Postcard 8

Issue Number : viii
Date : March 3, 1996
Period Covered : 02/23/96 - 03/08/96
Current Location : Aspen, CO
Future Stops : Winter Park, London, Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen

After 7 months, I finally returned to the city where my RTW trip started.  London is like a second home to me and it felt great to arrive in a familiar place again. I spent most of my time catching up with old friends and visiting my favorite restaurants. It was just a brief stop and 10 days later, I flew home to NY. The next few days were spent sorting through all my mail. I sure seem to accumulate a lot of junk mail these days.

It felt good to come back to my wardrobe and wear some new clothes for a change. Wearing the same 7 shirts for months gets old. I was tired of living out of a backpack and was definitely not motivated to unpack it. Maybe I’ll just bury it like a time capsule. Ten years later, I will dig it up and rummage through all my dirty clothes and it will bring back memories of my first RTW trip. I stayed in NY just long enough to get sick, get well, scarf down a few home cooked meals, celebrate Chinese New Year and pack for my next trip.

It was off to Colorado to do some skiing. I flew into Denver and took Amtrak to Glenwood Springs. I have never been a big fan of Amtrak but their train through Colorado is spectacular. We took a slow winding path up the snow capped Rockies. As the train raced with the partially frozen CO river, we saw bald eagles, deer, elk and even an ostrich farm. The train chugsthrough more than 50 tunnels and snowsheds during the 4.5 hour journey. The conductor was playing tour guide and gave a running commentary of the sights and history of the area. He even held trivia contests to help us pass the time. I won a Bloody Mary because I correctly identified where Doc Holliday was buried. I knew my travel research would pay off one day.

I can’t believe how expensive ski lift tickets have gotten. At Aspen they were 52 bucks a day!  I was mostly doing this ski trip alone so I decided to try and ski CO on a low budget. This meant staying at hostels instead of condos or hotels. The Glenwood Springs hostel is probably the homeliest hostel that I stayed in. The manager was really cool. She was Chinese, about 30 and a former Corporate America drone. She quit her job and is just chilling out for awhile. Remind you guys of anyone?

The hostel supplied free rice, pasta and potatoes. It had two kitchens and a communal atmosphere pervaded. It felt like Thanksgiving. The house was full and most people were in the kitchen cooking or talking. It smelled great because everyone was cooking different types of food. I made friends with a guy from Newcastle and we decided that I would cook and he would clean. It was the first time I cooked since November.

The hostel had a record collection with over 2000 lps. After dinner, everyone just sat around and put on their tunes. It was fun trying to figure out which person selected the record that was currently playing. People were trying to turn other people on to their favorite bands. We also sat around and talked about travelling. I may not like some of the living conditions of certain hostels but I always like the lively discussion that goes on in the common rooms. We trade tips and talk about places we’ve been to, plan on visiting or dream about. It’s like a round table discussion with an international crowd that really knows their stuff. Not like a typical travel agent who can only quote information from a glossy brochure.

I skied Aspen for 2 days. It was some of the steepest skiing that I have ever done. The town was pretty ritzy but no celebrity sightings. I was exhausted after 2 days of skiing and afterwards I retired to the hot pools at Glenwood. They have natural springs and the world’s largest outdoor pool. I also skied 2 days in Winter Park and snowshoed 1 day. I didn’t think snowshoeing would be that difficult but my heart was racing after a 3 hour hike. If there is such a thing as the Abominable Snowman, it must be in great shape.

Random Thoughts
Welcome Eileen, Sue, Alan and Gen.
I also visited the Tate Gallery for the first time but the Kiss was on loan in Paris 🙁
Thanks to all the people that have allowed me to to crash at their place during my RTW journey. Hope I can return the favor one day. A 1000 thanks to Mom & Dad & Kathleen, Greg & Rob, Yew Meng, Maria & Rick, Sabine B., the Wong family, Tony & Gen, Eric & Karen, Colleen, Rob & Judy, Tracy & Eric, Doug, Ray,
Dave, Sabine R., Linda and everyone that I may have forgotten to mention. I would also like to thank everyone that has bought me lunch or dinner during the last 13 months. It makes me feel guilty. I’m only unemployed not broke. Nevertheless, I really appreciate it.
I am a big movie fan and when you’re travelling its hard to keep up with the current movie scene. I had a lot of catching up to do. In London, I saw 5 movies in a span of 10 days.
One of my roomates in the Glenwood hostel was such a loud snorer that I had to wear earplugs at night. I overslept the next day and missed my bus because the plugs muffled the sound of my alarm clock.
In Winter Park, I stayed in a hostel that was situated in a trailer park. I was allowed to be white trash for a few days.
Doc Martens don’t work too well on snow and ice. My ass was falling all over the place.
** Chandra – Too bad we missed each other. I called you at that CO number at all hours but no one was ever home. I was sure you were in CA. Maybe next time. How was Joshua Tree? **
** Ray – When are strawberries in season? I want to go to Farmer’s Market and buy a case next time I’m in SLO town. **
** Dave – Good luck with MIT. No definite plans to visit HK in the near future but you never know. If you’re still there in July of 97, I might fly in to see the PRC troops march in. Regarding my drawl – I’m practising since I’m moving to cowboy country. Also see the quote of the day. **
** Cheryl – Why was your break so early this year? I can’t believe it’s been one year since we met at the FE in Venice.   I flew Northworst last week. 3 hour delay but it wasn’t their fault. **
** Sonia – If you and John are still looking for a biking trip, give Backroads a call. They organize interesting tours that range from camping out to luxurious inns. They should have an 800 number. **
** Irene – Have fun but be careful in Ceylon! **
** Nils – I had some homemade Danish meatballs the other day.  I didn’t know they were made from pork. I will be in Chicago around the 28th for 2 or maybe 3 nights. Are you going to be around? Also, would you happen to know if there are any games at Wrigley at the end of the month? Maybe exhibition ones
since the season doesn’t start until April. **
I am finally going to try and learn to play my harmonica that I’ve been carrying around for the last 8 months.
I am still not a fan of Amtrak. My train back to Denver was 9.5 hours late. I ended up taking Greyhound and managed to ride for free with the help of a forgetful bus driver..
After months on the road, I am a little tired of travelling. So to help me recharge my batteries, I am moving to Boulder (home of Mork & Mindy) in April for a few months. It’s a nice and lively college town. I am going out there to do some skiing, camping, fishing and other outdoorsy stuff. Everyone is welcome to come visit.

Quote of the Day
There’s a southern accent where I come from
the young ‘uns call it country
the yankees call it dumb

I’ve got my own way of working
but everything gets done
with a southern accent where I come from
– T. Petty

The views expressed in this postcard are solely my own. They
may not be politically correct and may even be exaggerated.
Names may be changed to protect the innocent or guilty parties.
I do not have a spell checker so typographical errors will be
common. Reproduction or rebroadcast without the expressed
written consent of Major League Baseball is strictly