Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cover # 1: Poland!

I got my first cover today! It is from Poland, and it is from Polpostman.Thank you, Mr. Bek, for sending me such a cool cover as my first cover.

It is an FDC that celebrates the 200th aniversary of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin's birth. 
"The poet of the piano", Chopin was a great Polish composer and pianist. Chopin was born in  Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his musical education there. 

As an adult, he moved to Paris. He supported himself as a composer and piano teacher, giving few public performances.  For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39. 
The vast majority of Chopin's works are exclusively for solo piano, the most notable exceptions being his two piano concertos. His compositions are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Recent Visit to the Shasta Lake Area in California

        I recently visited the Shasta Lake Area in Northern California. While there, I mailed six postcards to my self from various places around the area and wrote a trip journal.

        Day 1-June 30th
June 30th was the day my friend Shivam and his family came to Fremont. Since my parents had work, my sister and I were at my grandmother’s house. So, that’s where Shivam and his family came too. Once my parents did get home, they called my grandmother and she told us we had to go. So, once we did get to my house, we packed a cooler and got ready to leave. We decided to have a guys car and a girls car, and we were off. After a long, 240-mile drive, we arrived at our hotel, the Ramada Inn in Redding, California. 

We dropped of our luggage and went off to find a place to eat. After a fruitless search for a restaurant the moms were hunting for, we decide to eat at Casa Ramos, a Mexican place. The entire restaurant had a very authentic look and a great atmosphere, and the food was great. Together, they made for a great dining experience. After that, we went back to the Ramada and went to sleep.

Shasta Lake is about 8-9 miles from Redding.

Day 2-July 1st 
          Boy am I glad I woke up early today. I got down to breakfast early enough that I was ahead of the mad rush for breakfast and got to make my waffles without waiting in line. It was adequate, but not much variety in what to eat. Waffles, bread, bagels, eggs, cereal and oatmeal. No fruit or pastries or anything. And most of it was just, well, regular looking. Today was our first full day here, and we intended to make the most of it. First, we went to the Shasta Dam, the 9th tallest dam in America, with a width varying from 39 feet to over 800 feet, and a height of 602 feet. 
We took a free tour, which was really interesting, and took great photos from the top. After that, we went to the Lake Shasta Caverns. First, we had to walk through the visitor center and go down 102 steps to get down to the boat launching area. Next, we took a brief boat ride to the other side of the river and waited for a bus to come and pick us up. Then, we took a bus ride to take us up more then 800 feet to the Caverns main entrance, which, incidentally, is not the natural entrance. There were lots of steps inside, somewhere over 300! Once we entered the 58 degree limestone cave, we saw lots of cool formations like stalagmites and “Peanut Brittle (Fake floors that can collapse)”.

Our tour was even interrupted by a curious fruit bat! After another bus ride, boat ride, and 102 steps, we were back at our cars. We decided to go buy some lunch and head out to Subway. After eating, we went to Mossbrae Falls. The route included a 40-minute walk along train tracks. We got passed by trains both on the way there and the way back! The falls were really pretty and not something you want to miss. 
After the falls, we went to the town of Shasta Lake. Most of the stores were closed, since it was after six. After walking around for a while and trying extremely pure water, we were hungry. So, we went to Round Table Pizza to eat.  After Round Table, we drove to Sundial Bridge for a nighttime stroll. The bridge, the first of its kind, is made of 200 tons of glass and granite and does function as a sundial. We did think that the bridge looked nice, but, it was boring. So, we left. We went back to the hotel and went swimming in a pool that was more accurately described as a triple Jacuzzi. It was that small, but that was probably because it was indoors. After swimming, we went back to our rooms, took showers, and went to sleep.
Day Three- July 2nd
Today we did an activity we didn’t plan on doing before we came. Since we had seen people doing it yesterday and it looked like fun, we decide to go boating on lake Shasta. 

We rented the boat from morning until 5 pm. The boat was best described as a big rectangle with blue walls and a blue rectangle canopy on top. We slowly backed out and explored Lake Shasta. It was super fun, considering I got to drive the boat about a 4th of the time. We could just harbor wherever we wanted and swim. We did that twice. Once, we even stopped in the middle and dived in! Shivam and me were set on renting Jet skis, but we couldn’t find a company that did. So, we had to do without. After boating, we ate ice cream inside the store and drove to the hotel. After taking showers, we went to the Sundial Bridge and Turtle Bay Exploration Center since the center was supposed to be fun. However, it was closed!   So, we just took a brief walk around and drove away to eat. We ended up find the restaurant the moms had been looking for on the first day, La Conquesta, and so decide to eat there. However, the grownups and Shivam’s little sister were less then satisfied with their food. They said it smelled “funny”. So, that, combined with the okay atmosphere, made it a dining experience that could have been skipped over. After eating there, we decide to go to Coldstone to eat ice cream again. We had ice cream twice in one day! After some delicious ice cream, we headed down  to our hotel and went to sleep.
Day 4- July 3
Today was our last day here. We decide to drive to Crystal Creek Falls. It was a drive and then a short walk-hike. The falls were really nice, although I thought that Mossbrae falls were better. Then , we realized that I had forgotten my watch in the hotel. So, we said goodbye to Shivam and his family and drove to the hotel while they left to go back to Riverside. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Postcards Galore!

Hopefully, the other two covers have reached their destination by now. Since my goal is to receive covers or postcards from across the globe, I am now sending 5 postcards  to collectors in five different countries. They are related to the National Parks system, and will, when done, have the special National Park's cancellation. However, they all also have cool National Park stamps on them.Hopefully, the people I am sending them to will, in turn, send me postcards back.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

My First Cover Has Reached It's Target!

Polpostman, the man who actually inspired me to start this project, got the cover I sent him first! WhooHoooo! Hopfully, he sends me a cover back!This is exciting!