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Pinka’s World Cup World Tour: Day 17

Mon. July 21, 2014:
Cologne, Germany to Brussels, Belgium:

It turned out that breakfast was not included with our hotel room, and it cost a whopping €20/person! We went with option B, breakfast from the gas station. I had a pretty decent croissant with a Nutella filling and an iced coffee (the can had coffee beans on it, so I assumed it was coffee). Thankfully we also still had snacks left over from the day before. The Haribo sour gummy fries were delicious; the white chocolate Lion bar was not as good as the original.

The rain had let up while we ate breakfast. Rather than try to figure out the lockers at the trains station we left our bags at the hotel front desk. After buying our train tickets to Brussels for the afternoon we set off in search of the Locks of Love Bridge. We knew it would be near the train line, we had seen it when we first got in. we could not find a path to it from the side by the Dom Cathedral, so we cut through the train station to the other side of the train tracks, logically we should be able to get to it from there. After wandering past the bus terminal and through a parking lot, all the while able to see the bridge we finally found stairs leading up it, rejoice!

July 21, 2014- Cologne (5)

The locks were very dense in the middle of the bridge. Some people had put bike locks; there were even a few broken hearts. The locks were all different sizes, colours and quality. Some had been etched others drawn on with marker. Some even had photographs stuck on them. We crossed under the bridge and to the other side. Walking back we had a great view of the entire Hohenzollern Bridge and the Dom Cathedral in the background. This was clearly the more popular side of the bridge, given how many more locks there were. Some people even added chains to make more room, others were double-locked. I sort of regret not having planned ahead and brought a lock.

July 21, 2014- Cologne, Germany (4)

The Dom Cathedral was packed, partly because there was a mass going on. I quickly figured out that there was a separate entrance to the belfry for the stair climb. We managed to get ahead of a giant group of tourists. The sign by the ticket booth said that there were 509 steps to the top: oh my god, I thought, this sounds terrible!! There were a lot less look-out stops on the way to the top. The only stop was the room with the bells. Just as we were leaving it, the bells started to ring. We ran back but it was too late, we had missed it. We had to circle around the room again (it was a one direction hallway, circling the bells).

July 21, 2014- Cologne, Germany (2)

There were little open slits of windows throughout the tower, letting in a breath of fresh air that was desperately needed. I was sweating so badly. I really needed that cool air. The view from the top was obstructed by metal grating that had been put up to prevent people from further graffiting the church. All available surface in the cathedral had been scribbled on, not just the walls of the belfry but also the gargoyles at the top, the buttresses, everything! It was appalling.

July 21, 2014- Cologne (6)

On the way back down there was a stupid lady who was counting all the steps. We stopped at the bell level again. We waited 13 minutes for the bells to ring and one bell only rung twice. It did not even move, just a little unseen hammer dinged the bell. It was rather unsatisfying. I wondered if the upper windows had once had stained glass in them, now they were just frames like stained glass windows without the stained glass. Back on ground level mass was over and we were free to wander the cathedral without being a nuisance. The cathedral was gorgeous with lots of beautiful stained glass windows and high vaulted ceilings.

July 21, 2014- Cologne, Germany (10)

For lunch we tried the nearby McDonalds again, but it was crammed. I remembered seeing a McDonalds in the train station so we went there instead. My salsa beef burger had much more salsa this time, it was a lot spicier. I regretted not getting a drink. The Bounty McFlurry was not as good as the Daim one. My back-up dessert plan had set sail: the yogurt boat was gone.

At the archaeological dig site there were only three people and they were on lunch. We got to the train station with 45 minutes before the train. I wandered around the giant concourse below. The Dunkin’ Donuts had a huge line-up, so much for my coffee fix. I ended up buying an iced coffee, but decided to save it, unsure of what the breakfast situation would be the next day.

