Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I wish I had a picture of the singer, Pink, because that would have been unique.

Instead, I will have to make do with the actual color of pink. The reason I have this color on the brain is that it is the weekly theme from the website WheresMyBackpack.com.

I dove into my archives of digital photographs and came up with this item from 2009. This is a close-up of an Air Nippon plane. The only item that satisfies the theme are the letters, but I’m tickled by this picture by the bit of whimsy the designers placed on the plane.


Hold on, little panda, hold on.


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I had always wanted to make this a recurring blog theme, but it always seems to slip my mind to actually do it. Well, regardless of my excuses, here is my latest blathering based on what I have found while tripping through the websites of the Cabinet departments of the United States government.

(Aside: Previous entries have focused on the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, and Department of Agriculture.)

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the 38th (there’s your number for the day) country that became part of the government’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP is a government program that allows visitors from participating countries to enter the United States without a visa and stay for ninety days. There are a few more requirements, but the VWP means that a citizen from a participating country who wants to visit the Big Apple (or the Windy City or the Emerald City) does not have to go through the process (which usually involves a great deal of waiting) of obtaining a visa.

Before the latest announcement, there were thirty-seven countries that participated in the VWP. Of those 37, 30 were from Europe and 7 were from Asia.

From the above listing, you will have perhaps noticed two missing continents. One of them is South America. Of that continent’s thirteen countries, none were members of the VWP.

Until now.

Starting in May, the citizens of Chile can now enter the United States without a visa (so sayeth this press release from DHS).

Bienvenidos to the VWP, citizens of Chile! Enjoy the chili of Texas, the Chili’s found everywhere, the chiles found in most supermarkets, and the chilly weather that hits parts of the northeastern part of the United States every winter.

Chile’s admission into the VWP means that the only continent without a participating member is Africa.

From laughs, I should research how many countries require American tourists to possess a visa and how many do not.

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This is my response to the theme of solitary from WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

From my shoebox of digital photos comes this snapshot taken during our family’s January 2009 vacation in Cancun, Mexico.

I mostly remember this trip because it got us out of the nation’s capital during the Barack-alypse, when traffic and crowd levels were going to be off the charts with the inauguration of President Barack Obama. I was able to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand while my neighbors were shivering in the winter of Northern Virginia.

Anyway, back to the theme, and while “solitary” can mean a person being all alone in a room, I offer up a person engaging in a solitary pursuit.

Treasure hunting in the ocean

Hunting solo

I had seen people with metal detectors before combing the beach for keys and lost nickels, but I had never seen one in the tide before. Best of luck to him. I wonder if he had any one to share his bounty with.

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From Photo Friday, the theme for their weekly photography contest is modern life.

As much as I would like to offer up a picture of Rocko, I will instead offer this story.

Over this summer, the Mannski Unit was able to enjoy a cruise around Alaska’s Inside Passage. To give the trip an international flavor, the boat made a stop in Victoria, British Columbia (which would be in Canada). Sadly, we were only in this beautiful port city for four hours. I wish we could have stayed longer in this locale because there seemed to be a multitude of fascinating tourist places. Perhaps later, I will show pictures of the city’s iconic flower baskets, but for now, I give you this photo of the interesting, modern times we live in when there can be an advertisement for something like this…

Sign in Victoria, Canada

Yeah, Canada!

May the participants walk their canines with pride.

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