The last few weeks my brain has been inundated with travel-related activity and wedding planning. (More recently though, my brain has been inundated with thoughts about whether or not I can use the word "inundated" in that first sentence. Did you know that word is not recognized by dictionary.com?) So although I know I've been a stickler for strictly sticking to the travel-themed blog posts here, this week will be more of a "I do what I want" post, like Zhou often likes to do.
First, I have to review the new Blackberry Storm, AKA "Lookie here, it's typing 'Reno Nevada' instead of 'Rhino Fertata' or 'Emo Pinata'." My mom recently got a company-issued one, and it works great! Oh wait, she doesn't have that one anymore. It broke. So did the next one, and the next. I think she's on her fourth one now within the past three months.
But what about its functionality? To sum up my frustration, my family and I recently drove aimlessly around Indy looking for a Men's Wearhouse while my brother sat in the back seat and tried to find the closest location on my mom's Storm. We found one long before he even got close. Despite Steve's skinny fingers, he was unable to type in the necessary commands to get to one website on the Storm in the 20 minutes that my family drove around. And Steve's not alone - earlier I got so frustrated using that thing that I gave up without ever being able to enter in the password to unlock it. I still don't understand why Blackberry would make such a shoddy piece of equipment three years after Apple put out its flawless iPhone.
I was able to keep my mind off of travel-related stuff for the last three minutes, but I give in. This is a travel blog, so I should discuss how the planning is going.
Zhou and I were about to book our hike on the "finest walk in the world" today, but backed out at the last second. Instead we have decided to do a nearby hike - the Routeburn, which supposedly stays a lot drier and, according to National Geographic, "the scenic payoffs far surpass those of the Milford." If anyone has done either of these two treks, please let us know what you think, as we have not locked into the Routeburn yet.
We have also decided it's time to fill our diarrhea prescription. Wait, anti-diarrhea prescription. I've recently talked to several people who've been off exploring the world, and some have said they haven't had any problems, but others said that was the hardest part of the trip. I'd rather not take the chance. After all, eating something as simple as an orange will probably play tricks on my stomach, having never really eaten non-apple fruits. (On a somewhat related note, don't talk about your airplane bathroom experiences if you want to win The Next Food Network Star.)
Does anyone have tips on what picture website to use when we're on the road? The three I can think of are Shutterfly, Picasa and Flickr, but unfortunately neither Zhou or I has used any of the three extensively. If anyone knows a particularly easy one to use that will let us post thousands of pictures, let us know!
The last travel-related topic of the week: I need to shamelessly promote two travel websites/blogs that I think are pretty cool. First, my cousin Brenda is one of our big world travel influences, and I've yet to give her the proper respect. She's been all around the world a million times, and her favorite spots include Vanuatu, Colombia and Croatia. These are three places not on our itinerary, but not for lack of trying. The worst part is, it took her linking our blog on her site for me to mention hers. Sorry Bren!
The second is a blog by Dave, a friend of mine from work. He did his world travel before becoming an investment banker, and then realized that world travel is so much cooler than banking, and he now lives abroad. Unfortunately this blog was to track a trip from two years ago so it is no longer maintained, but it has some cool pictures and videos. Zhou and I can only hope that we get to see some of the sights that Dave did.
I'll end the post with pictures taken from four different cities where I have recently been, with four different groups of people (because no one other than Zhou can put up with me for any length of time).
(1) Cleveland, OH: jamming at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Matt and Hadley.
(2) Charlotte, NC: disc golfing at Renaissance Park with Charlie.
(3) West Orange, NJ: me and Zhou in Eagle Rock Park at a scenic outlook overlooking New York City.
(4) Fishers, IN: my brother (right) and I doing tricks while tubing on the lake with our parents.
Puzzles for Postcards : We've been debating making some tweaks to our categories, and this week we've decided to make it official. Going forward, there will be no more VQs or Better Chargers, as it is much too difficult to think of good ones. Our puzzle rotation will now consist of Anagrams, Rhyme Time, Consonantless Words and Where Am I? (oooh, a new one!). Good luck, and as always, here is the list of winners.
Where Am I? First person to respond with the country where the below picture was taken wins! Once we get a little ways into our trip, we will use our own pictures for this game, but for now we're borrowing them from Flickr (source). Good luck!
Scrabble Games: 55 (full log)
Zhou WPLB: 28; 367; 315; SENIlES
Kevin WPLB: 27; 368; 397; sETTINGS