Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reason #2 For Road Trips:

Seeing More

Flying is direct.  We all know the quickest way between two points is opening a portal (thanks Event Horizen).  But i want to keep ny friends.  The only things seen with flying is tragic getting to the port of air, airport stuggles, and clouds.  Those can get repetitive, grueling, stressful.  Often we want to explore another country but mor than likely we don't know jack about our own damn country.  Sure we went Canada, but i've seen more in America than ever exspected.  Other states and cities can nearly be as exotic.  Toronto felt pretty close to home.

Lastly, I know there are typos.  You update on your phone, savages.   


Well Niagara was massive, to say the least. Lots and lots of water. The water was falling. We went on Canada side as advised, from our viewpoint, I could see how everyone was right. Sorry USA. I need another computer to upload pictures from my phone because my EeePC is ghetto. But I will. Just know that Niagara lives up to its hype. Word.

After Niagara we had a choice. Our next destination was Wingman's sister's place in Michigan,. We could take Canada and shorten our path or leave through Buffalo and get some wings. Hah we picked wings. We got "randomly" selected to get searched through customs. It really onlly took like 15 minutes, and we were clean, so whatever. That alone was an experience. We considered eating, then going back though Canada to save time, but after the search we figured we would just go USA side.

We ate at this place called Anchor Bar. I called up my bro and he suggested the place. Apparently it is the home of the Buffalo Wing. Wikipedia confirmed that, if that is worth anything (we talk down to it, but we all use it). The wings were good, really good sauce. Did I expect more? Yes. But no complaints.

On our way to WG's sister's place, we decided to stop at Cracker Barrel for a book on tape (CD). After some close reading, we decided to pick the most ridiculous sounding fantasy based one. It ened up not being that bad. It was "Artemas Fowl." It had a Shadworun feel to it. We may get another.

Yesterday we went to the Red Sox game at Progressive vs The Indians. Yes, we stopped in Cleveland. Getting to Progressive is probably the easiest stadium to get to ever. The game was fun and the tickets were only $10 each. The Sox got killed but what can you do. They lost 11 to 0. In the 8th, the Indians had the bases loaded three times, with one grand slam. Yikes. Nelson, the Sox pitcher that inning only, threw exactly 40 pitches.

Currently we are in a Super 8 and getting ready to head back on the road. We are eaded to Baltimore to spend the evening with my cousin. Good times will be had. We plan on starting the trek home after, god speed.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm the only Floridian who goes to Canada and gets sun

Yesterday was another of those walking days. This time it was downtown Toronto. We tackled the Hockey Hall of Fame. When in Rome right? The nice man at the front desk gave us student fees even though we didn't have international student ID's. Hockey Hall of Fame was pretty neat, well put to together, quite informative. I can't compare it to any other halls of fame for I've never been, but this one was swell. We both picked up team shirts from the bargain bin of the gift shop. Go Bruins,

We got a free slice of pizza for their being 5 strike outs from the starting pitcher from the game we went too. Sweet deal. Parking in Toronto is not ideal and over the few days I spent a bit of money on it. We could have done it smarter, but well, we are Toronto noobs. After hours of walking we left and went to a horse track just to explore since it is across the hotel. There was nothing but slots going on but it was a neat place regardless.

After resting a spell, we went out to dinner at this Outback want to be place and it was really freaking good. I got a beef brisk it sandwich and the beef was more like jerky. Not what I was expecting but mu god is was good. We left that joint to go pick up our lovely friend who has been staying in Toronto as a fashion intern.

She was more than delightful as usual, we laughed, got lost, became international friends, the usual. She's only been in the city for a few weeks and me and the Wingman only for 2 days, so none of us really knew where we were going. About 4 u-turns later we reached an ice cream place. Our lovely companion refused, belittled, and mocked me for trying to treat her since her birthday is but days away but it was to be expected. Feminism or something. During our catch up session on DB pulled up to the light where we were sitting, waited for the light to turn green, then yelled out of his car, "Nice fedora, J! T!" and drove away fast. Hilarious. I had a brown fedora on, I think I'm forever scarred. My witty response was some meaningless confusing statement such as, "You too pal." Unknown. Toronto is just that rough of a town.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Of Montreal no more, hello Toronto.

