Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'm going to pick a few of my favorite pictures from the trip. just for those of you that are too lazy to go to flickr. these are just previews, and so pretty bad quality. you can click on them, or go to our flickr for better quality. enjoy.

this one is really dark, but still one of my favorites.

Friday, November 9, 2007

the end

So here I am...finishing the story of our roadtrip.
As Andy mentioned in our last post, we were heading out of Portland, stopped and saw Multnomah Falls, which was gorgeous. Then...we got pulled over. the maximum speed limit in Portland is 65mph. when you're driving an 8hr. trip to your next stop, you do not want to be going freakin' 65mph. so we didn't. and we got punished for it. The cop said Andy was going 81. she checked out his record and for some reason decided to just give him a warning...which was quite relieving. :) we slowed down after that...for a bit. :P
We had arranged to stay with a guy in SLC, Utah, that night but it turned out that we got into Utah really late...too late for him. So that night Andy drove until he was too tired, then we stopped around 4am and slept in the car. It was the only night we had to sleep in the car, thank God. besides being uncomfortable, it was FREEZING. I think I remember wearing a sweater, Andy's jacket, and a blanket, and I was still cold.
We woke up the next morning to the sunrise and started driving again. That day we drove all the way to Denver, CO. We stayed with my Uncle that night *there was snow on the ground! so exciting since it was the first time I'd really seen snow* and then drove all the way to Dallas the next day to stay with Andy's aunt. We stayed with Janet a couple of nights. She made us a wonderful breakfast the next morning and then took us to go see an art museum...which was AMAZING. :) I'll go to any modern art museum anywhere anytime, but the main reason Janet and Andy wanted to go was to see the Ron Mueck exhibition. It was awesome.
We walked around downtown Fort Worth for a bit that day and went and saw a really cool fountain (pics on flickr). After that, we went and saw Granny Craft, who also lives in FW. she lives in the cutest little house...perfect for just one person. we told her all about our travels, she showed us around the house, and also showed us all the sewing she had been doing lately. she was really sweet...I loved meeting her.
The next morning, we slept in again, and then drove the four hours or so it was to Lufkin. that day, driving was pretty crazy. we got lost quite a bit trying to get out of town and the other drivers were pretty crazy, too. We were really eager to get home and as it seemed like it was taking forever, we passed the time by singing in really high or low voices to the ipod. it was awesome fun.
We arrived in Lufkin and stayed there for a few days. played soccer, slept, ate actual food...:P then I took a bus home to San Antonio. I really hated buses after that trip. my bus was like 5 hours late and it was like a freezer in there. oh well. finally home.
I don't know if I forgot anything or not, so I'll let Andy fill you in on anything important I might have forgotten. :) goodbye.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Portland and Couchsurfers

so, Mary-Beth wrote about McMinnville. be sure y'all check out the flickr for picture from there. it was my favorite stop on the whole trip. or at least in the top 2. I really enjoyed it.
next stop, Portland.
in Portland we stayed with people I knew from online. Ben, Jenni, and Taylor. they had a 3 bedroom house in North-East Portland, and were very hospitable. we got there thursday evening, after leaving McMinnville. not too long of a drive, which was good, as we left McMinnville around 4. we got to the house, only Taylor was home, he gave us the grand tour, and then Jenni and Ben arrived later. Jenni and Taylor are an awesome couple, and alot of fun to be around. Ben, on the other hand, is crazy. well, maybe not quite. crazyawesomefun maybe. Ben was our main host, he invited us, and gave us some direction on where to go in Portland. before I forget, that night we also met a friend of their's, Brian. he'd be around the whole weekend.
that night we didn't do too much, just ate some dinner with them, and went to sleep. the next day, friday, well.... hmm....I don't quite know. I get my days mixed up.
I think friday we stayed inside most the day. everyone ended up going to work, and we explored some of the area close by, but didn't go downtown or anything.
that night, or another night, who knows, we went to The Kennedy School, which is run by the same company that runs Hotel Oregon. they run quite a few hotels/bars/restaurants/ and they all look awesome. we were going out for fun, but mostly to celebrate Ben's birthday. the celebration lasted all weekend, and huge amounts of fun.
that night at dinner, we met a bunch of Ben's friends, all from the website CouchSurfing. pretty cool website, and pretty cool people. I don't remember all the names, but there are pics of them on our flickr. all very friendly people.
then, we went back home, more partaying.
next day, we went downtown, and visited the famous Powell's City of Books. you could easily get lost in there. pretty dang awesome. books everywhere. yay for books.
then, more partying that night. Ben had a bunch of people come over to make costumes for a party they were going too. so we watched them do that, and watched tv, and talked with Bryan.
then....on monday morning, we headed out, back to texas. (I know, I skipped a day. maybe. I don't remember if there was another day or not. and what we did on it.)
on our way out, we stopped by the cafe Ben runs. nice little place, quiet neighbor hood. the food was a tad too nice for my taste, I would have been fine with eggs and bacon, but instead we were treated to the most delicious crepes I've ever heard. now, I'll be the first to confess, I've never had a crepe before. but this was AMAZING. and best of all, when I say we were treated to them, we were. Ben wouldn't let me pay. yet another thing in a long list of why Ben was a great host.
after we got through with that, we headed east out of Portland, only to stop 30 minutes later, to see Multnomah Falls. very very cool. awesome pictures on flickr.
then, back on the road. only to get pulled over. more on that later. stay tuned.

Friday, October 26, 2007



we arrived in McMinnville Wednesday night. pretty small town about an hour outside of Portland. when Andy called to make our reservation at the hotel earlier that day, the lady said that there should be someone to check us in at the desk, but if there wasn't, then we could check in at the pub next door. thought that was pretty weird...until we got there. the hotel was called Hotel Oregon and was very unique. it's not only a hotel, but a restaurant and pub as well. so that explains the weird check-in places. most of the inside, the doors and some of the walls, where all made of heavy wood and some were decorated with writing on the wall. all the writing told stories about wine or famous people in the town, etc, etc.

so we checked in and our room was awesome. we got the room pretty cheap wasn't actually a hotel room. it was more like a hostel in that the bathroom was not inside our room. we had to walk down the hall to use the bathroom. although we did have a sink in our room...which was handy. all of the rooms were named after people and on the walls inside the room was the stories of the people. our room was named Chef Wayne if I remember correctly and inside on the wall it told the story of how he progressed from a singer/entertainer in the hotel to the chef.

that night Andy wanted to see a movie...had been wanting to see Transformers for a while. so we asked if it was playing in any of the theaters in town...and it was. a theater right across the street from the hotel. so we grabbed our jackets and ran over there. the theater was actually *inside a pizzeria. there were tables in front of the chairs in the theater and there were several huge couches, too. so Andy and I got delicious pizza and then sat on the comfy couch in the back and ate. it was so awesome...I'd never seen a theater like that before and I loved it. I wish all theaters were like it.

the next morning, Andy had to get up early and take the car to the shop. thankfully it wasn't too far away because he had to walk back. on the way back, he picked up breakfast at a cafe and brought me breakfast in bed. :) then we explored the town. there were several things going on that day. there was a farmer's market in the middle of town...and homecoming later that day. we walked around the market and got samples of almost was pretty good. hey, we couldn't be picky. we were broke. :P we also spent a good bit of time in a bookstore and an antique store. oh and we went to an amazing toy store. Andy bought a toy. its basically a propeller on a stick, and when you spin it in between your hands it flies up into the air. I'd never played with one before but it was so much fun. we went into an empty parking lot and had a blast trying to catch it after we spun it up. here's what it looks like:

and again we come back to how awesome the hotel was. even though we had checked out at 11am, we could still go in and do pretty much what we wanted. so we went to the second floor to the balcony there. that's where we watched the homecoming parade. another cool thing was that there were electric outlets we could plug in our computers and get online.
the parade was cool...very small town so not very big but it was fun to watch. and I got this one kid riding by to throw candy up to me. I think he was the only one who saw me. he made one piece of candy up to where I was. the rest fell on the ground. not to worry though, Andy got them later. :P

the trees in McMinnville *and really in Oregon everywhere* were amazing. the most brilliant fall colors I have ever seen. almost every other tree in the town was a bright red, or orange, or a really bright green, or a mixture of them all. it was gorgeous.

later at around 4pm the shop called us and told us the car was ready. so we walked there and picked it up. fairly long walk which only seemed longer because we had alot of our stuff with us, but it was okie. we hopped in the car and headed towards our next stop, Portland.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brookings - McMinnville

