Thursday, July 27, 2017

Latest Recipe from the Farmers Market.

Bowl with salad.
When I went to the Farmers Market yesterday, one of the cooks from the Lemongrass Restaurant was out demonstrating a dish using many of the fresh produce available from the market.
Te recipe is as follows:
2 cups of shredded zucchini
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 cup of tomato wedges
1/2 cup green beans cut into inch long pieces
1/2 cup shredded radish roots
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
5 fresh garlic cloves
Fresh chili to taste but dried could be used.

Crush chili and garlic.  Add sugar and vegetables to chili and garlic.  Mix together.  Add remaining seasonings and sauces.  Serve with fresh vegetables, cabbage, and green beans.

The salad tasted great and is easy to fix.  Personally, I would make the veggies finer than they did for the demonstration.  They used a little chili pepper in mine because I wanted a little spicy.  I would definitely make this at home. 

Some of the ingrediants

Preparation area

Shredded Zucchini.

 Tomorrow, pictures of Fairbanks, Alaska taken from my moving car.  Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The 10 Rarest Dog Breeds in The World.

Dog, Model, French Bulldog, View  The other day, I decided to look at the most expensive dog breeds in the world and found several different lists, each with a different set of criteria.

One list based its choices on the cost of the breed over its life time.  Certain breeds have health issues which can run up the vet bills or they are predisposed to things like hip problems.

Another list based its choices on the cost of buying a puppy because the breed is rarer.  So I decided to look for the 10 rarest dog breeds in the world out of curiosity.  Yes, I've owned one dog that was registered, a black lab, but most of the time I have owned those mixed breeds you find at the kennel.  The ones filled with personality and make you laugh.

1. Fila Brasileiro or Brazilian Mastiff which acted as a guard and hunting dog in Brazil. It has an aggressive nature with good tracking abilities.  They so not like strangers and are extremely protective of their owners.

2. The New Guinea Singing Dog started out wild in New Guinea but many tribe members began domesticating them.  Originally, they were used both as hunters and as companions to the children. They received their name because their vocalizing sounds as if they are singing.

3. Stabyhoun comes from the Netherlands where they protected property, caught vermin, acted as a pointer, and hunted. They are most often used as water retrievers because they can stand the cold winters of this country.

4. The Mudi is a Hungarian herding dog bred for both work and show.

5. The Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian breed from the sub-region Romagna. Although they were originally bred as water retrievers, they are used to hunt for truffles. These are currently considered good family dogs.

6. Azawahk is a rare African sighthound. It is a tall, slender dog bred as a runner and hunter.  They have been known to keep up with gazelles running 40 mph. These dogs are independent and quite rugged.

7. The Thai Ridgeback originated in Thailand and sports a ridge of hair along its spine that grows in the opposite direction. Thai Ridgebacks have a reputation as a proficient escape artist.

8. The Czechoslovakian wolf dog came from German shepherds being crossbred with Carpathian Wolves by the Czech military looking for a better military dog. The breed for recognized in 1982 and is the official dog of Slovakia.  They can adapt to living with families.

9. The Norwegian Lundehund is a Spitz developed in Norway to hunt Puffins and their eggs. These dogs have 6 toes on their feet instead of the usual four. In addition, they have flexible joints which make it easier for them to cross the Arctic Tundra where it hunts.

10. The Kooikerhondje are Dutch spaniels who were bred to hunt waterfowls.  This breed faced extinction after World War II but were brought back due to enthusiasts.  In fact, this dog is a good family dog.

Tomorrow, I hope to have some pictures taken from around Fairbanks.  I am taking off to Los Angeles for a weekend visit so I can both attend and teach at a costumers event.  I plan to take and post pictures each day so you can see some of the wonderful costumes people create.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Golden Days Parade part 2

 This wonderful paddle wheeler float was put together by the pioneers of Alaska.  Every year, they have a float filled with people who belong to this group.

Further back is Everett's airplane float.  Its a small airplane put on wheels to remind people  they haul freight to bush communities and have for many long years.

Alaska is served by a bunch of small airlines.  A few carry cargo only but others carry both passenger and freight.  Very few carry only passengers.
 This is the portable jail which is a fund raiser for the chamber of commerce in Fairbanks.  You can buy tickets to have people put in or you can pay to stay out.  They earn money both ways.

Usually, you see this jail being hauled around town at this time of year since Golden Days is a week long celebration so the chamber of commerce takes advantage of it.

