Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Look to the Western Sky

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

I’ve been living in California for a month now and I’ve been enjoying it very much. The first few weeks were very busy getting a California driver’s license and registering my car (which is from here), finding a good gym membership, and taking care of all those other little details. I’ve been volunteering with the San Diego Zoo and I just started a cool new job in horticulture.

My timing was good – Orange County Pride kicked off last week and they had a fully loaded schedule culminating in the all-night Laguna Beach Party. I’ve made lots of new friends and I’m looking forward to meeting more!

To be honest, I miss my family and the poms a lot, as well as my friends in Maine and Louisiana. Home is always where the heart is (so maybe I can get them to move out here, hehe). It was a difficult decision to leave, but a big part of me feels like I belong here. I often felt like a square peg in a round hole when I lived in Maine. SoCal values align much better with my own – health conscious people, environmental protection, and science and tech everywhere, not to mention it’s so much easier to be a vegetarian here. And no snow! Each region of SoCal has its own subculture, but I’m quickly adapting to life in the OC.

Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla, San Diego

Caribbean 2017

Friday, March 10th, 2017

I’m currently in the Caribbean with my family and a friend for a 12-night cruise on Royal Caribbean. I created a public Google Photos Album that I will update throughout my trip. We’ll be stopping in for adventures on five different islands throughout the Caribbean and I’ve got my Canon DSLR, GoPro, 360 Cam, and some other cameras to record everything.

California 2014

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I just got home from an awesome two-week trip to Southern California, mostly Orange County. The weather was great and I spent time in LA, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Diego. I also visited the Huntington Botanical Gardens, La Brea Tar Pits and California Science Center, the LA Natural History Museum, Birch Aquarium, and San Diego Botanic Garden. You can check out my photo album below:

Adam Flanders’ California 2014 Album on Google Plus

Enjoying a sunny day at Laguna Beach.

Catching Up

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Wow, I haven’t written anything in a while! I guess I’ve just been preoccupied with other things, like helping my mom sell her houses and constructing a fence and dog house for our pomeranians. Oh, and seeing Catching Fire in IMAX! Unfortunately the property sales along Route 3 in Belfast, my mom’s house included, are confidential and I personally don’t know what business is looking to develop, despite rumors of Wal*Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes.

I continue to be faithful to my vegetarian diet. I do continue to eat a little fish and shrimp, which I may give up at some point, though overall it’s been very easy for me. A few restaurants, like Texas Roadhouse, make it very difficult to find vegetarian options, so in those situations I usually just put together a number of side items. My mom prepared a special tofurkey for our Thanksgiving dinner and my family has been eating less meat as a result of my decision.

Black Friday Shopping with Ashley & Tayler

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I went Black Friday shopping and got rear-ended by another vehicle. Fortunately the woman behind me has insurance and I have a front and rear dash cam that recorded everything. It was also reported on local news. We all had neck pain and headaches for a day or two following the incident. I’m still able to drive my RAV4, though it’s going to need quite a bit of repair. I didn’t even buy anything, though I’m more of a Cyber Monday kind of guy anyway (I spent way too much yesterday).

In national news, Hawaii and Illinois legalized same-sex marriage. While I was not especially surprised, it was historic in that Hawaii was the first state to try to pass marriage equality back in 1991 (see Baehr v. Miike). I’m sure the new law will bring a great deal of revenue to Hawaii, one of the most popular wedding and honeymoon destinations in the US. New Mexico is expected to be the next state to legalize same-sex marriage and there are lawsuits in many other states, most notably Virginia. The same team of attorneys who represented the Prop 8 case, Ted Olson and David Boies, have joined a lawsuit in Virginia that could be the end-all case in this matter (see Bostic v. Rainey). The potential for an historical decision is huge when you consider that this is the same state where the 1967 Loving case arose and put an end to discriminatory laws that prohibited interracial marriage.