I have a day and a half to update here. The police of Montreal closed down several roads for a massive bike race of 30,000 cyclists. It was called the Tour De L'ile, it happens the first Saturday of June. There were huge street parties during, apparently we picked a randomly awesome time to come.

The following day I filled my car up with LITERS of gas and we headed out. We left Montreal at 5:30 am to make the trek to Toronto. Why so early? Obviously to catch the 1:07 Blue Jays game. Duh. So we drove early. It rained the whole time. Miserable like. However, upon reaching Toronto it has all cleared. Toronto is under a lot of repair / expansion. The sky line is quite modern looking. The skyscrapers have a mold of a new age. The construction sucks. The way we planed on taking to the stadium was closed. Finding alternative paths in a city / country you are unfamiliar with is rough, but we made it.

The game was hands down the strangest baseball game I ever seen / gone too. We missed it, but a ball boy fielded a fair ball. The ump took his glove, and gave it to the police. Then the police put the kid behind police tape and the Jays mascot made sure he stayed there. The game was the Yanks @ Jays. The Jays fans are very spirited and they hated the Yanks. It felt good. They were brutal on ARod, when ever he came up there were different chants all over the stadium letting everyone know how bad he was. My favorite yell was, "Posada, you are not an attractive man." Then someone else yelled, "Take off your shirt!" The 7th inning stretch was something words can't explain. Rituals. Also, they have Rick The Drummer. He drums then tells the Jays to go. Unknown. I've also never seen a pitcher leave the bullpen, come to the mound, then go back, then go back to the mound an inning later. The Yanks won, boo.

Our hotel in Toronto is um, nice. This is not sarcasm. It's the grand opening so we got a good deal online. Another lucky shot. Its got a work desk, WiFi, large flat screen TV, transformer like AC, shower, microwave, mini fridge, marble everything. We went back out and walked along Younge street. Good times.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's the French word for 'rain?'

I started the day with a shower and then watched disturbing puppet shows in French. Then we both watched "The Littlest Hobo." It's a show about a hobo dog that travels the country on trains and helps those in need. In this episode, the dog reunited two lovers. The woman became a gypsy actress in a Medieval troop. Unknown.

So today we walked. That is an understatement. We walked for literally six hours straight. Literally. We walked down Saint Dennis and a bit off to buy / devour a Montreal bagel. Delicious, 75 cents, and no salt. Banging. From this point we decided to walk just to explore. We picked a location called Mount Royal. It was quite the walk. We passed though a little Italy then entered an area similar to Ohio. Even the stop signs were in English, it was quite surprising. Mount Royal was an upper class area, nice parks, croquet, and lawn bowling. The woman walking by told Wingman that it is a perfect day to photograph flowers. We left.

From there we headed towards Schwartz world famous smoked meat restaurant. My brother said we might as well go straight to Toronto is we didn't plan on going to this place. We were a bit tired at this point. I suggested the Met, Wingman was determined to walk. At one point I lead us down the wrong way on a road. This mistake took about 45 minutes to fix. Opps. During this 'hike,' it started raining, hard. Then it stopped. Then is rained very hard. We got more than wet. Sad, tired, defeated, and soaked, we reached the place after 5 hours of walking. The place of course had a line. It was so in and out though. We ate the best smoked meat ever then walked an hour home.

Currently we are healing until we go out again. Wingman's knees suck and he got some blisters on his feet. Soon, this town will be painted red, figuratively. Take 2.

Here bagel, bagel

The quest for a Montreal bagel begins... now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Oh Canada!

So today it happened. Me and Wingman left quasi familiar New York to continue our journey towards and into Canada. The ride through New York state was quite scenic. We actually saw a wild deer running alongside us at one point. The nature was full of rolling green hills, lush trees, and wild life. At about 1:30, we reached the border. Customs went quick, although we had the slow lane.

Then shit got real. After customs we were told we could just go. Um, k. There were buildings and parking spots but we just went to the road. Suddenly miles per hour were a thing of the past as I look at the inside of my speedometer at the kilometers. The signs, clearly in French, not as easy to follow as I imagined. Because of international fees, my iPhone has been set to airplane mode. This means no more GPS. However, I had insight enough to map out where our Montreal hotel is. Although we could follow the path, we lost the blinking blue dot. Life continues.

