The Interim

Trip Start Feb 20, 2008
1
Trip End Jul 07, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

((I need to preface this with the fact that I ran out of time (and patience with my computer) so I didn't get to post as many pics or weave them into the text. Maybe I can add some more later, if the computers in Panama aren't slow pieces of crap))

So I finished my traveling job, ready to spend a bit of time in just one place... and then kept traveling; at least on the weekends. Whereas before, I spent a lot of time in planes, most of my travels over the past few months have been road trips. Here's a summary of my recent shenanigans...

 

After about two weeks back in the Austin area, I was out of town for the next four weekends. Unfortunately, my camera was broken for the first three of those weekends, which didn't bother me too much till I arrived in Panama City, Florida during Spring Break. I'll come back to that in a moment.

 

My first trip was to Houston for a wedding reception held at St Arnold's Brewery. My beautiful friends, and newlyweds, Mark and Jenny hosted the shin dig and I got to catch up with a lot of old friends from high school and college as well.

 

The next weekend began with a three-hour drive to Dallas, TX; the southern city that really wishes it was New York City. I was there for a nutritional conference but my buddy Franklin, from PT school, is also living there. I stayed with him and his sister, and we had a blast celebrating her birthday with a very cool group of their friends. It was the first time I realized what great place Dallas can be.

 

At this point I was starting to grow a little tired of the weekend travel since I was still working 40-50 hours a week at two different clinics in the Austin area (and had just finished a year of travel). But that fatigue faded quickly when I found myself immersed in masses of drunken, scantily-clad college students in Spring Break heaven... Panama City, Florida. Not only was this the setting, but I was sharing in the debauchery with some of my closest friends, Steven and Brian. Steven and I have been surfing together since high school, and we had rideable waves both days. The first day was a little choppy and it was a bit overcast, but the second day hot and sunny with small but perfectly-formed waves. We surfed for a while and then laid on the beach with Brian to watch the endless bathing suit parade. Panama City has a couple night clubs that claim to be the largest in the US. I don't know if that's true but I certainly wouldn't bet against it. These things were filled with literally thousands of Spring Breakers, and you can imagine the mayhem that ensued. Since I have grandparents reading these blogs (hi grandpa) I'll spare you the gory details, but I had a surprisingly good time considering that I've now become "the old guy" at the young night clubs. But given that I just recently began needing to shave, I fit right in.

 

After that weekend, and another 40 + hours of work in four days, I was really exhausted. But I'll tell you what, there's nothing like "Chilifest" in Snook, Texas to wake your ass right up. I was beginning to wonder how I had become so lucky as to continuously find myself in the midst of enormous parties full of crazy college students. I knew it was primarily just a big party, but to be completely honest, I really like chilli and was looking forward to tasting a big variety, critiquing each, clearing my palate with cold beers, repeating the process, etc etc. But wouldn't you know it, out of 25,000 people at "Chilifest," I didn't see one damn person cooking any chilli. I saw some entertaining country-rock bands. I saw some good friends and family. I saw girls mud wrestling. I saw a fantastic drinking game that involves drinking beer out of a wiffle-ball bat and spinning around till you fall over. I saw all kinds of things... except chilli. I actually had my camera at this point so I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. I especially like the before/during and after pics. http://www.chilifest.org/home.htm

Here's a photo gallery some photographer put up online

http://photos.bonafoto.com/g/chilifest2008&gallery_page=&gallery_all=&view=1&photo_page=1#photo_s

 

Chilifest turned out to be one of a few fun weekends with my cousins Andrew, Chris, and Nathan. Chris and Nathan live in College Station, Texas, and Andrew currently lives in Iraq as a Lieutenant. Stay safe cuz! A few weeks went by where I actually spent the weekends in Austin. Then it was out to the Guadalupe River to camp with essentially the same group from Chilifest. For you non-Texans out there, the Guadalupe River is most famous for an activity most commonly referred to as "floating the river." Refer to the picture. On a busy weekend, sometimes you see more bodies, tubes, and beer coolers in the River than you actually see water. It's always a good time.

 

The next adventure was a road trip up to Memphis, Tennessee for the World Championships of Barbeque, and over to Arkansas for a weekend of canoeing and camping. It was over 11 hours on the road with 6 guys and a trailer of stuff, but the barbeque and Blues music in Memphis was completely worth it. We stayed at my aunt and uncle's place after a fun night on "Beale Street" http://www.bealestreet.com/home.html , and drove three hours the next day to the Spring River in Arkansas. We spent two nights camping there and took a six hour canoe trip down the river the second day. It was absolutely beautiful. It was the last big weekend trip with Andrew before he left for Iraq, so to say we went all out would be an understatement. I lost count on how many times I flipped over in the canoe, and somehow we ended up singing Hank William's Jr. karaoke on the deck of someone's river house along the way. The best performance by far was Andrew's rendition of "A Country Boy Can Survive."

 

The next trip I took was in mid-June, and this time I was back on a plane. A group of my close friends from Physical Therapy school reunited back in St. Augustine, Florida to celebrate some of our birthdays around that time. The weather was beautiful and we were all incredibly excited to be out in the water surfing together again. The waves weren't much to write about but the company more than made up for it. It was nice to be able to enjoy the quaint little coastal town without the stress that was ever-present while I was going to school there. http://www.oldcity.com/

 

So now I'm gearing up to leave tomorrow for my next big adventure... Panama! I think it's about time I improve my Spanish and my Salsa dancing. I'll do some Physical Therapy and Massage work if possible, and after a few weeks in the capital, I'll hopefully be spending the majority of my time on the coast, surfing and looking for land to buy. I have this crazy dream of setting up a vacation home on a beautiful beach, that I can rent out when I'm not there with my friends and family. Of course, that kinda thing takes money, so I'll have to figure that part out once I get there. Wish me luck! I'll be writing again soon.
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Comments

ytapscott
ytapscott on

You party animal
Hi, Jarod! It was good to hear from you. I am glad that you are having so much fun, and that you are still traveling. It has been a while since we have talked. I have been doing a little traveling myself. It has been so hot this summer that I have been spending alot of my time in the pool. It is also very good exercise. I enjoy it immensely. Give me a call when you have some time and we'll talk and catch up. Happy Travels, Yvonne

Jenny on

Very nice, verrrry funny!

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