roadwarriors

08: Week Six

We're in Nashville. 

Outside feels like a wet, hot blanket. 

Finally reached a town where we don't have friends to stay with, so night one landed us in the van.

Sitting (and smelling) at a cafe now writing and drawing and perusing our Couchsurfing options and... posting this. (Lost my first draft to a random glitch again, whoop-whoop!)

Oh, the moments when I wonder what the point of all this blogging is. 

But the answer is discipline.

It's an exercise in keeping something up for 12 weeks despite the rigamarole and random-ness of travel.

If nothing else, it's a good exercise for future projects (he reminds himself), and a digital logbook of our travels to look back on. 

Anywho.

Washington D.C.

Looong day of travel from our stopover in Boston and we reached our lovely hosts in the nation's capitol, Angie and Mike. 

They led us to a pool the next day (our first), and a Sunday Funday -- as the cool kids are calling it -- commenced. On a rooftop.

They were far too good to us.

From there we explored!

Sight-seeing and all that. 

We did the monuments and a few Smithsonians.  

Free museums are the best way to spend a few hours traveling...

Keep ya busy and get your mind thinking differently.

image.jpg

Thomas Cole's "Voyage of Life"  included four huge paintings in one room that depicted phases of life; childhood, youth, manhood and old age, followed by angels and stuff.

After a while in a museum filled with paintings and quiet, you just about start feeling and smelling and hearing what the painter who made it did. 

image.jpg
image.jpg

I was also digging the innovation section of the American history museum.

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

The Museum of Natural History featured incredible animal photographers, in jungles and under the sea.

image.jpg

On our last night, we caught a free comedy show at this awesome bar called The Big Hunt -- highly recommended!

Free pool never hurts. 

Free pool never hurts. 

Then we started our way south to Nashville...

Halfway point and the best road trip resource ever!

The road to Nashville put us on our first highway due West! Whoa. 

We are incredibly grateful to our hosts so far -- you guys have made the trip possible, and amazing. Shoutout to Gemma, Todd, Mitch/Kevin/Goodman, James and Brian, Goodman again, and Angie/Mike! You guys rock and we're planning our thank you gifts!

LASTLY! I know nobody's reading this far, but in the spirit of sharing the good things in life with the good people in life... but we've found something incredible:

Swimmingholes.org -- it's a database for all of the swimming holes around the USA. 

"Road trip dips" are our new best friends. We've used it to hit two so far by just finding one on the map between our starting point and our destination. 

We're not talking crowded parks, these are easily some of the most beautiful water experiences we've ever had. Butterflies and waterfalls and the whole 9, just a short hike usually off the freeway. Safe to say we'll be using it again.

Nothing better. Especially in the middle of a long, hot day of driving. 

The journey continues on Instagram @thegoodscene!

06: Week Four

Let's see... where did we leave off?

Caught our fellow westsider Mitchell's band, Stuart's Giant, playing at the Skinny Pancake.

We're talking some Berklee-educated, far out musicians. These guys jammed out for a couple of hours, and gave us a preview of what was to come in Boston. Keyboard player couldn't play, but these three characters laid down the groove and made for a super fun show.

Mitch, Kevin, Goodman   

Mitch, Kevin, Goodman

 

Burlington

Todd took us out on a school night and we saw some Burlington night life -- great time. Three Needs and Ake's Place where awesome. 

Burlington is apparently the birthplace of Phish, and the town that Bernie Sanders was mayor of, or something. (I'm not gonna check these facts right now because I'm just tired.) 

We made some friends and really enjoyed our time in The 'Burl. It's basically a beautiful beach town on Lake Champlain with the Adirondack mountains off in the distance. Lotsa good beer, sunshine and cool beaches, as exhibited on the Instagram. 

It was similar to Bellingham in a lot of ways. Burlingham -- College town, similar size, similar vibe. Super fun.

Then we hit the road up to Boston to stay at Mitch's place. 


Boston

Boston is old. 

Ali (Luc's sister) flew out to meet us for the week.

The British are coming.


Stuart's Giant

Mitch and the gang are full time musicians, gigging and teaching and running their own band. 

They knocked out a rad recording and we filmed the session and made a video for them. Coming soon.

IMG_3344.jpg

"We got the tools and the means."


Road Notes

Something we keep seeing: hiring signs. Everywhere we go places are hiring.

Move somewhere, get a job, make some friends, see another place. 


NEXT: Portland, Maine

Actually I finish this up there. Each week gains a day, considering my plan was to do these updates on Wednesdays. Staying consistent-ish though!

05: Week Three

Chicago

The "bean" (or donut)

The "bean" (or donut)

After just about settling into Chicago for good... We decided it was time to leave after all, so we finally hit the road. 

Time lapse-ing behind the scenes

Time lapse-ing behind the scenes

The Chi was real nice -- great city.

It's bigger than Seattle by a lot, but without the hills, and with the L (elevated train), it feels very connected. 

It was super bike-able, lots to do, toasty weather, humongous lake, and beautiful young people all over the place doesn't hurt.

Gemma showed us around her midwest, and we got a lot of camera practice in. These are all shots from both Luc and I's cameras. 


Toronto

We somehow finagled our way across the border and back. (Thanks to Jessica who mailed my passport to Chicago!)

Drove through a crazy storm on the way to Toronto, then we shared a pizza and tested an urban traveler's legend...

