With All Apologies: Sent to Finland, the U.K., & the U.S.

I’ve recently done some transgressing in my postcard life.

It all started when I signed up for one of the Postcrossing Forum “you choose” threads, in which the person tagging you makes a selection from cards you offer.

And I could not find the card selected by the person who tagged me.

I was SURE I still had the card the person selected.  So I looked for it.

FOR WEEKS, I looked for that card.

It shouldn’t have happened, and it felt bad, but that’s what happened.  I was just so sure it was waiting for me to find it.  In fact, now that I’ve mailed something else to my poor tag-mate, I’m still fairly positive that postcard will jump out and say, “SURPRISE!”

The card she chose was a movie poster, so I sent her both of the movie poster cards I COULD find, plus an otter card since she likes animal cards, a landscape shot since she likes landscape cards, an Elephant & Piggie card since she likes children’s book illustrations, and several stamps, as she–well, you get it.  I crafted an envelope from an old calendar page, & off that went.  Oh, I also included a sticker sheet I had found while attempting to locate the card she actually wanted.

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Then came the swap-bot debacle.

I went on a very nice little vacation recently, and while I was gone, a swap-bot trade for which I’d registered opened up for swapping.  And before I’d returned, the “send-by” date had come and gone–all of this without me realizing it.

At some point, months ago, I had tried to adjust my swap-bot e-mail notifications, so I wouldn’t get trivial emails from them every five minutes (I really don’t want to know, “helpful” mod, every time there is a sale at Joann’s Fabrics.  I DON’T CARE).  It didn’t work; I still get the nonsense emails, but NOT the ones that keep me informed about swap deadlines).

Anyhow, if I had been keeping track of swap-bot, and my own calendar, this would not have happened.  But when I came home to see I had for the first time missed a swap-bot deadline, I got down to business.  I was to have sent each of my two partners a single postcard, but instead I sent them each four, along with extras, using their profile as a guide:

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I also sent each of them a message (and a message to the swap admin, too) to apologize & let them know the actions I was taking.  I got three very kind & understanding messages in return.

Have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of postcarding law?  Feels so bad, am I right?

Has Russia Hacked Postcrossing/-cardunited? Sent toGermany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • A conspiracy?
  • A Snoopy treasure trove discovered, and cast far & wide
  • Other stuff
  • Tons of stamps & stickers

Let’s start with Good Ol’ Snoopy Brown.  I’ve mentioned many times in this space the lack of Snoopy/Peanuts cards here in the U.S.  Despite being the birthplace of the comic strip, and although Peanuts greeting cards seem to be sold absolutely everywhere (even in supermarkets), the postcards are just not found unless you go to the source: the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

That being the case, I was thrilled to find a book of 1970’s-era Snoopy postcards on sale online!

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Several have already been dispatched, including to Peanuts-loving pen-pals of mine in Hawaii, Tokyo, & England (I know I didn’t write that trio out as an equal set, yes).  Those cards (and one to Taoyuan, Taiwan, for a Postcrossing Forum tag) went out as postcards should, with a note & a stamp on the back, & dropped into a mailbox.  The next one here went out to a Postcrossing Forum regular in Finland who says that she gives Snoopy postcards to a friend, so she’d like hers in an envelope.  Okay, fine–I made an envelope:

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She also likes to collect stamps, so since I was already throwing stuff into an envelope, I added some stamps from my incoming mail.

The foggy view of Golden Gate Bridge was chosen by someone in Berlin, Germany, in a Postcrossing Forum “show the card you offer” tag.  I’m glad I had something she liked.

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To Berlin & St. Petersburg

Okay, let’s get into the Russia hack scandal story I’ve just made up (or unearthed inadvertently, who knows).  I have fallen way behind on “official” cards traveling out via Postcrossing Forum & Postcard United: between the two sites, I had only 1 card traveling (I think I can have around 30 at this point if I chose to).  Yes, I’m sending a lot of cards out, but it’s mainly via Postcrossing Forum, which offers so many different options that I’ve just found it the more fun way to go.  The problem I have with the main focus of the two sites is that Postcrossing Forum seems to send me constantly to just the same 3-4 countries, and Postcard United’s algorithm is so rough that there are repeat encounters with the same people, and I’m being paired within my own country.

Anyhow, I decided to send some cards out again via the two sites, so started asking to be assigned addresses:

Click 1–Postcrossing: Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA.  Of course.  Decided to try my luck next at the other site.

