Friday, 21. May 2010 21:44 | Author:Ryan


Well, it’s been a while since we last posted anything, as usual, so let’s try to get back in the game. This evening, Megan and I headed a few blocks from home to check out the Bamboozle Road Show… and to consider whether we should go again next week in Texas. The lineup isn’t bad, but I might be the oldest person here! And we’re sitting in the bleachers like a bunch of geezers… sigh… Rock on!

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Friday, 9. April 2010 9:54 | Author:Ryan

Well, folks – we’re back!  And in more ways than one…

It’s literally been almost 2 YEARS since anything was last posted in this blog, and it’s probably been almost as long since I last went to this page.  During that time, hundreds of thousands of spam comments were filtering their way into this blog.  So many in fact that it brought down our database.  Luckily, we were able to restore most of it, but the only way to get the posts back on this site was to painstakingly copy-and-paste over 200 entries, along with their comments.  There’s still a possibility that some got missed, but for the most part, we’re back in business.  To that end, we’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress so that I can post entries directly from my phone, and I’m hoping that we will end up making better use of this blog, especially on our future trips.  In any event, to help quell the amount of spam on this site, you’ll now have to enter a 4-character ‘code’ from an image in order to post a comment.  I hate those things, too, but it’s the only way to make this work without bringing down our database again!

In other news, we also had issues with our entire site a few days ago.  Over the past few months, we’ve been transitioned from our old hosting company (Emax Hosting) to Jumpline.  We neglected to update our domain nameservers during the transition, so our site ended up resolving to a dummy IP address.  That means that instead of seeing our pretty faces when you go to, you got to see some random blond chick with a backpack.  Too bad it was a week after April Fools.  Check it out:

Anyhow, hopefully this won’t be the only post of the year, but we’ll see what happens!  See ya down the road!

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Monday, 26. May 2008 18:49 | Author:Megan

We tried our best with the power situation to keep the webcam going as long as possible, but the laptop battery is about to die and the cord just isn’t working.  We will be home around 10:30pm tonight.  Thanks for watching and taking the trip with us!

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Headed Northeast

Monday, 26. May 2008 13:06 | Author:Megan

Well, we have about 6 hours of the trip left.  Ryan has done a fabulous job at driving – it’s quite an accomplishment to say that you drove almost 5000 miles at one time!  We think that we’ll be about 80 miles short of that when we get home.  According to our GPS, we have spent 97 hours in the car so far right now, so we’ll have broken 100 when we are done.  How crazy is that?  10 hours a day.

We do sort of wish that we had cut the trip down a little bit so that we would have had more time at each place… but I’ve enjoyed it.  It was what I expected.  There were only a couple times that I felt truly rushed.

I’m looking forward to being home and sleeping in my own bed though… :)

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Sunday, 25. May 2008 13:22 | Author:Megan

A few months ago, I found this cool thing online that converts the car voltage into real voltage.  One end is a cigarette lighter plug and the other end allows two or three prong plugs to fit in.  One of the purposes is to plug in your laptop in the car, which is what we’ve been using to have the webcam on and publishing to the site.  This morning, it stopped working… it was pretty random too, nothing went wrong with it; it just wouldn’t work when we plugged it in.  This obviously creates a big problem because we’ve really been relying on the internet to plan the trip as we drive, and without the computer, we won’t be able to use the webcam.  My laptop only lasts for an hour on battery, so we had to shut that off pretty soon.

Ryan’s computer has a plug that fits into the car, but there is a short in it so it doesn’t work very well.  It also doesn’t charge the battery (which is what my plug converter thing did) – this one just maintains the current battery life so that it doesn’t go down.  We just got the webcam hooked up to his computer, but the power keeps going in and out every time I move.  It’s awfully frustrating!  I’m going to have to be really careful for the next two days, so that we can continue to use the computer in the car.

I just wanted to let people know, in case we *do* stop capturing the webcam images.  It just means that our laptop batteries died.  :(

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Friday, 23. May 2008 8:32 | Author:Megan

Thursday was supposed to be a little more interactive, in the fact that we were going to actually DO stuff instead of just drive.  We started out at the NASA Space Center in Houston.  I had gone to space camp as a teenager in Alabama, so it was neat to come here too.  We took a 90 minute tour with a huge school group.  It was alright.  We got to see the original mission control and the astronaut training area.  We also saw real moon rocks and moon sand, which was pretty incredible.  We were there for about 3 hours, and knew that we had better get going if we wanted to complete our itinerary.

