Archive for category Travel
Ever since we got back from Disney, a lot of people have asked me what my favorite part was, and to be honest, I’ve had a ton of trouble naming something. There just so much to the place, and so many things to love…and an equal number of things to strongly dislike. Not to mention that I spent pretty much the whole time we were there experiencing the magic of it all through my kids.
I think you’ll find that will color just about anyone’s opinion on a subject.
Hey there! Remember me? You know, the guy who makes up the seemingly never-ending stream of words that go here? You’ll all be glad to hear that I’m back and ready and rarin’ to go.
Well, okay, hopefully some of you will be glad to hear that, at least. Right? Or a couple of you, maybe.
Somebody? Anybody? Bueller?
Regardless, I am back, full of vim and vigor or piss and vinegar or, I don’t know, insert your own strange yet enthusiastic couplet here! The bottom line is that I’m ready to get back to the work of making words on a regular basis.
You see, my friends, I have ventured into the inky, soulless void and returned to speak of it.
I swear I’m not dead. I just had to do some traveling this week. I spent two more wonderful days in lovely Wallingford, Connecticut. But I’m happy to say that by the time this post is publish, I’ll be at 29,000 feet or something, winging my way home after a brief stopover in Charlotte, North Carolina. Then again, can you really say you’ve been in and/or to a place if you’ve only spent a few hours in their airport?
Now that I really consider it, I think maybe not. I mean, I didn’t even have any pulled pork or sweet tea while I was here. Oh sure, I thought about hiking all over the terminal in search of some, but I hardly think the citizens of Charlotte would want me to judge their prowess at barbecuing pork butt by airport terminal kiosk purveyor.
No time for a good, old fashioned ramble today. Kids to feed, words to make, yadda yadda yadda, etc, etc.
Instead, I offer you this seemingly random image.
A week ago today, I was in Wallingford, Connecticut for reasons. While I was there, I had dinner at the Old Dublin pub, which might just be the most awesome craft beer pub I’ve ever personally set foot in. But that’s a different — much longer — post. One I imagine you’ll see on Hoperatives before too long.
As for the image above, well, as is typical in most of your better beer-drinking establishments, there was a bounty of random things scrawled on the walls, etc. Normal I ignore all such nonsense because, believe it or not, I’m not ever really in need of knowing whom to call for the proverbial entertaining time.
For whatever reason, though, someone had taken a moment to leave their mark on the door of the Old Dublin by invoking the name of Aquaman, who I think we can all agree is the least super of the super heroes of our youth.
And if that isn’t the most ironically awesome piece of public bathroom graffiti ever, I don’t think I even know you any more.
I know, we haven’t talked in a while. It’s, like, I haven’t been around for the past few days or something.
Well, actually, it’s not like that at all. It’s exactly that. I haven’t been. Around, that is. I’ve been in Connecticut. Yes, that state in New England. Because I had to do [redacted].
Truth be told, I’ll probably be playing catch-up with pretty much everything for the rest of the week. Because that’s what happens when you go spend 2+ days somewhere else doing the stuff you don’t usually do.
In a perfect world, of course, there’d be, I dunno, stuff elves that came out when you were gone to take care of the stuff you couldn’t take care of like usual. You know, like the Grimm Brothers’ Cobbler Elves from that fairy tale, but more modern. They’d maybe write a blog post for you, keep you up to date on facebook and twitter, post a few Instagrams (no selfies, duh) , and make sure your daily workload gets done for you while you’re away. File your Status and TPS Reports and whatnot, maybe fill out your timecard. What-have-you.
Then again, it seems like I just described a muggle version of a “house elf” from Harry Potter. No one wants to make poor Dobby tweet for them. And the last thing I want is Dobby trying to keep my daily writing quota caught up for OTHER THING. The whole book would be about socks.
Which is fine, I guess, if you’re into socks. But maybe not this book.
I suppose the title of this post is, among other things, terribly misleading. While I did go on quite the day trip on Thursday, calling it a trip to New York City is about as accurate as saying spring is mostly here. I mean, spring is almost here but that “almost” ignores about a month of calendar time and the fact the central US is either getting or is about to get slammed with some hot winter storm action.
