Posted by: 28flightslater | October 10, 2009

Good to be back!

I am breaking my chain of location recaps to just let you all know that I am indeed alive and well and back in NYC!

The entire trip was an amazing journey that was just the life experience I was craving. I saw and did great things, I met amazing people and made memories for a life time.

Because of this, 28 Flights later- I am calling the documentary: “Thank You, Jet Blue”

www.tyjetblue.com is the new site address that you can type to get directly here. I am taking another day to really get settled in (I still feel like I have a flight in 6hrs!).

After that I am going to post the rest of the recaps and vlog footage I took and then start editing the footage into a documentary!

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 8, 2009

Salt Lake City

I didn’t really know what to expect or expect much out of Salt Lake City. When I got here there was a crazy amount of high winds.

The public transportation is pretty nice too. I spent most of SLC just kind walking around a lot.

Really the big highlight for me was that I was actually able to eat at a Sonic. Now that doesn’t sound like much but you see back home in NYC we get the commercials for a whole bunch of fast food places we just don’t have, some not even being within 3 states of us.

Sonic was one of those and the one I wanted to go to more than any other. The food was really good an it was delivered by a rollergirl.

After this good experience, I did some more walking before I got on the bus and headed back to the airport.

Next stop is Oakland where I am going to get a second chance at San Fran!

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 8, 2009

San Diego

Day 1:

As soon as I get to San Diego I call up my friend Lauren who I’ve known online since I was 14. This was our first time meeting face to face.

She showed me around a lot of SD, stopping at a Denny’s first, then over at Pacific Beach, and then at a cliff where people kept failing at paradsailing while people played nude volleyball at the nude beach at the bottom of the cliff.

Once at her dorm we decide to check out a movie (We ended up seeing Surrogates) and then grab some beer (Pumpkin) and a boardgame (Scrabble).

I got hungry and picked up some Chipotle and we ate it by a Bon fire on the beach which is apparantly what Californians do. I’m personally not a big fan of trying to eat in the semi dark surrounded by sand, but I digress.

Back at the dorm I dominate in Scrabble and figure out how to open my beers without a bottle opener (On the windows edge) before we decide it’s time to hit the hay, in the morning Lauren will show me how to use the bus to get back downtown.

I had a great time hanging out with Lauren and hope to do it again someday.

Day 2:

I say my goodbyes and find my way downtown. Here I checked out a mall and got some food. The standard mall food back home: Sarku Japan’s Chicken Teriyaki. Only at this place it tastes different, sweeter. I can’t tell which one I like better but have it for lunch anyways.

From here I called up my old coworker and friend Mike. I told him I had some things to take care of first and that afterwards (around 8pm) we should meet up. He agreed and told me to just give him a call.

My plan is to go see a movie and then seeing ad today (9/28) was the year anniversary of me playing competitive TF2 with my current team I really should try and find a computer and play with them tonight.

After some more browsing I find a movie theatre and check out Pandorum. Wasn’t sure what to fully expect of this movie but it was definitely cool. The theatre was also awesome because it was really big but really empty.

From here I walked and took a cab out to a LAN center where I would be playing TF2 from. Unfourtunately this place had no headsets and none for sale. Apparantly people broke them all and their shipment hadn’t come in yet.

I had some trouble d/ling the map for the night because I couldn’t find the steam folder and they said (after I was already done d/ling) that I can’t use the computer for gaming and web browsing.

I tried to explain that I neede to d/l the map but they said the server does it on it’s own, which is normally right, except league servers don’t allow you to d/l the map and no other servers had it playing.

A map BTW for those not in the know- is what you call the level you play on.

Everything worked great until someone started d/ling or updating steam and it started to sloooow my connection down. But me being the best Spy in the game- I was able to manage and my team was doing great too so we won.

I wish I had a headset, it was like a backhanded taste to play that night.

From there I took a bus into Old Town where Mike picked me up and took me over to his house where we drank some wine and watched Dancing With The Stars with his wife and daughter.