British Olympic Diver Tom Daley

This past week also brought with it news of British Olympic Diver Tom Daley. Daley, who is 19 years old, decided to offer a public statement concerning his sexuality and the fact that he is currently in a relationship with a man. Last year I blogged about the London 2012 Olympics and Tom Daley, including some of the athletes who were out at that time, most notably Matthew Mitcham. Daley’s decision to come out is being labeled brave, and rightfully so, though I have to agree with BBC’s Matt Slater that it shouldn’t matter. Daley’s announcement comes at a time when much of the world, most notably Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, still enforces discrimination against gay and lesbian people. Nonetheless I think Daley will serve as a role model for other youth across the globe, showing that you can be yourself, even in sports.


Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

My uncle brought my new RAV4 to Maine from California today. I’ve been working really hard and saving up for the past 6 months so I could get this car and not have any loans or debt. I’m super happy with it! It’s a V6 and has tons of room inside, 5 seats with a huge trunk / storage area (with fold-down seats), and can get up to 31 mpg. Sound system is great and I can attach my iPhone to the audio input. I got it from California so that there wouldn’t be any concerns about rust damage, which is common for cars sold in New England. I don’t intend to keep it here much longer since I’m planning on leaving Maine in a year or less (my aunt and uncle would like me to move out to southern California), but in any case I know it will last me a long time. Consumer Reports rates it as the best mid-size SUV. I’m right in love with it 😀

These are photos from the California dealership’s website when the listing was still up. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge:

Next month (June) is LGBT Pride Month, made official by Presidential Proclamation last year. It is fitting that the US Supreme Court will soon be deciding the final outcomes of Prop 8 and DOMA. I expect both of them will be repealed in some form, though how broad the ruling will be is anyone’s guess. It could be anything from marriage equality in California and at the Federal level, all the way to full nationwide marriage equality overnight. AFER has a great graphic that explains it better than I can: Prop 8 Potential Outcomes. I think Prop 8 will be overturned, DOMA will be repealed, and thus California, the Federal government, and all states with only civil unions will have full recognition of same-sex marriage. With DOMA out of the way, interstate lawsuits will ensure that same-sex marriage follows in the same footsteps as interracial marriage (see Loving v. Virginia, 1967). Also this week the Boy Scouts will be deciding whether to allow gay youth in their troops and Illinois may become the 13th state to pass marriage equality.


Sunday, February 17th, 2013

I went snowboarding with my family yesterday. We had a pretty good time at the start of it, though later in the afternoon I wiped out and my ankle started swelling up so I went to the ER. They discovered that I had fractured my ankle pretty bad, so now I’m on crutches with a boot cast for a while. You can see the X-ray below and the lightning bolt-shaped fracture on the side (the outside ball of my left ankle). The ER was irritated that I didn’t come in sooner. At first they were mad at my mom because they thought I was a minor, lol.

Adam Flanders Snowboarding in Maine

Florida 2012

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

I just got home from a three-week vacation in Florida the other day and I wanted to share some of my trip. I had a lot of fun and we happened to be down there at the same time as Obama and Romney. Florida was flooded with radio and television ads for both sides, but that’s now all behind us. I’ve created a photo album on my Google Plus account: Florida 2012

My family and I traveled in our motorhome and began our trip in Universal Studios because I really wanted to visit the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was pretty awesome and the butterbeer was yummy! We did both parks and then moved on to Key West, where I celebrated Halloween at the Bourbon Street Pub. It’s a clothing optional gay bar and it’s a LOT of fun. I went there a couple years ago last time I was in Florida. This year they were playing Rocky Horror on a projection screen out behind the bar where they have a pool and jacuzzi. I met some friends and went bar hopping and to a drag show, among other things. I’ll stop there – what happens in the Keys, stays in the Keys 😉 We ended our trip with the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. It’s the largest aquarium in the world, so huge that they can house 4 juvenile whale sharks! I was impressed and amazed.

