Tucson 2013 – Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show

Tucson 2013 – Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show

  The normally blue skies in Tucson, Arizona, had turned gray by the time we arrived at our first venue of the annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show, a group of tents arranged in a gravelly vacant lot on Oracle Street near downtown. The sign declared everything to be of Moroccan origin and my first thought was, ‘How did they lug all this stuff here from Morocco?’ We are talking rocks, you know. It was later suggested that their wares stay in this country and travel to various shows in the southwest so it’s not like they have to shlep it back and forth from north Africa all the time. We next visited a hotel, the Hotel Tucson City Center, which was entirely taken over by vendors, both inside, and out around the pool. This was a much more...

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North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh

If you’re local to the Raleigh area, you probably read about the opening of the new Nature Research Center addition to the Museum of Natural Sciences in April of 2012. When you drive down Jones Street in downtown Raleigh, you can’t help but notice the three story stainless steel globe attached to the front of the building. I guess it’s more exciting than an acorn, Raleigh’s former most noted icon. This addition, as well as the existing museum to which it was grafted, is an informative way to while away a few hours and some shoe leather. Or shoe rubber, as the case may be. We wandered the main floor of the annex first, naturally, taking in the various vignettes in the open and airy space.   When we first walked in, our eye was caught by...

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Visit to Washington, DC October 2011 – Part Two

Visit to Washington, DC October 2011 – Part Two

Our only full day in the DC area, Saturday, was bright and clear, if a little breezy.  After our included-in-the-price breakfast at the hotel, we took their shuttle to the nearest Metro stop, Shady Grove.  This is the end of the line in Maryland, actually one end of the Red Line.  If you’ve ever ridden the subway in NY or London or Paris or Rome you’re familiar with the color coding these services use.  Maps for the Washington Metro are available here: http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm It’s a reasonably priced ride – our tickets were $3 one way for each of us.  Because Washington is newer, it has the cleanest and roomiest facilities.  We had to change trains at Metro Center and catch the Blue Line to the Smithsonian stop, but all...

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