Busy doing what, you ask? Well, here’s a hint? I took it this morning while winging my way in a north-easterly direction for work. Bonus points to anyone who can identify exactly where it was taken.*
Oh, and never fear, by the time you read this, I’ll be home safe and sound. Warm and cozy even. Then again, if no one actually does ever see this post and the accompanying pretty picture of white fluffiness, odds are good the plane went down in a smoldering heap someplace in rural Ohio. Lets hope that’s not the case.
As for the trip itself, it was quite productive. And it came with the bonus of sending me to a place colder than it is here in Cincinnati, which pleased me. Of course it was rainy there too, but nowhere can be perfect, I guess. At least I avoided the thunderstorms.
For the record, December thunderstorms are good for absolutely nothing. They’re a disappointing blight upon the holiday season.
Wouldn’t be a bad band name, though.
Anyway, that was my Monday, What did you do with yours?
*and if you know that, we should talk about one of many opportunities available for those with reliable psychic abilities.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but perhaps the best thing about our family summer vacation this year wasn’t the time spent idling our day away on the the beach or in the hotel pool.
I mean, well, it was, actually. The idle time was the best, no matter what I tell myself to help soothe the pain of knowing I can’t spend all my free waking hours lounging in the ocean beneath a golden sun. But with the idea that the truth hurts like having your nose smacked repeatedly with one of those fluorescent yellow softballs while a large horse hoof-stomps you in the privates, you can probably understand why I go about lying to myself, right? Good.
Anywho…I sat down yesterday to write a blog post for Hoperatives.com about one of the craft brew-y places we visited when traveling the South. And in the process of rambling it out, I got to re-live that brief time away from our everyday lives. As it’s been roughly a month now, a little refresher was just what the Dr. ordered.
So, take a piece of advice from me: next time you go on a trip, take a few notes about something you did while away – anything, really – and then go back and revisit them later. No, it won’t be quite as awesome as being there again, but it sure beats thinking about dealing with bedtime on a Monday night.
Oh, and as an added bonus, I got this post about the Liberty Taproom and Grill in Myrtle Beach out of the deal. Sweet, right?
Believe it or not, this post actually isn’t yet one more in an apparently endless series dedicated to motor vehicle tires. Come to think of it, if I don’t have to mention those again for, I don’t know, the rest of my adult life, that’ll be perfectly alright with me.
Anyway, so I spent yesterday on the road, visiting a customer a little over an hour away. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but honestly, I don’t mind the occasional day trip for business. Nothing clears the head quite like some time on the road in the morning and late afternoon, just you, the road, and the voices in your head telling you to Punish All The Bacon Thieves*!
Ahem. Perhaps all that time alone isn’t all healthy after all. Let’s just forget I said that last part.
In honor of my day away, then, I thought this might be a great time for Puddin’s Questionable Tips for the Work Road Trip, Part I: The Quickee Mart.
So, let’s proceed, yes?
Breakfast on the Road: Let’s face it, you don’t have much time for a decent breakfast when your manager tells someone that you’ll be onsite at 9 am, and yet you tend to greet each morning with the same love and affection currently being demonstrated between that, uh, one woman – you know, the mean one — from the Botox-Faced Housewives of, err, that place and every other member of the human race.
Which is to say, you’re not a morning person.
So take my advice: stop at the Quickee Mart and grab a bag of pizzeria pretzel Combos and the 128-oz Kidney Killer of Coke Zero. It’s quick, cheap, and easy to consume in the car.
Sure, 9 out 10 nutritionists agree this is probably the worst kind of stuff you can put into your pie-hole, but I’ve chosen a more optimistic point of view. While pumping yourself full of chemicals and preservatives probably isn’t going to help your longevity much (ask the 10th nutritionist, God rest his soul), but hey, at least they’ll keep you awake and alert during your long day of customer acquiescence.
Quickee Mart Drinks: If you’re like me – and you really probably should be praying nightly to the deity, statue, spirit, or telephone pole of you choosing not to be like me – you gave up the regular consumption of soft drinks some time ago to make more room in your life for other, more compelling vices like alcohol, scratch-off tickets, and strippers**. The problem is, if the Quickee Mart is a shining beacon to anything, it’s to the regular and massive consumption of the sugar-and-caffeine-laden American soft drink.