Montreal is not far from the border nor was it hard to find. So, we reach the city. The hotel doesn't have parking, we need to ditch the car. Shit. We find all day parking lots but we of course do not have any Canadian dollars. The roads are similar to NYC as they are mostly one way and the lanes are highly ambiguous. Compared to NYC though, it's a walk in the park (central).

Dilemma solved by finding hour parking near the hotel and going to them for advice / guidance. This is where we met Harp (our angel). She runs / lives in the hotel, speaks fluent English, had maps and advice, let us check in early, told us where to pay to park, and where the nearest ATM is. Yes. So, we did all that.

On a side note, I'm pretty certain everyone at this tiny hotel think me and Wingman are a couple. For one thing, it is a gay friendly hotel, the rooms are just a double bed, Harp suggested clubs we could go too, and we basically fit the bear & cub profile. Yikes. It doesn't bother me, but it's pretty damn funny.

So we walked down St. Catherine street, quite amazing. I could get use to this city. It's very friendly, very clean, and has a plethora of attractive women. After much exploring, we could a bar/ restaurant to eat at. The burgers were cooked in beer but tasted like meatloaf. The place was a micro brewery and was happy hour. Did I mention the beer comes in liters? Well it does. It was damn good beer and sobriety left town. 3 o'clock.

We followed dinner with some more exploring and went back to the hotel We got out internet working and I think I took a drunken nap. Regardless, we went back out, this time Saint Dennis St. West was much like Atlantic and east was like Duval St. Cafes, bars, restaurants, attractive women, the whole deal. Fun place, fun times. We found a pool bar, had some Molson Ex, watched part of the hockey championship, and played some pool. Yea, we are running the gambit. Canadian money is confusing. The 2-dollar coin is neat though. Wingman calls it the crown. The one-dollar coin is now the duck.

We don't have plans for tomorrow. We will do some sight seeing, some drinking, some metro riding, some museum viewing, lots of walking, who knows. We will continue doing it live.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Start Spreading the News

The last few updates have been from my phone, that is a tedious and grueling process. I'm currently on my brother's computer. So now would be a good time for a real update.

The Drive: Music is our friend. The battle of the play lists took a good chunk out of the start. Unsurprisingly, both lists had a number of the same songs. It just goes to show that certain songs will always be known as driving songs; I.E. Forhat's "Slow Ride." This is also the only song any one has ever heard by Foghat. The majority of the trip was making fun of other drivers, commenting on the racist signs for "South of the Border," and wondering why dusk went on for about 5 hours. There was also a blood moon last night. Ominous.

Morning: It took us 17 hours to get from Boca Raton to Brooklyn. We arrived at 5 in the am. Dusk broke through the skyscrapers of NY like the heavens seeping through an ancient stain glass window. The colors blessed and enthralled the exhausted Pilgrims. We met up with my brother and his wife, they went to work, we slept until 1:00.

New York City: Me and the Wingman left to go to The Metropolitan Museum. This is Wingman's first time in enchanting NYC. Thus, he took his first subway ride. This is the part where I lost him for a solid 30 minutes. We get through and the train pulls up, I note that this is the one we want. I get in, boom, it closes. Later Wingman quotes that I got on via Indian Jones style. So, I get off at the next stop, thinking Wingman will get on the next train. He does, but he doesn't get off there. By some sort of shift in the cosmos, I reached him on the phone. He tells me he's at Broadway. I get back on the train, go to East Broadway. I don't see him. So I figure he's at the other Broadway three exists down. Again, I don't see him. Somehow I get him on the phone again. He says he's at East Broadway. So I tell him to come to me, I wait at the exit, and we meet up. Opps.

The Met was awesome as always. I think the Wingman found Zen. Pictures were taken, are was viewed, times were had. The Met never disappoints. There was a killer Picasso exhibit. My bro caught up with us, we took a walk through Central Park, got some NY pizza, and hit a bar for a bit. At this point we realized we were beyond tired. Thus we went back to the apartment, watched the end of "Tomb Raider," and had awesome sleep.

On a final note, the end of "Tomb Raider" makes 0 sense is you haven't seen the rest of the movie. A robot, guns on a platter, "Where's Your Head At" in the ears. Unknown. Also, how about that robbed perfect game... watched that too... painful.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


17 hours from the start we are in NYC and of course can't find a place to park. We are in Brooklyn, can we sleep now?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

'Sic Semper Tyrannis'

Reason #3 For Road Trips:

So, you want to go somewhere quasi sporadically, like, let's say, Canada.  Flights are expensive.  Car rentals are pricey.  You don't want that - hell, you can't afford that.  Well, why not drive your own damn car?  Plus, if you know people where you are headed to you can crash with them (mooch) and save a bundle!  Brilliant!