Click 2–Postcard United: Moscow, RUSSIA.  Why, I oughta…

Click 3–Postcard United: Krasnodar, RUSSIA.  What?!?  I claim shenanigans.  I’m moving back to the other site.

Click 4–Postcrossing: Alkmaar, Netherlands.  Fine.  I then quit while I was ahead.  We’ll see when I click on those “send a postcard” buttons again.  This is supposed to be relaxing.

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A sweetened pickle to the Netherlands, and the rest to Russia.

Moving on from the Eastern European drama… the pair of cards pictured next went off to China, in Postcrossing Forum tags.  The aerial view of Hearst Castle (another card I replenished during my recent postcard-gathering road trip) is headed toward a food safety major in Beijing, who expressed his wishes for anything local to the sender: “local buildings…anything local is welcome!”  If by local, he meant anything in the same state, this place 3 hours or so away from me is local!

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The pancakes, which I received recently from a Postcard Uniter, go to Heifei, Anhui, China, in a food postcard trade.  The recipient is a chemistry student who says he loves travel, and receiving food postcards.

Finally, this multi-zoned California map card (part of my recent haul) went off to Hong Kong, to someone hoping for map cards. I told her that within just a couple of months, I will have traveled to every segment on the left sided of the card within this calendar year.  I do love coastal trips!

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Now a look at stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff–do you have any favorites down here? Behold the new USPS stamp release, Delicioso, which “celebrates the influence of Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.”  And I always love the shorebird & sea shell postcard stamp sets.

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All in One Day! Received from Australia, Finland, Malaysia, Russia, & Taiwan

First mail day of the week, and my box was full of postcards!  Getting five in one day, I suppose perhaps I should brace myself for the idea that this might be it for the entire week.

Let’s start with “Malaysia Traditional Kue,” my favorite card this time.  I must really like it, to call it my favorite when this is probably the 3rd time I’ve received the card over the course of my Postcrossing career.  It came to me via Postcard United.

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That beautiful tea dragon made its way to me from Oulu, Finland, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum food package tag.  The sender writes:

“This is the strangest tag I have ever participated in!  This package shows one of my fave teas to make in ice tea form–I like white teas for it, raspberry & orange in addition to this.  The cute dragon is a bonus!  I don’t use sugar or other sweeteners in it, so black tea tastes too strong IMO.  I do prefer green teas for warm tea.  The stamp shows one of the crazy competitions we have in Finland–boot throwing.  Others in the series include e.g. Air Guitar (the world championships are here in Oulu!), and wife carrying.  I’ve been to the air guitar world championships a few times, but it was years ago.  It’s a fun contest to watch and some performances are really acrobatic.”

Well.

You’ll get to see the stamp she’s talking about down below, but let’s look at that noodle dish, now.  That’s from Taiwan, an the sender tells me:

“I would really like to show you this food.  “Oyster & pork intestine vermicelli with rice noodles (da chang mian xian in Chinese) is my favorite!

Down below, you can see the stamps from her card, and I’ll share her descriptions of the food found on those.

The rather scary Russian scene is from Russia, via Postcrossing.  In registering the card, I learned the sender is a 12-year-old.

Much less scary is the shark card, which I received from Eden, NSW, Australia via Postcard United.  Pretty cool: a first-day issue card from 1998.  I like that cancellation stamp!  The back of the card is quite interesting; the user employs QUITE a few custom & non-custom ink stamped statements & designs, while still squeezing in  little hand-written message.  I’ve left it all mostly intact below, so you can take it in.

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Beautiful stamps on the card from Taiwan.  The sender tells me the fruit on the left is lian wu, or wax apple, and the pastries at the right are her favorite dessert, “dan huang su, egg with mashed red bean and crispy outside.”

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Topographical Snoopy: Received from Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

What a swell batch! I especially love the cards at the top, both of which are ducky.

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What a wonderful, beautiful Donald Duck drawing.  He’s looking befuddled; he’s definitely been disrespected–and you just know he’s moments away from launching into an angry fit!  I received this in a Postcrossing Forum “I would really like to have tag,” where I wrote that I would really like to have a card with Donald or one of his relatives.  The sender wrote:

“Apa Kabar?  How are you?  Salam/greetings from Indonesia!  May the Peace and Joy that Christmas brings be with you and your loved ones!

I really want to see giant rubber ducks in a harbor.  One did come, very briefly, to Los Angeles, but only very briefly, and that’s about 6 hours away from me.  This card is one I actually asked for, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag in which we were to post the cards we offer.  The back side is beautiful, too!  The sender, who is in Taiwan, tells me:

“This card is Rubber Duck in Keelung (maybe you know).  I visited it in 2014.”

