Minnesota to Florida …And Back! – Road Trip Recap

If you did not mistakenly end up on my blog, then you know that I took a road trip from the Twin Cities (MN) to Florida this past month.  The trip itself is 1,688 miles from my door-step to Hammond Stadium (the spring home of the Twins, and further point from my house).  But this blog entry is not going to focus on the baseball games and Floridian sun, it will be an all-encompassing entry of the road trip and day-to-day life of being a baseball fanatic.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, without going any further, may I introduce exhibit 1:

MNtoFL

That was my first challenge, to get from Minnesota to Florida in March.  Luckily, I had great weather and had no issues with snow, rain, severe thunderstorms, fog, or plagues of locusts.  In fact, barring one accident holding things up in Kentucky (will cover that later), the roads were smooth and I had no delays!

So let’s kick this thing off!  We’ll start at the beginning…

 

Friday, March 15, 2013:

Captain’s log, stardate 66668.6:

I began my trip at approximately 11:30 am, about a half-hour before my planned departure of Noon (Central Time).  The weather in the Twins Cities is a weird blend of rain, snow, and just a painfully dull blast of grey.  The temperature was around freezing and only dropping… for those unfortunate enough to be stuck in Minnesota!  Me on the other hand?  I was heading towards the sunny beaches of Florida, where the highs were well in the 70s (even 80s!) and there was absolutely NO chance of snow.  Oh how I couldn’t get there fast enough.

My plan was simple, split the drive in half, hopefully getting a good 12 hours of driving in, stopping somewhere around Nashville, then heading out early the next morning so I could reach my motel in the evening.  My first destination in Florida was Sarasota, to see the Twins play the Orioles on the road.

After a rather boring trek through Iowa – my favorite sign being the Iowa information sign that just has a simple outline of the state and a big question mark in it (pronounced something like, “Iowa?!” as you wonder what the hell you are doing there) – I finally reached the Iowa/Missouri border.  It was at this point where I finally rolled down my windows.  I am the kind of guy who busts out his shorts as soon as possible in Minnesota.  If the temp is above 40, I will put them on to signify that I declare Spring has sprung!  So when I saw the temperature was around 50, I just had to smell the fresh air, take in the warm(-ish) breeze.  The snow had all but been relocated to ditches and heavily wooded areas that get no sunlight, so even the grass seemed green around here.

On my second stop of the trip (somewhere early in Missouri), I decided to pick up a little “Cheerwine” and invest in the possibility of an immediate retirement… I am still working, so that should tell you how that ended.

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My drive through the heartland finally brought me through a city when I got to drive through St. Louis.  I can still remember last year when I was amazed that Busch stadium was only feet away from the freeway I was driving on, so of course I tried to take a photo of it as I drove by.  Err, I mean, I didn’t try to photograph ANYTHING as I was driving.  Kids, don’t use your phone/camera and drive!

Then just like that, I was in East St. Louis, in Illinois, and back to the open road.  The only metropolitan areas between me and Florida were Nashville and Atlanta.

The sun was setting, and I knew I had a few good hours of driving in me, but I was also aware that I could not stretch it much further than Nashville.  There is something that you should know about me, I like to push things to the limit, especially driving.  Last year I ended up driving until 3:30 in the morning when we clearly should have stopped hours earlier.  Flat out, it was unsafe.  Since I was solo this year, I knew that I had to be smarter than that, otherwise my wife would kill me… unless I killed myself.

So that’s when I started scoping out, timing how far away things were.  I settled on hitting up Nashville, since Chattanooga was just too far away.  Well, let me back track, I thought I was going to choose Nashville, but that’s when that dreaded podunk Kentucky traffic hit.  I mean, we were in the middle of nowhere, then just like that, we were at a literal standstill… for an hour!  What should have taken 5 minutes at the most, took about 90 minutes.  The cause?  It was a semi that had crashed, it was turned the wrong way, but still upright.  There was one lane clearly open, so I don’t know exactly why we were parked for so long, but drivers in the south are not predictable (something I’d learn in my adventures to come).

So with an unexpected 90 minute detour, I found myself getting sleepy earlier than anticipated.  What seemed like Nashville turned into the wonderful Clarksville, Tennessee.  Plainly put, I stayed in my first in a string of shitholes.  Sorry kids, but even those with a more colorful vocabulary could not describe them with better words.  I do not want to stay in another motel for a very long time.

My drive time was around 13 hours, and my stack of CDs was being cruised through at an alarming rate.