Turns out you  can  sleep in a van in a Walmart parking lot. (Or nobody noticed us?)

Turns out you can sleep in a van in a Walmart parking lot. (Or nobody noticed us?)

We just had to know.

Our girlfriends. 

Our girlfriends. 

With our curiosity satisfied, we woke up, made PB&J's and drove to see a natural wonder. 


Niagara Falls

We've played around with the tourist-y thing on this trip, seen some natural wonders and such. 

Niagara was the most recent.

She's a beaut.

Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist

image.jpg
The power...

The power...

It was worth the crowds. 

After a brief stop in Utica, NY ("the city that god forgot")... We drove into the Adirondacks to camp. 


Upstate NY / Adirondacks

We posted up in an empty campground on Schroon Lake up in the Adirondacks under a blanket of stars. 

Later on, we looked up from our s'mores and watched a meteor shower.

It's all about those moments.


Breakdown

image.jpg

Then we woke up, started the drive to Burlington, Vermont, only to have the van breakdown near Ticonderoga, NY.

Hilariously we were playing around with the iPhone timelapse feature when we broke down, so you literally watch it happen on our Instagram or right here:

Luc correctly guessed our issue was the fuel pump and we called triple A.

AAA is definitely a worthy investment -- coming through in the clutch. 

Then Jim our friendly tow truck driver strapped our baby up on the truck and drove us to Burlington, Vermont to a GMC dealership where we got the fuel pump fixed for way too much money. 

image.jpg

So it goes. 

Luckily that was our next destination.

So we're in Burlington, crashing at our buddy Todd's; making friends, swimming and riding bikes.

(He read the blog earlier on and shot me a text inviting us out here and we're so grateful!)

It's a killer town.

Tonight we're seeing our Boston buddy Mitchell's band play in Burlington at the Skinny Pancake, and tomorrow we head down to Boston!

Come along for the ride! Follow via @thegoodscene on Instagram!

04: Week Two

(Spent two hours uploading the right photos for this post yesterday and then the site bugged out and I lost it all, so... there's that. Hit save all the time kids.)

This week we: 

Camped in a subdivision

Consumed an obscene amount of Philly cheese steak sandwiches

Finished with Ragbrai in a blaze of glory,

Drove to Chicago.

Swam in Lake Michigan at sunset (Montrose Beach)

Then said peace to our awesome friend Nikolai.

Moved in with our pal Gemma.

Watched a 12 hour play, depicting 32 Greek tragedies

Went to one of seven Baha'i temples on earth north of Chicago - a place for anyone to pray/reflect/renew

image.jpg

Ate Chicago pizza at Lou Malnati's

Helped Gemma's roommate move out then cleaned their apartment

We used Tinder for the first time and saw the movie Almost Famous for free in millennium park 

Then...

We ended up working for Ben Eine from London on a huge mural

Luc painted with him for two days

I took photos of the process that might be used to promote his show coming up at Vertical Gallery

Luc got two free meals out of it, and we get to go to an art show Saturday

Plus be a part of a lasting mark on Chicago.


Then...

image.jpg

We saw Gemma do a part reading on a rooftop...

image.jpg

...got a few free sides at a teriyaki place called Glaze from a cool fellow (s/o Jeremy) who shared our hometown in the West -- he even lived on Alki at one time!

And walked for miles and miles and miles...


TRAVEL LESSONS

Along the way we're learning all manner of things about the power of curiosity. Plus developing a variety of skills that will come in handy for any forthcoming zombie apocalypses or family camping trips. 

  • Emotional management / maturity: We've all got needs, moods, wants, etc. On the road, we've got to respect and adjust to your own emotions, as well as those of your companions and hosts along the way.
  • Camping skills: cooking on camp stove or over fires, identifying essentials and packing.
  • Navigation skills: map reading and like. Some places don't have cell reception! (wha??!?!?) Ya, no joke. We try to use the map as much as possible for highways and such, reserving GPS for in the city. We're even using a compass out here.
  • How to make fast friends: We've both had a lot of practice with this from bar tending, barista-ing, and past travels, but this trip is a reminder of how important it is to be able to open up to people. 
  • Adapting to new environments: RAGBRAI was utter chaos and every day brought us to a new town or two where we had to find the campground, find each other, set up camp and get ourselves fed somehow. Now we're in Chicago and it's a different kind of adaptation -- but that training will prepare us for the rest of the journey. CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT!
  • Budgeting and money managing: this part is hard. We worked like crazy to save up for this trip, and naturally everything was more expensive than we hoped on the way out of town, but we're doing pretty good. We use an app called Splitwise, to split our expenses, as recommended by Nikolai, and it takes a lot of the money stress out. 
  • Patience. Always. I'm seeing more and more the way travel has changed me in this way. I used to complain a lot as a kid, and I'm proud to notice how much I've grown out of that. (Now it usually takes like 3-5 things going wrong at once to get to me hah.)

So I mean... It's not all fun games out here. Everyday we work to maintain our bodies, our mind states, our tools/gear, our van, our campsites, our host's apartments, our chance of making this trip last for a full 3 months...

But we also get to see the direct results of that daily work.

And shoot, fun and games is a state of mind. 

So, we're in Chicago for a couple few more days, then into the Adirondack mountains of NY before making our way to catch our friend Todd in Vermont, and then Mitch in Boston. 

image.jpg

The adventure continues... JOIN IN ON INSTAGRAM @THEGOODSCENE