Posted by: 28flightslater | September 21, 2009

Denver

While waiting for my flight to Denver in Boston I use my phone to find out just what there is to do there.

I am lucky enough to be going there during Oktoberfest/Great American Beerfest.

But that wasn’t my first stop. I wanted to check out “The Cave of The Winds – Lantern Tour” which takes you through a cave with just a lantern for light (Think Resident Evil 5) and is supposed to be scary (Says younger kids can’t attend!).

Unfourtunately my fears of it being too far away were founded when I called them up and asked for directions:

Me: Hi, I was just wondering how I could get to you guys by public transportation.

Nice lady on the phone: Ah jeez, I dunno hold on let me ask someone…

Me: Ok

::One minute later::

NLOTP: Hi, Uhh there is a bus but you can’t take I because we don’t allow you to walk on our roads.

Me: Yeah?

NLOTP: Yeah because the roads are kinda winedy and uhh yeah we wouldn’t want you to do that.

Me: Ok well how much do you think a can would be?

NLOTP: Oh I dunno, sorry.

Not a good start but then I decided to do something I’ve been trying to do this whole trip… Go to the Aquarium!

Walking to the Aquarium I started to realize how beautiful Denver is. It’s very scenic. I passed by a cool little park and the Platte river that people were playing and swimming in. Parts of it looked like a very tame white water rafting area and was very cool.

Finally at the Aquarium I spent a few hours there going through two tapes filming all the fishies. I wanted to snorkel with the sharks and grouper fish but I was told that they only do it on the weekends which was a bummer.

I did however get to feed the stingrays (check the vlog) which was pretty awesome and I attempted to climb a mock coconut tree with no luck (I blame my old sneaks).

After this I decided to check out the 16th street mall that I heard so much about. I thought it was a big mall but it turns out to be an entire street of shops and some art pieces.

I followed this to go and check out an old Japanese film (Roshomon) at the Starz theatre but on my way there I checked my flight info and saw that I made a very big mistake.

I thought my flight was leavin. At 12:59pm but it was actually 12:59am which meant I didn’t have a lot of time to do what I want as the movie started at 7:45 and Oktoberfest ended at 1am.

I figured I could probably find the movie on DVD and turned right around in the direction of Oktoberfest.

As I got closer I started to see people walking with huge beer steins. I was getting close.

When I finally got there I was greeted by a lot of drunk people and Polka. I found where the steins were being sold ($32! But hey it’s a pretty rad souvineir) and then got a brautwurst that was made with beer.

I took a seat at a bench and I met a new friend (Scott) who likes my shirt. We talked a bunch and he gave me a beer from his backpack.

Eventually we met more people (Margaret, Stephanie and Nicole) and I was instantly hating that I had to leave in a few hours.

Me and Scott left the Oktoberfes area when Nicole and Stephanie had to meettheir friends and I decided to start getting close to where the bus stop was.

I did realize that I was running out of time so a expensive taxi was my only option. I should have mentioned this earlier but for some reason the Denver airport is reeally far away from Denver.

While walking closer to the bus stop we met some more people but only one of them was interested in talking to us (Taylor).

We had a fun conversation and the clock was ticking. I really wish I didn’t have to leave that early but it couldn’t be helped. Taylor said she was headed to NY in December so that would be cool if we could hang again.

All I know is I’m definitely going back to Denver again.

The Denver airport is supposed to be conspirecy theory central. Google it there are plenty of sites out there outlying the weirdness.

I didn’t get to partake in any of that though because I had a very tired and somewhat drunk red-eye out of there so I did t dedicate any time to checking out the airport.

Although someone or something stole my AYCJ pin on the plane 😦

It’s a good thing I had two, this one isn’t leaving my sight.

Next stop is Washington, DC!

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 21, 2009

Boston

Some cities I get to spend a lot of time in, others I’m basically there for dinner.

That’s what Boston was.

Before I left Jeff in Seattle he said I should check out a place called “The Oyster House”.

While searching for it I found “The Union Oyster House” which is supposed to be the oldest resturant in America and serves great seafood.

