Discovering AO

While catching up on the 150+ episodes of AO podcasts (only 38 to go before we’re current!) there was an episode where Dylan invited listeners to tell how they discovered AO. So here’s my story.

Back in June of 2020 my wife and I got our negative covid tests and headed off to visit our niece in Alaska. Before sunup in Boston we excitedly parked the car at the airport shuttle garage and triple checked we had everything for the 9 hour flight. The flight was uneventful, if long, but we finally arrived safe and sound.

Alaska was FANTASTIC, the week spent hiking trails and photographing wildlife & glaciers went by far too fast. Before we knew it we were on our way back to Boston and our car parked in the shuttle garage.

Alas, when we arrived in Boston at 1am we discovered the battery was very DEAD (Turns out I had left the dome light on before our flight out, doh!). A call to AAA got our car jumped started, but when we got on the highway for our 3 hour drive home the car died again! After getting the car towed to a repair shop and signing into a hotel we resigned ourselves to a very boring wait for the diagnosis and repair.

Then my wife’s googling skills kicked in. Google coughed up AO and we discovered that we were within walking distance of the Boston Waterworks Museum! AO to the rescue! The Waterworks museum houses the absolutely stunning and massive steam engines that pumped Boston’s water right up until the early-mid 20th C. As blacksmiths, both my wife and I also love antique machinery; what a treat! And as a photographer, I was very pleased to find that the tour staff very accommodating.

Thank you AO for rescuing us!

Waterworks Photos
Alaska trip photos; just because in the end the Alaska trip ended awesome thanks to AO!


I discovered AO in a much less eventful way than gobae in the example above. Anyway, I’m a member of a Facebook group called Travel to Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and noticed that every time someone asked about “less touristy” places in the region, other members would always recommend the questioner to check out AO. So after a while, I decided to log on to the site myself to see what the others where talking about.