Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trip Summary

It's been a while since I posted on here but I wanted to cut and paste the e-mail I sent out to everyone which is essentially a summary of my trip. Things are good in San Diego but will be even better when I finally take the bar in two weeks....


Start Date of Trip: September 5, 2007 (New York City)

End Date of Trip: May 7, 2008 (New York City)

Number of Months Traveling Around the World: 8

Number of Days Traveling Around the World: 245

Number of Countries Visited: 24

Number of Continents Visited: 6 (just could not make it to Antarctica)

Longest Time Spent in One Country: 30 Days (Australia)

Shortest Time Spent in One Country: 1 Day (Jordan and Uruguay)

Longest Time Spent in One City: 8 Days (Buenos Aires)

Runners-up: 7 days (Sydney and Florianapoles)

TOP 35 LIST (in chronological order)

(1) Partying all night with Madrid locals on the second night of the trip, catching a train to Seville on literally no sleep and wondering how I am going to survive if the whole trip is going to be like this (Madrid, Spain)

(2) Gaudi architecture (Barcelona, Spain)

(3) Walking the grounds of Auschwitz (Poland)

(4) Drinking sturm (a wine made from young grapes and only harvested twice a year) at a local festival (Vienna, Austria)

(5) Paragliding over the Swiss Alps (Interlaken, Switzerland)

(6) Hiking along the Mediterranean through the 5 villages which make up the Cinque Terre trail (Italy)

(7) Turning 30 in Rome and celebrating at the Julius Caesar Pub (Italy)

(8) Looking up in awe at the Sistine Chapel (Vatican City, Italy)

(9) Looking down on the Amalfi Coast from the top of Anacapri (Capri Island, Italy)

(10) Getting lost in the chimney-like rock formations of Coppadocia (Guerome, Turkey)

(11) The Pyramids (Giza, Egypt)

(12) Walking underneath the Western Wall and atop the walls of Jerusalem's Old City (Israel)

(13) The Treasury building carved out of a giant rock (Petra, Jordan)

(14) Kibbutz Affikim – the biggest party ever on a Wednesday night (Tiberius, Israel)

(15) Living large at a luxury penthouse apartment in Dubbai (UAE)

(16) Indoor skiing (Dubbai, UAE)

(17) $1 Pad Thai on Kho San Road (Bangkok, Thailand)

(18) Handing out school supplies to the kids at Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

(19) Custom made clothing in Hoi Ann (Vietnam)

(20) Cruising along Halong Bay (Vietnam)

(21) Watching sunset on the mountains and rivers of Luang Prabang (Laos)

(22) Ringing in 2008 with a Full Moon Party on the beaches of Thailand (Ko Phangan, Thailand)

(23) Hong Kong's skyline at night (Hong Kong, Territory of China)

(24) Snorkeling the great barrier reef (Port Douglas, Australia)

(25) 4x4'ing it just inches away from the ocean on Frasier Island (Australia)

(26) The underwater observatory at Milford Sound (New Zealand)

(27) Hiking Kepler Track to the summit of Mt. Luxmore (Te Anua, NZ)

(28) Squeezing through ice crevasses while hiking on top of a glacier (Fox Glacier, NZ)

(29) Skydiving over Abel Tasman Park (New Zealand)

(30) Understanding the true meaning of Fiji time (Waya Island, Fiji)

(31) Hiking the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Pichu (Peru)

(32) Hitchhiking to a local wine festival somewhere outside of Santiago (Pirque, Chile)

(33) Celebrating my sister's big 27 at one of the amazing restaurants in Puerto Madero (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

(34) Getting soaked under Iguazu Falls

(35) Praia Mole beach – the best beach in the world (Florianapoles, Brazil)


Hottest Place: Cannes, Australia in January (well over 100 degrees)

Coldest Place: Krakow, Poland in October (40 degrees)

Closest to South Pole: Slope Point, New Zealand

Closest to North Pole: Krakow, Poland

Most Scenic Place: South Island, New Zealand (almost anywhere there)

Least Scenic Place: Cairo, Egypt (unless you like traffic and pollution)

Most Expensive City: Sydney, Australia

Least Expensive City: Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam

City Most Likely to Live as an Expat: Barcelona, Spain (edging out Tel Aviv)

City Least Likely to Live as an Expat: Prague, Czech Republic

Friendliest People: Brazilians

Friendliest People When Ripping You Off: Thais

Not So Friendly: Northern Vietnamese

Best Looking Women: Brazil (followed by Israel and Poland)

The Not so Best: New Zealand

Most Likely Place to Return: Florianapoles, Brazil (edging out South Island, NZ)

Least Likely Place to Return: Luxor, Egypt (edging out Surfer's Paradise, Australia)

Most Cultural Place: Rome, Italy

Least Cultural Place: Ko Phagnan, Thailand

Most Confusing Place: Valpo, Chile (a map will not help you)

Most Powerful Place: Auschwitz, Poland

Best Sporting Event: Soccer match in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Worst Sporting Event: Bullfighting in Sevilla, Spain

