For those that follow my blog closely you probably remember my epic roadtrip from Irvine, CA to Baltimore, MD. On my roadtrip I saw a lot of really cool places, people, and things. One of the highlights of the roadtrip was my visit to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado. A truly beautiful place!
Even though I took a lot of pictures at the Rocky Mountain National Park, some of which you can see here, I finally uploaded videos I took during my visit last summer!
All the videos were taken driving up Trail Ridge Road and as I took in all the sights, sounds, and views of the stunning park. Getting higher gave you a better view and experience of the nature and surroundings. Of course driving up the narrow roads with 300 foot drops off the side can be a little nerve-racking. It was fun as well though! I highly recommend you go visit if you ever get a chance.
Took me long enough and hopefully I will get around to uploading more pictures and videos I that have languished on my laptop for a long time. Watch the videos below at least and let me know what you think!
Back in September I took a roadtrip with my brother Aaron to Brooklyn. He needed to transport paintings for an art show he was part of. It was very exciting for him as an artist since it was the first show he had in New-York. He's how it the roadtrip went.
We got going late around 10:45am or so. We rented a Uhaul the day before and got the paintings all packed and ready to go so we wouldn't have to worry about it in the morning. Aaron and I decided instead of spending money on tolls on I-95, we would avoid them. We set our GPS to “Avoid Tolls” and off we went. The nice thing about not driving along I-95 is that it's a little more scenic. You tend to see more interesting things, like a Hydro-Electric plant we passed along Route 1. One side of the dam was extremely high due to all the rain. The water was deep into the forest and we saw cops had blocked off a road leading down to that area.
Aaron was doing most of the driving, so my duties mainly were navigating (well making sure the GPS wasn't throwing us completely off track). For the most part not taking 95 up to New-York was working out well. Sure it was more slow going, but it gave us a chance to see little towns and places you would never have seen otherwise. Like a Harley-Davidson dealership, antiques stores, cows, and the countryside. Driving up 95 is kind of ugly, especially the Jersey turnpike.
Avoiding tolls surprising only took probably about 1 hour longer than if we had taken 95. Finding Gowanus Ballroom, where Aaron was showing his paintings was fairly straightforward, and dropping off the paintings didn't take long either. Gowanus Ballroom is an interesting place to show art. It is a metal fabrication shop, but they also use the space to display art. They move all the heavy metalworking material away for showing art, then back when they are done.
After we left Gowanus, we had to return the Uhaul truck. We went to the Uhaul center, which was a few blocks away, and then the attendant pointed out we had not filled the tank. I think it was a $50 surcharge to fill it, so we decided to find a gas station. We found this run down on nearby, and to my delight there were a few cool and interesting cars there.
After we returned the Uhaul truck we headed to the train station to go into the New York City to catch the Bolt Bus back to Baltimore. For $19 bucks 1-way, it is not a bad deal. Only thing is we didn't realize how long we had to wait to catch the train into the city, and that it took us about 30 minutes once on the train to get where we needed to go.
When we emerged from the dirtiness of the NY subway system, we had a little trouble finding the stop on 7th and West 33rd. Aaron kept trying to use his smartphone but it was not loading the map or something. It kept getting closer to 6 and our bus was leaving at 6:15pm. I was getting nervous and was saying “Let's just ask someone!” after trying to ask several people on the street who ignored me with a New-York attitude, I went into a Gap store. I asked a clerk folding clothes “Where is 7th and 33rd?” he pointed and said “That way!” We got to 7th and 33rd no problem. Smartphones are not all that!
When we got to the bus stop, it was in front of Sbarros. I hadn't eaten lunch and went in to get 2 pieces of cheese pizza. Aaron went to get some snacks at a convenience store close by. I think at that point it was around 6:10 or slightly later. There were tons of people waiting for different buses there. So many that they were blocking the sidewalk, so the bus moved down a block. Then we got on, and the bus left later than 6:15.
The buses are ok, but my expectations were higher from what I had heard. I thought my seat was a bit uncomfortable. I noticed that every other seat had a power plug, while I got stuck with a seat without one. The nice thing was the bus had Wi-Fi, so I checked my email. Then I attempted to sleep, but you are always in that half-awake mode on a bus. We stopped once in Delaware, then continued on to Baltimore. I think we got in around 11, and the bus drops you on Saint Pauls right near Penn Station. So it is easy to get a cab to where you need to go. We had a family member pick us up from the train station, then went home.