This was by far one of the worse train rides of the trip. We did not have reserved seats, every other time we had managed to find seats. Not so this time. Even more infuriating was the fact that there were unclaimed reserved seats that were empty. The train was very crowded; there was luggage and people standing around everywhere. The ride was bumpy and twisty. Making things worse, I ran out of podcasts to listen to. Thankfully I had downloaded another book on the iPad, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. It is not comfortable to read a book while standing on a moving train. I eventually resorted to just staring out the window. This was all well and good until I saw a terrifying sight: a row of military tanks on the highway taking the offramp. WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON?! I thought to myself in a mild panic.

At the hotel shuttle at the airport we met another couple from Toronto. They were old and they were talkative. I was too tired for their banter. The upside to staying at a hotel near the airport is that you are close and there is a shuttle. The downside is that your dining options are limited to what is available at the hotel (unless you drive/take a cab somewhere). We were staying at the same brand of hotel as the previous day, but thankfully today the restaurant was open.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant was the same stuff that was on the room service menu, sans the room service charge of course. The Belle-Vue Framboise beer was nice and refreshing. The curry chicken with rice hit the spot, it was a nice change. I was still kind of sick of Belgian frites. The tiramisiu we had for dessert was ok, but I would have rather eaten candy and Ben & Jerry’s. The TV was finally really good. I watched a few episodes of The Simpsons but then Bones came on and I did not like that it was filmed like a reality TV show (visually clearer, no filter?). We realized we would have to do breakfast at the hotel. There was nothing good at the airport.


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Pinka’s World Cup World Tour: Day 11

Tues. July 15, 2014:
The Hague, Netherlands

I went across the street to McDonalds for my morning coffee and was surprised to find that the door was locked. What the hell was going on?! It was 9:30 in the morning… and apparently McDonalds opens at 10am. Back in the hotel I had to rethink my coffee plan. As I madly googled for coffee, Brent pointed out the place across the square from us. I figured it would be better to go there and risk it being a sit-down than having to go back to the now-open McDonalds where I had struggled to open the door. Homeland Coffee was good; the lattes were cheaper than drip coffee for some reason though. we did not have much time before our tour of the Binnenhof, so we had breakfast in the room: Stroopwafels!

The tour was in Dutch but we were given English headsets. It was a very thorough and informative tour; it did not even feel like it took that long. We did not get to see the House of Parliament in action; we were there too early in the day. After the tour we set off with our map. We were looking for Old and New City Hall. Turns out we had walked by them a few times before and did not even realize it. We stopped at Marks & Spencer for a quick snack break. The white chocolate macadamia cookie was amazing, it was so fresh that it broke as I tried to take it out of the bag and part fell on the floor. The donut was a little too dense and yeasty for my liking.

After much fussing about and getting ready we set off for the Hotel Indes. We had reservations for afternoon high tea. The hotel was super fancy, located snug in among a bunch of embassies. Inside the hotel we were not sure if it was being served in the main dining room or somewhere else. We asked at the front desk and the guy led us right back to the main dining room. He must have thought we were complete idiots, as soon as you enter the hotel the first thing you see down the hall is the dining room.

High tea consisted of four courses and matching teas: two courses were savoury and two were sweet. The first one was little bite sized sandwiches with fish. I dropped some salmon onto my arm and it was all I could smell the rest of the meal. The second course had a cold tomato gazpacho that was intolerable and I had to chug it in one go. The cauliflower dish was surprisingly tasty. The first dessert course consisted of scones. Even with fancy spreads like mascarpone and chocolate ganache, I still do not like scones. The final course was a tiered plate of dessert bites. At this point I was getting full and my head was starting to buzz from all the sugar. I really had to take my time, sipping tea in between dessert bites. The teas we had were: Japanese green sencha, South African rooibos and orange pekoe with roses.

On the way back we walked through an outdoor art exhibit. The exhibit was called Grandeur, and it lived up to its name. It was just giant statues strewn about. I was particularly amused by the giant patio furniture set, and the soccer player head butting another player. We stopped at the hotel for an afternoon beer break before heading out again.

