I’m officially a quirky travel guy

May 4, 2015

9000 Miles was a blast, but the site has run its course. If you’re still following along with me, head over to Quirky Travel Guy, the new travel site I debuted this week. I’m still in the process of tinkering with the layout, but content is already going up three times a week, with stories about my visits to 49 states (no Hawaii yet), Canada, and Mexico.

Also, Quirky Travel Guy has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a Flickr account. We’re going large.

See you over at the new site!


Meet me in St. Louis!

November 22, 2010

I haven’t been able to travel much in 2010 because my funds have been tight, but I’m excited to announce that I’ve booked a trip to St. Louis for early December!

A 2-day, mid-week, mid-winter vacation to St. Louis might not be the most exotic trip one could take, but I’m looking forward to it. St. Louis is one of the biggest American cities I have yet to visit so I’ll finally get a chance to see the Arch and all the other stuff the city has to offer. I’m taking the Megabus so it’s a bargain-basement trip – just $17 for the round-trip – and I’ll probably couchsurf to minimize my expenses.

I recently read the Patricia Schultz book 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die, and I browsed through it and discovered that I’ve already seen 168 of them. St. Louis offers the potential to see 4 more, so I will definitely try to hit those spots during my brief time there.

More details will be coming next month either here or on my brand new travel blog, which is still a work in progress. I hope to roll it out by the beginning of 2011.


My other travel writings

October 21, 2010

I present a few links to some articles I’ve written in recent months over on Associated Content, some of which deal with travel topics I’ve covered here in the past.

Providence’s Questionable Overnight Parking Ban
This is a sad but fun story. I was going to blog about this here, but I never got around to it. I got a parking ticket while in Providence, Rhode Island, but because I didn’t deserve the ticket, I refused to pay. Click the link to read more about the story.

Here’s the actual photo I took of my van on the street in Providence. Note the sign stating that parking is restricted only between 8 and 10 am.

Is Pittsburgh a Bike-Friendly City?
Hint – I’ll reveal the answer: Not yet, but getting there.

Where to Bike in Chicago
I’ve been biking up a storm since I moved here. This article provides a list of five suggested places to bike with only minimal chance of being run over by a bus.

Six Flags Chicago Review
I bought a season pass this year and went at least 5 times. It’s a great value, even though the coasters pale in comparison to what I’m used to at Kennywood and Cedar Point.

Sun Studio Review
I wrote about Sun Studios in great detail on this blog during my post on visiting Memphis.


Road trip update: Dakotas, here we come!

August 9, 2010

Last week I posted that my friend Kat and I had won a road trip from Chicago to Boston. Turns out we won a different route – from Chicago to Casper, Wyoming. That route doesn’t have as much to see, and it means I won’t be able to stop in Pittsburgh and see friends and family.

But the good news is we still get a free week-long trip, and once our journey to Wyoming is complete, on the way back we’re going to head north through North and South Dakota! If you’ve been following my blog, you know those are the last two of the lower 48 states that I have yet to set foot in. By this time next month, I’ll have seen all 48. For someone who had only seen six states up to the age of 25, that is pretty amazing.

We’re gonna camp in the Badlands for a day or two. I’ve been researching this park, and I’m really excited because they have two of my favorite animals: Bison and bighorn sheep! Since I won’t be making it to Yellowstone this summer, seeing bison in the Badlands will have to suffice. And I love bighorn sheep and managed to see a few in Colorado last summer, but only from far away through a telescope. I’m on a mission to see some with my own eyes and take pictures.

So stay tuned. For our trip to Wyoming, we’ll be blogging and posting videos on www.exploringmyamerica.com. You can go there now and register. We’re the Route 20 Ramblers. When it comes time to travel (August 15), vote for us every day as your favorite team – if we get the most votes during that week, we win an extra $500!

Though we are being given a traveling budget, we want to make sure it will last the whole trip.  We’re hoping to do some camping under the stars instead of staying in hotels. There’s also that ‘donate’ button in the right-hand column of the page you’re currently reading. Feel free to throw a $5 or $10 credit card contribution our way if you like.

So during our trip to Wyoming (August 15), we’ll be posting videos on exploringmyamerica.com. Starting August 22, come back to this blog to read about our travels through North and South Dakota and back to Chicago.

We’ll see you on the road!


I’m hitting the road again!

July 19, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to travel, so I’m super excited to announce that from August 15-21, I’ll be undertaking a road trip from Chicago to Boston with my friend Kat! We’ll be traveling along Route 20 past Cleveland, Buffalo, and Amish country in New York.

The best part is that the trip is completely free! We won it in a contest. We’ll be required to post blogs and videos along the way, but otherwise we have the freedom to do our own thing.

Not only is the trip being paid for, but we’re being given all-new tires, new shocks and struts, and $500 for a general vehicle tune-up before hitting the road. Amazing!

Last week I got my first flat tire ever in my van, after more than 20,000 miles driving in it. That made me take a look at my other tires, and I realized they’re all worn through. They all desperately need to be replaced, but doing so is not in my writer’s budget. Then along comes this trip and I get tires for free!

I’ll post more details about the trip as the date gets closer. I won’t be blogging about it here but I’ll be sure to post all my links so you can follow along with us. Once I get to Boston, I have to drive back to Chicago, and I’ll be stopping in Pittsburgh on the way to see family and friends, which is great, because I wasn’t sure I’d have the funds to make such a trip this summer.

Stay tuned!


One year ago…

April 13, 2010

One year ago today, I set out on the road in my van for my summer road trip. The first night, I headed south into West Virginia and found a quiet place to sleep, then set out for the Monongahela National Forest the next day.

My summer trip took me through 46 states and 3 countries. It was a few years’ worth of life experiences crammed into a few months.

The parts that stand out most at this point are all the national parks and scenery, and all the big cities like Seattle and New Orleans. I feel like I completely understand the whole country now. I know what the deserts of Arizona and the forests of Vermont and the mountains of Utah and the fields of Kansas look like.

I haven’t been able to travel as much since then, though I’m definitely planning some small summer trips to nearby cities – St. Louis or Milwaukee, if nothing else. Europe is the next obvious frontier, but that seems to be a couple years (and a full-time job) away.

Here’s a video I put together with pictures and music describing my year on the road. I have a feeling YouTube will pull it down because of the music, so enjoy it while you can!

SUMMER 2009 ROAD TRIP VIDEO


Shout-outs, travel linkages and such

January 6, 2010

It’s been a while since I highlighted some of the traveling sites in my blogroll, so here goes.

Falia Photography – An interesting site run by a girl who sold her house and moved into her van. Loads of great info here about how to dwell in one’s vehicle, how to find wifi, how to stay warm, and much more.

Travels With Two – A fascinating journal of the numerous travel adventures of Melanie and Adam. Melanie, you might remember, joined me for the Newsroom Cafe lunch in L.A. where we saw Magic Johnson.

New Life Travel – The latest addition to my blogroll. The site is run by Brandon, a Chicagoan who is about to set off through the Middle East and Asia, a part of the world I’d love to see someday. I’m looking forward to following his journey – now I know how all of yinz felt while reading my stories this summer!

The Longest Way Home – Another guy who gave up the normal life to travel the world. Lots of stories about Europe and Asia on his site.

Matador Travel – I wish I’d known about this site before I started my travels! Matador operates a group of websites, all catered to travelers. They also pay for and publish user submissions, like my article on how to sleep in your vehicle while traveling.

These are just a few of the sites that may be of interest to those who read my blog.