Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Trips in Pics

The sky is a soft drape of powder blue and white smoke cloud. Melt drips from the eaves above the window and dissolves a dull furrow in the two inches covering the lawn. Rifle reports reverberate from somewhere beyond treeline.

It's December 27th in rural Maine.


Like last year, I'm stealing a colleague's idea for my "wrapup" post. That colleague would be Eva Holland, former Matador editor and current senior ed at World Hum, who recently posted My Year in Travel: 7 Photos. Yes, I've even copied her on # of shots.

And like my last--I dunno--lots of posts, this one is photo based. Not a lot of creativity in the core reserve these days, and writing something of equal or greater value to these images would tap beyond what I've got.

So, in no particular order, here are most of the places I went and some of what I did there over the past year. I feel like it was a good one.

January, Colorado: On what's become sort of a family tradition, we were driving up to Monarch Mountain for some early-year skiing and happened to pass a full-on castle on the side of Highway 69, northwest of Walsenburg. This is Bishop's Castle, a 40+ year obsession of one eccentric dude. It's still under construction--Jim Bishop was milling a rather large beam during our visit. Admission is free, donation is suggested, and the castle is spectacular. Check google images for more.

September, Jordan: Thanks again to the Jordan Tourism Board, who hosted me on a freaking amazing 10-day trip through the country. This shot is of two tourists and their guide on a camel ride through Wadi Rum.

June, South Dakota: On a part anniversary, part "tour the four states I haven't been to" roadtrip, Carey and I drove through western SD's Black Hills and Badlands (the latter pictured above). We did not mtn bike--this dude was just standing there surveying.

August, Canada: A whirlwind "visit friends" roadtrip took us to Niagara Falls, Canada, where we got this view of the Canadian side of the falls.
July, Colorado: Another press trip had me in Winter Park for Crankworx Colorado. Many thanks to the Winter Park-Fraser Valley CoC and Winter Park Resort for a great time.

August, NYC: After Niagara, we continued to the city to stay with friends renting a place on the Upper West Side. This shot was taken from the High Line looking east down 23rd St.

November, Florida: At the end of October we picked up a new travel companion--Halah, our two-year-old blue heeler. She handled a week in the car like a champ during another sort of tradition--our pre-holiday roadtrip up to Maine. I think this pic was taken at a campground in Gulf Islands National Seashore, the rapidly eroding barrier island off Pensacola.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jordan: Parting Shots

Yeah, so, I was in Jordan.

I haven't written too much about the trip here because I figured my photos would do the job of conveying what an awesome time it was. Plus, I just published a feature article at Matador Trips called 7 things I didn't expect to find in Jordan. Check it out, and look for more next month.

My trip was organized and largely paid for by the good folks at the Jordan Tourism Board. Many thanks go out to them for the opportunity to get to a know a country that's pretty misunderstood by a lot of people. I know it surprised me.

This post is the last I'll publish here about Jordan. In parting, I'll share three more pics that demonstrate three very different experiences of the country:

 The ruins of Qasr al Abd, a fortress built ~200 BC in the Iraq Al-Amir area just outside Amman. Apparently, Hyrcanus of Jerusalem got a little too cozy with the Ptolemy brass in Alexandria, and his noble Ammonite brothers decided to dispatch him. He built this fortress to fend them off, but didn't have time to finish it. They got him.

Sunset from Wadi Feynan. Behind me, the road leads to Feynan Ecolodge, my favorite of the many fine accommodations we enjoyed on the trip. Read more about it in 7 things I didn't expect to find in Jordan.

Dusk falls over the Dead Sea, as viewed from the infinity pool at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea. Directly after taking this picture, Carey and I sat down on some cushions and smoked watermelon-mint shisha. Luxury.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wadi Rum: 7 Images

View from the visitor center, noontime and toasty. Just to the left of this frame is TE Lawrence's "7 Pillars of Wisdom" rock formation.

Most tours of Wadi Rum are run in 4x. Cool kids get to ride in the bed.

Bedouin camps within Wadi Rum can arrange camel rides.

The sun sets quickly and dramatically in this desert.

Our hosts at Captain's private camp.

The next day's first light hits the high rock.

