Dannysgoodlife.com

my new website is up and running…

My Life’s To-Do List

I will no longer be updating this site, but no fear, more adventures are in store for Kit and I.

Visit the NEW site often… Bookmark, Subscribe or photocopy, whatever it is you do.

Thanks and Enjoy!

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Another Trip. Another Beer. Another Stamp. Part 1

Just what the title of this post implies, Kit and I went on our 9th trip so far this year. The destinations this time? The beautiful and lush landscapes of Cleveland, Ohio and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Maybe Cleveland wasn’t as beautiful or as lush as Bora Bora, but maybe just as interesting.

I didn’t actually accomplish any list items during the trip per se. What I did do though is work closer to my goals of filling up my passport and having a beer in every state. And both places are interesting enough to merit their own postings. So, here is part 1. My travel guide to Cleveland.

Cleveland ROCKS!!!!… Kinda.


Driving through Pennsylvania on a major highway is a test of one’s ability to cope with an insane amount of utter boredom. The scenery, rest stops and almost endless amounts of exits defy all that is great about road trips. Go ahead and picture yourself and your closest friends out on the open road, listening to great music, the wind in your hair. Picture the endless fun you and your friends are having on this road trip.

I can almost guarantee interstate 80 was not part of your idea about what a fun road trip is. But it’s not interstate 80’s fault. It’s not even the good people of Pennsylvania’s fault. It’s not even your fault. I blame the monotonous drive on truckers. Maybe not truckers so much, but the corporations that need trucks and roads to get products quickly to other places.

Kit and I spent the entire trip out to Ohio looking for the worlds’ largest ball of twine, or the worlds’ largest ham sandwich. Or any other horrible roadside tourist trap. But, they don’t exist on I-80. Nothing but Pilot truck stops or nothingness that is rural Pennsylvania. Our dreams of experiencing the wonder that is a piece of toast with the image of Jesus next to the petrified forest will have to wait til the next road trip.

Arriving in Ohio was nothing short of exhilarating compared to Pennsylvania. A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. Even though at first glance it looks remarkably similar to Pennsylvania’s landscape, Ohio has a 65 mph speed limit and encourages slower traffic to get the hell out-of-the-way of faster and more manly speeding cars.

After 11 hours of driving and a few close calls of running out of gas trying to find a rural towns one and only gas station (BTW Newton Falls, Ohio is a nice town. Build another gas station please. One that is not 13 miles away from the highway. Thank you, Danny.) we arrived safely and exhausted in Cleveland’s downtown district only to find out the Cleveland Indians had just finished a game and had told all of their fans in attendance to leave at the same time as we were driving down Prospect street. Thank you very much members of the tribe! That’s why Jack Parkman was happy when he was traded to the White Sox.*

I know many of you are wondering what exactly is there to do in The Cleve. Well, according to tripadvisor.com, aside from visiting a museum or taking a small tour around the city not much. Well, not much compared to other big city like Sandusky, or Kalamazoo. But, a glimmer of hope is found when you learn that the same house that was used in the filming of  “A Christmas Story” still exist and is in fact a museum in present day Cleveland. So, that’s what we did. We went on a tour of the Christmas Story house.

And by pure luck, we visited the same time Ian Petrella was on hand to answer all of our Christmas story questions. (I know, I had no idea who Ian Petrella was either. He played Randy in the film. I would have much rather have met Ralphie, but an out of work actor gotta eat right? The highlight of the tour for me was about half way through “Randy’s” speech about working on the set of A Christmas story an elderly women stood up said,”ok, that’s enough” and walked away. The look on “Randy’s ” face was priceless, the look on the rest of tour groups face was even better and the look of embarrassment on the faces of the family members she was with was über-priceless.

The tour is definitely worth it. It’s cheaper than the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, which is a rip-off and visiting the house in the morning and then spending your afternoon in the Great Lakes science center is a fun-filled day for the entire family.

What I wanted to know about Cleveland was what’s the drinking scene like? Is it boring? Is it awesome? Will I meet some celebrity? What will the discoteca be like? Creepy? sleazy? Babe-o-licious?

Yes.

The drinking scene in The Cleve is a lot like the drinking scene around most of the country and maybe the world. It is what you make it out to be. If you like your drinks served in a dark neighborhood bar where no one is going to bother you, The Map room is the place for you. If you are a 20 something year old Romanian club rat and enjoy getting hit on by men 3 times your age wearing 6 times more perfume than yourself, The Velvet Dog is your oasis.

Kit and I partook in both scene. It’s worth it to step out of your own comfort zone every once and awhile even if it’s for some quick people watching in the latter bar.

This was my attempt at recreating a school portrait shot.

Highlights of the trip:

Christmas story house.

Meeting Greg Proops (Very nice guy, even after me badgering him for 20 minutes to admit/agree that Drew Carey ruined “Who’s Line is it Anyway”)**

Watching no less than 15 guys take turns hitting on the same 2 girls seated next to us in The velvet dog.

Meeting a few new friends out on the road. (Ola we promise we will send you the pictures of yourself and Greg. Luke I promise I will mail you the rugby shirt I stole.)