Alright. so we're in Brookings, OR. without a tire. pulled it off in the freezing rain. cause that's how we roll.
so we go to the Les Schwab, which is a pretty cool company from what I can tell. only in 5 states, all on the west coast/north western area. free coffee and popcorn, which is always handy. a lot of free services if you've bought a tire from them. they'll check a ton of stuff on your car for free. and the same prices whether you're in a small town or the middle of a big city. not bad.
anyway, we replace the tire. or rather, buy a new one. more money out of the budget. oh well. the plan for the day is the drive to Lincoln City, a good 6 hours drive or so. we've wasted a good bit of the day with the tire stuff, but I still want to make it. so we drive, pretty boring really, up the coast. there's various creaks and pops that have been coming from the car for some time, so I plan to get it checked out in Portland. assuming it makes it that far.
we get about 4 hours into it and it's already dark, I'm very tired, but I still want to make it. about 30 minutes before we get to Lincoln City, we hit Newport. I had to stop for gas, and Mary-Beth suggested we check some hotel priced around there, just to see if we shouldn't stay there instead of Lincoln City. normally I'd just keep driving, but I'd started seeing No Vacancy signs for the first time our entire trip. so we stopped at a few places, asked prices. I was gonna keep driving unless I happen to find a place for $35-$50, which is what I was going to pay in Lincoln City, assuming we got a room. so, we came across the Newport Inn, or something like that. the price was good, like $40 or something, tho the clerk was kinda creepy. so I decided to just go with it, I was tired. this was a mistake, tho it didn't turn out horrible. the room ended up being pretty ratty, the furniture was on wheels, the door had some iffy locks. only place we stayed the night the entire trip that I didn't feel good about. but I went with it anyway, tho I did block the door. ;)
anyway, ended up ok, got up in the morning and left, went to Lincoln City, got the guys at Les Schwab there to look at my tire, and make sure it was ok. (after all, the last one didn't really have a reason to explode, so I don't know if there's any rubbing going on.) they said it was fine, but they had to drive it into the garage to check it, and heard all my popping and grinding noises. they said it was my tire end on the front right tire, and the bearings on the front left. the tire end wasn't the end of the world, needed to be fixed, but I could drive on it if I had to. the other had to be fixed right away tho. bad trouble if it went out. so. they didn't have the parts, but I got them to look up the closest store that did, and on my way to Portland. the drive to Portland was only like 2 hours, but about halfway there was McMinnville, which had the parts I needed. so I had to go there to get it fixed. great.
while we were in Lincoln City, we visited several places I had read about and wanted to go. both involved glass. the first was a glass blowing shop, where they blew these globes of glass, and made them different colors and sized, etc etc. it was pretty cool, at least for me. we watched that for quite a while. then on the way out of town we went to Confusion, a glass fusion shop. that's different the glass blowing, glass fusion is just fusing glass. molding sheets of glass into shapes, and joining things together, etc. the lady there gave us a tour of the store, and showed us what she did. we got 2 free glass icicles for a Christmas tree, and got to learn how fuse glass. she didn't actually fuse any while we were there, but explained it all, and showed us everything there. it was pretty cool.
from there we went to McMinnville, where I had reserved a room in Hotel Oregon. it was a chance thing, looked pretty cool on the website, and had cheap rooms. so I chose that over a chain. turned out to be one of the best decisions of the trip. more on that next post.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

leaving CA.

so, Mary-Beth explained most of what we did Saturday. minus the part I wanted the write about. that's the Cornfield Maze. it was about 30 minutes away I think. we decided to do it at night, with flashlights. greeeeeeeeeaaaaaaat idea....

this isn't any cornfield maze. this is the 2007 Guinness World Record Cornfield Maze. or so they say. it's 40 acres. so large there are markers in it to make it into a grid, and each group is given a map.
our group is made up of Sam, myself, Mary-Beth, Angie, Jordan, their friend Spencer, and 2 of their other friends, whose names escape me. between us there were 2 maps, sam had one, and one of their friends had the other.

we figured the maps are for pansies, and told sam and the other guy to put them away, and don't use them. now, as soon as we get into the maze, sam waits until we're not looking, then goes the other way. does it by himself. pretty soon we lose their 2 friends too. so now the people with the maps are gone, and it's myself, Mary-Beth, Spencer, Jordan, and Angie. piece of cake eh? no. we spend a couple hours going in circles, find out that their friends, and sam are all finished and waiting for us. we're not even half way. we finally get someone to give us a map, and have to use that and only that to get out. if there had not been a map, it could have been another 4-5 hours at least. it was ridiculously big, and too hard to do entirely without a map. assuming you want to do it in less then 12 hours.

I even asked the staff at the front if they ever have to go in after people and they said no. there's always someone outside the maze, 24/7, but they never got in after someone. people always eventually make it out. that's scary to me, what if I have a heart attack? (of course, if I had a heart condition that puts me in risk of a heart attack, I shouldn't go in a 40 acres maze in the first place.)

anyway, the maze was alot of fun. very interesting, we had a good time. tiring tho. after that we went home and slept. next morning, as Mary-Beth wrote, we went to San Francisco. only think Mary-Beth forgot the mention that I found fun was that there was an air show in San Francisco that day, and so while we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, and around SF, there were Blue Angels flying low over the city, and a couple other types of airplanes too. pretty cool.

then, on Monday, Mary-Beth and I said goodbye, and headed to our next stop. Klamath, CA, in the middle of most of the Redwood Forests. Northern California. very pretty.
I don't have too much to say on that right now. partly because it's 4:30 am. we got to drive through a tree. that's always fun. and it was so amazingly pretty up there. so much green, and other colors that have come with fall. but mostly green there, the rest of the color was mostly in Oregon. anyway, we stopped several times to walk through the redwoods and explore. we spent one night there, in Klamath. then headed out again to go into Oregon. we found a beach right outside Klamath, which was really pretty. cloudy and overcast, but we stopped for a while anyway. that was really cool. good break from driving.
once we got back on the road it was only another hour or so before we crossed the Oregon border. instantly it started raining. not hard, but still, it was rain. that was when our tire blew. our brand new tire, we had purchased less then less then 72 hours before. brand new, and it just exploded. parts went everywhere. I actually had a really tough time getting it off, because the rubber kept getting in my way as I worked. but I eventually put on the spare, and drove back into the last town we had passed, which happened to be Brookings, OR. and that's where I'll leave the story, for tonight. I'll pick it back up in Brookings, without a tire.

as always, there are more pictures up on our Flickr.

AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I forgot one of most important things about San Francisco. while we were at Pier 39 with Jordan and Angie, they took us to see the World Famous Bushman. haven't heard of the Bushman? neither had I...I'm not sure many have. but, anyway, we saw him. on the sidewalk of Pier 39 is the Bushman, and old black homeless man, (I assume homeless,) that sits, with his bucket for change, and some bushes. some leaves and a couple branches. and he holds them in front of him so people can't see him. now there aren't near enough to hide him, and anyway, brush on a sidewalk is out of place. but that doesn't stop him from shocking people. we stood and watched for a few minutes. he waits, with a big smile on his face, hiding behind his few branches until he sees someone walking towards him that is zoned out. meaning not really paying attention. and then when they get close, he shakes the branches or moves or something. he knows how to pick too, cause it always scares them so bad. they jump or scream. pretty funny to watch, cause everyone's standing right there watching him, but one person will walk by that's not paying attention and be scared so bad. I think creative homeless people are a big step ahead of the rest of the homeless population. good stuff.


In Sacramento, we stayed with the lovely Angie, her boyfriend Jordan and Jordan's parents. we also met Lois, Jordan's mother, the night we got there. and technically they don't live IN Sacramento, but they live about an hour from the city in Rio Vista. they have a great big house and 4 dogs, the big one who stayed outside all the time was Jack. smaller ones who were really hyper and came into the house were Ellie, Yoda, and Widget.

they gave Andy and I their whole trailer/fifth wheel in their backyard for us to stay in. It was so awesome...they had even hooked up the electricty and water for us.

Friday morning, we slept in late before going to the house to hang out with Angie for a while. she was going to take us to Sacramento to see the capitol, but decided it wasn't that big a deal and went to a small town the same distance away called Lodi. it had little shops and such and so we walked around for a while, spent quite a bit of time in a little bookstore. then we decided to see a movie and picked the Brave One with Jodie Foster. fairly decent movie.

Saturday morning, Andy and I had planned to go to San Francisco again to see more of the city. however, when we had driven about a mile down the road, we realized we had a flat tire. so. no San Francisco that day. we went back to the house and made everyone breakfast. then we went with Angie to pick up a new tire, go to WalMart, and pick up Sam...who forgot to get his luggage off the bus. smart sammi. ;)so then we had to drive all the way down to Sacramento to pick UP his luggage. almost hit an idiot who cut RIGHT in front of us on the road downtown. freaked us out a bit.
then we went to....well I'll have to let Andy tell you about the rest of our night. :P

Sunday morning, Angie made us a delicious breakfast, then we all headed out to San Francisco. drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, drove down Lombard Street (supposedly the crookedest street in the world. Jordan drove us down it this time), almost got in a wreck a few times :P, and then drove down Castro Street. finally parked and walked down Pier 39 and walked a while in Ghirardelli Square. little shops, chocolate factory, old mustard factory, most awesome hat store. :) Andy was the only one to buy a hat I looks really good on him...and I've taken to borrowing it as often as I can. :P

when we were walking back on Pier 39, we got to see all the sea lions on the docks. you could hear them from a pretty long ways away. there were alot of them and they were loud. very cool to see.

