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Blogging Food Geography Travel Weather

Wichita Falls Texas

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. This month I’m virtually visiting 5 continents in 5 weeks. 4 weeks ago I wrote about Luxembourg in Europe. 3 weeks ago it was Yunnan China in Asia. A couple of weeks ago it was down under to Perth Australia. Last week it was Santiago Chile in South America. This week I’m back home in North America in the United States Of America – specifically the great state of Texas and Wichita Falls in the far north of the state.

This is actually not a virtual visit, but an actual visit. I’ve just returned home from Wichita Falls Texas. I flew out there last Friday morning for my annual late-September visit to spend quality time with family. My “first cousin once removed” and her husband picked me up at the small but modern Wichita Falls Regional Airport, and we proceeded to a local Mexican restaurant for an early Lunch. That’s a tradition for each visit. We must eat a meal at a Mexican restaurant, and I don’t think that we’ve ever repeated the same one. We’ve always gone to a new place with each new visit.

I returned home this past Tuesday afternoon (27 September 2022). My flight on American Airlines (Airbus A321) was packed like sardines – probably at or near 100% capacity. I think a lot of people who had previous plans to head for airports in the Tampa Bay area and even Orlando were on the flight(s) to Miami instead since #MIA was the least-affected airport in Florida from Hurricane Ian. There were a lot of flight crew sitting in coach. Despite the packed flight it was amazingly peaceful and serene inflight, and the flight itself was quite smooth (just a few chops here and there). The pilot took a different route to Miami from Dallas – staying over land for nearly all of the route – over to Tallahassee, and then down the Gulf Coast of Florida. (Normally it would cross the Gulf Of Mexico from New Orleans to Fort Myers.)

Note: I’ll post an impact statement on Hurricane Ian here in my hometown on Twitter @ChrisMDay.

This was my first time flying since the start of April. Mask mandates in airports and airplanes were lifted later that same month, so this was the first time in nearly 3 years that I flew without a face mask. There were a few people at the airport and on the airplanes who wore face masks. I’d estimate maybe 5% did so. On all of the flights to and from Wichita Falls the flight attendants stated during their safety briefing that whether or not we choose to wear a face mask please respect each other’s personal decisions. That’s good advice to follow. Be kind to each other.

Incidentally after that first meal at that Mexican restaurant upon arrival in Wichita Falls – we visited a fun historical museum. Next #TravelThursday I’ll write about it, as well as some other fun places that I visited in the local area. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Blogging Geography Travel

Santiago Chile

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. This month I’m virtually visiting 5 continents in 5 weeks. 3 weeks ago I wrote about Luxembourg in Europe. A couple of weeks ago it was Yunnan China in Asia. Last week it was down under to Perth Australia. This week it’s Santiago Chile in South America.

I’m fascinated and intrigued with South America. I’ve never been there before; although, I’ve come very close. In fact – some would say that I have been to South America – since I’ve been to Aruba and Curaçao twice, and Bonaire once. (The #ABCIslands are geographically part of the South American continental shelf.)

But I’d love to tour (mainland) South America. Many people say “oh you need to visit Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro”. Buenos Aires Argentina is another place I’d like to check out. But if given the choice I think I’d want to visit Santiago – the capital and largest city of Chile – “The City Of The Island Hills”.

Between 6 and 8-million residents call Santiago home. That’s almost half of Chile’s entire population. Chile is the 6TH most-populated country in South America behind Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, and Venezuela. Santiago is the 6TH most-populated metro area in South America behind São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, and Bogotá.

At TripAdvisor (my favorite travel web site – where I occasionally post reviews) – the # 1 thing to do in Santiago is to visit Cerro San Cristóbal – “this 860-meter hill in the center of Santiago features a zoo and wine museum at the midway point and a gondola ride to the top – where a Virgin Mary statue overlooks the city.” Sounds like a fun day atop Santiago de Chile !

Oh – and just a 3-hour drive northwestward from Santiago – I hear that the playas of Viña del Mar esta bonita. It may not be Copacabana, but it’s definitely “The Vineyard Of The Sea”, “The Garden City”, and “The Pearl Of The Pacific”.

Chile as a country is fascinating to me – even on a map, as it hugs much of the Pacific coast of South America from 17.5° south latitude in the tropics all the way down to 56.0° south latitude near the polar regions. That’s a distance of over 4,300 kilometers. It’s the closest country in the world to the Antarctica continent. It actually claims about 1,250,000 square kilometers of Antarctica.

