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duke dynamite
01-07-2010, 11:07 PM
http://www.capitalonebowl.com/assets/img/videos/postcard_oklahoma.jpg




http://nba.draftnation.com/images/logos/nba/ind_sm.gif @ http://jordanesque.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/50x50_okc.gif



Early Saturday morning Roaming Gnome, his wife and myself will be embarking on the trip to Oklahoma City to see the Pacers visit the Thunder at the Ford Center.

Gnome was able to snag us a good deal on some great seats from the Pacers' Front Office, or I did I guess, I don't know how that worked out but regardless we will be smack dab in the heart of Thunder fans.

I will have my camera with me, and hopefully OKC didn't catch onto the lens rule that the NBA alledgedly imposed this off-season.

Also, I will be tweeting from the game so if you haven't already, follow me, my twitter name is dukedynamite (http://twitter.com/dukedynamite). I will post some photos from my phone of the Ford Center and maybe some during the game.

Since my MacBook doesn't have a card reader on it, I will not be able to post my photos on the forum until at least Sunday night.

Here's to safe travels and hopefully a Pacers' victory!

RomanGabriel
01-07-2010, 11:18 PM
You'll be able to see a template of what I hope we can do in the next year or two - OKC has managed to quietly build a helluva young roster there with some lucky and/or wise drafting.
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Sollozzo
01-07-2010, 11:48 PM
Sounds like a good time. The Ford Center looks nice and I LOVE the Thunder's team. If you have any free time in OKC, I strongly recommend visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It's very moving.

duke dynamite
01-07-2010, 11:50 PM
Sounds like a good time. The Ford Center looks nice and I LOVE the Thunder's team. If you have any free time in OKC, I strongly recommend visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It's very moving.
That sounds like a great experience, however I don't think we will have a lot of time. :(

Peck
01-08-2010, 12:10 AM
Is Dustpan not going?

My God do I feel sorry for Lisa.:cool:

duke dynamite
01-08-2010, 12:25 AM
Is Dustpan not going?

My God do I feel sorry for Lisa.:cool:
No, she isn't unfortunately.

We're not that bad.

Hicks
01-08-2010, 12:40 AM
I feel sorry for Lisa too.

:D

duke dynamite
01-08-2010, 12:50 AM
I feel sorry for Lisa too.

:D
I feel sorry for you, for not going!

the jaddler
01-08-2010, 01:26 AM
may the force be with you!!!

smj887
01-08-2010, 01:42 AM
Enjoy the game. Just as a heads up, you can get a USB adapter for standard/micro/mini SD cards for like $5. Just figured I'd pass that along in case you didn't know.

duke dynamite
01-08-2010, 09:43 AM
Enjoy the game. Just as a heads up, you can get a USB adapter for standard/micro/mini SD cards for like $5. Just figured I'd pass that along in case you didn't know.
I'm aware, but that doesn't help me with Compact Flash cards. :-p

Trophy
01-08-2010, 01:53 PM
How long is the drive and are you guys staying over night?

duke dynamite
01-08-2010, 04:45 PM
How long is the drive and are you guys staying over night?
I don't remember how long the drive is, but we have a hotel room.

joeyd
01-08-2010, 05:17 PM
In addition to the Memorial, you should also try to go the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. When I lived in OK, I took everyone that came to visit us to that place. It is a gem and we never had a single dissatisfied visitor.

Naptown_Seth
01-08-2010, 07:30 PM
I'm aware, but that doesn't help me with Compact Flash cards. :-p
Welcome to 2001



I'm all for the next one, I just have way too much to do here at the house this weekend. Plus I've got 2 games worth of photos yet to upload even, and prospect games to watch, and a princess to kill. I'm swamped.

duke dynamite
01-09-2010, 09:29 AM
We've hit Southwest Missouri.

Hicks
01-09-2010, 06:16 PM
If you can watch the OKC feed, be looking for them. Word is they scored courtside seats behind the Pacer bench!

dgranger17
01-09-2010, 09:24 PM
League pass is more clutch than Troy Murphy on the offensive glass.

