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Bean: Crap... you know I forgot to set that reminder.
My name is Bean and this is my blog. Hence the name. If you have comments or questions, just leave them in the comments area.
I'm going on two vacations in the next few weeks and I am super STOKED about both of them.
Texas: Feb 18 - Feb 23
Next Wednesday, mothereffer and I will be hopping on a plane bound for The Lone Star State. We'll be visiting with cousins (including the fabled Larry Feathers) and aunts and uncles for 5 days. Our hosts have all kinds of fun stuff planned, including but not limited to: a trip to Humperdinks for some grub and some locally brewed beers, dinner at Medieval Times and Traildust, a visit to the Conspiracy Museum (if it is still around) and maybe some golf. More than anything, though, I'm looking forward to hanging out with cousins that I've seen very rarely in the past 15-20 years.
Colorado: Feb 27 - Mar 3
A mere 4 days after arriving back from Texas, I'll board another plane, this time with the wif, destined for the Denver/Boulder area. We're meeting Stutzenator at the Winter Park ski resort and kickin it there for 4 days (one of which is my birthday - thanks Stef!). Stef doesn't ski, so she's going to be investigating alternative activities while Stutz and I tear the mountian to shreds with our superhuman-like snowboarding skills. This will mark my first real snowboarding trip "out west" and I am about to pee my pants just thinking about it! It would be awesome if any of you Colorado bloggers would like to join us for one or more days! Holla back!
PS - I'm stoked for LOST tonight, and will be blogging a recap of the first 5 eps soon.
Stef and I were talking about shoes at her parents house over Christmas. Women be lovin' shoes! When I called her out on having 30 pairs of shoes she denied it and was either embarrassed or offended by my accusation.
So I'm playing with Christmas toys today instead of working (which is pretty awesome) and I decided to count her shoes to see if I was way off base. After a peek into the shoe-infested closet, I was already at 20 pairs. As you probably can probably deduce by reading the title of this blog and applying some mathematics, there were 7 more pairs scattered throughout the various closets and on Stef's feet. So, 27 pairs. I was wrong and I tubelicly apologize.
PS - Stef and I went to Kauai right after Thanksgiving and stayed with Vinnie+Jess (Thanks!) for 8 days. It was blast. Stef blogged about it. Here are some pictures.
Stef and I traveled to Okeechobee, FL over the weekend (and into the week) to visit with my parents, who spend 3 months out of the year in the warm winter weather. While we were there, we caught the tail end of some great bass fishin' in the lake behind their house. Don't know whether it was the lunar eclipse, the expert instruction (from my dad), or some other strange factor, but the big ones were definitely biting!
I caught a big fat 6.5 pound largemouth bass, but Stef trumped me with her massive 8.5 pounder! We also reeled in a 7.5 pounder, but there is some dispute as to who actually "caught" it. Stef put the line out and I reeled it in (the hard, fun part).
It all started with a crickets. We used crickets to catch bluegills, then stuck a hooks through the bluegill tails and used him to catch bass. I thought about hooking a bass and trying to reel in a gator, but ran out of time and bravery.
Buenos Notches! (Spanish for "Bean likes nachos")
It's easy to loose track of the days when the booze is free. Day 5 started off with hydratherapy and massages for each of us. Afterwards, we headed to the lagoon and drank our share of frozen sunflowers. I honestly can't remember what we did after that.
Day 6 was also a bit of a blur as we spent the whole time at the swim-up bar enjoying the hot, hot sun. The staff tries to get people involved in activities throughout the day in and around the pool area. Around 1pm they announced that they would be having "Mexican Superbowl", which was just like a carnival game football toss. Stef was the first person, and only girl, to make it to the finals (out of 35 people only 4 made it to the final round). She was narrowly beaten out by a guy from Michigan in the last round. Afterward chatting it up with some Iowans and Michigan folks, we found that we could pour our own beers and avoid the line at the bar. Access like that made for another unintended early night.
Today is day 7 and the most productive thing we've done (other than eat, drink and talk with other vacationers) is write this blog. It's been a mostly cloudy, breezy day (80 degrees) which has given us a welcome break from the sun and intense heat.
