Went to “The Cove” to swim today with the fam. It’s a beach on the Nanticoke River, which empties a few miles away into the Chesapeake Bay. It’s a great place for kids since the waves are tiny. Definitely a good place to take children to learn to swim before allowing them to brave the waves of the Atlantic in Ocean City, Maryland (known as OC to us locals )or Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (both about 35 miles east of The Cove).
Of course OC is a party sport, especially for college kids, and is chock full of high rises and condos. I prefer Rehoboth Beach because it has more of a community feel. The town is still a livable town. Whereas OC is much more commercialized. Also I should note that Rehoboth Beach is the east coast beach destination for gays and lesbians. While it doesn’t matter to me if the beach is shared with homosexuals, I want to paint an accurate portrait of the place for readers.
This is a follow up to the previous post.
Bourdain’s comments inspired me to think about some rules of travel… Here is what I wrote down in two emails and sent to some friends:
I think it [what Bourdain wrote] is brilliant!
Over the past several years I have really attempted to travel as a lifestyle. In the beginning you visit Chicago or New York or Paris and come back with tales defining the experience and the place as a whole aka “France was amazingggggg” . Something strange happens when you begin to visit new places with some frequency. You realize that you have not visited “France” as much as you enjoyed a singular experience. Your trip was limited by your timing, personality, other people on the trip, your health (try having a good sick vacation), etc… there are a ton of variables that all contribute to the cumulative thing you forevermore will refer to as your “Trip to France”. I think Tony states as much when he writes, “I encounter some people — or take them along. They show me their lives. We go some places –meet some friends. I tell you how that felt to me. THAT’S what we do.” And I think that is why so many people love the show. His show is ultimately about his experience- it’s not as much about “look you can do this, too” like many of the other travel shows. Sure, you can visit some of the same places- and should- but it’s the philosophy of the singular experience that makes his show- and your trip to France- great. The politics? Blah. Travelers are above politics or should be. It’s about the experience.
***************** 2nd Email********************
My number one rule is to respect the country and their rule. My
application might be controversial. .. when I ran with the bulls in
Pamplona, Spain, last year I found out they have the “running of the
nudes”. No, no don’t get excited. It’s a bunch of PETA people without
the balls/ovaries to actually run in the buff. Instead, they wear
bathing suits and run through the streets protesting the run. Now I am
all for the good people of Spain demonstrating, but I, as a US citizen,
do not think it is right for other Americans to travel to another
country and protest. To belabor the point, I was against the Iraq war
from the beginning, but when I attended a concert by Canadian band
Skinny Puppy in Ohio and they were protesting America I was likewise
Perhaps I watched too many original star trek episodes, but for me, the
prime directive of not interfering with “alien” cultures should be
respected. I’m there to observe the culture and enjoy it, not try to
change it to favor mine (which would kinda defeat the point of
I subscribe to a Yahoo! email group that is centered on Chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain has a travel show on the Travel Channel called, “No Reservations”. Recently Bourdain wrote what I consider a manifesto for people who currently enjoy travel as a lifestyle or aspire to.
I have crafted a response, but I’ll give you a day to read Bourdain’s rant first…
Canada is always a welcome respite. It allows me to gleefully shuck off the burdens of my everyday 24 hour news cycle, crackberry and internet driven insanity and replace it with wonderful food, friendly people, Cuban cigars and lovely, smoky scotch.
The first stop was Niagara Falls. The falls is amazing, but the experience is limited to a few moments. After gazing into the hydro-powered beauty for five minutes the time comes to acknowledge the sight and move along. In my three trips to the area the city seems a bit limited. It’s chock full of wax museums, knick knacks, bong shops and standard touristy schlock.
We walked around the area for a few hours and then began our search for dinner. We found a good Chinese place and ordered standard fair- sweet and sour chicken- done in two different ways. I had the sauce placed directly on the chicken while fried and my dad had super breaded balls of chicken served with a side of the sweet and sour sauce. The chicken balls were about twice the size as ping pong balls. The breading looked to be a bit mushy, but he said the dinner was “ok”. I think mine was better. Next we hit up the hotel and turned in early so we could sleep off the 9 hour drive and awake ready to find breakfast and make the two hour trek to Toronto.
Tomorrow I’ll go into our day in Toronto and put up some pictures!!!
Niagara Falls was, well what I expected. It is beautiful and awe-inspiring, but unless you are a painter, photographer or some other visual-fetishist then it really just looking at the thing and taking note for a few pregnant pause moments and then moving on. The area around the falls is a lot like the boardwalks on the Jersey, Delaware and Maryland shores, rife with air brushed shirts, weird little figurines with “Niagara Falls” emblazoned on them, bong shoppes, restaurants, hotels and other assorted things that make up de facto modern circus midways.
Today we go to Springroll. It’s a great restaurant in Toronto that I’m excited to be going back to. Tomorrow morning we head to Boom! Breakfast Company. They feature blueberry pancakes topped with french vanilla ice cream. Yum! After eating breakfast we’ll be heading up to the Northern Ontario compound.
Should be fun.
Filed under Canada, travel
Tomorrow morning I leave for Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada with Tom Sr. I’ve been there before, but he hasn’t so it will be fun to take him to see the glorious, thunderous water. From there we’ll head up to Toronto for a day and then on to our ultimate destination in Northern Ontario to seek out the northern lights. I’ll post pics and get on with posting more about my trip to Ireland, Spain, France and England when I get back.
No, seriously, our government is stopping parents and causing them to miss flights because children who cannot even form complete sentences yet are named on the terror watch list.
This sounds like shit that I was taught was happening in the USSR… “They” hate us for our freedom? Our fucking babies can’t even move about the country freely! It’s time to secure the country from terrorism using intelligence and not guesswork.
Filed under Politics, travel
Last summer I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. I know, you think it is crazy. Last year I felt unchallenged. I was in the middle of a press conference in Philadelphia hyping the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight. When Oscar De La Hoya was asked why as an older and slower boxer who was past his prime he would take on the number one pound for pound boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather, Jr, De La Hoya spoke of the challenge. He wanted to push himself. Challenge himself against the best competition. To feel the passion course through his veins as he prepared and ultimately fought the younger, faster Mayweather. When I left the press conference I felt empty. I remembered the feeling I had when I won the 1983 Delmar Minor Little League Championship with Delmarva Aluminum. And the joy that came with capturing a league title in a recreational league in seventh grade. Champion. There is just something about being a champion.
Now before I get embroiled into too much hyperbole, I realize these trophies mean nothing in the wide world of sport. They are local titles against local-level competition. But what you must recognize is that for an athlete with my skill set that’s about all we can even hope for.
How does this tie into the Running of the Bulls?
I’m glad you asked. Leaving the press conference that day I knew I was out of shape, unathletic and leading a sedentary life. I’m not sure whether I saw a programme on the tele or read an ad, but somehow in that space of time I came across the idea of running with the bulls. The thought of being trampled under the hooves of bovine had me running like I had not run since my senior of of high school. I burned off about 25 pounds in a 4 month period in preparation for the run.
I’ll go into the particulars of the run and my whole trip, which included stops in England, France, Spain, back to France and England, then to Ireland, back to London and home.