During the parade, there are saloon girls and lawmen riding in it, on it, or walking around it.  I do not believe it comes out again till next July.
 Several of the local community service groups such as the Blood Bank of Alaska come out to remind people they are here.  In addition to the blood bank, the Mammogram center and one of the pregnancy centers also had floats scattered through the parade.

I try to donate blood when I can.  The last time I tried, I was in phoenix and I could not because the temperature got to hot for the mobile unit to handle it.  They had to close down.
 Even local businesses have floats. This one advertises some sort of amusement place with rides and other entertainments.  I saw this head off and it was cool because several young ladies encased in bags of cotton candy walked the route passing out candy.

I believe this dragon  ride is one of the rides offered at the place.  This is a good reminder of a home grown place because the fair starts in another week or so and there will be tons of rides there to compete.

I don't know who this car represents but it reminded me of Back to the Future movie.  In the back window, I saw the sticker "Back to Alaska".

Sometimes individuals enter just because they want to and of course local politicians enter, especially if it is an election year.  I saw one politician but he's getting a huge head start for next year.

This year, they changed the regulations just a bit for minors.  Anyone under the age of 18 had to have a form signed by only one parent instead of two.

This is the float, I played on.  I play with the Fairbanks Community Band during the summer when I'm in town.  Its an all volunteer group and you do not have to be fantastic to join.  You just have to love music and enjoy yourself.

The band had about 40 musicians spread around the flatbed with the drums in the center, facing the director.

As we approached the beginning hour of 10 am, we began to tune up and practice one last tune.  When we finished, two other groups began to warm up.
 To the left there was Shag, a musical singing group, belting out "I will Survive" while the bagpipe group on the right played "Rising on the Moon". 

It was interesting listening to the two numbers competing with each other.  The guy who sits next to me leaned over and said "I will survive the rising of the moon."

In this picture you can see what I saw as I stood in front of my seat to take a picture.  Our float was #24 in the line up so we'd get done sooner.

To the front, one sees the trumpets, saxophones, the director, drums, then off to the flutes, clarinets, and other light woodwinds.  I play with the french horns.

This picture was taken looking back at the trombones, tubas, and other brass instruments.  Usually the low brass including french horns are on the other end so we normally face forward but this time we faced the rear.

It was a strange feeling watching everything move the wrong direction.  The weather was great, with little wind so no one froze.  It wasn't too hot either.  It was just right.

I realize that was a take off on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. 

I hope you enjoyed the few pictures.  Tomorrow I am on to something else.  I'm hitting the road again, heading to Woodland Hills for a few days so I hope to take pictures down there and share some of the cool events with everyone. 

Let me know what you think.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Golden Days Parade 2017 part 1.

 All of these pictures were taken around 9:00 am in the staging area behind Carlson Center.  The city is good at organizing it including setting up about 20 port a potties for people to use as needed.

They arranged for a shuttle to run from one of the local middle schools to the starting point and then from the ending point back to the school.  This way it relieves parking issues at the start.

I took advantage of the offer because it can be such a mess, especially since they will not take us back to the starting point.
 The army provided one of its armed tanks at the beginning of the parade.  Sorry about the finger print but I was shooting into the sun and couldn't see anything.  A lady I know told me her husband had to drive a army truck in a parade once and he found it more nerve wracking than being in Iraq because of the people sitting so close to the road and the children who like to run out.

In the outer staging area I found some wonderful old cars.  I have no idea about when they were made or when they came to Alaska but they were driven here.
 I love this "cute" little car.  It does run along with all these other cars because they had to be driven in.  This vehicle was driven by an older lady in her turn or the century garb.

Golden days refers to the finding of gold by Felix Pedro back in the early 1900's.  Within two years of gold being discovered, Fairbanks was a complete city with power plant, stores, movie theaters, etc.

There was a fire around 1906 but citizens rebuilt the city shortly after and business was as usual by then.
The Golden Days Parade brings out all sorts of groups from the Fairbanks Tennis Association to the Blood Bank to the Churches who all want to be represented and make an appearance.

This is a huge deal.  This year they had to shorten the route because of construction on Nobel street so it finished a few blocks closer to the starting.  

The photo to the right was taken in the other area so you can see the huge assembly area.
 These two vehicles are from HooDoo Brewery which makes a local artisan beer.  They are well known around here.  Several food trucks park by the brewery to sell their food.

For the parade, the workers decked out in traditional German folk costumes.  The music systems blasted out German drinking songs.  I believe the trucks are actually of German manufacture. 
The University of Fairbanks entered their missile float representing their launching facility at Poker Flats.  Poker Flats offers tours in the summer because they cannot launch at this time of the year.

