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A Trip to the Beach that Made Me Feel Weird

I am the first to recognize that spending time at the beach and in the water is a version of therapy for Amanda.  So, with that in mind, I finally agreed to spend the morning at the beach. I knew she needed the time in her favorite refuge so it was hard to say no. We got there early and headed to the umbrella stand we like and found some chairs. Amanda went down to the water for a soak and I only ventured to about ankle deep. The hours past and the beach started to fill in and it finally dawned on me as to why the whole time we had been there I’d felt weird. No-masks. We may have walked from the car to our beach chairs with our masks on we took them off when we sat down and in the went in the water. I leave the house for work and spend the better part of the day wearing a face mask.  It felt weird to be out side of my car or the apartment with out one. The number of people also began to weird me out, the number of people who seemed to be acting like there was no public health crisis was unnerving.  The last six months have conditioned me on what to expect when leaving my home and being at the beach was a departure from that. I can’t even remember seeing people walking up and down the main drag of Clearwater Beach and not wearing masks. I honestly felt like we were on another planet.

I know Amanda will be disappointed by this but it will probably be until after Christmas before we return to the beach again due to the health crisis.

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Hitting a Wall

I honestly don’t know what to write about. The world we live in makes me want to travel more than ever to get away from, well, everything. The problem is we can’t run away. The world won’t let us. I can’t express how frustrating that is to me.  I know that it’s got to be frustrating to many of our readers as well. I’m struggling to find topics to tell you about. The full-time teaching job has had me exceptionally busy and exhausted. I need a break and Amanda desperately needs one as well.  The psychological toll this is taking on us is pretty rough. I know there are people that are having a rougher time of it than we are. We are both working and comfortable.

I’m only putting this rambling out there in a desperate attempt not to break our streak of publication weeks.

I sincerely apologize for not having more interesting things to say.

-Zeke

 

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Taking a Unique Tour of the World Online

Intrepid Adventures is known for giving you authentic looks at places by connecting you with real locals and local experiences while traveling. The world of travel for many of us has gotten a lot smaller, like a trip to the grocery store is a great adventure smaller, since the COVID-19 pandemic.  Intrepid acknowledges that but still wants to stay true to their mission of helping you explore the world, even if that exploration is now done from the comfort of your own kitchen or couch.

Intrepid now offers Urban Adventure at Home Online Experiences lets you log-on to live virtual experiences featuring their expert guides that will take you on tours of their cities and even cooking classes. We only have seven experiences to choose from at the moment in places like Poland, Russia, Mexico, and India but they hope to expand their selection soon.

Walks a tour company that runs Walks of Florence that has expanded to many other international destinations and we recommend wholeheartedly has also gotten in the virtual tour market place.  The company now offers everything from walking tours, to museum visits, to cooking lessons from many of the great cities of Europe. The tours they offer do run on a schedule so you need to make sure you’re available for the time the tour or lesson starts to get the most out of it, even if it is happening online.

I think you should check these tours out we are really considering one of these Italian tours from walks as an anniversary gift for each other in a couple of weeks.


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Godzilla!

The king of monsters has his own museum and they’re building a zip-line that lets you go right down his gullet.  I’ll say upfront before you get too excited that the zipline isn’t up and running…yet. The open museum has 80 monster figures, movie props, models, posters, and other memorabilia in Toho’s collection. You will be able to see up close massive dioramas of Godzilla, MechaGodzilla, and Mothra. Toho Studios is the company that brought us Godzilla back in 1954 and has been a big part behind the 32 building stomping rampages.   The new museum is located on Awaji Island an island just southwest of Osaka. The island museum is the first permanent museum devoted to the radioactive god lizard. The museum isn’t just a “look at stuff” place either. The museum experiences giving you the feeling that you are visiting the Godzilla research center.

I had to put off my trip to Japan a few times now but know that visiting this site to worship my favorite king of monsters.  The following is the “Story” behind the Godzilla Research institute.

“Godzilla Interception Operation” Story

The legendary appearance of Godzilla was first confirmed at the beginning of the Meiji era when a typhoon hit Awaji Island. Godzilla, who appeared with the high waves, overrun the island, causing tremendous damage, and the government was preparing for another attack on Godzilla.

Then, what he feared became a reality, and Godzilla landed again on Awaji Island. The government immediately responded. When Godzilla was guided to Nizigen Nomori, the movement of Godzilla was blocked by an explosive placed underground, and a missile with a drug loaded into its mouth was shot, Godzilla stopped its activity.

Currently, it is under the supervision of the National Godzilla Awaji Island Research Center, but Godzilla has just stopped its activity, and it is unknown when it will start. We need your help to monitor that action.

“Yes, I don’t know what they are saying either. But, it looks to be about Godzilla”

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Making it Safer for Holiday Travel

Courtesy: Delta Airlines

Delta airlines said its extending one of the key health and safety protocols by not only blocking the middle seat but limiting the number of customers per flight through January 6th. You also may still be feeling skittish about flying that’s why Delta has decided that continue to let you have the flexibility to change your flight by continuing their no change fee policy.  The airline has decided to continue to follow enhanced safety and sanitary procedures after following the science.

“Medical experts, including our own partners at Emory Healthcare, agree – more distance onboard makes a difference,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We believe that taking care of our customers and employees and restoring confidence in the safety of air travel is more important right now than filling up every seat on a plane. We’ll continue taking a thoughtful, layered approach ensuring customers know to expect the highest standard of care as they prepare for their holiday travels.”

Through Jan. 6, 2021, Delta will block the selection of middle seats in Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin via the Fly Delta app or online.