Pacers by 14

Naptown_Seth
01-10-2010, 07:36 PM
Looking forward to the photo upload. I assume the kids made it home okay, or were they going to hang out "enjoying" the panhandle area for a few days. :)

duke dynamite
01-10-2010, 07:47 PM
Looking forward to the photo upload. I assume the kids made it home okay, or were they going to hang out "enjoying" the panhandle area for a few days. :)

We're almost home. They may get posted tonight. I still have two hours of driving left after we get to Gnome's house.

duke dynamite
01-10-2010, 11:57 PM
Well, here they are. I took a lot more, but these I felt were the best. I didn't really take a ton throughout the game because I was very much into it.

Enjoy!

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/tlaurenzana/OKC%202010/IMG_4845.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/tlaurenzana/OKC%202010/IMG_4852.jpg

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http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/tlaurenzana/OKC%202010/IMG_4906.jpg

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http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/tlaurenzana/OKC%202010/IMG_5047.jpg

HC
01-11-2010, 12:03 AM
You took a lot of good ones, thanks for sharing!

imawhat
01-11-2010, 03:29 AM
Great shot of the court impacting the shape of the ball (Westbrook @ the ft line). Also, the huddle shots are great.

DEEman
01-11-2010, 07:33 AM
Thanks. Great quality btw

Alabama-Redneck
01-11-2010, 07:36 AM
Hey Duke, where did you eat ? Bricktown !! I lived in OKC for 15 years and they have some great restaurants.

:cool:

graphic-er
01-11-2010, 09:35 AM
Sweet shots of Granger picking Durant's Pocket. Just shows how good of a defender he can really be when he is focused, and not committing stupid fouls.

jhondog28
01-11-2010, 09:46 AM
I love the fact that Ford is in a suit...looks nice on him

duke dynamite
01-11-2010, 09:54 AM
Hey Duke, where did you eat ? Bricktown !! I lived in OKC for 15 years and they have some great restaurants.

:cool:
Heh, we ate at Sonic. This was a budget trip, ironically.

I Love P
01-11-2010, 09:54 AM
I was watching the game Saturday night on League Pass and saw you Duke. You and one other person wearing what looked to be yellow jackets.

duke dynamite
01-11-2010, 09:56 AM
I was watching the game Saturday night on League Pass and saw you Duke. You and one other person wearing what looked to be yellow jackets.
No one with us was wearing yellow jackets, unless it were me and my warm up jacket I wore. Double vision?

Unclebuck
01-11-2010, 09:57 AM
Not sure if this is the thread for it, and maybe I missed it, but I would be very curious as the atmosophere at the game. I did read your post about it being loud,.

I guess no one sits for the tipoff in Oklahoma either

duke dynamite
01-11-2010, 10:04 AM
Not sure if this is the thread for it, and maybe I missed it, but I would be very curious as the atmosophere at the game. I did read your post about it being loud,.

I guess no one sits for the tipoff in Oklahoma either
They don't sit until the Thunder score. I love that. I wish we would do that.

Yes, it was LOUD. They call the Ford Center the "Thunder Dome". It's very small, and the way the ceiling is set up it bounces the noise off like crazy. Their fans are PASSIONATE. I really mean that. They have become a model franchise and have the fanbase to back it up.

The Pacers FO needs to scout these other arenas for ideas, and they should start with the Ford Center in OKC because this place was nuts.

Brad8888
01-11-2010, 10:12 AM
I think I noticed that the crowd did not sit until OKC scored its first FG. Is that true? Also, did the game have more of a collegiate atmosphere, or was it more of the same NBA canned gimmicks, just in a different arena?

In what ways was the Ford Center different from Conseco? Was it a lot different in the concourses? How different were the decorations in the concourses? Also, how did the seating configuration seem to differ -- was it more like MSA where it was bowl shaped, or did it seem more like Conseco, or different than either one?

duke dynamite
01-11-2010, 10:48 AM
I think I noticed that the crowd did not sit until OKC scored its first FG. Is that true? Also, did the game have more of a collegiate atmosphere, or was it more of the same NBA canned gimmicks, just in a different arena?

In what ways was the Ford Center different from Conseco? Was it a lot different in the concourses? How different were the decorations in the concourses? Also, how did the seating configuration seem to differ -- was it more like MSA where it was bowl shaped, or did it seem more like Conseco, or different than either one?

