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i’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set...

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travel grant Sep. 5th, 2005 @ 12:39 pm

it's a contest to see who has the most interesting travel idea, and what the winner does is go on their trip, write about it afterwards, and they give you $1000 for it, and here's me contemplating another 'round-the-world (or at least europe... again) trip.

time to start thinking up a proposal to write for this, hahaha...
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: (I Got Everything I Need) Almost - The Definitive Collection - The Blues Brothers

Jul. 20th, 2005 @ 09:30 pm
road trip pictures are up!

Jul. 18th, 2005 @ 01:58 am
in louisville, kentucky right now; uploading about 200+ pictures to flickr overnight, and i'll sort them out tomorrow.

tomorrow's plans: go see the world's largest bat!
Current Mood: goodgood

Jul. 16th, 2005 @ 10:02 pm
today we had a "brunch" at sonic (a sort of drive-in restaurant... and do tater-tots and hot dogs count as "brunch"??), then drove into new orleans.

drove around some, went into harrah's casino (the other day we went to the treasure chest casino, and had been wanting to go to harrah's as well). played some slot machines (the price is right slot machine is FUN!), spent about $40 and made $23 on the slots. also played roulette - minimum bid was $10 / round, and i started with $40 worth of chips... and turned that $40 into $255. the ladies working the roulette table got a kick out of me playing and having fun, so i tipped them a $25 chip and cashed in my two $100 chips and my one $25 chip i had left (i decided to keep the $5 chip as a souvenir). so, altogether, i left after winning $248.

then we walked through the french quarter (we did that the other day, but wanted to eat at this restaurant we found online), and had dinner at "cafe gumbolaya" where i ordered a sort of sampler platter where i could try crawfish gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp creole, and red beans and rice. good, but spicy the more i ate it.

afterwards we went into some shops and i bought a cd of mardi gras music because i heard a song from this album the first day we were in downtown and it was so catchy i had to get it, and then we drove back to our headquarters and are hanging out here for the rest of the night.

tomorrow, i leave for the rest of the trip (i changed my mind about memphis; the johnny cash festival didn't really sound that entertaining the more i read about it, since it was several small events going on all weekend long). i'm still going to louisville, though. gotta go see the world's largest bat!
Current Mood: accomplished

Jul. 13th, 2005 @ 07:49 pm
to whom it may concern:

there is almost no cellphone service out here where we're at so for the most part i can't call out or get calls in, and i am having too much fun and the internet connection is too slow to update from here with what we did each day.



p.s. the other day i won $100+ in the casino and you didn't, neener neener neener
Current Mood: amusedamused
Other entries
» (No Subject)
arrived in louisiana at 7 pm last night central time (8 pm for you east-coasters). didn't really have a problem finding ally's place - after hanging out with her and her friend melanie, we took melanie's mini cooper around town for a brief tour, had dinner at a diner, and took our stuff over to melanie's house for the night since ally's house is kind of on the small size.

so far today we've made waffles for breakfast and watched the weather channel for hurricane news. soon i think we're going to go out to new orleans and see what's what even with the hurricane approaching the gulf coast (the news seems to alternate between "voluntary evacuations have been lifted for coastal areas" to "oh look the hurricane may be strengthening" to "nevermind, it looks like it's curving away"). i took some pictures on the way down here yesterday, but i won't be able to upload them until i get to a faster internet connection so you'll have to sit tight until then.
» (No Subject)
Leaving now for Hammond - here's the route!

I-75 (with a quick stop at Best Buy) -> I-24 -> I-59 -> I-12, and from there I'll use my local directions to get to Ally's place.
» Review of Baymont Inns hotel, Cleveland, TN
Baymont Inn & Suites Cleveland
107 Interstate Drive N.W.
Cleveland, TN 37312
Phone: (423) 339-1000
Fax: (423) 339-2760

Cost of reviewed room: $59.64 incl. taxes

Check-in: I arrived just before midnight and was worrying that there would be some problem with the room / reservation (they might have thought I wasn't coming and gave the room to somebody else). No issues, just told them I had a reservation, gave them my name, and they gave me the key. Easy! The location was very simple to find, as it's right next to the interstate and the hotel has a giant sign for easy finding.