The Sally Brown card is very interesting: Sally is drawn is Charles Schulz’s style, but the other items show no attempt to match up.  The sender wrote:

“Greetings from Riihikoski, a village in south-west Finland.  I really love Snoopy and his friends.”

Down below, where I show the backs of the cards, check out the also-very-interesting 3-D Snoopy sticker!  By the way, this card was sent as part of one of Postcrossing Forum’s most lonely threads, the Snoopy/Peanuts tag.

Great drawing on that Snoopy card!  The image had been in my Postcrossing wall of favorites, and a sender in Japan chose it for me, thanks to a forum trade in which you were to send someone a card from their wall. The sender wrote about food:

“I like cooking.  Today’s dinner is yakitori.  It’s grilled chicken skewers.  They are made from bite-sized pieces of meat from all different parts of the chicken, and grilled with salt.”

The card at bottom right is from somewhere in the U.S., and came to me in a swap-bot trade of movie or TV postcards.  The font style on the front made me just dismiss it as computer code, and my first thought was that perhaps the two characters on the front were Snape & Malfoy from the Harry Potter series.  NOPE.  The sender tells me:

“I got this card at a craft fair a while back.  Hope you don’t mind that it’s a custom one.  I kind of got sucked into the SuperWhoLock fandom.  I’m a bit embarassed about the Super element, but a proud Whovian…and who can resist Cumberbatch?”

And so I came to Ask Jeeves about “SuperWhoLock.”

Soooo much good stuff on the back of the postcards this time:

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Here comes that 3-D Snoopy sticker I mentioned before.  It’s hard plastic.  Below this image, I’ve posted an enlargement, so keep scrolling.

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I guess it’s hard to show in a scan…it’s like a plastic topographical map… have you seen some like this before?

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Here’s Mud (or Something) in Your Eye: Sent to Finland, South Africa, & the U.S.

I kinda love this entire batch.  Your results may vary (you can let me know).

It’s an all swap-bot entry this time, with 5 cards going out in two different swaps.  The top three, somewhat defaced, cards are off in a trade of “modified postcards.”

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That poor kitty is off to a leopard lover in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  As I told her, I don’t believe in dressing up animals, but since it was already sporting the ornate collar, I decided it was just fancy like that.

The kid on the right: what’s that in his face?  According to the postcard’s caption, it’s Nutella, but it doesn’t look like Nutella to me.  To me, it looks like poo, or even worse, caramel.  In any case, the Peanuts gang had better wash up good.  The card will go to a swapper in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Speaking of the Peanuts gang, Hydra Lucy & Victim Schroeder will go to a Peanuts lover in Rovaniemi, Finland.  Hail Lucy!

The other two cards are off in a trade of upcycled postcards.  My toy-pusher in Singapore sent me the gift of very cool Mr. White Cloud & Little Raindrop figures, and ever since, I had been saving the package to send off as postcards.  This is off to the creator of this particular swap, who is in Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.

I tried a new veggie burger this week, and I liked it!  The Hodo Soy Tofu Veggie Burgers were nice & firm, a far cry from the mushy, mushy Dr. Praeger’s I had previously been eating.  I saved the box for my snail mail habit, and off it goes to Goleta, California.

The backs of the cards are fun, too–at least I think so!

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I Dispute Nearly Every Single Thing She Wrote: Received from England, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, & the U.S.

Let’s get right to it!

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I LOVE THAT SEAL CARD.

“Hello!”  That card, and the one below it, are both mine thanks to another swap-bot “upcycled postcard” trade.  This piece of art was created by a swapper somplace in the U.K., who tells me:

“I have used part of the box from my dog’s dry food!  Her name is Daisy & she is a Border Collie.  We rescued her 2 years ago from a puppy farm.  She is an absolute beauty!”

The fig image is from Hartford, Connecticut, and the sender writes:

“If you can’t tell, this is a picture of pomegranates.  I love pomegranates, but they are too much work!  This cardboard is from a Graze box.  Graze is a company that sends you little boxes of snacks.  Healthy snacks.  They are delicious.”

I dispute nearly every single thing she wrote, except for the part about the cardboard being from a Graze box. Figs are distinctly different from pomegranates–and those are figs.  I tried Graze sometime back–perhaps on a recommendation on a similar panel from this same user–and, yuck.  Dried junk easily found at local stores, and their mockery of international flavors in their soups?  Oof!  I do not know why they would show a photo of fresh fruit on their packaging, when what they offers is the farthest thing from fresh.