Yes, the fans did not sit until the Thunder scored their first basket. I said somewhere else, maybe not here, but they had a TON of piped-in music and noise during play. Someone like Peck would get irritated by it.

The Ford Center is very dark on the inside. The concourses are very wide, but not lit very bright like the Fieldhouse. Along side the outside wall on the concourses they had an NBA banner with a team logo on it.

They did a ton of renovations to the building since the Hornets played there in between the Thunder. The arena is almost a straight ovular shape. no corners. Each baseline has retractable seats that incline far towards the second level.

The third level, known to them as "Loud City" isn't very high from the floor. It is a very intimate arena, especially compared to Market Square Arena.

They replaced the scoreboard with a gigantic HD screen with a few little screens around it.

There aren't very many amenities inside the building besides the suites, which all have sliding glass doors and windows. Other than walking around the place, there isn't much going on besides advertisements and small contests.

They are renovating the Ford Center again and I expect it to be pretty nice.

Sollozzo
01-11-2010, 11:18 AM
They don't sit until the Thunder score. I love that. I wish we would do that.

Yes, it was LOUD. They call the Ford Center the "Thunder Dome". It's very small, and the way the ceiling is set up it bounces the noise off like crazy. Their fans are PASSIONATE. I really mean that. They have become a model franchise and have the fanbase to back it up.

The Pacers FO needs to scout these other arenas for ideas, and they should start with the Ford Center in OKC because this place was nuts.


I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on the atmosphere there. They support everything I have ever read about Oklahoma City's support for the NBA. The city embraced the Hornets as their own for 2 seasons, knowing that they were only going to be there temporarily, and have now given massive support to the Thunder. I am very happy for the fans and city that they are going to have such a wonderful team to watch for the next 10 years. They have one of the best players in the NBA and that supporting cast is just getting better and better. The turnaround in W-L from last year is amazing.

Oklahoma City is going to be like Utah, San Antonio, and Portland: one team cities who are very grateful to have a professional sports team and take a lot of civic pride in it.

duke dynamite
01-11-2010, 11:30 AM
I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on the atmosphere there. They support everything I have ever read about Oklahoma City's support for the NBA. The city embraced the Hornets as their own for 2 seasons, knowing that they were only going to be there temporarily, and have now given massive support to the Thunder. I am very happy for the fans and city that they are going to have such a wonderful team to watch for the next 10 years. They have one of the best players in the NBA and that supporting cast is just getting better and better. The turnaround in W-L from last year is amazing.

Oklahoma City is going to be like Utah, San Antonio, and Portland: one team cities who are very grateful to have a professional sports team and take a lot of civic pride in it.
The way that the Seattle fans embraced that team almost matches what the OKC folks are doing. This really isn't the ideal way you want to get your team, but regardless they've been hard up for NBA basketball for years.

If you didn't already know, they actually tried to keep the Hornets. What Roaming Gnome made me aware of, that New Orleans has had trouble with the population dwindling and the Hornets may actually move due to revenue loss.

The deal with the Sonics moving to OKC was that the current owner will owe the city of Seattle 30 million dollars if they aren't awarded an expansion team by 2013. We may see another team in Seattle in the future.

Besides what Clay Bennett has done to the citizens of Seattle, you can't really say this franchise has made a bad move since it's change in ownership back in 2006.

Roaming Gnome
01-11-2010, 02:10 PM
Come on, Duke... You are holding out on the "Pie in the face" pic. During the game, the OKC "Thunder-vision" crew got Duke and I with our Pacers gear on the Jumbotron. Well, while we were hamming it up, a super imposed image of their mascot comes on the screen and threw a pie in our face. It was rather funny and the OKC crowd really got a laugh at our expense.

