Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer holidays with Sarah - 20 th july to 11 th august

Campground in Chattanooga: my first camping experience on that continent! A friend of Sarah that she had not seen for a while joined us.



Visiting the caves of Ruby Falls with Spryte (Aubree)

You have absolutely no excuse if you arrive in Chattanooga by the roads and ignore the existance of Ruby falls. it is announced every 500m on the motorways 100 km around...



Rock city





At the end of the visit we entered a little house with amazing decorations coming straight from fairy tales. When we wanted to get out, it was pouring rain! the national rain i would say or a storm. it got quiter 30 min later... apparently is is normal in that area.


At a restaurant tasting one of the local specialities: dry ribs with special sauce... miam


Sarah is a pro at starting camp fires: it was a 1-match big fire!
We fried some marshmallows and placed them between cookies and chocolate :) miam


Look at that... guess how i had to do to wash my hairs in the showers of the camping: on my knees!

Atlanta

yes i know... the olympic games were here 12 years ago... we are always too late ;)

The Martin Luther King museum.

we learned a lot about the life of the guy. It was fun to see that we were almost the only white people in that place. Just after we gave a plumb to a guy that claimed to be hungry, a random guy tried to sell us some food. After we denied it, Sarah caught something he said that i had not understood: "you should feed your husband more" or something like that... that is a clever argument to sell food... but am i that skinny???


right pic: some wise young people with the statue of Gandhi

The new batman movie & The laser show at Stone mountain park

(don t ask me about the movie. i was jet lagged and i slept loudly during half the movie)
but the next day i was fresh for the lasershow... (i had enough sleep in the cinema). it was a projection of laser pictures on a big limestone rock, so huge and smooth!



The wedding of Katie & Vishal.

The girls had to get ready for the wedding and since i had nothing to do i followed them. We ate together at the fast food called "taco bell" that apparently is ok normally but this time was really awful. This was the worst restaurant ever. i had a fatfatfat mexican pizza (very small fortunately) and since katie could not eat what she ordered, i proposed to finish it. Well i did not have more than a bite... uneatable. i just went to the neighbouring electronics shop (huge!) while the girls were getting their 20 nails painted (not really my cup of tea).


this is what is called the spaghetti junction of Atlanta:

(the girl in the car behind us is Katie's cousin and she said later that she thought we were taking pictures of her because she saw the flash and it surprised her lol)

In the evening, we all met in a pizzeria with the families. I had the opportunity to talk with friends of Katie and Vishal from Mississippi, Norway and so many other places. Sarah, as she is one of the bridesmaids, received a gift.



In india, the morning of the wedding begins traditionally with a ceremony where the future husband has to be covered with spices and painted in the face. No wonder he did not show up in his jacket!
Sarah was disappointed because she was younger than him and then was not allowed to paint his face ;)




the kiss...yes i pictured it!



The evening reception was very nice and the buffet was delicious! (particularly the chocolate cake :) It is funny how you don't care about the way you move on the dance floor when you don't know anybody, i was feeling a bit like those guys in the movie "wedding crashers" without the actual crashing acts.



The night before the wedding, i had to take care of the little animals, since i was sleeping in the living room i had to play tricks to get the cats in the room of Katie and Vishal where they had all their stuff... the orange cat had a strong affinity for turkey meat so it was easy but the other was not that hungry... so i managed to get the orange cat in the room first but it took me a while before i could get the turtle one in the same room. At the same time i opened the door, guess who went out passing between my legs? so now i had the inverted situation... pfff i think somehow i was lucky that the orange cat was still hungry because he followed his stomach again and came in the room some minutes later. The turtle one did not get out thankfully... so i could go to bed :) and i did all this without being scratched :) I am the master of the cats :)



The surprise of Vishal was that his cats were present after the wedding ceremony :)

Instead of throwing rice (risk to intoxicate birds) at the couple when they left the place, we throwed soap bubbles at them :) it was fun.

All my best wishes to the couple and thank you for your hospitality.

Later that night at the hotel: George sourrounded by the bridesmaids




Florida

at the entrance of florida state, we wanted to stop at the Florida Welcome Center where they usually propose some free fresh orange juice made in the state. Bad luck we arrived 10 min after they closed...



Orlando

The Universal studios : 1 of the 2 parks done only (no time to do the Island of Adventure :S ).




it was so hot that your footprints appeared visible on the asphalt if you stay too long on the same spot... is it what people call "taking roots"?

Seen in the line of the Simpson's roller coaster, i like the last warning...


The fireworks of the evening :) synchronised with a screen show of some best moments of the movies from universal.


Water park: Wet'n'Wild



Both Sarah and i tried knee board without really knowing what to expect and it worked well, we had it at the fisrt shot and were able to make the whole turn without falling WAAAA. However, full of self confidence, a bit later we decided to reach level 2 and try the board surf. Hummm if most of the people that we saw trying it kept on falling all the time (and we laughed a lot about it LOL), but there was a reason ! it is hard to start. I am sure that people laughed a lot seeing us falling cause it was fantastic, the cord pulls you so fast and strong that you are ejected in the air like a missile and the board stays where you used to stand while waiting...

The natural park of wakiwa springs




it is always nice to see some wild animals :)

Cocoa Beach

note to myself: sun screen protection 50, nice but put more next time in florida...








