations.

Here is a list of the top 50 honeymoon vacations (listed in order of popularity):
1. Aruba
2. Bermuda
3. Florida
4. Hawaii
5. Italy
6. Jamaica
7. Las Vegas
8. Mexico
9. St. Lucia
10. Tahiti
11. U.S. Virgin Islands
12. France
13. British Virgin Islands
14. Fiji
15. Bahamas
16. Dominican Republic
17. England
18. Greece
19. Bali
20. Africa
21. Cayman Islands
22. Costa Rica
23. Australia
24. California
25. New Zealand
26. Ireland
27. Barbados
28. Turks & Caicos
29. Anguilla
30. St. Maarten/St. Martin
31. Puerto Rico
32. Lake Tahoe
33. Belize
34. Grenada
35. Thailand
36. Switzerland
37. New York
38. Antigua
39. Spain
40. Scotland
41. South America
42. Alaska
43. Colorado
44. Poconos
45. Austria
46. Portugal
47. Canada
48. New England
49. Monaco
50. Turkey

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