This trip was just awesome. The only thing that was bad about the trip was the outcome of the game. The trip started out Saturday morning at 4:30am and after a short 10 hour drive we arrived in Oklahoma City. That's when the adventure began... Our first mission was to find a liquor store. We figured this would be pretty easy because we managed to find one of the more "run down" sections of OKC. Unlike Indy, OKC doesn't have liquor stores on every corner of the less desirable areas of OKC. Anyway, after searching high and low for booze....We had to get some orange juice for my wife and of course we just figure we can hit a gas station and get some, not quite... She was wanting a quart of OJ and the gas stations only had the little 12oz bottles for about $2. That wasn't going to cut it so Duke and I are back to scouring the south side of OKC looking for a grocery store and end up at this place called "Buy 4 Less". This place was like a combination of Big Lots, Save a lot, and an old Wal-Mart all wrapped up in one for all the wrong reasons. We'll just say that the south side of OKC didn't put it's best foot forward.. :devil:

Well after the adventure for booze, we returned to the room to stow our "bounty" for after the game. We all got into our Finest Pacer wear and headed for Bricktown (Arena District downtown). Bricktown is a very nice area that is kind of like the Canal area in downtown Indy. In fact, it has it's own canal with restaurants and bars along the waterway with all the buildings being in Brick. The crown jewel of the area is the AT&T Ballpark that sits in the center of the area. Like Duke mentioned, we were on a budget so we ended up eating at a Sonic Restaurant that was actually a sit down facility. Hell, why not stick a few more dollars in Clay Bennett's pocket, we are there to see his team play ours. Anywho, after our dinner at Clay's we headed for the Ford Center.

The first thing about the Ford Center that we noticed was that the Box Office Area is a very small area compared to the Fieldhouse. Right away, Duke, my wife and I started noticing how the Fieldhouse is so nice in comparison to a lot of different arenas throughout the league.

Before I get started about the Ford Center, I wanted to mention that Jake Vernon with PS&E got wind that we were making the road trip down to OKC for the game. He ended up setting us up with a former PS&E employee that currently works for the Thunder. Well, this contact ended up upgrading our $61 row 18 tickets that were in the corner of the lower bowl to $275 row 6 tickets right behind the Pacers Bench. Major props to Duke, J. Vernon and OKC for giving us an ultimate experience.

Once the gates opened to Ford Center, I noticed that security there is like it is at most arenas that are not Conseco Fieldhouse. Much like Chicago's United Center, the security proceedures are "reasonable" with the search as they just move back and forth thru the line with flashlights just asking you to either open your coat or tip your cap. They do have plenty of eyes on you as you enter the building, but I felt it was 100 times less intrusive as it is to go thru security at Conseco.

Once inside, we noticed the concourses were kind of dark and very basic with fewer permanent Concession areas, and a lot of "temporary stands" but a wide variety of food. Unlike the Fieldhouse, there was nothing extra in the concourses other then some of the back lighted signage. We found the gift shops there to be rather lacking in comparison to some of the other shops around the league. Their main shop kind of reminded me of the old gift shop at MSA... Tight quarters!!!

One of the things that Lisa and I noticed was how friendly everyone was from the vendors, the OKC fans & the Thunder staff. http://i988.photobucket.com/albums/af9/Roaming_Gnome74/IMG_0063.jpg When Lisa and I separated from Duke to go buy some souvenirs, we were approached by one of the ticket reps for the Thunder named Chad. He was wondering if we were locals or if we made the trip down to OKC. We told him that we made the 10 hour drive. The dude was amazed that we made the drive down in the cold and snow. He gave us a very hearty welcome to Oklahoma City and gave us his card. He told us that the fans here are pretty nice, but if anyone gave us any kind of problems to give him a call "first" and he'd be right there to take care of anything. That was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me while wearing another teams gear in their building.

Now the arena area of Ford Center impressed the hell out of me!!! It is a very very very comfortable arena. The seats are good and wide, the seating area is dark with all the lighting focused on the court, and the building is tight and intimate like MSA use to be or how Energy Solutions Arena is in Utah. One row of Suites separate the "balcony" aka "Loud City" from the lower bowl and the seats in "Loud City" pretty much go right up to the ceiling so you hear the fans!! There is no dead areas in this building for sound to be lost. Their jumbotron aka "Thundervision" is the latest in greatest in scoreboard technology. g]http://i988.photobucket.com/albums/af9/Roaming_Gnome74/IMG_0065.jpg
It was installed over the off-season and this thing is just AWESOME. It has 4 HD Widescreens for replays, 4 large LED panels above the widescreens that are used for score, game time, and player points and fouls with the teams logo faded into the background. The scoreboard also has an LED Ribbon that encircles the top of the whole unit, but the "coup de grace" about this scoreboard is on the bottom there is an angled section that allows folks that are in the first few rows to see the action that they'd miss because they would too close to the screens.http://i988.photobucket.com/albums/af9/Roaming_Gnome74/IMG_0064.jpg Also, another thing that I found impressive was on each end of the arena up in "Loud City" were LED Boards that not only kept stats like ours at the Fieldhouse, but they also were capable of full video and replays were also showed on those boards too. I know a lot of you don't care for LED Ribbons that go around the arena, but the way these were done... I liked it. They're in the right place that they don't cause that awful glare on the court from where we were sitting and they actually used it for game action instead of just using it to advertise.

