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Saturday, May 13, 2017

FINAL SUMMARY: PaGA--EUROPE AND THE USA

I awoke in The Land of the Morning Calm, a term applied to Korea:




Approaching Incheon International Airport there is a rather monstrous controversial statue and various wind energy conversion devices:

 The top five airports in the world are:
  • Singapore Changi
  • Tokyo International Haneda
  • Incheon International Airport
  • Munich Airport
  • Hong Kong International Airport
Thus on this trip I was blessed to have flown from Hong Kong to Seoul, and now on to Munich.  I might add that no U.S. airport makes the list until #26. Guess which one this is.  Cincinnati/Kentucky.  Honolulu does not make the top 100.  Not sure where it is.  Changi?  A major upgrade is occurring and to the left is what it will look like next year.

The flight to Munich was comfortable.  My Westin Grand Hotel view at sunset:


The next morning I walked to English Garden, where I had a rotisserie chicken and beer lunch at the Chinese Pagoda, built in 1789 when the park was developed:


The next day I caught the U-Bahn into town:


The above tulip is considered to be the first black tulip.  It is called Paul Scherer, and you can go to various order sites in the U.S. to buy 10 bulbs for around $7.  However, these ads doctor the photos and make the tulip look blacker than it really is.  By my eye, the ultimate black tulip is yet to come.

My second Munich sunset view:


I should mention that during my stays in South Korea and Europe, I featured two presidential elections. As predicted, Moon Jae-in won for the former.  He is not anti-American as such, but he represents a different, and growing, mood that seeks greater independence.  They are, for example, against that anti-missile battery that was hastily installed.  They are for rapprochement with North Korea.  

In Europe, again, as predicted, Emmanual Macron easily beat Marine Le Pen, preserving the future of the Euro and the European Union.  If Le Pen had won, there could have been a Frexit and Trump-like position on immigrants.

Next, Washington, D.C.


All American airlines have abandoned international first class.  United is doing this in two steps.  They created Polaris business and first classes.  The intent is to very shortly delete first class.  However, I caught Polaris First on this flight, and the food and service were better than anything else United has today.  You can order wines in flights, here three whites, followed by an excellent rack of lamb:


I also had their red flight and port at the end with cheese.

I stayed in Alexandria where it was convenient to catch the metro.  Plus the hotel had a free shuttle to Reagan National Airport.  When I come to DC I almost always start with drinks, etc., at Gloria and Joe Vadus' home in Potomac, said to be the most affluent town in the country.  Usually Judy and Cliff McLain are there.  I gave them Charlotte's (neighbor in 15 Craigside) leis:


Cliff worked with Werner Von Braun and helped start the Advanced Research Projects Agency.  Joe retired as Chief Ocean Technologist for NOAA.  We then went out for dinner.

The next day I took my usual walk visiting tourist sites in DC.  Here our Capitol:

Across the street I had lunch at Charlie Palmer Steak


American beef has very little marbled fat compared to Japanese wagyu.

My sunrise view at Reagan National Airport:


Must have been that treatment of David Dao, but the crew was especially friendly, and said hi to me on taking their photo:


We passed close to the Stanford Campus, which I visited the next day:


My freshman dormitory, Wilbur Hall, site of both photos:


Yes, that's me as a freshman.  Hoover Tower and the Sunken Diamond:


Stanford was playing Arizona.

You know what I particularly remember?  The campus fragrance, from eucalyptus tree.  However, I don't recall ever seeing red flowers from those trees:


After two perfect days in Palo Alto where the temperature was in the seventies with cloudless skies, I met David Block at the San Francisco Airport Four Points Sheraton, and we decided to BART into town  for lunch at Tadich Grill:


David ran the Florida Solar Energy Center for double my 15 years as head of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute.  He plans to retire in August after just about 50 years at Central Florida University, now the second largest campus in the nation.  We also walked around the Ferry Building where I purchased a tiny bottle of Black Truffle Oil for $20:


That's a miniature bottle of gin.

My home golf set was getting really old, so I splurged on a a total makeover at Golf Mart, located close to the airport, for three times what I expected to pay, but had no serious qualms, for the total cost was just equal to another ten days on the road:


Kenji Sumida and Gerry Saiki picked us up, we had breakfast at IHOP, stopped by Walmart for some necessary comestibles, checked into the Hampton Inn in Vacaville and had our usual afternoon tea:


We then walked to Umi Sushi for dinner:


I had ikura (salmon eggs) and hamachi kama (collar of yellow tail), with hot sake and cold beer.


We featured a different drink on each of our five golf days:  red wine, white wine, margarita, martini and bloody mary.

We saw birds and other sights:


Cinco de Mayo almost always occurs during Kenji's Golf Safari.  Here was my meal on May 5:




My final photo below somewhat epitomizes Pat's Global Adventure.  Nothing particularly exciting happened, but everything worked out well.  I never found time to read these magazines, which went around the world with me.  That FREE INQUIRY?  It has now been around the world twice.  That i-Pad?  15 Craigside gave one to every resident.  I loaded it with five books, and never turned it on once.


Dramel at the bottom?  David Block uses one of these to whittle down his finger and toe nails.  I absolutely hate to cut my toenails.  A doctor comes to 15 Craigside to do this, but what an insult for me to use this service.  Plus, the doctor, from all reports, does a crummy job.  So in addition to all my shirts and a new SONY camera which now communicates to me in English (my previous one only texted Japanese), I hopefully will now not have any pedicure problems.  Return to a posting some day on how this designer tool works.

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