Riley Goes to Colombia Day 4 – February 13, 2016

Categories: 2016 and Travel.

The first two mornings at the hotel, we’d had regular food for breakfast: eggs, waffles. But today we got tamales! They were pretty good. We had a super fast ride to the airport, as it was a Saturday morning and apparently the awful traffic virtually disappears on the weekends. So we got to the Bogota airport a little early and spent time wandering around the domestic departure side. As airports go, Bogota isn’t bad. It’s certainly nicer (cleaner) than Panama. The flight was pretty quick – just over an hour, I think. My first impression of Cartagena was that the Read More

Riley Goes to Colombia Day 3 – February 12, 2016

Categories: 2016, Personal, and Travel.

This morning we took a cab ride to Monserrate, a mountain that overlooks Bogota. For the first few minutes of the cab ride, we worried he was driving us up the mountain, as we had to go up high to get on a beltway that runs along the hills. The cabbie took us to the station where we could catch a funicular up the mountain, or a gondola. The gondola didn’t open until noon, but that was fine with us because we both wanted to take the funicular. (Jenn took pictures from it; I did not as my camera doesn’t Read More

Riley Goes to Colombia Day 2 – February 11, 2016

Categories: 2016, Personal, and Travel.

After breakfast, we took another long cab ride to a mall, where we met Loon, our guide, for a tour of one of Bogota’s big food markets. We tried the following over the course of the morning: 1.Breakfast Sancocho de pescado  Fish soup made with plantain, yuca and potatoes. Arepa de queso – Colombian arepa filled with gooey double cream cheese [better in Bogota than Medellin] 2. Fruits Feijoa – Green, bubblegum tasting fruit Granadilla – Sweet passion fruit Pitaya – Yellow dragon fruit Mangostino – This was the final one we ate that looked like garlic cloves. 3. Fried stuff Read More

Riley Goes to Colombia Day 1 – February 10, 2016

Categories: 2016, Personal, and Travel.

We got up sometime after 4 AM, though I was up from 1-something until 2-something, due to my usual anxiety about leaving for a big trip, and because I was anticipating the alarm going off any minute. We took the Union-Pearson Express, because it’s pretty much the only option at 5:30AM (unless you want to spend an hour+ on the night bus or spend $60 on a limo). I was pleasantly surprised by the trip – and fascinated by the route – but it is still incredible to me that a new, separate train was judged the best solution, not Read More

Riley Goes to Colombia – Prologue

Categories: 2016, Personal, and Travel.

I spent most of the last two weeks in Colombia; it was my first visit to South America. Why we went to Colombia is a long story. The short version is that I wanted to go on vacation – it’s been two years since my last trip abroad – and the GF had heard great things about Colombia. And so we went. We went despite lots of people expressing their shock that we would choose to go to Colombia, and others expressing their fears. (What we found was that, if the person had been to Colombia or knew someone who Read More

Riley Goes to Turkey (February 2014)

Categories: 2014 and Travel.

You may have noticed the lack of blog posts from me during part of February. That’s because the wife and I went to Turkey. What follows is a summary of what we did. Why Turkey? Turkey has always been on my list, but it was quite high up on Monique’s. The real reason we went, and now – in the winter, with the Syrian Civil War supposedly scaring people away – was because we got a deal. We got a groupon for a tour with Gate 1, an American company I had never heard of before. We were a little Read More

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Categories: 2013 and Travel.

I have just returned from spending five nights at the Elk Country Inn in Jackson, Wyoming, where my brother and I skied (and snowboarded) at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, just outside of Jackson. We did not know this, but JHMR is widely considered one of the most difficult ski resorts in North America (we were told this after four days of marveling at how steep the mountain is). Jackson Hole is one of the larger ski resorts in the US: it has the 3rd highest vertical drop in the US (and 6th highest in North America) and it is in Read More

Gaspe Day 2: Saturday August 7

Categories: 2010, Daily Log, Personal, and Travel.