We'll be home tomorrow night. We'll do a recap/picture blog next week.
Room service delivered our breakfast at the buttcrack of dawn. We had to eat early and catch a shuttle to our one and only planned excursion of the trip: Selvactia. A "luxury" van (air condiftioned) took us, along with 6-7 other tourists up to the Cancun area and then down a 20-mile, desolate, very remote, and very very bumpy road. The ride was not great, but the adventure that awaited us was definately worth it.
After meeting our guides, we harnessed up and climbed a rickety steel ladder up into an even ricketier steel treehouse. Everything was suspended by steel cables wrapped around big Mexican jungle trees. One by one, we clipped onto the cables and zipped away to the next tree. It was a blast, and once I got over my initial safety concerns, I was able to actually look around and enjoy myself. I did manage to get one good shot of stef coming in to landing #7 or 8, which I will post when we get home. We did a total of 11 ziplines over about a 1 mile course. When we were done, we deharnessed and biked a mile or so to a cenote. We swam in this beautiful, clear, cool, DEEP freshwater sinkhole for about a half hour and there was nothing I would have rather done in the 95 degree heat. There were cliffs to jump off from, ziplines to drop from; I did both. The highest cliff required 35 feet of trecherous climbing and put a lot of trust into the guide that helped me to the top. Though if I would have slipped, I don't think he could have done anything about since he only weighed a buck ten. It was definately not OSHA approved. We swam for about 30 minutes, then headed back for a light lunch, then back into the van for the trip back to the resort.
We got in around 3pm and headed straight for the bar to get caught up on drinks. We found a nice spot next to the lagoon and fed and snorkled with the fishes. Then it was back to the room so I could smoke my Cuban cigar on the balcony (StevieP are you jealous?). Around 8:30pm we headed to the steakhouse, La Mendaca, for dinner. I got the NY Steak and Stef got the grilled seafood platter. Mine was woot woot and Stef had a few pieces of seafood we were unable to identify. She also noticed that the "seafood soup" had large octopus chunks in it. Not zesty.
We toured the various nightclubs and bars, sampling drinks along the way. We ended up staying up to 1am which allowed for a hangover (the first of the trip) the next morning. All in all a very fun day. And tomorrow, we get massages!
We woke up to downpour, but checked to tubes and found that it was supposed to clear up by noon. We hit up the buffet for breakfast, then went to the hydrotherapy pool (indoor) to wait out the rain. Around 11am the clouds broke and we made our way to the lagoon, snorkled with some fiches and drank 5 million pesos worth of liquor. We met up with some trip advisor folks for a lunch buffet and another million pesos of alcohol. With a total of 6 million pesos in drinks, an early night ensued. Room service and Real Sex 31 on HBO rounded out the night. Tomorrow morning: zipline and cenote.
Day 2 was ripe with margaritas and cervesa. We ate an early breakfast and headed to the pool at about 8:30. We secured two prime seats and baked in the sun until 10 when the swim-up bar opened. We met a few cool people at the pool, and I showed off my perfect form in a righteous game of water volleyball. I scored the winning point. We did not leave the pool/bar area until 4, when we headed back to take a nap before our evening meal. Dinner was saltimbocca and lasagna at the resort's Italian restaurant. Rough day!
As loyal beanblog readers may or may not know, Stef and I will be on vacation in Mexico this week. We are at our hotel now, Aventura Spa Palace in Tulum (just south of Cancun), and it's pretty sweet. It's the first time either of us have been at an all inclusive resort. BUT! getting here was definately not pretty sweet.
Our anticipated schedule was to leave at 5:30Aam catch our 7:10 flight to Dallas, connect to our Cancun flight in Dallas at 9:30, land in Cancun at noon and catch a bus to Tulum so that we could be at the pool by 2, sipping on margarita #1. We were aiming for MT:2pm (Margarita Time 2pm). This did not happen.