We headed down to Galveston, TX.  The waves in the Gulf of Mexico were huge!  It would have been nice to go swimming, but we had no time.  We drove by the water, took some pictures, and headed out.

Next was the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, a couple hours away from where we were.  We had to drive back through Houston to get there, and there was an accident blocked three lanes of traffic on the road that we had to take.  We lost about 25 minutes, which was unfortunate because we were already running late.  We got to the museum at 4:41pm and it closed at 5pm.  They were nice enough not to make us pay for the tickets, so we rushed through to see everything.  It was actually kinda fun and amusing.  Literally, we raced through… Ryan was taking a movie of it and it was just hilarious how fast we were going.  We made it out right before 5pm and “saw” everything.

After that whirlwind, we drove through the Texas A&M campus… and then headed to Gruene, TX.  We almost missed this stop, and I am glad that we didn’t.  We had dinner at the Gristmill River Restaurant – gorgeous view of the Guadalupe River and really good food.  We then spent a little bit of time at the Gruene Hall to listen to a live country band and watch some people dance.  Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is the oldest continually running dance hall in Texas.  It had so much character and charm.

We then drove the hour to San Antonio where we checked into our hotel.  We went up to the room and couldn’t turn the lights on.  Then we realized that you have to put the keycard into a slot on the wall to make the electricity work.  It was really freaking hot (more so than it was outside), so we tried to turn the AC on… and it didn’t work.  The compressor started to kick on, and then it shut off and blew out hot air.  I called the front desk to ask if we were doing something wrong, and she said to turn the knob to “cool.”  No kidding – I am not that stupid.  Ryan walked down to the office to see if they had another room, and she said that they did not have any more available.  If we wanted a refund (which they do not give) we had to wait 40 minutes for the manager to get in at 11pm.  So, we waited in the brutally hot room planning our next move.  At 11pm, we went down to the office…

The stupid front desk girl called the manager to let him know that we wanted to talk to him, but she didn’t tell him that we were down in the lobby.  She told us to go up to our room and he would meet us there (which was good because we wanted him to feel the temperature), but we ended up following him upstairs without him realizing it was us… so it was weird.  We go into the room, and he understands the problem and sees how pissed off we are, so he takes us down two doors to another room.  The bed was kind of ruffled and it was hot in there (because the electricity was off due to the weird key card thing).  Ryan felt the AC though and it was working, so the manager went downstairs to get us a key card for this room (he had the master).  I really wasn’t pleased with the room and I had told the manager how hot it was and how this really wasn’t acceptable.  Once he left, Ryan and I were outside talking loudly about how ridiculous the situation was.  I guess the manager could tell we still weren’t happy or overheard us, because when he came back, he told us to follow him to a different room.  This one had a king size bed (the other two had double beds, even though we booked a king) and you didn’t need a key card to turn the lights on.  Therefore, the air conditioner had already been running and the room was freezing cold.  Thank goodness.  So, an hour and a half later, we finally had a room that we could sleep in!

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Friday, 23. May 2008 8:21 | Author:Megan

On Wednesday morning, we had croissants for breakfast in the hotel (sorry, no time to try to find beignets).  We then headed to the Lower Ninth Ward… this was the worst area hit by Hurricane Katrina.  It was terrible.  The streets were practically empty because not many people have moved back.  It looked like a war zone… the houses were all falling down, broken windows, torn apart.  It was really sad to see everything in such ruins, knowing that people used to live there.  In one area, the houses were completely gone except for some front door steps.  The grass was taller than the car because no one is there to mow.  It was completely desolate and spooky.  It was really crazy to compare that to the French Quarter, which has been revitalized.  So sad.

The rest of the day was really spent driving by locations, taking pictures, and not being able to stop because of time.  Once of the places we stopped at was the Oak Alley Plantation, which was a gorgeous house with lots of huge oak trees.  We could have taken a tour, but we opted for the gift shop and then hit the road again.