July 15, 2014- The Hague (10)

First on our afternoon tour was the fancy building that the king works out of, it is so fancy in fact that there is a public park behind it. For some reason I had it in my head that we would just able to walk right in to the International Court of Justice and look around. Partly this was due to the lack of public toilets combined with the aftermath of afternoon tea and beers. It was a nice distraction to try and name the countries’ of the flags flying on a nearby boulevard but man was I happy to see a hotel nearby.

We seen most of everything in The Hague, the rest of our afternoon we decided to spend at Madurodam, a miniatures park. We had decided that walking to the beach to gawk at the ocean was too far (1.5-2hr walk without a map). I was having so much fun looking at the miniature dioramas of places we had already been to, as well as places we were planning on going to. I was thoroughly amused by the little buses and cars driving, even more so when a real crow would land in the city bringing to minds scenes from a cheesey sci-fi flick where an oversized animal wreaks havoc on a city. As if that was not entertaining enough, there was one interactive exhibit. For €1 coin a little car would drive under a spout of a factory and out would drop a pair of clogs… the truck would drive up to where you had inserted the coin, and honk to let you know to grab them. I almost missed that, I was so amused by the whole affair. Adding to the amusement were all the little figures in awkward positions, such as the guy standing on the handlebars of two bikes, or the poor drunk who was sideways. And then we learned why these little scenes exist. We watched in awe as a woman encouraged her daughter to play in the exhibits. Later on we saw them getting yelled at by park staff, while another staffer had to fix what the girl had broken. It was oddly satisfying to watch.

July 15, 2014- The Hague, Netherlands (11)

We spent at least 4 hours at Madurodam, and we learned a lot about Dutch history and culture. When we entered we had been given a card that when passed by a sensor would play a short movie about the diorama nearby. It took me a good few seconds of staring to realize that there was an actual heron, not a fake one, by the riverside in one exhibit. There was another interactive exhibit wherein you try to plug holes in the wall (representative of a dyke in a story). It was so much fun watching Brent try to plug the holes as water sprayed everywhere.

July 15, 2014- The Hague, Netherlands (14)

On our way back to the hotel we passed some more embassies. We also passed a building that had written on it in giant block letters: strange things happen here. Turns out we had walked right by earlier in the day and not even noticed it. We were tired, having done a lot of walking. For dinner we stayed at the hotel and ate at the pop-up restaurant “X.” They did not have an English menu and thus we had to wing it. It was called a “meat” pop-up, so we at least knew that much. I ordered the steak and brood because I knew what one of those was. It turns out that brood is bread. I was presented with a giant plate of slices of bread, a salad and a bowl of fries… and a small but thick steak that looked all the smaller, dwarfed by all the other food items. The steak was amazing, very well seasoned. The fries were the worst we had had on our trip. They were too oil and crispy and not even ketchup could rescue them.

July 15, 2014- The Hague (16)

I had ordered Bavaria Rose beer but apparently that was a non-alcoholic beer so I swapped it for Jacobsin’s Max Rose, which was pretty good for a beer with the word max in the name. It was nice to sit back and relax after a long day, people-watch from the patio. There was a weird girl posing for photo after photo as if she were a super model. It was really odd given she was posing in front of a bike rack.

While Brent settled the bill I ran across the street hoping McDonalds had not yet closed, it was after all almost 10pm. I tried to order a Daim McFlurry but apparently they did not have that. The guy named the flavours: Kit Kat, M&M and something, I had no idea what he said. I had to ask him to repeat it. Stroopwafel he said very slowly. That one, I said, not willing to try pronouncing it lest he laugh at me. The McFlurry was OK, but I would much rather have just eaten stroopwafel on its own. There were not enough stroopwafel pieces in the McFlurry. Back in the hotel I was relieved to find an English channel, MTV. That quickly faded as I tried to watch Geordie Shore. I had enough trouble trying to understand what people on jersey Shore said, but throw in the British accent to really muddle everything?! The show needed subtitles; I had no idea what anyone was saying.