From South America to North America. Next #TravelThursday I’m back home stateside in the great state of Texas. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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1990s Blogging Computers Geography Internet Music Radio Television Travel

Perth Australia

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. This month I’m virtually visiting 5 continents in 5 weeks. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Luxembourg in Europe. Last week it was Yunnan China in Asia. This week it’s down under to Perth Australia.

I’m a big fan of Australia and New Zealand from afar. I’ve never been to either. (I’ve never been south of the Equator.) During my upcoming retirement chapter of my life – I definitely wish to somehow someway visit either or both nations for an organized 2-to-3-week tour. I actually want to see and experience Australia and New Zealand over any other destination in the world.

Every time “House Hunters International” (on HGTV) does an episode from either nation I’m glued intently to it – especially the scenery in the background. I get ecstatic when the house hunters are in Perth Australia.

About 25 years ago when I was discovering the Wild Wild World Wide Web (after I weaned myself off of AOL) I used RealAudio (remember that ?) to listen to pop music radio stations from around the world. I ran a pop music web site at the time that was gaining in popularity in Europe (particularly Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany) and Australia and New Zealand. I couldn’t believe that I was creating an electronic product, placing it on the Internet at my very own web site with its own domain name, and people from thousands of miles away and on the other side of the world were interested in it.

One of the many radio stations that I used to listen to from Australia was 96fm out of Perth. It was fun to hear tomorrow’s zany morning show at night here on the U.S. East Coast. Back then (in the late-1990s) pop music in Australia was like a hybrid of both U.S. and U.K. pop music. I remember hearing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” for many months, and thinking to myself that it should be played on the radio here stateside. Eventually it made it here, and it was a MASSIVESMASH. (That’s an ode to my old web site.)

I learned a lot about Perth listening to the radio, and I even catered my website somewhat to Perth and other cities in Australia and New Zealand, since my fanbase there outnumbered most everywhere else in the world.

Perth is located on the southwest coast of Australia near the 32ND parallel south. Summers are mostly sunny, warm, and dry. Winters are mostly cloudy, cool, and wet. Spring is on its way Perth, and so are many sunny days !

Perth’s skyline from the sea is beautiful. Its metro area is vast along the coast. Over 2 million residents call Perth home. It’s one of the most isolated major cities in the world !

#VisitPerth

From Australia to South America. Next #TravelThursday I’m visiting Santiago Chile. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Blogging Geography Military Travel

Yunnan China

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. This month I’m virtually visiting 5 continents in 5 weeks. Last week I wrote about Luxembourg in Europe. This week it’s eastward to Asia.

Asia is a vast continent that spans over 17.2 million square miles (over 44.5 million square kilometers). That’s almost 9% of the total surface area of the world, and about 30% of the total land area. About 60% of the world’s population lives in Asia.

I’ve only set foot in one small part of Asia, and I actually lived there for a couple of months – in Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. On the eastern end of the continent my Mom was born in the Philippines in the mid-1940s.

When trying to figure out where I wanted to write about for this edition of #TravelThursday I chose a unique physical location rather than somewhere I’ve been, or somewhere I’d like to visit someday (such as Tokyo, Seoul, or Singapore).

I took my current latitude (roughly 25.5° north), and I extended it to the longitude that is 180° from my current longitude (roughly 80.5° west). That places “the other side of the world” – at 25.5° north latitude and 99.5° east longitude – or in far-southwestern China very near the border with Myanmar. It’s near the village of Maliaotian (or Ma Liao Tian) in the county of Yongping in the autonomous prefecture of Dali Bai in the province of Yunnan.

Yunnan has a population of over 48 million, and the land is mostly mountainous and rural. The capital and largest city of Yunnan is Kunming – also known as Yunnan-Fu – with over 8 million residents. Its new and modern International Airport is actually one of the busiest in the world – serving millions of tourists – particularly from nearby India. It’s known as “The City Of Eternal Spring” and “The Flower City”. It stays mostly cool year-round despite its latitude near the Tropic Of Cancer, as it’s a high mountain valley city (over 6,200 feet above sea level).

Kunming Yunnan China

From Asia to Australia. Next #TravelThursday I’m visiting my favorite city in Australia that I have a unique 25-year connection to – Perth. I’ve never been there, but I feel like I know the city. I’ll explain next week. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp