Maxwell Girteit Los Angeles International Airport Coral Farm Gallery

Maxwell Girteit’s Vacation To The Atlanta Aquarium

Fly Fishing On The South Fork of the Snake River, Idaho

Maxwell Girteit’s favorite activity in the world is probably fly fishing.  There is nothing better than spending your whole day on the river.  I like to start the day shortly before sunrise and finish as late in the day as possible.  

I spend most of my time fly fishing on the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho.  When I go fishing on the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho, I try to start fishing before the sun even rises.   Early morning fishing is some of the best fishing.    In the early morning, the river water is still cool and the darkness provides cover for the fish so they feel more at ease.  These two qualities of early morning fishing make the trout exceptionally aggressive and easier to catch.  In the afternoon, the sun is high in the sky and water temperatures at their peak of the day so the fish don’t like to eat.

The South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho is known for its wildlife. Along the river one can expect to see moose, deer and plenty of beavers. Deer are  not commonly seen because  they tend to be shy.  On the other hand, moose can be seen frequently in the early mornings and evenings.  Most moose spend their day hiding in the tall grasses along the shore of the South Fork of the Snake River.  Moose tend to venture out only to eat at sunrise or sunset. Beaver can be seen throughout the day but beaver tend to be very shy.  When spooked, beaver slap their tail in the water and make a very large splash.  They use this diversion to dive and swim as fast as they can to get away from human beings in the area.

Bald Eagles are also commonly seen on the river. It is common to see Bald eagles diving to catch fish or perched in a tree along the river eating their catch.

Maxwell Girteit was on the river one day when he saw a group  Piper Cub aircraft flying low and slow in the Canyon section.  Maxwell Girteit was fishing from a boat when a group of three or four Piper Cubs flew  at very low altitude into the canyon section of the South Fork. These Piper Cubs must have been part of a pilots club. Each airplane was flying at very low altitude and flying very slowly as each made its way through the canyon section. The canyon section of the south fork is a very dangerous area to fly. The canyon section is very narrow with tall, steep rock canyon walls on both sides.  There are a number of power lines which traverse the canyon and can be a danger to low flying aircraft.  After seeing the first two airplanes, I quickly grabbed my phone and took a few pictures of the last plane that flew by me.  Maxwell Girteit was really excited.  Being a pilot, I know how dangerous and exciting that kind of flying can be so I was thrilled to be around them while they were doing it.  I’m sure it’s illegal but it did look like a lot of fun.  It was dangerous for sure.

Some of the most beautiful scenes on the river occur at sunset.  While on the river I took a number of sunset photos and have posted them here because I think they are exceptional.



Maxwell Girteit’s Vacation To The Beaches of Curacao, Willemstad and Sea Aquarium

Maxwell Girteit traveled to the island of Curacao for a fun vacation and sight seeing experience.  Curacao is a small island in the Caribbean just north of Venezuela.   The island has a long history as a Dutch colony but I believe it is currently an independent country.  Though the island has achieved political independence, there are still close ties to the Dutch.

Many Dutch tourists were visiting while I was there.  The Dutch Navy also has a presence on the island.  In fact, I was eating breakfast one morning during my trip and a Dutch naval ship entered the main harbor through a narrow channel right next to my breakfast table.  I have a photo of that ship passing by shortly after breakfast in the image gallery below.  During my vacation in Curacao, I spent time in the Willemstad, the capital of the island, as well as at the many beautiful beaches and went to a very nice sea aquarium.

Willemstad, the capital city of the island, seemed like a very safe place to visit. Willemstad is divided in half by the inlet to the port and the Queen Emma Bridge.  On one side there is Punda  and on the other side of the port inlet is Otrobanda.  There wasn’t a crush of tourists or anything.  The local island police were not armed which made it seem like there was no need to feel vigilant against safety threats.  It is cues like this that give tourists an idea about how safe an area is even though they may never have visited before.  I am not the kind of person who looks up reviews on traveler safety before I  book a trip, generally.

The city had some small nightlife spots which were a decent amount of fun.  The Queen Emma bridge divides the capitol of Willemstad and is at least a hundred years  old.  I believe it was built in 1888.  It is a floating bridge that opens and closes to let boats pass.  I had never seen one like it before.  At night the bridge lights up.   Some very nice photos  can be taken of the Queen Emma Bridge at night while it opens and closes for tourists.

Maxwell Girteit enjoyed the beaches of Curacao the most but the  sea aquarium came in a close second.  The beaches were beautiful small and sunken into a layer of shelf rock which gave the impression of them being  local, not over run by tourist and maybe even a little private.  The Caribbean water was warm and clear and I spent a good bit of time snorkeling.


Right from shore  it was possible to snorkel out and see many species of fish and coral heads.   I was familiar with many of the species of tropical fish and corals from from my time in the ornamental fish and aquarium business.  After the beach, I traveled to the aquarium which was located just outside of Willemstad.  The sea aquarium was very cool  because they had  a really nice selection of animals and good dolphin shows.

The sea aquarium was an unexpected part of this trip and it was a complete pleasure.  The staff was incredibly nice and inviting.  It appeared that a lot of the staff were young Dutch students.  It was interesting to  think about them having the idea of traveling to Curacao to work, study marine biology and live  in another country.  I am always interested in the perspective of other people. I like to try to  imagine myself viewing the world through their eyes with their inherent assumptions.