Monday morning...we said our goodbyes and headed out for Portland, Oregon. Lois gave us a "goingaway gift". a whole bag of matches so that we could "burn our tires for people to find us when we were stranded in the snow". she continually told us NOT TO LEAVE THE CAR. :P

and we were off again. with many more adventures to come.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


evening folks,
the plan was to get into San Francisco pretty late, check into our hostel, sleep, and explore the next day. we got part of that done. we did get into San Francisco pretty late. parking was incredible. downtown parking was $3 - 15 minutes, or $36 max. cheapest parking anywhere downtown. I've parked in Hollywood, LA in general, Santa Monica, Portland, DC, etc etc, and haven't seen it quite that bad. we went to Chicago and NYC of course, but I don't remember trying to park downtown.
so we went to check in at our hostel, and they wouldn't let Mary-Beth check in. hostels have a general rule that you can't stay there unless you're under 18. I knew this. but I wasn't 18 when Sam checked us in to a hostel in NYC, and they saw and copied my ID there, and knew I wasn't 18, and let me stay. same thing in Santa Monica, earlier in this trip. I checked us in, same company every time, they saw Mary-Beth wasn't 18 from her ID, but let her stay without comment. SF was different, they said she couldn't stay. we tried another hostel, but they said the same thing. so, obviously hotels were too expensive there in town, so we drove out of SF, and called Ben, and in the end drove almost an hour away, and found a place to stay that was fairly cheap.
the next morning, we drove to the BART station, the metro-train service, and parked, and rode the train into downtown San Francisco. there we met Mike, who helps people, (tourists mostly,) find where they are and where they want to go. Mike has to make a living of course, and asks for tips, but in my opinion it's worth it, as he's friendly, has free maps of the city on hand, and knows SF pretty well. so he helped us get our bearings, and gave us a map, and of we went. the trolley's looked fun, but were rather expensive, so we ended up walking most the day. we firs hit Union Square, then Chinatown, which was quite large. then the commercial part of downtown, where the Transamerica Pyramid building is. if you've ever looked at the SF skyline you know which one that is. ;)
then we headed to Coit Tower on Knob Hill. at least, that was our planned next stop, but then we came across City Lights Bookstore, and independent bookstore that's semi-famous, and pretty cool. a good bit of history there. I enjoyed it anyway.
after that we continued onwards and upwards, to Coit Tower. it was a hard climb. especially after walking most the day. but it was a pretty cool view from the top of the hill, (it cost to go in the tower, so we skipped that part,) and we saw the first good view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. after that, back down the hill, to Lombard street, San Francisco's Crookedest Street. very touristie, but we decided to see it anyway.
after that it was getting pretty dark, so we started back to the Bart Station, and went back to our car. we then drove to Rio Vista, another hour away. there we met Angie, her boyfriend Jordan, and Jordan's parents. or rather, his mother, I didn't meet his father until a few days later. there's more to tell of them, which will be another post.
be sure to check our Flickr for plenty of pictures. we may be slow uploading at times, but we have plenty of pictures, so it's only a matter of time until they're all up. enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Santa Monica 2 and more

hey people, this post is adapted from my personal blog. so it's kinda odd, and not too detailed. deal with it. ;)

So after we came back from Catalina that night, we went to our hostel in Santa Monica (very nice hostel. I liked it alot.) I also had fun listening to our roommates speak Italian.
In the morning we walked down the Promenade and looked at all the shops. then we went to the beach, sat on it and watched the waves, and then walked the pier.
oh we got TONS of Stride gum lol...representatives of Stride were handing it out and so every time we would see one, we'd get some. yay Stride gum! :)
then we headed into Hollywood so Andy could show me the Walk of Fame and Chinese Grauman's Theatre. We saw tons of stars on the Walk of Fame, soo was really fun.
After Hollywood, we got pizza and then drove up to the Oaks. it's like smack in the middle of the freakin mountains. like...TINY road for 30 minutes to get there. awesome view on the way up here though. its really cold, but I still love the weather. its like texas in december...its awesome I love it. I've met one person so far...Steve. he met us at the gate and Andy introduced us then. Dan and Andrea and Sam get back from hiking on Sunday so I'll see them all then. until then I'm staying at D&A's place all by myself, and Andy is staying next door at his boss's, Jay's.
/end personal blog.
anyway, after that we stayed at the Oaks for a while, then we headed to our next stop, San Francisco. I'll let Andy tell you that story...its about time he posted something. he was making ME post EVERYTHING. :P

Catalina Island

Catalina Island.

After staying at Becky's house that night, we got up the next morning and drove out to San Pedro, the dock where the ferry took off for Catalina Island. We had the choice of taking the 2 hour ferry OR we could have taken a 15 minute helicopter ride, but who knows how much that would have cost. The ferry itself was rather expensive.

We arrived first in Two Harbors. TINY little town. hardly anything there. wondered how people got food and gas and such. On the way there, we sat on top of the boat. once we started going fast, the wind was extremely strong. and the ocean was beautiful.
I've noticed...on the train and several times since I've arrived in California that alot of families speak Spanish and English in the same sentences in the same conversations. its just a constant mix. "Hola. Coma es tas? Did you go to the beach today?" "Ay no. Muy bien. we'll go later when its not hot." it just fascinates me. I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when I realized that the children raised in those homes are way smarter than me. Probably alot of children everywhere are smarter than me, actually. Kids are smart.

We arrived at our stop, Avalon. quite bigger than Two Harbors. Not much beach, but a bunch of little shops. we walked the whole town probably in the space of a few hours. we walked, got some rocks from a beach we weren't supposed to be on :P, ate some delicious food, tried to catch some orange goldfish from the ocean with our amazing mind powers, and watched a man play the bagpipes. most interesting but beautiful sound. Andy told me how the playing the bagpipes really worked...I'm rather ashamed that I don't know. miss musical genius me. :P
By the time we took the ferry back, it was dusk already. most beautiful sunset. we were both exhausted and I ended up falling asleep.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


as Mary-Beth and I try and update this on everything, we had the flat tire seen in the picture. then we got it replaced.
only to have it blow 2 days later. not go flat, blow up.
so we had it replaced again.
only to find out the front end of the car is breaking down, and we have to fix it.
so that's what we're working on now. more updates soon.

lady's first post

hey people, here's my first post.
I came out to California on the train a while back, (like 2 weeks or something,) and met Andy in Los Angeles.
trains are most interesting...the people that ride them are interesting. and they're also very, very long. my train from San Antonio, TX to LA was about 34 hours long. I think I would have liked it alot better had I not been puking the first 5 hours or so. THAT was fun. :P

after Andy picked me up from the train station, we went to Long Beach, where his Aunt Becky lives, ate some delicious tacos, and took her dog, Maui, for a walk around the island. that night we stayed with Becky...her house is awesome, as are the others on the island. there was this one house with a really tall brown door. the door was maybe 3 times the height of a normal door...went all the way up to the roof. we were trying to figure out if there was a seam somewhere in the wood where it would open like a normal door, but we didn't see anything. looked so cool.

that night we went to the Dave Matthews Band concert. awesome concert. Stephen Marley opened for them. great music. we didn't have the most fantastic seats but they were okie.
lots of tailgating, lots of dancing, lots of illegal substances. a couple of times a few people around us called was funny. one guy was SO mad because a girl in front of him was dancing and he couldn't see. and I don't remember what the other guy's issue was, but I found it all quite amusing.

more later, the rest is on my computer, and all I've got right now is andy's.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Today's Update

Dancing in Santa Monica

now obviously, because it's me, I'm behind on the blog. a week or two. I'm trying my best to get caught up. this happened when I was still back at the Oaks.

around a year ago I found out about Matt. Matt got famous on Youtube for this video:

doesn't seem like anything to out there does it? somehow, that video and a couple like it made him really famous on youtube. I found his blog on and started following his progress. I wanted to meet him cause he was a traveler and he just seemed like an interesting guy.
I found out he was making a new video, this one being more about people then location. he was going to locations and letting people come dance with him. you sign up on his blog, and he'd send out the info for it. I had signed up to meet him in Austin, but by the time he went there, I was here. so I emailed him, asked if he was going to be on the West Coast anyway, and found out he was going to be in Santa Monica. so on Sunday, (or Saturday?) 2 weeks ago, I went down to meet him.