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Four States, 2013: Day 10

Sun. Oct. 13, 2013:

I was not going to chance it again with terrible in-room coffee; I went out to Walgreens in search of breakfast food (and food for the fight) and McDonald’s for coffee. Along the way I had a craving for a McSundae- apparently McDonalds doesn’t serve ice cream during breakfast hours, not sure why, the machine is right there. I ended up eating some of my plane food, rainbow coloured goldfish crackers (they just tasted like regular goldfish crackers).

As we planned out our day we found out that the hotel we were in was ON Route 66 (pre-1937, but still it counts for something). We planned it so that we would drive along as much of old Route 66 as we could back to Albuquerque. There weren’t any signs telling us that we were on Route 66 and there was really not that much to see. We ended up driving a bit too far along it, but we caught it and did not have to backtrack too far to get to the I-25. Soon enough we were back on pre-1937 Route 66, it was just open landscape, no strip motels or gas stations, just trees and fields running alongside some train tracks.

Oct. 13, 2013- NM (3)

Soon enough we were back on Central Ave (aka Route 66) in Albuquerque. The lamppost had a banner hanging from it: Route 66, Doggone Cool. We tried to go to The Grove (Breaking Bad stop #9) for some chamomile tea with Stevia, alas it is a really popular place and we just happened to be there on a Sunday during brunch on the closing weekend of Balloon Fiesta: it was a zoo. The place was completely full; any open space was filled with lines of people getting stuff to go. We walked in, looked around, turned right around and left. Up next we stopped at the Coronado Mall so I could get in some requisite shopping- only the mall was closed, it was only 10:30am. The only store that was open was Dick’s Sporting Goods, where Brent took his sweet time picking out a pair of running shoes. We figured the mall had to open at 11am, right? Wrong: we wandered the mall like old people, eating a giant (twice as big as the usual giant ones) white chocolate macadamia cookie. Finally a few department stores opened and off I went in search of cheap goods. All the other stores followed suit around noon. I spent two hours searching and all I got was 1 shirt, a sassy Nike shirt that said: chase this. It wasn’t a total loss, but if Macy’s had opened earlier we could have left sooner.

I was so hungry, but it made more sense to go get the car washed first, at where else but Octopus Carwash. There was a huge line, but it moved really quickly and we were through in no time. As the car was cleaned, we walked through and gawked at all the Breaking Bad stuff, but the vending machine was nowhere to be found, there was another one but it had a glass front and was therefore horrible for a stash. The car came out shiny and squeaky clean, no more smooshed bugs on the windshield, no more red mud all over.

Finally we were going to get something to eat: Breaking Bad donuts, called Blue Sky. While not featured on the show, they looked delicious and we could not resist. We ordered a half dozen (Blue Sky, Homer, red velvet with chocolate icing, Azteca with cinnamon and chili, French toast and birthday cake). The craving was unbearable; we sat right down and ate 2 donuts: the Homer (pink icing and sprinkles) and the Blue Sky (white icing and blue rock candy). Both were delicious, and you could tell that they were freshly made. We had barely made it to the car and already the French toast donut had started greasing through the box.

Oct. 13, 2013- PS (1)

Donuts are not lunch or dinner, they are dessert. In keeping with the spirit of getting things out of order, we drove to Venezia’s (Breaking Bad stop #10) for a roof pizza. The plan was to order a pizza, have one slice each and eat it cold for dinner later. What we did not anticipate was the green chile, pepperoni and Canadian bacon pizza being piping hot. The box did not have the Venezia logo on it, and the pizza was cut into slices but it still counted. We tossed the pizza in the backseat and headed to Breaking Bad stop #11, Garduno’s for made-at-the-table fresh guacamole. Finally we were going to have lunch. I was starving, and the pizza smell wafting in from the backseat was not helping matters. Driving along, we passed an abandoned roller coaster behind a Taco Bell, it was really weird and out of place.

While we waited for our pizza we had found a list in a newspaper of Albuquerque’s best of’s. Garduno’s was voted best margarita, and glancing over their drink menu I could see why: they had about 10 different margaritas listed. Luckily Gardunos’ was not busy at all; they were just closing out their brunch menu and starting on lunch/dinner. To start I had a pink margarita, but our waiter took the menu so I had to remember another one. Only after placing my order did I see that they had a champagne margarita, alas it was only available during brunch.