This one is similar to the one posted out front of the facility at the main road so you can see where to turn but its much smaller.  This float was further back in the line up.

Since I was in the parade, it was the only chance I had to check out other entries.  
 This "moose" is famous in the area as being part of the Knotty Shop out in Salcha. Most years it sports some sort of public service message. 

This year, it has a life vest and is promoting water safety.  The school where I work takes kids out by boat to camp for a few days.  Everyone must wear a life vest or they cannot go.

One year, the moose was covered in silver to advertise something.
 The last photo of today is taken of the police officer.  You can see his motorcycle to the right hand side.  In the back you see one of several fire engines.

There are even police stationed along the parade route with candy to share.  Little ones love collecting candy and the police are not the only ones who pass out candy.

Tomorrow, I'll share a few more photos including some of the Fairbanks Community Band which I played with. 

It was such a beautiful day.  Until tomorrow.  Have a good day and enjoy yourselves.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beautiful birds.

I love the majesty of Peacocks.  I do not have the words to describe their beauty.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I am off to play with the community band on their float in the Golden Days Parade.  Pictures on Monday.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Plantains, Bananas, Fruits, Food   It was interesting to find Plantains served in some manner with most traditional meals.  If you ate at the hotel, plantains were not offered much but if you went out of the hotel to say a local cafe, then you would find plantain as part of the meal.

Plantains are similar to bananas but they tend to be more starchy and less soft unless they are fully ripe with the skin having lots of black.

The conference arranged for some snacks one evening at a social event.  They had fried plantains, plantains with meat, and other such delicacies.  I really enjoyed them because they were not super sweet and they had more substance to them than regular bananas.

Since returning, I've purchased a few plantains from my local store (they are between the bananas and organic bananas).  I've gotten a few green ones but I've also picked up a few with yellow skins but not yellow with black patches.

Fortunately, I could check the internet for recipes so I didn't have to struggle to guess at the ways I could prepare it.  I found a lovely recipe for mashed plantains but the author stated it required green plantains.  I finally bought some today but I haven't had a chance to try them.  I noticed that fried plantain chips are made from green plantains.

The two things I have tried with plantains turned out to be really really good.

First, I peeled a couple of plantains,  rubbed them with butter, then baked at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 min till they were golden brown.  I pulled the pan from the oven, slit the plantains open, placed slices of cheese in the slits, then baked them for another 15 min or till the cheese is nicely melted.  This recipe used ripe plantains.

Second, I peeled two ripe plantains, rubbed them with butter, then baked them at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 min till golden brown.  I pulled the pan from the oven, slit the plantains open, then sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon into the slit before returning it to the over to bake for another 15 min or so.  I let them cool just enough to handle and then devoured them.

At one of the cafe's I had this great dish with vegetables cooked in a garlic sauce served over mashed plantains.  That is on my menu for tomorrow night.  I can hardly wait to enjoy it.

Let me know how you fix your plantains as I am always open to new recipes.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Star Trek Is Now.

Star, Trek, Enterprise, Original  Star Trek premiered in 1966.  It made history with its first interracial kiss but it came up with technology that exists now but did not when it premiered.

I went to a talk in Puerto Rico where several people talked about what things have come true since then.

1.  The hand held communicator used by Kirk and the others.  They would flip it open and talk to others or to the ship.  It is recognized as the flip cell phones used by many people before the smart phones became prevalent.

2. The ear piece used by Ohura, the communications officer.  She wore it in her ear all the time and could communicate with others.  You see it all the time now as people wear blue tooth earphones so they can talk to others.

3.  Remember the portable computer systems used by people on the show.  They used little tablets to help carry out their duties.  Today, you see everyone with them.  I own two.  They are called iPads or other tablets.  Most people own at least one.

4.  The flat screened computer monitor used by the captain to chat with others face to face is alive in today's world.  We know it as Skype or face time.  Ways we can talk to anyone across the world while enjoying seeing them. Did you know there is something called Mystery Skype where students talk to a person using Skype and only using yes or no questions, they try to figure out where the person is they are chatting with.

5.  Do you remember watching one of the people using the computer navigation system to get to various places?  Now most people use a GPS to find there way.  I do not use them and hate them with a purple passion because they do not always know the one way turns. 

6.  Although Phasors could either kill or stun a person, the away team more often used them to stun the opposition.  Well now, police use tasers to stun people who are resisting.  I do know a few who keep one handy to protect themselves.

