Sunday, January 28, 2018

Beyond the Hogwarts House

Two blocks from our home in the Minneapolis Mill District, on a dead-end side-street, there's a single-family home that is decidedly different. Some people call it the Hogwarts House; others call it the Arundel House.

I love to stand outside the house and spot fantastical architectural elements, including the wizardly dormer in the photo at the top of this post.

Usually I can continue my walk up the street, beyond the Hogwarts House, and slip through a gap in a barrier. Today, my way is blocked by a chain-link fence and a guard post.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Freakin' Cheap: How to Fly with a Pet Without Paying Fees

December 26, 2017, United Airlines 5637, MSP--SAN. The two women in the AB seats in our row had two dogs on their laps for the entire flight. They stowed two collapsible kennels in an overhead bin.

United Airlines charges $125 per pet brought on board, and it has to be stowed under a seat in a kennel at all times. You might think the round-trip fare for two dogs would be $500.

Wrong. Dogs can travel at no cost.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Snapshots: Whanganui National Park

Today, a jet boat brought us back to a world with Internet and roads.

Three days earlier I maneuvered our rental car along a narrow, winding road, avoiding recent rockfalls. At Pipiriki, New Zealand, a jet boat came to take us up the Whanganui River, through a vertiginous gorge, to the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Snapshots: Egmont National Park

New Zealand's North Island has three national parks: Egmont, Whanganui, and Tongariro. On this trip we selected Egmont and Whanganui, two of New Zealand's less-visited parks.

We've spent two days hiking Egmont's lovely trails, with two more days to go.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Snapshots: Queen Charlotte Track

Our descent into Marlborough, BHE, New Zealand, gave us a preview of our upcoming visit to the region. First we flew over the crenellated, sunken valleys of Queen Charlotte Sound, then we came in low over the vineyards of Marlborough wine country.

Our first priority was to hike the Queen Charlotte Track, a path people usually walk over four days.