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Trojan Kayaks

Hey Team,

It’s always a little sad when you see awesome historic sites all boarded up and plastered with signs that say authoritative things like, “Do not enter” and “No Trespassing.” Only slightly less sad is when you see historic sites that have been SO renovated that you have to pay an arm and a leg to see them AND if you touch anything they chop off a limb.

So, just imagine how freakin’ excited I was yesterday!

After much debate about how we were going to spend the day my couch surfing host, Nickola and I tied a couple of recreational kayaks (care of Margaret and Kelli!) to the roof of a minivan (care of Margaret and Kelli!) and made our way over to the bay. After a little over a mile long paddle we landed at Fort Gorges, a historic fort no longer in use that can only be reached by kayak or small watercraft! It was there that I saw the one sign that never fails to get my heart pumping and put a spring in my step…”Enter at your own risk!”

No lies, kids. This was one of the coolest places I’ve seen so far! The fort was built in More >

Niagara Falls…on my head

Hey Team,

As a pure bred Californian, I hate rain. I realize “hate” is a strong word.

I HATE rain.

More importantly I hate being stuck in rain in a strange city with no leads on shelter and a backpack full of technology. And that has been happening far too often lately. Boston has spit on me, Philadelphia has drenched me and New York flat out ATTACKED me.

The last night Stephen, my sister and I spent in New York we decided we had had enough of the Big Apple (1. Does anyone still call it that? 2. Why did anyone EVER call it that?) and we were going to move on to Boston. We found a bus that went from Chinatown in NY to Boston for only $15. Granted, I had heard some slightly disconcerting things about the bus line and even the website said something along the lines of, “Don’t expect the driver to speak English.” But fifteen bucks! How could we lose? So we headed towards the “Fung Wah” bus. (Before you get the wrong idea, this story isn’t about the bus. In fact it was a disappointingly normal bus ride and there wasn’t a single old Asian lady with a live More >

I Got Screwed…The Other Guy Got Nailed

Hey Team,

Guess who’s 10% done crossing random objectives off of his life controlling inanimate list! If you didn’t guess me, you suck at this game.

It’s been another busy week of bad traveling but I think that everything will calm down a little on that front. The last of the scheduled events from this month are out of the way so as strange as it sounds I have a little more freedom now (Brett, you’re saying you have more freedom now than you did last week when you were still an unemployed vagrant? Yes.)

Trying to slog through hours of footage for the podcast has made life a little daunting too. I’m sorry I’ve been putting so much focus on that instead of updating the articles. I’m trying to find a better balance. Honest! So, I hope today makes up for some of my slacking. Here’s a new story! AND later today that video I’ve been promising may appear!

Okay, the question on the tip of everyone’s lips? What the crap has Brett been doing all week?! I’ll skip to the good part.

I was in New York last week with the little sis and her dude and guess what I saw! (Yes, I More >

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 >

I’m Not a Dad but I Play One on TV

Hey Team,

Some of you may remember a couple of months ago I accidentally ended up as the male lead in a television show for Court TV. Yes, accidentally. The point is I can now officially tell you that the show airs THIS Wednesday, August 1st at 10:30 pm on Court TV! It’s an episode of Psychic Detectives titled “Close to Home.”

I’m not sure what it’s going to look like on account of I’m a designer NOT an actor. So, I can pretty much guarantee some bad acting. But at least it’ll give you folks so more ammo to make fun of me with.

If you don’t remember what I’m talking about or never read the original story it’s here. Enjoy.

I’m done.

Brett.

If you liked this post click here to buy me acting lessons. If you didn’t like it click here to hurt my feelings.


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