I slept on his very comfortable couch that night and took a shower in the morning. Him and his family were really accomidating and I had a great time.

In the morning, me Mike and his daughter Syra- went out to a Mexican fastfood place called Roberto’s, where I had the California Burrito. Which consisted of Carne Esada steak, sour cream, and French fries.

It was very delicious and is definitely on mnlost of things to do when I head back to SD. From here he drove me over to Balboa Park where the three of us walked around and through a free Botanical Garden.

It was only a short ride to the airport from here, although I didn’t really want to go because I had such a good time. But I said my goodbyes and I’m now ready for Salt Lake City!

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 7, 2009

Raleigh, NC

So the day before I get to Raleigh as I am trying to catch a few hours of Z’s, I get a text message from my friend Justin askingf I crashed yet.

I assumed this was referring to sleeping and he wanted to see if I was sleeping or not. Not too long after that I have voicemail from my mom asking me where I am and that for some reason she’s at the airport to pick me up for my 3hr layover.

I then realize that they both think I have arrived a day early. I don’t think they took into account the actual flight times which had me leaving on the 25th but arriving on the 26th.

When I land in JFK for my layover, my mom confesses she was there yesterday and when I finally arrive in Raleigh, Justin confesses the same.

Which really sucks because they had to drive an hour and a half from their town of Greensboro and when they drove back they had told people that I was coming so they had a big party that they had in my honor.

Which means when I finally met them, they were hungover from my party (which I heard was awesome, haha) that I didn’t go to.

The thought was nice but we didn’t go back to Greensboro as planed and instead tried to figure out things to do in Raleigh.

Although not the original plan, it was fine by me just finally meeting Justin and his girlfriend Jamie (the cat whisperer). Justin is another friend of mine that I Play TF2 with on a regular basis.

We drove around and went to a pub for a light snack, after that we walked around Raleigh and saw the giant acorn sculpture in the park that is dedicated to the guy who made it (lol).

We went to a free museum on nature that had some cool dinosaur and bug exhibits as well as a really cool butterfly room where you could be one with the lil buggers.

From here we headed over to Justin’s brothers house as this is where we would be sleeping and celebrating his brothers recent 30th birthday.

I was told they have 2 cats and seeing as I am normally allergic to cat hair, Jamie gave me a claratin so I could hopefully avoid the cat-sniffles.

As soon as I got there and introductions were made, I took a nice long shower. After that I joined everyone downstais for a game of Rock Band.

For some reason I find Rock Band hard to play than Guitar Hero even though I’m told that Guitar Hero is the harder of the two.

Not that it would matter as I haven’t regularly played either in quite some time which probably had a bigger impact on my ability to play.

Soon food appeared in the forms of homemade burgers, chilli (Justin’s brother doesn’t like beans either so it was some of the best chilli I’ve had in my whole life), brautwurst (original and beet flavored) and Scotch.

My best line if the trip was then uttered: “I’m going to play guitar with this burger!”

After some more Rock Band, they put on “Kung Pow: Enter The Fist” and a quote-a-thon began (which normally happens when that movie is put on in the company of good people).

Soon I went upstairs to check out sone stuff on the computer and to d/l and hopefully play some TF2 (I did however end up showing Justin some Left 4 Dead versus tricks) but then Justin told me he never saw “They Live” so I put it on from YouTube.

However Justin went downstairs to check up on everyone else and I fell asleep only to awaken in time to leave for the airport (unfourtunately my flight was at 6am)- a couple of them just stayed up the whole night.

At the airport I vowed to return and said my goodbyes as I got ready to catch some more Z’s on the plane as I was on my way to my first full 2 day trip in San Diego!

(Note- I didn’t take any photos because my phone died as soon as I got there, didn’t get a chance to charge it because of the flight times)

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 7, 2009

Portland, OR

I first get into Portland, OR pretty late, around 11:30. Meeting up with Jeff we agree not to leave the airport as it wouldn’t be worth (last call in this town could be in an hour).

