Tom & Holly Travels
since 2004

 Link to Video Slide Show of Anarctica



Subject: Day 1, February 19, 2009 Antarctica and Beyond – “278 down 722 More to See”

278 down 722 more places to see in Holly’s book “1000 Places to See Before You Die.”  This thing called retirement is really starting to grow on me and can’t even imagine ever going back to work again. I don’t know how I did it for forty-four years. We are off on a four week journey though Argentina, Antarctica and The Falkland Islands. More about that a few sentences down. As with our past trips we are keeping a daily travelogue of our activities to help us organize our pictures and thoughts when we return home. Those of you who have seen the books Holly puts together after each trip will understand the importance of the daily log. At some requests we have added some addresses to our e-mail list and also some we thought might find this nonsense interesting and as always, if our e-mails start to get too boring please use the delete button or e-mail us and we will take you off the list. During this trip we will not be able to send daily e-mails as we did in the past during the time we are on the ship because for 19 days we are going to be on an Icebreaker in the Antarctica where satellite e-mail is available but they say very expensive and we will have to set up a different ships e-mail account. We plan to do that but depending on their definition of very expensive will determine how many e-mails we will send. We will write every day and batch them when possible. Also we will not be able to post daily pictures as in previous years but will post numerous pictures when we return. We will provide the web site for the pictures at that time.       

Once again as in previous years, we have cleared airport security, actually barely cleared security. The TSA screening lady took a liking to me and decided she wanted to fondle my underwear in my carry on, so I got pulled aside as she carefully touched each of my jockey shorts. In reality I think it was my 220 to 110 converter that set her off. Anyway we are finally having Bloody Mary’s, at least I am having a Bloody Mary, its too early for Holly, but what the hell it’s five o’clock somewhere, in the Delta Crown Room at the Orlando Airport awaiting our flight to Atlanta where we will catch a thirteen hour all night flight to Buenos Aires arriving at 7:45 am Friday 20 February. I never realized how far Buenos Aires was from Atlanta. We will be spending four days in Buenos Aires visiting an Estancia (Argentina Ranch), watching Gauchos at work, (Argentina Cowboys), visiting a number of other sites which of course includes the obligatory church and the tomb of Evita Peron. I have been practicing singing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” thought it would add a nice touch during the visit. When we leave Buenos Aires we fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. We spend 2 days touring there which includes a tour of Tierra Del Fuego. Then we get on an Expedition Icebreaker “Polar Star” for 19 days with approximately 70 other adventurers, go through the Drake Passage where we are told we can expect 17 foot seas and above and then journey onto Antarctica and conclude with a visit to the Falkland Islands. We will have multiple daily excursions and landings via Zodiacs, rubber boats. This is supposed to be a great time of year for whale watching and baby penguins as well as numerous other Antarctic animals. Our documents state that the ship is definitely not handicap friendly, no elevators, water tight doors with ledges to step over, getting on and off the Zodiacs in rough seas, wet landings on Antarctica, and walking up to 10 miles a day on uneven terrain. A trip we definitely have to take now that we are physically able and before “Global Warming” gets rid of Antarctica, if you believe Al Gore. Plus when I step onto Antarctica I will have stood on all seven continents and have another item to cross off my “Bucket List”.  

By the time we return to the US on March 15th, according to all of the campaign promises, President Obama will have implemented Universal Health Care, lowered taxes, fixed Social Security, eliminated unemployment, turned around the world’s economies, given us $1.00 a gallon gas, brought lasting peace to all of the Middle East, eradicated world hunger and poverty, eliminated the curse of the goat so the Chicago Cubs will win the 2009 World Series, and announced the date, time, and place of the second coming of Christ. Can you feel the love between us and our Islamic Terrorist Brothers? We probably won’t even have to take off our shoes at the airport for our flight home.  It even appears that under the Obama Administration paying Income Tax is voluntary. Life is good, it is all good!

If everything goes as planned, the next e-mail should be from the Hotel Park Central in Buenos Aires after we have enjoyed some fine Argentina beef with some local Argentina wine.

More to follow,

Tom & Holly