Instead, our first flight was delayed by 1 hour due to low tire pressure (wtf?) pushing us to MT:3pm. This caused us to miss our connection in Dallas and have to catch a later flight, making it MT:4pm. When we got to Cancun, we arrived sans luggage, and the time we wasted waiting for it pushed us all the way to MT:4:30pm. For some reason, our names were not on the bus passenger list, so we had to fill out some forms and whatnot. MT:5pm. The bus ride was longer than anticipated, and our driver even got lost (seriously), but we did get to the resort around 5pm. MT was close. We were handed off from desk clerk to another desk clerk, then to a bell boy, our "representative" Tere, and finally another bellboy who finally showed us how to get to our room. Since we didnt have to unpack (no luggage), we headed right back out to the bar and finally, FINALLY got those margaritas at about 6 o'clock in the PM.
Did I mention that no leg of our journey had meal service?
Anyway, we are here now and it's all better. I forgot to bring my camera cable, so no pics until we get back. Stay tuned for day 2.
I went to Snowshoe, WV last week with Mothereffer, Matt, TP, Dirtass, and Contanister. The drive out was pleasant (no thanks to Tom Tom), and I found the scenery very nostalgic. This trip was the second in a newly forming tradition that is in fact a long dead (10 years, anyway) tradition, born again like the glorious phoenix.
Okay, maybe it did rain the whole time, and maybe there was a serious injury. Yeah, I guess "glorious phoenix" part was too much. But it really was a rekindling of a tradion from my highschool days, one which Contanister and Mothereffer both participated. And it was a fun trip, I think, for 5/6 of us. Unfortunately, Matt busted his ankle up pretty bad on the first full day of skiing. We headed home a day early, just as the weather turned from rain to lots of rain. Matt had surgery yesterday, and I'm sure Mothereffer will comment or blog about it in mo betta detail at some point.
As for the skiing - it really was not that bad. Despite the rain, the snowplow drivers made sure to resurface the snow each morning and keep it soft. The rain didn't really affect the snow until the day we were leaving. Some of the run's were not open, but there were still plenty to choose from. We each had our favorites. As I got mo comfortabler on the snowboard I rented, I came to enjoy what we called the "X", which were the following items, in order: Upper Hootenanny, Lower Hootenanny, Soaring Eagle Express, Upper Flume, Mid Flume, Lower Ball Hooter, Ball Hooter. The path began and ended about 30 feet from the door to our lodge, which made it easy to stop in for some food or drink and be back on your way in minutes. Rikey! I did this, along with a few minor variations for 2.5 days.
Here's some pictures and whatnot:
Well, as winter gets closer and closer, I can't help but think about snow. And when I think about snow, I think about skiing. And when I think about skiing, I think about Snowshoe, WV.
Last years trip was, in my humble opinion, a raging success, and I'd like to make it an annual event. If we go around the same time frame as last year (early-mid Jan), I think we should be looking at about the same cost, which is about $550. This would be for 4 nights and 4-5 days on the slopes. If more people go or if we decided to cut back to 3 nights, the cost would go down accordingly. Looks like the rooms are filling up pretty quickly, and the longer we wait, the higher the price.
So, who is interested in going this year? Chime in with suggested dates, etc. I'd like to get a headcount by October 24 so I can get some real figures as far as cost, then solidify the reservation by October 26.
Ocean City was fun. Here's a album of the pictures we took. There really aren't very many considering we were there for 7 days and nights, but we were busy playing pac-man and getting sunburnt.
Some things to look for in the pics:
Alright, it's official. We're heading to Ocean City, MD for a week in June for some hardcore beach bummin'.
Stutz, Stef, TP, and I will be heading to OC on June 10th and staying until the 17th. We have a sweet condo rented for the week (at 54th and Coastal) and some extra room. Flights from the midwest range from $100-$250, depending on your location.
If you are reading this, I've probably already invited you along. If anyone wants to come for a few days - we have several couch and bed spots open for $40 a night.
Snowshoe 2006 has come and gone, and boy was it fun! Now I'm gonna blog a blog about it. This is an overview blog, and might suck. Mo betta funny stories to come at a later date.
I regret to inform you, loyal readers, that I did not take very many pictures. I got a few of the group, a few of the slopes, and one of Terri's butt crack. Here's the album.
