How Did Astoria Get Its Name?

Astoria, Queens was named after John Jacob Astor, who was once the wealthiest man in America. You might imagine therefore that Mr. Astor was born in what was then known as Hallett’s Cove and the village renamed themselves in his honor. That would be understandable and frankly quite boring. In reality, Mr. Astor never set foot in the…

Citadelle Laferrière

  The ponies were called White Fang and Weedle and they followed us up the mountain to Citadelle Laferrière in northern Haiti, the largest fortress in the Americas. White Fang and Weedle and their owners walked beside us as we hiked. We were sweating and panting and wishing we’d brought more water, and having the…

Trip to Alaska & the Arctic Circle!

Soon I’ll be in the Arctic Circle in the far north of Alaska. I’m so excited! After much procrastination and indecisiveness, we’ve booked roundtrip flights to Alaska, a train tour from Anchorage to Fairbanks, and an additional 17-hour day trip from Fairbanks north to the Arctic Circle. That final day trip is described thusly: Travel in The…

The Tragic Story of James the Giant Dresser

Friends, this is the tragic story of James the Giant Dresser, who sadly is no longer with us. It’s a very sad tale, so please don’t read if you’re easily upset. First, an intro to James. He was the huge dresser that we bought in September 2015 from a second-hand furniture adoption website. Two men brought…

A Fight with a Seafood Platter

I don’t really eat seafood. I’d probably go so far as to say I don’t like it. Occasionally I’ll encounter a calamari, squint at it, maybe even lick it, then order a burger. But for my birthday, my loving girlfriend took us to a well-critiqued seafood restaurant called Street and Co., in Portland, Maine. And because…

A Winter Weekend in Portland (no, not that one)

We recently spent a weekend in Portland, which I have to clarify by adding “Maine”, because we did not, I repeat we did not, go to Oregon. The gift shops in Portland know all too well that if you tell someone you went to “Portland” they automatically assume the one in Oregon. Every fridge magnet,…

A Chocolatey, Amish Christmas Experience

What do you get if you cross a giant candy store, an Amish farm, and an overloading of Christmas cheer? A fun day out from New York City. We had a booked a tour to visit Hershey Chocolate World and Koziar’s Christmas Village.  It took over 3 hours to get to Hershey Chocolate World and…

Hiking in Bear Mountain State Park

Hiking is good exercise. But when you live in New York City, to go hiking you have to walk to the subway – passing a perfectly adequate gym on the way – then take the subway to the bus station, then sit motionless and cramped on a bus for two hours, and then you have to…

Bus Ride from CAP to PAP

CAP to PAP was our route. Or Cap Haitien to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to de-acronymify things. Google Maps told us it was 239km and a five and a half hour journey through mountains and then down the coast. It sounded promising. I was excited. Sans Souci was the bus company and the night before we’d checked the…

Buying Tickets to Citadelle Laferrière, Haiti

We were standing outside the ticket booth that sold tickets (naturally) to Citadelle Laferrière in northern Haiti, the largest fortress in the Americas. “Here is the cost,” said the lady behind the glass. We looked over the chart showing the prices to visit the largest fortress in the Americas. $5 for just a ticket, $20 for…

Snorkelling with Sharks in Belize with People Who Can’t Swim

If you couldn’t swim, like literally you had never been in water before, would you go snorkelling with sharks in the sea off the coast of a strange country? That’s not rhetorical. I’d like your opinions please. Anyway, I went to Belize, specifically the island of Caye Caulker, and I went snorkelling with sharks with…

The 15 stages of playing Las Vegas blackjack

Here are the 15 stages I went through when playing blackjack in Las Vegas. How do I play again? Okay, that round didn’t count. I think I get the hang of it now. Did I win? I think I won, didn’t I? I’m still winning? This is so easy. Why aren’t you guys winning too? Why…