The guacamole made fresh at the table seemed like a good idea at the time, only we had a really awkward waiter and now had to sit there while he made our guacamole for us and made small talk. He popped by a few minutes later to ask how it was. He kept saying “cool, cool” in response to everything. It was worth the awkward because the guacamole was amazing. Instead of free bread, there chips & salsa: we almost made the mistake of getting a second basket. I ordered a chicken dish that had red chiles, during our whole trip I had yet to encounter them and would have been remiss had I not tried them. Red chiles are much spicier than green. My second margarita (a blue margarita, it was the only thing I could remember) arrived shortly after our food. It was giant, twice as big as the first one. It was also a blended frozen one, and much sweeter, garnished with coconut. It would be dessert: a dessert that would make my ribs freeze and hurt, prompting me to ask why I don’t get brain freeze like other people. I walked right into it when Brent said it was because I don’t have a brain.

Oct. 13, 2013- PS (3)

We stopped at Target alas I could not find the grey boots I was looking for and I came to the conclusion that I cannot pull of wearing moto-boots. The soda selection there was just awful. Trying to get to our hotel was a bit tedious, as we had to wind through the airport but that is what happens when you get a hotel right next door to the airport.

No sooner had I plotzed on the bed, watching Bruce Almighty, it was time to get back up. We had to go to the gas station, fill up the tank and return the car to the rental agency. We stopped at the gift shop downstairs wherein I found the motherload of souvenirs: a Route 66 shirt, Route 66 postcard and with my purchase I could get a hot-air balloon pin for a penny! Score! After returning the car we sat waiting for the hotel shuttle that was supposed to run every 15-30 minutes. At the 45 minute mark we gave up and took the airport shuttle, and from the airport took the hotel shuttle.

Oct. 13, 2013- PS (4)

Before going back to the room I demanded we play a game of chess. In the lobby they had a table with GIANT chess pieces set up and I could not stop thinking about it.  Somehow I managed to lose at chess, it did not help that I did not know the more complex rules such as “castling” and other such things.  Eating a slice of pizza and half a donut while watching The Amazing Race turned out to be a bad idea- my stomach started hurting really bad. We had wanted to watch The Walking Dead, but for some reason it was shown at a different time. And our back-up show, Family Guy wasn’t open because of baseball. Going to bed at 9pm is not such a bad idea when you have to get up at 4am the next morning to catch a flight home.

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Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Adventures of Pinka!, Travel


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Four States, 2013: Day 8

Fri. Oct. 11, 2013:

As we planned our drive, figuring out how to get to the arches that were accessible we found out that Utah was going to use its own funds to open up the State Parks… the next day- AUGH! When I went downstairs to grab free breakfast everyone was glued to the TV watching CNN, the shut-down was still in effect. Clearly whoever had set up breakfast was also distracted: there were so few good options (apple danish, apple streusel, blueberry muffin or an appeared-to-be-banana-better-not-risk-it muffin). Thank goodness I had saved my giant M&M cookie from the previous day. While I was gone I had missed some developments in the Utah-Opening-Its-Parks story, now they were possibly even going to open later in the day. Alas, we could not risk sitting around and the parks not being opened, we would have lost a whole day.

Before we could really set out on the road I demanded a quick stop at Wicked Brew. It was a drive-thru coffee shop we had walked by the day before and I simply had to have their coffee. On the website it said that they roast their own espresso beans plus they had a bunch of wacky flavour combinations. In the end though I ended up getting just a regular latte, you cannot try in-house roasted espresso with all the bells & whistles of flavour shots. It was so cute, they put a little guitar pick sticker over the opening to prevent spillage as well as a chocolate covered espresso bean. I hadn’t even had a sip of it yet and already I was in love with the place. One sip and I knew this would be my go-to coffee place if ever I were to return to Moab (which is sadly doubtful, the espresso was so good!).

