Adventures in Road Tripping Part 4: All Good Things Must Come to an End…or a Temporary Pause

As we rolled into San Diego on a sunny Sunday afternoon, depression started to set in. In less than 24 hours I was supposed to be boarding my flight back to Chicago and trading 80-degree temps for 50’s and rain. Determined not to let the inevitable (me leaving) get us down, we headed for Balboa Park to stretch our legs and let Baker make some friends at the dog park before checking into our amazing last-minute AirBNB booking at the Granada House (make sure to check out their blog too!!) in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. As our stomachs began to growl (yes, gays really do eat sometimes), we set off for the beach to grab dinner and catch the end of the sunset.

SD Sunset 1

I mean seriously…how can you not fall in love with this view?

And just like that, my love affair with San Diego began. Continue reading

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Adventures in Road Tripping Part 3: California Dreaming

In case you’ve somehow missed the first half of my road trip of a lifetime, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. If you’re caught up, behold….the light at the end of the tunnel!

Setting the cruise control for 85, we took off from Portland and set our GPS for the city of cable cars, hills, sourdough bread, and the Golden Gate Bridge…but more importantly: Full House and one of my all-time favorite movies…Mrs. Doubtfire.

Helloooooo, San Francisco!

Bonus points if you read that in the Mrs. Doubtfire voice where Robin Williams is spontaneously painted for filth (as drag queens say) in birthday cake realness.

Leave it to us to get distracted though and turn what could have been a quick 10-hour drive (or 8 hours with us at the helm) into a full two days of driving thanks to a state-line sunset and a trip through the Redwood Forest.

As we closed in on the Oregon/California state line, it was nearing time for sunset and what better way to welcome us to California than my first official California sunset?

Crescent City SunsetWe pulled off in a town called Crescent City and found a harbor where we could watch the sunset. Let’s just say that after seeing a California set I was officially sold. Nothing I’ve seen before compares.

Figuring it’d be fun to camp again, we called to reserve a campsite in the Redwood National Forest. Wrong.

“Sorry the campsites in the park are first-come first-serve. You need to book your campsite at least 48 hours in advance, and we don’t know which campsites have availability or not.” Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 1: Conquering the Wilderness

The Good FellasSo as I’d mentioned in my last post, I was hitting the road for a 15-day road trip across the country. Well….those 15 days ended up morphing into 17 which almost turned into an indefinite stay in California. Leave it to me to fall in love with the promise of year-round warm weather, sun, sand, and one of my best friends.

But wait…since I know how much you loved the thrill and suspense of my Mexican shenanigans, let’s dive into the ridiculousness of my adventure across the country. From the wilderness of Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park to the cities of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and every podunk shut-down-at-9pm town in between, our 17 days were packed full of adventure. Commence the epic journey of two wise guys, or “The Good Fellas” as we would become known as thanks to a homeless caricature artist that we’d meet in a bar in San Diego.  Continue reading

Adventures in Unemployment

unemployed

I came across this quote this morning as I was Google’ing “things to do while unemployed in Chicago.” While it’s only Day 3 of my unemployment stint, I don’t think I’ve ever been more bored in my life. I know I’d been saying to myself a few weeks ago that I’d kill for another vacation (even though I’d just gotten back from Mexico), but being unemployed was not how I envisioned facilitating a few days off from the office.

While on my Google searching binge, I came across a great article on Forbes that was published about a year ago titled 10 Things to do While You’re Unemployed. While everything it suggests is great (and probably beneficial), I feel like I’ve already ticked off a good chunk of the list. For instance… Continue reading

Planes, Trains, and Buses…They All Suck

I don’t know what it is about airports. It seems like they should all operate the same, but they never do.

I like to think of myself as a somewhat seasoned traveler. Am I one of those new-fangled “Trusted Traveler” things? Nope. Do I fly first class or frequently get bumped to an upgraded seat? Nope. Do I fly pretty often though and know my way around the airport bars? Why yes, yes I do.

When I moved to Nebraska, a bunch of people I met found it crazy that I’d traveled so much growing up and had been to a lot of places. Sorry that you don’t get out much, but traveling is something I grew up with and have come to appreciate. Between working jobs that require (and pay for – cha-ching!) traveling as well as having good friends who are scattered around the country like darts I attempt to throw at a dartboard, I take every opportunity to get out and see as many places as I can as often as possible.

This weekend was no different…until I got to O’Hare. Continue reading