Early sun shadows.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Petra: 7 More Images

Even the walk into Petra is gorgeous. You pass through the Siq, or Gorge, which is quite narrow at spots but opens up in others.

This tourist stepped in front of my camera while I was on the ground, turning what would have been just another low-angle shot of the Treasury into something unique.

Similarly, this random guy in a white thawb gives the Great Tomb
some much-needed scale.

Looking back past one of the many groups of riding camels towards the Great Tomb.

Standing before the Monastery, at the top of "900 steps" carved into the sandstone.

Carey and Smena 8M and tombs.

The Monastery. The city on the hill in the background is where the Bedouins, forced out of their Petra caves when the site achieved UNESCO status in 1985, relocated to.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Petra: First Look

Taken after the final turn of the Siq, when the first sliver of the Treasury appears.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

How I Learned that Downhill/Freestyle Mountain Biking Is Cool

Over the last weekend in July, I was hosted at Winter Park Resort through the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce. The visit coincided with the fifth-annual Crankworx Colorado, "one of the largest gravity-fueled mountain bike festivals in the United States." I camped out for a couple hours on a steep, sunny hill by the Slopestyle course and got the shots above and below.

Better yet, I got to strap on the body armor, throw a multi-thousand-dollar downhill rental onto the special bike-ready chairlift (which I failed at, by the way--they had to stop the lift--felt very "bunny slope"), and ride up for a 3-hour lesson with Winter Park lead instructor David Deveny.

The pic below was taken during our first run on a trail called Greenworld (bike trails being labeled by difficulty using roughly the same system as ski runs). On my second run, we were rolling down 10ft rock features and hucking off wedge jumps. I looked so dumb, yet I felt so cool.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Midwestern Landscapes

Yesterday, Matador Nights published my scorecard for the breweries and bars Carey and I hit on our Midwestern road trip this month. But there was more to the drive than towns and cities and beers. Here are some different views:

Sunrise Point, Mt. Nebo State Park, AR. Nebo is a 1350ft tabletop with cooler temps and fewer mosquitoes than the Arkansas River valley below. The development of the state park was largely a CCC project. There's also a Sunset Point, but I liked this one better--no one else came out for the pre-6am sunrise.

Shore of Lake Michigan, Kohler-Andrae State Park, Sheboygan, WI. There's little difference in appearance between the Great Lakes and the ocean. They are massive.

Badlands National Park, SD. There was a moment on the road in Badlands--we had some cloud cover, the tan, orange, and ocher bands of eroded rock contrasting with the deep green of the prairie grass--when I thought this landscape was the most beautiful I've seen in America. This shot was taken on a trail just east of the visitors center.

Brownstone Falls, Copper Falls State Park, WI. We hiked the Doughboy's Trail (another CCC project), with views of two falls and two bridge crossings of the Bad River.

North Unit, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND. My new answer to anyone who talks shit about North Dakota. There are two units to the park, both contained within the much larger Little Missouri National Grassland and both protecting eroded-butte river valleys of the Little Missouri.

Buffalo Gap Campground, Little Missouri National Grassland, ND. Just down the Interstate from the town of Medora and the entrance to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Highway 14A through Spearfish Canyon, Black Hills National Forest, SD. Regrettably, this shot was the best I got, as we really only drove through the Black Hills. Looking back, that was a big mistake.

Mountain biker in Badlands National Park. Another shot from the park, this one farther west and at higher elevation along the Loop Road.

Shore of Lake Superior, Ashland, WI. There wasn't much going on in Ashland, but sunset over Chequamegon Bay made up for it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Notes from American Roads

27, northern NE, midday, overcast, windy
There are no cars on Highway 27, from Pine Ridge into the Sand Hills. The road is thin and bobs with the hills. The only traveler on Highway 27 is a heavy cow. She has left the pasture and is walking, legally, down the oncoming shoulder. She swings her face toward us, an expression maybe of hesitance, apprehension in a human face, turns and continues south.

41, southwestern Arkansas, evening
I'm alone. I've been driving all day. I have listened to the news, listened to songs, kept singing the songs when the songs were done, sometimes just bass lines, guitar riffs. The sun has finally sunk far enough that there's only a daylit glow.

