We’re waiting in a train station, so I figured I’d write a little bit about what’s happened so far in our trip through Europe. In short – it’s been really awesome. We only had one FULL day in Berlin, but we covered a lot of ground thanks to the awesome transportation system. I feel as if I have so little time here, however, because there is so much more to explore past the obvious tourist areas. We obviously wandered around the main centers of both the former East and former West sides. We checked out all of the sights, took tons of pictures, and overall, hit just about any place a tourist in their right mind should. Of course, we weren’t taken in by the obvious tourist traps (I’m not waiting in line and paying $10 to go inside of a building when there are so many more to explore for free).
Currently, we’re waiting for our train to come into the Hauptbahnhoff, or main train station of Berlin. We didn’t have the hotel room rented out for today, so we had to drag our luggage over and figure everything out here. Although there was a baggage check, it was exorbitantly expensive so we passed even though we wanted to see more of Berlin (we figure the more money we have for the later destinations, the more fun we’ll have there.) At 9:26 PM, hopefully we’ll be on our way to Zurich Switzerland in a sleeper car where we’ll spend two days at some really classy hotel.
So far, I’ve learned a few things about Berlin – no amount of schooling will prepare you for having absolutely no idea where you are (although it helps), there are very few public bathrooms in Berlin (and when you find them, they might make you pay ,80 euro to use them), and that even though I have already been lost and in need of a bathroom, being in another country with Elise is one of the coolest things that I’ve ever done in my life. It’s insane to see the cultural differences here and I’m more glad than anything to be able to experience this for the first time with my new wife (woah, that is really weird to say).
Also, Berlin is the dog-friendliest big city that I’ve ever been to. It’s ridiculous. They’re everywhere – on trains, in malls, in restaurants. They’re so well trained too – I’ve seen more dogs off of leash than on leash and they dutifully follow their masters on and off trains and through crowded malls.
I have no idea what type of luck I have. It’s just bad. I was on my way back home to get ready for another job and I hear a low rumbling in the back of my car. I worry about it for a few seconds, thinking it might be a developing flat, but then I shrug it off pretty quickly. Bad idea. A minute later BLAM – the back right side of my car lowers suddenly and I pull off into an almost nonexistant shoulder.
Yup. My tire exploded. I felt a bit unnerved by the short distance between me and many of the oncoming cars (some feet away) so I called “Hoosier Helpers” to give me a hand. Unfortunately, I’d lost my wheel lock, so the guy works at it for an hour and finally gives up. Keep in mind how bitter cold it was out there…probably in the negatives with wind chill. Finally I have to call a tow truck, pay him $150, and get a lift to some local used tire store run by the only “Southern Folk” in Gary, Indiana apparently. A few seconds of work and my lock was off (turns out it just needed a few gentle turns to finally come loose). At least they gave me a good price on a tire (and they were pretty nice to boot).
I guess the day turned out ok because I only missed one of four jobs and have had stuff flowing in for the last few days. I just can’t believe how crazy it was.
Well. I’m up at 8:00 AM. I was also still up at 6:00 AM. I was unaware that there would be 1,000 men upstairs pounding on the floors with hammers at the crack of dawn for some reason.
While I was searching for “white noise” on a torrent search engine (to muffle the army of hammer equipped soldiers) I found “The Other White Noise – Lesbians and Ice Cream”. Does anyone really download that stuff? (Apparently they do. 93 seeders, 121 leechers. Wtf.)
Edit: Turns out “Lesbians and Ice Cream” is an album. Not a dirty, dirty movie.
Just a quick update because it’s ridiculously hot in this friggin car – some jerk hit me in a parking lot while I was watching on eating ice cream. I really hoped that the first time I got into a fender bender it’d be my fault…guess not. It sucks, my little car is dented. Here’s a quick shot of it before Elise dies.
I’m at a wireless access point down the beach and I’m running out of battery so I’ll make this quick. So far vacation has been pretty good, it’s warm, the ocean is nice, and the house is humongous. Plus of course Elise is here with me! Bad thing happened yesterday though. While bodyboarding I stepped on a friggin fishhook and the thing went through my foot. I don’t have time to type, so here are a few pictures.