Playlist for 3/15/2013 (in listening order):

  1. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Tao of the Dead
  2. Coheed and Cambria – In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
  3. Coheed and Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
  4. Kate Nash – My Best Friend Is You
  5. Panic At the Disco – Pretty. Odd.
  6. The Distillers – Coral Fang
  7. Tegan & Sara – Sainthood
  8. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
  9. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
  10. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
  11. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
  12. Lifter Puller – Fiestas + Fiascos
  13. Finch – Say Hello to Sunshine

 

Saturday, March 16, 2013:

After paying full price for 6 hours in a toilet bowl, I decided to head to Wal-Mart (nothing like embracing the south) in order to pick up cheap sandals, since I forgot them at home – I was not driving back to get them!

I was reading my twitter feed and cruising the Wal-Mart aisles when I realized, Jack White’s record store/label is in Nashville!  I’ll be going through Nashville soon! Is it open?!  Yep, it opens at 10 am… I’m totally waiting an hour and a half for it, I don’t care!

Since I had already been stuck in traffic with no reward, I was fine with waiting the same amount of time in order to experience something I had wanted to see for quite some time.  How this went under my radar, I don’t know, but I’m glad I realized it before I had already passed through town.

So there it was, in all of its glory, THIRD MAN RECORDS!  Being a fan of The White Stripes, and the long list of Jack White projects, I have had this store on my list for a few years.  Jack has come up with many cool ideas for vinyl records, and as a huge supporter of physical media, I had to stop in and pick up a little something.

Inside the surprisingly tiny shop (not a complaint, just an observation) the focus was not on the records, but all of the weird retro things brought back to life by Jack and his staff.  I knew that Mr. White had a love for retro things (after all, he does love vinyl) and his love for such retro gadgets is what landed him on American Pickers.  But once inside the store, you get to see some machines that you will probably never run across for the rest of your life.  The one that I got to witness first hand – thanks to a very nice Third Man Records employee – was the Scopitone.

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A Scopitone is a machine that was used in the 60s to play what were a precursor to current day music videos (they’re still current day, right?).  As I completed my purchase of two seven-inchers and a vinyl adapter, the nice lady asked me what my favorite White Stripes music video was.  I thought that this was just a random survey used at the end of a transaction, kind of like when the cashiers ask for your zip code.  I PANICKED.  It’s as if all song titles were stripped from my memory, as if I had to choose something fun and cool; all I knew is that I did not want to just give the (what I thought to be) typical “Fell In Love With A Girl“! response.  I DO like that video, but it is actually not my favorite of theirs.  I felt like my fandom was being judged, and after what felt like an eternity, after blanking on the name for my favorite (Hardest Button to Button or The Denial Twist), I came up with Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OyytKqYjkE

I really enjoy this video, the concept and execution is very fun, and the song is one of my favorite from that album, but after my massive brain collapse, I felt like I let myself down…

Then the lady said something to the effect of “Don’t tell Jack, but since you were waiting so patiently outside, I’m going to play you that music video.”  She grabbed a coin, went over to this weird machine, and proceeded to tell me the history, and how it was the last fully functioning Scopitone left.  Jack had specially commissioned his music videos to be transferred to old tape, and then used this vintage video player to show his short, music-based films!

After a small glitch, which this employee – much more than just a cashier – fixed without issue, the video played, and my sense of letting myself down was erased.

For the record, my favorite White Stripes SONG is “Ball and Biscuit“.  Jack’s guitar abilities are showcased wonderfully on this seven-minute beauty.

I could go on and on about music, but as I have a week-long story to tell, I will keep myself in check…

I say, “stop talking music” and then totally move on to… MUSIC.  But this was separate from Third Man Records, though still news I received in Tennessee… The one, the only Ms. Amanda Palmer and Mr. Neil Gaiman would be throwing a ninja gig in Sarasota on March 17th!!  How coincidental, as I would have a game in that exact town, 1,600 miles from home, on that EXACT day!  Amanda is a hero of my wife, and she amazes me with her music AND personality.  I was getting so excited, but then the news broke, her performance would be at 2 pm, my game was at 1 pm, and she would be done by 4, which is when I predicted the game to end.  DANG!

