Forgetting Your Passport – A Cautionary Tale

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The night before my friends and I went to Sweden, a holiday was taking place in Cologne where everyone goes out drinking. We had an early flight, about 8am if I recall correctly, but I still wanted to go out with some friends for a while. So we went out drinking, but I knew I couldn’t drink too much or stay out too late. I went home around 9 or so, although I still couldn’t fall asleep until midnight.

My alarm went off at around 5 or so, and I groggily dragged myself out of bed. I had not previously packed, but I was only going for a few nights, so it wasn’t like I needed much. I made sure I had my tickets, I packed some clothes and toiletries and a thicker jacket. I then considered checking my “to pack” list which I keep on the computer (something I will post about later—it’s incredibly helpful).

I figured that I was only going for a couple days, so what could I really forget that was so important? I opted to not check my list and instead left my house. I met up with my friends on the train and we proceeded to travel to the airport in Düsseldorf. About halfway to the airport, it suddenly struck me that I had not packed my passport. I casually brought it up to my friends, and they seemed to think I was joking at first, but I had to stress to them that I was serious. Continue reading

Rome (Pt.1) – Easter Break in Italy Pt. 3

I arrived in Rome via the train sometime around noon. I was tired from generally traveling, as well as my general lack of sleep, so without a specific destination in mind, I simply wandered around the train station. Almost immediately, an ancient looking structure caught my attention and I wandered towards it.

I made my way inside the Baths of Diocletian museum, which had an impressive display of ancient Roman artifacts inside.

In the garden outside the museum

In the garden outside the museum

Continue reading

Florence – Easter Break in Italy Pt. 2

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The Italian countryside

Following my stay in Venice, I was dropped off by the Germans I carpooled with at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station. It was already kind of late by then, so I just walked around a bit, spending the rest of the evening scoping out where I would sleep for the night.

I ended up staying right where I was dropped off at – right in the parking garage for the train station for the next three nights. It was an underground parking garage, and I simply walked in via the vehicle entrance and went all the way down to the bottom floor. Figuring that most people would park in the higher levels, I laid out my cardboard roll at the bottom of the stairwell and went to sleep.

*Pro-tip: while not necessarily the safest places, parking garages have proven to be excellent sleeping locations in a bind! Continue reading

Venice – Easter Break in Italy Pt. 1

I spent a semester abroad in Germany in 2012. Since I was there in the spring, Easter happened and with it came a solid 2 weeks of break from university. I wasn’t sure where to go, but I eventually settled on Italy. The only issue was that I couldn’t really find accommodation. The flight itself was cheap, I think I paid around 50€ round trip, but lodging was much harder to come by. It seems that everyone else from Germany also wanted to go to Italy, so all the hostels were either full or only had incredibly expensive rooms left. Couchsurfing also didn’t prove fruitful as everyone was either busy/gone or already had a surfer. Continue reading

Zeta Brewery Exhibition

About a month ago, a Meetup group that I am a member of had an event where the co-founder of the Zeta brewery came by to talk about their beer in Cologne, Germany. The Zeta Brewery is a Spanish beer hailing from Alboraya, Spain and in a country that is traditionally more focused on wine, craft beers are just starting to pick up.

The event was held in an interesting shared living and working space called Wertheim where you could rent out office desks, rooms, and/or residential apartments. They also had a bar which one could rent/use at the ground level, which is where the event was held. Continue reading

Seattle Part II

The second part of my trip (first part here) involved us checking out some other interesting things in the Seattle area over the next couple of days.

I am not sure of the exact order because I actually spent time naming all of my photos based on the content of the photo. While this was a nice idea at first, it took way too much time, and it completely messed with the ordering of the photos. Continue reading

Tech Class To Microsoft’s Campus

When I was in high school, I partook in a tech class, learning about computers – how they work and how to fix them. It was quite the insightful course, and somehow or another we luckily were able to fly out to Seattle as a small class to visit the Microsoft campus in Redmond. I can’t recall if we got a grant or if we did some fund-raising (this was almost 10 years ago), but it was made possible for our smaller class of about 10 students to go out to Redmond to see Microsoft.

Our teacher somehow knew an employee who worked there, and I guess he managed to arrange a tour of sorts for us so we flew out to Seattle! After a short trip from Wyoming, we arrived in Seattle, and shortly thereafter, we went to Redmond for a tour of the campus. Continue reading

Christmas in Chicago

During the winter of 2006 I flew out to Chicago from Wyoming to visit my (then) girlfriend who lived there. I was only there for about a week or so, but it was cool because it was my first time there, and I flew by myself at the ripe age of 16, without anyone else guiding me along the way (no unattended minor this time).

I drove out to the Jackson, WY airport and parked my car at the edge of the parking lot because the parking lot was completely full with other holiday travelers’ cars. You weren’t supposed to park there, but I did it anyways and hoped for the best. Shortly thereafter I boarded the plane and flew to Chicago.

After flying to Chicago, I was greeted by nothing less than a limo driver. My girlfriend’s mom wanted to make sure I arrived in style, and she had a limousine pick me up, so that was pretty fun. Continue reading

Spring Break With Josh Part 2

This is a continuation of the spring break that my friend and I went on in 2008. You can read the first part here.

We arrived later in the evening at my grandparent’s house in Phoenix. We talked with them for a while and stayed there for the night before waking up very early the following morning to go to San Diego. While driving, the highway takes you very close to the Mexico border, and we got stopped a few times by the US border patrol as they inspected all cars passing through certain checkpoints. We weren’t smuggling anyone or anything though, so we passed by without any serious delays.

We arrived in San Diego in the lat morning after about 5 hours of driving. We did the classic thing of walking around before we went to the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier turned museum. I unfortunately didn’t take any actual pictures of the entire aircraft carrier, but you can see some shots by looking it up in google.

Regardless, I did take a picture of a model of it.

USS Midway model

As well as various other pictures from within. Continue reading