I love seafood so this was the destination for me. Bostons train system is pretty good and I was able to quickly make it there.

“The Union Oyster House” is also located in a very historic area of Boston so I was able to see a few sights as well.

Once inside there was a 35 minute wait to be seated that I gladly took as the place and menu looked awesome.

There were a lot of options on the menu but I decided to get the “Shore Dinner” which included New England Clam Chowder, Mussels, Corn, Corn Bread, Russet Potatoes, a medium lobster and it was all topped off with a big slice of Gingerbread for dessert.

This was the first time I ever ordered lobster or even remember eating a whole one like this so it was a new messy experience for me.

It was also the most expensive ($45 not including tax and tip) dinner I’ve had (and will have) this whole trip. I figured it would be good to treat myself as I’ve been surviving on junk food and airport sandwiches this whole time.

Definitely worth it though, if you’re ever in Boston you should check it out.

Getting Back to the airport and to my flight was as easy as leaving. With my stomache full I was ready for Denver.

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 20, 2009

Seattle

I’ve been waiting to go to Seattle for a few days now. While I don’t mind getting mixed up in my own adventures I miss my friends and I’ve gotten slightly homesick.

I’m meeting with my good friend Jeff from my hometown (Queens). We were able to schedule this because Jeff is going to Hawaii (Still jealous) and has a 12hr layover in Seattle.

I scheduled the same thing for his return flight where his next crazy 12hr layover is in Portland, OR.

My flight arrived about 20 min later than his (So far Jetblue has been very good at getting me there earlier) and after a call I meet him at baggage claim #6.

It’s good to see Jeff and even better he brung me a bottle of vitamins. We waste no time and find a bus to the “light rail” which will take us downtown.

Not being sure where to go we ask a worker what’s a cool area in town or where we couldgrab a drink. She suggests the International District which is Chinatown and we buy a ticket.

Once we got on to the train we commented on how clean it was compared to other trains we’ve been on (Squeaky) and start to realize that buying a ticket ($2.25) for this train is for chumps because we never get checked or had to swipe anywhere (I still have my ticket).

Once in the city we head towarda Chinatown. It just dawned on me that I seem to be going to Chinatown in every city I go and as per usual, it’s not as impressive as NYC’s Chinatown. Although Jeff puts it in to perspective saying that NYC’s Chinatown is huge.

There doesn’t seem to be anything going on so we put “Pike Place” in to my iPhone and just start walking in that direction looking for something cool.

I should mention that we are finally able to get into the city at around 10:20pm, my flight landed at 9:02pm. This worries me as it’s a Wednesday and everything seems kinda dead, I start to assume this is another town that calls it in early.

I was only half right.

We passed by a couple of bars on our way to Pike Place. We stopped an older couple to ask on where to go and they mention that up the block there’s a French place thatsrrves drinks and might still be serving food.

On our way to this French bar we pass by a bar with a about 10 people inside(Sophie’s). I decide to keep walking but Jeff gets a good feeling about the place and after we see the French place he mentions the other place. I had a delayed good feeling so I agree to go in.

It was a good move. They were still selling food and the cute bartender told us where to go for some good bars.

Being hungry I ordered some food, Jeff was half-full with some regretted Burger King but ordered nonetheless.

We got 2 pulled pork sandwiches that were made with smoked apples and bacon with hot tots and I got a tomato soup on the side, of course this was all accompanied by a Gin and Tonic.

After this delicious stop we were off to a bar called Shortys that was apparantly all about Pinball.

This was a pretty good bar. Moderately priced booze and a shitton of pinball games. Even the tables were made out of pinball machines(a nice touch).

Only problem was that not all the machines were a classic price of $0.25. Part of the allure of these types of bars is the 80’s nostalgia (A bar here in NY has that in spades- Barcade, ‘cept they don’t many (if any) Pinball machines).

After we played a bunch of Champion Pub and Pac-Man Junior (This one actually mixed classic Pac-Man game play (on a screen complete with Joystick) and an actual Pinball machine, it was really awesome) and had another Gin and Tonic we took to the streets trying to find another bar.