Best of Foods: the gnocchi in Rome, the pad thai in Bangkok, the kebabs in Turkey, the noodle soup in Vietnam, the tapas in Spain

Best of Alcohol: The beer all over Eastern Europe, the red wine in Italy and Argentina, the sturm in Vienna, the pina coladas in Fiji, the caipirinhas in Brazil

Worst Weather: Byron Bay, Australia – raining for 5 days straight

Most random moment on trip: Going out to dinner with Chad's former dental professor and her family in Chang Mai, Thailand after running into her on our airplane from Bangkok to Chang Mai

Longest Travel Day: 30 hours from Cusco, Peru to Valpo, Chile (we took a taxi to a 17 hr overnight bus to a taxi to another taxi (to the Chilean border) to a plane (with two layovers) to a bus to another bus to a taxi to our hostel in Valpo)

Craziest Travel Moment: Deboarding a plane in Vietnam because there were scorpions on my plane

Scariest Moment of Trip: Negotiating the release of my friend's stolen passport from a motorbike gang in Hanoi, Vietnam

Most Rewarding Moment of Trip: Arriving at Machu Pichu at 7 am after 4 days of hiking along the Inca trail

Worst Injury (My Fault): Cutting up my hands on pavement after flying off my rented motorbike in the mountains of Interlaken, Switzerland

Worst Injury (Not My Fault) – Cutting up my hands (again) after flying off a bicycle biking down the hills of Tuscany, Italy…only one week after the motorbike incident (I had to avoid a speeding car)

# of Days Spent Sick (excluding colds and minor stomach ailments): 0

# of Days Since Last Haircut: 185

# of Times Searched Entering a Country: 1 (La Guardia Airport)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

NYC Photos

Be sure to check out the next five posts. I have (finally) posted some pics from South America and my return to NYC! Enjoy...

Ken's big 30 - in high style of course

Dinner with Brent and Jason at Sambuca

Lunch with some of the Dorsey crew - I really missed good sushi on my trip

BU representing

Bleeker street pizza at 3 am - not sure what I will miss more - NYC sushi or pizza

My last game at Shea. Here is the new stadium.

Brazil Pics

Not sure what is up with this picture (Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio)

The colorful Lapa steps made of tiles from all over the world. Here is the NYC tile (Rio)

Lapa steps (Rio)

Impanema beach (Rio)

Acai shake (acai is a very healthy Brazilian berry) - it's the Brazilian breakfast of champions.

Typical pic of a favella in Rio. Notice the spiderman web of wires.

The views of Rio from atop Tijuca National Park

Going crazy atop Tijuca National Park

Holding on for dear life (Tijuca National Park)

The Jesus statute - voted one of the new seven wonders of the world

Sunsets on Rio - the view is from atop Sugarloaf mountain

The cable car to Sugarloaf mountain (Rio)

Meeting up with some locals we met on Impanema beach

Paula (a local who I met in BA) took us to a great local samba place

Outside the famous Copacabana hotel

Ouro Preto, Brazil

More Ouro Preto

I love the contrast here of the old colonial buildings with satellite dishes (Ouro Preto)

More Ouro Preto

Belo Horizonte which is known for its parks (and its 14,000 bars)

Barra de Lagoa, one of the fishing villages in Florianopoles

Pretty much all the girls in Floripa look like this

Brazilians are by far the worst drivers in the world so this is not surprising (Floripa)

Crossing the sand dunes to Joaquina beach (Floripa)

Iguazu falls from the Brazilian side

More Iguazu

I took tons of photos of the falls

A tucan at the bird park in Iguazu. It almost does not look real - but trust me - it is

Argentina Pics (and Colonia, Uruguay)

The Iguazu Clan - not great weather the day I went to the Argentina side of Iguazu falls

Iguazu falls from the Argentina side

More falls from the Argentina side

Another close up shot of the falls

Rooting for San Lorenzo at the soccer (futbol) match in Buenos Aires. They won 3-1.

Recoleta cemetary - a city within a city in Buenos Aires. Evita is buried here.

The Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires

Melissa and Paola learning to tango

Celebrating Melissa's big 27. The restaurant gave her an apron.

The Olympic torch passed through Buenos Aires when I was there.

Pic from Colonia, Uruguay, a 45 minute boat ride from Buenos Aires

Another shot of Colonia, Uruguay, a former Portuguese colony

License plate from Uruguay - never thought I would see one of those

Colonia, Uruguay

Uruguay welcome sign

Chile Pics

Typical mural in Valpo. The murals are everywhere. First time I ever climbed a painting.

Hitchhiking to a local Chilean wine festival. We helped moved the shopping bags to clear room in the car.

Local wine festival in middle of nowhere, Chile. This was by far the best wine. Wish I could remember the name...

Looking down on Santiago, Chile.

From the hills of Valpo.

The colorful houses which are typical of Valpo

Vina del Mar - only 15 minutes outside Valpo.

At the beaches of Vina del Mar. Unfortunately, it wasn't beach weather.

No subways in Valpo. Only acensors which take you up to the hills of Valpo.