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May 2014

Day 44 – May 18, 2014

$85 for Toronto parking!? I check the map. Just east of Toronto, Niagara Falls tumbles on the US-Canada border. I stop in Niagara for a watery lunch. $15 for parking!? I lose my way among the amusement park rides, dinosaur miniature golf, and casinos. At least I see what Niagara …

Day 43 – May 17, 2014

Toronto may be my most expensive stay. Sure, I plan to visit New York and Boston, but I will stay with friends and family. In Toronto, I slam money down at restaurants and museums. If I am not sure I will be back, I had better spend, spend, spend. My …

Day 42 – May 16, 2014

I find no cheap cities on the tourist trail in either America or Canada. Almost anywhere, I can flush out a decent espresso, but this espresso costs the standard $2.5-3 whether in San Francisco, Ann Arbor, and Missoula. Draft beer is almost always $4-6. Gone are those Austin nights of …

Day 41 – May 15, 2014

After one day tromping through Toronto, my initial verdict is quite nice. Toronto holds together well the essentials of a big city–skyscrapers, subway, bougie boutiques, art museums, gentle graffiti, sports teams, excellent food, and diversity. Nine in the morning found me standing in Toronto’s Dundas Square next to hockey’s Stanley …

Day 40 – May 14, 2014

Eying me suspiciously, Canadian border patrol asked about my carful of stuff. The officer shut the glass window for private consultation. My passport stamps to Istanbul and Brazil may not have helped my great northern cause. After rattling me, the officer let me drive on from the border at Winsor …

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Day 39 – May 13, 2014

I travel now to reconnect with friends and family. I have closed on completion so many previous chapters of my life: high school, college, years in Texas and the Netherlands, work in Boston. I try to re-open these stories to see where the characters went. I’m 41. Many of my …

Day 35 – May 9, 2014

Your reaction to art can change as you age. On this journey across the country, I took two books with me: Lonely Planet’s giant USA travel guide and Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. The travel guide, although ten year’s old, serves as a gloss for popular sites and venerable lodgings. …

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Day 34 – May 8, 2014

I got side-tracted or right-tracted or just dis-tracted. After Minnesota, I pick up the story weeks later in Ohio. I neglect adventures in Madison, Wisconsin and the Milwaukee art museum. I omit a thousand miles of driving, a long sit in Ohio, a week camping in Tennessee, and spelunking in …

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Day 20 – April 24, 2014

Cindy Garfield once advised me, “If you want to move, check out the new location during its worst weather.” Minneapolis in mid-April means shinning hot days and pleasant nights. Those that find Los Angeles weather oppressive should venture to Minnesota. Minneapolis receives favorable Yelp reviews for its progressive politics, interesting …

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Day 16 – April 20, 2014

Funny what one remembers from the road. North Dakota is windy. The hotel guy said that when the wind picks up, it just blows and blows with nothing to stop it. Minneapolis has the worst pot holes. I’m getting better at this travel. I ate breakfast in Billings, had lunch …