Today was pretty uneventful unlike my day in the Rockies. I was mostly driving along I-80 through Nebraska. What do I know about Nebraska? Nothing except the “Oracle of Omaha” is from this state, better known as Warren Buffett one of the richest men in the world. I doubt he drives along I-80 though.
I made one long stop at a gift shop called Ford Cody in North Palatte. It was a little tacky. I did find what I thought was the only cool item in the store. Belts! They had some great handmade belts with Buffalo and Wolves on them. They did not have the Wolf design in a 32, so I got the Buffalo one. I thought I should have one cool thing to remember about Nebraska and my road trip.
I drove a little over 500 miles from Greeley, CO to Lincoln, NE. Funny thing is I could have kept driving probably without a problem. I am really not that tired from driving today. I think I am used to it now and prepared for it. I listened to “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy” while driving. It's was much better than listening to “Cover Her Face” which I still have no idea what the story is about. The Bourne series had all background music and a good narrator to make the story exciting. Tomorrow I will listen to the third installment in the series “The Bourne Ultimatum.” I picked up these cassette tapes at a great place in Baltimore called the Bookthing. They give out free books and sometimes old cassettes are there. I did consider getting a better head unit to install in the Accord, but I don't mind using cassette taps. It's nostalgic to use them.
I stopped and I am staying in Lincoln, NE at the Staybridge Suites here. When I checked in I was talking with Sarah, the girl working the front desk, about my road trip. She was said, “I am taking a trip soon from LA to Minneapolis. I am looking for any tips.” I was quite proud that someone had recognized and asked me a master road tripper for advice. (Ok… that's a bit of a stretch.) I said “I would recommend getting a cooler and putting ice and drinks in there. That way you don't have to stop when you are thirsty. You can also put food and snacks in the cooler.” We also talked a little about… Warren Buffett. I asked “I guess Warren Buffett is popular in Nebraska?” Sarah, “Yeah we don't have many people to be proud of.” He definitely is an amazing guy to have built up such an immense amount of wealth. At least Baltimore has Micheal Phelps.
The rooms at Staybridge are very nice, comfortable, and well-appointed. I like the suite concept where you have a kitchenette with a fridge, dishwaher, and microwave. It's more inviting experience when you stay in a hotel.
Some people are aware I am getting a Honda Accord from my Grandma. The car however is in California and I am in Maryland. What's the best thing to do? Roadtrip! That's right I am taking a Cross-Country Roadtrip.
I am driving the car from Irvine, CA to Baltimore, MD. Unfortunately I cannot find an interested friend or family member to accompany me. That leaves the co-driver position open to any interested people. Ideal candidates should photography skills, and a clean driving record. A plus would be if you are interesting, fun, and adventurous. I am planning on leaving at the beginning of August. If you need to get from West to East coast and want to have a great time seeing the country, send me an email!
I have great news, I am getting a new car. Well… a “new” car to me at least. I will be buying a 1996 Honda Accord from my Grandma in Irvine, California. It has 120,000 miles on it, was kept in superb condition, runs and drives great. Lucky for this car it has been in CA its whole life. So no harsh winters, therefore no rust. Originally it was my aunt's car and now I'm buying it. Accords are such good cars, we want to keep this one in the family. I know I will be able to get another 120,000 miles out of it easily. Maybe even get 300,000+ miles out of this car. Hey, it's a Honda! It can make it.
The only problem is… well… I'm in Baltimore, MD and the car is in Irvine, CA. That's on the other side of the county. My two options are to ship it through an auto transport company, or drive it on a fantastic road trip across the country. I would love to drive it, but my family feel it's better to ship it and not put extra miles on the car. My thoughts are “It will be an adventure. Besides it's a Honda, another 3,000 miles is nothing. It should make it back to Baltimore no problem!” The car does need a few maintenance items before it could make a cross country trip. The back tires should be replaced, it could use a new battery, a brake flush, and probably an oil change. Just that, then it should be set. I'm having trouble deciding. Shipping would be about $800-1000. Driving might work out to be about the same, but it would be an unforgettable journey.
I would love to hear suggestions, comments, or advice from people. What are your thoughts? Ship or drive?