Oct. 11, 2013- UT-NM (1)

Our first stop was Hoe n” The Rock, which was along the way thankfully. We were originally just going to have a quick look, use the bathrooms and leave. But then they reeled us in with the promise of an albino raccoon and we wound up paying admission to the zoo. Yes, that’s right; the house carved into a rock face was complete with a zoo. We bought a bucket of animal feed as well, it was early in the day and clearly we were the first visitor’s of the day. The male deer, aptly named John Deere was in heat- we were told not to be bothered by him if he decided to hit the fence or angrily grunt at us, he was just protective of his lady. Warned or not, it was still pretty scary, we didn’t feed him. The zebra and the cows with giant horns could not care less that we were walking by with a bucket of food. The albino raccoon and the pot-bellied pig were asleep. Things turned around when I saw that there was a baby buffalo, alas it also did not care that we had food and paid us no attention. The baby alpaca was interested- but so were his parents, who got most of the food. I fed one of the alpacas a carrot, scared that it would spit at me if I didn’t hand it over. They have giant ugly teeth that are probably not meant to be seen from that close up. The miniature horse was the really pig amongst the zoo animals, hitting the fence with his hoof demanding more food. All that did was alert the miniature donkey that there was food. On our way in to the zoo, Brent tried to get the camel’s attention, apparently it will take the carrot straight from your mouth, but he was more interested in eating hay. He only perked up as we were coming back, carrot-less at that point. On our way out we had fed the animals again with what was left. The albino raccoon was finally awake and poking his cute head out, it was zoo-keeper feeding time. The zebra finally cared and ate some of our food. The cows were only interested in us when I tried to take their picture. The real winner of the zoo was the ostrich. We had been told that once we had very little food left in the bucket to go see the ostrich about cleaning it out. Sure enough, he obliged and stuck his head through the fence eating the last little bits. It was scary and entertaining, I am glad I was not the one holding the bucket.

Oct. 11, 2013- UT-NM (4)

We popped into the gift shop, which was part of the house built into the rock and therefore counted as entering the structure. We had spent so much time in the zoo and then wandering the grounds that we had to get going. Plus it would have been an awkward tour as we were the only people there.

Looking Glass Arch was off the highway, down a dirt path road that, thanks to all the rain, was now a mud path road. The car was not doing so well, red mud was flying everywhere. There had been no warning of this whatsoever. The arch was beautiful but I could not climb to the very top to look down over the other side as my shoes did not have enough tread and the rock was too smooth and steep. I was not alone, there were a few other people hanging out near the top that could not make it all the way up.

Oct. 11, 2013- UT-NM (13)

Up next was Wilson arch where I made Brent pose like a dorky tourist beside the sign for a dorky tourist photo. This arch was right next to the highway. Somehow I had managed to climb all the way to the top, being able to look out over the wonderful highway. Getting back down was the tough part. I had forgotten the path I took to the top and struggled to get back down. It did not help matters that I kept slipping. At the last ledge I was stuck and could not figure out how to get down. Brent was amused to no end as a toddler passed by, somehow beating me to the bottom as I tried to figure out how to get down.

We drove towards an entrance to Canyonlands, but we were headed to Newspaper Rock. We saw a tour bus coming the other way; they had tried to go to Canyonlands- which was another 25 minutes down the road! I had looked up Newspaper Rock online, curious about it. One person had complained in a review that they saw no petroglyphs but when we got there, we saw so many. That person had clearly gotten lost and was just staring at a rock. It was amazing to see these drawings that had been done over 2000 years ago, despite the fact that some idiots had also defaced the rock.

Oct. 11, 2013- UT-NM (34)

Driving back to the highway I noticed that the road signs appeared to have bullet holes in them: a lot of holes in a lot of signs. It was odd to say the least. A cute little chipmunk with a white tail scurried across the road- right in front of us, but he got to the other side safely. Just when my heart had stopped racing I saw a cow up ahead, standing in the road but not in our lane. Brent rolled down his window and slowly drove up and the cow just stared at him. I was beside myself with laughter.