My favorite postcard in this batch is certainly that seal, which came to me from a Postcrosser in Dordrecht, Netherlands.  She tells me that like me, she loves the sea, but she doesn’t get to go much, due to the fact her husband has a leg wound.  She is hopeful that next year they will be able to start enjoying vacations “with our little caravan.”

That swingin’ Brighton card is from a friend of a friend in Peacehaven, East Sussex, England, who wanted to trade cards with me.  She tells me that hers is a small town, 7 miles outside of Brighton, and:

“Most people here dress like the dudes in the picture and drive the same cars–well, our friends do anyway!”

Those poor elephants make me sad.  The card is from a Postcrosser in Fukuoka, Japan, and she tells me:

“My hobby is walking, drawing, reading, eating and travel. I traveled to Thailand 10 years ago.  Thai-Food was very spicy.  I like curry. 🙂 And you?”

Yes, very much.

Finally, we get to the card at the bottom right.  It’s from Valkeakoski, Finland, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “last trip” tag.  The sender writes:

“We visited TALLINN, Estonian on June.  It’s an old characteristic town.  From Finland it is rather cheap to buy a cruise to Tallinn or to Stockholm, Sweden.  I have visited both towns several times. On the card you will see the oldest part of town and the castle on the right corner up.  It is on the hill.”

Stamps, sticker, & postmarks:

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Showing a Lot More Backside Than I Intended: Sent to England, Finland, France, Germany, & Japan

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The Genie went off to Köln (AKA Cologne), Germany, for a Postcrossing Forum trade in which people were to specify what kind of Disney card they would like.  I told the recipient about the Aladdin stage show that ran for years at Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim, California.  For years, that was really the only reason I went to that park–and I’d see the show multiple times in a visit.  Yes, it was that good.

A lot of Peanuts characters are running for office this season.  I pulled another Postcrossing name, and Linus is off to make his case in Kamimashiki, Kumamoto, Japan.  The recipient enjoys traveling, so I wrote about travel, and she likes Peanuts, so I Peanutsed-up the back of her card:

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My tiger went off in a Postcrossing draw to Saarenkylä, Finland, and I awoke this morning to the “Hurray” message:

Thanks for the great card! That tiger is so cute 🙂 Stamps are also very nice! The place you are telling in this card sounds amazing! I hope I’ll visit there someday.
Have a nice day!

I guess that demands that I share the flip side of the card:

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I swear, I wasn’t going to show off more than one card backside this time.

Snoopy went to Peacehaven, East Sussex, England, to a Peanuts-obsessed friend of a friend who contacted me via Instagram offering a postcard trade.  She has already received it, and loves it; as of this writing, hers is still on the way to me.

I drew a Postcrosser in Aveyron, France, and sent that person, a map lover, California’s Natural Wonders.

Finally, the Skunk Train went off to Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. This was a regular Postcrossing draw, in which the recipient expressed an interest in trains.  I told her that on this train, dogs are allowed to ride–just as long as they have a ticket!

One particularly busy backside (the only one I intended to show in the first place:

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I Don’t Think That Flamingo is Chinese: Received from China, Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, & Malaysia

Some really cool cards this time around!

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Snoopy!  It’s birthday greetings from a postcard pal in Tokyo, Japan, and she says the card also represents Snoopy’s birthday on August 10:

“The day is famous for Snoopy’s Birthday in Japan.  A lot of goodies released on the day.”

I always wonder why Snoopy & Peanuts seem more treasured in Japan than here in their birthplace.  Be sure to check out the back of the postcard below–there’s also a Doraemon stamp!  Oh, speaking of that, a couple of days later, I got a birthday parcel from my friend, and it had a ton of Doraemon stamps on it.  Here they are:

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I love Doraemon.  I might have actually enjoyed these stamps more than anything inside the package!

Next up, from a Postcrosser in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, come those tasty traditional kue (AKA kuih).  I’ve received this same card in the past, but it is no less tasty this time around!  The sender tells me, “I have 7 cats and love them so much!”  Whoa!

I’m loving that flamingo on the beach.  It’s from Tianjin, China, thanks to Postcrossing Forum’s “China Meets the World” tag.  I don’t think this scene takes place in China.  The sender tells me, “…I am a cabin crew working for Air China.  I love postcards and stamps from all over the world.”  I love the sturgeon stamp on his card (check it out below).