We all met at my place Wednesday night (Feb 18) and figured most of the driving details out. It was me, Joe, and TP in my car and John, Terri, Brandon, and Jamie in Terri's car. We departed bright and early Thursday morning - rolled down the driveway around 8AM. We stopped quite a few times on the way out for food, gas, bathroom, etc. The drive time was a whopping 10 hours.
We arrived around 6PM and checked into our room. It was a little smaller than everyone expected, but in the end it worked out okay. It was "cozy". Location-wise, it was probably one of the best rooms on the mountian. We could ski right onto the slopes and we were at the tip top of the mountian right next to the best, longest, fastest lift.
The skiing was great. It only rained one day, and only for part of the day at that. The third day was the best, snow-wise, because the blew snow the night before. I tried snowboarding that day and spent a lot of time on my ass. Luckily, I didn't spend much time face-down. Terri and Jamie took lessons the first day, ski'd on days 1 and 2, and went snow tubing the third day. TP boarded the whole time and a few bad falls caused him to transform into Popeye. Everyone else ski'd the whole time, and everyone seemed to do pretty well.
There was a sweet heated indoor-outdoor pool that we had access to every day and night. It was flanked by 2 large outdoor heated hottubs, a sauna, and a water-slide. It, was, awesome. The mountian has changed a lot since I was there last. I only recognized a few buildings - everythign else was condos and stores. That place has exploded.
On the drive back, my wipers stopped working. This was TRACH since it was raining. We had to tie some stuff together with a shoestring (thanks John) and use them sparingly. We made it back in 8 hours.
I don't know about everyone else involved, but I am definately interested in making this an anual thing again. Currently taking applications for Snowshoe 2007!
Ah naw, hell naw, I done up and done it. Snowshoe is booked! There will be 5 of us (me, Stef, Brad, TP, Brad's co-worker), from January 19 (Thursday) - 23 (Monday).
Now for the monies:
We have a 2-bedroom suite at the Mountian Lodge, and it comes with 5-days of lift tickets for 4 people. It costs $1636.72. Then we'll need to add in lift tickets for the fifth person. Since I'm not sure whether or not we'll actually ski on the day we get there or leave, I only pre-purchased lift tickets for the fifth person for 3 days. If we end up wanting to ski more, we'll all have to pitch in to buy his ticket. No big whoop. Anyway, the 3-day ticket runs $171.00. Next, we'll all need rentals. If we pre-purchase them before November 1, they will be $26/day. If we buy them when we get there, they will be $30. So, assuming that we all ski for 4 days, that's going to run a total of $520.00. So, it's kinda broken down in a funny way. After taxes and whatnot, I have a $966.20 fee already on my card which is holding the room and lift tickets(5 days for 4 of us, 3 for the other). $811.43 more will be due when we get there. Add to that the $520 for rentals and another day's lift ticket for that 5th person ($42) and we are looking at a grand total of $2339.63, or about $468 each. I'm sure the end amount will vary slightly, but I trust everyone will hold up their end and not eff me over on this one.
Lastly, we need to decide what our arrival/departure schedule should be. Check-in is 5pm (or when the room is ready) and check-out is 11pm. We can ski the day we get there or the day we leave, or both. What do you all think?
Color me STOKED!
Okay, the time to book is now. I need to knwo who is in for this little trip. I've done some research based on 8 people. Here is the breakdown.
Jan 19-23 (12-16 is MLK day = mo $$)
2 x 4-person condos (2 bdrm + kitchen), on the slopes. Lift tickets for the whole time we are there (4 days) Ski rental for the whole time we are there (4 days, snowboards are a little more) $480 per person The price went up since I checked last, and I was told it will make a big hike Nov 1. Spaces are filling up and options are becomming more and more limited. This is a long weekend package - if we want to lower the price, we could possibly get a mid-week package or only go for 3 days instead of 4.
We have to book this by Oct 10.
Leave a comment if you are IN!
Updated - see comments!
When I was in highschool, a group of friends and I used to drive out to Snowshoe, West Virginia between Christmas and New Years. We'd get a cheap room, cheap beer, rental skis, and lift passes and have a blast for 5 days. I think I went 4 times, maybe 3, and the group of people was slightly different each time. Palmer was the leader of the pack who organized it all.