Eventually we found it in a Hawaiin themed bar called Ohana (which means Family). It was really funny for Jeff because he felt like he was in Hawaii a day early.

I’ve never been to Hawaii and I felt I was there, the place was pretty authentic with a great live band playing covers. A Gin and Tonic later (surprised?) we were off to wait for the train.

Seattle is also another town that likes to close down their train system for 4 hours for some unknown reason so we waited, walked and light slept like bums waiting for the train.

Finally after what seemed like forever we catch the train (Once again no one checks our ticket) and get to the airport. We say our goodbyes and that’s the end of Seattle.

Not terribly eventfull but a good time was had and we were able to get a good taste of the Seattle nightlife.

Next up is Boston.

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 18, 2009

Las Vegas

WordPress for the iPhone has issues. This is the second time I’ve had to rewrite an entire post- argh.

This was the first time on the trip that I was actually able to meet other All You Can Jetters.

Christy (of luckybirthdaygirl.blogspot.com) was super nice and easy to talk to. Her boyfriend bought her the AYCJ pass for her birthday and she’s been using it to meet friends and family.

She also has a travel companion, a Obama Bobble Head who she’s been getting people to take pictures with.

Be sure to check out her blog and follow her AYCJ travels!

The next AYCJer I met is Anastasia. She is all the way from Australia and is visiting America for her cousins wedding. Her cousin told her of the AYCJ pass and she decided why not.

I think it’s pretty cool that a foreigner is taking advantge of this great deal to see America as well.

Christy was on her way to Los Angeles so after I got some footage I said my goodbyes, but Anastasia was going to stay in Vegas for the week and since we’re both so awesome we decide to hang out together for the day/night.

After a light dinner at Anastasia’s hotel we take a shuttle to the strip. The return shuttle is at 10:30 so we figured it best to get a cab on the way back.

The rest of the night we went up and down the whole strip checking out all the things New Vegas had to offer. From a cool watershow to an amazing volcano show to some great sightseeing at the top of the mock Eiffel tower.

Having a travel companion for this was great, having been left to my own devices I might not have seen what I saw and my trip could have very well degraded to some light gambling.

I definitely took the most photos on this trip. I also started to realize that this whole trip has just been giving me tastes of all these places.

Basically the way it’s planned is little to no plan at all. Imagine just randomly Bering thrown somewhere and being told to make the most of it. That’s this whole trip on a nutshell for the places i’m going where I don’t know anyone.

America is a great country and I owe it to myself to at one point spend a few days at some of these places I’ve gone to (and will go to).

Anastasia was so nice as to let me sleep on her floor, which was great- all things considered. I was able to take a shower in the morning and catch a free shuttle to the airport.

As I told her, I’ve gotten used to sleeping in less than stellar conditions.

Back home my friend Jeff (whom I will be meeting in Seattle) is really into martial arts and training, so he read somewhere that a good training exercise was to sleep on a long wooden board that is supported by 2 cinderblocks.

I slept over his house once and decided to try this. It’s actually not that bad, but really sleeping on a piece of wood can prepare you to sleep anywhere.

In the morning I said thanks and goodbye to Anastasia (thanks again for the company and letting me use your room/shower!) and was in my way to the shuttle when I thought to my self.

Self: Man you’ve been in Vegas this whole time and you not once gambled!

I was totally right so I took the singles from my wallet ($3) and headed over to my favorite slot machine (The Wheel of Fortune- usually I play the $1 version but the $.025 was the first one I saw), I finally hit the “Spin the wheel” button and won $63.75!

With that win I headed to the shuttle that would bring me to the airport.

Vegas Fun Fact: There are slot machines all over the airport!

Next I meet up with my good friend from Queens, Jeff- in Seattle!

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 15, 2009

Pheonix and Ft.Lauderdale

Ugh had my first technical mishap, I had this all typed out and ready to publish but when I finally published it, it just dissapeared, so here I am giving it another go.