Portland, OR’s airport is pretty comfortable as it has some big comfy chairs that you can push together to turn into a bed and a 24hr sandwich cafe that I also took advantage of.

Jeff told me about his trip to Hawaii (I’m still jealous) and I tell him about how my trip has been going. Before you know it we decided to catch some Z’s, even though I got there late- I still had a full day ahead of me to check out Portland.

I was rudely awoken by a Airport Cop for no reason at all. He just asked when our flights were and was in his way.

Me and Jeff exchange our goodbyes and I was on my way to check out the city.

In the airport I found some good pamphlets talking about a Japanese Garden and a Chinese garden. Portland’s transportation system is really good. There’s a train that runs through the city and there are buses as well as a limited subway system.

I take these past downtown and then underground and a bus to the Japanese Garden which is just right outside of town.

I’ve never been to Japan but this was a pretty good replication of what I’ve always seen on TV, movies, and travel/food channel specials.

It was calming and nice to walk around inside it. Right across the entrance from it was a beautiful Rose Test Garden that I checked out before I headed back to downtown.

Back in downtown I checked out the Chinese Garden in Chinatown which had a lovely tour. It was no where near the size of the Japanese Garden but it was also very well crafted with explicit detail and there was even a absolutely delicious teahouse inside.

Seriously, you ever go to Portland you must go to this tea house. I had a traditional tea which had to be prepared by yours truly (I believe it’s called Gongfu), tasty rice cakes, and a fantastic rice noodle bowl with turkey and other good things- it was off the wall.

After this great experience I wandered the city, I asked someone where to walk to find something cool and they pointed me in the direction of a park where there’s supposed to be a lot going on.

I get there and it appears to be some sort of Native American fair with dancers and such. I’m not terribly interested in spending too much time here but I get approaches by someone asking what I’m filming and if I’m an AYCJ.

It’s Mike of thebluetravellers.com, apparantly they’re doing a doc on AYCJing too. We record each other and talk about our projects and exchange information, good guys who are also from NYC.

They had to catch a train to Seattle so we wished each other luck and took a picture before we went our separate ways.

Walking around some more I got a taco from a taco cart on what appeared to be food cart alley. A mix of Spanish, Asian, and Greek cuisine carts on the same block.

Heading farther back downtown I passed by an amazing independent donut shop called “Voo Doo Donuts”. It was all punk rock inside and the unique donut choices were pretty rad, such as a really big donut, a penis shaped donut, cereal donuts and yes ladies and gentlemen… The BACON donut.

I wanted to eat it so bad but for some reason a part of me wouldn’t let me. That’s not common for me because usually i’ll try anything once and I want grossed out by it- I simply couldn’t buy it for some unknown reason.

Instead I picked up the “Portland Cream” which was amazingly similar to a Boston Cream donut. This place knew how to make a good donut though. It tasted really fresh and the chocolate frosting was amazing.

While I was there I read a sign that said “Please don’t give money to the ‘spangers”. I asked the lady behind the counter and she said ‘spanger stands for “Spare Changer” and is someone who is not homeless or in a financial bind- they just ask for your money.

We got these parasites in NY too ‘cept i call then Grubs.

As I left with a happy donut dancing in my belly I checked out an independent sneaker/clothes shop and then took the convenient train back to the airport in time for my very long flight into Raleigh, NC to meet my good Internet friend Justin (aka The Good Guy)!

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 6, 2009

Jacksonville, FL

Once in Jacksonville it was really simple to get downtown via public bus which only cost a dollar, but no transfers.

I decided to go to a Dave and Busters to eat some lunch and have a good time as downtown Jacksonville was not appealing in anyway.

Another bus ride later, I got off one stop after mine, which was the last stop and put me amungst highway and hotels.

I put Dave and Busters coordinates into my phone and started walking. I made the mistake of not putting it on walk directions (it was on car directions), so it eventually had me going through a highway.

I started walking along it and under it hoping a cop didn’t see me as I’m sure it’s very illegal. I stepped on sine sort of spikey ball stick and got the lil buggers all over my shoe and sock.