In such situations, finding a beverage to fill up that Kidney Krusher cup can be a challenge. Occasionally, you will find a big vat of freshly brewed iced tea, or coffee not made with the shavings of discarded lead-based paint and the bitter tears of orphans, in which case you should make with the Happy Dance, fill up a cup quick, and then get the hell out of there before you wake up from your wonderful, wonderful dream.
Sometimes (meaning Thursday), however, when there are no other options, I’ve attempting something a little risky, a tad unorthodox. Gathering my courage like a schoolgirl picks up jax, I poured myself what I’ll officially forever refer to as The Old Golf Shoe.
You’re familiar with the Arnold Palmer, right? Half iced tea and half lemonade? I mean, what could be more perfect on a hot summer day? Well, unless it’s 97 degrees, you’re 70 miles from home, and standing in a gas station that probably should have been condemned by the Health Department back in the Reagan Administration. In which case, you fill a cup half way with the soda fountain faux-tea beverage drink and then you top it off with the soda-fountain chemical-lemonade (which proudly asserts, “0% Real Juice”).
And yes, my beverage did actually taste like the inside of a 40 year-old golf shoe. That was worn by a heavyset fella named Meatball. While he played through a cow pasture. Without socks.
Next time, I think might break down and buy the bottle water.
Anybody have any bleach for my tongue?
*The Bacon Thieves, awesome band name
**I’m just kidding, obviously. Scratch-offs and strippers would cut into my beer budget and then what would I write about for Hoperatives?
Unless you’re basically brand new to Puddintopia (and my web traffic statistics would not indicate a major swell of new readers anytime in the last…well, ahem, never mind), you’ve probably seen this logo once or twice, in a post telling you about a different post, someplace else. Specifically, for Hoperatives.com. You know, like this one, or even that one.
Well, I’ve been harboring a dark secret about all those Hoperatives’ posts. See, ever since I started contributing there, I’ve been skipping out on the quintessential beer blogger’s role: the beer-drinking traveler. You know because I don’t often really go anywhere.
That doesn’t change the fact that just about everyone likes to learn about awesome beer-drinking places far and wide. It gives you someplace to fantasize about visiting someday while you’re trapped in your 4×4 grey cubicle trying not to go blind on spreadsheets. I mean, it’s better than spending that time envisioning stapling your eyes shut so you’d have a good excuse to leave. It’s the same reason we listen to people who give us the crazy envy-rage by talking about how awesome their vacation to Utopia Beach was last week. But I digress.
Anyway, everybody loves this beer travel blogging thing is so much, in fact, that we’ve got a regular feature on Tuesdays for it at Hoperatives, conveniently titled “Traveling Tuesday”. Really, though, I suppose I shouldn’t say “we”. See, that’s my dark, shameful secret: of all my Hoperative-contributing brothers and sisters, I, alone, (I think) have never written a Traveling Tuesday post.
Oh, the shame! It burns! It burns with the pain of that time that your aunt, while babysitting, poured a glass of vodka on that 4-inch tree branch-gouge in your calf, told you to wrap it in newspaper, and went back to watching “Fantasy Island”.
At least, it used to burn, um, like that. The point is, I am glad to say that the days of hiding my face in the massive, dark cowl of a oddly conspicuous wool medieval cloak at the mention of beer-blogger travel is finally at an end! While the Puddinette and I traveled the Southeast two weeks ago with the family, I made a conscious effort to collect material for future Hoperatives’ Traveling Tuesday posts. And today, the first of them was posted.
So, go forth, read about our adventures at the Asheville Brewing Company and rejoice with me as I finally shrug off the scarlet ‘L’ emblazoned upon my chest (for ‘Lame’, duh). Oh, and anyway, you totally should read about that brewpub. It’s a cool place. Plus, there are pictures! And you can learn about my new favorite t-shirt.
Indeed, there was much rejoicing!
And some pretty good beers too.