Hi, I'm Adam.

Adam Parkzer   •   29   •   Las Vegas, USA   •   5'10" (178 cm)   •   152 lbs (69 kg)   •   Korean American

I was originally in law enforcement and planning on becoming a criminal prosecutor, but then I put everything on hold and moved to the Pa­cif­ic Coast to pursue my hobby as a full-time career. Now I help run Tempo, a gaming media production and game development company. I am currently the Direc­tor of Corporate Operations, primarily overseeing legal, finance, and hu­man re­sources ad­min­is­tra­tion.

My main interests include criminology and forensic psychology. In my free time, I like to write, train martial arts, and de­vel­op new prac­ti­cal skills. I used to be a competitive gamer, but now I just play casually. The easiest way to get to know me better is to read about INTJs on the Myers-Briggs Type In­di­ca­tor. I'm split between a Type 5 and 8 on the Enneagram; my CliftonStrengths Top 3 are Deliberative, Learner, and Analytical; and my top Big Five per­sonality trait is Conscientiousness.

Check out my social media profiles and channels: @Parkzer on Twitter, Adam Parkzer on LinkedIn, AdamParkzer on Flickr, Parkzer.coin on Un­stop­pa­ble Do­mains, Parkzer on Last.fm, Parkzer on Twitch, and Adam Parkzer on YouTube. If you want to write me a letter or send me a package, you can ship it to PO Box 2222, Las Vegas, NV 89125-2222, USA (though keep in mind that I'm on a cross-country road trip until mid-2022, so it might be a while before I see it).

Below, you can find my blog where I document my travels, organize my thoughts, and share snippets of my life.

 

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Goodbye Albuquerque

As of today, my five days in Albuquerque, New Mexico have come to an end. My original plan was to stay for six days, but I shortened my stay by one day and decided to spend one night in Gallup, New Mexico, which is on the way to my next major destination, Flagstaff, Arizona. I did this for two main rea­sons, the first being that I wanted to break up the monotony of my drive by cutting it in half and doing it over two days instead of one, and the sec­ond reason being that I wasn’t really that big of a fan of my hotel room.

You might already know this, but I have a very acute and sensitive sense of smell. If there’s mold, mildew, or mustiness in an area, I’ll notice it im­me­di­ate­ly, no matter how subtle it is, and if I’m in the area for too long, I’ll start getting headaches. This was a massive problem back in St. George, Utah when the air conditioner spewed out a horrible smell of mold and mildew akin to dirty gym shoes, and the curtains had some strange musty, me­tal­lic odor to them. Since then, I’ve been much more careful about picking out newer hotels, and generally haven’t had this problem anymore.

That is, until Albuquerque. This was clearly an older hotel, and it wasn’t really maintained the best, so my room smelled very musty when I arrived. I in­ten­tion­al­ly picked the full-service corporate-run Marriott Albuquerque so I could have a nice view, enjoy free beverages and snacks in the lounge, and have a nicer stay. Although I had an amazing view out of floor-to-ceiling windows, the lounge was still closed due to being short-staffed from the pan­dem­ic, and the room was clearly dated and a little bit rough around the edges.

With all that considered, I figured that it wasn’t worth the extra cost to stay at this hotel, so I decided to leave a day early, which not only gave me an op­por­tu­ni­ty explore another city for a day, but also saved me a little bit, because I booked a SpringHill Suites instead. (Just to be clear, the Marriotts brand­ed as just “Marriott” are usually very nice and have a lot of amenities, and I would highly recommend them; it’s just that this particular one in Al­bu­quer­que was disappointing.)

View from Marriott Albuquerque

Marriott Albuquerque

Marriott Albuquerque

I already have two dedicated blog posts from two of my major tourist activities in Albuquerque, one where I went to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, and another when I explored the Sandia Mountains. I went on two additional hikes, but I felt they didn’t warrant their own blog posts, so I decided I would put them in this Albuquerque round-up instead.

The first hike was at the Albuquerque Volcanoes, which are in the general area of the Petroglyph National Monument. There are five volcanoes in that cluster, and I hiked around and onto three of them—the JA, Black, and Vulcan Volcanoes. The first two, I was able to summit, but the third one was blocked off so hikers couldn’t get to the top. I snapped some photos from the two volcanoes I was able to climb up, then took a photo of the volcano that I wasn’t allowed to.