As far as progress goes, we are in Virginia, just south of Richmond.  Thus always to tyrants!     

“No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

A beautiful woman once told me that I “Live in moments.” As if I am an opportunist waiting for the exact perfect moment to act or speak. Once these moments occur I savor them, remember them forever, and even live in them forever. As if everything else is moot except for these excerpts of my life; my anticipation of them is nearly as genuine as finally reaching them. I think she nailed it. It is certainly how I write.

With that said, if all songs ever created just happened to fall in my lap and I was force to select just one by some sort of fatalistic demanding genie to represent this exact moment I would actually have an answer. If the title of this post wasn't a dead give away, my answer would be Beastie Boy's “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” Why? Well, me and the Wingman are not stopping until our first stop, which is, well, Brooklyn. By not stopping I, of course, do not mean not literally stopping. We aren't animals here. At the last second we decided to go against the idea of adult diapers. Like good little economic monkeys though, we decided to pack a whole crap load of food to keep up the driving time and keep down the spending flow. The more money spent on food, the less that is being spent on booze. Although I am a social scientist, I was never good at economics. Some things I got covered though.

June 1st, go time. 2 Doubles of work have lead up to this moment, like the death knell of a fledgling turtle left on the carnage that is shore. Or, nothing like that at all. Regardless, we are leaving. The final chores will be a swing to the bank and a hearty bought breakfast; then it is nothing but open road. There will be a bit of a head to head bout over who compiled the best road trip mix between the Clout and the Wingman. My crown goes nowhere.

On a final note, I just received an email informing me about the start of hurricane season. And... then we left Florida.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Up to this point I've pictured the start of this trip like an old black and white movie. The film poorly spliced together with primate technology; flailing blithely upon a reel preexisting all previous Mesozoic dates. The title flashing upon the screen with an excited nasally voice of what could possibly be a a British explorer reading, “The Adventures of Clout and Wingman!” Followed by a pause, some footage of our epic deeds, then, “In. Clout and Wingman Do Canada!” There is a roar form the audience followed by applause and whistling.

It's currently T-Minus 3 days until the journey starts. Tuesday, June 1st, 2010, it's go time. Everything up to now has been pipe dreams and childish ambitions. No more. Is this a road trip? Nay, an adventure. The Cambridge dictionary defines an adventure as: “an unusual, exciting and possibly dangerous activity such as a journey or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity.” Perhaps it is my historic academic education, but when force fed a lengthy definition as so, a bit of piece by piece analysis is required. Is this the Mencius? No, but let me feel I didn't waste four years of my life. Thus I dissect:

Unusual: Two heterosexual male friends driving an a tiny orange Kia Rio from southern Florida, to NYC, to Montreal, to Toronto, back to southern Florida for the purpose of purely “just wanting to.” Perhaps. Perhaps not. Myself, the Clout, enjoys screen writing as a hobby. This will be romantically inspiring. For the Wingman, who has recently fallen in love with a street car called photography, a trek across the eastern seaboard, venturing into NYC (untraveled territory for him), then to end up smack into another country and culture screams / begs / pleads for photogenic possibilities. Hell, it's a vacation with muse like aspirations.

Exciting and possibly dangerous: Check. In front of me, right now, as I type, is the “Montreal and Quebec City: City Guide” book by Lonely Planet. Beyond staying with my brother and his wife in NYC, finding a hotel to stay at in both Montreal and Toronto, and meeting our lovely friend in Toronto, we are basically “doing this live.” Plans, itinerary, road maps, objectives, sanity? Bah. I have an iPhone, a limited Canadian plan, and a sensation for adventure. Plans will be made as we go, that is the true spirit of the road trip. NEXT point.

Journey or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity: This, is the prologue. There is excitement in the air already. Regardless of what happens, there will be a journey and experiences will be had. You'll have to follow this blog to see how events turn out. I'm writing this is share in the adventure as well as to have textual documentation of this expedition for future reference. My plans are to update this at some point daily. Will I? You will have to sign in to see kiddies. This blog has three days to gather cob webs before it is opened again. Safe travels all.