Oct. 11, 2013- UT-NM (37)

Listening to Stuff You Should Know on how handwriting analysis works was driving me crazy. They were talking about what a z looks like in cursive writing. The next minutes were filled with mad scribbling on a scrap of paper, desperately trying to write a z.

We drove by a deer-crossing sign that was all lit up Vegas-style… but where were these deer coming from?! All around there were just houses and valleys! And right then I saw a deer standing in someone’s driveway.

It was a long drive to Santa Fe with a lot of passive staring out the window, watching 10 Corvettes go whizzing by in the opposite direction. We passed by an alpaca farm where there was one alpaca in desperate need of a trim. All his friends had been sheared and he was the lone fluffy fuzzball left, he looked hilarious because he was twice the size of his buddies. We stopped at truck stop/welcome centre for a much needed break. My legs were cramping and I was hungry. This whole time driving we had not passed anything at all. Lunch consisted of a Moon Pie, Oreo Brownie and Jalapeno Cheddar Munchies mix. Moon Pies are sorely overrated, there is way too much cookie and I would rather just eat a Jos Louis. The Oreo brownie was just a brownie with icing on top, nothing too special. I kind of wish I had not bought the Munchies mix, as it was so good that I curse the fact that I cannot find it in Canada. The driving was getting to me. I was antsy and stiff and then inexplicably my eyes started to burn and I had tears rolling down my face- no, I was not crying because we just drove by a bison farm or because there was snow on the ground.

Thanks to the government shut-down we didn’t have a hotel room booked in Santa Fe. First we drove to Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese resort & spa in the hopes that in addition to finding out about spa services (our plans for the next day) we could maybe book a room for the next 2 days. Alas, it being a long weekend we were out of luck. And not just for hotel rooms either. I had wanted to book a deep stone massage; alas those were all booked up. I was intrigued by the deluxe herbal wrap and good thing I had asked about it: you are wrapped up like a mummy and then it is boiling hot in the room, but oh it’s ok, they feed you ice water through a straw, pass. In the end I booked a head & neck massage, as I had not brought my bathing suit with me on vacation and there was no way I would get naked in a communal co-ed tub (which was Brent’s plan).

Dinner was inevitably at McDonald’s; we needed the free wi-fi to find a hotel. I caved and tried their mighty wings, they were ok, but I should have known better than to order wings at McDonalds. We drove to the hotel we had found, but along the way we saw a Days Inn and stopped there to inquire. They had 1 room and it was smoking. The Quality Inn was full. Before we got to the Holiday Inn we saw a Courtyard Mariott where we got the last room available. It turns out that trying to find a hotel room on the Friday night of a long weekend is a less than stellar idea.

We walked to the Walmart down the street so I could return my memory card; turns out I didn’t need it after all. I had bought it in another state and the clerk balked at their higher tax to which I replied that is even higher in Ontario. We found MegaStuff Oreos (as in quadruple icing) that were half chocolate half vanilla and strawberry-infused Mike & Ikes (they were gross). This Walmart had the worst selection of Ben & Jerry’s I had ever laid eyes upon, they didn’t even have Phish Food. On our way to the register Brent thought he had found a smaller package of Oreos, I laughed because I knew he was wrong. He insisted and so we bet 3 kisses on it. Lo & behold, I was right.

The cherry beer that I had gotten in Utah, Kriek Lambic, had a labyrinth of wrappings. It was wrapped with foil, like a champagne bottle, under which there was a bottle cap which after prying it off I found a cork! Luckily the bottle opener we had gotten from the front desk was also a corkscrew. It was all worth it as… THIS WAS THE GREATEST BEER EVER (which I later learned was one I had fallen in love with in Canada, not realizing it was the same beer). Bad TV and junk food, topped off with beer made for a really great evening. And it turned even better when a good show came on, about the brain and illusions. Illusions such as: double stuff Oreos are amazing, therefore quadruple Oreos would be twice as amazing! Not so, my stomach (and my pancreas) were not happy. Brent was not doing too well either, he had been nursing a rather large 13% beer and it was getting to him.

Oct. 11, 2013- PS

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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Adventures of Pinka!, Travel


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