Albuquerque Volcanoes

Albuquerque Volcanoes

Albuquerque Volcanoes

Fitbit Activity Tracker

My second hike was the Canopy Loop at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park. I figured it would be a mistake to visit New Mexico and not see the Rio Grande up close, so I found a hiking trail that went right alongside it.

My favorite part about this hike was how visually different it was from all the other hikes that I’ve done recently. A majority of my hikes throughout the sum­mer and fall have been exceptionally green, so it was a nice change of pace seeing a lot of trees that had finished going through their autumn phase and were now ready to weather the winter.

Canopy Loop Trail at Rio Grande

Canopy Loop Trail at Rio Grande

Canopy Loop Trail at Rio Grande

Canopy Loop Trail at Rio Grande

Fitbit Activity Tracker

 

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Hello, Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

For my next tourist activity of Albuquerque, I wanted to check out Sandia Crest, the highest point of the Sandia Mountains in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties, east of Albuquerque. Many tourism websites suggested doing so via the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, a 15-minute tram ride up the western side of the Sandia Mountains.

When I went to buy tickets, I saw that a round-trip tram ticket cost $29, there was an extra $3 grounds fee, and tax came out to an additional $2.06, for an overall total price of US$34.06. I thought that was fairly steep for a tram ride, so I looked into an alternative, which would be to drive up to Sandia Crest myself. From my hotel, it was 31.6 miles there and 31.1 miles back, and at the IRS average mileage rate of 56¢ per mile, that is the functional equiv­a­lent of spending $35 to drive there instead. The price difference was negligible, but I would have much more control over my sightseeing schedule and get to stop at many other locations along the way with my own truck, so I decided to drive.

I’m glad I did, because on the way out to the mountains, I took Historic Route 66 and went over the musical highway to listen to America the Beautiful. There’s a location on Google Maps for the Musical Highway, but it’s marked as permanently closed, and the reviews state that you can’t hear anything anymore. Through first-hand experience, I can guarantee that, as of today, the musical highway is still there and still singing. The notes aren’t that crisp, probably because the New Mexico Department of Transportation decided not to service the grooves in the road anymore, but as long as you align your right-side tires prop­er­ly, you can definitely still hear it.

Sandia Crest’s elevation is 10,678 feet (3,254 meters) above sea level, so I knew it was going to get cold up there, but I didn’t realize just how cold. Not even halfway up the winding Sandia Crest Scenic Highway portion of New Mexico State Road 536, there was already snow piled up along the side of the road.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

I eventually made it up near Sandia Crest, but quickly reached a point where I couldn’t advance further due to severely limited visibility.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

I went back to the fork in the road and tried to take the other path, but I had no luck there either—it was a decently steep hill, and my truck ended up getting stuck in the snow. I did what felt like a nine-point turn to get out of the snow, and just parked in a random spot on the side of the road.

Of course, to add insult to injury, a small blue Subaru showed up from behind me and just zoomed right up the road that I failed to summit.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

Luckily, my feet and legs have all-wheel-drive, so I used them to walk up the hill instead. When I got to Sandia Crest, shivering in the cold and being plum­meted by powdered snow being blown airborne by the wind, I went to the railing and looked out past the trees—the precise location where you’re supposed to have sweeping views of Albuquerque. Well, that clearly didn’t work out.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

Having no choice but to admit defeat, I returned to my truck and figured that today just wasn’t the day for a successful Sandia Crest visit. However, I did have other plans.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

As I mentioned before, one of the benefits of me driving to Sandia Crest instead of taking the tram was that I could make more stops along the way for some more sightseeing. When I was headed for Sandia Crest, I drove straight up there without stopping, but on my way down, I stopped at literally every single possible stopping location to take in the views.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

As I got further and further down the mountains, the weather got increasingly better, and I was able to walk around a bit without being turned into an ice statue.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

My hope was to get a nice photo of Albuquerque, which clearly didn’t happen, but I got an alternative that was good enough—a nice, sweeping view of the opposite side of the mountains facing towards the east.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

Even further down the mountains, I found a little building nestled in the trees. It looked like it was a commercial building and not a residential one, but if you were in fact allowed to have a residential property out here, this seems like an incredible place to have a second home. I’d definitely want a place where I could come out during times when I want to take a break from the city so I can breathe some fresh air and go on hikes through nature.