Hurricane Sandy stirred up the oceans so it was difficult to get much diving in. The seas didn’t calm down until the day after Halloween, but we got in a couple trips, making up four dives total – two in Key West and then two in Key Largo after we left Key West. It was the best diving I’ve ever experienced since getting my PADI certification a few years ago. We saw a large moray eel and a sting ray. We also swam through some small underwater caverns. I posted some videos on YouTube:

Four More Years

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

My faith in Americans has been restored. Obama has been re-elected. Democrat Claire McCaskill defeated “legitimate rape” Todd Akin. The Democrats seem to have maintained control of the Senate. Here in Maine, former Governor Angus King has won the Senate seat. As of my writing this, only 45% of Maine precincts have reported, though the YES on 1 vote is leading by about 2%. No matter the outcome of Maine’s Question 1, we now have, for the first time in history, a president who openly supports same-sex marriage. Obama’s next four years will no doubt bring new liberal-minded Supreme Court justice appointments, an end to DOMA, and federal / nationwide marriage equality. I also expect that Obama will ensure the passage of ENDA and SNDA. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is surely safe now, as are the reproductive rights of women and universal healthcare. It is a happy day in America!

I just returned home early this morning after a three-week vacation in Florida and the Florida Keys. I have a lot of photos and video, and other cool things to share, but I’ll wait until after the election is final. I’ll follow-up tomorrow night or the next day with Florida stuff, but suffice to say I had an awesome trip! I voted by absentee prior to leaving last month. I voted for Obama in 2008 and I voted for him again last month. I had some concerns about the election, but it seems those concerns have now passed as both CNN and Fox News have declared Obama the winner. I hope that Obama’s second term will also bring with it the last breath of the horribly corrupt Tea Party.

London 2012

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The London Olympics were amazing this year. A few weeks before they started, one of my mom’s best friends and former English exchange student living with her in high school, came to visit us for a couple days. She’s an editor for a major television network in London, so she told us a lot about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff and filming. She wants us to come visit her next time, which would be pretty cool. I wish I could have seen the Olympics in person.

I’m watching the closing right now. The Spice Girls were awesome. I was so excited to see them together again at the 2012 Olympics, following their reunion concert a couple years back. They look great. Ginger’s always been my favorite.

I watched a lot of the archery because that’s become a new hobby of mine, along with scuba diving and rollerblading, and I love it! I go out to the range I set up and shoot several times a week. It’s a very addictive sport.

England is much more progressive than the United States. I was happy to see that there were many GLBT-friendly recognitions at the 2012 Olympics this year, such as celebrity appearances and respects to those past, like Freddie Mercury. I think it’s very important that GLBT people have a place and recognition in the Olympics. Wikipedia has a list of GLBT sports people, and here’s a more specific list of out GLBT Olympians. I know some had hoped that a few Olympians from countries that criminalize homosexuality, would come out at the Olympics and seek asylum in London.

Matthew Mitcham, a 24-year-old Australian diver, is of course one of the best known out gay Olympians. He’s pretty cute, but I have to say, the English diver, Tom Daley, has already stolen my heart, hehe.

Daley apparently hasn’t indicated whether he is gay or straight, but either way he’s super cute! He has been targeted by a couple people, including a teen and a 28yo who made an anti-gay comment about Daley on Twitter. Both individuals live in the UK and have been criminally charged for their homophobic tweets. I hope that we’ll soon have similar cyberbullying laws in the United States in the coming years. Ignorant religious fundamentalists know their time is running out here in the USA and elsewhere in the world. My little sister’s generation already views them the way most adults now view the KKK and other hate groups. Anyway, here’s some cute pics of Tom Daley <3. Click the photos if you want to see a larger version ;)

Barred Island

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Over the weekend my family and I went to Blue Hill for the lobster boat races and Barred Island. It’s a pretty cool place – it’s only accessible during low tide. Blue Hill is also a great place for scuba diving – I caught (and released) a baby lobster there a couple years ago while diving.

An HDR image I created when I got home…

My little sister Ashley doing a hand-stand on the beach

Me 🙂

I little rock crab I found in the tide pools

Me again 😀

Ashley and one of her friends and me in the water, which was actually pretty warm

When the tide comes in, this whole beach area disappears under the water