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TASTHIB – Urban Golf [podcast]

Hey Team,

You’ve all ready read a little bit about Urban Golf, now see the fun and excitement first hand!

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Thanks Team.

I’m done.

Brett.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the kindness of strangers:

Why NOT be a kind stranger?

Power Rangers Can’t Putt

Hey Team,

When was the last time you saw a cowboy, a princess and a Power Ranger running through the streets of a major North American city hitting tennis balls down stairways with golf clubs into the middle of heated mahjong games?

Really? Never? Cause, that was my yesterday. In a nutshell.

My couch surfing host, Steph, talked me into staying in Toronto an extra day, despite the lack of list-crossing going on, so I could experience the wonders of Urban Golf. Holy crab cakes am I glad I stayed.

Obviously, the list is my life right now, but it’s always exciting when awesome stuff like Urban Golf finds a way to sneak itself in between. Some of the most interesting and entertaining stuff so far has been these spontaneous events that catch me off guard and show me something I didn’t even know existed. (Of course, it’s going to be tough to beat milking a cow on an Amish farm and hang gliding.)

“So, what’s urban golf?” I hear you asking. (No, really. I can always hear you…and I know about that thing you said about my belly button. So stop it.)

Urban Golf involves dressing up like a stereotypical golfer (or a Power Ranger More >

How long?!

Hey Team,

In honor of my one hundredth day amtrekking I’ve composed a few haikus in and effort to expose my soul to the world…I think.

Vagrant, nomad, bum He wanders the continent Completing the list

Without the strangers And their wonderful kindness I would be nothing

How many more months It’s not for me to decide Pink cherry blossoms

Sometimes it’s important for a haiku to not make any sense, most times it’s important for a haiku to talk about cherry blossoms. Mission accomplished.

Thanks for keeping me company on this epic mission, team!

I’m done.

Brett.

Gardening and Entering

Hey Team,

It’s going to be at least another day or two before I can get this podcast cut together so I’ll spare you all the suspense and fill you in on the Vancouver portion of the trek. You all read about how I got there so you know things were kind of at low ebb.

Now picture this: You’ve been through a grueling twenty-four hours of travel to make it to one of only three hedge mazes in North America (according to VanDusen Botanical Gardens). Finally the low-grade frustration that accompanies a rough stretch of travel starts to give way to the excitement of crossing one more thing off your list.

You approach the main entrance of a large botanical garden eager to interview an employee and wander around a maze for a while getting lost. As you get closer to the ticket booth a sign begins to come into focus. A sign that says something like this:

(GARDEN CLOSED DUE TO LABOUR DISRUPTION DO NOT ENTER)

I’ve had quite a few conversations with people over the years about what constitutes a “sign” or “omen” and personally I’m not a big believer. Sure, there are plenty of people out there that would shrug, announce to More >

Less Than Amazing Race

Hey Team,

Wow. Talk about a rough week. (Not literally, if you’re talking about a rough week you wont be able to read about mine.) Travel has been about as close to a nightmare as things can get without losing a bag and or a finger.

It started last weekend, (this is that third disaster) when I was trying to get from San Diego to Vancouver. I got up early one morning to catch a train from Oceanside, CA just North of San Diego but in a startling twist…the train was sold out. I didn’t even know that could happen! Amtrak loses millions of dollars a year what are the odds that ANY of their trains EVER sell out.

So my only other option, if I wanted to get to Vancouver in time, was to take a train up to LA and fly to Vancouver from LAX. I was flying on a buddy pass so I had to fly stand-by and there was only one flight that looked like I might have a chance to get on.

I didn’t.

And the next five flights out of LAX were oversold by at least four seats each so there was almost no chance of leaving that day. More >

The Podcast Cometh

Hey Team,

I don’t have much time to write but here’s the scoop. I was in Vancouver yesterday to check out one of only three hedge mazes in all of North America. When I got to the entrance there was a big sign that read, “Gardens closed due to labor dispute.” The only reason that surprised me was because I was surprised how little I was surprised. It was totally on par with how the rest of this week has gone. However, any of you hip kids in the know probably have a feeling I didn’t give up that easily.

It’s all on video and the first ever Amtrekker Podcast is only a day or two away. Hold steady friends!

I’m done.

Brett.

One’s Company

Hey Team,

It’s my personal belief that, on average, disasters make the best stories. Unfortunately, I’ve accumulated some very good stories this week. But since it’s really three separate stories I’ll do everything in my power to keep things short (which probably means it wont be much longer than eight pages).

Let’s start with sleeping arrangements in San Diego and then we’ll move on to why I’ve had an eerie feeling I’m trapped in a bad 80s sitcom.

Night one: Mostly spent on a bench outside the train station alternately wishing someone would turn up the heat and coming to the stark realization that the only difference between me and my bench neighbor was a recent shower (I wont say who got to take a shower).

Night two: I found a cozy looking bush that I was looking forward to sleeping in (What? I’ve never slept in a bush. It sounded like an adventure!) but was dissuaded when I looked down to see cockroaches swarming around my feet. So instead I pulled up a six-foot section of sidewalk right outside the convention center. Yes. It sucked. Yes. It was cold and hard and uncomfortable. But before you pass judgment know that there were MANY More >


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