Monday, June 25, 2018

RETROSPECTIVE: Dan & Simon Race Across Europe 2016 PART TWO and a HALF


A white Audi A80 with a black interior, our car had no frills (except for a sun roof)[1]. No A/C, strictly manual controls, no CD player (thwarting our entertainment plans)[2], it was otherwise in good shape for being 25 years old at the time. On our trip from Frankfurt to Lille, we discovered it had headlights like a pair of bad fake tits and a proclivity toward turning on its oil warning light and buzzer (the buzzer was the worst part). We therefore vowed to never drive it at night and to give it a nice long break every few hours.

Monday, June 18, 2018

RETROSPECTIVE: Dan & Simon Race Across Europe 2016 PART TWO


8 July 2016
Dan & I watched as some absolutely crazy cars came rolling into the parking lot. From the green "Shrek" van with ears and decals to the functional "tiki bar" van with a whiskey-dispensing tap on the hood to the "AC/DC" car complete with full drum kit on the roof[1], we quickly figured out we were out of place. In fact, we'd later meet rally-folk who thought our car was one merely parked in the wrong spot. Everyone did an amazing job of decorating - a favorite was a car covered in gold foil with a big "missile" strapped to the top where the drivers were all dressed like dictators - and we definitely stuck out.

Luckily, we were able to register that morning. We received our instructions and the day's special tasks. We had the longest drive of the race ahead of us - from Lille, France, to Thun, Switzerland.

Monday, June 11, 2018

RETROSPECTIVE: Dan & Simon Race Across Europe 2016 PART ONE


5-6 July 2016
After a fairly uneventful overnight flight from Philadelphia, I arrived in Frankfurt about two hours ahead of my former coworker and fellow board game enthusiast, Dan[1]. I did a little writing, noting in my travel log the auspicious sighting of a hawk and a groundhog while on my way to the Philadelphia airport. While I'm not a big believer in omens, I'm a big enough fan of the classics that it brought a smile to my face, symbolizing air and ground travel. Still not sure of what to expect, the two of us could certainly use all the luck we could get.

Dan arrived safely and we soon met up with his friend "Hans" to go car shopping. As you may or may not know, the impetus of this trip was to participate in the "Wacky Rally" - a UK-based race of sorts where the participants could spend no more than three hundred pounds on their vehicles. The rally was two days away and we were still without a car.

Monday, June 4, 2018

RETROSPECTIVE: New York City (Spring Break 2005)

As this happened a decade prior to this writing, details are fuzzy.

During spring break of 2005, a few of my friends wanted to do a road trip to New York City. I’m not sure how we decided that a cold, windy city would make for a good spring break, but we saddled up nonetheless.

The crew consisted of TC, JF, NM, and myself. We would be using NM’s car. We set out and zipped across I-80/90 to our first destination: my parent’s house. A visit, a refresh, and a refuel later and we were back on the road. We made good time to NYC itself, though our first destination was a little beyond. Our lodgings were with NM’s relatives on Long Island. I think it was somewhere in here we got in a minor fender-bender in New Jersey - I remember it being a big deal and little deal, as the car we hit didn’t care and, driving in NM’s beater, we didn’t either.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

ITINERARY: Canada & Alaska

For my own reference and due to popular demand, this is my planned itinerary for Phase One of my trip around the world (45-60 days). I suspect I'll be editing this post frequently, so feel free to check back.


Aug 4: Fly to Halifax (done! See blog entry)

Aug 5: 13:00 train from Halifax to Montreal

Aug 9: train to Quebec City

Aug 11: train to Ottawa

Aug 12: train to Toronto

Aug 16: 22:00 The Canadian from Toronto to Winnipeg

Aug 20: 10:00 train from Winnipeg to Edmonton

Aug 24: 09:37 train from Edmonton to Vancouver

Aug 27: bus from Vancouver to Seattle
Underground tour? link & link

Aug 31: 18:00 MV Columbia to Juneau, AK (arr. Sept 3)


Bum around Alaska? Juneau? Homer? Sitka? Anchorage?

Sept 14/15: flight to Los Angeles

Buy a ticket to somewhere else (Phase Two)