  • For customers in parties of 1-2: Middle seats will be blocked for safety.
  • For customers in parties of 3 or more: Middle seats will appear as available for booking, to allow families and travel companions to select seats together.

They are also continuing to ensure our flights are not filled to capacity. For travel through at least Oct. 31, customers can expect that Delta will:

  • Limit the number of customers on board all aircraft – with or without middle seats.
  • Limit the First Class cabin to half capacity to further ensure more space between customers.*
  • Block one aisle of seats on aircraft without middle seats.

On routes where planes begin to fill they will continue to look for opportunities to upsize to a larger aircraft type or add more flights.

The Delta One cabin on widebody aircraft, which is designed with more space and privacy built-in, will be offered at full capacity effective Oct. 1.

Customers can review their seat selections any time prior to departure in My Trips on delta.com or in the Fly Delta app for greater reassurance about space on board.

Wearing Your Mask

Delta. puts it very plainly, “Medical research tells us that wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to reduce the COVID-19 infection rate. For everyone’s safety, customers should expect to continue wearing masks or face coverings throughout the airport, in Delta Sky Clubs and onboard the aircraft through the winter holiday travel season and beyond.”

We at No Kids applaud Delta for the many instances where they have refused to board non-compliant passengers so they can safeguard the health and safety of their customers.

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Mark Paarman an his Example of a Life Well Lived

I along with a lot of other members of the sailing community was introduced to Mark Paarman the surfing/sailing skipper of the vessel Millennium through the Gone with the Wynns youtube channel.  I feel that getting his story out there is important and that the travel and wanderlust community can help.  Mark knows how to live each day, help us find a way for him to continue to show us how to live a life of no regrets and following your dreams. I really think everyone who dreams of sailing off and seeing the world should watch this interview with this South African surfer.  We’ve added the link to his story as told by Nikki and Jason Wynn. 
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Aerial Look at Paradise

I will admit it. I am swamped and close to brain dead. The school year has started for teachers in my county and we’ve been pulled in so many directions it painful. I just want to retreat to a place that makes me happy. I give you this amazing video from the Smithsonian Channel of some of our favorite places. I hope to regain some brainpower next week.

Stay Safe and Keep Dreaming

Zeke

Aerial America: Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands

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If you got to go…

We know that airline travel at the moment isn’t recommended for most of us unless the need to travel by air is truly important, like business or life and death -not a vacation. We came across a great list published by The Points Guy. The Points Guy, if you don’t follow him, is a travel website and blog that produces news stories on travel with a focus on using airline and credit card points. The website did a serious survey of multiple airlines investigating the methods of cleaning and other new policies dealing with COVID-19.  A key part of the survey was checking on how aggressively they enforce things like mask-wearing.  We saw a series of tweets the other day about a person being kicked off a Delta flight for failing to comply with the requirement of wearing a mask. The top three in the survey were 1. Delta, 2. Alaska, and 3. Jetblue all coincidently also found in at the top of most customer surveys. I’m not going to just rewrite their article so here is the link for the full details on the best and worst airlines to fly in the time of COVID-19.

Best US airlines of 2020: Who’s doing it right in the COVID era

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U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS LAUNCHES ONLINE PORTAL TO PRESCREEN ALL TRAVELERS

Travel portal launched to combat COVID-19 spread in the Territory and keep residents and visitors safe.
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism announced the launch of phase one of a new online portal that will prescreen and assist with the certification process of all travelers prior to their arrival in the Territory to aid in the prevention in the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Screening Portal facilitates pre-arrival processing in the hopes of reducing delays and making the travel experience better for those wishing to enter the territory. The portal will among other things use artificial intelligence to automate the processing of lab results wishing to enter from highly impacted states. A highly impacted state is considered as having a COVID-19 positivity rate greater than 10 percent.
The portal will greet travelers and guide them through, general information, terms and conditions, and the COVID-19 Travel Screen Tool. The travelers upload their results and that information is processed in 24-48 hours and a certification code is then issued. The Virgin Islands Port Authority and assisting agencies such as the Departemnt of Health will then process the traveler on arrival- including temperature checked with a thermal scanner.
“Our team has been working tirelessly to adapt to a rapidly changing operational environment in this ‘Open Doors’ phase of the pandemic,” said Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte, “and we continue to update our practices and procedures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.”
Any traveler aged 15 and older whose home state (state of residence) has a COVID-19 positivity rate greater than 10 percent will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 antigen (molecular/PCR/rapid) test result received within five days prior to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands or a positive COVID-19 antibody test result received within four months of travel to the Territory. Currently, residents of Puerto Rico are also subject to this requirement.
COVID-19 test results are also required from travelers, 15 years old and older, who have spent more than seven days in and are traveling from a state with a positivity rate greater than 10 percent. The positivity rates used are according to data and analysis from Johns Hopkins University: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/tracker/overview.
The secure portal, a result of the coordinated efforts of the Office of the Governor, the Virgin Islands Department of Health, the Virgin Islands Port Authority, the Ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Department of Tourism can be found at www.usviupdate.com/travelportal.
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How to know where to go?

I had a conversation with my brother and we were talking about how the inability to travel due to COVID-19. We don’t want to travel because we do not want to be hypocrites.  We both have been preaching the idea of being responsible during this pandemic and are refused to set a bad example. The key thing is to know where it is safe to travel and where the hot spots are. A map provided by AAA helps give you a good idea of where to travel given what you consider an acceptable risk. I personally don’t think that traveling unless absolutely necessary should be done. But, if you feel you must go this map might help.

Click on Image for Map