Posts Tagged ‘i heart traveling’

The Nomad, He Returns

April 27, 2009 7 comments

With as busy as this summer is going to be (still slightly bummed I won’t get to hang out with people in Chicago) and knowing my last year of college is going to be crazy hectic, it’s a given that I won’t be able to travel much.

The wanderlust? I feel it. Big time.

So pretty much on a whim, I start to look up discounts for train tickets in the summer of 2010.

New York? Heading there to celebrate the new year in December, so no need to go in the summer as well.

Boston? Drove there this January to visit Mami and meet my siblings/godchildren and as they’ll be coming to my graduation in June, a trip back would be overkill.

Miami? If I went to any city in Florida, it’ll be back to Gator Country to see all the old crew. But a separate trip may be in order for that purpose.

Washington DC? Haven’t been there (aside from layovers) since the Clinton days. Before people knew about Monica Lewinsky. I see potential here.

Checking prices…(cue Wii Fit ‘measuring’ music)…all done!

What’s this? $50 round trip? Raleigh to Washington DC? I believe we have a winner.

So from June 6 to June 15, I’ll be exploring the capitol city. Sure I’ll visit the monuments and museums I had never been to. But my main plan? To walk/ride buses/catch taxis/take the metro across the city and wander where my feet take me.

I may even get to meet some of you fantabulous DC bloggers.

And good times shall be had by all.


The Odd Duck’s Adventures in Boston Part II

January 5, 2009 2 comments

Oh, where to start?

Well I did make it to Boston Harbour and the famous Beacon Street and at that point.

I know most people need maps but I really can’t stand the things while walking. I love immersing myself in a new city and today was no exception. Bostonians, I have a whole new appreciation for seafood as a result of this weekend. Especially clam chowder.

Mmm, chowder.

Er, sorry ’bout that.

I also never realized just how noticeable my accent was. The cashier told me that she had thought I was a native until I opened my mouth. I speak with a slight drawl, not really something I bother to hide unless I’m speaking Spanish.

So anyways, a big part of my day was Abi and Abo (Mami’s parents and who have adopted me as a grandson since I was 12) insisting that Mami bring me by and Abi would make a big breakfast to celebrate my 21st birthday (weeks before the actual date). Three of Mami’s sisters showed up for the event which was great as aside from the youngest, I hadn’t seen any of them since 2003.

I was a few months shy of 15, and like many a shy teenage boy I got flustered whenever a pretty girl/woman talked to me. And I can say with no feeling of squick, that all of Mami’s sisters (even Mami) are pretty bordering on gorgeous. Thankfully I was older this time and could just easily deflect their teasing.

Yes I was shy at one point.

You can hold your shock, thank you very much.

As for the actual meal, if nothing else then Abi proved that I had decades before I could claim the title of a good cook. I was humbled. Completely.

French toast with strawberry topping and powdered sugar.

Scrambled eggs.

Boiled sausage.

And all in humongous portions as this family can eat. I got jabbed none too gently with a fork by Mami’s youngest older sister when I made the joke that one could have lost a hand in that anarchy.

All in all it was a wonderful quasi-surprise.

I hit the road after that for a trip filled with me singing like I was trying to win American Idol, changing a spare tire, and learning that I still have a filthy mouth when pushed. And folks, driving 45 on the interstate most definitely counts as being pushed.

Now I’m back home where I was mobbed by my puppy as soon as I picked her up from Marilyn and Scarlett. I’m back where the weather is above 30 degress.

I’m happy to be back.

On second thought, classes start back up Tuesday.

That happy feeling? Yeah, it just went down the crapper.

Boston, I miss you.

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The Odd Duck’s Adventures in Boston Part I

January 3, 2009 9 comments

As some of you know, I packed up my car, filled the tank, and hit the road for Boston Friday at like 3 in the morning. I had my mapquest directions in hand, the iPod was playing a steady stream of music, and there was barely any traffic.

Folks, anyone who tells you that driving isn’t tiring is lying through their crooked teeth. It took me about 12 and a half hours to make it here and by the time I did, I was nearly exhausted.

For those of you who have been reading more than a few weeks, you know I have no problems striking up conversations with strangers. You would be surprised how some people open up when asked.

I stopped in Hartford, CT for gas yesterday afternoon and spend maybe 20 minutes speaking with two women a few years older than me about the city and they in turn grilled me about where I was from as I marked myself a Southerner the moment “y’all” slipped out my mouth. They even told me a faster way to make it back to the highway as I was a bit turned around.

I checked into a Holiday Inn here around 6 and called R to tell her I made it and would meet her at her office to go surprise Mami. The plan was that R would lead Mami outside to the car with R covering her eyes where I would be waiting. They came outside with Little Miss I and Little Mister G in Mami’s arms and when her eyes landed on me, I could only watch in amusement as the babies were handed off to R so Mami could do her level best to squeeze the life out of me.

She doesn’t know I noticed, but I could see the dampness on her cheeks.

I was then introduced to my godchildren and although Little Mister G stayed asleep, Little Miss I was curious and stared at me with wide brown eyes. I gave her my finger which she immediately latched onto and squirmed with an odd cooing sound, not quite giggling, as I rubbed my nose against hers in an eskimo kiss.

I demanded offered to make dinner for everyone as I knew they were exhausted from work on R’s part and taking care of two newborns, fresh from the hospital. Chicken fajitas were the order of the day which was more difficult than anticipated with Little Mister G deciding my shirt needed decoration and throwing up on my chest. Thankfully years of dealing with baby cousins had taught me a few things and one is to always ALWAYS have a change of clothes handy.

Letting them go to sleep, I caught a taxi back to my hotel (my first time ever doing so) and was knocked out as soon as my head hit the pillows.

So far I’ve taken this morning to explore the city as I’ve all ready been to Acorn Street, Trinity Church, and parts of MIT’s campus. I feel flashbacks to Italy as I am just wandering around, occasionally asking people about the buildings around me. I think my next stop of interest is Boston harbour and then finding some breakfast. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

Well folks I shall be signing off now as I am writing this outside of a cafe downtown. I’ll be back either tonight or tomorrow with part two of my adventures here.

Happy trails!

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