Sandia Mountains in New Mexico

Seeing as I never actually took the Sandia Peak Tramway, I can’t necessarily conclude that driving is better, because I never actually experienced what the tram was like… but I think I did myself a huge favor by driving. The Sandia Mountains are much more than just the top, and if you’re into nature, I’d rate the Sandia Mountains as a must-see if you’re in the Albuquerque area.

(Though, as a side note, try to download an offline map of the area before you head over… I didn’t, and it was mildly disconcerting not having cell sig­nal in the middle of a snowstorm on the top of a mountain.)

 

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Hello, National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in New Mexico

For my first tourist activity of Albuquerque, I decided to visit the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. The museum officially lies in an un­in­corporated area of Bernalillo County, but still holds an Albuquerque address.

A bulk of this museum was fairly traditional, with a mixture of some interactive exhibits, objects on display, and plaques with text. The museum opened with an area called the “Pioneers of the Atom,” which introduced notable figures who paved the way to discoveries and advancements of the atom.

Next up was a section about World War II. It started with an overview of the countries involved in the war, as well as the creation and use of the atomic bomb. It then dove deeper into things like the Manhattan Project and the assembly of the atomic bomb, and provided video footage of interviews con­ducted directly with some of the scientists and soldiers involved with the atomic bomb during the war.

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

There was a section off to the side of the World War II section that was dedicated to the temporary exhibit of the season. When I went, it was an exhibit showcasing the cruelties committed towards the Japanese during World War II, and how the United States reacted very harshly and aggressively towards the Japanese in response to their attacks. Similarly to how I got a lot of the timeline of the civil rights movement mixed up, this section made me feel par­ticularly ignorant when I learned that this forced relocation of the Japanese-Americans happened as recently as the mid-1900s.

The next section focused on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First it showed the bomb casings of the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities, then it explained the Japanese post-war recovery process, and how the atomic bombs affected the Japanese for a very long time.

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

Next up on the timeline was the Cold War. Again, not having been much of a history enthusiast throughout my youth, a lot of this information was pret­ty new to me.

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

The most amusing piece of information I saw was about the concept of “MAD,” which stands for Mutually-Assured Destruction. This doctrine states that, if one side attacks the other with a nuclear weapon, they functionally guarantee the destruction of both parties, because the defending party will re­taliate with equal or greater force. Thus, it is in everyone’s best interest for all parties to have extremely powerful nuclear weapons, because then, no­body will attack each other in fear of getting destroyed themselves.

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

At this point in the museum, there was a door leading outside to Heritage Park, which held a lot of planes, rockets, missiles, and other military equip­ment.

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

Looping back inside, the exhibits started getting closer to modern day, with nuclear medicine and radiation being the next sections. I took a little in­ter­ac­tive quiz about radiation exposure, and apparently, my exposure is very average. Right beside it was a look back at atomic pop culture and the dawn­ing of the Atomic Age.

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

The end of the museum had what looked like sponsored exhibits, and covered things like nuclear waste transportation, green energy alternatives, and the uranium cycle.

The exhibits were interesting and the military planes and equipment were nice to look at, but I think the most memorable takeaway from this museum is the overview of the historical events.

This is a continuation of something I’ve been realizing lately while going to a lot of museums during my road trip, and something I’ve been regularly men­tion­ing in my blog—the American education system is absolutely horrible at teaching history, and somehow finds a way to make it seem as boring as pos­si­ble. Now that I’m actually learning about it in a compelling way, all of these events feel much more consequential and relevant, so I’m much more interested and invested in knowing the logic behind why things happened the way they did, and how things ultimately ended up playing out.

 

—§—

 

The Texas road trip round-up

Texas is a large state, so it took some time to get through it. On top of that, my stay in Texas felt a bit longer because, not only did I stay for 11 days in Dal­las (which is longer than the usual 6-7 maximum days that I spend in each major city), but I also flew to Seattle for a week and flew back to Dallas to con­tin­ue my road trip.