7.  Remember the tri-corder used by the Doctor to determine people's illness? Doctors are using similar devices to help them diagnose people's illnesses.  The last time I went to the doctor's office, they ran something over my forehead and it recorded my temperature.  It was fun.

8. At various points, they used universal translators so everyone on the show spoke in English.  It made it possible for everyone to communicate.  There are apps which can translate from one language to another in real time.  Much like the translators do at the United Nations. 

9.  They never had doors with handles aboard the Enterprise.  Instead the doors automatically slid open just like the doors do at hotels and stores. 

10.  I don't know if you remember the Star Trek movie where they park the enterprise in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Park because they had to bring a whale back to the future.  Scotty has to arrange for  transparent aluminum to be discovered so it can be manufactured to hold the whale in water.  The military uses something similar as armor.

11.  The transporter provided a way for people to get from the ship down to the planet without using smaller ships.  A university in the Netherlands managed to move a few particles of mass a distance.  Maybe someday we'll have transporters ourselves.

12. The computer provided voice interface so the computer interacted with all staff members.  Now we find it in Alexia and other voice recognition software used by machines which interact with humans.

Imagine, at least one dozen items dreamed up over the course of the series and the movies which have come into common use by the general population.  I think that is so cool.  I'd love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Additions To Sea-Tac Airport.

 I have a habit of wandering around airports to explore and let go of my extra energy.  One thing about the Sea-Tac Airport is it has been changing and expanding over the past year. 

Some of these may have been there for a while without being notice by me but others are defiantly new or in the process of being built.

Coach is a name brand bag place.  Its at the corner of the C concourse as you head towards the center.  
 Just around the corner, next to Coach is a Mac make up store.  I recognize the brand because friends of mine use the brand.  In addition, I knew a couple of makeup artists who have talked about this brand too.

When I snapped the picture one of the clerks was doing a makeover on a woman while others looked around.  Its a nice clean store with minimal decoration.
 This is a play ground for little kids below a certain height.  The parents must stay in the room with the kids but this is great because it provides a place for the little ones to get rid of their energy. 

It was filled with both parents and kids.  This was not here, the last time I wondered down this way.  I can also tell you that the pet rest area is still there and has not been moved so people can still walk their dogs.

This is the sign found in front of the play area.  Note the first thing it says.  If the child is taller than the red line at the top, they cannot go in an play. 

Parents are expected to watch them.  This activity was not there the last time I walked down to the A concourse.  I think it may have been under construction when I wandered that way.
 This is another new business in the A concourse.  The African Lounge which has hanging zebra light shades over small tables near the bar.  It reminds me of something you'd find at Disneyland or at a pseudo African bar.

It was fun to check out.  It has a seating area to the left of the bar.  The bar is hidden in the right corner of the establishment.
 This is a nice picture of the lights and tables in the African Lounge with the bar off in the corner next to the television screen to the right.

The yellow lights make the bar a bit dimmer than it might otherwise appear but some people prefer the darker rooms if its a bar.

If you go past the lounge, you'll find the currency exchange place on the way to the S terminal.  I've never been to the S terminal.  I might explore it one day when I have more time.
 The final stop is the Floret restaurant advertising vegetarian fare.  You can get something to eat if you are vegetarian at other restaurants but it is the first one I've seen dedicated to serving only vegetarian food.

It is not open yet but hopefully it will be open when I come through again in August. I can hardly wait to try it.  If I'm lucky, they will offer those wonderful bowls that are now all the rage.

This picture is off the wall blocking off the new restaurant and its at the beginning of the A concourse.  Not to far a walk unless you land in the N terminal.

I hope you enjoyed that quick tour of some of the new things at Sea Tac Airport.  Let me know what you think and tomorrow I'll be looking at those wonderful inventions you saw in Star Trek but are now real.  Have a good day.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Art At The Airport.

 This column is being written while I wait for my connecting flight in the Sea-Tac airport.  It is obvious that changes have been made since I last got enough time to wander around so I discovered so many new things.

This column is going to focus on the columns I found in the A terminal on the way to gate A-5.  Each of the columns is a different picture created out of tiles no more than 1/2 inch by 1/2inch.  The whole column is tiled completely to the top.

This one has the feel of Chinese dragons and is so cool.
 This one reminds me of a village with paths and such.  Both the one above and this one are near what looks like a small security station but I do not know if its still in use.  As you can see, there is a ring of metal around the bottom but the story runs from that point up.

On the other side, behind me, are a bunch of Delta gates and food.  I do not remember this beautiful art work the last time I was there.