The ones on my sock started to randomly stab me so I had to pluck them off. Ahead of me was a construction site on te highway.

At this point a sherrifs car passed by me and I think because of all my gear, i looked like a worker on the site. I hopped a divider and was walking amungst the construction crew and passed more sherrifs with no problem at all.

I finally made it back to the bus stop I was supposed to get of but at this time the heat got to me and I didn’t even want to try and figure out how to cross another highway so I sat down and called a cab.

The cab dropped me off at D&B’s and I had some good food and a blast playing games. Getting back was easy as I was able to find a route with minimal illegal maneuvers.

I hopped on the bus which too me back downtown and had to snag a cab to get back to the airport where I slept.

My flight wasn’t leaving until around 5 or so, so in the mornin I headed out to the Jacksonville Zoo where realized getting there right at opening isn’t exactly the best time as all the animals looked like they were state of the art animatronics.

The stood/sat/laid about doing nothing, except for slight mecahnical movements. Eventually I made my way to the carousel which was fun to ride.

After seeing more random animals I headed over to the Australia section where I thought I would be feeding kangaroos but was able to feed something better: Lorikeets.

I had a great time feeding Nectar ($1 a cup) to the Lorikeets (They started preening on me which consists of picking at my hair and licking inside/behind my ear) there was this red and black bird that intimidated all the other Lorikeets away from the cup of Nectar but I made sure to move around so that they could all have some.

One of the Lorikeets tried to steal the cup from me and the Zoo Keeper there told me that they’re “Clumsy theives” as when they normally attempt to steal the cup it results in a spilled cup.

I then pet their trumpeter bird, Donald (Get it? Get it!?), and moved on to more animals before I found myself feeding a Giraffe who just stuck his tongue out waiting for food.

I rounded it all out with a hopeful trip to their Stingray tank, where I was able to touch them plenty but just missed the last “Feeding time”.

I should also mention what an interesting character my taxi driver was. His name was Roxie and he was many things but the one thing he yold me that stood out is that he claims to be the creator behind the wonderful Breakfast Bar (You know the all you can eat bar, not the energy bar).

Yep, been meeting all sorts of interesting people on this trip, next city I meet up once again for a layover with my good friend Jeff in Portland. OR!

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 6, 2009

Portland, ME

Arriving in Main I notice that Starbucks is serving one of my favorite seasonal drinks again: The Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I’m not much of a coffee drinker but I like Starbucks seasonal drinks.

After that I check out some information and hop in the local bus into downtown.

Where this bus leaves me off gives me my firs impression of Portland, ME. A small town with a high population of the homeless, elderly and mentally disabled.

It was almost all I saw for a little bit. But soon the soup kitchens started turning into coffee shops and bookstores so that the citys charm wouldn’t be lost on me.

I walked into a few independent shops that were full of old/used action figures and VHS movies. These places were just fun to be in and I wondered how one could exsist let alone two.

As u continued to walk in no direction in particular a woman passed by me with flowers and we both met eyes and stopped at exactly the same time.

She handed me a flower and I thanked her as she continued on her way. This friendliness would continue as I bumped into another girl who was curious on where I was headed.

After I told her what I was doing she introduced herself as Joy and told me where u could find a tree that I could sit in to see a great view.

I started making my way there and found myself in the historic section of the neighborhood. Portland has a very beautiful side to it.

I kinda got lost as I found the park she was talking about. She mentioned that it might be off a trail and so I ventured off into the woods.

Somewhat of a mistake as I was wearing shorts and the path started to become less a path and more shrubbery. Eventually I found myself outside the gates if a dogpark. A cautious dog barked at me until I called it over so that I could pet it through the fence.

After that the dog followed me around until I found the right way out of there and alongside the entrance if the dogpark.

I followed this around a garden which eventually Les me up a hill and to the tree that I was looking for. This was a great time diversion as I got there right as the sun was setting and was treated to a fantastic view.

From here I headed back into town looking for some food. I found it in a Chowder house that was out of breadbowls so I ordered the mussles and lobster special.