Also I apologize for the lateness of these posts, I think after Seattle I can get these to be on time again.

Pheonix and Ft.Lauderdale are the result of not getting schedules from people I wanted to meet up with on this trip on time, being lazy when it came to scheduling the flights and time zone changing.

So because of that I get to both Pheonix and Ft.Lauderdale a little past 11pm.

Which means there’s no reason for me to leave the airport as everything worth doing is closed.

On to two days of living in airports!

Before I headed to Pheonix I got a nice 4hr layover in JFK and seeing how I live about a 5 minute drive away, I went home to drop off some stuff and have dinner with my family.

Now to Pheonix:

When I arrived in the airport everything look closed and there were a bunch of people waiting for their flight to Hawaii- I’m jealous.

Why don’t you fly to Hawaii Jetblue? Whyyyy?!

I was tired and hungry but with only sour gummy octopuses (Octopussies? Octopussys?) that I got from the Sears Tower in Chicago for sustinence I decided to ration them and catch some Z’s.

I had to wait out my ideal spot to sleep in (leatherish armrestless connected benches with a wall outlet- woot!), which became available when the flight to Hawaii left. I killed time by walking around the tiny airport.

I started to realize how hungry I was and decided for my next flights layover to JFK to grab food from T5 so that I won’t have to worry about something being open in Ft.Lauderdale.

With my phone charging I set my alarm for 11am and started to drift away.

You ever have the kind of sleep where you’re so tired that your sleep felt like you just blinked your eyes?

That’s kind of what happened. I was tired and looking at a drab gray empty langoliers airport. When my eyes opened from the blink suddenly it was really bright and there were a lot of people.

More people lined up for a flight to Hawaii- I continue to be jealous.

Another smooth flight on Jetblue and I’m in T5 for an hour layover, I grab some good looking pasta and get on my flight to Ft.Lauderdale.

The service on Jetblue has been top notch this whole trip but on this flight it was just exceptionally better.

When flight attendants came by with snacks they gave you two of what you picked and asked if you wanted anything else.

I arrived to Ft.Lauderdale with a full stomach and kept my time in the airport to trying to find the best spot to sleep (in a future post I’ll share some tips I’ve picked up along the way to sleeping in airports).

As I was searching I decided to do a little filming and something freaked me out a little… I just had the feeling that I was being watched… I made vlog post for this since I think video would show what happened a lot better, be sure to check it out!

Next stop is Las Vegas!

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 15, 2009

Charlotte

I admit, I wasn’t expecting to get a lot out of Charlotte. My plane was getting in around 5 and I had no idea if public transportation existed here or not.

As soon as I landed I found the information desk which was bare and looked like construction was going on behind it but huzzah there was a travel guide for Charlotte!

Some nice activities, too bad they all say they close around 5 or 6 on a Saturday of all days.

After some more walking around I found a manned information desk and asked about public transportation.

Thank God they actually had a bus that went to the city but he also confirmed that things close early.

No matter I’ll just have to make my own fun as usual.

I waited a little over an hour for the bus, the schedule said it got there at 7:30 but it didn’t show up until around 5 to 8. That’s ok though because I was still amazed that they had a bus.

Boarding the bus I asked the driver if she could let tell me when we reach the city which prompted this exchange:

Bus driver: The city!? That could mean anything!

Me: Yeah you know, where the skyscrapers are…

Bus driver: I’ll take you to “The Square”…

Off to the square we go! The bus ride was pretty cool. I like the way the windows open on these buses compared to the ones at home, let’s more air in.

When I arrived I could see why it was called “The Square”. On each corner there was some sort of sculpture.

The whole street to my right was closed off for a street fair called “Brews Blues and BBQ”. There were a lot of food options that I didn’t partake in because of how crazy long the lines were (like rollercoaster long), so I listened to some of the live music and interviewed a Peach Farmer.

I decided to check the rest of the town put eventually stumbling through a historic park that used to be a cemetary.