If you notice at the very edge of the picture, you'll find a wonderful picture of the Mona Lisa as its projected on a screen.
 I am not sure what this represents but it has a feel of aboriginal to me with all the spirals and colors.  The smile sign just behind it had the Mona Lisa pictured earlier.

I did not notice any signs giving any information on what this artwork represents.  The artwork is fantastic, especially if you realize these pictures are created out of different colored tiles with a bit of grout inbetween.

The artist who created these is quite talented.  I wonder if he or she had to place the pictures on graph paper first so they'd know exactly where each tile went. 

At a distance you do not see the small breaks between tiles. In order to see the whole picture, you have to walk around the whole column, otherwise you get just a part of it.
On the side of this column, there is a sign which welcomes you to Washington State.  There are trees reaching for the sky against a white background.  The trees are done in shades of black and gray.  Almost like a pencil sketch.

This column lies between the two bathrooms as you head down towards the currency exchange.  Look at it carefully and you can almost see the individual branches at the top.

The tile gives the trunk a realistic texture, one associated with regular trees.  It looks like there is a puppy exploring the ground between the sign and the walkway. 

This one makes me want to touch the puppy to see if its real.
 I am not sure what this one is.  Its more abstract but it reminds me of either a river bed with strands of different type of rocks stretched out or the handle of a pen made of certain types of exotic woods.

What ever it represents, I love the pattern created because it makes the whole column look so much taller and more slender.

I don't think many people take time to look at the artwork spread on these columns.  I watched people striding down the way without slowing down to look at these magnificent pieces.

I adore them. 
This is a close up, giving you a look at how the tiles are put together.  This is from the column with the oriental dragons.

Look at how detailed it is all done.  The different sized tiles are put together to create the pictures.  Each is beautifully done.

This picture of the doe is on the first column.  Notice the beautiful color and detail.  So beautiful. Yes, I know they are not blue but I still love the way the artist makes it seem almost alive.

Tomorrow, you will get part two, showing some of the new places built at the Sea Tac airport over the past year.  I hope you enjoyed the beautiful artwork I shared today.  Let me know what you think.

Monday, July 17, 2017

San Juan, Puerto Rico Airport.

 I took a bunch of pictures of the San Juan airport as I left because I was too tired when I arrived.  I just wanted to get to my hotel so I could sleep.

This picture is taken looking back at security at the airport.  It wasn't a bad time to go through and I got through rather quickly.  I always arrive a few hours early so I can take my time and don't have to rush. 

I have been in the security line when someone rushed through and they had to shut everything down for 30 to 45 min.  I still had a lot of time when I finally got through.
 When you finish with security you end up in this huge shopping area filled with chocolate, liquor, and other luxury items.  As you can see, this area carries brand names of alcohol.  I didn't compare prices on the liquor because I have no idea normal prices but I checked out the chocolates and they seemed a bit high.

I don't think one has to worry about duty because Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.  I do know, most items sold there are in metric not in standard so the chocolate was in smaller packages.

In addition to alcohol and chocolate, you'll find cigarettes, toys and just about anything else you can think of.  For the impulsive shopper, it is heaven.  I am not an impulsive buyer for any of these things. 

The way this was put together, it was like going through a Mideastern souk filled with small shops, each with something designed to entice humans to buy.  I do not like making my way through a sea of humanity.

As you head away from security and the souk, you don't have to go far before you run into another shop filled with more items to entice the tourist. 

It felt as if there was a small shop "El Market" to pick up that last minute item.  I stumbled across a Starbucks which had the normal menu but the sizes are smaller.  Their largest size was 500 ml which is a bit smaller than the usual 20 ounce size.

The Starbucks enticed me but not any of the stores.

In addition, slot machines were sprinkled between gates at the airport.  As you come off the planes, the first thing you see are the slot machines and of course they are the last thing you see as you leave.

The machines remind me of the airport in Reno, Nevada which also has them available for people who want to gamble.

In a sense, the airport is much more enticing than many other airports I have traveled through.  I have seen quite a few airports this summer and still have the Seattle, Burbank, Dulles, and a couple other airports to go.  I'll let you know if any of the art work has changed at the Seattle Airport as I'll be going through that in the next couple of days.

I hope you have a good day.  Let me know what you think.

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Sister.

sorry about not posting yesterday but I am visiting my family and every time I sat down to work, someone visited or called.  One call I did not mind because it was from my sister.  My sister is battling her second type of cancer so I was thrilled to hear from her.

