Posts filed under ‘Travel’

Stuff My Mom Won’t Touch – Part I

A while ago I decided I would post about things that my thankfully hygiene-focused mother would never touch, at least not before a thorough cleaning.

As I was retiring my old phone for a new one, I realized that I had not posted these two excellent examples from the St. Augustine tourist shops.

You might recognize the handshake machine and the fortune teller palm thing.

Yep. She’d never touch these. And good for her.


August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

Hong Kong, Day 1

Greetings from Marriott Renaissance in Kowloon, Hong Kong!  So far so good in my travels.  I know I’ve written about Shigella in Peru and Pot Leaf and Swiss Miss Packet wall-papered common rooms in a Kyoto hostal, but the first 24 hours in Hong Kong have been, actually, quite… well, fantastic!

I am here with my mother, which always lends itself to some interesting quotes…  Some of the best so far:

“Now Remember, when I poke you, you’re supposed to look around for a weird-looking man.”

*”Shoot, I was too far away from you just now to poke you!”

*To the Chinese concierge:  “Are there any restaurants that serve “NORMAL” food?  Without weird stuff in it?”

*At the Cantonese restaurant:  “No wonder everyone here is so thin.”

*At the Cantonese restaurant, after offering her some of my beef:  “No, I’m sort of turned off to the whole idea of meat right now.”

So, my mom and I were leaving the Cantonese restaurant (hungry) and someone handed us a flyer for a 35 minute foot massage for $80 HK Dollars.  Immediately, my sore feet smelled a bargain, so my mother and I followed this woman up this sketchy elevator, down a sketchier hall, and went into even a sketchier room with people getting their feet massaged.  There was a shrine in the corner with red light bulbs and incense.

My mom was claiming she was just keeping me company, but once I mentioned that I would pay for her, her shoes came off and her feet went up on the ottoman.  I stopped caring once the woman started going to town on my swollen feet for $11 US.  Am I too good for a hole in the wall foot massage parlor?  Apparently not.

In the mean time, we’re eating cashews for breakfast.

More to come.

November 23, 2008 at 7:12 pm 10 comments

Guest Post: My Out of Body Experience Or the Low Budget Parent Trap

JL and I were guests at a wonderful wedding this weekend. As a male, I dreaded the thought of attending said wedding. However, much good came of the event. Friday evening we were special guests at the rehearsal dinner hosted at Maggiano’s Little Italy. We mixed and mingled for about an hour before dinner and one guest, a man, caught my eye.

He was seated at the table diagonal ours so I could stare at him throughout the meal. Then, around the entree, it hit me. I didn’t know if I should say anything, at the risk of embarrassing myself. At first I thought of mentioning something to the guest next to me, as a sort of trial balloon. Instead, I swallowed my pride, leaned over to my wife and said, “That guy looks like he could be my brother.” Since she can’t/doesn’t want to hear anything I say, she responded, “He doesn’t look like Jon.” So I spelled it out, “He looks just like me. I haven’t been able to take my eyes off him all night.”

“You’re right,” she shouted. I was fascinated and totally freaked out.

JL raced over to his table and shared my thoughts with his entire table, he sort of agreed but was definitely uncomfortable.

Then, I turned to the side and it hit him too, just like Haley Mills, or Lindsay Lohan for you kids.

After dinner, we started to talk and things got weirder. We really hit it off. My twin is like 7 years younger than me, but he’s majoring in Economics and we talked about Financial Econ till the sun came up. Well, not quite, but we could have. Needless to say, a little more “me” was all the weekend needed. I had a great time, I swept myself off my feet. As we parted ways in the hotel Saturday night I said, “There goes one handsome guy.”


*Parent Trap photo from

May 26, 2008 at 9:17 pm 11 comments

SkyMall Strikes Again

The minds at SkyMall have been hard at work to bring air travelers cutting-edge products to make life easier.

Just turn the heat up

Exhibit A: The Slanket

Perhaps I don’t live in a cold enough climate to appreciate the need for a Slanket, the blanket that allows freedom to use your hands while not sacrificing your arms to the open air. For both indoor and outdoor use, you can even wear this to a baseball game to attract some strange stares. Or you could purchase these poncho covers for your whole family and keep the thermostat 10 degrees lower than usual. It’s so cool to be GREEN these days.

Exhibit B: DayClock

The ultimate insulting gift that tells the receiver they don’t have enough going on in their week to have to worry about the hour of the day, just the day!

Exhibit C: Nouveau Fireplace

What would you honestly say to someone if they had an “heirloom-quality” electric fireplace blazing beneath their DVD player? “Must shop at SkyMall!”

April 22, 2008 at 11:24 am 7 comments

IRF Recommends

I direct our readers to the New York Times (hopefully not an act of heresy) for a Miller-esque treatment of the rolling suitcase. An excerpt:

…if you are a petite, elderly woman (a demographic I am in most cases quite fond of, I promise you) — you sometimes can’t lift your bag at all. This is because those wheels have freed you from having to rely on your own muscle power, or a hired valet. You’re encouraged to over-pack to such a degree that you can no longer move your bag without wheels. So you stagger weakly under its weight until (if I see you) I assist you with it or (if I don’t) you drop it on my head — bludgeoning me with 70 pounds of toiletries.

 Despite my use of wheeled baggage, the writing rings true. Even the Gray Lady can do right sometimes.

December 20, 2007 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

I Can Hear You Now

Overheard Friday night on a train from Union Station in DC.  This man was allegedly talking to someone on the other end of his phone and these were two of his snippets:

“I have in my head an entire way to make a civilization work.  I always study it.”

“I stay away from computer games because they’re addictive.  Like a drug.”

Feeling chatty after his call, he went on to engage the three rows around him in conversation.  Politics came up and he gave everyone the inside scoop that Giuliani is a terrorist and that he has two of the mob families in his back pocket, evidenced by their refusing to coordinate a hit on him that three other families were planning.  Hmm.  Why hasn’t Newsweek picked up on this?

November 19, 2007 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Billboards from Salt Lake City, November 2007. Perfectly captures two of the biggest priorities for residents: arming themselves and combating infertility.

November 5, 2007 at 10:46 am 6 comments

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