I asked these girls walking their dogs what the deal was and they said that it’s just the original tombstones- all the bodys are not in the ground anymore to which I replied “Thanks, now I’m not scared anymore.

I took this opportunity to relax and called up my friend Mike. As we talked he mentioned that when he had a stop in Chicago he just saw 2 movies back to back.

This sounded like a great idea to me so I walked around half looking for a theatre. Eventually I passed these two kids trying to get into what looked like a shopping area. The guard there wouldn’t let them in because they wernt 21, this peaked my interest as to what was going on.

This shopping area I entered was called “The Epicenter”. A mix of shopping, bars, and entertainment.

I spotted a theatre and made my way over to it. There was a line, a bouncer, and a dress code. Just some things that I associate with a bar and not a theatre.

But apparantly it was both- a resturant as well! What a cool idea, we need something like that in NY.

I was told that I had to check my bags and after I was assured their safety (You can quote me as saying “These bags are my whole life, if something happens to them I’ll jump out that window”), I bought a ticket to Inglorious Basterds.

Another cool thing was that I was allowed to pick my seat and see what seats were already purchased. I headed upstairs and grabbed a drink (Jesus Christ the bartender here was HOT).

In the theatre the seats resembled big red comfy couch like seats with plenty of arm and leg room- I love this place.

The movie was ok, too over hyped but nonetheless enjoyable. After the movie I decided to check out the bar which was busteling with people, there was also a rooftopish open area that connected to the other bars in the place.

The bus driver earlier told me that the last bus to leave for the airport was at 1:30am, however I checked the directions on my iPhone and it said that the last bus left about 5 minutes ago(12:53)!

Oh well, I decided to just hang around and have a good time. Depending on how I feel when everything closes at 2 I’ll either take a cab to the airport, wait until 5am for the next bus (My flight wasn’t until 2:45pm the next day) or walk the 7.7 miles (I do walk quite a bit).

I ended up not having to do anything because a girl started to chat me up as I was taking pictures of a building (You know, being a tourist and all). We hung out the rest of the night (Changed spots to a hooka place just down the stairs) and she offered to drive me to the airport.

At the airport I found a good spot to snooze and thought about the next 2 flights that will have me in Pheonix and then Ft.Lauderdale but due to scheduling and the time I get in (Both after 11pm) I won’t get the chance to leave the airport.

Coming up! How to survive in an airport for two days!

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 13, 2009

Austin

Austin was another opportunity to meet up with someone. In this case it was my friend Chris.

Chris isn’t a friend through TF2 though, we used to be coworkers. So we have met face to face before.

Before I got anywhere near Texas I’ve read about their current drought crisis. This was not the case during my visit as it rained just about the whole time.

Chris met me at the airport with his dog Cooper and as he had no passanger seat me and Cooper got better acquainted in the backseat as he tried to avoid the rain from the right window.

At Chris’ apartment we continued to catch up and started to figure out what we ere going to do.

I wanted to check out the dog park that Chris has told me about but origionally the rain didn’t really allow it. Luck was on my side though and it cleared up just enough for us to head out there and get some footage as well.

I really love Dogs and I love a good dog park and Bull Creek dog park is just that.

I was told I was lucky that it rained so much because the creek was flowing and it looked pretty awesome.

Dogs were running around, chasing balls and each other and occasionally jumping into the lake, it was very relaxing.

However Chris informed me that the park as an open area for dogs was at danger.

Apparantly the city wants to shut it down citing the dogs poop as being a main part of the creeks contamination levels.

So they want to shut down the park to try and “bring it back to it’s former glory” which may not have exaisted at all.

Now, walking around with my camera someone will eventually ask about what you’re filming and when they did I ended up talking to someone who had been going to the park since the 70’s.

He said that besides a small pool area created by a dam (That was never fixed by the city- thus showing how they didn’t mind it being a dog park), absolutely everything else looked the same.

Confused? Yeah me too.

If you want to support my friend and his fellow dog owners trying to keep the parks dog area open then check out their site here:

http://savebcdogpark.org/

It started to get late so we headed back to his apartment and regrouped as he was going to show me the local night life at 6th street.