Within a couple of exciting hours, I had gone from amazed to crushed.  I was still trying to plan things out, rehash my plans to see how I could double dip, but you’ll have to read below how that went…

The rest of the trip was uneventful; like I said the weather was great and the only hitch happened the night before.  I got into Florida around sunset, and got into the hotel around 10 pm or so.  I was planning on being there earlier, but when you delay your trip 2-3 hours to take in some music history, you sacrifice some sleep and Florida-time…

Side-note:  I asked on twitter, but I’ll ask again, am I the only person who thinks of Chris Gaines when I drive through Gainesville, Florida?  Judging by the record sales, I’d guess so.  (Couldn’t hold back from the pot-shot.)  And an a separate tangent, Georgia must be eliminated.  Without Iowa and Georgia, the road to Florida would be a breeze.  Those two states make the drive way longer than necessary!

…So I entered my motel (another dump, thanks South!) and decided to blog about my day of fun and completion of the trip TO Florida.

Playlist for 3/16/2013:

  1. Zach Hill – Astrological Straits
  2. Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  3. The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
  4. P.O.S – We Don’t Even Live Here
  5. Childish Gambino – Camp
  6. Glassjaw – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence
  7. Death Grips – The Money Store
  8. El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Cryptomnesia
  9. My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
  10. The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed
  11. Silverchair – Neon Ballroom
  12. Neon Indian – Era Extraña
  13. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

 

Sunday, March 17, 2013:

My alarm came early, and come to find out later, much earlier than needed.  I was excited to take in my first ballgame of 2013, but man could I used about 12 hours of shut-eye.  I got to Ed Smith Stadium by 9 am for the 1 pm game.  I was preparing to be able to walk around, take in some practices, get some photos, etc.  Instead, I pulled up to a parking lot (so early it was free – excellent!) and then walked the entire circumference of the complex and realized that there were no areas to see the Orioles practicing.  Unlike the Twins complex, this East Coast team was completely off limits.  I could understand for the Yankees and Red Sox, kind of, but for the Orioles?!  Can they not be accessible for their fans?! It was in my frustration and my eagerness to get on “the board” that I grabbed my first ball by literally hoping a fence… Though you can learn more about my baseball adventures HERE.

I hung out by the gates for nearly 90 minutes with an older couple and later on a guy from Minnesota.  We conversed, shared some stories, and were the only ones out there for quite some time.  I did NOT have to wake up so early, and that realization made me sad (and tired).

Remember how I mentioned that Amanda Palmer would be performing in Sarasota that same day?  Well, I was still trying to justify leaving early in my head, but I just couldn’t.  I was praying for a quick game, even a rain out, something to shorten the length.  Her gig was on a campus for the arts, and it was only a couple of miles away… I could do it, right?  RIGHT?!

I tried, oh how I tried.  The game got done around 3:45, and I RACED over.  I went as fast as possible and got within a couple of blocks of the campus when I saw kids walking away – complete SMILES pasted on their faces, I knew Amanda and Neil were to blame!  And then I saw it, the kids turned, screamed, “Hi, AMANDA!” as she drove off with Neil’s rather crazy curls flowed in the breeze.  I shouted out “Hello” as well, and even got behind them to take a quick photo.  Rather than go “full-on stalker”, I ended up following them shortly until my exit to to get back on the freeway to Fort Myers beckoned.  DAMN IT!!  SO CLOSE!!!!!!!

I was heart-broken.  I don’t know if seeing them in their car made it better – at least I saw them – or if it made it worse – I was SOOOOO close!

With a game under my belt, an idol sighting at hand, and a full tank of gas, I made my way to Fort Myers.  When I saw a 7-11 entering my short-term home in Florida, I stopped and did the right thing, I bought a Slurpee!

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In Minnesota we do not have 7-11s, and this saddens me, so of course I had to check for weird drinks and get one of the most American products there is, as giant, ice-cold (literally) SLURPEE.

After failing to find my hotel on the first and second try, I finally entered my third “crap-with-a-pillow” complex.  Let it be said, do not trust Google maps, Apple Maps, or any online maps when looking for things in Fort Myers.  I am very good with directions, I pride myself on it, but for some reason locations in Fort Myers are terrible.  I am guessing that having a North Fort Myers with the same street names that extend from the original Fort Myers, this confuses online maps.

After I got settled in, I decided to go grocery shopping, mainly to see if there were any weird drinks, and to pick up toothpaste (which I left at the previous disease box) and shampoo (since 1 ounce would not get me through 4 nights, and the fact that it was like rubbing slightly cleaner water through my hair).

I stopped at Publix, the major grocery chain in Florida, and within a minute I had a full basket of non-Minnesota drinks!  Finding new drinks makes me happy, it’s the one thing I am on the look out for in all of my adventures to new places.

