Alone in a strange place, wondering if I’m crazy

Thursday morning last week, I woke up alone in a two-star hotel by the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere. The hotel was at least superficially aspiring to a third star, but a fresh carpet, a thin coat of paint, and a waffle iron can only hide so much. Its two-star standing … Continue reading Alone in a strange place, wondering if I’m crazy

Nightcap of Legend Brown, first night in Richmond

After last night’s film, we finally got back to the hotel at about 11:30 pm. The hotel lounge apparently closes at 10 pm, and our room doesn’t have a minibar, so we walked down the street to a local Irish pub for a nightcap. I entered the pub fully expecting to order a typical Irish … Continue reading Nightcap of Legend Brown, first night in Richmond

Eating and relaxing in Las Vegas

Our weekend trips to Las Vegas tend to be busy. We usually cram everything we possibly can into the less-than-48 hours we’ll be here. Sleep comes only out of necessity. So it’s a little weird that I’m starting a new post at 6:20 am, after getting a full night’s sleep and then some. I think we were in bed by 9 pm. That’s pretty lame.

Puerto Vallarta: Running the gauntlet at the airport

Immediately upon leaving the customs area, we were forced to walk through a narrow corridor, maybe 50 feet long, with white desks and video screens on both sides. I now refer to this as the gauntlet. In the gauntlet, roughly a dozen men and women with official-looking badges work over the fresh arrivals, trying to convince us they are our ride to our hotel. They’re not.

Puerto Vallarta: Still awaiting Juvo

We’ve been gearing up for Hurricane Juvo since Monday, but it’s taking its sweet time getting here. The latest report is it’ll come ashore as a category-three hurricane much further south in the state of Jalisco, then follow the coast north toward us, probably having weakened to a tropical storm by then.

Germany: Any reason to celebrate in Monheim am Rhein, Cologne, and Düsseldorf

Christian let me know that I had to order the right beer for the city I was in. In Düsseldorf, they brew Alt, so that’s what they drink. In Cologne, they brew and drink Kölsch. I would be frowned upon if I ordered a beer in the wrong city. Those fortunate enough to live in Monheim am Rhein could order either, when in Monheim, of course.

St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow

Usually when I talk or write about St. Mary’s Basilica, I’m referring to the beautiful Spanish mission style Catholic church in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. I was looking through some of my old photos recently, and I found a picture of another, much older St. Mary’s Basilica. This one is in Krakow, Poland. It’s also beautiful, built in a Brick Gothic style in the 14th century.

Frequently asked questions about our road trip in Europe

We’ve only been home a few days, but Kathryn and I have already heard a lot of questions about our trip. For the benefit of everyone else, I’ve decided to repeat some of them here, along with their answers.

Oktoberfest, BMW, Rothenburg, Baden-Baden, Eiffel Tower

Phew! It’s been about 72 hours since the last update, but we’ve managed to pack an awful lot in. We arrived safely in Munich on Saturday, about six hours later than anticipated, so the thought of doing Oktoberfest that evening was quickly dismissed. My friend in Munich met us at the airport and showed us … Continue reading Oktoberfest, BMW, Rothenburg, Baden-Baden, Eiffel Tower

Long overdue post

There’s a certain irony to writing a blog. During those times when you have the most to write about, you have the least time to write it. The year 2007 has been, and continues to be, almost unbelievably good to me, and for several months I’ve been maintaining a hand-written list of all the things I want to write about.

Celine Dion in Las Vegas

I had two specific goals for my recent visit to Las Vegas. I wanted to see Celine Dion, who was sick when I visited in December, and I wanted to learn how to play craps. I’m happy to say I accomplished both goals, and I did it while fighting a cold. In retrospect, I probably should have spent the weekend in bed, but I really did have a great time.

Last-minute solo getaway to Las Vegas

I made a last-minute executive decision this morning to do an overnight trip to Vegas. I got in the car at 8:10, and thanks to the miracle of time zones, I was at my hotel at 12:20. I’m going to see how much trouble I can get into by myself in less than 28 hours. I’ve already wandered off the Strip, and I’m settling into my second beer.

Drinking in Pasadena

One of my friends, who goes all the way back to junior high with me, finished his PhD a few months ago and is doing a residency at UCLA. His wife was out of town on business, so we decided to do a guys weekend. I arrived early Friday evening. My friend and his wife are living with her parents, and her father cooked us a great dinner. After that, my friend and I proceeded to Old Town Pasadena to do some serious drinking. However, neither of us Einsteins considered the fact that we had already done some serious drinking during dinner, so the evening rapidly devolved into sloppy drunkenness.

The prettiest pint of Guinness ever at the Guinness Storehouse

I toured the Guinness Storehouse here in Dublin today. I won’t elaborate much about this tour. It goes without saying there was a pint of Guinness at the end of the tour, which is of course said to be the world’s freshest Guinness. However, to their credit, they served it in a top-floor bar with a 360-degree panoramic view of Dublin.