Mongolia - the trek to UlaanBaatar

Austin picked up me, Dana, and dancers Sarah and Connie at 3:00am and drove us out to Dulles airport. Kona coffee was served in the car - nothing but the best. Top notch service, highly recommended.

This was the start of a 30 hour plus trip to mongolia. We flew 6 hours to San Francisco and then flew 12 hours to Seoul, South Korea, The Seoul airport was the first highlight of the trip. We had a 4 hour layover so we snooped around and found a "Rest and Relax" lounge that served Korean Air customers. For a fee we could sit, eat and drink with free wifi for as long as we wanted. We could also pay a reasonable fee to take a shower, and get a manicure and or a massage. Sarah, Connie, Miyako, and Dana took a shower and got a foot massage. Kelly got a full body massage. It was such a nice break.

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Seoul Airport - cultural center with performances and crafts. Treats at the Rest and Relax center

Fun bathroom sign. We could not resist the shower
Dana and Sara getting a foot massage

When we arrived in Ulaanbaatar we were met by the embassy Cultural Specialist Otgon (I thought she might be Klingon but I was wrong). Otgon organized all the activities and performance venues and she really packed our schedule. She gave us a packet of information and included a box of official embassy chocolates.

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This is where we eat breakfast. Omelettes made-to-order, so-so coffee and great yogurt.


The outside of the hotel looks like a typical soviet era building but the inside is quite lovely. Dancer Sarah Halzack and I are on the 3rd floor probably the second window from the left looking into the sign. The pic on the left is the bar where Dana and I have been blogging every night. (He's getting paid to blog for the Chronicles of Higher Learning) We have enjoyed local beer and wheat vodka

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We are driven around in official State Dept vans

Some food pictures - cappucino with a lovely spoon, mutton dumplings and tongue, a local dark beer (Otgon is in the background)



Joe and I took a trip to the zoo to play with my camera. It was a nice day, not to cold, not too crowded. I was disappointed that I could not get a good shot of the otters but the other animals that did accommadate us with a nice pose made up for it.

Elephants not so up close and personal as Lyla, Tracy and Zita experienced.

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The panda was pretty active

Komodo dragon (my favorite photo)


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The invertebrate house, home of the famous cuttlefish

Dramatic prairie dog

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Flora and fauna as Amazonia

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Near home

iphone art

I heard an item on NPR about a new exhibit of art works created on the iphone by one of my favorite artists David Hockney and was inspired. I downloaded a free version of one of the many image creation/processing apps and have been going to town. It's been fun.

First one that looked halfway decent


I did this at the Charleston airport

Statue in my parents back yard






I call this Yellow Feet

Yellow Feet as seen on Dad's messed up laptop display


Last one in 2010