Archive | August, 2011
August 22, 2011

POTD: Playa Avellana, Costa Rica

The above photo was taken at Playa Avellana, during our last full day of our Costa Rica trip in February 2010. Amazingly, however, I almost did not make this trip to Costa Rica due to an airline mishap. Thankfully, however, I had purchased a travel insurance policy when I booked my trip, so that salvaged a bit of the trip.

Basically, the night before I was scheduled to fly to Costa Rica, American Airlines canceled my February 13th flight and notified me that they could not get me to Costa Rica until February 15th. They had also scheduled me for a 13 hour overnight layover at the Miami airport. As you could imagine, I was rather pissed off, but a quick call to my insurance company Cover-More confirmed that my $70 policy covered trip delays and interruptions, so I could expect to get some of my hotel and food expenses covered. When I arrived back in the U.S., I filed my claim and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the company was reimbursing me for my hotel and food expenses in DC and Miami as well as the two days of pre-paid lodging and surf lessons that I missed due to American Airlines’ inability to get me to Costa Rica on time. So, lesson learned, if you are traveling abroad, make sure you have travel insurance!

August 17, 2011

POTD: Roadside propaganda in Pyongyang

Kim Il-Sung, sporting the red scarf of the Young Pioneer organization, watches over the youth of North Korea in this large roadside propaganda painting.

August 1, 2011

Selected thoughts from a 3000+ mile road trip across the United States

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Wyoming

We arrived in Seattle nearly two weeks ago and have settled into our apartment with the exception that most of our belongings are currently on a broken-down truck somewhere in South Dakota. Yeah, I’m kinda regretting using Allied Van Lines to move everything, but it’ll get here eventually.

Anyways, some some selected thoughts from our recent road trip:

– Before traveling through the South (ie, Kentucky) check the NASCAR schedule, or else you might find yourself stuck in traffic for hours.

– My uncle in Illinois still makes the greatest BBQ sauce in the world.

– Drivers in Red Bud, IL have no idea how stop signs work.

– There is a Churchill Museum in the middle of nowhere, Missouri. Random.

– Columbia, MO has some damn good beer (see Flat Branch Brewery)

– I was amazed at how many wineries there are in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. Now this may be the California chauvinist part of me speaking, but, seriously?!

– Everyone said that driving through Kansas is horrible. I can see where they are coming from as far as the monotony of the drive, but I actually thought it was quite relaxing. I love cruising along with some good music.

– I am pretty sure I was the only person driving through Kansas with a surfboard.

– Colorado is incredibly beautiful, especially during thunderstorms. I loved Denver and Fort Collins (the breweries definitely helped) and could definitely see myself living in Colorado. Thanks to Liz, Nick, and Wrigley for their hospitality.

– State troopers in Wyoming don’t care if you pass them at 85mph in a 65mph zone.

– Yellowstone is really that amazing and deserving of its reputation. Photos will be up shortly.

– Buffalo meat should be served in more restaurants.

– My Xterra is a bug killin’ machine.

– There are only two radio stations in Montana. One plays country music; the other plays nothing but “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult.

– After driving for two weeks, I actually miss being on the road.

– I am very, very glad to be in Seattle while the rest of the country is experiencing a heat wave. Our temperatures here have been in the high 60s/low 70s.

– I can’t believe I actually left DC. This is truly a dream come true. I was actually shedding tears of joy as I sat in Beltway traffic on our way out of the metro area. It has been a long, strange, frustrating, and simultaneously wonderful decade in our nation’s capitol.

Oh, and it cost me $577 to drive across the country, just $30 shy of Cost2Drive’s prediction. Not bad.