Category Archives: Travel

$9,800 Shoes

I was in Vegas yesterday (as I still am today), and I decided that since I was terribly bored with nothing to do, I would go see if I could bang out some clothes shopping (hey, I hate it, so why not do it when I have nothing else to do?)… So I walked down to The Forum at Caesars Palace. By the time I got there, I was thinking I need some sneakers… something more comfortable to walk long distances in (I was wearing flip-flop sandals). I found a cool pair of shoes, but uhm… they were $9,800 sneakers (no joke dude!).

Needless to say, I went to the Kenneth Cole store across the way and got some shoes that looked exactly the same for $98 (exactly 100x less expensive).

Tickets To Costa Rica

We are going to Costa Rica this August, so I bought 6 plane tickets today. Here’s something interesting… if you book 1-4 tickets, they were $439 (plus tax/fees), but if you book 5 or more at once, all the tickets were $702 (plus tax/fees).

So the tip of the day is… just buy two different blocks of tickets if you need to. Then they are all $439 (in my case). πŸ™‚

Boeing 797

This is an interesting plane if Boeing actually decides to build it…

A 1,000 passenger plane that is faster than existing commercial jets (mach .88), and also more efficient because of the wing design.

.There are several big advantages to the blended wing design, the most important being the lift to drag ratio which is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, with overall weight reduced by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more efficient than the A380, and making AirbusÒ€ℒs $13 billion dollar investment look pretty shaky. High body rigidity is another key factor in blended wing aircraft, it reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the air frame which adds to efficiency, giving the 797 a tremendous 8800 nautical mile range with its 1000 passengers flying comfortably at mach .88 or 654 mph cruising speed (another advantage over the Airbus tube-and-wing designed A380Ò€ℒs 570 mph).

It’s looks a bit like a stealth bomber. Maybe they could further save costs by dropping smart bombs while making commercial passenger flights. πŸ™‚

Snowboarding At Bear Mountain

I found my new favorite “secret powder spot” at Bear Mountain today (it’s off the Silver Mountain lift). The only bad part about it is you need to take 2 different lifts to get to it if you ride through it.

Julien wrecked himself snowboarding today in what was quite possibly the funniest snowboarding crash in the history of the world… DAMN I wish I had a video of it!!!

No Mexican Jail For Me

Julien, Anne and myself made it back from the Baja 250 without spending a single day in Mexican jail.

You can get pretty close to the race action (as you can see here)…

On the way there… What the hell is this? 50 miles worth of snow at 4:00 am? Lame!!!!

We made it… this is what was going on.

On the way back… This was rather interesting… this was a Mexican jumping the US border to get INTO Mexico. πŸ™‚

Baja 250

I *could* be in a Mexican jail right now, but if all goes well I’m in San Felipe watching the start of the Baja 250 race.

Hopefully this whole “write now, publish later” thing in WordPress works… I’m even more hopeful that by the time you read this, that I actually made it to San Felipe, and am not in jail.

Anyone Miss Me?

I’m back from visiting Trent and Jamie in Michigan. We had a couple awesome snowboarding days with pretty much perfect conditions. Even drug Jamie into the back-country where she was blazing new trails. πŸ™‚

Collin is a cute little bastard (he is 11 months old now).

I know *some* people missed me… because I couldn’t make 2 different sushi invites, and I also couldn’t save Bobby’s softball team as a fill-in since they were a couple players short (surely I would have given them their first win). πŸ™‚

Powder At Mammoth

Was at Mammoth mountain the last few days and the day we left (this morning) it was snowing pretty good. Got a half day in before driving home. The mountain got about a foot of powder overnight and was snowing hard enough all morning that when you went back up the lift, your previous tracks were gone, so every run was virgin powder. Nice! πŸ™‚

Wax Museum Of Drug Users

A wax museum in Moscow, Russia is currently running an exhibition that highlights dangers of drug use.

This is what happens if you sniff glue, so don’t do it. πŸ™‚

Drug addicts commonly get gangrene apparently… haha It seems that drug addicts also have crappy shoes. He probably got gangrene from walking around in sandals during a Russian winter.

You can find other disturbing funny images over here.

My Opinion Of Russia

Russia was pretty much as I expected except for one thing. People’s apartments are tiny and their appliances are miniature. The refrigerator and stove look exactly the same, just scaled down 30%. Apartments are more like studios (you basically have one room plus a small kitchen, with that one room being an office/bedroom/living room).

There were lots of pretty women in Russia, but I expected that because Yelena told me there was (none as pretty as her of course).

The government was pretty disorganized… No one asked me for my customs form that I took the time to actually fill out upon entering and then again leaving the country. Airport customs didn’t ask me if I was taking anything out of the country (actually they didn’t ask me ANYTHING). Nor did they even bother to look at my passport.

I’ll post some pictures when I find out what Yelena did with them (since they are not on the digital camera anymore).

Russian Economy

The economy in Russia is out of whack (you hear about it in the news, but you don’t really know until you visit). Here’s some examples…

  • A Hummer costs $120,000

  • A Kia costs $38,000

  • Gasoline costs $1.50 per gallon (for 95 octane no less). Maybe someone there should start selling gas mail order. heh

  • A normal apartment runs $500 per square foot (to purchase).

Now this might not seem extraordinary, but it’s not abnormal for people to make less than $500/month at their job.

Necessities are cheap though… you can buy an ice cream cone (yes, this is a necessity) for $0.20, and we bought 2 bags of groceries for like $7.00.

Moscow’s Subway System

The metro in Moscow is neat. It takes you anywhere you want to go within the city for a quarter. It’s crowded and old, but that’s part of the fun. Oh, it’s pretty fast too.

It’s sort of like a roller coaster… you know you probably are safe, but your body tells you differently. πŸ™‚

Hyatt Regency Kauai in Hawaii’s Drink – Poipu Passion

Almost two years ago, I went to Hawaii to laze around. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Kauai (which by the way is the nicest hotel I’ve ever seen).

Anyway, they had a specialty drink there called the Poipu Passion (I probably had like 80 of them during our stay). Guess what? I found the recipe for it! πŸ™‚

  • 1 1/4 oz Absolute Citron
  • 3/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 6 oz lemonade

Blend it together with some ice, and yum.

Chechnya’s War With Russia

Just a little note to let everyone know how super stoked I am (Yelena too) that Chechen terrorists are hitting Russia 2 weeks before we go there. In the last week they blew up two planes, suicide bombed a subway station and now they took a school hostage and are killing kids.

Can’t wait to go to Russia! πŸ™‚

Travel To Russia

After 6 weeks of jumping through hoops, I’m going to Russia next month for 5 days.

Russia is not a particularly easy country to travel to (most countries don’t require an American citizen to even get a Visa), but I got it all taken care of.

  • Got a US Passport

  • Got “sponsored” so I could apply for a Russian Visa

  • The Russian embassy gave me a Visa without any problems. I was pretty surprised, because it took Yelena (my girlfriend) about a year to get her passport renewed through the Russian embassy, and even had to resend her picture to them because they said it was a “defective” picture (they lost it).

Now all I have to do is fill out a migration card when I get to the Moscow airport, and register with the police department in every city I visit… yay! hehe

She is going for a little under 2 weeks, so I’m going to meet up with her at the end of her trip and travel home together (we have an overnight layover in Germany coming back, so it will also be the first time I visit Germany as well, so that will be cool).