Friday, September 30, 2011

#22 - See a Bison

The American Bison is a massive, awesome, beast of a beast. Seeing a herd of them up close is insane. The power in their stance is powerful. The rumble in their grunts is rumbly.

If they wouldn't have killed me I would have given em all a bear hug. Screw that. I would have given em a big ol bison hug.

Go to Wyoming. See a bison. It's perfect.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

#21 - Drift the Snake River

What's better than drunk rafting down the Snake River?

Not much. Maybe eating a great sandwiches while riding a T-Rex, but other than that...

My first visit to Wyoming started in the Teton National Forest. The bosomy snowy peaks of the aptly named Teton Mountain Range are best viewed while drifting down the Snake. So, I did.

With no planning at all I somehow lucked into the perfect combination of shocking yellow and red fall foliage and crazy hot summer weather, so getting into the chilly water felt amazing.

During the spring and summer the river rages several meters higher than the mellow depth we cruised at, making it a rush for whitewater enthusiasts. However, I wouldn't change the dreamy pace and serene views we took in while creeping along in the calm, shallow waters.

Wyoming is a beautiful place and I'm stoked I got such a great first impression.

Monday, September 26, 2011

#20 - Party on Hollywood Boulevard

Yes I'm from San Dimas, CA - home of Bill and Ted, and yes, I have had some excellent adventures. Thing is, even though I grew up a mere 30 minutes from L.A. - and I've been out a few times in L.A. to some rad bars - I've never actually rocked out on Hollywood Boulevard. Ever. One time I drove a friend around for an hour looking for the Hollywood sign which we didn't find. We ended up drinking and running into the ocean instead.

So when my brother's 31st birthday came around we spent that Friday at his office in LA just around the corner from the famous Kodak Theater. 5pm, beers flowed, and skablamee - I found myself swilling whiskey at a Hollywood pool bar.

I saw a red carpet, people posing with tourists, the walk of fame, the friggin Hollywood sign, and a few excellent bars.

I can't wait to get back to NY, but after seeing a different side of LA, it ain't as crap as I thought.

Well done, LA. Well done.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#19 - Drink from a Coconut

Like so many things in life, I based my expectations of drinking from a coconut on t.v. and movies. I pictured a tropical nectar somewhere between ambrosia and a Corona commercial. I was disappointed.

Honestly, coconut juice/goo is a warm, slightly syrupy drink that while healthy and pleasantly sweet, is tough to get through. A dude with a machete cut it open right in front of me (very cool) but that means it was room temperature and in Malaysia that means warm. I had to power through the surprising amount of liquid inside (you lied to me Tom Hanks in Castaway) and fought down a slight gag near the end.

All up it was a good time, but I probably won't do it again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

#18 - Visit a Hindu Temple at the Batu Caves

This post is of synch (I'm not still in Malaysia) but it's worth writing about.

The Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur are epic. It's a sweet day trip from town - I took the tram to KL Sentral station for one ringgit (about 35 cents) then hopped on the regional train to the last stop just outside the city, mysteriously labeled..."Batu Caves."

I went with two rad girls from the hostel - Miles and Ali - and the whole day including food, drinks, and trains only cost a few Ringgit. We went to the entry temple where they were celebrating a festival, then hiked up the mountain steps to a recessed temple in the caves overlooking the city. It was epic. The rain just drizzled enough to bring the jungle on the hill to verdant life complete with bird calls and inquisitive monkeys.

The Batu Caves are a doable, affordable, rewarding day trip from KL. I recommend it for everyone.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#16 Put Someone Else First

I haven't written any posts for about a week, and there are two reasons:

1) I got the measles (technically new thing #17, yay!) and I haven't been able to do anything.

2) I'm home, back in California.

I got news that my Dad was having heart problems so I cancelled the rest of my SE Asia trip to come home and help out. I've been in New Zealand and Australia for the past two years to get in touch with his side of the family and see where he's from and experience life from his perspective. I was worried that something would happen while I was out on the road, and I have so much to talk about with him now. Luckily, he;s doing better and the past few days with him and my mom and sister have been great.

I'm keeping the blog going because there are still plenty of things that I can do here that I haven't done, but it might be duller than if I were in SE Asia. I doubt I'll ride an elephant in San Dimas, although if one breaks out of a zoo and I ride that the post will be awesome. So both fingers crossed for poor zoo security.

Thanks to all of you who knew about my Dad. Your support and well wishes have been amazing and I appreciate every one. He's doing a lot better and the time we've spent together has been great. We even watched Dr. Zhivago together. Which leads me to my next post: #18 Watch a chick-flick with Dad.

It's weird but good.

So, thanks guys. It's good to be back!