It's another song coming on that does it, probably Portishead, probably Roads, but I start thinking about death.

And I get that feeling like I usually do, that same feeling as when I close my eyes underwater and just float, a kind of pin-prick wave that washes through my face, every time I think, I mean think what it really means:


The Ouachita Mountains are gray forms building on the horizon to the north. I have an hour or two more of sun to find camp.

River Terrace Park, Monticello, MN, dusk
It is a spring and summer of floods. "Any site 'cept down by the river, ground's still too wet there to pitch a tent."

The old man's pickup is plastered with big letters: "Obama's plan for America is high taxes and socialism" or something. I hold myself awkwardly and feel very "city folk."

We pitch on wet grass by the playground, close enough to the Mississippi to see its flow. It's fast.

There's not much for kindling, but then we notice the drifts of tree pollen against the border of grass and pavement. It's dry, and we throw it on the fire and watch it spark and the light pick up like we'd flicked a switch.

146, East Cape Girardeau, IL, early afternoon, sun
The Mississippi runs inland for a mile or more on the IL side, covering the low ground, an elevation differential lost other times, but now clearly lined out by wet and dry, murky pools pushing at foundational rises of gas stations and barbershops. Sandbags, too. It feels like disaster tourism, but I keep looking and I'm glad I'm here.

Minot, ND, afternoon, partly cloudy
Minot is the Magic City. We drive by the zoo and it's closed, mounds of dead wood, leaves, and plastic marking the flood reach of the Souris River, probably not more than a week old. Later in the month, I'll wake up at home and hear that Minot is under 15 feet of water.

127, southern IL, getting on to evening, humid
Dips and rises in the highway, each dip a stream and a stand of trees, each stand of trees broadcasting the high-decibel screech of brood XIX cicadas. A noise that has made people insane. I cannot see their red eyes and wings, but I know there are millions.

I drive with the windows down b/c there's no AC and it's always better with the windows down, even though it lets the humidity in and my skin is buttered with oil and salt, and the western sun burns my arm hanging out the window. I drive with the windows down and the cicadas are almost loud enough to cover the radio.

2, western ND, early afternoon, hot
A ways past Minot, North Dakota farm country turns hilly, amassed green bumps topped with grayish-white weathered stones. It looks like Britain, without the sheep.

We listen to a podcast about psychedelics, about new scientific experiments. Terminal cancer patients were dosed with psilocybin. They listened to music, they cried. They went home and talked with their mothers and lovers and friends. They came back to debrief, said how it made them feel that EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Months later, they died.

We listen in silence.

155, E Texas, afternoon, bright
I am hours into my road trip. The sun is still high but starting to shift southwest. There's a farm on the right of the road, two horses halfway up a little slope. They're facing each other, standing shoulder to shoulder. Necks pigtailed together.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Food Revolts, Argentina

I did not like the food in Argentina.

Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I was ill prepared.

I did not expect to find spice eschewed to the point that black pepper is unavailable at most restaurants. I did not realize the Italian heritage of Buenos Aires would manifest as freezer gnocchi and the worst pizza in the world. I did not think a country with a 5,000km coastline would neglect seafood, or that the steaks I ate would, rather than "blowing my mind," be indistinguishable from the meat I occasionally consume in the States (disclaimer: I am not the best judge of steak). I did not know most baked goods would be either sickly sweet or stuffed with deli ham.

Why was I ill prepared?

There is a hype on Argentine cuisine. It is prevalent among foreign travelers in South America. "The food is awesome." "The steak is amazing." This is repeated by backpackers both coming from and heading to Argentina. Within the tourist-trail culture of the continent, it is common knowledge.

I bought in. I was disappointed.

In one silly way, this disappointment made me feel superior. It was fun to imagine myself the minority, the underdog, the holder of on-the-ground, unadulterated TRUTH, standing with objectivity against a horde of hype and hyperbole.

But feeling superior also made me feel like an asshole. And my disappointment put me at odds with my friends. It made me question my tastes, worry that maybe I was, to quote a comment from one of my Matador articles, "some sort of nerd that just hates normal stuff." Worse, it made me question why I had come to Argentina at all, and whether I had any right to be there.

