Bubba Around

Day 1

Day 2

Where To Go

Where To Go

                        Bubba hasn’t been on a trip in quite a while.  At least I haven’t helped him write about one in quite a while. 

Time to travel, but I don’t know where.  These little plastic feet are getting itchy.  I need an idea so I turned to my favorite resource…books.  I wanted to look at some great travels Jules Verne wrote a book called “Around the World in 80 Days”.  That sounds like an idea.  I found another one, “Around the World in 18 Days” by H.R. Ekins.  He felt that with modern air flights, one could fly around the world by commercial airliner in just 18 days.  Amazing…in 1936.

When you have to travel, when you have the bug, it doesn’t matter where you go as long as it is someplace “not here”.  I jumped on the first plane out of Sacramento.  It took me to Denver.  Too close.  I jumped on the next place out.  The nice lady steadied me while I read the big letters.

ToToronTo

                      That sounds good.  I’m heading east and this Toronto place is east of Denver so I’m on the flight.

            Arriving in Toronto, I checked into my hotel. 

            While I was here, I thought I would catch a baseball game.  I think the Oakland Athletics are playing some local team.  I put on all my A’s gear and headed to the stadium.  Fans were not so appreciative if my stylin’ green and yellow.  They looked just a little hostile.

                                                          Maybe I’ll go to a hockey game instead.  These guys look pretty friendly.

                                              A new friend but I’m not sure if sitting on his glove would be the best location to view the game.

                                                                                    This place ain’t bad.  Hey look! A big tower to climb.

                                                                              And what is that at the base of the tower?  A Bubba sized train. 

                                                              Trains are good, they take you places, I think I will jump on the eastbound train.

To the East I’ll go for:

Day 3

            Originally, I planned to write this in real time.  That would have required a lot of discipline and drive which pretty much guaranteed I wasn’t going to do it.   This trip did happen and I’ll keep the day count accurate I just won’t promise to publish it even remotely on time.   Like all things Bubba, I’ll get to it when I get to it.

Rome

My thought was to take a train to Rome.  That was the plan at least.  I took a look at the ticket machine and it said something about Firenze and Novella.  My handy on-line translator said that meant Florence’s book so off I went to go see a lady about a book.

Not a Library

I walked around a little, ate at the Mickey D’s de Firenze across from the train station and started to feel like I had been here before.  I rounded a corner and…HEY!  This ain’t Rome!  This is Florence!  I got off at the wrong station!  There are no books here, why did they call it a novella?

THIS AIN’T ROME!  THIS AIN’T ROME!!

Bubba and Italian Popo

I might have said it a little too loud.  These nice Officers guided me back to the train station and helped me get out of town.

Disclaimer:  We don’t photoshop any Bubba pictures but maybe, just maybe, we did this time.

I made it to Rome and hailed a taxi.  He spoke Italian, I spoke English.  I told him I needed a room for the night.  He looked blank.  I said I needed a Hotel.  He took me on a wild ride and pulled up in front of a Hotel with a “No Vacancy” sign.  “No, I need a hotel with a vacancy.”  A wall of stare.  “Vacancy, Vacancy!!”  A smile broke out on his face and we took a wild ride in his taxi.  Drivers in Rome have a particular style.  The windows must be down so as to facilitate communication with other drivers and a minimum of one hand must always be in motion to assist in the communication.  Since one hand is on the wheel (maybe) and one hand is in the air, signaling is not possible although somehow horn honking is possible and mandatory.  I’ve got this Roman driving thing worked out.  Foot firmly on the gas, yell and wave to the other drivers and all right turns must start in the left lane.  Everything stays in motion (including the camera) and everyone ignores the Traffic Policeman performing ballet.

CIMG5261

We arrived at our destination.  I think he may have misunderstood the English word, “vacant” for something else.

CIMG5005

I started to ask these guys for directions but something about their pointy sticks kept me away.

Swiss Sirs

For a tiny country, this place is pretty big.  I either needed directions or a map.  Eventually I found a Bubba sized 3D overview of the place.Vatican Model

Now I can see the sights.

            Bubba is a fun guy but there are times when a “Bubba Selfie” may not be appropriate, even for him. He usually keeps his head down in places of worship, especially the Vatican.   He was able to see some great sights while preserving the solemn nature of the buildings.

Big Guy Tomb

Behind glass

Dome

That was all good but I really didn’t find the one thing I was looking for.  I need that one, enlightening experience that sends my soul to a new level.  I found these two guys who happened to be specialists in exactly what I needed.

Fathers in Training

They provided me with a path to that which I was seeking.

No lie.  These two were great and did give us an enthusiastic recommendation for the next destination.

I made this a place of pilgrimage sometimes twice a day during my time in Rome.

Ummmm Gelato

Don’t mess with my Gelato.

http://gelateriaoldbridge.com/home/en/ice-cream-shop/

Lucca to Rome

     Since Bubba has a bad habit of falling into the sea and washing up elsewhere, we decided it might be best to head inland.  We stopped in the walled city of Lucca.  Inside the walls, the buildings date back centuries and space is at a premium. 