Several years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She went through the standard treatments and after a while, to all appearances, she beat it and went into remission. 

Time passes and one day her back started hurting so badly she went to the doctors only to find out she had cancer in her lower spine.  The cancer was in the bone and had weakened her spine so in essence, she had broken her back.

She immediately started treatment to fight it.  It has not been an easy fight, nor has it been fun but throughout the whole thing she has had a good sense of humor and been extremely optimistic.  During her bout with breast cancer, she managed to work through all the treatment but for this one, her company let her go and she is on disability.

In so many ways it is so much easier not working because she can concentrate on her health and her recovery.  She has also been lucky to have great doctors who got her into one program or another.  As of yesterday, she said her markers have drastically dropped and there is a possibility that in two months, she will be in remission.

The breast cancer wasn't bad but this second bout has been so much harder because she's had to fight it trying to spread to the brain, to her liver, and to other parts of her body. She is determined to beat it so she has not ever given up. 

Every time I spoke to her, she'd make comments like "If this doesn't work, there are 598 other treatments left." or "You know, this one is coming along but I heard there is a new one that is a real possibility if this doesn't work."  Throughout it all, she is so positive about overcoming and conquering the invader.

When ever I visit Hawaii, I try to buy her some treats since she can't travel there right now.  We spent some of our childhood there and have fond memories.  I've even had carried a dozen malasadas home so she could enjoy them.  This time, I have flavored macadamia nuts and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.  I didn't come straight here.

Once she beats this, I'm hoping to convince her to come spend a week with me in Hawaii.  I plan to treat her to first class for the trip over and back, pay for a room for the two of us so we can have fun and enjoy some time just soaking up the sun. 

I'll let you know if that comes to pass.  I hope everyone has a good day and a great weekend.  Let me now what you think.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

View From My Hotel.

 They put me up on the 10th floor of the Sheraton Hotel and Casino.  This is a picture of local Convention center.  The conference I came for was not big enough to use the convention center, instead everything was held in the hotel.  The hotel has great facilities and were awesome.

 Now, on each side of the convention center lie banks of solar panels.  My taxi driver stated that Puerto Rico produces all its energy either through solar or wind.   I saw a few wind mills but not many in San Juan.
 Just down the way are the docks where cruise ships tie up so visitors can debark and explore San Juan. The cruise ships are huge. This one had a balloon, water slide, and had quite a few levels.  I don't think I've ever seen a ship as large as this one. 

The Sizzler and Olive Garden lie between my hotel and this dock.  It left a couple of days later, only to be replaced by a smaller ship. 
 From my hotel, I'm able to see two different views of the ocean surrounding the island.  One is off, past the dock area where they unload regular ships.  Everything has to be shipped in if it cannot be grown locally.

It was interesting to see mile posts in kilometers but speed limits in miles per hour.  In addition, the traffic lights are sometimes out of sink with each other and with the crossing signals.

This is a shot from the end of the hotel, looking towards some of the other hotels in the area.  There are one or two tree lined avenues in the area weaving through the hotels.

I love seeing the ocean from just about anywhere on the 10th floor.  There are windows by the elevator and at each end of the hotel so you get a good view of everything around the hotel.
 If you look carefully, you can see one of the avenues in the area.  It curves through and around the hotel buildings. There is a definite disconnect between the hotel part and the part where everyone else lives.

On the other hand, everyone here at the hotel is so friendly and willing to answer any questions I had.  It appeared the hotel workers parked in a grass area across the street from the hotel itself.

I took a few pictures of the fourth floor where the pools reside.  The red building you see hosts the bar where you can purchase drinks.  It was extremely hot and humid so a person needs liquids to keep from getting dehydrated.  There is seating in the covered area

The paved walkway runs from the door, past the bar, and over to the pool where lots of people enjoyed the afternoon.  

The interesting thing about this pool, is the fact it sits by the edge of the building but is not very deep so people can stand or ease their way around.   It is possible to lean against the side and look over the side of the building.
The area of the pool closest to the where I'm standing is a very shallow place.  One could easily sit there.

Behind me are rows and rows of chairs to relax and sunbath.  A few of the chairs are in the shade but most are located directly in the sun.

Over all, I enjoyed the conference, the hotel, and the food here in Puerto Rico.  As stated earlier, I want to come back so I can explore old town and see a bit of history.  There is at least one castle in that area and I've been told one has to see it.

Let me know what you think.  I'll be writing about some of the things I learned at the conference.  Have a good day and let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear from you.