Showing posts from July, 2013

My Battle of The Alamo

Let's do the math (because I'm about to use some firm language). In the last year, I've been to Brussels and back, France, Amsterdam, Spain, Poland, England, Canada, and driven about 6,000 domestic miles through about twenty different states, yet something inside me feels desperately land-locked on an island of insanity, which if I don't escape from, I'm going to go completely mad.

For instance, today I attempted to take my children to the movies. Half way there Shannon states: "I think they're only open on the weekend." I reassure her, that's not possible (surely), and suggested she call. Sure enough, they were closed. So I do a U-Turn, pull out the smart-phone and Google for a theater in the larger city about twenty miles away. Unfortunately there was only one showing, nearly two hours later at 10:15 PM, way too late for my kids. So we head home, I promise pizza, I pull in the drive-way, unlock the door, turn on the laptop and try to order pizza …

Wowed in London Ontario

I was trying to explain to a friend the other day my expectations when I travel, and that I want to be shocked, or impressed, awed or dumbfounded by my vacations. So taking an un-planned, let's-just-drive-north-vacation, proved to be a mixed bag of disappointment and excitement. I don't have high-standards, it doesn't need to be epic (though I'll take it), but it does have to wow me.

A few years back, somewhere in corporate America, I went through a training program that encouraged better service to customers (something unheard of today it seems as a consumer). The idea was that it wasn't just good enough to give them the service they expected, but to wow the customer, to literally make them say wow. Now I'm not a big fan of corporate capitalism, or their usual evil training programs designed for profitability while preying on the ignorance of both employees and customers, but this is a mantra I can get behind.

To illustrate my point, let me tell you about the wo…

Going Over Niagara Falls

So a few weeks ago on our trip back from Niagara Falls, I'm standing on the Canadian side standing at the railing with billions of gallons of water before me, and all I can think about is jumping off, and diving in.

It seems like a rather peculiar thought but there before me was adventure, something to conquer. Of course rational thought won out, and I realized my chance of survival in going over Niagara Falls was probably slim to none. (Apparently the odds are actually pretty good according to the Internet which suggests a 75% survival rate [though most of these were in barrels, or protective contraptions], but I digress.)

No life has pretty much (as we say in the hood) chilled-the-eff-out. Even this dramatic, whirlwind trip up to Canada was more sitting on my rear behind the wheel of a rental car, than actual adventure. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, it seems to be missing something I need in my life. American life (my American life) is too easy, too uneventful. You…

The Silo Haystack

So I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the lines I decided that when I travel I'm not going to eat food I normally can get at home. No McDonald's, no Burger King, Olive Garden, Chilis, etc. (technically I very rarely eat any of that at home anyways). If I'm going to put something in my mouth, I want it to be a new experience, a food destination. We've gotten pretty good at this too (e.g. Schmidt's). It's all about trying new stuff. Of course, sometimes it bites us back, and we end up in the middle of the night, sleeping on an empty stomach- but it's all worth it.

I try to find unique food. Often it's not all that healthy, but I figure it's vacation, and the honey-pots of deliciousness are often found in the greasiest holes in the wall. Food Network is often a great source for good places to eat. When Adam Richman from Man Vs Food visited The Silo just across the border from Niagara Falls, we expected it to be awesome. We had been c…