Friday, July 27, 2018

Boston 2018

What's this? Not a retrospective?
[sorry for typos - trying out a new keyboard]

I traveled to Boston (June 23-26) for a few reasons. The big excuse was to attend a thank you party for moderators on reddit, though that event was only a few hours long. My more pressing reasons were trifold: to see Boston, as I'd only passed through; to give some clothing a trial run before my big trip; and to remember what traveling felt like and to acclimate myself to the sensation.

On the excuse: For a few years now I've moderated several communities on reddit, the biggest of which being /r/vexillology. For whatever reason, reddit corporate decided to start having "thank you" parties in various cities. I attended one of these in their first year (a quick in-and-out zip down to D.C.). I had a fun time and figured I'd follow that up again this year.
Foggy Boston

Saturday, July 14, 2018


As all of my photos are on unresponsive drives, you're going to have to settle for this link to flickr.

I'm pulling most of this information from my travel notebook. Check out how big my handwriting used to be!

My huge writing! Key for scale.
Same key, same book, written seven years later.
My notebook starts on 22 May, 2011, though I'm not sure that's actually when I started my trip. To give you a little history, I had met my friend Mike while helping to paint a mural over the summer of 2010. He decided that he wanted to explore more of the world (or something like that) and moved to Berlin. I'd finally saved up some money (I had had a second steady job since around October 2010) and decided I should visit him - why not!

You can tell from that first writing sample that I fell in love with the city pretty much right away - I write "the best part so far was the overwhelming calm throughout the city" - I know now that Berlin just makes me feel at home and at ease.

Monday, July 2, 2018

RETROSPECTIVE: Dan & Simon Race Across Europe 2016 PART THREE


12-14 July 2016
Dan & I relaxed in Barcelona (and yes, I did call my mom for her birthday). We did touristy things and we had a great pair of meals (one at the "second oldest restaurant in Spain" - if that claim can be believed) and possibly the worst pair of meals on the trip. We saw the outside of the Sagrada Familia on a bus tour on the 13th, which was followed by one of those worst meals - a place that tourists go to be seen eating. A little more wandering, encountering a super cool community garden, and a little spot where everyone looked local made up for the previous meal (meat & cheese & bread & beer for half the cost!). Laundry, 20+ postcards, bus tours, and all the tame tourist stuff one might expect in Barcelona. When Bastille Day rolled around, I decided to hop on the train to Paris. (Dan would leave Barcelona - indeed, Europe - the next day.[1])

Since it was Bastille Day, I figured I'd go check out the Bastille. Fun fact: the Bastille was torn down during the French Revolution. I mean, I knew they'd stormed it - I didn't know they razed it to the ground. All the celebrations for Bastille Day happen around the Eiffel Tower. Not to be deterred, I wandered around some weird alleys and got myself (intentionally) lost, then found a metro station and made my to a neat little bar near my AirBnB (Cafe des Anges). After a bit of an assault by a drunk patron, I had a great chat with the bartender - I returned the next day to write my journal and talk with him some more.

Returning to my AirBnB I learned of the tragedy in Nice. As it was reported as an "attack in France", I received a lot of "are you okay?" messages. I was both glad to know people cared and pissed off about the attack. Of course, this is before we transitioned to monthly school shootings in the US, so it was a bit bigger at the time than tragedies seem today.