So yesterday, I wanted to post a really in-depth update. But the truth is, doing so is much more difficult than I originally anticipated. I have to give props to bloggers because it is a lot more work than most of us realize. Yesterday’s update was particularly challenging for a couple of reasons. First, whenever I am in Chicago, I have so many people to see and things to do. I only get to see my family a couple of times a year and when I am here, I want to spend as much time with my mom as possible. Beyond her, I have friends that I want to spend time with and often there is not enough time during each visit to see everyone I want to see! Further, when I am home, I like to relax. Understanding how long this trip is going to be and how exhausting the driving is going to become, I feel like relaxing is important when I have the opportunity. So yesterday, I spent some time with my mom and I did some relaxing. We ate at PF Chang’s in Northbrook, IL, where I worked for many years. I have been to Chang’s all over the country, and hands down this one is the best of any of them.
My main goal yesterday was to get my car detailed, and I failed. Because this summer I will be spending over a week of time in my car as I travel the country, I feel like having a clean car is important. Between years of driving cross country with my dogs and delivering pizza, there are a lot of stains which I hope will be gone! I also feel like with my site branding on the vehicle, it is important to keep the car clean. So yesterday, I purchased a Groupon to get my car detailed, and when I went to the place, they laughed at me for thinking I could just show up. Apparently they are booked until the third week of August, however, if I wanted to pay full price they could fit me in—such bullshit. I then spent like two hours trying to find another place that could fit me in. Does it make me self-absorbed to think that everywhere should be able to work around my schedule? I don’t think so…Anyways, I found a place that was reasonable in price, had good Yelp reviews, is not far from my parents’ house and most importantly could fit me in today.
Before bringing my car in this morning, I took off the front seat covers which were covering cigarette burns. I am replacing them with new Cubs and Phillies covers that will arrive from Amazon tomorrow. I wanted Cubs and Rockies covers because those are my two cities but since I am a Temple student and hoping for some Philly love on this trip, I chose to represent the City of Brotherly Love instead. Once the car is clean, I am putting on the site branding and will post pictures. I am also going to mount the GoPro so that I can have some awesome videos to share throughout the summer! Now, while I wait for my car to be cleaned, I am sitting in a Starbucks.
My sister is picking me up in 90 minutes to meet our parents for lunch and then this evening, I am going to dinner with my sis and a couple of friends at the best hibachi place ever—Ron of Japan in Northbrook, IL. I will definitely post some pics from Ron later on IG and Twitter. I really hope my friend Daniela can make it, but she is 8 months pregnant and has always been extremely difficult to coordinate plans with (if you ask her, this is never her fault). I love Daniela, but everyone knows that she is the difficult one. Now add an 8 month belly and you can understand what I am dealing with. Since I have been at Starbucks, I have gotten some good work done already.
First thing I did here was buy my first ticket to a game this summer! Even though my first game is going to be this Friday when the Rockies visit Wrigley to lose to my Cubs (sorry Rox, but you will always be #2), the first ticket I bought is to the Phillies v. Cardinals game on Sunday at Busch Stadium. I’m bummed because the Saturday game was offering a give-away of this horribly ugly but kind of awesome shirt. However, since both Saturday and Sunday are day games at Busch, travel/drive timing is not the most ideal. So I will leave my parents Saturday morning, arriving in the daytime which will give me time to see some sites. Since I love me some BBQ, I will find somewhere awesome to eat and stay overnight before heading to the game on Sunday. I plan on seeing the Arch, but other than that I am not sure yet of what I am doing. Does anyone have any St. Louis suggestions? Where should I stay? Where should I eat? What should I do?
Following the game, I will drive to Colorado where I will stay for about a week. I have a lot of people to see and things to do while there, including: see friends and family, climb a 14er (which is going to be challenging), skydive (if my friend Tim can stop being such a baby), work a shift at my old Papa John’s, and of course—smoke a lot of weed. I was hoping to see a show at Red Rocks, but I have seen many shows there already, and nobody is in town that I care to see. I am going to see a Rockies game when they play the SF Giants somewhere between June 15-18, depending on what works best for me and my mentor/friend’s schedule.
I then leave Colorado around the 18th and head to Seattle. Seattle is really far out-of-the-way and not very practical for my travels, but I have always wanted to go there. More importantly, I will get to drive through Oregon afterwards, on my way to Northern California. I have been told I will love Oregon, and from what I have seen in pictures, I agree. I am really interested in the PhD program at University of Oregon, so hopefully I can swing by the campus and check that out. I plan to spend a couple of days in both Washington and Oregon. Seattle has so many sites I want to see, especially the first Starbucks. Does anyone have any Oregon and Washington suggestions for me? After all, this is not just a graduate research project, it is also an opportunity to see America! The Mariners will be in town all week playing the Tigers and Astros, so I have the luxury of stopping anywhere I want in between should my heart so desire.
In other news, I am almost certain that I am going to be modifying my website soon. I am thinking that I might get rid of the “What’s Next?” and “Andy Was There” tabs of the site. I do not anticipate this being permanent, but I feel like I need to get a better grip on how to modify them before I can reactivate them. In addition, I feel like it might be more practical to just include these things in my blog postings. When I tell people about what I am doing with my summer, the responses are pretty awesome!
My mom has gone through a bunch of old photos at my request so that I can use these throughout the summer. I think it will be neat to take then and now pictures of me at places I have visited in the past. I also am excited to share some old baseball pictures throughout the summer. She found the picture of my first haircut and I took a picture at that same barbershop on Monday for IG. I have to get the pictures scanned so their resolution is good enough for my site, but these will be fun to share!
I have been told a number of things about my summer. A lot of folks tell me how inspirational what I am doing is. I also get a lot of people telling me how envious and excited they are for me. If someone told me that this was going to be their summer and that they were getting academic credit and funding for it—I would be jealous too! Beyond getting to spend the summer traveling and watching baseball, I am going to get to see a bunch of old friends and make a bunch of new ones too. Los Angeles is going to be particularly interesting because there I will get to reunite with a bunch of friends that I have not seen in many years and have never met sober. We all have our lives together now and I cannot wait to reflect on the crazy memories we shared and make some new ones. I even hope to see some people over this trip that might not think fondly of me, because, I want to show them how different this Andy is from the Andy back then. I also hope to see some people I grew up with, but lost touch with for various different reasons.
Do you think what I am doing is cool? Do you think this is something other people might think is cool? Help me share my story! Follow my social media and tell your friends about it. If you have any media connections that might be interested, please fill them in. If you know any potential sponsors that might be interested please let them know too! I cannot wait to share this amazing journey with all of you!