I arrived around noon/early afternoon. the event was scheduled until 6pm, so I had time to explore the beach, and then go into the shopping district there. I spent several hours just walking, then finally went back to wait. when I got back to the spot, around 5 or so, I saw a guy I was pretty sure was him, so I introduced myself. Matt was extremely friendly, and we talked for a bit as he looked for the shot he wanted. by this time there was a good-sized group of people gathering, so we went back to get things started. we had at least an hour to kill waiting for the sun to get in the right position, so everyone got to know each other. Matt had kindly brought bubbles for everyone to keep themselves busy. :P
I met quite a few interesting people, a group from the Lutheran University in the area, a mom and her daughter, and a very friendly individual I'll call Gray. well...that is his name actually. Gray was driving the West Coast in a Volkswagen Van, surfing. I was unbelievably jealous. I think it's be soo cool to own one of those vans, it's the ultimate road tripping vehicle. Gray and I talked for a while, he encouraged me to get my own van. a Buick isn't really the most amazing road-tripping car. especially one that is starting to wear out, and the windows don't open on the driver's side. he also gave me some hostels to visit, some places in Mexico to try, some good websites, etc. Gray was pretty cool, I hope to meet him again one day.
so the it comes time to dance. Matt sets up the camera, gets someone to take over shooting, gets us all bunched together, and gives us our instructions. first of all, tho his normal number of people to dance with is 50-60, we had 108 I believe. or the count was somewhere close to that. and we all had to squeeze into a tiny shot to dance. and then he gave us a count of 3. he obviously has a special dance he does, but everyone else was supposed to do whatever came natural. I'm not sure any dance comes natural to me, but I tried. :P
after a couple takes, Matt said we were good, but then changed his mind and said he wanted one different angle. as we set up to do that shot, behind the camera comes marching some sort of peace march. people carrying large dove shaped things. he was unsure if we should get out of the way or not, but in the end we danced anyway. check link 2 at the bottom of this post for a vid of them. anyway, afterwards, he stuck around for pics and videos. as with past adventures I've had, I come to these things with no plan on where to spend the night, or a time I have to leave. it's the best way to do it. tho, I did figure I'd prolly just drive home when I was done. this left my schedule open for whatever, so while he took pics and videos I just stuck around, helped when I could, and just waited. eventually I got an invite to go to dinner with Matt, a representative from Stride Gum, which pays for his videos, a lady from Google, and a couple of their friends. it's not quite as bad as it sounds, I didn't beg, and I wasn't really planning for anything. but I had no where to go, so I was going to stay on the beach as long as they did, and then I got the invite. we ended up going to a Sushi place that was fairly close by. now I've only had Sushi once, in Alabama with the Crossings people. plus it was expensive, at least for my budget. smallest meal was $10, and that was a tiny meal. $20 for something that would fill my stomach. I was ready to order a bit of food, and then eat at home, but turns out this meal counted as a Stride business expense. so the lady the worked for Stride paid for everyone's meal, which in the end was more then $30 worth of food for me probably. we each ordered some food, and when it came, it was all on one large platter, that almost covered the table. everyone ate as much as they could, and then it was just Matt and I still hungry. between the two of us, we ate all our own food, and all anyone else had left. tons of sushi. quite delicious.
and that was Santa Monica. there are a few pictures on the flickr, and here's a tiny video of Matt and I dancing it up. feel free to make fun of our terrible dancing. ;)

oh, and here's a couple links of the event. someone else's footage.
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3, (with me at the end looking cold.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

interesting day

it started at 7am or so. Sunday. I woke up, realized I was at least an hour late, forced myself awake, and jumped in the car. I drove about 2 hours south to Cabazon, CA, on I-10, where we had stopped on the way into CA to see the amazing dinosaurs. (see Flickr.) my destination was the Morango Casino and Resort. I was planning to play a poker tournament, which I was late for.

Needless to say, due to my slightly adventurous driving, I arrived in plenty of time. played well, and enjoyed it, but didn't finish in anything that I find worth writing about. so back on the road I go, back to the Oaks. before I get there, I come across an overturned SUV, covering both lanes of the small road I'm on. as I drive up, I'm facing the undercarriage of the vehicle, as it's actually on it's side. there's a policeman, directing people onto the dirt on either side of the road. I passed it, and didn't give much thought until later.
about 5 minutes down the road, 3 policemen sped by me going about 85 or so, and we're still on a very small road. they get a few miles ahead of me, all turn their lights off, do u-turns, and, driving normal speeds, head back the other way.

when I got back to the Oaks, I got a call from Ben, who told me Sam was in need of E-vac. so back on the road, 3 hours north this time, to pick up Sam. after being 6 days in the mountains, he had badly sprained his knee, and wasn't able to keep up the climbing. on the way to pick him up, I once again, find another overturned SUV. this one is on top of an approx 8 foot embankment, how it got up there I don't know. there were no cops or other emergency services there yet. 3 or 4 cards had stopped, and were carrying a woman by her arms, apparently in circles. her SUV was completely on it's top, smashed flat. now that's 2 overturned SUVs, and 1 other incident with cops, all in one day. I'm not sure what to make of it. God's trying to send me a message, I'm just not sure what.
on an odd side note, I've noticed here in CA, the only cops I see are at the scene of an accident, or on the side of the road, giving someone a ticket. I've not seen 1 cop with a radar gun, or just driving. they're always at some important event. this busy schedule of theirs has given me even more of a freedom in my driving then ever before.

Sam was waiting at a Subway, in Independence, CA. he had me carry him to the car, (not really,) and then 3 more ours of driving, and that's the day. not anything amazing, just alot of out-of-the-ordinary experiences. I'm sure I don't remember them all, because I think there were several more that made the day odd. but this is what I have so deal with it.

so no Sam and I are both on the Oaks, tho not for long. more to come shortly.

PS. check out the Flickr. there are pics from the drive to CA, and Sam's hiking pics. more to come soon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

catching up.

alright, I'm way behind. some days, I'm just not motivated to write. especially when I have poor Internet. and I worked that day. which describes almost every day for the last 2 weeks or something.

as Sam said, from Lara and Kevin's place in El Paso, we drove to Tuscon, AZ. we have relatives there, cousins I believe. (I get confused, but I THINK it's cousins.) I hope to have pictures of them up soon. they were tons of fun. I'd never met any of them before, but I'm glad I did. very cool people.

then, we drove to my Aunt Becky's house, in Long Beach, CA. on the way there, we did stop at the dinosaurs, as Sam mentioned. supposedly the dinosaurs in Cazabana, CA are the largest in the world. I'm not sure if I believe that. but. they were pretty cool. I'll get pics of those up too, as soon as I can get internet that lets me do it.

then of course, we got into Long Beach. Dad had flown in a few days before, and they were hard at work painting. my Aunt was repainting her house, which is interesting to do, as there are very small spaces between the houses. Dan and Andrea also came in at some point, and after we did more painting, Sam and I followed Dan and Andrea back to the Oaks, where I currently reside. The Oaks is a camp in Lake Hughes, CA, which is a few hours north of LA. I've worked here the last 2 summers, and I'm staying here until my GF, Mary-Beth catches up with us, on the 26th.

Last but not least, Dan dropped Sam off in the mountains on Tuesday I believe it was. Tuesday the 11th. I got a couple pictures of Sam that morning as he was heading out. those coming soon also.

that's all I have for now. we're still out of date, but I'll catch you up the rest of the way soon.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

go west young man

well, i suppose i'll copy this over from xanga. so I can say I contributed something.

Andrew can give a more indepth look into the last few days but here is my summary.

Trip is starting off well.

Hit Austin wednesday night. Ben W's apartment is on the top floor, so we were pretty high. nice views. Went to cheddar and ate supper. tasty.

Thursday night we made it to El Paso. Stayed with Lara and Kevin. charming folk. ate pizza and watched teh Virgin suicides. really weird movie. I got to the end of it, and couldnt really remember what the movie was about or if there had been a point to it. But it was fun. And their apartment is really cool.

Friday we drove over to Tuscon, saw the relatives whom we'd never met before. Nice people. Ate some more food there. watching some tv. did some sleeping.

Saturday we had a long drive to LA. mostly uneventful except for the dinosaur. I sat on its foot. Btw, I had a dream last night about an even bigger dinosaur. somewhere. It was weird.

We got into LA, well actually Long Beach about 5 or so, and immediately starting helping paint my aunt's house. Did that for a few hours, then went and picked up some food from Taco Surf. Basically mexican food... cept you can get it with fish in it if you want. I didn't. cuz that's disgusting. But they do have some amazing beef tacos. crazy good.

Oh, and a side note. There are alot of beautiful women in CA. i like it here.

This will probably be my only post as i will be heading out to the mountains tomorrow. most likely. But I will try to get some updates to andy when i have cell service.

wish me clear skies, light feet, and a trail free of carnivorous animals.

Friday, September 7, 2007


alright people, lets start this up again. traveling again. and as always, we've started this road with Willie Neslon, On the Road Again.

We left Lufkin yesterday, Wednesday, September 5th. we drove about 4 1/2 hours to Austin, met up with Ben W, our host for the night. had dinner with him and his brother, and then I drove my GF back to home to San Antonio.

We woke up this morning, left about 10, and drove until 7:30, when we arrived in El Paso. we're staying here with Lara and Kevin. just until tomorrow I mean. then we head to Tucson.

as for a quick over all plan, we're driving to CA, and then on monday, I'm dropping off Sam in the wilderness. and he'll hike for months on end. and I'll be around CA for 2 weeks or so, then head around CA, Oregon, Washington, and eventually, (hopefully,) Canada.

anyway, that's all I got right now. check back for more soon!

Friday, June 22, 2007

"not cool" doesn't cover it.

It's 12:20, and I'm signing off my computer to go to sleep. TGIF tomorrow, but I've still got to get up at 6am for work. so I can't stay up past 12:30 or I'll be really tired. so I was lying on my side, on the computer, and I signed off it, closed it, rolled onto my back, and a scorpion lets itself go on my backside.


used it's tail to sting MY TAIL. and it burned. like fire. oh sure, those of you that have had it happen will claim it's no worse then a wasp. but you're liars. all of you.

so now I've been stung by a scorpion, on my butt. what would you do? that's what I did. jump up, start screaming like a girl, and rip my shorts off. at this point many of you are wondering who you should pity more, me or philip who's staring at me from the bed next to where I am. let me assure you, it's STILL ME! so I finally get the scorpion to drop out of my shorts, and phil gets me ice, which I'm now sitting on. and it's been like 25 minutes since this happened, and the pain hasn't gone down any. including sitting on ice. great. my life is amazing.

