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Princess Emily

**Hey Team! This is a VERY old story. It started in 2002 and was original posted on an old Myspace blog on May 13th, 2006. But it’s one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to me and I wanted to share it without having to link to (shudder) Myspace. So here it is…unedited.** Hey Team, I’ve been pretty busy at Disney these last couple weeks and while I was being thankful for how much more they pay me now that I’m doing design work I had a flashback to one of those moments that makes working the frontlines in attractions worth the negative paychecks. And since only a handful of you have heard this story… Our adventure begins on my very first day wearing a Disney nametag, circa 2002 Orlando. So the Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah nametag, not the gold one. It’s day two of Florida’s version of Traditions and we begin our tour of the Magic Kingdom outside the maingate. Ohhh pretty…there’s the train station…blah blah blah…berm…blah blah blah, now let’s go through the gate. Look, Floral Mickey, one of the most photographed locations in Walt Disney World. Fast Forward to our tour guide catching eyes with a little girl More >


Meeting the Amazing Randi

Hey Team,

You know who’s amazing? James Randi. Now that I think about it, I suppose that’s why he’s called The Amazing Randi. Huh. Go figure. If you don’t know who I’m talking about then let me give you a couple broad strokes. Randi is a retired performer who used to be a magician and a mentalist and currently heads the James Randi Educational Foundation. You may have heard of his Million Dollar Challenge, which offers a prize to anyone who can prove under scientific rigor that they have some type of extra-sensory perception. All you have to do is be able to say what it is you can do and under what laboratory conditions you can perform said talent. It’s been available for decades now. Guess how much the foundation has given away in the name of the challenge. That’s right. Zero.

Pretty awesome right? It’s great to know that someone is out there trying to prove that “real” psychics are more often than not, ridiculous amoral performers preying on people who miss their dead relatives deeply. In short, James Randi is one of my personal heroes.

And…I got to meet him at dinner the other night! It was a pre-Carl Sagan More >

Past Brett vs. Future Brett

Hey Team,

Here’s the thing about how I write posts for Amtrekker now days. I usually get an idea while I’m in the middle of doing something else that I can’t just drop so, like a respectable and professional writer, I whip out my trusty notebook, jot down a few lines and open up a Word document first chance I get. The trouble is, it seems Future Brett never speaks the same language as Past Brett.

Case in point: The only line I gave myself to go off of for this post was two words long. It said, “Rubber bands.” It’s even underlined. So…apparently there’s something that Past Brett really wants to say about rubber bands.

I’ve been wracking my brain for the last two days trying to figure out what the heck I was trying to tell myself. The only clues I have are:

1) I know where I was and what I was doing when I wrote the note and

2) I know it has something to do with travel.

As much as I love the movie Memento…this is kind of pissing me off.

That said, I suppose it could be worse. I once wrote myself a note that said:

Q: Why is he dead?

A: Crustaceans.

I would More >


Geek Cred

Hey Team,

Ah HA!

Don’t worry. Everything is under control now. All it took was a little bit of…well, a LOT of finagling and WAY more effort than the average consumer would ever want to put into a clearly broken piece of equipment.

After SEVEN years of faithful service, including an intensive year and a half long period of travel crammed into a tiny backpack, my little old Sony Digital8 camcorder finally gave up the ship and shuffled off into that Japanese consumer electronics scrap heap in the sky…kinda.

I powered up the ol’ champ to get some footage of Arizona (the puppy, not the state) playing in her pool (hmm…I wonder how much I could get for footage of the state of Arizona playing in a pool) and it wouldn’t do anything but turn on and off and play the tape already in there. It wouldn’t record and most importantly it wouldn’t eject the tape.

I really wanted that tape.

An intensive Google session and three dollars later I was staring at a .pdf of the service manual for the DCR TRV340. Here’s the thing I didn’t know about sweat shops: those little kids must have some ridiculously nimble little fingers and they CLEARLY aren’t More >

2009 Travel Blogger Awards

Hey Team,

It looks like that ubiquitous guide book company, Lonely Planet, has nominated little ol’ Amtrekker for Best Video Blog! Pretty exciting stuff! To vote head over to this place and do your thing.

Thanks everyone!

In other news: My video for “The Best Job in the World” went up a couple days ago so you can check that out here. And MOST importantly, I’m almost done with the newest episode of Amtrekker featuring Brian Brushwood, CJ Johnson and myself exploring the wonder of Wolfe Manor so be sure to check back later this week!

Thanks again!

I’m done.


The Daily Buzz

Hey Team,

I was on a morning show called The Daily Buzz this morning! They gave me a call a couple days ago from a San Diego number but I didn’t have my phone on me. When they called again yesterday I couldn’t answer because I was in an attraction at EPCOT. Eventually I called back, apologizing for remaining in “O’Canada!,” when they called…

“What?! You’re in town!”

“No, I’m in Orlando. Wait…what do you mean?”

Turns out The Daily Buzz tapes right her in “The Sunshine State!”

I even got to help host the weather!

Here’s the link: http://www.amtrekker.com/wp-content/uploads/amtrekker.mov

In other news: I won’t be riding the horse through the covered bridge in Atlanta until Tuesday so it’s going to be a mad dash across the country to get to Amtrekkapalooza in time!

AND, there are a few people that were a big part of this adventure that would love to make it to the big finish on October 25th but have limited funds so if anyone has any connections with airlines that can maybe get a few of these folks some cheap standby tickets let me know!

Thanks, Team!

I’m done.


Just for the record. Bookingbuddy really is a pretty rad website if you’re looking to plan a trip. More >

Get Well Charley

Hey Team,

Just wanted you all to know that Charley and I really appreciate all the support during the little guy’s difficult times. I’m out on a lake off the grid right now on a little mini Team Amtrekker get away so I had Charley pick out a few of his favorite pieces of mail to show off. The site is all his today! Enjoy!

Hey Charley,

Ya gotta pull through buddy. Who else is going to keep the Amtrekker warm at night?

Get well soon. Let me know if I need to send a prescription!

Karl J. Blessinger, MD

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Dear Charley,

I’m writing this using Rachelle’s email address, because “they” won’t let me have one of my own! Darn people…literally. But I’ve heard a lot about you in relation More >

Hometown Highlights

Hey Team,

One of the strange things about this trip is that I very rarely consider myself a tourist. I don’t do touristy things and I’m usually staying with people that, regardless of how well I know them, I think of as friends. So it seems more like I’m just wandering around down the block from “home.”

Despite the fact that I feel comfortable in all of these situations I realize that I still have the ability to come off as “a tourist” in that I tend to pay attention to my surrounding and occasionally take pictures.

I spent the better part of my day wandering the streets of New York (

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