Here is my loot:

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***If you comment below and tell me WHY (links via YouTube would be ideal) I bought Jammie Dodgers – a very BRITISH snack – I will give you a special prize.  I don’t want to give it away too easily, but it is another thing I enjoy very much outside of baseball.***

Next up was getting some real food in me.  So after the game and fun drinks in hand I decided to get some food from a place that I love, but do not have in Minnesota… WAFFLE HOUSE!

The sun was down, the dinner crowd had left, and it was just me and one other couple in the establishment.  The cooks and waitresses were very funny and friendly, and I decided to go big for my second meal of the trip, a Pecan Waffle and Biscuits and Gravy.

I will not describe how they made me feel, instead I will post a memorial in picture form:

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I would also return to this place of de-hunger-ization before my time in Florida was finished.

Again, I was exhausted, but after blogging I decided to try to fall asleep by watching Inception.  Well, not only could I not fall asleep, but man I forgot how sad that movie was.  Combine the lack of sleep with the lack of wife (who is normally by my side), and you just get a little depressed.

Playlist for 3/17/2013:

  1. Lady Sovereign – Jigsaw
  2. Sleigh Bells – Treats
  3. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Saber, Querer, Osar y Callar

 

Monday, March 18, 2013:

My phone again sounded its alarm at a time unhappy to my brain and body.  I was still tired, at this point I was probably a good 10 hours in sleep-debt.  Funny thing, though, since baseball is one of the few things I can justify my lack of sleep for.

I got to Hammond Stadium, and the rest can be found HERE.

What I did NOT have time to do was upload my very FIRST video of me catching a baseball!  The video stars the wonderful Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Miami Marlins, and co-stars myself.  Enjoy!

Needless to say, I was happy to be in “home” territory as well as have full access to a wonderful facility – this was now Baltimore Orioles complex, it was Twins baseball.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, there are a few reasons why I still cheer for the Twins:

  1. Proximity – they are my home team
  2. Players – they are generally very nice and interact with the fans, unlike bigger teams
  3. Facilities – Hammond is very open, unlike the East Coast teams, and Target Field really showcases the entire franchise and its history

After the half game, I got back to my kitty-litter box, sorry, motel.  Why couldn’t this rain have come a day earlier?!  I would have been able to see Amanda!

Oh well, I was hungry for pizza, but needed a shower, to write my blog, and catch up on sleep.  I thought of just ordering a pizza, but the one place the HoJo recommended turned out to be out of business.  That’s when I turned to the internet to guide me to the best pizza place within a respectable driving distance.

Enter Evan’s Pizza…

Maybe it was the fact that I was insanely hungry (only eating a chicken sandwich since Thursday night), but I swear that the pizza I had was in the top 5 of my life.  I have had wonderful pizzas in Chicago, New York, Minnesota, and now Florida.  This pizza had very fresh veggies and they weren’t diced up and tiny, either.

Here’s the evidence, the scene of the crime before it was committed:

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YUM!  I made a comment to the lady running the place that I loved the pizza, was from out of town and promised to be back before I left – a promise I kept.

I moseyed back to my unfortunate home, watched some ESPN, checked up on my blog, went Twitter crazy (hey, it was the only social interaction I had, since I was alone on this trip), and tried to catch some sleep.  I could rest a little longer, since tomorrow was an “off day”, or more accurate, it was a non-MLB day, just a watch-Plouffe-in-the-MiLB day.

Here is a video related to a big part of my Twitter-spam-spree.  I actually forgot how old I was, and how dated this cartoon is, but here is an episode in its full glory, CAPTAIN PLANET!!

I won’t stand on my soapbox too much, but I will say, treat the Earth with care.  It’s not that the Earth will go away, but if we want to continue on as a species, we have to make sure we do the right thing.  Thanks.

Lastly, I fell asleep listening to Mitch Hedberg jokes.  To say that the man was a comedic genius would be an understatement.  (Dang it, now I am listening to this as I try to blog.  I apologize for any errors or incoherence from this point on.)

Playlist for 3/18/2013:

  1. The Mars Volta – Amputechture
  2. The Streets – Original Pirate Material

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013:

After getting slightly more sleep than nights before, I got to the field around 10 or 11, knowing that I didn’t have to get there early, since it was an off day for the big guys, and I was only concerned about watching Plouffe in his first rehab assignment.  I watched a little practice, got a couple of MiLB balls (read HERE), and at the end of the baseball portion of the day, I decided to hit up the beach, finally.