Monday, May 28, 2007

hey people. not sure anyone even still reads this blog. but I'm going to keep posting things of interest to me. :P

a few weeks ago a friend and I went to this show in Austin. Micah P Hinson. if you dont' know his music, check it out. he's not for everyone but he's in my top 3 artists.

btw, my friend and I are standing about 5 feet to this guy's left. it was an awesome show.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


so we got back to texas, stayed in dallas a night, then lufkin (home) a week, then to austin. we were staying with Ben W, who only moved to austin a few months ago. he has a very nice 2 bedroom apartment he allowed to to share for a bit. sam stayed for 2 weeks and then headed back to lufkin, and I stayed for 3. sam is now working his construction job back in lufkin for a bit, and I'm living with philip here in Canyon Lake, about an hour north of San Antonio. I be plumbing. for the time being. I don't think sam plans on staying too long there in lufkin, and I know I don't plan on staying too long here. but the money we had could only last so long, so we had to stop for a bit, build it back up.

after a bit, (maybe a few months,) I plan on heading back out on the road. I'm not sure if sam is coming with me or going his seperate way. that's something that's still being discussed. if y'all want to see us, as always, comment, email, whatever, and we'll see about heading your way. at least 2 of the stops on our trip came thru comments on this blog. so don't hesitate.

lastly, I just want to say that if the good Lord leads you to help out 2 brothers in Christ, (and real brothers,) then feel free to donate your life's savings. just pick up your phone and call 1-800-HARBUCK.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

short backstep

Lest you think we forgot...

Something else we did in chicago was go see Melissa P. one evening. I must say it was quite a blast. We went to.... somewhosawhatsaname place for some REAL chicago pizza. dang it was good stuff. quite tasty. and there was a funny little man at the table beside us eating by himself. And he kept watching us. And from what Andy and Melissa tell me, he was quite enjoying my stories, though i didnt see myself.

Then we went to a bowling alley. except we didnt bowl. but we did play pool. and I played some shootemup game with pistols. I love those games. I even got Mel to play with me. She's pretty good at it.

And then.... we took pictures. And she was even in them!!!! crazy i know. she's not a picture person, but she was kind enough to be in some with us. You can find those on our flickr. or just go here.

Melissa it was a pleasure to meet you. You are even more cool in person than online.

Monday, May 14, 2007

First Day Of My Life

I'm just recently back from a BrightEyes concert. not my normal cup o' tea, but it's always good to try new things. anyway, reason I mention that is I'm tired of not being able to write about things as they happen. surely y'all have realized by now that we're quite behind on this blog, and all this is in the past. so I'm going to do that right thing, and bring us on back to Texas.

alright, so the lexus' story he mentioned isn't anything much. basically it was a really fun drive cause there were these young guys in 2 black lexus that were keeping an average speed of 80 and great drivers. so I just got in right behind them, and followed their lead. makes an otherwise boring trip interesting.

so now we're in chicago. which is cool. we're staying with Sarah M. and her roommates. when we got in Rachel M. had come down from north chicago to spend the evening with us, and we walked down to a little bar that had some pretty good food. I had some chili dish. it was delish. odd writing that word out. delicious=delish. I wonder if it's spelled like that. the shortened version. who knows?

so we spend a couple days with sarah. didn't leave the apartment too much. as this was the last stop before Texas, we were really getting kinda tired, and ready for a break. but meeting rachel and sarah was a blast, we had a good time in chicago. not much action, but good times anyway.

now we come up on the drive back to texas. it was supposed to be 14 hours from chicago to dallas. sam had put me in charge of the trip home, saying he'd do whatever I decided. so sweet of him....

so we started in the afternoon/evening, around 4 or so. we got out of town alright, starting with 1 hour turns, and working up to 3 hour turns. we stopped in St Louis, MO, and saw the great arch. that was pretty awesome. I would have liked more time there, I think it was about 10 or so when we got there. we took a while there, enjoyed a break. then on the way back to the highway, we were stopped at a red light and I got to witness a guy stealing hubcaps off a car. I didn't actually see him get them off, but there's no way he was just rubbing his hands on them.

then, outside of St Louis, at 11pm, we hit stopandgo traffic. they took a 3lane highway down to 1. we almost died. we were in traffic for quite a long time.

when I finally drove across the texas line, I think it was about 4am. or something like that. we got to my aunt's house in dallas about 8:30. total trip times was aprox. 17 hours on the road. I'm not sure about sam, but I didnt' nod off once. it was easy.

so in dallas, we stayed a night with my aunt, got to see my grandmother, and headed out the next day for home. I forget what day it was we hit lufkin, but all of heaven, and east texas rejoiced.

we stayed 1 week in lufkin, and then came to austin. it was awesome to see the fam, but we can't stay home forever. so, more later. don't worry, y'all are updated all the way to about a week ago. or two. :D

EDIT: also, I've updated the flickr all the way to chicago, and even St Louis on the way home. so now it contains all the pics of the trip all the way back to texas. more pics from texas soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

... going places that I've never been

Yes, I did it again. But this time I'm back with a real post.

Eventually we bid farewell to the great state of New York, and headed south to Pittsburgh, to see our long-lost buddy ol' pal Nancy Carlin.

We got into Pittsburgh on Saturday evening around 6 or so, I think. And then a terrible thing happened. Catastrophic, some might say. Nancy made us go swing-dancing with her. And if you know me, I am NOT a dancer. But, with some coercion we went with her. (For some reason I was thinking cohesion. But its coercion.)

So off we went, thru the Roulette of Death(scary place) to Swing City. Luckily before any actual dancing happened there was a little class that went over the basics of swing and a couple line dances, the Cha Cha and the Charleston, I believe. Tis a very good thing they had that class becuase otherwise we would have looked like complete and utter fools, instead of just total idiots.

So we danced. I danced like 15 times with Nancy. The girl has more energy than anyone I know. And then a pretty girl asked me to danced. She was really good. And I'm not. And I looked like a complete retard. But it was fun. And we danced a couple later too. And then, I actually went up and ASKED a girl to dance. scary, i tell you. I swear she didnt say but maybe 3 words the whole time. I kept trying to get her to talk but she was just really quiet. Maybe the beard scared her. Dunno. Andy danced quite a bit as well, although we couldnt get him to do any of the linedances. Which were AWESOME. I loved the linedancing, especially the cha cha. Its really fun.

So then... Sunday morning we got up to go to Mass... after some confusion about whether or not we were actually going. We got off a little late and then hit some traffic, and seeing that it was about 45 min away, we ended up getting to Mass about 25 min after it started.

Then as we walk up to the building... we notice an inordinately large number of people coming out of the building. Not good. It turned out Mass actually started a whole hour earlier than we had thought. So we completely missed it. But we DID get to meet her cousin Ryan. He's cool. He likes old ladies. And soft foods. Long story.

Moving on.

After that we went to Nancy's school so she could study and we hung out in the studen campus ministry place with big couches and big tv and fridge and food and stuff. It was awesome. Oh, and I have to say, Nancy made some AMAZING brownies for us. Freakin AWESOME. we ate them for breakfast lunch and supper. tasty.

On..... Tuesday? We bid our sad farewells and took off for Chicago. The drive wasnt too eventful, except for the 2 lexus'. But I'll let Andy tell that story.

More later. Stay tuned to the Harbuck network.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


ok, pics of the Jello museum is up. I don't have much to say on that.

in the basement of the jello place was what they called a transportation museum. basically a bunch of buggies and old cars. so those pics are there too. enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2007

We're on a mission from God...

the first person to tell me (by way of commenting,) what that quote is from gets a special prize. a prize from the trip.

and you can't use google. I'll know if you cheated. because I know which people might know this, and if my mother claims to know it, I'll know she used google. so, don't try to cheat me.

I guess I'll finish the story from NY. the last site we saw that I didn't cover was the Jello museum in Le Roy, NY. as I said before that was the location of the first jello factory, which still stands, tho they haven't made jello there in quite a while.

since pretty much all of y'all know sam, it's a good bet that most of you know blue jello. sam's a bit obsessed with it. and not really only blue. he's got a thing for all ello. so this made the museum a must-see.

the museum was actually pretty tiny. a lovely elderly lady offered to give us a little "vocal background" on jello. her speech was obviously memorized, but I didn't mind it because otherwise we'd have finished the museum in the first 15 minutes.

not a huge amount to say about the experience girl. sam took a lovely picture as the jello girl. you should prolly check that out.

and then in the basement of that, there was a transportation museum, which was basically a room with some old buggies, a couple ford cars that were ancient, like Model T ancient. and in each car they had hats and umbrella's and sometimes a cane. not quite sure why they needed the props, but it gave us something to do. we took pictures of us in the hats and meg with the umbrellas. I must say, I've always wanted a bowler hat. I think that's what it's called. the little round one. I didn't get a picture in it, but I want to own that hat.

that's the whole museum experience. and I think that covers NY well enough. so on to Pittsburgh. in another post.

by the way, I know we're behind on pictures. we'll get those up. hope to first thing tomorrow morning.

EDIT: the niagara falls pictures are up. I'll work on the rest.

Friday, April 20, 2007

where the buffalo roam..

Alrighty. quite backed up on post writing...again. sorry.

