Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Start, Germantown and the First Bit of PA

So the first day of the roadtrip got off to a late start as I managed to misplace $300 and had to dig around my Dad's house and a bunch of packed stuff. As usual, I do not function on little sleep very well. But we hit the road! It was pleasantly warm and sunny, a good way to kick off our adventure:

We even saw a liberal Virginian with a John Kerry bumper sticker at the start.

Western Maryland looked not much different than Pennsylvania it turned out. Except for Pennsylvanians are more protective of their roads:

PA does have some toll roads though, so Web got to go through his first toll and seemed a bit intimidated:

In addition, much of Pennsylvania is coaltowns... and oh do they let you know:

Pretty dull, but Pittsburgh was much more exciting...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Today's the Big Day!

Tomorrow, in just under 8 hours, Web and I will be embarking on a great American roadtrip through the heartland, plains, and forests of our great country!!!

I'm super excited even after a long day of packing, packing, and more packing.

Our preparations we also rather exciting today:

1) I RENTED MY FIRST CAR!!! But, better than a car. Oh yes, Lauren rented a gas-guzzling Kia Sportage (which drives like a dream). It looks like this:

2) Johnny and Zay witnessed a man discarding of evidence from a stolen car (aka the owner's belongings) in front of our sliding glass windows onto the parking lot frantically then speeding away, of course wearing gloves to not make fingerprints. After alerting building security, the maitenance guy let us know that the car has been stolen for a week! Good ole College Park, chopping of cars which I won't miss.

3) The Sportage did not quite have enough room for such necessities as my massive collection of clothes and shoes. So, Lauren also bought a storage topper thingamajig to store 15 cubic feet of my junk @ REI, and also, became a member of REI. Woo!

4) Bubble tea was consumed after a Bookholder's errand.

5) I bought a Flip videocamera so I can document this Roadtrip Across Amer'ca in a multimedia fashion. This will give me something to do when I am bored or wanting to bother Web while he is driving. There is also great potential for interviewing with such a device, if we want to interact with the locals.

6) The Creation Museum is in Kentucky! So I can say I have been in Kentucky. I should not have been surprised, as we are going to a Creation Museum... where else other than Kentucky would have one? Oh wait... maybe Kansas.

7) Web and I discovered we both have T-shirts that say "Liberal" on them, mine actually being "Liberals." This seems like a great opportunity for a photoshoot after visiting the visual bibical timelines of Kentucky (so we get kicked out beforehand). There is also a surprise prop which will go well with our shirts. Don't spill the beans, Nicole!

Ok, time to go to bed and prepare for the Christian, fundamentalist world we will enter late tomorrow... but not before a great sandwich in Pittsburgh!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


So far Web & me has secured some friendly couches/floor space during the trip! We are going to head slightly south of Dayton and visit Nicole in Cincinnati (MaryPIRG), crash with Len in Chicago (Student PIRGs), and crash with Tate in Denver (Fund), Web's sister in SF. =D It will be really nice to see friends.

We def don't know anyone in Utah or Western Nevada so some camping will occur.

Rad Stuff I'll Miss in the MD/DC Area

These are things I would recommend any visitor to the area if they roadtripped here:

- Smithsonian museums are FREE and GOOD, go to all of them (a biased statement since I studied art history)

- Make pilgrimage to the Lincoln Memorial at night, preferably with intoxicated friends

- Go to beer bars and bars that serve excellent beer, there are many grade A beers stashed all around the Metro area. Reza just took me to Galaxy Hut in Arlington, and they had delicious Belgiums on tap!

- EJ's Karaoke Tuesday for CP townies! (Gotta shout out for DJ Mikee V and friends)

- Swim in the McKeldin Mall fountain, shower afterwords

- Get your grub on, a lot of good food. I recommend Kramer's & Afterwords, Ray's Hell Burger, La Fourchette, McFadden's, Eastern Market in general, Franklin's, Five Guys, Good Stuff Eatery, Pete's Diner, Brickskellar, and Szechuan House

- The DC Mall in general

- Meet your senators and representatives


Well, time to start packing/throwing out a bunch of crap!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ohio Detour?

So my friend Nicole from MaryPIRG originates from Cincinnati, OH. She lives near the Creation Museum. I am thinking it may be worth it to get up earlier to get to Chicago to go to the Creation Museum for $22 and sleep in a house instead of paying $20 camping. Eh?

T-Minus 3 Days

Only 3 more days left in Maryland before Weber (Web) and I hit the road in what looks to be a Hertz rental SUV, since even though I could save hundreds of $s on a 24' long truck... the parking & driving limitations would defeat the purpose of the fun parts of a road trip. Either way, this isn't just a move, it is an adventure. I think SUVs scream "ADVENTURE," as well as "low mileage."

This is the tentative itinerary:

Sat. 5/30:
1) Leave Germantown, MD for maybe a long while (starting point)
2) Lunch @ Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh, PA (as I saw on Travel Channel)
3) Dinner in Vandalia, OH (Web's relatives)... note this is RED Ohio... near... DAYTON
4) Camping in Indiana most likely

Sun. 5/31:
1) Go to Chicago, the Windy City for the day
2) Eat Chicago-style deep dish pizza in Chicago
3) Couch surfing

Mon. 6/1:
1) Go to the largest truckstop in the world (as I saw on Travel Channel) in Iowa
2) Lay to rest my long-held suspicion "Nebraska" is a government conspiracy and in fact, not a state
3) Visit the birthplace of Kool-aid
4) Kamp at a KOA (aka, get out hot tub on)

Tues. 6/2:
1) Go to Denver, the Mile High City
2) Consume Beau Jo's mountain pie pizza, LK's favorite pizza in the world... unless pizza in Chicago changes her life for the better
3) Hang with PIRG ppls/coach surf/get wasted

Wed. 6/3:
1) Go to Lucin, UT to see the Sun Tunnels by Nancy Holt (earthworks art)
2) Camp in the desert

Thurs. 6/4:
1) Go to Reno
2) Gamble
3) Camp near Lake Tahoe

Fri. 6/5:
1) Go to the Bay!
2) Hang out with Web's sista
3) Eat in Chinatown

Sat. 6/6:
1) Go to Crater Lake
2) Enjoy nature/gather pumice
3) Camp

Sun. 6/7:
1) Arrive in da Couve! (destination)