I did a lot in Texas, but not all my activities warranted their own blog post, so I decided to do a Texas round-up with all the miscellaneous photographs I have that I want to share.

My first entry into Texas was when I was visiting Texarkana, a city that straddles both Arkansas and Texas. From there, I drove to Coppell, a northern sub­urb of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. My hotel of choice was the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Dallas DFW Airport North/Coppell Grape­vine, a nice, clean, modern, straightforward, newly-constructed hotel. As a reminder, I’m a big fan of barebones hotels like this because it gives me eve­ry­thing I need and nothing I don’t need.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Dallas DFW Airport North/Coppell Grapevine

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Dallas DFW Airport North/Coppell Grapevine

A few days after arriving in Dallas, I met up with my friend and former assistant Monica and her newly-engaged fiancé for some all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue. I forgot to take a photo of the actual meat that we cooked, so instead, here is a photo of the aftermath of our meal.

The aftermath of all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ

When Monica and I toured Dallas, we each purchased a CityPASS and went to four tourist at­tractions included in the bundle price. The first two at­trac­tions we went to, I already blogged about—the Dallas Zoo and Reunion Tower. The third place we visited was the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, often referred to as the John F. Kennedy Museum.

The JFK Museum wasn’t exactly the best museum I’ve ever been to, but there’s only so much that you can put in a museum about a single president. It was a lot more crowded than I expected (which was probably the case because we had to go on a weekend, because Monica works traditional hours and weekdays), so the first floor ended up being very cramped. What made it worse was that almost the entire first floor composed of big text-heavy posters and normal television-style videos, so people were crowded around and not really moving.

It ended up getting better once you got to the seventh floor, and it felt much more like an actual museum there—there were artifacts from the time period of JFK’s as­sas­si­na­tion, and there was a window where you could look out to see from where precisely Lee Harvey Oswald carried out the as­sas­si­na­tion. I took a photograph of it.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

That’s not the photograph. After looking at my camera roll, Monica proudly declared to me that I had taken a photo of the wrong street, and that she had “saved my blog from doom” from my mistake. … Here’s the actual street—the location where JFK was shot is marked on the street with a white X.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Our fourth and final tourist activity of our CityPASS was the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. This museum was a mixture of a ton of different things all smashed into one museum; I actually think that this would be a great place for children to learn a fairly broad overview of a lot of scientific top­ics.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

There was a tech area near the end of the museum with a lot of hands-on experiments and exhibits. I don’t really ever take selfies, so when I do end up with a picture of myself, I like to share it; here I am in front of a projector tracking software exhibit thing that took your face and replaced it with a 3D mod­el. It seems like it didn’t recognize me because I had a black face covering on (as was required by the museum due to the pandemic) and my camera was in front of my face, but it recognized Monica.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

After my trip to Seattle, I flew back to Dallas–Fort Worth, then drove to Decatur after I landed to get a little bit closer to my next destination, Amarillo, so I could break up the monotony of the drive the following day.

It’s a meme at this point that every Texan drives a large pickup truck. When I arrived in Decatur, I noticed that there were a lot of pickup trucks in the parking lot—more than there were any other kind of vehicle combined. In order to capture this meme moment, I snapped a photo from my hotel room window after checking in. Yes, my truck was indeed the smallest one in the lot.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Decatur at Decatur Conference Center

Next up was Amarillo. This was an interesting hotel experience—I booked a room at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Amarillo Central, but ap­par­ent­ly this hotel is connected to and within the same building as the Four Points by Sheraton Amarillo Central. I’m guessing that the Fairfield Inn part was still “under construction,” in the sense that the rooms were ready, but the management of that side of the building hadn’t been staffed up yet, so the Four Points was overseeing the entire building.

I also noticed that this design and color scheme of Fairfield Inn wasn’t one that I had ever seen before. I’m curious to find out whether this is the new look of all the next-generation Fairfield Inns (as opposed to the blue carpet, black desk, and green chair look that you see above in the Dallas pho­to­graph), or if this one was just unique because it was attached to a Four Points.

(And in case you’re curious, no, I wasn’t traveling with anyone in Amarillo—I just had a room with two beds because the rate for this was cheaper than the rate for a single king bed.)

