For once I was in constant contact with my AirBnB host and she knew when to expect me. For some reason phone service was working again. Her name was Anke, Danke without the D, and she was just delightful. A strong, independent feminist type so I was completely comfortable in her badass penthouse apartment near […]Read more "Hanover. Or Hannover. No One Knows."
montreal My “frenemy,” as he likes to say for some reason, was scheduled to be married across the Hudson from West Point one June afternoon. Even though he uses that moniker, I was to be a groomsman. On my way to New York from Texas, it occurred to me that, because my job lets me […]Read more "Montreal: Fake Paris"
Toronto sure is something. You ever see people looking at movie posters for other movies before their theater opens? Or standing semi-uncomfortably in a random lobby, not really paying attention to anything, just kind of existing, checking their phones repeatedly even though we all know no one has texted? That’s how Toronto struck me at […]Read more "Toronto: It’s Just Kind of There"
Ninety short miles due west of Calgary is Banff (pr. “Banph”), a small resort town in Banff National Park – in the Canadian Rockies. Surprisingly, not a lot of people have heard of Banff, it’s not in most spell checks. The drive is excessively breathtaking, the road itself, extremely well-planned and exceedingly well-constructed. So far, […]Read more "Banff: Canada Day – 班夫：加拿大國慶日"
Though the train ride from Edmonton to Vancouver sounded too good to pass up, I found a $60 plane ticket. At this point, getting there sounded better than a once-in-a-lifetime trip through the most beautiful land imaginable. I turned in the rental, trusted an airline I’d never heard of and sat next to an Indian […]Read more "Vancouver: Nĭ Hăo!"
paris When I was roughly 11-years-old, a friend and I found a stack of nudie magazines near the dirt bike trails by the highway. I remember to this day that one of them was called “O-U-I” and that’s how we said it, as if you were saying “F-B-I” or “C-I-A.” It would be at least […]Read more "France: Oui"
barcelona “What are all those flags I keep seeing?” you may ask yourself upon arriving in Barcelona – if, like me, you didn’t read much about it before you arrived. They hang straight down off of balconies all over the city. Yellow with red stripes, a blue pennant at the top end, a white star […]Read more "Barcelona: Not “Barthelona”"
ferry fun After spending two full days somewhere, I start putting serious thought into what the next town will be. Then it’s time to check flights everywhere, train schedules or, as was the case in Barcelona, the ferry schedule to North Africa or Rome. The following evening, I was boarding a huge ferry boat/small cruise […]Read more "The Balearic & Tyrrhenian Seas"
Italians have no time for you. I’ve overheard at least fifty non-Italian people say, “You go to a store or a café and they act like you should feel lucky they’re serving you!” And I understand where they’re coming from but once you get the rhythm of things, you see how it works. Even though […]Read more "Rome. If you want to."
It was while boarding the train to Florence (“Firenze” in Italian. You’re allowed to slap Americans who pronounce it this way) that I realized something pretty exciting, we would be traveling on Trenitalia’s FrecciaRossa 1000, (Red Arrow 1000), the fastest train in Italy – averaging approximately 175mph. Once again, the many signs touting free WiFi […]Read more "Florence: While Supplies Last"