Skiing is fun. In talking with Brad (who went on at least one of the trips), we both realized that skiing is way too much fun to NOT do it anymore. For this reason, we have committed ourselves to heading back to Snowshoe this winter and reliving the glory days. We need a few more people to make it economically feasible and funomonically mo betta fun.
I haven't pinned the deets yet, but here's the skinny so far: We'll drive - cause that's half the fun. We'll get a "ski in, ski out" lodge (direct access to slopes). Cost will be between $75-$100 per person, per day, including lift tickets and ski rentals. We'll go for between 3 and 6 days, pending interest and schedules. We'll shoot for either the time between Christmas and New Years or sometime in mid-January. Is anyone interested in participating? If so, holla back and include some dates so we can get this nailed down in the next few weeks.
Well, we only have one more full day and part of a night left in Germany. We have to get up around 3:30AM tomorrow to catch a train, then a plane, then another plane, then another plane. It'll be a long day/night/whatever it is after the 6 hour time diff kicks in.
Saturday, Stef and I toured the Erdinger brewery, which is the largest wheat beer brewery in the world. They had an amazingly clean place with lots of windows so you can see into pretty much every room. The tour was in German, but being the avid homebrewer that I am, I was able to tell what most of the stuff was even without having to consult Stef to translate. They had a storage facility where they cold-aged their bottles for in-bottle carbonation for 3-5 weeks. It was by far the most beer I've ever seen in one place. Rows and rows, all hunderds of feet in length, and stacked atleast 80 feet high. I got drunk just standing there.
After the tour, we had a few "samples" and some German munchies, then headed back to the train. We then realized that although we were able to catch a taxi FROM the train station to the brewery, it was bit more difficult to find on at the brewery TO the train station. Erding is a pretty small town. We ended up walking to a grocery store and having the lady at the returns desk call a taxi for us.
Yesterday, we visited the Olympic Stadium. Pretty impressive structures... I took some pictures and will put them up when we get back. It's like a little festival every day in there I think, complete with carnie rides, a beer tent, and "Authentic American Mini-Donuts" which did not look american or really that much like donuts. We had lunch at the Augestiener brew tent, along with a few beers, then hopped a train. We made it back and then headed to the Hoffbrauhaus (sp?) for one last round... okay, two last rounds. And a round is a lot of beer. It pretty much did us in. We walked around the city a little more, got some ice cream, and came back to our room for a heavy does of MTV. Jackass and Pimp My Ride (with or without the "Fahrrad" on the end) seem to be pretty popular.
This will be the one and only Amsterdam entry. It's out last day here. We have 5 more hours to kill before hopping our night train back to Munich. 5 hours may seem lke a long time, but if there's one thing this city is good at, it's helping you kill time. Stef and I are currently ducking in from the rain and taking a break in the Freeworld Coffeeshop and Internet Cafe. Note the C world, the one that rhymes it Toffeeshop. Yeah, that's right... all of you familure with the C word know that it means that you can get really good coffee. Oh, and weed too. But weed sale and consumption was not the only odd thing we saw during our time here. Take our advice: If you want to see dirty streets, trashy sex shops, men pissing everywhere, transvestites shitting in public, and some very scary Jamacian types (oh, and windmills, and umm, legal pot) - come to Amsterdam! Fun place to visit for a few days, but we're ready to head back to Bavaria. Probably wont go into deets on the Amsterdam experience on the blog, as it's contents may be rated "M" for "Mature", but feel free to email me!
Well, I just found out that I can actually get into my blogger account from here. And by here, I mean in the lobby of my hotel on a free computer, drinking beer I bought from the night attendant. Weird. You can buy beer anywhere: Museums, train station, hotel lobby... and they are all big beers. None of this 12 ounce shit. I'm talkin' a half liter, minimum. Usually you can even get a liter.
We've been eating a lot of food and drinkign a lot of beer. Seems out days and nights pretty much revolve around thos two things. We have been getting our "cultural" experience every morning, though. We've ebeen to a few museums (Deutsches Museum, with 12 miles of exhibits, and an art museum that had some Van Gogh and Monet whatnots), on a kick-ass bike tour, and today we went on an all-day excursion to Neuschwanstein, which is the castle that Disney based Cinderella's Castle after. Good times all around.