So, Cleveland might not rock as hard as some may thing, and the heart of rock and roll might not be beating as strongly as Huey Lewis might like you to think, but for all its worth, Cleveland is a chill city with some down to earth party people. Worth the trip.

*It’s a Major league 2 reference. Sadly that movie and all its baseball players are all I can tell you about a Cleveland sports team.

** Greg is too nice of a guy to even admit Wayne Brady sucks.

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Champagne Wishes and Caviar dreams…

Open A Champagne Bottle with a Knife

Since throwing a back-yard formal with all my friends in black-tie formal wear is damn near impossible, I took advantage of my birthday BBQ this past weekend and decided to class it up a bit with some champagne.

The reasoning behind learning to “Sabrage” is pretty simple. It’s flashy, mildly dangerous and super classy and needless to say, the chicks dig it. It’s quite impressive if you pull it off and incredibly embarrassing if you injure yourself or others if it goes wrong. It might be the coolest thing the French have given us since the invention of French kissing.

I will admit I felt like P. Diddy (or Puff Daddy, or Puffy whatever the fuck he calls himself) popping out some bubbly at the party. It was pretty Thug Life.

Enjoy the video and pictures.

Kit and I enjoying alittle Cristal

Salud!

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A certain percentage completed! (Math is hard)

I feel pretty accomplished so far this year. I completed 7 items and I am well on my way to complete about 4 more by the end of the year.

Open a champagne bottle with a knife: Only a matter of buying a champagne bottle and renting a tuxedo and throwing a little back yard formal. (Kit won’t let me saber the bottle in the house, I don’t know why?)

Go to Wing Nite every night for a week: Just trying to line up a wing nite every night. Got a spot for most of the week. This should be really easy once college football starts again. Also, I’m looking for Wingmen. Jon, my buddy from “Run A 5k” agreed to help me with this. But, I’m concerned that his wife, after the first two night of him coming home bloated and beyond gas-sy, will bench him for the sake of their marriage.

Skydive: All I need to do is book it (read: all I need to do is get the BALLS to book it.) If I do happen to get this done this year, it would probably make 2010 the most adventurous/dangerous year I have ever had in my life.

Drink Kava: Kit’s Mother was kind enough to bring back some of this potent depressant from Hawaii a few months back for me. You can read all about Kava here.

As with anything in life I think it is just a matter of getting off your ass and getting it done. There will be more completed this year, I promise that.

Just to make it harder though, A few more things I need to add to the list. For the full list click here.

Drive the Rubicon Trail

Take a Wilderness Survival Class

Visit Buxton, Maine and find the Stone wall (A prize to you, if you get the reference)

Go to Zihuatanejo, MX

Complete my Spy training and attend an Urban Survival and Evasion Class

Drive the Road to Hana (Must be in a Jeep)

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Filed under In the works, Uncompleted

CLIFFJUMPER… THE TRAILER

Also, My beer map has been updated to include a bar from everywhere In the world I have drunk. To get to it, just click on the beer map on the right sidebar.

You can still cast your vote for where Kit and I should tie the knot. The poll is on the same sidebar to the right.

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Where would you like to see a wedding?

I created a new poll. Kit and I need some help picking a wedding destination spot. So, where would you like us to go? The pink sandy beaches of Bermuda? Or the black volcanic sand of Vic, Iceland? Where would you be willing to travel too? Here is the poll.

You can vote for up to three places. And you can revote once a week, just incase you change your mind or the BP oil spill ruins your top choice. Also, you can add your own answer. Get creative people!

The poll is now on the sidebar.

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What I learned in Curaçao…

Curaçao was an early addition to my list. I don’t know why, I don’t ever remember anyone talking about it, magazine generally don’t rave about the island. I guess I added visiting it just out of curiosity. To be completely honest, I didn’t even know where in the Caribbean it was. It just sounded so foreign and like a place I would never visit, same as Iceland. But, we all know now how I deal with places I never imagine I would travel to… I travel to them.

Curaçao, took all of about 10 minutes to grow on me. Just about as soon as we pulled away from Hato International Airport, did I come to really like this place. From that moment on the rest of the trip was just a confirmation of my good feelings towards the island.

I present to you now, what I had learned during my time in Curaçao…

  • To make the Ç hold down option(mac) or alt (pc) while typing C.
  • The Ç is called a cedilla (Wikipedia article on it)
  • For all intents and purposes, Curaçao is a Spanish-speaking country
  • You can get stranded on a bridge

  • Scuba Diving Magazine loves Curaçao cause the reefs are flawless

  • 8 oz Polar beer is a rip-off (Thanks for nothing Hugo Chavez)
  • Infinity Salt water pool = Awesome!

  • Danki means thank you in Papiamento (Pronounced = Donkey)
  • You can get a job as a Bridge Boat Driver
  • I love Arepitas
  • Iguanas are to Curaçao what squirrels are to North America
  • When jumping off a 40 ft cliff always try to land feet first ( Kit’s lesson)
  • 15% Service charge on restaurants tabs, means at some places you will have to double tip
  • Casinos are very depressing when there are no loud sounds of machines winning

Some other photos from the trip

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