Easter Vigil was very interesting. 3 hours long. singing. candles. reading. singing. and more. you really would have had to been there..

we spent Easter with Don and Alison again, of course. actually, we picked up James and we drove North, about an hour and a half, to see mountains. not much to do you see. that was cool, much more snow up north. prolly 10 inches or so. we threw some snowballs, I made a b.e.a.utiful snow angel. we took a picture. you should really see it. anyway, we had some spots to see that Don suggested, but when we went to look for the spots, it was kinda confusing, so we didn't hit all of them. actually we ended up just hiking around in 10 inches of snow for a while. kinda hard actually. but it was good to spend time with James. kinda crazy, but good.

my mind is kinda blank, and it skips to leaving New Hampshire. that's my next thought. so I'll just go with that thought and talk about that.

we left. and drove like 8 hours to Buffalo, or rather outside of Buffalo, close to Le Roy, NY. that's where the Conklins live. Megan Conklin was the one that had invited is to visit, and of course, we love to meet ppl that we've never met, so off we went. while our directions almost got us lost, we made it there eventually. they have lots of cats. and a big dog. just thought you'd like to know.

we got there Tuesday night, and Wednesday we went and helped them on an apartment they're remodeling. wasn't too tough.

then on Thursday we went to Niagara Falls. was about 30 minutes away, not that far. and it was cold. it was pretty cool to see, but it was freezing. the wind kinda bites.
they say the falls a better viewed from the Canadian side, which looked to be true, but they say you need a passport, or if not that, they'll let you do it with a birth certificate. sadly, we had neither. we knew we could get into Canada, but didn't want to take the risk of not being able to get back. swimming the river would have been really cold.

so we saw Niagara falls. and there's one place where you can go down to the water's edge, a bit above the falls, and drink the water, or anything else you might want to do. tho they don't exactly like you doing that. but we did it anyway.

so. we finished that up. got in the car. as we pull out of the parking lot we hear a really loud scraping sound. so sam pulls over, and we look under the car, and the exhaust pipe has fallen off. it's still attached at the back, but in the middle it's sitting on the ground. so...yeah. not good. megan suggests something about wiring it back up, so sam gets under there and checks it out. I found a clock in the car, one that I had brought but not really used. so I cut the electrical cord off the clock, and split it down the middle so sam could use that to wire everything back together. which he did. and it worked pretty well. we drove back to the Conklin's and didn't have any trouble.

the next morning, Megan's grandpa came over and welded it back together for us. free of charge. that was awesome. then we headed back to the apartment to work a bit more. sam had knocked out a wall and was installing a door where the wall had been. so he finished that up, and we hit the road to Pittsburgh.

oops. somewhere in there we went to the Jello Museum in Le Roy, NY, home of the first Jello Factory. not sure when. but that's another blog post.

there are pictures of all this on the flickr, which is linked on the right of this page, or in one of the posts below.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

message in the mints

sorry for being scarce lately internet is hard to come by these days. more updates soon, I promise. I just wanted to show y'all something. this is from back when we were in New Hampshire.

This is Sarah-Jane. I beat her in a board game. she was at Easter Vigil with us. a day or so later I discover these pictures.

personally, I think this was quite rude. and no warning. so to get her back I have posted this post, warning all of you about her. and if I had really tried, I probably could have found a better picture of her. but I want that one. because of the message in the mints.

(really tho, charming woman. don't tell her I said so.)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

We are still alive. And fairly well. We apologize for the absence of posting. Eight days is almost unforgivable. Again, we apologize. Due to circumstances out of our control we have been recently unable to keep you up to date on our trip.

Many things have happened lately, and posts will be ensuing very soon. And pictures.

To pique your interest.....

-Exhaust pipes. who needs them?
-Sam's a Jello girl
-Swing dancing and the cha cha
-The shortest Mass in the history of mankind

I think that's enough for now. Be back soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

i'm back

yes, i'm back.

I realize i have been quite neglectful in my posting. But I blame that on being sick since Monday. Anyway, here I am. I think the last time I posted we were in DC with Amy. So lets see if we can do a little summarizing up to now.

But before we leave Amy's, I have to say that she has been the ONLY person on this entire trip that has appreciated my 'your mom' jokes. Tis very very sad.

Staying with Liz was quite enjoyable. Got to see all the monuments and memorials and such. The cherry blossom festival was awesome. And Liz is an amazing cook. Liz, we love you. And if you ask us, we might even marry you. Both of us.

The day before we left DC, I woke up really sick. Headache, sore throat, nausea, stomach pain, trouble swallowing, and the like. I was hoping it was just a 24hr bug, but no such luck.

I was still sick the next day, but we headed to NYC anyway. Staying at a hostel was a fun experience. Actually just staying in NYC was a fun experience. CRAZY drivers there. That was not very much fun. I nearly died multiple times. For instance, at one point, I'm driving down a 2-lane one-way road. It dead-ends into another 2-lane one-way road going left. We stop, the light turns green, we go. Slowly. As both roads are jampacked with vehicles. So, in our slow merging, naturally one would think that with both roads having 2 lanes.... there would be 2 cars turning left. Makes sense, right? Ha. no such luck. As I'm halfway through my turn, I realize there are FOUR cars side by side making this turn. And I'm just like, what in the world? How did we go from 2 cars to 4 cars? And now we have to get back to 2 cars again. Cuhrazy. But we survived.

About an hour later, I'm on... another two-lane road I think. One-way, of course. Coming up to a intersection sort of thing, with a fountain in the middle. All the traffic goes around in one direction. So I start making the turn to the right to go around... and to my right is a big huge truck making the turn with me. The big truck is a bit slower than I, so there's a bit of room between us as we merge into our new lanes. Well, if there's EVER any room in traffic in NYC someone is going to try to take it. This bit of room wasnt going to be there long enough though, as the big hunking truck moves back into his lane. But that doesn't stop this crazy little guy on a moped that zooms up and tries to fit between us. ha, uh NO. Neither of us can stop, and he decides to forego such a rash manuevre before he gets squished into little moped burgers.

Anyway enough of that. There were more harrowing adventures but we're still alive. Then we left, and drove up to Concord, NH. As you've seen in the pictures there is a TON of snow. And i'm going to add some pictures here too, just for fun.

Yes that IS R2-D2.

And of course, lots more at

By thursday I was feeling quite a bit better, except for my throat. But then Friday morning I woke up and it had all come back. I felt just horrible. Sicker than I've been in a long while.

So after some deep brain-things in my head, and consultation with my dear mother, I decided I should go see a doctor. And there I learned some joyful news. I have the stomach flu. And strep throat. Yay! What fun. So now I got me some penicillen so I'm doing better. Sorta.

And that's about all. Just got back from Easter Vigil at Magdalen College. Quite an interesting experience. Good food. Have to write more later about that. Or let Andy.

Now I must sleep.

Friday, April 6, 2007

on the road again

leaving DC.

It was one of the best stops so far. We got to meet Amy, see the sights, stay a while with Liz, and see the cherry blossom festival. what more could we ask for. oh, and the food. I do believe Liz provided us with the best food so far on the trip. no one knew this but our stops are being rated, and Liz was rated very very high. but those ratings are very secret, so y'all will never know. sorry.

the drive to NY was uneventful, just slow. lots of traffic. and tolls. we spent around $12 driving from DC to NY on tolls. ridiculous. I did the driving, something I dislike doing. but poor Sam was sick. or so he claimed. after 4-5 hours of driving we found our hostel, checked in, grabbed our stuff and hit the beds. both pretty tired. it was cold and rainy. really cold. we were sharing the room with 6 ppl, straggling in at all hours of the night. it was our first time in a hostel, which made it interesting. our room had 4 pairs of bunk beds in it. I only talked to 1 of the people we shared the room with. that was Rick from CA, he said he was a snorer and I should feel free to wake him up if it got loud. what he didn't mention was he's a talker too. he did snore, quite loud, but talked more. all night. didn't keep me up tho, I went to bed about 12:30 and didn't wake up until 7, from 7-10 was on and off sleeping.
in the morning, we got up, checked out, and went to get breakfast, (McDonald's, breakfast of losers.) after that we headed down on the subway, which btw, are far inferior to DC's subway system. DC's is spacious, clean, well lit, fast, etc. NYC's was cramped, dirty, and dark. anyway, we hit the Staten Island Ferry, saw Lady Liberty, came back, saw the former site of the Twin Towers, drove back up here, had our second meal of the day, once again at McDs. then we went and found our other hostel, since the last didn't have any rooms. we didn't originally plan to stay 2 nights, but we couldn't leave for New Hampshire cause of bad weather. anyway, this hostel was cheaper, and had a free breakfast, (which I did not wake up for.) not as nice of rooms, 12 ppl instead of 8, guys and girls this time. but still nice enough compared to the car. and less then 1/4th what you'd would spend for a hotel in NYC.