When we first entered Louisiana, we had wanted to take our picture by the “welcome” sign, but it was too busy of a highway.  Therefore, we decided to drive up to the Mississippi border so that we could have another photo opportunity.  The visitor center at the border had a cool Louisiana sign, so we hopped out and started to set the tripod up.  And then, an older man who was drinking tea outside of his camper decided to be nice… he asked us if we wanted help taking the photo… and we couldn’t say no.  So, he took the picture, we said thanks, and then realized he had focused on the building behind us so we were totally blurry.  We had really wanted to take the picture ourselves with the tripod, because Ryan wanted to do several “poses” and make sure it was good.  This was our 49th state after all!  We didn’t know what to do.  We waited for about 5 minutes (time we really didn’t have) and then left.  We then drove up and down the road a few times, and decided to just do it again and not care if we hurt his feelings.  So we parked the car, quickly set the tripod up while he was inside the visitor’s center… took the picture, hopped in the car, and pulled out just as he was walking back to his camper.  Phew, we made it!  And the picture came out pretty good!

The rest of the day was more of the same.  We drove through little towns that were supposed to charming and bustling with activity… most were kinda boring… and then we moved on to the next place.

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New Orleans – Tuesday

Friday, 23. May 2008 8:18 | Author:Megan

Okay, let’s see if I can give some kind of update… I meant to do this days ago, but it’s really not easy to type in the car and still enjoy the trip!

Tuesday afternoon and evening was a lot of fun!  We went on the Honey Island Swamp Tour with a group of 11 girls.  Guess where they were from.  Baltimore, MD!  Such a small world.  They are down in Louisiana for Habitat for Humanity.

The swamp tour was really cool.  We saw a bunch of turtles, and 3 alligators.  One of the alligators came really close to the boat to eat a marshmallow that our guide threw out to it.  The swamp was really beautiful.  Interestingly, people live out there and can only access their homes by boats.  They are really more like shacks and not many people occupy them now, but they are out there.  Most are falling apart, due to storms (and probably the fact that the bottoms are touching the water).  Our guide grew up in the swamp and really knew a lot about the plant, animal, and people life.

The swamp tour lasted for about 2 hours and then we headed west to New Orleans.  We checked into our hotel, Place d’Armes Hotel, which sits in the heart of the French Quarter.  It was really gorgeous.  Although, the certificate in the elevator said it was last inspected in March 2005, before Hurricane Katrina…

We got to New Orleans in time for dinner, so we walked about 1.5 blocks to Bourbon Street and then another 2 blocks to Pat O’Briens.  It is a bar/restaurant recommended to us by Bear/Dave and Tele.  The dining tables are in a courtyard, so everyone is sitting outside (therefore it was a little muggy).  It was also quite loud, but it was still a cool environment.  The buildings are all so old and beautiful.  We both got jambalaya which was really good!

After dinner, we hung around Bourbon Street until midnightish going from bar to bar, listening to the live bands.  For a Tuesday night, there were a lot of people out!  They close off the street, so everyone can walk around without having to worry about cars.  You’re also allowed to take your alcohol outside with you, so you don’t have to worry about finishing it in one place and then buying another at the next place.  It was really fun!

I’ll type some more in another entry, so that this one doesn’t get too long.

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On the road again…

Tuesday, 20. May 2008 14:36 | Author:Megan

Today is really just a driving day.  We have a 3:30pm CT reservation to do a swamp tour in Louisiana, and in order to make it there in time, we aren’t allowed to make any stops.  We left our campground kinda late this morning, so that didn’t help the situation.  I’m glad that this trip is at such a leisurely pace though.  We haven’t been waking up too early, unlike our normal trips.  Ryan did a good job at planning buffer time in so that we don’t wear ourselves out.

Oh – and speaking of our campground last night – it was really nice!  The showers were better than some hotels that I’ve stayed in!  It even had two pools, a volleyball net, and a playground.

Right now we are heading west across Alabama.  This makes us tied with the amount of states that we have visited – 48 for each!  I’m excited to get to Louisiana so that we only have Alaska left.

So far, I’ve seen two dead armadillos – road kill.  Not something I’m used to seeing!

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Today in webcam captures

Monday, 19. May 2008 22:45 | Author:Megan

I went through the webcam captures today, and uploaded some that were interesting to me.  If you CLICK HERE, you can see a summary of what we did today through the webcam.  The people who read this probably already saw the webcam images, but oh well. =P

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