Before I hit the beach, I decided to try out Patinella’s Chicken on the recommendation of Trevor Plouffe:

The chicken was good, much like a burrito bowl from Chipotle, only not limited to Mexican choices.

After some chicken and rice I got to the beach, and stupid me, I was wearing my jeans.  The night before I was wearing my only pair of shorts, but the rain made them incredibly dirty and still wet.  Oh well, I wasn’t too concerned, it’s not like I had to impress anyone.  I walked up and down the beach for about an hour or so, took some cool pictures, and soaked up the sun.

I found it strange how loud a few places were, how they also had tons of kids screaming around them, and… oh wait, I forgot it was spring break!  Yep, I went down to the beach alone on spring break.  That sounds like a great plan if you were 19, single, and still in college.  But being nearly 29, married, and focused on baseball and photography, I found it all a bit rubbish.  Good news, my wife got the last laugh, too, since the kids were screaming about people grinding on poles.  Not just women, a few dudes in Speed-Os, too.  Thanks, Florida!  I wasn’t expecting an isolated beach, but a nice quiet location was my ideal fit.

As had become customary, I returned to my potential coffin, watched some TV, blogged a bit, and got less sleep than anticipated.

Playlist for 3/19/2013:

  1. Converge – You Fail Me
  2. Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013:

From my observation, the weather was looking nice, and I had gotten the most sleep of the vacation so far.  Even with a nice full night of sleep, I will say that having an overactive mind REALLY sucks.  I cannot shut it off, good things turn into bad, random thoughts come in like waves, and all of these brain waves take over my ability to just get some well-needed rest!

So at 10 am I was awake, and it took me forever to finally get out of bed, take a quick shower, and get to Waffle House for a second time.  My breakfast was more like a lunch, but I didn’t care, it’s vacation, and my eating habits were terrible for the entire trip, so who cares!

The glory of Pecan Waffles and Hashbrowns – covered and peppered!

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Another tasty treat.

I got to the field around 1 pm, this time for a game at 7 pm.  The rest of that story can be read HERE.

If you did not read the post, let me summarize the ENTIRE game for you.  It was RAINED OUT!  That means that I only got to see about 50% of my games through that point, since the one on Monday was called after 5 innings.

With the rain coming down, and nowhere to go (other than my Dexter-approved rental unit), I decided to follow through on my commitment that I made to the lady at Evan’s Pizza.  I ordered the same thing, and brought it back to my place.  I did manage to snap a quick picture that details their specialty pizza.

Anyone want to join in a group of 8 with me and try a slice each?  (We’ll eat a few other good pizzas, too.)

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Yes!  Gator, Python, Frogs, and other weirdness, all in one crazy dish!

After eating my last meal in Fort Myers, I went back, drank my Lime-Cucumber and Watermelon-Citrus Gatorades and wasabi peas while I blogged.

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(These balls have nothing to do with March 20th, but the Gatorade here does.)

Playlist for 3/20/2013:

  1. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Mantra Hiroshima

 

Thursday, March 21, 2013:

My last day of baseball, and my last full day in Florida.  Just like that, it was coming to a close.  I was a little saddened, but having Opening Day a little over a week away softened the baseball-blow.  I was incredibly happy to finally not spend another night in a compost bin!  I was also excited to see my wife again (I know, cheesier than the hashbrowns above, but it’s true).

I ended up getting in to Tampa (spring home of the Yankees) at about noon.  I was again WAY too early, so early that the parking guy told me to park in the employee parking for free.  NICE!  Thanks, Jeremy!!  As many of my ballhawking colleagues also arrive ultra-early, my case is no different.  Couple that with the fact that I HAD to be out of my hotel at a certain time and I had NOWHERE else to go (hey, I’m not from Tampa) and you can see why I went straight there.

Here are some of the friends I made (a new game can be made of the next 3 pictures, “Duck, Duck, Flower”):

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The details of my baseball adventure can be seen HERE.

After the game I went to what would turn out to be my last flea-breeding-grounds.  One more long day and I’d have my head on my very own pillow and in a bed that had no one else’s dead skin in it.

Playlist for 3/21/2013:

  1. The Streets – Computers and Blues
  2. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Un Corazón de Nadie
  3. Vendetta Red – Sisters of the Red Death
  4. Tegan & Sara – So Jealous

 

Friday, March 22, 2013:

If you want the short story, I drove.

I didn’t just drive, I drove and drove and drove.  I traveled 1,600 miles in 22.5 hours.  I only stopped for about 1 hour the entire time (just to get gas, pick up some liquid, an occasional snack, and a few liquid expulsions).  I left around 7 am (Eastern) and got back at 4:30 am (Central).

