Blog entry, April 26th 2004

Trip Start Oct 17, 2003
Trip End May 22, 2004

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Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, April 25, 2004

It's all good, enjoying exploring the USA (and Canada), watching lots of baseball games (and basketball...and hockey...and lacrosse...) and occasionally even going out to party. I've been driving lots of miles, about 3300 (that's around 5200km), unfortunately most of the time all by myself (and my car doesn't even have a stereo system (unlike the Hummer I made a down-payment for the other day...)).

Well, to start at the beginning: I was in Miami for a couple of days and this time it was heaps better than in October. More beautiful people (ladies of course, I'm not looking after guys...), more fun in the clubs and the weather was still great. The first day I went to a car dealer and bought a tiny, red Suzuki Swift, for 1800.- dollars. I picked it up on April 6th and headed towards Tampa right away. Hmm, didn't get too far, 60 miles to be exact, until the motor suddenly stopped workingand I couldn't restart it nomore! It was rush-hour, I was in the mid-lane of a five-lane highway and one angry cop screamed at me, before he eventually stopped traffic and I rolled the car to the side of the road. Luckily I was pretty close to Ft. Lauderdale, so I just left my car there and I called a tow-truck the next day to transfer it to a garage. They looked at it for six hours, giving me different reports *every* sixty minutes, but at the end of the day they concluded that the fueltank was rusted (plus the fule-hoses were dirty), so the guys cleaned that stuff and re-coated it. That took three days (well, the tank has to dry, doesn't it...) and I was finally able to continue on Saturday, April 10th.

Because of this delay I had to bury my plans about visiting every ballpark since a) I already missed two games and was late for a third and b) the repairs had cost me about 1000.- bucks, therefore I didn't have enough money anymore to go through with my project. In retrospect I gotta admit that it was a good thing it happened, because now I can spend more money on clothes, shoes and other stuff, instead of being tight-budgeted for the whole three months. And luckily it happened at the beginning of my trip, not when I would have been in 23 out of 30 stadiums already. Anyway, travelling here is sooo expensive, man! I spend between 40 and 60 dollars for a motelroom, gas is cheap but I drive that much that I need to fuel up twice a day, which comes to about 25$ daily. That just leaves me about 5$ to get a meal... (A Happy Meal!!!)

Allright, so I decided to travel for about seven weeks, which is cool (I'm getting tired of changing rooms every day and living out of a huge bag!!). For everyone who's interested: I'll be back in Switzerland May 24th and in Finland May 31st, according to the latest plans (which might change, depends on how much money I spend until I reach San Francisco...).

Back to the topic... From Ft. Lauderdale I drove on to Orlando and Savannah. It was a beautiful landscape around me, especially in Georgia. Everything was so green, phat green, and in full force of spring/summer. Savannah was quite tranquil and friendly. The roads took me to Knoxville next, through some mountains and a Native American reserve. I liked the nature there too, especially the woods and rivers. The day after I reached Cleveland (by way of Lexington, Cincinnati and Columbus), where I attended my first NBA-game (really cool, Let's go LeBron). Had a day off in Cleveland (ah, it rained and rained...) and continued to Chicago (the environment on that leg was mostly farmland and a little boring), where I watched a game at infamous Wrigley Field. I had a little trouble navigating Chicago, just too many "STOP"-signs there.

A day after that I arrived in Toronto, a city I fell in love with straightaway! It's the best place I've visited so far on this trip. It has everything you need in a pretty small area, like stores, malls, clubs, eateries, sports venues, other sightseeingstuff, etc. It's close to a huuuge lake, which must be nice in summer! My girlie side took over and I ended my shoppingspree with 1000.- USD less in my pockets (or in my accounts, to be exact).

Then I visited the Niagara Falls (nice, but way too touristy), Cooperstown (Baseball Hall of Fame), New York for a Mets game, Philadelphia (Phillies and a Flyers' Playoff-game), Baltimore (whoa, nice ladies...) and now I'm back in NYC for two more days. Gotta buy some more clothes/shoes here and I'll go to a Yankees-A's game with my buddy Jak on Tuesday. After that I'll start my trip towards the west coast via St. Louis, Denver and Las Vegas.

Funny notes:
In Miami two big, black women tried to pick me up... On my way to Knoxville I stopped at a gas station and when I was trying to take money out of my moneybelt (which was tucked in under my jeans), the girl at the cashier goes:"Hey, where are YOU goin'???"! (referring to my hands in my pants...)... There was a rainstorm the day I drove to Niagara Falls and it got pitch-black dark (seriously!) at 11am... Trying to find Cooperstown I got pulled over by a police officer (what an adrenaline rush, wow!!)... Driving in Manhattan is a nightmare, just that you know (even if it's 10pm on a Tuesday night)...
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