On the way there we passed by a building that was designed to look like an owl (I believe it’s their schools mascot), which was really cool (pic below).

When we finally got there I could tell it was a total college town. The street was completely saturated with bars and people (mostly young but there were some older folks as well).

Outside all the bars were people barking out their establishments specials- “2 dollar well drinks, 1 dollar beers! “3 dollar mixed drinks, 3 dollar beers 3 dollar- aw he’ll everything is 3 dollars!

The first place (after looking around for a while) that we finally settled at didn’t seem to have any specials at all.

Chris didn’t hang in this area too often so he didn’t have a favorite spot so there was no way of telling besides actually going in.

Wanting to try local beers I asked the bartender what the local beers were- he asked me where I was from and I told him NYC.

He laughed at this and told me:

Bartender: Ha, I’ve been to NYC once, you ever been to Ellis island?

Me: Yeah when I was younger.

Bartender: Yeah man, I couldn’t believe it!

Me: ?

Bartender: I went there trying to see some American history and all I could see the whole time was a whole bunch of goddamned Arabs-

Me: ?!

Racist Bartender: Yeah! I mean if I wanted to go see that I’d just go to Iraq, hahaha.

At this point he handed me my beer and I turned away with my friend, we found a table table to stand at in the back.

I was wondering why some people assume it’s ok to talk to a stranger like that, but Chris pointed out that when he found out I was a Yank he probably said it to Mess with me.

Before I could finish my beer this woman approached me and seemed very mad about something.

There was a live band in their so I couldn’t really make out what she was saying but I’ll describe the jist of it anyways.

Still looking all pissed she said that she and her friends hooked up with these sailors and that they were all fooling around upstairs and that they either start to play some music or tried to do karaoke.

When she started to suggest songs by Def Leopard and Van Hallen they either didn’t want to play it or had no idea what the he’ll she was talking about.

At this point the sailors came over to us and were giving me dirty looks, after this I was more interested in what they were thinking than what she was saying and I couldn’t really make the rest out but she periodically cheers’d my drink and finally left.

Ooook were done with this place I thought. We headed next door to a reall cool bar that was like 6 or 7 bars in one with a killer rooftop.

I got free shots from some girls working for the esteemed Jose Cuervo and saw some girl get arrested from the roof- it honestly just looked like they were very casually talking and then decided to arrest her.

When I went to close out my bill the bartender at this place asked me what my favorite shot was. Being thrown off by this I just said vodka and she came back with a ver large (like more than half a Dixie cup) shot of vodka, what a place!

Outside around last call we hit up a pretty good street meat spot and after a few minutes it started pouring rain again.

Girls were running through the streets screaming: “Embrace the rain!”

The next day Chris’ alarm bugged out for some reason finally getting us up at around 6:25 while my plane was leaving at 7:15 and Chris didn’t exactly live near the airport.

This was the first time in the trip that I stood a big chance of missing my flight ( I had to ask people if I could cut in line at security and run fast to my gate).

I got to the plane with only 2 minutes to spare.

Austin was fun, let’s see if I can have a good time in Charlotte!

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 12, 2009

Chicago!

I got to Chicago on a mission. To not have a repeat of San Fran and actually see the sights a bit.

As soon as I got to O’Hare I was able to find the information booth. I told the guy I was only in town for about 12hrs to do stuff so if he could push me in the right direction. He gave me a subway map that showed me where to go and where Millenial Park was, which I had actually heard of before so I decided to check that out first.

My phone was dying so I had to find a place to charge it (This phone really helps me throughout this trip, pictures/vlogs/directions you name it), this is where I first started to irked by O’Hare. If I stayed in the terminal then I would be able to find a seat somewhere with a outlet next to it. But after you exit the terminals and are where you get boarding passes or baggage claime there are absolutely no plugs with the exception of one place:

The Bathroom.

Yes the bathroom has multiple outlets surrounding the sinks as if someone either needed to blow dry their hair or kill themselves from not wanting to be in that airport. So I set up a station in the bathroom and charged for a little bit. No one bothered me so I guess it’s sort of the norm. After some light charging I was ready to check out Chicago.