I. WAS. AN. ANIMAL.

Quite simply, I could NOT be stopped.

My original plan was to stop around St. Louis for the night.  When i pulled in to St. Louis it was only about 8 pm, and I still had a few good hours in me before I was even tired.  So I told myself, get to Iowa.

Then Iowa came and then I told myself, “You’d be crazy to stop in Iowa!  It’s one state away, you’re almost there, don’t stay in another dungeon, your pillow wants you!!”

So that’s my story of how I got home.  I ended up falling asleep at 5:30 am, got up at 11:30 am on Saturday, and was crazy enough to think that I’d start blogging.  Well, I wrote myself some notes on paper (I wanted some structure before I started making it “real”), got a couple days of notes written in about 30 minutes and said to myself, “Screw that!  I’m watching some BBC Top Gear!”

…And so that’s not only the story of how I procrastinated on blogging, but that’s the entire trip.  I would have bored you with WHY I chose the order of my albums in certain cases, but I will save the details.  I realize that I have written a very detailed children’s book (in length by this point, so the extra novel will have to stay in my brain.

Before I leave, here is the last playlist…

Playlist for 3/21/2013:

  1. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
  2. The Postal Service – Give Up
  3. Kate Nash – Girl Talk
  4. The Streets – The Hardest Way to Make An Easy Living
  5. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Un Escorión Perfumado
  6. Kanye West – My Beautiful dark Twisted Fantasy
  7. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
  8. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Tao of the Dead
  9. Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob
  10. P.O.S – We Don’t Even Live Here
  11. Lifter Puller – Fiestas + Fiascos
  12. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
  13. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
  14. El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Cryptomnesia
  15. Silverchair – Neon Ballroom
  16. The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
  17. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Mantra Hiroshima
  18. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
  19. Sleigh Bells – Treats
  20. Converge – You Fail Me
  21. Death Grips – The Money Store
  22. My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
  23. Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  24. Finch – Say Hello to Sunshine
  25. The Streets – Original Pirate Material
  26. The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed

As you can tell, I was about 20 albums short, I ended up repeating the last 20 of my trip, but they kept me awake and safe, so that’s not all bad.  I even got followed on Twitters by one of the musicians listed above; Mike Skinner, the man behind The Streets.  I saw a semi with the name “DOT” on the back while I traveled through Nashville.  Since his new band is called The D.O.T. I gave him a shout-out and he in turn followed me.  I was so stoked, since his albums are amazing!  Check out “A Grand Don’t Come For Free”, the album’s story is so simple, yet it works SOOOOO well.

As my story is long, my thanks are also long.  But unlike what I did above, I will keep it short.  Thank you to the fine state of Florida for your hospitality; I wish your motels suited your personality better.  Thank you to all of the stops along the way, it was fun seeing parts of the US that I normally don’t get to see.  Thank you to my wife for caring about me and not wanting me to end up dead along the way.  Thank you Toyota for making an automobile that stood the test of 1,600 in one day, and 3,550 miles in around a week.

Whew… and thank you for sticking in there and reading this big one.

What took so long and what next?  Well, this was a massive entry, needing tons of time, couple that with returning to work AND my birthday, and this entry was one that just had to take its sweet time to be delivered.  What’s next, you say?  I’m prepping a “pix only” post that should be pop up while at OPENING DAY tomorrow!!  hopefully I can get a ball and be able to post a blog entry tomorrow or Tuesday….

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8 thoughts on “Minnesota to Florida …And Back! – Road Trip Recap

  1. I have much to do tomorrow, so I’ll read the rest of this later, but first impression: I never realized Minnesota doesn’t have so many things. It has struck me since coming here the regionality of certain franchises. Also, I think you could add a few more tags. I don’t think you have enough.
    -Mateo
    http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

    • Yep, I may have over-tagged, but that’s what I get for just pasting it into Word and then deleting everything other than key words and being too lazy to actually comb through the rest. Maybe that Waffle House tag will really bring in the baseball traffic! 🙂

    • Yay! We have a winner! The prize will be kept in the Voda household. It’s a good thing too, since the winner already ATE her prize.

      Yes, the British cookies (or biscuits if you will) – Jammie Dodgers – are (were) the prize. I’m actually relieved that Jael won since I would have either have had to find them in the Twins Cities area or go back down to Fort Myers next Spring Training… maybe I’ll still do the latter and share with some Target Field faithful on Opening Day.

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