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Amarillo Central

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Amarillo Central

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Amarillo Central

And after a few days in Amarillo (which I mostly used just to exercise in the gym, catch up on work, and relax), I headed out of Texas and into New Mex­i­co. I missed the moment when my truck hit 30,000 miles on the odometer, but I noticed it in time to catch a photo at 30,033 miles.

Hitting 30,000 miles on my GMC Canyon

Next up, Albuquerque.

 

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Another routine trip to Seattle

With so many of our new employees being in the Seattle Metropolitan Area, I’ve added a week-long visit to Seattle as part of my routine trips, in ad­di­tion to the already-existing Southern California trips. This past week, I went to visit some co-workers and friends to get some work done and do some more exploring.

Flying from DFW to SEA

The day after arriving, my plan was to stay around the Seattle area and visit one of my co-workers. The night of landing in Seattle, I stayed in a hotel overlooking Puget Sound; it had a nice view the following morning after the sun came up.

Seattle

Right before checking out, a friendly seagull came to visit me right in front of my window. At first I was concerned it would fly away, so I started taking photos from far away just so I could make sure I had a picture of it, but as I got closer, it stood its ground; eventually, I was able to get right up to it and get some close-ups. That particular area right next to the window is slightly covered by the ledge above, so I’m guessing it was happily sitting there for some shelter from the rain.

Seagull

Over the weekend, I visited Doug Wreden, mostly just to spend time together and play video games. On Saturday, I joined him as a guest on his Twitch live stream where we played Tetris 99, TypeRacer, and Mario Party with his viewers. Content from this stream has been added to the “Collaborations” sec­tion of my YouTube channel.

After squeezing in a few more work days early on in the week, I spent the final day before departure with Allie, who you may remember as the owner of the cats Simon and Henry.

She has apparently walked past the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in downtown Seattle a handful of times but never actually went in, so we took my trip here as an opportunity to check it out. It’s basically like three very large Starbucks stores put together, with some special menu items and even a section for alcohol. There was also a section where you could see a lot of the coffee-making machinery, as well as a coffee library in the corner that was a lot qui­eter than the main area.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle

Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle

After coffee, we visited the NEKO Cat Café, considering both of us are cat enthusiasts. You may remember that, the last time I was here, we went to Meow­tro­pol­i­tan; this time, we decided to try out a different cat café that was in walking distance of the Roastery that we were already at.

NEKO was quite a pleasant surprise, because apparently, they had moved all the adult cats to a different location, and the only cats available in the Seattle location were kittens. If you’re familiar with cats, you know that some of them take some time to familiarize with you, so they may be shy at first; these kittens weren’t like that at all, and they were all eager to snuggle and get picked up.

NEKO Cat Café in Seattle

NEKO Cat Café in Seattle

NEKO Cat Café in Seattle

NEKO Cat Café in Seattle

NEKO Cat Café in Seattle

NEKO Cat Café in Seattle

After almost an hour in kitten heaven, we got some dinner at Kizuki Ramen.

We ate at their Capitol Hill location, which made me slightly concerned due to potential political riots after Kyle Rittenhouse inevitably gets found in­no­cent in his ongoing murder trial, but the jury was still deliberating by the end of the day and didn’t come to a verdict, so we were able to enjoy a peace­ful dinner.

Ramen

Afterwards, we drove around a bit in Seattle to do some sightseeing, then I dropped Allie off so she could go home for the night.

After my flight today, I’m back in Texas—I flew back into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, then drove out to Decatur to spend a night here a bit closer to my next destination so I could break up the monotony of the drive tomorrow by a little bit.

I still have a few photos to share of my time in Dallas, but not quite enough for it to warrant its own entire blog post, so I’m most likely going to do a Texas round-up after I wrap up my stay in Amarillo and make it to Albuquerque.

 

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Hello, Reunion Tower in Dallas, Texas

For our second tourist activity of Dallas, Monica and I went to Reunion Tower.

When we traveled together to Seattle a little over a year ago, we went to something similar—the Space Needle. Reunion Tower wasn’t quite as tall as the Space Needle, but I still got some good views of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower

We intentionally timed it so we went right around sunset, so we would able to see the orange sunlight flooding across the city, as well as the night lights from the buildings downtown about half an hour later.