Service: Front-desk counter staff was nice. There was a card in the room detailing what the manager of the hotel had verified to be available/working in the room for me with a complimentary candybar and a bottle of water (yay hotel rewards card benefits!). They also offer to provide you with a complimentary "essential toiletry", if you've happened to forgotten yours.

Room: Not much to it - four walls, a bed, tv, coffeepot (seems to spill a little when being poured, but that may have been operator error), phone, and of course a bathroom. Clean.

Check-out: to be updated later

Misc: Baymont Inns is providing free wireless internet in their hotel rooms - connecting was easy, just selected their wireless network and that was it; no usernames or passwords to enter, very simple, reliable, and fast.

Overall value: Very good!
» (No Subject)
well, i'm at the hotel (i drove from about 9:30 am until just before midnight when i arrived, with a few stops interspersed in between)! uploaded the pictures already, too. that's the good news - the bad news is i realized just now after uploading them and all that i've left my camera battery charger at home. the better news is that i've found out that there's a best buy right along the way since i'd be taking i-75 to begin with, and they've got a charger that'll do what i need in stock (i've checked on their site already), and they've got a 30-day return period at any store (where i can return it because i didn't like how it worked - i've only seen pictures of it online so far and i don't like it already - it looks too clunky - and i wouldn't be buying one if i didn't need it!)

today was just a lot of driving around, but my navigating skills have improved so i didn't have any issues. i didn't even feel pooped out after all that driving, either - that's not to say that my legs aren't a bit sore and my arms/hands don't hurt, but i wasn't feeling tired from the driving. it did get to be a bit tedious after all the mountain roads, though.

i drove from route 50 by annapolis to the dc beltway, took i-495 to i-66 to i-81 to i-40 to knoxville, tennessee. from there i hopped over the smoky mountains on highway 129, and since the road is 314 or so turns within 11 miles it's as if the road was built for mini coopers - i zipped up and down the mountains, and it was a lot of fun! better than any rollercoaster, and more fun than a go-kart track. when the road switched over in north carolina, though, it became like an old wooden roller coaster track - kind of rickety (the road in tennessee seemed to be recently paved and had wide banks in the turns so you wouldn't accidentally drive off the road). i was able to stop and get some pictures around the area, since there were some overlook areas as well.

afterwards it was more driving than i expected i'd be doing in the dark through the woods... there were so many bugs in the air that you could almost feel them crawling on your arms inside the car! eventually i got my way back from highway 129 south to highway 74 to highway 60, and now i'm at the hotel!

i've got to hand it to this new version of itunes that integrates podcasts - i've listened to so many different ones today, but it's been very interesting and informative! here's what i listened to:
- interviews with exchange students in japan
- a news presentation on speeches bill cosby is giving in inner cities
- digital photography tips
- a bbc roundtable (ha!) on the history of merlin the magician
- odd and various news of the world
- an interview about the effectiveness of sunscreen
- an interview about einstein's theory of relativity
- an interview/discussion about nuclear energy vs. wind energy
- tips on how to get in/around new york city
- how-tos on being an over-the-road truck driver, and insight on the life of a truck driver

i wish that i had more opportunities to drive around like this - these podcasts were very interesting!

now i'm going to go to sleep - plan is to wake up and go to best buy after they open at 10, drive to hammond, louisiana, and hang out with ally and melanie for the next week or so! :D
» (No Subject)
yikes... first i heard about it was from narie. hope that people i know are ok and safe... :( ESPECIALLY considering the proximity of russell square to store street, where the BUNAC hostel is...

i also read blogs of london underground employees, and trying not to make light of the situation, but man did the station master he pick a hell of a day to quit smoking.

eta: updates
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