The emo-looking movie poster card comes from Finland.  It’s part of a swap-bot free postcard trade, and the sender writes, “this card advertised a new Finnish movie which tells a story of one of our famous band.”

Last up is another Postcrossing card, this one from Kuřim, Czech Republic.  The card depicts Podyjí National Park, and here is what Wikipedia told me about that park:

Podyjí National Park is a national park in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. Adjacent to Austria’s Thayatal National Park on the border, together they are referred to as the Inter-National park.

Stamps, postmarks, stickers & stuff:

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A Great Day for Postcards! Received from Finland & the U.S.

Two cards yesterday–and I love them both!  An especially nice sight to see, opening the mailbox on my b-day.

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Just looka that cool retro retro cool PEZ postcard!  Sent to me from a loved one in Massachusetts, it was purchased at THE PEZ factory in Connecticut.  Did you know that the U.S. has one PEZ (yeah, you gotta capitalize that, like SPAM) (the difference between PEZ and SPAM being that I will actually willingly eat the latter) factory, it is in Orange, Connecticut, and you can visit it?  Now, there is a PEZ Museum close to me, in Burlingame, California but it’s a rather small affair, and–no relation.

The squirrel came to me from Kemi, Finland, in a regular Postcrossing send.  I love it!  Squirrels do it for me every time.  There’s another rodent on the backside: a cute li’l bunny.  Instead of getting off my rear to take another photo in decent light, I looked up the stamp online, so that I could share the image below. I see Finland has had a LOT of rabbit  stamps over the years.  The stamp on my card immediately makes me think of the brand-new USPS animal photo stamps.  Also reminds me: I took a little road trip to the San Luis Obispo area last week, and while I was walking through their botanical gardens, I was lucky enough to see a few rabbits hopping around, feeding.  Sure, it’s not deer, but I enjoyed quietly hanging back, watching.

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Scooting Up the Beach, Away from the Jerks: Sent to Canada, Finland, Germany, & Russia

Four more Postcrossing draws this time.  It’s a good time to mention that, hey, I bought some unique new postcards for my stash!  I stopped in on the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas last week during a quick work-related day trip to northern San Luis Obispo county, California. I popped into a restaurant for a bite, and found that the place sold postcards with photos taken by the establishment’s proprietor!  Two of them–the ones emblazoned “San Simeon, California”–are here.

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It’s an awesome thing to be traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway, near Hearst Castle, and then happening to spot a herd of zebras grazing on the east side of the road.  They are vestiges of William Randolph Hearst’s private zoo, and their presence within view of Highway One always gets drivers pulling over & leaning over a barbed-wire fence to take snapshots.

The zebra card is on its way to Turku, Finland, to a Postcrosser who says her favorite postcards “are landscapes or photos of your city.”  This area is not my city, but I do find myself there an awful lot.

The Postcrosser I drew in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, actually wants postcards to be written to her grandmother, who was recently widowed.  Grandma apparently likes stamps, so I sent one of my ugly postcards resurfaced with a layer of stamps.

Matisse’s Harmony in Red goes to a Postcrosser in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, who stated she would like postcards printed with “reproductions of paintings by famous and not.”  Since ALL she wrote in her “profile” was a list of postcards she’d like to receive (and some she’d not), I was sort of at a loss of what to write.  It was horribly hot yesterday, and will likely be again today, but I don’t want to be that kind of bore, so I wrote:

“…Want to see something cool?  Check out the elephant seal cam at http://www.elephantseal.org/view.htm.  They are 3 hours south of me, at Piedras Blancas near San Simeon.  I went to see them in person 5 days ago!”

And there’s an elephant seal now, on the front of a postcard working its way toward Lörrach, Germany.  The recipient says she works in a cinema, because she loves movies.  She also made a mention of the type of postcards she might like to receive:

“My favorite kind of cards are ones of a sunset over the city, landscapes or famous sights. But I´m more than happy about any postcard I receive.”

Well, I assume the shot on the card I sent her was at sunset–why else would it be so dark?  And it’s kinda landscape-y, and a pretty famous sight–I mean, the parking lot was madness when I was there last week!  Okay, these new cards are burning a hole in my postcards stash, so eager am I to unleash them on the world!  I told her about the cam, too.  I was watching the cam as I wrote the card, and I happened to see a couple of male elephant seals fighting, as a female scooted up the beach and away from the jerks.