The train system in Chicago (Chicago Transit Authority: CTA) was actually pretty similar to the one in New York (Metropolitan Transit Authority: MTA) and the same price too! I think they may somehow be connected but they didn’t offer a day pass like they do here in New York (Which was pretty annoying) so I just kept buying single fares.

The train ride was similar to the one I take here a lot on the A train with the main exception that it looked like this train was rolling through highways in a lane all it’s own. It was pretty weird to see cars that close from a train.

When I finally got to Millenial Park it was about 7pm. So really any idea I had of trying to check outt he Aquarium was out the window, Which is the second time i’ve missed the opportunity to check out an aquarium on this trip- San Fran mistakes are starting to resurface, but I don’t let it get me down.

Millenial Park is awesome.

Theres so many art instillation/architechture things to check out that remind me of the future (Sleek spacey things). One of my favorites being what I call the “Space Bean”, it’s like this big upside down bean thats completely silver and as reflective as a mirror. Another cool thing was these weird shaped cones that you could walk around that would change colors and another part of it that did the same thing but had a short video playing on a projector aboutt he city.

After Millenial Park I decided to check out the Sears Tower, which is apparantly named something else but all the merchandise in the giftshop still says it’s the Sears Tower, guess sales haven’t been that good?

This was cool because the views were awesome and I was surrounded by so many foreign tourists. Japanese, Chinese, Polish and some sort of other European. There are two spots on this top floor that extend out a couple of feet out of the building. It’s basically a big clear box. It’s really cool because its like your standing in the air 103 floors above the Earth.

The asians were really funny (Being scared of the box at first) and friendly (They offered to take my picture or handle my camera at times), while everyone else just seemed to really pack themselves into that box and take it over for photo-ops. After a bit I was finally able to grab some footage and get out of there.

It was starting to get a little late at this point and I took to the streets to walk around. I started to realize that the entire city reminds me of Manhattans 53rd st and 6th ave. Like it’s all just that one block. Same concrete and occasional grass/structure feel. There was even a street that also looked like Park Ave, the whole way through. I found my way to Chinatown but didn’t want to stay for too long so I headed back to the city in search of some Chicago Deep Dish.

The only Pizza place I could find open at the time was a place called Sopertinos (I think) and it was like Chicagos version of a Dominos or Pizza Hut. So no authentic Chicago Pizza for me. I’d of thought ahead but I wasn’t that hungry when I got there.

I had some minor issues getting back on the train. I needed to get the Blue line to get back to O’Hare so I was going to take the Pink line and transfer at a later spot. However when I entered the station the sleeping agent woke up after I paid to get in and told me that the trian would be down until 4am. I couldn’t wait that out because my plane leaving to Austin was leaving at 6am and it would take me atleast 45min to an hour to get back to O’Hare.

I asked the lady to refund me so that I could go walk to the Blue line but she still seemed sleepy and with barely one eye open (Alternating at times) she finally told me she couldn’t do it because someone else had to be there but that I could use my ticket as a transfer if I walked to the other station. I didn’t really beleive this but this was going nowhere fast and I had to get to O’Hare.

When I finally got to the Blue line via hoofing it I wasn’t so surprised to see that my ticket didn’t let me transfer through although it said it had transfers (Probably just for busses much like the system we have here), no one was at the station that I could talk to to try and smooth this over but then again no one was there to stop me from hopping the turnstyle which marked the first (And hopefuly absolute last) crime I had to make on this trip.

Getting to O’Hare (A little close to 3am) there was no Jetblue employees available to print my boarding pass and their machine kept telling me to see an agent. I decided to just go charge my phone (Bathroom!) and wait a little bit closer to my plane departure before I went to see again.