Over the last few weeks, I learned I am not the only normal-hating nerd out there. Andrea and John of inspiringtravellers.com and Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic recently rated Argentine food a "meh." This is the only negativity I have seen the travel blog world bestow on Argentine cuisine (with the exception of Tom Gates' pizza, of course).

Why are these posts appearing now? Is the hype thinning? Is there a food revolt sparking among travelers in Argentina? Are nerds multiplying?

I don't know.

When I read these posts, I say FINALLY out loud. But then I feel that same urge of dissent, that pride of the underdog, pulling me towards an about-face. Not a full 180...the truth is, though, I didn't hate 100% of the things I put in my stomach in Argentina.

So in the interest of honesty--and maybe a little guilt--after several paragraphs of cuisine-culture bashing, I've come to a very different focus with this post: what I enjoyed, food-wise, during my months in Buenos Aires. Some of it is even Argentine.

* medialunas and mate - Most afternoons, my wife and I would leave our 10th-floor apartment with a termo and a canister of mate, walk to the corner bakery and pick up a pair of medialunas, and continue to Bosque de Palermo where we'd eat and drink by the pond. The sweet glaze of the croissant was cut nicely by the bitterness of the unfiltered tea.
* Barrio Chino - Once I discovered you can buy Mexican salsa at the grocery stores in Chinatown, my outlook on BsAs started improving. Some of the Asian restaurants here are good too. There's also a Koreatown around Carabobo south of 25 de Mayo.
* animal guts - Americans are a world minority in that we forgo the non-flesh parts of our meat animals. The oily, acrid smell and taste of intestines is the only way in which the Argentine parrilla reminded me of the Korean 고깃집. Sweetbreads was a new favorite for me.
* random (non-buffet) veggie restaurants - There were a few: Bio comes to mind, as does Buenos Aires Verde.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Maps

Will my summer road trip route look like this...

Distance: 3,546 miles; Driving time: 2d, 11h

...or something a little grander?

Distance: 6,240 miles; Driving time: 4d, 15h

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

4 Conversation Fragments Overheard at 2011 Austin Kite Festival + Analysis

1. Tall and scruffy hippie dude w/ saucer eyes and patchwork pants, directed towards young female passing with leashed dog: "Is it all a dream, or what?"

Analysis: 50% chance failed pickup line, 50% chance genuine drug-induced wonderment.

2. Middle-aged, graying-haired, "normal"-looking female, accompanied by middle-aged, graying-haired, "normal"-looking husband / partner / brother / friend / accomplice, directed towards small leashed dog of two young prepped-out females w/ quickly progressing sunburns: "Ohhhhh!!!! Is your baby, a, a, baby!!! Or, a..."

Analysis: No conceivable estimation as to meaning of utterance can be reached.

3. One of aforementioned pair of young prepped-out females w/ quickly progressing sunburns and small leashed dog, directed to other, possibly in reference to C., standing at distance of approximately one meter: "Dude, I dare you to jack that chick."

Analysis: High likelihood subjects of analysis refer to partially exposed wallet protruding from rear pocket of C., unaware of wrath that execution of said "jacking" would unleash.

4. Unseen male, possibly late 30s, possessed of strong surfer accent, directed to second unseen male of indeterminate age / background: "Yeah...I can land a backflip."
Second male of indeterminate age / background, responding with strongly incredulous tone, almost to point of challenge: "Really?"

Analysis: Given recent meteorological warming trend in Austin area, and gender / age / inflection of interlocutors, determination is 60% chance said "backflip" refers to wakeboarding experience of previous day (Saturday), undertaken at Lake Travis. Also 22% chance topic of conversation is recent snowboarding trip to Colorado, Summit County. Percentage chance of alternative topics diminishes rapidly from this point, rendering further speculation unproductive.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Notes on the Jackhammer

* I had an MRI today.

* The MRI lady had me lie down on the slidey bed and put my knee in some kind of brace. Then she closed the brace up tight and put a sandbag on my ankle to keep my leg still and said I couldn't move it at all, not even wiggle my toes. I didn't know if I'd be able to do it, especially now that all I was thinking about was wiggling my toes. She also put some headphones over my ears. "To protect your hearing," she said. "It's loud, like a jackhammer." She offered to pipe the radio through, and I said yes, but then I thought about it more and said no. I thought maybe I'd like to make this a dramatic experience, and background music would kill the mood.