OK, after getting to talk to Mark and Slick for a little bit, Lisa and I getting souvenirs, and Duke talking a bit with Mike Wells, we settle in for the game. As the arena fills in, the PA announcer starts in with the script that we are all familiar with.... The NBA's code of conduct... and like us, they also have a video to go along with the reading of the code. Their's was the Three Stooges to start the game. After that, they gave an update on their D-league affiliate. http://i988.photobucket.com/albums/af9/Roaming_Gnome74/IMG_0066.jpg
It's nice to see a team acknowledge that their D-league affiiliate does exist. Good News D.J. White fans, the update was to say that D.J. was called back to the Thunder. Also, Their D-league affiliate in Tulsa is the same distance as ours is away from Indy! The arena is getting good and filled and we are about to do the Nat'l Anthem and starting line-ups... This is when we start to realize how loud this building is going to get. The guy that did the anthem did a superb job and the cheer off of that told us right away that this "building" was no joke as far as holding the noise. "Let's give an OKC welcome to the visiting.... Indiana Pacers", crowd really wasn't into booing us or anything, just rather disinterested during our line-ups. They're starting line-ups were, ok. The presentation on the jumbotron was just of the team's highlights to the same song that they use at the Fieldhouse when our boys are romping thru downtown in giant form. The starting line-ups ovation from the OKC faithful during the actual announcing of their players was LOUD!!! OK... Now it's that time after line ups and before tip. You know, where we are told that "No one sits for the Tip Off, this is Indiana" They don't get told that!!! Their mascot comes out to center court with a large bass drum with the Thunder logo on it and starts doing the "Rally" on it and the fans "Still Standing, mind you" follow suit.... Well, the mascot stops and they roll this out yet the fans are still doing the "rally claps" until the teams theme song... Some custom jobby called "Thunder Up" starts playing and you can hear the fans chanting along.... Thunder UP and the Tip-off happens. Fans are still standing... Oddly enough, the intro theme from the game "Galaga" plays as if the whole thing is a game just starting. The only reason I mention this was that I loved playing Galaga as a kid. Anyway, after a few possessions the Thunder score and the fans take their seats. As the game goes on, OKC's fanbase clearly showed me that they lived up to their reputation as being boisterous. As for the game itself, you seen it on TV... So there is nothing to really report there. A lot of the acts that happen during the timeouts were pretty cookie cutter. I noticed a lot of the face time on the Jumbotron with the fans were focused on the adults. I like that. Kids are cute, but it doesn't always have to be about them because adults acting like kids are truly humorous to me. During the 3rd quarter, what I mentioned earlier happened with Duke and I getting on "Thundervision" and getting a pie in the face. Well, to wrap up the game.... When we got back into the game towards the end... The Ford Center became as loud as I remember MSA. Their fans were into it, BIG TIME!!!! Chants of Defense and utter bedlam as the volume level of the crowd was concerned. To Duke's credit, he was right there encouraging the Pacers and chanting defense while the Thunder were bringing it up the court. I wish I could have helped him, but I lost my voice due to a terrible chest cold... Best I could do was "squeek", stomp and shake my fist. That was very hard for me because I'm usually very loud myself.

