What’s the deal?

Have you ever seen one of these signs? I’ve noticed them for a few years, but only stopped to ponder them a few days ago.

The signs are always at intersections, where stopped drivers might notice them. They seem to always be specifically about queen-sized pillow top mattresses. They appear to always be written in black Sharpie on a white sign.

I’m sure this is some sort of scam. I’ve always assumed the mattresses were stolen, but it occurred to me that it could be something else entirely.

What do you think? Even better, what do you know?

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Expectations vs. reality

A narrow street in Venice.

I was talking about travel with a friend this weekend and we got onto the topic of places that were not what we were expecting. This could mean that a place utterly exceeded our expectations or, more often, failed to meet those expectations.

For me, Paris, while lovely, was not what I thought it would be. I had no idea it would be so loud. Like, New York loud.

Also, I find Paris to be architecturally dull. It’s beautiful, but Haussman’s massive renovation resulted in a sameness that causes most intersections to blend in with the others and makes it more challenging to navigate. (Even more so when you factor in all the six- and eight-point intersections and the way the streets change names every few blocks.)

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Spring Break 2014: Climb every mountain

Oh hey there. Sorry about the sudden absence from blogging. I’ll explain it at the end of this post. In the meantime, I’ll pick up where I left off.

On Monday, we spent the day at Hawaii Volcanoes N.P. Before I continue the story, I need to explain Big Island geography. The island was formed from five different volcanoes that ended up overlapping and joining to create the land mass. There’s really not a lot of flat land, as most of the island is just a whole lot of vertical.

My expectation before we went to the Big Island was that it would be easy to see each volcano — I assumed that they are like the mountains here in Virginia or the Alps, in that they are visible from afar and just part of the backdrop of everyday life.

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Spring Break 2014: Volcanoes

One of the things we were most looking forward to on this trip was exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. And today was that day.

KÄ«lauea was one of our first stops in the park. This is the caldera, with Halema’uma’u Crater just a’smokin and a’steamin away.

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Spring Break 2014: Falls

One of the many massive banyan trees we've seen in Hawaii.

After Saturday’s long drive, we were ready for a more relaxing day today, so we postponed our plans to go to Volcanoes National Park and instead explored some local waterfalls.

The northeastern part of the Big Island is very wet and there are numerous rivers that come down the slopes of the volcanoes and drain into the sea. This means, there are lots of waterfalls to see.

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