Boy, was it windy this weekend in Minnesota! Despite the rain it would have been a great couple of days to have a solar farm churning away making clean energy. Map 209 shows wind power projects in the United States (I know that because the title says so). The size of the circles on the map represent the wind power capacity of each wind farm while the color indicates which candidate the state chose in the 2016 general election between Hillary Clinton and now-President Donald Trump (shudder).
The source article in the New York Times where this map was featured addressed the fact that many states that voted Republican (and consistently do) are still advancing renewable energy projects despite their politicians’ interest in continued “exploitation of oil, gas and coal”. These legacy fuel sources have been proven to endanger the planet and its ozone layer through pollution but many politicians refuse to let them go, especially Republicans, because of lobbying by energy companies. The article, however, says that states controlled by Republicans are still pushing for additional use of wind power, and to a lesser extent, solar power. The reason they are do this, it seems, is for the economic benefits. “The clean energy push allows their utilities to lock in low power prices for decades, creates manufacturing jobs, puts steady money in the hands of farmers who host wind turbines and lures big employers who want renewable power.” Wealthier states like California can buy additional power from renewable sources that red states want to sell which is beneficial to both economies. The article concludes that Republicans and Democrats do not have to agree that climate change is real and caused by humans as long as the economic benefit from renewable energy is felt by all. While I wish everyone would listen to the significant evidence that oil and coal are bad for the environment, I will accept the half measure of increasing the use of renewable power.
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A woman I went to high school with, Rebecca, recently traveled to Spain on vacation with a friend of hers (that I do not know). The pictures of the Spanish countryside and historical and cultural landmarks got my attention and I asked her if she could send me a basic itinerary so I could feature it here (once she got home, of course). She did send me a list of the destinations they visited in Spain, which I turned into the several-part Map 210.
Rebecca and her friend flew to Madrid, Spain from Dallas, Texas with a quick layover in Atlanta, Georgia (a very busy airport hub). It was an overnight flight to Europe, a smart way to go assuming you can sleep on planes. If you take a red-eye flight you can arrive at your destination with the entire day ahead of you. I wasn’t able to sleep on the plane during our honeymoon a couple years ago and it made for a sleep first day in London (Beth got a little sleep at least).
The pair arrived in Madrid around 7:15am and headed for a train station. They visited the El Rastro Flea Market nearby and then caught a train to Seville, Spain just after lunch. I’ve haven’t traveled by train much but I would love to do so in Europe.
Seville is about three hours away from Madrid by rail. They stayed in a private residence booked on AirBnB. Once unburdened by luggage they explored the neighborhood, ate dinner, and went to a Flamenco bar. It sounds like a very adventurous first day of vacation if you ask me!
Day two of their trip was no less exciting or ambitious! The list of attractions they visited includes, but is not limited to, the Plaza de España, Real Alcazar, Catedral de Sevilla, Torre Giralda, and Barrio Santa Cruz. The pictures of these locations on TripAdvisor (linked) are fantastic. I suggest checking them out when you’re done here.
The third day of their trip saw the two leaving beautiful Seville for Antequera, the Cueva del Gato, El Torcal Natural Park, and Granada, where they checked into a hotel for the night. Don’t worry, they topped off the evening with ice cream at a place called Los Italianos. The fourth day included Alhambra, Cathedral and Royal Chapel, the spas at Hammam Al Andalus, and the Plaza de San Nicolas. They concluded with dinner on Calle Navas. They returned to Madrid the next day and did a food tour that evening. They went sightseeing in Toledo a short distance away on day six and saw the sights of Madrid the on their final day in Spain. On day eight they flew home to Dallas via Atlanta again.
Researching all of the wonderful attractions those two visited fills me with an impressive amount of jealousy. They planned themselves an amazing excursion filled with a good mixture of cultural attractions, historical places, and beautiful scenery. They did a wonderful job in my (rarely-humble) opinion and I’d be happy to follow the same path if I ever make it to Spain. That beautiful country wasn’t very high on my travel list before but now that Rebecca has gone there and shown me the beauty via pictures, it has moved up significantly! I have included a few of their pictures below for your viewing pleasure.
Have you taken a fantastic vacation to a far-off place and want to share your experience? I want to hear your story and pictures! Leave me a link to your own blog or social media post in the comments below. Living vicariously through others is often worth the jealousy it causes.
Bonus Map Link: Ocean Heat Map