After the delicious and inexpensive dinner (lobster dinner was $20, although it was nowhere near te calibur of lobster I had at the union oyster house!) I decided to check out a movie.

I gambled on checking out Whiteout as I was slightly interested. I was lucky that the theatre only charged $5 a ticket that day. So even if the movie was bad I couldn’t really complain.

The movie turned out to be just good enough. I had no idea what kind of movie to expect and it was an odd surprise to see that it was a murder mystery thriller that wasn’t supernatural (which is what I expected).

From the theatre I began to wander the streets looking for a place to grab some drinks. I found a cool little bar with a weird name I don’t remember that reminded me of home because of the amount of microbrews and other not so common drinks.

They were nice enough to let me charge my phone which came in handy later on (I’ll get to that later) and I soon started talking to the manager of the place who was quick to let me know that while they so have a large population of the homeless, elderly, and mentally disabled- they also have a thriving arts scene and was named the “foodiest city”.

While I’m sure there’s no way they can have more resturants than NYC and that it probablly refers to being more dense with resturants than other citys (due to being so small)- I could totally see it, as Portland had won me over.

He also told me that Portland closes it’s bars at 1am these days because they wanted to cut down on fighting and other drunken related incidents, which I ofcourse found both annoying and hilarious.

After a lastcall drink and I said my goodbyes I realized that the buses were no longer running and I didn’t want to spend more money on a taxi.

So I put the airports coordinates into my iPhone and seeing that it was only 3.3 miles away (I regularly walk that back home as long as the weathers nice) I decided to hoof it.

I was a little tipsy though so I did eventually walk through a small wooded area and through quiet, creepy neoghborhoods. Eventually I found the only thing open for food. A place I had never been to but was quite familiar with.

A Denny’s. A custom grand slam later I was on my way to the airport again. In the airport l immediately found a nice couch to sleep on with a powe source right next o it as if it was meant just for me.

I only had a few hours to sleep so I slep cautiosly. Eventually I woke up in a daze to see a woman looking over at me about 5 feet away with a worried look and an annoyed looking guy standing next to her.

She then said with the most caring and concerned voice I’ve heard in a long time:

“But what if he misses his flight?”

The man grunted and they both left. They had absolutely no way of knowing if my flight was in 3 minutes or 3 hours but just the same as I woke up and looked at my watch, my flight wad going to leave in 30 minutes!

Now I don’t know if it was them that woke me up or I it was just my usually awesome internal clock but thanks anyway mysterious traveling girl, you keep being awesome and annoyed dude- just chill out a bit.

Next up is Jacksonville Florida!

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 5, 2009

Orlando PT.1

Nope. Nothing to see here.

I was supposed to meet a friend here but they forgot I was coming. I ventured off into downtown Orlando on my own and was greeted by bums and strippers waiting around the few stripclubs I passed by.

After some more exploring, I made my way back to the airport and was pleased to find a still open Mcdonalds and a pretty good spot to sleep in.

I’m wondering why all the amusement parka close so damned early. Otherwise I would have been at Disney World or Universal studios.
Hopefully a good time exsists in Portland, Me for me.

Posted by: 28flightslater | October 5, 2009

Bermuda

Ok this seems a bit harsh but before I go on let me just say: Don’t go to Bermuda. Now on to the recap!

What a disaster. I get to Bermuda fully expecting to have a great time on the beach and what I got was sent to a very nice lady in immigration who forced ne to get a hotel room.

Yes kiddies, apparantly you can’t enter Bermuda without a hotel room or telling them where you’re staying.

The hotels in Bermuda are rediculously expensive the lady reminded me. She also kept talking about how unbearable (her words not mine) their weather was.

She also told a JetBlue employee to “call the states” and tell them to warn their passangers that you need to have a hotel room. This is a great idea, I wish someone told me about it before I scheduled the flight.

Apparantly they have at least 1 person a day in my predicament because of the AYCJ pass.