Strolling through Lucca felt like being transported to the time of my Renaissance ancestors.  People like Legoangelo and Legonardo Di Vinyl.  Churches and towers are scattered all over.

Lucca Square

Inside these buildings are some masterful frescoes showing off the art of the age.

St Groucho, St Chico and St Harpo

But, being the being that I am, I wanted to dig deeper into the history of this city.  So I went underground.

UnderChurch

Down below you can see the roots of the buildings.  They didn’t take care of the floor so they just built on top of it.  This piece of floor looks like the place at home where I dropped a pot and cracked the tiles.  Only the tiles here are older, better, and just plain different.

Floor Mosaic

When I’m not going below, I like to go up.  The tower built above us gives a chance to get a good view.  Lots of steps, tiny legs, this may be a trip in itself.

LongWayDown

This tower has been here for centuries so I guess it is safe enough to go up.  I’m sure it is structurally sound.

DIY Tower

That looks up to code to me.  Maybe da Vinci code or the code of throw-more-wood-at-it.

Everything seems to rest on this one beam with a giant nail sticking out of it.  It should be fine as long as … no one makes sudden moves…or kicks the beam…or breathes.

See Cure

Okay, get to the top…nice view… time to leave.

Tower View

 

In a city like this, garden space is at a premium.  You plant where you can.

High Garden

You really have to look up to find a park.  This tower looks like it needs a haircut.Curly Top

More stairs but these look a little safer.

Good Stairs

BAIT AND SWITCH!!

It looks fine until you get to the top.  No turning back now just tippy toe the last few steps.

Shaky End?

Once you do get to the top, it is a view from a forest you will not see elsewhere.

Tree Really Top

Lucca View

Tower View

Going down the stairs is faster than going up.  I get one last look of the forest on the tower from one of the narrow streets below.

Narrows

I think I’ll hop back on the train and shoot south.

On Time Trains

Since I have been on the road for a long time and since I am something of a road dog, I think I will go to where all the roads lead.  Even the railroads.

Rick's Rome

Tucson Arizona

Going East To Go West

            While sitting at the railroad station in Jamestown, waiting for a train that wasn’t coming, I thought I would see if there might be one I could borrow.  I found these two engines just sitting around waiting for someone to take them out for a spin.

            They looked a little too big for me, so I rounded up this instead.  I think I may be able to take on a few passengers and make a buck or two.

            I pulled it out of the barn but the people here make the tracks end in a big pit. 

            Time to exit the pit and git out of town.

            I like this old west thing so I thought I would look for someplace western for my escape.

I came across these four guys.  I didn’t have a gun but maybe the big knife would work.

            Off to the nearest airport and I found out that the Tombstone International Airport had to close.  Something about the name made people reluctant to fly there.  I booked a flight to Tucson instead.

This nice guy helped me find my gate.  Gate 13, sounds like it will be a lucky trip.

            When I arrived, this tall fellow was waving at me.  I “moseyed” on over and he introduced me to his friends.

                                                                              I met a cactus.

                                                                        I met a cactus.

                                                                       I met a cactus.

                                                                   I met a cactus…Ouch!

                                                                     I met a… SNAKE!!

            Rocks, sand, cactus, snakes, and scorpions.  I’m outta here!

            Bubba didn’t give Tucson much of a chance.  I’m sure there were some sights to see and maybe…someday…I can get him to return.  I think he will probably stay in the Southwest and rejoin his Route 66 journey.

Columbian Gold

            Columbia is an old gold mining town.  Its history is that of the Wild West.  Wooden sidewalks, a stagecoach, and gunslingers can be found throughout town.  Gold is why the town boomed and lack of gold is why it went bust.  You can still do a little panning in the area.

            There is something better than gold in Columbia now.  It is more valuable, more important, and much better tasting.  Columbia’s current rush is a sugar rush caused by the best candy anywhere. 

          At Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen, the work is hand done.  A crew of lovely ladies in their calico frocks sits at marble tables, hand rolling chocolate.  At Christmas, candy canes are lovingly pulled on huge stone tables to cool the sugars. 

          At the head of this happy crew of candy makers is Mrs. Nelson who greeted me with her usual smile.

          With all that candy around, I guess I would have a smile too.  Rumor has it that one couple was so in love with the place, they got married here.

          I couldn’t decide which great hand dipped goodies to stock up on.  They all look so good.  This may be better than the treasures I had on my Swiss trip.

          Maybe I should stock up on something for my hikes in the woods.

          I could eat this all day long.  Maybe I’ll start the day with chocolate covered coffee beans.

            After consuming copious amounts of chocolate covered coffee beans I felt an inexplicable burst of energy and decided to stroll over to Jamestown and catch a train at the state park there.

            I waited around for a few minutes and found out the engine was in the shop for repairs.  I thought I would go take a look.

          I found the engine but I couldn’t get it to start.  Maybe if I checked it out under the hood.

          The shop has the latest in high tech tools so I gave fixing the engine a try.

          I found the problem.  No spark plugs.  Instead of fussing with the big engine, I found something closer to the cars I’m used to.  Even I can drive a car you don’t have to steer.

                                                           Where will the rails take me next?