in the morning we got up, showered, checked out, and walked back to the car to decide what to do. Sam kinda wanted to head to Boston, while I wanted to see more of NYC. I asked him what was in Boston, and he could only name Paul Revere and a Tea Party. that settled it for me, I was gonna see NYC. we drove over to the other side of Central Park, which turned out to be a terrible idea. there was zero parking over there. none. we drove around for a while looking, and finally Sam just dropped me off to go walk Central Park while he kept looking. while I was walking, I found Alice in Wonderland, which was cool. I found Balto, which I got really excited about. I'm not sure why, but I really wanted to see Balto. Balto to me was about the same as seeing Lincoln in DC. as y'all can see in the pictures, Balto's back is rubbed golden because so many people like to climb up on him. I felt this was beneath me, so I did the next best thing. I rubbed his nose for luck. it's a tradition, children have been doing it for ages. or so I hear. it all felt very solemn. I like Balto. he's cool. oh and btw, if you DON'T know who Balto is, think about hurting yourself. slap yourself in the head, fall down some stairs. something. cause you're retarded. at least go watch the Disney movie Balto. not to be confused with Balto 2. that came later. as seen by the 2. which comes after the original. yeah.
anyway, then I went and saw Cleopatra's Needle. it's an obelisk. from Egypt. I learned about it by wikipediaing it. so you can too. :P but it's the oldest monument in Central Park, and some say the Nation. no idea if that's true, but sam said it, so it's prolly not. but then again, seeing as they, (there's more the one, one's in London, one's in Paris, and the last of course, is in NYC,) were originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis , around 1450 BC, I'm going to say that they're prolly at least the oldest in the area. :P

after seeing these, I met back up with sam, who had a crazy story of almost dying in Time Square, which he never actually told me. after that we left NYC, and traveled to New Hampshire, to Allison and Don's where we are now. quite a few inches of snow on the ground here. all fell last night. sam tried to make snow angels but it didn't' really work. I did hit him in the head with some snow tho. that's all I got for now. pray that sam will post the next one. if I can ever convince him. see ya.

remember to check out our pictures. there's a link on the right side of the page. or here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Update directly below

sorry for lack of updates. I was hoping to guilt sam into writing. didnt' work. so it's up to me.

the last hurrah. we're on our way out of DC. we've spent over 2 weeks here. nice place. you should visit some time.

Saturday was the first day of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival here in DC. all the trees have begun blooming, and everyone comes out to see it. we went and walked by the White House on out way to the Mall where everything was happening. the White House really isn't that big. kinda small really. and it's off-white. look it up. it's true.
around the Washington Monument they were holding the Kite Thingie, (not real name,) where all the millions of kites gather every year to catch up. they were having fun. pretty cool. you can see pics in our flickr, which I'll link at the bottom of the post. some of the kites are so tiny it makes it look like your screen is dirty. ignore this. or try and clean your screen. for the next 3 hours.

then we walked'd be cool for me to tell you...quite awesome really. but I can't. cause I don't remember. but on the way we watched some soccer games going on. for the Berry Blossom Cup. fun. soccer. good.

then we came home, dropped a few things off, left again, and went and ate "mexican". I put it in quotation marks cause what they call mexican food is not mexican food. it was good tho. just not mexican. I don't know what it was.

that pretty much wrapped up that day. lots of good pics in the flickr. oh, and we found an R2-D2 mailbox. I just saw them on yahoo's front page a few days ago, and then we found one. nerdy I know. but cool.

last night, my last night in DC, Liz and I went out to Hard Times Cafe. it's at the Clarendon stop on the Metro. right outside the station. go there. it's got chili. really good chili. all sorts. on all things. it was really good.

and it was just Liz and I going cause Sam is sick. was sick yesterday and is sick today. so that's not good.

and now we're leaving. heading to NY. hope to get there by 4. kinda miss rush hour, but doubtful. really we won't. oh well.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

they're monsters!

so many simple things please me. and terrify me. before visiting DC I'd never seen the fearsome "Black Squirrel". that's right people. they look much like ordinary squirrels. but they're black. and fearsome. and ferocious.

here's a brief clip of them.

when I first encountered them I was on Liz's balcony trying to enjoy the sunrise. I noticed across the parking lot an elderly lady out walking. as she walked down the sidewalk one of the black squirrels leaped into her path and confronted her. standing barely a foot in front of her it stared her down. after what seemed like hours it lost interest and moved one. a close call to be sure. the woman was visibly relieved and hurried to get back in the safety of her house. that happened just 2 days ago, and is completely true.

if you come across these monsters DO NOT PROVOKE THEM. I remembered a terrifying story about these black squirrels and lucky for you, found it again. here it is:

that's all I have. I hear rumor that there might be killer rabbits in the parking lot as well. I think I caught sight of them last night. I'll be leaving in just a few minutes to stake-out the parking lot again. wish me luck.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

trying to catch up

I'm afraid I've gotten so far behind in my writings that I've forgotten what happened. so, instead of more bumbling around, I'm going to bring you up to speed and then we can go from the present.

after the last post, we left Amy's and went to Liz's, where we are now. we had an awesome time with Amy, and I'm very glad we got to meet her. sadly tho, we've got to keep moving. Liz, unlike Amy, does not actually live in DC. she lives in Virginia, outside of DC. any of you stalkers out there, if you'd like her exact address, just send us an email, and we'd be happy to pass that on for ya. back to the story tho, while she lives in Virginia, DC is just a hop, skip and a subway ride away. unless you aren't gay. then you wouldn't hop or skip. you'd just walk to the subway station. your choice, I respect your lifestyle choices.

after a day or two at Liz's place Sam and I finally mustered the courage to face DC yet again. we took the Metro to the Mall. I personally hate that title. the mall makes me think of shopping. but here, if someone says the mall they mean THE mall. which is where all the monuments are. the Capitol building, the Washington Monument, then Lincoln Memorial, a bunch or museums, etc. that's the mall. stupid, I know. that's what I said.

btw, quick side note, I do love the metro. I enjoy it so much more then a car ride. yes yes, I understand it could get to be a hassle. but driving, by yourself, with traffic in a place like DC, and then trying to find a place to park? not fun. where as for just a couple bucks, I can walk down some stairs, get on a train with a bunch of other people that I can stare at and make fun of, and it only takes half the time. I'll take the metro, thank you.

leaving the metro, we stopped once again at the Washington Monument. that thing is a tall one. you're really have to see it. it's quite large. mostly when you're standing next to it. from there we kept on down the mall to the WWII Memorial. we'd already seen both of these at night, but the WWII Memorial wasn't very well lighted when we saw it, so it was definitely worth seeing in the day. the downside to the day was the kids tho. there were SO SO SO many kids out. groups or 30, 50, 100, 462, etc. ridiculous crowds. and all making cheesy poses around the monuments and laughing and carrying on. ok at first, but after a while, so many kids gets annoying. mostly teens too. the worst kind. (get it?...I'm a teen...saying I HAVE to spell every joke out to y'all?)

from there we hit the Lincoln Memorial. my favorite for sure. Lincoln is impressive. quite big. inside the Memorial there they have the Gettysburg Address on one wall, and his second inaugural address on the other wall. (an interesting note I learned later: Lincoln's second inaugural address was his favorite of all his speeches.) now of course, I've read the Gettysburg Address, and probably the other speech to at some point. but it didn't really hit me until I was there, standing next to the huge statue of the man. he was a really good speech writer. or maybe he didn't write his own speeches. I'm guessing he did, or at least had some part in it, but I know one of you readers will know and won't mind correcting me. anyway, the Gettysburg Address is really some spectacular and powerful writing. and his second inaugural address is just as good writing if not better. I would recommend seeing the Lincoln Memorial to any of you who plan to visit DC. and I haven't even seen it at night yet. I hear it's better at night. we shall see.

after that we walked over to the Vietnam Memorial. and then a long walk to the Jefferson Memorial. that was pretty cool. too many kids but still cool. I didn't even know he was in there. I've seen the building, but he's actually in there. Jefferson himself. or a statue. whatever. don't nitpick.

some more walking, and we found George Mason. I'd tell you who he is, but I'd rather you look him up if you don't know him. hahaha. it's called Google. and yes, I am getting paid to promote them. anyway, he was a fun fellow. sitting down on a bench. quite tall. if he was standing up I'd put him at about 11 feet or so. the greats of our nation are all so big. I never knew.

after that we were getting a bit tired, seeing as at least 4 to 5 hours had lapsed. we called it a day and headed back to the apartment.

from then to now....lets see...we've seen 2 movies with liz, and eaten at some pretty good places. 5 guys against, and Ted's Montana Grill. we had bison there. but actually, I'm going to leave that to another post. see ya.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

more sightseeing

I keep putting of posting. I hate it, but sometimes I just don't feel like writing. I'm a terrible blogger. oh well.

sunday we decided to go out sight seeing. we walked over to Ebenezer's, grabbed some drinks to keep us with energy. if you ever visit the DC area, I recommend the Mocha from Ebenezer's. I'm not a big coffee drinker, I drink plenty of it, but I'm not obsessed with it. and even then I put lots of sugar and cream in it. the Mocha needed neither. it was very good. and if you prefer something cold, the Cookies and Cream Freeze is amazing. awesome, really.

from there we walked another block to Union Station where we could see the Capitol Building. we figured it was a good place to start so we head that way.

little known fact, the statue on the top of the Capitol building is facing the wrong way. while the Capitol building, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial are all in a row, the statue is in fact, facing away from them. when the Capitol building was created they got the statue up there, but by the time they noticed it was backwards it was too late.
small side note, the reason that the previous fact is little known is because sam and I made it up. there's some rumor that the statue actually faces north, but that's stupid, our version is better.

from there we went and found various pieces or art that we fun to look at. some of it can be seen in the photo album sam linked in the last blog.

