Southern Road Trip

Wow! I really needed this vacation.  I’ve found another key to unwinding.  Visit friends, family, and then the beach after labor day.  There were so many people gone from Fernandina Beach that even some of the restaurants were closed for vacation.  Visiting a sleepy, tourist free St. Augustine after the beach also was a welcome experience.

The people we met were wonderfully kind and gracious, even my swarthy friend below.

Enjoy the video!

An Open Letter to my Virginia Beach Burglar

Dear Virginia Beach Burglar,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for not breaking a window to get into my car!  Although I don’t know if you used a pump wedge, slim jim, or jiggler key, I do know that you are skilled enough to not damage my car in the process.  You sir are slightly better than the average street thug.  In addition, I would like to thank you for shutting my doors back just enough so that my interior light didn’t drain the battery.  Your mercy is appreciated.

For a few things, I must apologize.  I’m sorry to have inevitably disappointed you with the goods present in the cab.  I’m sure that my wife’s 1960s era sewing patterns and fabric weren’t exactly the recompense you were looking to score.  I’m also sorry that the overstuffed glove compartment teeming with maps from up and down the east coast didn’t catch your eye.  I thought for sure that my tire inflater that runs off the cigarette lighter might be of some use, but alas it to did not meet the standard of your discerning eye.

I am glad however that the neglected GPS stuffed under the seat has found a new home.  She was getting up in years and we didn’t know how much longer she had.  It’s a relief in our minds that she will get to bring someone else joy at her time of life if only for a little longer.  We’ll miss you little Nuvi!

I wish we could have met face to face but I understand that in your line of work, you’re usually in a hurry. I would like to ask a few questions however.  First, with a tray full of change in the car, why would you pick out just the silver coins.  Thank you for leaving me all the pennies, but I would have thought that when speed is a necessity you would have taken it all.  Secondly, why did you pop the hood.  It couldn’t have been to disconnect the alarm, because there isn’t one.  I suppose you wanted the battery.  Once again I must apologize as Toyota has made that part of their engine near impossible to access to me and you both.  If you figure this out on subsequent vehicles, please send me an email.

I hope that the entire experience wasn’t too taxing.  I understand that you probably work late nights and its hard to make  ends meet in this economy.  Good luck in your future endeavors.


Jason of GBG


P.S. If you happen to know the guy or guys that stole my broken radio in college and my damaged bicycle in DC, send them my apologies.  I’ll try to make it more worth your while in the future.

Fernandina Beach: 1 Hour Tour

Despite my extreme difficulty pronouncing “Fernandina,” we had a peaceful time there.  It was nice to finally get away and have a real vacation.

I do a lot of traveling with my job, but many times it doesn’t give me the opportunity to really settle in and enjoy an area.  However, I do get the opportunity to rack up massive amounts of hotel points, so the lodging this time around was absolutely free.

The historic and touristy side of town is quite small, so the video was done in a little less than an hour.  Also, this video almost never happened if it wasn’t for the encouragement of my wife prodding me out of bed at 6:00am before a 10.5 hour drive.

The Woes of a Big Country Truck in the City

Another citation.  Over the past 3 years my not so little F-150 has received nothing but hate.  Parking, registration sticker, and city sticker tickets are all my fault but the dog poo shoved into the door handles, the  ding on the rear bumper from a city of Alexandria vehicle, and the missing relics (useless junk) stolen out of the bed is not showing love to this old country truck.

The warning is for parking too long in a city parking spot.  It appears that in the city of Alexandria, it is no acceptable to keep a truck or car parked in the same spot for more than 72 hours.

You Have Been Warned

I escaped towing by 3 hours but I’m not the only one who was served.  Several other cars were given the same treatment.  As a result the parking lot that once was full for the weekend has dwindled a bit.

Empty Parking Lot

If you look closely on that gorgeous looking classic above, the towing company has their next mark already.  Luckily for me my weekend plans do not entail the impound lot.

Sofia, Bulgaria: 1 Hour Tour

Out of a fifteen day trip, I was sick for 14 days.  Stack that with working for 10 hours a day, everyday, and you can see why my video was all done from a 1 hour tour of the city.

I love eastern Europe.  When I was in college, I went to Poland for three weeks one summer and in the ensuing two summers, I got to explore eastern Germany.  Those were my first foreign travel experiences and since then I’ve gone many other places, however, this part of the world suits me.

The people are great.  I had the honor of staying with host families during every one of my trips and each time I was blown away by the level of hospitality I was shown.  The people who took me in would rather have slept on the floor than have a guest not have a comfortable nights sleep.  Every time I crossed the threshold of someone’s home, I left with a full belly despite the time of day.  This level of generosity made a deep impression and caused me to question how I treat others.

The villages and cities in eastern Europe are also just my speed.  You can walk everywhere but there’s no rush to get anywhere.  Food, entertainment, and sports are always just a short walk away and you can enjoy it all because everything is so cheap.

Most of eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, have not adopted the Euro as official currency, so the US dollar goes a lot further than most other places in Europe.  Even though on most of my early trips my food and lodging were taken care of by my host family, I never had more than $500 on me for 3 weeks worth of adventure.  The crazy part is, I never spent it all!

Sofia (pronounced Só-fia), although a capital city, still captured the charm of the smaller cities and villages I had experienced years ago.  Thanks to all of the waiters who tolerated my accent, thanks to the barber that fit me in to give me a much-needed haircut, and thanks to all the hospitable people who let my ignorant self experience their wonderful city.