It’s now getting close to 4am and I head back to the Jetblue area. No one is there but the machien finally let’s me print my pass and I set out to wait at my gate. I wanted to wait right at my gate but there was a cleaning employee sleeping on the job (Seems like a theme here, c’mon Chicago get it together!) in the chair where i’d have to sit to charge my phone, so instead I went one gate down and charged there also realizing how dirty everything is (Cookies and discarded wrappers.)

Now since I was a gate away I had to keep my eye on the terminal which meant I never got to sleep. I did however sleep on the plane when we took off. But not for too long as I had a layover in JFK before my connecting flight to Austin…

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 10, 2009

Long Beach Recap

As soon as I arrived in long beach my friend Ted was just about already there with his wife Linda.

I’ve known Ted for about a year through a game that I love to play called Team Fortress 2(TF2). We play in the same competitive clan and as it is with that sort of team atmosphere you can become fast friends.

When we got to his house he showed me around and where I would be sleeping (an awesome pull out couch that just might be the nicest accomadations I’ll have this whole trip) and where he games.

After a quick runthrough of some TF2 Ted had a good idea to get some dinner and get a boat rental with his family at the lake by his house.

For dinner we went to “El Pollo Loco”, which I can only describe as a Taco Bell that decided to sell grilled chicken as well. I guess the healthier love child of Taco Bell and KFC.

It was a great day so the boat ride was pretty cool. After that we headed back to his house to talk video editing. Ted is a photographer/videographer for the aviation field(fotodynamics.net)

After figuring out some editing troubles we had some dessert: Pound cake with whipped cream and a delicious homemade raspberry sauce that Linda made.

We then watched the Death Race remake (awesome visual effects on the deaths) and talked a bunch. It was just like what we normally do online (voice chatting via ventrilo) only in person.

I had a great time hanging with Ted and his family (Linda and his son Paul) aswell as a great night of sleep!

Now I’m on to Chicago. I’ve heard nothing but terrible things about the airport and the time change is making me a little worried about it.

Some of you don’t know about the dangers of flying like this and the main one I worry about is that if you have to cancel a flight and it’s not 3 days before the flight- Jetblue charges you $100 and suspends your ticket until you pay it.

Missing one flight would mean I’d have to cancel several flights and reschedule the rest of them and pay the fees involved.

So missing a flight just isn’t an option. I don’t know how it would affect me if a flight gets cancelled at o’hare.

Posted by: 28flightslater | September 9, 2009

San Fran Recap PT.2

Jake from Humphry Slocombe asked me where I was headed next and I thought to myself.

Self: good question…

So being the tourist I am I grabbed few brochures and quickly realized that this was one heck of a tourist town. I felt like I was in the poconos only it was applied to city.

Now don’t get me wrong- I’m from New York, born and raised. I know what it’s like when your city caters to tourists. But San Fran had it down to a science!

Tours, tours, and more tours. Museums, art instilations/exhibits, landmarks. All of it well advertised to you.

So I bought a day pass for the public ground transportation and headed towards Chinatown. Reminded me of a more condensed version of the one in NY. I wasn’t feeling Chinese food so there wasn’t a whole lot for me to do.

I rested a bit, all these hills and this backpack/camera did not mix well.

I started to feel hungry and headed over to Japantown. I started to realize that Tuesday was a slow day for San Fran as there weren’t many people out and some stores were closed.

Japantown was pretty cool. It kept the cool structures and buildings but dropped the smell of rotten fish and garbage water all Chinatowns seem to have in common.

It’s a pretty cool shopping destination. I just wish I was in the position to do some shopping (ya know traveling for 30 days and all) I grabbed a Bento box (and a bottle of Sake) and rested some more, a common theme for me here in San Fran.

While there didn’t seem to be too much people outside, the busses were always packed.

Trying to figure out transportation, things closing early, and the BART not running 24hrs made it so that the rest of my stay in San Fran was basically walking around.

Eventually I made my way to an area that looked like NY’s 42nd street from the 80’s and I decided to at the very least hop a cable car and get back to the airport.

I definitely need to visit San Fran again as I had a good time essentially doing nothing.

Also- the SFO airport is a pretty good airport to sleep in- let’s hope the other airports can keep this up!

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