Road trips

Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: Boston, MA

That’s right, folks. It’s time for another installment of our nation’s favorite weekend road trip blog: Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors! Or, it’s summer and let’s hit the road.

But wait a minute. It’s not summer at all. In fact it’s snowing everywhere.

Buffalo logged 6 feet of snow in one day.

Alright, alright. You got me. The wife and I went to Boston a few weeks ago, before all the snow. And yes, summer was definitely over, but fall was doing fine at the time. Amazingly enough, the Boston temperature was quite warm and welcoming, if not brisk. We lucked out wicked big time.

Here’s the thing.

I’m totally obsessed with Boston. It’s sort of a nostalgia thing, which I recently swore off, I know, but the nostalgia is earned. I had never been to Boston; however, the city of clam chowdery love had played a big role in my life, once a week, for at least a year straight.

Okay. Here it comes.

In California, years ago, when I shared an apartment with some friends, we hosted “Boston Night,” every Tuesday night.

Yes, dorky. I’m aware. Boston Night. Why would random young Californians obsess over Boston?

Well, Boston movies for one. They are their own genre. And the movies are frequently wicked excellent. Boondock Saints, The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Mystic River, Fever Pitch

Maybe not Fever Pitch, but you get the idea.

Really, Boston Night was an excuse to get together. To bring people under one roof. I always loved hosting Boston Night. I’ll never forget the movies and Sam Adams, the Boston Baked Beans and clam chowder, my friends and their bad “Southie” accents. It was a good time. (more…)


Smorgasblog—My 200th Post!

Well, well, well. What do we have here? Blog number 200? Watch out, The Simpsons.

Bloggers who post everyday probably hit 200 in their sleep, but for part-time posters like myself, I like to pause and reflect upon arbitrary three-digit milestones.


Mmmm. Nice, isn’t it?

(Still pausing…)

*Checks watch*

I think that’s enough pausing.

When I last hit an arbitrary three-digit milestone, I was living in California, working for a music education company, enjoying citrus off the tree, and smiling a lot. Since then, my wife and I have abandoned familiarity in favor of fundamental, paradigm shifting change. We traveled the country and moved to upstate New York; we were attacked by an evil bat in the middle of the night; my face froze off due to something called Polar Vortex; I wrote a play which won an award; we broke veg to eat haggis. It’s been good and bad.


And so life goes. Personally, I’m still figuring out what the hell my life is all about–and further, as an extension, what this blog is all about.  (more…)

New York State: (Three Month Recap)

What a year it’s been! I woke up in Idaho on January 1st, drove to California where I lived for six-months, and then ventured to upstate New York where I’ll finish out the year. I say “I” but I really mean we. We means my wife and me (I). Yeah. That’s a lot of driving. Our Prius is a champ. I think I’ll buy my car a wizard’s cap for Christmas, considering he did such a good job leading us across the continent (like Gandalf!).

But New York. Man, sometimes, I still can’t believe we live here. New friggan York! What a long way from home. There’s good and bad, but we like it; Rochester is growing on us. Constant unfamiliarity can be quite exhausting, but we’ve been using our GPS less and less, so that is good. A big step to accepting a new home, I think, is learning the street names.

Without further ado, here’s my three-month recap (or review!) of NY State:


Humidity and lots of fruit flies. But it could’ve been worse. We came in on the tail-end of the humidity; we’ll have to wait till next year to fully experience it, I guess. With no jobs or school in session we were bored out of our minds! We were broke too. Moving is ‘spensive.

However, we did manage to see Niagara Falls after a terrible, no good-very bad day. Megan landed a job pretty much right off the bat! And speaking of bat, we woke up with a bat in our room and almost contracted rabies. August was… well, it was… a stretching experience. Oh, I also saw mewithoutYou (my favorite band).  (more…)

A Bend in the Road

Bend, OR

We left this morning. After a string of goodbyes, breakfast, and tire pressure checking, we hit the road. I don’t mean to get dorky here, but it reminded me of leaving Rivendell. You know, Lord of the Rings style.

So we got a cheap room in Bend, OR, which isn’t exactly half way, but that’s okay. After the last few days, it’s far enough.

But Bend was at the end, and it’s not what I want to write about. What happened on the beginning of our journey today is what’s worth noting.

Megan’s parents generously gave us a Garmin GPS for Christmas. Like any new toy, we fooled around with the settings until it became unique to us.

A few years back, after buying the Prius, I changed the display screen to French. I don’t speak French or anything, it’s just how I get my kicks. Don’t judge me.

So Megan turned the red car on the GPS screen into an awesome looking eagle… or hawk. I’m not quite sure. You can’t really see the beak. At first, I couldn’t stop staring at this bird. Every time the car moved, the bird flapped its wings. As the driver, this was bad news.

Eventually I took my eyes off of the eagle and back on the road. As I admired the significance of the bird’s wings in concordance to the distance we were rapidly gaining from home, I was filled with wonder.

(Hesitant to make another Tolken reference, I will remove a metaphor to the eagle scene from The Hobbit.)

Each mile we drove, or flapped rather, we traveled further from home. It soon became apparent that we were on our own. Hitting the road. Just the two of us. Finally.

The adventure has begun.

So we drove. And drove. The GPS bird tirelessly flapped its wings. The Prius, a little heavier than it’s used to, carried us along and groaned at the hills.

In Bend, OR, we stay the night and get up early for the final leg of our drive. It’s a drive we’ve made many times before, though only to turn around too soon and head home. Now we have six months to spend. Maybe more.

Our home isn’t Coeur d’Alene, Idaho anymore, but it isn’t San Luis Obispo either. Our home is each other. That’s where we belong.

And of course, on the wings of a God who loves us.