I’ll update if I can get an internet connection but it’s difficult out here.
Nothing much to write about other than the fact that I thought I was going to die in a crazy dust storm. Here are some shots that Elise, my wonderful assistant and lover took along the way with explanations from yours truly.
First, of course, the obligatory “hey we’re leaving” shot of us at something like 7:00 in the morning after a very short night of sleep. The morning was cool and pretty enjoyable so I was as awake as I ever was luckily.
Secondly, a random shot in Pennsylvania, which turned out to be the only state worthwhile on the way over. The mountains were beautiful and we got to drive through a ridiculously cool/frightening storm. Here’s a shot Elise took during a break in the rain when we were traveling above a valley or something.
Third, here’s a shot that confirms what I’ve been suspicious of since me and Elise first started going out – she wants me out of her life forever. Look at how I’m cut out! What is with that? After I saw this picture on her camera I cried the rest of the way to Virginia.
Finally, the dust devil thingie. This thing seriously looked like a forming tornado and I pretty much thought we were going to have to barrel through it or hope that it didn’t come toward us.I actually came to a complete stop on the highway before venturing into it. Elise took some video that I stripped the audio from to preserve my manliness as well as the ears of children who may be watching for some odd reason.
Getting ready for a road trip is exciting. I love running out to the store and buying all sorts of crap to eat and drink on the way treats include:
A delicious 24 pack of water with some of those cool crystal light packets for flavor.
Some random doritos flavor that I haven’t tried
Chocolate covered cookies
Fruity gum (I don’t know.)
…also it was nice to clean up my car so it looks pretty for the drive. I’ll be leaving for my first stop, Reston, VA tomorrow at 6:30 AM, so hopefully I’ll have all sorts of interesting shots of my journey or at least an entry or two from a random wireless hotspot along the way.
Just messing around with “ScribeFire” a Firefox extension that allows me to directly write to my blog without even touching the WordPress Admin page. Spiffy, huh? Hopefully my amount of posts will ramp up due to this because it’s a lot less of a hassle to do.
Here’s a brief update on my life:
I’m working at the Northwest Indiana Times as a freelance photographer. Been taking pictures all over the area and it’s really great finally seeing my stuff published and doing what I love.
Getting ready to go to North Carolina with my family and Elise. An awesome road trip to pick up my cousin Cameron will precede this and hopefully I’ll have lots of fun pictures and updates from the road if I can get a decent wireless connection.
Out of school and back in the NWI region. Nice to be up here with friends. Going to Chicago a lot so hopefully I’ll shoot out some pics from my last trip when I can manage to do so.
Ok, I was lazy when it came to posting over spring break and had pretty much no internet connection at all in Florida, so I’m going to post the happenings in chunks over the next few days if I can get around to it – if not, it might take a bit longer.
Universal Studios was perfect. It was literally like 75 degrees in the morning and 80 and sunny for the rest of the day. Since Spring Break wasn’t really in full swing for the whole nation (and apparently not many people go to Universal Studios on Monday), the longest wait we had was somewhere around 30 minutes for some haunted house thingy.
We hit all the usual spots. I went to Curious George’s crazy city in commemoration of the absent Kevin Rey and attempted to pour gigantic buckets of water on unsuspecting dry people. If you haven’t visited that place, it’s seriously the best place in Universal Studios. Don’t worry about the fact that you’ll look like a total idiot traversing the jungle of metal pipes spurting out water with a bunch of little kids. Seriously. The weird looks are worth it.
Toward the end of the day we visited the giant Dr. Seuss area which is absolutely incredible to just about anyone who grew up on the books…which I assume is everyone. We acted like little kids again, crawled through the little theme mazes, played in the houses, posed with the characters. There was this maze that you could crawl through and mess with all of the animals within. Really interactive, really hilarious.It was amazing.
Finally we hit the Mummy one last time. Thanks to the fact that the park was closing in something like 20 minutes the guys in charge let us run through the line four times to get on the ride immediately. It was amazing and that ride is seriously awesome.
Overall, it was a great day.
I couldn’t fit this picture in but I thought it deserved to be posted.