* I thought about meditating. I was lying directly below a junction in the ceiling tiles, and looking up at it, the tile lines ran out to the four directions like a cross or medicine wheel or something. I tried to meditate on that, stare at the lines till they shimmered like stared at things do, but after a few seconds my throat started to clench up and make me swallow, like it always does when I'm trying to be self-aware. Like my own personal mara demon or something.

* But what I could see clearest of all--because I was only stuck in the MRI machine up to my waist, with my top half sticking out--was the big SIEMENS logo stamped on the front of the machine. I just lay there staring at it, wondering if it was some ingenious advertising tactic on Siemens' part, to have millions of people every day strapped in and staring, an audience captive and prostrate to their brand, or whether it was just an unintended consequence of rather straightforward product labeling.

* At first, the only noise I heard wasn't loud or like a jackhammer. It sounded like a pump, but like a cartoon version of a pump. Like the MRI machine was some steampunk contraption gone wrong or a forgotten prop from City of Lost Children. After listening a while I wanted to laugh at it, but there was no way I was going to risk jiggling my leg this soon into the game.

* When the imaging finally kicked in, it was loud, but it still didn't sound like a jackhammer. It was like that Flaming Lips song "Fight Test," where it says "The test begins...now-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow" with the word all chopped up and drawn out. I didn't think of the melodic part of the song, the bits Cat Stevens sued over, just that first part, and I lay there wondering what kind of drug makes the world sound like that.

* Further in the noise changed, faster now, and yeah, it sounded a little like a jackhammer. But more like a jackhammer effect on a synthesizer. And at one point I even heard a piano in there, like a three-note chord played high up on the keyboard, hitting on every fourth jackhammer beat or so. It was weird and musical, the way any patterned noise can be musical if you want to think about it that way.

* It reminded me of this guy from UVM, tall guy with a beard who sold mushrooms out of his dorm room. The guy who always called me "man" in an awkward way that made me pretty sure he didn't know my name. But I always remembered his name, because it was Pascal, and how am I going to forget that? One time it was like 3 in the morning, and someone had pulled the fire alarm again, and all us guys from the first floor and all the girls from the second were jammed into one of the stairwells in Chittenden. Just standing there, slumping on the stairs, no one talking, the alarm squawking, pounding echoes really loud in this hard, narrow space. And Pascal says, "dude, if this was a Phish show, we'd all be jamming to this shit," and a couple people laughed, and I thought he was right on.

* Thoughts I didn't have during the MRI but am having now: 1. I wonder if anyone has been in the MRI and been meditating on the ceiling tiles and slipped into some sort of shamanic state and been jackhammered straight past the four noble truths and ascetic suffering and directly to enlightenment. 2. I wonder if all the MRI machines in the world were going at once, if their jackhammering would synchronize into some kind of sonic wave deep in the earth, and this giant p-wave would explode out and wash over the whole world.

* When it was done, the slidey bed slid out and I felt pretty damn proud for not fidgeting or wiggling my toes and making the techs redo any of the imaging series, at least as far as I knew. I wanted to ask how often they had to redo stuff because of fidgeters, and I really wanted to ask how often someone just lost it in there, like big-time freaked. But they seemed pretty busy, so I just went into the dressing room and untied the gray hospital robe and tossed it in the dirty bin and put my street clothes back on.

* At the parking garage exit, I gave the ticket booth guy my validated parking ticket, and when he asked how I was doing and I said "fine how are you" he got happy and excited, more than he should have, I thought, and smiled real big. But I didn't say anything else. I looked away and waited for the gate to swing up, and then I drove away. I didn't remember that part of the day till right now.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Free Beer in Unexpected Places

There's a phenomenon in Texas called Lone Star Beer.

The brand promotes itself as the state's "national beer." I know lots of states have their own homegrown Budweiser alternative, but given the population of Texas, Lone Star is probably the most-drunk. The "nationalist" label obviously appeals to die-hard locals, including those who advocate (with varying degrees of tongue-in-cheek) for secession.