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower

You might have noticed that some of the photos have bars in them. In case you would be curious, I took a photo of what the bars were from—Reunion Tower has a bunch of lights circling the observation deck that are held up by these bars, and they illuminate for some light shows on special occasions.

Reunion Tower

As a bonus piece of content, I managed to capture a marriage proposal, acceptance, and engagement between an unknown couple out on the outdoor portion of the observation deck.

An unknown couple gets engaged at Reunion Tower

I have no idea who they are, but if you do, then let them know—they had a videographer already recording, but I’m sure they would appreciate the ad­di­tion­al photos I captured as well.

 

—§—

 

Hello, Dallas Zoo in Texas

After spending around four days in my hotel room almost non-stop working, I emerged out into the open for my first tourist activity of Dallas.

A little over a year ago, my friend and former assistant Monica joined me for a trip to Seattle, where we visited the Woodland Park Zoo. Since that time, Tempo withdrew from esports and pivoted to game development, so Monica and her team found a different home. She also got a full-time job outside of esports, and she works as an executive assistant to a CEO of a company in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.

For this trip, we reunited over the weekend to continue our exploration of the country, with our first stop being the Dallas Zoo.

Towards the beginning of the zoo exhibits were some tamarins. There was a special section later called “Tamarin Treetops,” but for some reason, they split out a few of the tamarins and placed them near the entrance too.

Dallas Zoo

Afterwards, we looped into the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo and visited the alpacas.

Dallas Zoo

Right next to the alpacas was the goat yard.

Dallas Zoo

In the center of the Children’s Zoo, there was a large pool of koi fish. Of course, there was a section where we could pay a quarter to get some koi food and feed the fish.

The magic of this exhibit being in the Children’s Zoo, though, is that you don’t actually need to pay money to get food to feed the fish. That’s because, if you look on the ground around the food dispenser, you’ll see a ton of pellets of food just laying there, because after children purchase food to feed the fish, they will drop a portion of it on the ground because their hands are too small to hold it all. … I should be charging you a fee for this extremely valuable information.

Dallas Zoo

Outside the Children’s Zoo was the flamingo pond.

Dallas Zoo

We continued on the path north and walked past Primate Place and towards the tiger-viewing building. There was a “Tiger Classroom” where you could learn about the tiger, and then there was one single tiger who was just hiding in the corner. I managed to catch him roaming around on the edge of his enclosure, but whomever decided to plant massive bamboo plants to obscure the view of the tiger probably shouldn’t keep working at zoos.

Dallas Zoo

Next up was the Otter Outpost. I’ve seen a lot of otters, and I’ve attempted to take a lot of photos of otters, but they never really end up that great be­cause otters are very fast swimmers, and they usually don’t sit still. Miraculously, I managed to capture the best otter photo I’ve ever taken in my life, of this otter peacefully laying on a rock observing those who were observing him.

Dallas Zoo

After the otters, we continued on the path to the Herpetarium, which is an exhibition space for reptiles and amphibians. This was my favorite part of the zoo, not only because the animals here were the easiest to photograph, but also because there were so many of them in such a wide variety.

Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

The next area on the northern side of the zoo, cleverly named ZooNorth, had some anteaters, sloths, and Galápagos tortoises. This area also had the Wings of Wonder exhibit with a bunch of birds, but I wasn’t able to capture any good photographs of the birds because, not only were most of them just far away and nestled in the trees, but it was very sunny out, so it was difficult to get my camera to focus on the birds instead of the shining sky.

Dallas Zoo

Just south of Wings of Wonder was Bug U!, a section with… you guessed it, bugs. I thought it was intriguing, and this was Monica’s favorite part of the zoo because she is a bug enthusiast, but I opted not to include any photos of this section here because, not only did the photos not turn out too well due to glass glare and the difficulty of focusing in on small bugs, but also because people tend to get irrationally grossed out by bugs.

After going through a tunnel to the western side of the zoo, we visited the penguins. The penguin exhibit had a glass viewing area on the side, so I was able to capture an action shot.

Dallas Zoo

Next to the penguins were the cheetahs.