Also, we were watching MTV this evening and saw the funniest thing. Pimp My Ride "Fahrrad" edition. Fahrrad mean bike. Yeah, bike. A bunch of german "pimps" were "pimping out" some POS bike. When they were done, it had an MP3 player with speakers, a spot to store your skateboard (which I have yet to see in this country), an alarm, a hanging disco ball, and a bunch of gay-ass skulls and heavy-metalish looking styling. It was horrible.
On that nopte, here is a list of things that the germans are way behind the US on:
Prompt service at resturaunts
And here is a ist of things they are way ahead of us on:
Clean mass transit
Be sure, by the end of the trip, these lists will grow.
Biss dann for now.
We've been in Munich now for 2 full days and nights. Things are going well. Our flight was fine, albeit long, and we are getting around very well on the frightningly effecient mass transit system. Over the course of the past 2 nights, I've been working on my phrasing of the most importent 4 word combination: "Ein Mass Dunkle, bitte" which literally translates into "Please give me an ridiculously large glass mug filled with dark, German beer." We did a "Mike's Bike Tour" yesterday, which was a leisurely ride around many of the impressive monuments in the city, as well as through the English Garden, which is a huge park (4x the size of Central Park in NY) with the world 2nd largest Biergarten in it's center. Interestingly enough, the 1st larget one is just about 8 miles away, on the other side of Munich.
More to come!
For those not in the know, Deutschland is Germany, in German, and not some exciting new feminine hygiene product.
As you may or may not know, Stef and I are taking a delayed honeymoon in Germany. In fact, we are leaving tomorrow, and will be gone for almost 2 weeks. We'll be in Munich most of the time, with a 3-day trip to Amsterdam. We've a lot of things planned, but some slack time in there just to relax, too. Stef has done a great job planning it all - booking the rooms, getting rail passes, making sure we have enough shampoo, etc., and my brother (and boss), Tony, gave us eleventy bazillion frequent flier miles so our flight is free. It's going to be great!
I imagine we'll do lots of things, see lots of places, and take lots of pictures. And when I get back, I'll blog lots of blogs. And I'll do my best to find some trendy German techno internet cafe so I can blog a DeutschBlog all about the snausages, schnitzels, and wursts. Everybody who wants an authentic pair of lederhosen, leave your size in the comments!
Stef and I are trying to decide what to do on our honeymoon. We had tossed around a few ideas and ended up pretty sure that we would spend a week or so at an all-inclusive resort. A few of my friends have done this and had nothing but good things to say about it.
Then, Saturday night, after a margarita or two, we got to talking again and Stef said she would rather go to Germany. Whoa. That's a pretty big leap. I'm not opposed to it, though. We'd have to put it off for a while for $ reasons, and we'll have to save up some vacation time because we would want to spend atleast 2 weeks there. Plus, I was kinda looking forward to teh all-inclusive thing. So, I thought about it and came up with a compromise.
Now let me give you a little background information, first. I like beer. I like to drink beer. I like trying new types of beer. I like making beer and learning about the brewing process. Stef doesn't like beer. She doesn't dislike the fact that I like beer and brewing, but she just isn't very interested in it. I think it would be awesome if she all of the sudden liked beer, and was interested in helping me brew, etc.
So I made a proposal, and she accepted. We will honeymoon in Germany sometime next year under the assumption that between now and then Stef learns to drink, like, and appreciate beer. I mean, Germany is friggin beer central in Europe.
So now, I am excited about going to Germany. Along with visiting the standard tourist locations, I am looking forward to checking out some of the old breweries. And most of all, it'll be great to have Stef by my side trying all of those great german beers with me!
On This Page
Good Bass Fishin'
Mexico: Days 5, 6 and 7
Mexico: Day 4
Mexico: Day 3
Mexico: Day 2
Mexico: Day 1
Snowshoe 2007 Aftermath
Planning Snowshoe 2007
Ocean City Recap
Ocean City 2006