12PM? 1 PM? 3 hour hike. 1 roll of film. 282 metres? + a tower. Took the roundabout way to the tower (clockwise, most appear to go counter-clockwise). Did the full loop but it is a less extreme climb. 6.5 km I think. I need to drink more water. I am going over to the south side. I have to drive because to hike over would have taken all day and I probably wouldn’t have made it back by nightfall. From here to Cap Gaspe it is 9.2 km. So I take that back. I would make it back but Read More

Gaspe Journal: Friday August 6

Categories: 2010, Daily Log, Personal, and Travel.

Once again I feel like a foreigner in my own country. My inability / unwillingness to (re?) learn French makes me feel and act differently than I do in all other parts of Canada. I should just try to pass myself off as an American (which is only mostly a lie). I have forgotten a couple of key things: a water jug, a lamp, scissors [actually didn’t forget the scissors]. I couldn’t light a fire tonight to eat dinner. I am exposed as a fraud or I am very, very tired. This drive was totally insane. I should have listened Read More

The Ocean

Categories: Personal and Travel.

I have a strong and deep desire to go to the ocean. I haven’t been in over two years. I need the sea. I need it. I can’t explain why. Something about the expanse. Something about feeling like I’m at the end of the world. I need to go to the ocean. Maybe I need to live next to one. Maybe I should seriously consider that once I actually can pick where I want to live based on things beyond economy. Read More

What was the worst place you’ve traveled to?

Categories: Personal and Travel.

Ooh, that’s a toughy. There aren’t too many bad places. Even if the place appears lame in some way shape or form it is still new. But I think the worst one would probably be Atikokan. View Larger Map Only because I was there at lunch time, on a weekday no less, and nothing was open. And there were tons of people out on the street corners staring at me because I was a stranger. Read More

On Listicles

Categories: Music and Travel.

The past few days I’ve seen a few nutty lists on msn / simpatico or simpatico / msn or whatever the hell that site is called. One was “Top 10 Greatest Summer Songs” or something. Another was “The Best Albums of 1967” 40 years after the fact, or something. And another was “Canada’s Best Beaches” or something. You may ask, why? Why was I on this site? Well, when I exit hotmail: tada!  And, I love my lists, as you know. These lists are examples of three things that drive many people nuts about the “popularization” of “knowledge” via the internet, if we can Read More

Some random stuff

Categories: 2007, Personal, Travel, and TV.

More than a week ago I caught an episode of On the Lot (or as much of it as I could stand). It is Spielberg over Kubrick (that is, the populist over the auteur). No, it’s far worse than that. It’s Michael Bay, or even Gary Marshall. How anyone thinks this process could detect real artistic talent is beyond me. And now for this week’s stuff: I saw an NBA finals ad earlier this week, that focused on the Spurs and the Pistons. I guess it was made before the Cavs came back. I guess someone fucked up. Maybe the Read More

The Mussel Mystery

Categories: 2007, Personal, and Travel.

So, my limited research about the freshwater mussel has led me to find that indeed there are “small freshwater mussels” in the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin regions. But the thing is, the mussels I found were not in any way “small,” (for example, they were probably 15-20 times the size of the zebra mussels I have seen), they were completely gutted out as if they had been eaten and filled with sand as if they had sat there for ever, and further the lake appeared devoid of large life. It’s still a mystery to me. Read More

Road trip to………………

Categories: 2005 and Travel.

Decatur, Illinois? That’s random. Yeah, so it looks like I’m quite possibly going to Decatur for less than a day. Drive there Tuesday. Sleep. Drive back Wednesday afternoon getting back to TO in middle of Wednesday night or something. Fun, eh? I think so…I’ve never been to Michigan or Illinois before. When I’m not driving, I’ll be able to see the sights (at least on the way there). This is instead of starting to look for a job. That sounds like a plan to me! Oh yeah, and apparently it won’t cost me any money either, which is sweet. Anyway, Read More