But Lone Star also seems to be the brew of choice among the Austin hipster set. Walk into one of those consciously designed dive bars on E. 6th (Shangri-La, Rio Rita, etc.) and you'll see a whole lot of skinny jeans and whole lot of red and gold cans.

My take: Sure, Lone Star's cheap, but I don't care to drink it unless it's free. And there happen to be a couple places in East Austin where that's the case:

1. Birds Barbershop - This local chain (four locations, one on E. 6th) doesn't take appointments, so you typically wind up waiting when you get there. But it's cool, because Lone Star cans are on the house. (Haven't had cause to test this, but I'm assuming it's limit one per customer). Mohawks go for $15.

Note: Best to chug it if your number's almost up. Drinking while draped in that black sheet thingy is kinda awkward.
Photo: Design Crisis

2. I Luv Video - Another Austin chain, I Luv's Airport Blvd. location is probably the biggest video store I've ever been in. It's easy to spend half an hour wandering the two stories, searching for off-beat sci-fi movies I've never heard of. So it's pretty sweet that on Tuesday nights they give out free Lone Star--and at this place it's kegged.

Note: They ID everyone and are pretty serious about not taking beer outside. Brew flows till the keg floats.
Photo: Austin360

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taking the Online Offline in 2010

I'm sick of "year-end wrapup" posts. And here it is January 4 and I'm writing one. I feel like a tool.

But I was inspired by one of the dozens I read over the past week, so much that I wanted to copy it. It's here: 11 Traveler Meetings in 2010, written by travel blogger Ekua who, incidentally, I met in 2010.

I like it because the travel blogging community is almost exclusively a virtual community. We email and gchat and skype and come to know these avatars of real people, which usually aren't 100% representations of those people. To actually meet them feels subversive, and very satisfying.

Here's how my year in the real world went.

A Matador intern in my hometown--small world? I met Cathey Franke at one of my all-time favorite hang-out-and-work coffeeshops, Madhatters in Southtown. It was a great start to a year of meetups.

It was cold in Austin towards the end of SXSW. I drove up from San Antonio in the gray rain to the Hyatt Regency, where then-Matador Nights editor Tom Gates was staying on an annual music-industry junket. Matador Sports intern Lindi Horton was there too, and Tom found us with a big smile and a big hug. Then he bought us breakfast while a bat flew around the massive 10-story lobby. It was awesome.

Early May was spent driving up to Maine the slow way, which included an overnight in Brooklyn and a long-overdue handshake with my partner in Matador Trips crime, Carlo Alcos. I got to crash at his place near Prospect Park, and as a super added bonus there was another way-delayed meetup with Julie Schwietert Collazo, her husband Francisco, and 7-month-old Mariel. A year and a half after staying in their Mexico City apartment for five weeks, we finally got a face to face.

Early July
Out West on an epic summer roadtrip. After a day on deserted central Nevadan highways without A/C, I pulled into Mammoth Lakes, where the amazing Trips intern Sarah Park overlooked my stink and generously put me up for the night. A beautiful welcome to the Golden State.

Middle July
Next was San Francisco, which is kinda like Matador headquarters--homebase for CEO Ross Borden. We met up in the Mission for tacos, and I got to hear some incredible stories from his trip to Madagascar. A few days later, there was an even grander Matador gathering at Bissap Baobab, attended by long-time Matador editor Juliane, talented contributors Valerie (check out Houston Har Gow and 5 Reasons Why I Want to Travel To Taiwan Right Now) and Lauren (check out My Hometown in 500 Words: Oakland, CA and 5 Views of a Lesser-Known Morocco), and Matador aficionados Naomi and Ekua. Huge!

Late July
The journey's northern terminus was Seattle, where MatadorTV captain Joshywashington hangs his hat. Meeting him and his awesome wife Bridget for a beer at the Garage was the perfect bookend to the trip.

Tim Patterson was my first editor at Trips. He's been all over the map in past years but is now landed in his home village of Craftsbury Commons, VT, an easy detour off the route from Maine to Burlington. I met him there and got an extensive tour of Sterling College, where he works, his under-construction home, which is going to have the sickest sunset view ever, and his parents' 100 acres. A couple nights later, we shared some craft brew at the Farmhouse and impromptu jams at Nectar's in Burlington.

2011, bring it on!