Night kayaking in the Indian River (surroundings of Cap Canaveral) in the national wildlife reserve.
bioluminescent algae are amazing, they glow at night when disturbed. The fishes are simply visible at night since they excite the algae that emits lights and appear like white greenish fading lanes under the water (when they are not trying to jump into the boat!)




we did not really see any alligator nor manatee :( but we saw jumping fishes and the back of a dolphin :) (unless it was a shark??? :S ) and also a wild pig crossing the road in front of us (with imagination you can see his bottom on the right picture...)

Soft mini golf



Even though my ultra athletic condition, i performed a miserable score... imagine that you have to put this huge ball in such tiny holes!!!

Kennedy Space Center/ Cap Canaveral




Launching pads (read on pictures)


the main building of the NASA. one of the star on the painted flag is as tall as me, imagine the heigh of the building!!! and one of the support to move the space shuttles to the launching pads (an 8h ride)


the saturn rocket.

the type of tyre that the lunar trucks had. instead of rubber, it is made of wires.


watch out for electric women!



We tried some "g" accelerator simulators up to 4g. We got out sick and dizzy and it got worse on the next simulation where the seat is moving in front of a screen... beuuuu



We visited a telescope in free access for visitors and pointing to Jupiter and its saltellites that night. Io, Europe, Ganymède et Callisto were observable. The 59 other satellites of the huge planet are a bit harder to see... we could see the line colors of the gaz planet for real!!!

We went to a sea fruits restaurant 2x (it was so good fishes)
i ate a whole "mullet"!!! in french it means "donkey"... well actually it was a fish...



On the way back to Lexington, we installed the tent in a campground located in the Indian springs state park in Georgia. There was a ferruginous and sulfur rich indian spring. We did not really taste the water after placing our nose close to it. a bit further in the lake the water was so warm that we had the feeling to melt but it was so relaxing... we stayed at least 2 h immobile in the water. it was soooo nice. when we got back to the camp, we were nicely welcomed by the guard that was intransigeant: grass is rare in the park, we had to move our tent to the stones to avoid killing the grass... even for one night? yep.

Lexington


Drive Sarah!!! don't stop...

Note: in usa the exit number on the motorways has a meaning, it is not only an exit number like in europe, it is consistent with the distance (in miles). so if you can make mental calculations, you should be able to determine the distance to your exit...

On the way back home Sarah showed me the little city of Jellico where she lived for 8 weeks this summer.

King's island
that park litterally dismantled Sarah, her sister and I...




the "son of beast" got us totally shaking and it is a luck that our bones are tightly bound to each other cause that was extreme!




an equivalent to the radjah river:

we can not say that we did not know.... what we only realised is that people are paying to get the boats wet! ( behind us in the picture) they choose the moment to throw the blast of water!!! :) fun... they touched us!




what a big ice cream!! may i have a bit?

Frisbee in Lexington with the brother of Sarah




http://www.poison-ivy.org/index.htm
is this poison ivy? check the website...

Home fireworks



A big thanks to all te people we met during these holidays, it has been a great time and hope to see you again :)

Leaving

though to myself: if i never had anything to tell about my trips, would the blog be needed at all? check that out...



I was probably looking very suspicious at the airport of Nashville: at the first security check, i could not get what that big lady said to me while handing me the passport without my boarding pass. So she stared at me, and slowly took her underliner pen and colored the "SSSS" on the boarding pass. I guess this is the code for "Suspicious Strange Straggler Stranger"
So when i handed the boading pass at the next security stop, they smiled ironically at me and said that i had to follow them for deep examination... oops! So i had to step into that strange glass surrounded corridor. I guess that when you are a thief, researched gangster or other, this is the part when you start freaking out. I am happy i am not claustrophobic. Then i was headed to that other glass windowed room covered by carpets with footprints and asked to put my arms horizontally so that they could "palpate" me. Finally they opened all the pockets of my bag one after another. This is the part when i was smiling ironically at them saying: "Good luck, both my bags have a lot of pockets". They systematically moved a stick with a tissue at the extremity inside the pockets to sense drugs or other elements (is it???). They then placed the tissue in a spectrometer for analysis. I was clear. OUFTI!

After that was a piece of cake, i got back home under rain and felt welcome to france ;)

wow time flies... i had lost notion of time... :)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Strange things seen:


huge


gluips-- in the hotel in atlanta... 2 different challenger bibles found in the shelves!


Camping tents for pets?


wherever you go your boss follows you!!!


miam


the new BatMax...tadadadadadadaaaaa

2 comments:

Ric said...

Hi Max!
I had a huge laugh now reading and seeing your pictures!! I loved specially the one you are amazed with the ribs :) I can see you had the full portion. In Knoxville I had half of it and barely could finish it... Your are getting a king-size US stomach :)
A+

Vtrain said...

great stories and experiences on your US holidays. It was a interesting reading. Also liked to see the pictures a lot.

Oh, In last few months trips to APS (chicago) I had once to go in the glass place... and lost lots of time while they looked all my pokets.. and all the papers I had in my wallet. Unfortunately for them my wallet is always full of junk. he he They tried to read it all ... even receipts in Portuguese ah ah.