Maxwell Girteit: Good Eats, Even in the Backyard

Maxwell Girteit likes to get out of the kitchen and into the backyard when it is time to prepare a meal.  Cooking food outside is always more pleasant than cooking in a kitchen. His cousin actually has friends with backyard kitchens.  Apparently, backyard kitchens are all the rage on the East Coast of the United States.

While Maxwell Girteit has never prepared a meal in a formal backyard kitchen, he has prepared many meals at home in his very own backyard.  What man doesn’t like to grill? Right? There is something about cooking raw meat on an open fire that takes us back to the cave days.  Since there isn’t really anything appetizing about handling raw meat, Max chalks up this common affinity among American men for backyard grilling to some sort of vestigial human trait or instinct.  In the end, its all good eats whether it comes from the kitchen, backyard or in the house.

While living in For Lauderdale, Florida, I was lucky enough to have a mature mango tree in my backyard.  I believe the variety was either Tommy Atkins or Kent variety mangoes.  They were exceptionally sweet and tasty.  Even though they could be eaten right off the tree, I preferred place them in the refrigerator for a day after they had been picked.  It is so hot in Florida that if you ate the mangoes right off the tree they were actually warm.  Additionally, I started picking the fruit just prior to ultimate ripeness because if I waited too long the mangoes tended to be too sweet.

Maxwell Girteit Baron The Red Doberman Image Gallery

Maxwell Girteit and Baron the Red Doberman image gallery.  I have had so many good times with Baron in the backyard and taking him to fun spots in Florida.  Taking Baron to the beach when he was a very young doberman puppy was hilarious.  Baron didn’t know what to make of the ocean, waves, saltwater or sand but he got used to them all very quickly.   After a while, he learned to love saltwater and the beach.   As he got older the beach became even more fun for Baron because he loves to swim.

Baron is a swimming Doberman Pinscher. In fact, Baron swims so much I have never been able to tire out Baron while swimming.  This Doberman can swim for days.  At the house in Florida, I used to walk in circles  around the pool so many times that I would tire myself out.  Baron would be in the pool and just follow me all the time swimming his little heart out.

A few times, Baron and I went to Anne’s Beach in the Florida Keys.  Anne’s Beach allow dogs.  The beach is also formed in such a way that there are private alcoves made by created by Mangrove trees that line the shore.  This is a great set up for a beach that allows dogs because you don’t have to worry about beach goers next to you.  I commonly took Baron off  the leash while at Anne’s Beach and never really had a problem with anyone else at the beach.


Maxwell Girteit and Baron The Red Doberman

Maxwell Girteit Poker Tournaments and Cash Games

Maxwell Girteit has played multiple poker tournaments and poker cash games. The largest and most famous poker tournament in the world is World Series of Poker also called  the WSOP.  The WSOP occurs every June and July in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Las Vegas is a very important location for playing poker.  It hosts the WSOP every year but also hosts a wide variety of poker tournaments throughout the year.

The WSOP is the largest cash purse tournament in the world but the World Poker Tour is not far behind.   The World Poker Tour,  or WPT, has poker tournaments at casinos across the United States.  I have traveled to the WSOP twice in the last few years.  Though I haven’t won a large cash purse prize, I haven’t given up hope and plan to travel to future WSOP and WPT events in Las Vegas.

Poker tournaments differ from poker cash games in some very important respects.  In a poker tournament, there are a set number of chips that each player starts the tournament with.  At the end of the tournament, the winner is afforded a set percentage of the total cash purse for the tournament.  In cash poker games, the player is actually wagering his own money and not tournament chips.  Additionally, poker players start at a cash game within a “buy in” range and not with a set number of chips.  At the end of a cash game, players pick up what chips are in front of them and cash them out at the cashier.

Maxwell Girteit found that some of the greatest cash games in the world occur during the WSOP in Las Vegas Nevada.  During the WSOP, poker players from all over the world descend on Las Vegas, Nevada to play in the tournaments and to play in the side cash games.  Many poker players live in Las Vegas year round.  Even though Las Vegas is known for poker, there are still no better poker games than during the WSOP.


Maxwell Girteit photo of Live Casino in Maryland.



Maxwell Girteit in Miami, A Place That Only Exists For a Moment

Maxwell Girteit likes Miami for so many reasons.  Sometimes Miami can even seem to be magical.  At its best, Miami can transport you in time and place.

his was  one of those days.  Hialeah is one of the worst parts of the City of Miami but Hialeah has some old sections which bring the city’s past to light. For this reason it can be nice.  In Hialeah, it is necessary to speak some Spanish because many of the Cubans in the neighborhood do not speak any English.  I don’t know if Hialeah is literally called little Havana but it would seem like that might be an appropriate name for this section of Miami.

Maxwell Girteit was rushed in Hialeah on this day when I found myself driving behind  a seventy year old man on a bike.  He was carrying lumber over his shoulder making his way home at a measured pace.  Then, this song came on the radio.  Suddenly, I was transported to a different part of town.  It was like I was in a different time in the city.  Still Cuban but a different era than the one I had been in just minutes ago.  The city.  Miami.  Had become old and new at the same time.

Maxwell Girteit really likes the song in the background.  When the horn comes through after the first minute or so, it turns the city back in time.  That horn comes through and bends what was behind into what is ahead.  Sometimes Miami feels long gone and long ago, but if you listen to that horn–you can still see what was in what the city is today.  Maxwell Girteit hears the horn now when he drives through old sections of the city.   He also hears it when  he slows down to regard what has gone by.

Maxwell Girteit Image Gallery