After leaving here I get a cab (Big mistake- there’s a cheap bus that brings you close to places along the length of the island), the ride is made longer by the fact that there’s a cycle race going on that’s closed a main road in downtown.

The cab driver was pretty adament on letting me know that Bermuda was just as hustle and bustle as any major city. Somehow I doubted this.

I got dropped off at my hotel and I made the mistake of not following my instincts, so I went inside and paid for a room ($175 with taxes at a crummy bed and breakfast).

Honestly I could have just got out of the cab and walked around and I would have been fine. But I decide to give Bermuda a shot and checked in so I could check it out.

I was there on a Sunday and everything was either closed or closing at 6. The ferry that would take mento the beach stopped running at 10:30 but the plac selling the tickets closed at 6 and you can’t buy tickets on the ferry… WTF?

So my time in Bermuda was spent more like a local than a tourist. Oh yeah did I mention the exhange rate is $1 for $1? Yeah and dinner on average is $45.

The only good that came out Bermuda for me was their national drink the Rum Swizzle, the fact that I can say I’ve physically been there, and this amazing blue smurf ice cream (Blueberry and Marshmallow) that I had.

Outside of that there’s nothing. I know it seems like I’m spitting venom here but I’ve been having such a good time until I got here.

Seriously there are better carribean islands with more to do and an exhange rate that works in your favor. There’s no reason to go to Bermuda unless you go in a cruise or it’s for work. Outside of that, avoid it at all costs!

Maybe a night in Orlando will make me feel better…

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 24, 2009

Washington D.C.

Feeling bad that I had to leave Denver so quickly I looked forward to checking out our nations capital.

Now I’ve been to a few cities with a lot of history but this was the only city I was excited to check out the history of.

First thing I noticed when I arrived is that Dulles is an awesome airport. There’s a lot of food and shopping options and the food was cheap as well (a Burrito from Chipotle was like $6, unheard of in NYC).

Cheap, quality airline food always makes me a happy camper (Why can’t all airports be like this?) so we’re off to a good start.

After food and charging up my phone I head over to the transportation that will take me out of the gate areas. Just about every big airport has some sort of tram, airtrain, bus system to get you from beyond security back to the general ticketing and luggage claim areas.

The way Dulles does this is pretty cool. You get on what looks like a single cart train. But then it breaks away from the wall it was close to and starts to move closer to the ground and drive away. Essentially it’s a bus with hydraulic lifts that brings it up about 10 feet.

The ride to the next terminal is nice as it provides a good view of all the planes taxing.

Another cool thing about Dulles is how they handle their information booths.

It was a little touch screen with a courtesy phone just in case. On the touch screen you were able to select attractions or anything a tourist would need to know and then you could have it make a little print out with all the neccessary info (such as directions NY car or public transportation, a breif synopsis, and phone numbers).

I decided to check out the National Air and Space museum first where I spent a lot of time checking out planes, helecopters, a space ship and riding simulators.

After spending a good amount of time there I got a bus that got me to a train so that I could get to downtown. A downside to Dulles is that much like Denvers airport, it’s a little out of the way.

Once downtown I made my way through Chinatown (Finding $20 on the floor!). D.C.’s Chinatown is pretty small but it seems like it has a lot going on.

Leaving Chinatown I continued to wander eventually entering a historic neighborhood by the name of The Barracks. It was here where I decided to stop for some food.

My food of choice was burgers and while it was not the Big Mac that I craved it was something quite possibly better.

The place was called “Good stuff” and apparantly it has won awards for it’s burgers. So I ordered a burger with American cheese, Bacon, and a fried Egg, I also got fries that were made with sea salt and thyme. To round it out I also got a Toasted Marshmallow shake.

After this delicious pitstop I was finally ready for some history.

The major sites I saw was the Washington monument first, followed by the Lincoln memorial, and ended with the Whitehouse.

Catching what I beleived to be the last train home and transferring to a taxi when I got as close to Dulles as I could (the buses were no longer running) I anxiously awaited my first international flight and day under the carribean sun in Bermuda!

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