I know I'm way behind on blogging and I plan to get on it. promise to try and update soon.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Washington, DC

Amidst torrential downpours we finally made it to DC and Amy Doolittle's on Thursday night. And for the record, Amy gives quite good directions.

The next day, which so happened to be Friday, Amy took off work so she could hang out with us (amazing), and we headed out to see DC. The only, and quite major, damper on the day was the fact that it was raining, and very very cold. And as you can guess, cold and rainy isn't the best of conditions for sight-seeing. Especially when most of the sights require you to get out of the car and walk. Twas sad. But we did get to see a good bit.

We stopped for lunch at Five Guys. AMAZING food, i must say. One of the best bacon cheeseburgers I've ever had. And the fries, too. Not only were they also amazing, they gave us like a million of them.

Being the shiveringly drenched day that it was, the only real options were to either go see a musuem or go back to the apartment. And as neither of us were just incredibly keen on seeing museums that day, we did not. Upon arrival back at her apartment, we decided to entertain ourselves with a movie, which, much to Andy's disgust, happened to be Nacho Libre. The movie just gets better each time you watch it, I tell you. It's hilarious. And then we watched The Emperor's New Groove. I believe Andy skipped that one too. Sad. David Spade is indeed hilarious.

At some point, I think it was Friday night, Amy took us down to see Ebenezer's. The coffeeshop where she works. Very cool place. Good coffee. The Caramel Whip is quite tasty as well.

Ohhh, yes... and Friday night we had SNOW!!! It was amazing. The most snow either of us has ever seen before. Just huge snowflakes, too. It was pretty sweet.

Saturday, Saturday... hmm... hung around the house a bit... That day is kinda fuzzy.... Amy was working most of the day I think, so we decided to meet up with Elizabeth Emery and her brother, who was in town for the week. We walked over towards Chinatown to meet them, turned out to be a much longer walk that I'd thought. Took about half an hour or more.

After we hooked up with them, we decided to find a place to eat, which happened to be Matchbox Pizza. Extremely good pizza. And some delightful conversation, too. We hung out there for quite awhile, then headed over to the movie theater to see what was playing. As it turned out we happened to get there when NOTHING was started for at least an hour and a half or so. So we got tickets for a later show and decided to go see some monuments. Liz was telling us how awesome they are at night. And actually, Amy had mentioned that earlier as well. So off we went.

I got to experience the metro for the first time. Very cool. Nothing new for Andy though as he had ridden quite a few in CA. But for being my first time on the metro, I was the only one who noticed when we got to our stop. I shudder to think what terrible things would have happened if I hadn't been paying attention. Horrors.

We got to see the Washington Monument. Its quite tall. Yup, tall it is. I mean you could stood Liz and her brother on top of each other and it was STILL taller. Crazy, I know. Then we headed over to the WWII memorial. Very cool. We thought about heading to see Lincoln but it was too far and we didn't have too much time until our movie started and we had a ways to go.

On the way back to the metro, Daniel and I decided to race down the path til it turned a couple hundred yards ahead. Liz and Andy were too chicken, so they walked. Let me tell you, going from a standstill to a dead sprint and for that long is quite tiring. But it was enjoyable.

We made it back to the movie theater just in time for the previews. We went to see Breach, by the way. It looked quite promising. Boy, was I wrong. It was one of the worst movies I've seen in quite some time. The story needed help. Lots of help. I kept waiting for the big ending... and it never came. It just... died off. The dialogue needed help, too. Normally I'm not overly critical of movies but this one was bad. If at all possible, do NOT see this movie.

Maybe if I had seen the first 10 minutes of the movie it would have been better. I doubt it thought. Yeah, I was at the concession stand in search of something to ease my parched mouth. I was about 8th in line when I got there. I kid you not, 20 minutes later (I counted), there were still 2 people in front me. Let's see, that's.... 4 minutes a person. At a theater consession stand. FOUR MINUTES PER PERSON. That's a looooong time.

After the movie, we headed down to the metro, and after a few shouted insults across the tracks, and a few pantomined ones, we headed our seperate ways into the darkness.

Now, before y'all get more annoyed than you already are, we DO have pictures. I decided to get a Flickr account instead of posting them all on here. And we've got quite a few from DC up there already. Oh, right, the link.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

talk on the road

now we come to the underground video. this video made it's way to the internet under suspicious circumstances, and spread to all corners without our knowledge. when we finally realized what had happened it was too late.
so since some of you have seen it, we figured all of you deserve too. this is what goes on when you've been on the road a while. and yah, it was mostly just for fun.

Friday, March 16, 2007

and now you know...

alrighty, now as much as I'd like to leave y'all to wonder on that nice cliffhanger sam left you on, I think I'd better finish it.

so we're in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, pushing the car until it was too hard. so then we just sat around and let the car cool for a while. we decided no to call Ronny, and instead to just drive it home. we were really close, and it had cooled for quite a while. so sam got in, kept the lights off, turned the radio and AC off, and used a flashlight to light the road. he had some theory about keeping everything off to lessen the chances of over-heating. so he drove it home no problem. he tried to turn off the car at the top of the driveway but claimed that the brakes stopped working so he turned it back on. I had decided to walk home so I wasn't in the car. I can't confirm nor deny. sounds suspicious tho.

in the morning, the car looked and sounded fine. we obviously wanted it looked at anyway tho, and luckily Ronny knew a good mechanic that would do it for cheap. so we drove about 10 miles away to where this guy had a shop in his backyard. this was a sunday mind, so the fact we could do that was impressive. and he said he'd take a look at it, but wouldn't be able to actually work on it that day. so he stares at it, and we explain where we saw water gushing out...and he gets down in the engine and points at one side and says "about this area?" as he says this, his finger brushes a tube that FALLS OFF. well, it was connected on one end, but where it went into the engine just fell off. he didn't push it or anything, he barely touched it.

so he explained it wasn't a big problem, but he'd have to take half the engine off to get to it. this obviously sounds expensive so I asked him if he had any approximate figure. he said he'd be able to get to it the very next morning and it would be about $125. quite shocking to me. the shops I know of would charge that just to start. and sure enough, next day he called and had it all fixed. pretty cool fellow. wish I could remember his name. I'll work on that.

so with that near disaster successfully avoided we decided to leave the next day, on tuesday. and here I paid the story to step outside. I'm writing this in a coffee shop in DC, and I've just noticed the rain that's been falling all day has turned to snow. not very heavy but I'm gonna take a few minutes to look at it. brb.

interestingly enough, it can't have been 5 minutes and there's already a pretty big layer of snow on everything. living in texas, I've had no experience with snow. the little I've seen hasn't stuck on the ground or anything. it's odd to be here and see a pretty thick snow that's covered the ground in 5 minutes. a whole new experience. which is what this trip is about of course. I feel like a kid again. oh wait...I am a kid. nvm.

anyway, so...we left tuesday. Sara and Ronny drove with us about 30 minutes to some little town that I don't remember. maybe madison. it was supposed to have a KFC that had an all-you-can-eat-buffet. it turned out that while it did have it, it was only serving on wednesdays. so we headed to a hole-in-the-wall southern diner called Adrian's Place. some pretty good food there, and great sweet tea too. I recommend it. course, you don't know how to get there as I'm not 100% sure of the town name. bwuhaha, it's part of my plan.

from there we got on I-20, considered turning around and taking it all the way back to Longview, TX, but decided not too. we drove across the rest of GA, all of SC, and most of NC. we came into Wilmington, North Carolina about 6pm I think. there we met Maureen Carlin, who lives and attends then University of North Carolina at Wilmington. it was really good to see her, I always enjoy time spent with her. she's a blast. we hung out with her and her friends on tuesday night, and were supposed to stay with her in her dorm that night. supposed to. of course we didn't. they forgot that they couldn't sign in guests after 12 and we didn't try before then. so we ended up sleeping in our car. the next morning we hung around in coffee shops and such. Maureen was busy with school, (as a matter of fact we didn't see her anymore while we were there,) so we were on our own. after lunch we headed down to the beach, even tho it was overcast and NOT a beach day. it was a nice beach. the sand was white and squeaked. not like Galveston. hah! we had a pretty good time there, took some pictures, watched the locals. Wilmington is an impressive town, I wouldn't mind visiting more in the future. here are a few pictures of that.

after staying at the beach a good while we went and hung out some more in a random coffee shop. eventually sam decided we wouldn't be sleeping in the car again, and we went and got a room at a motel 6 somewhere. cheap rooms, which was nice, and they can do seeing as they don't offer internet. how are we supposed to keep y'all informed without internet? :P

next morning was fairly routine as far as mornings go. woke up...ate breakfast... know, morning stuff. we had 7 hours to drive to DC so we headed out about noon. we got here, saw many monuments as we drove in, (while trying to remember the name of the Washington Memorial, (the tall one as we called it,) we also discovered sam thinks the Statue of Liberty is in DC. poor guy..) we eventually got where we were going and met Amy Doolittle, one of our oh-so-many DC connections.

I should note that sam complains often that all my posts abuse him, and that I should be nice. but he says alot of things, most of which I ignore.

so now we're here, in DC, our fair capitol, and it's cold, and rained all day, and snowed this evening. as always, we'll keep you updated.