After the game, the ushers let Duke and I into the scores table area where we got to have a nice conversation with Slick. Slick told us that A.J. Price is the real deal and will eventually be our starting point guard. Duke made mention that AJ played a little like Tinsley when he first got into the league, but Slick corrected Duke instantly and told him that AJ see's the floor better and everything else that AJ did was just beyond what Tinsley could do. Unless Slick was just being "slick" with us, he sounded sold on A.J. I got to meet Mike Wells for the first time. As we talked to him, he seemed rather impressed that we actually drove the 10 hours. We'll, it was time to trek back out into the 12 degree cold that was OKC that night. Getting out of the Ford Center was a breeze. It also served as another reminder of MSA with the Freeway ramp being located right next to the Ford Center and the parking lots.

Back at the room, booze on ice ready to go.... One problem, the day started at 3am, I drove all day & wore myself down taking the game in (did I mention that the Ford Center was LOUD).... I was wanting to celebrate our good time with Duke and my wife, but after a couple beers and the pizza was gone.... I don't remember when I fell out. All I remember was Barkley was on Saturday Night Live and I my wife was waking me up with a spliting headache saying, "It's time to get going... We're going to lose an hour". By time I came to, Lisa had the car packed and the room ready to be checked out of. She even managed to get wake Duke up, he seemed just as groggy! To say the least, Lisa drove the first leg and we managed to stop at what is considered the "Worlds largest McDonlalds" that is suspended over I-44 in Vinta, Oklahoma.http://i988.photobucket.com/albums/af9/Roaming_Gnome74/16877_595793633203_58205046_3434333.jpg
It was pretty neat knowing and seeing interstate traffic rumble underneath you as you enjoy your McGrub. This wouldn't be complete without telling you about the phenomenon that is known as the "Kum & Go" gas station chain that we frequented as we made our journey back to Indiana.http://i988.photobucket.com/albums/af9/Roaming_Gnome74/IMG_0075a.jpg Been there, done that, and I got the T-Shirt that I will be wearing at the game tonight!

More photos to follow....

Sollozzo
01-11-2010, 02:52 PM
Come on, Duke... You are holding out on the "Pie in the face" pic. During the game, the OKC "Thunder-vision" crew got Duke and I with our Pacers gear on the Jumbotron. Well, while we were hamming it up, a super imposed image of their mascot comes on the screen and threw a pie in our face. It was rather funny and the OKC crowd really got a laugh at our expense.


Haha. That reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where the TV camera catches George making a mess pigging out at the US Tennis Open, with everyone having a laugh at his expense (and his girlfriend breaking up with him).

Good recap, Gnome. Enjoyed reading it.

Trophy
01-11-2010, 03:02 PM
Great pictures. Looks like a nice arena with a good crowd.

Does anyone know if they're going to re-do the outside of the Ford Center?

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s225/CuatrodeMayo/FordCenterRenov.jpg

Roaming Gnome
01-11-2010, 03:29 PM
Great pictures. Looks like a nice arena with a good crowd.

Does anyone know if they're going to re-do the outside of the Ford Center?



I believe those are part of the improvements that passed a local referendum last year on "improvements" on the Ford Center. I believe the scoreboard was one of the first items purchased with the money the tax payers overwhelmingly approved for the team.

gummy
01-11-2010, 05:20 PM
Ahhh, Kum & Go. They have them in Iowa. I remember when I moved to Des Moines during my undergrad years and first encountered them. I giggled every time I saw one for like the first month. ;) I recently spotted one in a TV show and cracked up - hadn't seen one in over a decade.

Too bad they weren't selling T-shirts then. lol.

Will Galen
01-11-2010, 06:02 PM
Thank you for the posts guys! I always enjoy these type posts!

heywoode
01-11-2010, 06:45 PM
Nice shots, Dukie.

duke dynamite
01-12-2010, 11:52 AM
Nice shots, Dukie.
Thank you, sir.

BillS
01-12-2010, 12:33 PM
I think if any kind of renovation is made for Conseco at some point it should include movable sound reflectors in the ceiling beam area. The open beam high ceiling is an essential part of the Fieldhouse style architecture, but it wouldn't take much to put some hard faced reflectors that can be lowered into place during games and retracted during concerts and other venues where sound quality is important.

pristinecollector
01-12-2010, 08:51 PM
To both of you: Great photos and fantastic content! Thanks so much for sharing. I've been waiting to hear how the trip went and I felt like I was there with the information you shared. Glad you three had a good time, and thanks agian for sharing!