Dallas Zoo

This is when tragedy struck. Right as we reached the intersection to go to the Wilds of Africa and the Giants of the Savanna, we were met by two zoo em­ploy­ees who said that both sections were closed for the remainder of the day due to a private event. Yes, this literally meant that we weren’t able to ex­pe­ri­ence half of the zoo because of unlucky timing.

After they said that, I vaguely remembered that, while I was in the process of entering the zoo and paying for parking, the attendant did mention that something-something “Africa” was closed today. I figured that it was just a single really popular exhibit that was closed, so I told her that it was fine and entered the zoo anyway. Little did I know that she actually meant the entire western half of the zoo was closed.

Because of my limited time in Dallas, and the fact that Monica works during normal business hours on the weekdays so she only has time to go ex­ploring the city during the weekends, I decided this was fine and we went on to our next tourist attraction. It’s unfortunate that I missed so much, but I guess it’s just something to look forward to if I ever end up returning to the Dallas Zoo.

 

—§—

 

The southeast round-up

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I moved through the southeastern states fairly quickly, and now I’m in Texas. I have some miscellaneous pic­tures from the southeast that didn’t fit in any particular blog post, so I decided to do a quick round-up as an opportunity to do a random photo dump.

After flying back from my visit to the West Coast, I drove from Atlanta to Lithia Springs, Georgia after landing to bring myself a little bit closer to my next destination and break up the drive a bit for the following day. My hotel of choice was the Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Lithia Springs.

Courtyard Atlanta Lithia Springs

Courtyard Atlanta Lithia Springs

Courtyard Atlanta Lithia Springs

After departing Lithia Springs, my next destination was Birmingham, Alabama. I’m guessing that there was an event happening in the area, because it was difficult to find some cheap hotels (even with my promotional discounted rate), so I opted to stay at the Marriott Birmingham.

Because of my Titanium Elite status, I got upgraded to a corner room on a high floor, which was great. Unfortunately, their M Club Concierge Lounge was still closed and they were still blaming the pandemic for it, which meant I wasn’t able to get unlimited snacks and beverages like the highest elite members usually do at full-service corporate-run Marriott hotels.

Marriott Birmingham

Marriott Birmingham

Marriott Birmingham

After Birmingham, I made my way to Jackson, Mississippi. I decided to stay in Ridgeland, a northern suburb of Jackson. My hotel of choice there was the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Jackson Ridgeland/The Township at Colony Park.

This was a very pleasant hotel; the staff here was particularly professional, and I got assigned a room with a nice view. The location was also fantastic—it was easy to get in and out of the hotel parking lot, and there were a lot of nice shops and restaurants nearby. I also really liked the architecture of the buildings nearby in the area—they had almost a classic charm to them, but didn’t look old or run down.

SpringHill Suites Jackson Ridgeland

People sometimes get a little bit confused when I say that I literally bring my entire computer with me and set up my entire workstation at hotels if I’m staying for longer than one night, in order to make sure the quality of my work is not being affected by my travel. To provide a visual on what this ac­tu­al­ly means, I decided to take a picture of my room in Ridgeland after getting everything set up, rather than before.

SpringHill Suites Jackson Ridgeland

In my blog post about the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, I mentioned that the other half of the building contained the Museum of Mississippi His­tory. I ended up running out of time and didn’t really get an opportunity to go through it as slowly and thoroughly as I wanted to, so I figured I would just post one of the photos I captured from there in this round-up.

Mississippi Museum of History

After Mississippi, I drove through Louisiana and made my way towards Texarkana, a city that is split between Arkansas and Texas. My hotel of choice in Texarkana was the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Texarkana.

This hotel wasn’t really the best, and the person who installed the curved shower curtain rod in my room didn’t use both halves of their brain on the day they were installing it and drilled it in curving down instead of to the side, so the shower curtain literally wouldn’t stay extended all the way. At least I got a nice view of the car wash next door, I guess?

Fairfield Inn Texarkana

And with that, I’ve conquered a visit to all the southeastern states, filling in the blank spot I had in that corner of the country.

Adam Parkzer's Travel Map

For the next week and a half, I’ll be in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It’s the beginning of a new month, so I have quite a bit of end-of-month finance tasks to wrap up for work from October. Afterwards, I’m meeting up with my friend and former assistant Monica to go exploring Dallas, so there’s more to come soon…

 

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