Olli has 99 problems, and all of them are women on twitter – @wacie

I’ve posted a storify of the hilarity that I experience on twitter before.

This particular fun happened last week, while I was out and about in England and passing the time on the way to the pub with tweeting.

I hope you enjoy reading my/our shenanigans and maybe join us the next time?

 

and I would walk five hundred miles

By the time you read this, if you read it less than three days after it being posted, I will be gallivanting around Great Britain, namely Milton Keynes, Watford, Oxford or London.

But I can’t leave you without a funny story to read, can I?

In 2008 I decided to spend my summer vacation in the UK, namely visiting my cousin in Manchester, meet the lovely Alicia for the first time1 and walk around in Wales.

Good plan, right?

Well, on my second day, early in the morning, I was alone at my cousin’s place, I did something really dumb.

I got up from a chair, walked out of the room and rammed my right foot with full force into my cousin’s cross trainer.

Have you ever split your second toe lenghtwise with an axe? No? Me neither, but it felt exactly like I imagine that. I spent the morning letting cold water run across my foot. And because I don’t want to let something ruin my holidays I went out later that day, took a train out of Manchester and walked around some supposedly pretty historical village.

I didn’t appreciate it as much as you might think. But I tied my shoes as tight as possible and rangered on. In pain.
A day or so later I took the train up to West Yorkshire to meet Alicia for the first time and while I could walk, I didn’t enjoy it a lot. During the weekend I spent there2 I got a pretty bruise in the middle of my foot at the base of my toe.  Colours changed frequently and I’m almost sad I didn’t take pictures. Almost.

After that lovely weekend with Alicia, her friends, parts of her family and my toe I took a train to Bangor, Wales, because the main portion of my vacation was scheduled to be walking around on the beautiful3 Island of Anglesey.

It’s totally cool and there’s trains and buses going everywhere and…aw, screw it. The bus timetables where A LITTLE off and I probably nearly killed my ankle because I was walking funny most of the time and I spent what felt like most of one walking from the Holyhead train station to that beautiful lighthouse. Through pouring rain. On that day I learned that my camera bag was way more watertight than my jacket.

The light house was pretty though and maybe halfway there was an information thingy with interesting things about the birds of the area. And a roof. It was dry. Oh yes.

Oh, this is the light house:

South Stack Lighthouse

Bless the french couple who took me back to the Youth Hostel in Bangor in their car.

Another day was spend in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch because you can’t be in Wales and not go to their gift shop if you have the chance4.

A much sunnier day was spent walking5 from a bus stop to a not frequently-enough served bus stop in front of the socalled “Anglesey Sea Zoo” where I saw fishes, had cake and touched shoal, rays and a shark.

shark

So what do we learn from this?

a) I am a stubborn idiot
b) don’t go hiking with a broken toe6
c) Anglesey is beautiful, but make sure you have a car or bike or something else than your mangled feet and the bus service

Footnotes
  1. I had met her on the webcomic forum of the guy who later wrote The Martian, which you should totally read. I got her a cool t-shirt. []
  2. and I had fun, really! []
  3. and rainy []
  4. really, there’s not really much more to see than the signs and the gift shop. It also is dry and heated, which I appreciated greatly at the time []
  5. in pain []
  6. I never had it x-rayed, but I assume it was []

I can’t wait any longer – travel preparations

If you have known me for a while, you might be aware that I have travelled quite a bit.

My trip advisor travel thingy logs about 150 cities in 20 countries and I’m looking forward to adding even more to it this year.tripadvisor

Some of those trips have been business-related, some were family holidays in my childhood, some were me visiting friends, some were pre-booked vacations, some were a mix of all of it.

So far I’ve pre-booked whole trips where everything has been organized, or only a car rental and accomodation, or last year, going to New Zealand I’d pretty much must booked flights, rented campervans and drove from campground to campground with my coworker and friend.

It has always worked out pretty good.

The trip last year also illustrates how I do my holiday planning. In that case I booked about 5 months in advance, my coworker joined me maybe a month later. About 2 weeks before we left, we met up at his place, with laptop, maps, guide books and other stuff, staking the route we were going to take so we wouldn’t get caught in New Zealand, thinking:

Ok, what now?

This year’s main vacation #Roadtrip2014 is similar in style to my last big trip. I will fly to another company, get in a car and meet friends on the way.

It was born about two years ago, when I walked in on an IRC conversation.

“Olli is German, he can bring the beer.”

Turns out a roadtrip and party was being planned, from the New York area to northern Florida, were @wacie lives. We’d quickly decided to try for this. I’d fly to NYC, have a look around and then we’d gather a few people to drive down to Florida and enjoy ourselves.
Some issues with our NY state friend cancelled the whole trip and it was postponed indefinitely. Until, one day more than half a year ago, during a lunch break walk, I got an idea.

What if we’d just start the trip at the south end, visit people along the way and end it at the Niagara Falls? After talking it through with Stacie/wacie it was decided, we staked out an approximate route, fixed a few points along the trail and in October 2013 I booked the flights, rental car and a few hotel stays in the main destinations.

About 200 days before take-off the waiting game began.1

We’d occasionally talk about the trip (mainly in terms of “I can’t believe we’re doing this”) but only recently, about 40 days before  wheels-up we started refining our plans, deciding which road-side attractions we want to see, booking more hotels and a NYC tourist pass thing, applying for a tour of the White House, looking at sights of the cities we’d be staying in.

“I can’t believe it’s happening” changed.

Now it’s different.

I can’t wait.

If you want to know, the current plan is:

Starting in northern Florida we’ll follow I95 for a bit, stay in South of the Border2 then take to the coast and go via the North Carolina Outer Banks Byway, pass through Virginia Beach, have a look at Washington DC and Philadelphia. From Philly we’ll catch a train to NYC3 and spend a few days looking at all the Big Apple stuff. Then it’s just a short drive up north to a see a friend before we do the final leg of the trip to the Niagara Falls, so we can cross the Niagara River on food and have a muffin at Tim Horton’s in Hamilton, Canada.

So yeah, we’re looking at two countries, 11 states4 about 1500 miles by car and a hundred via train and one hell of a lot of fun.

I’ll keep you guys posted and hopefully bring back tons of pictures and blog posts.

Footnotes
  1. and it was not hungry hungry hippos []
  2. hell yes, Pedro []
  3. because I’m not driving in there []
  4. if you count D.C. []

hedgehog nation

If you have been follwoing me on twitter for a while, you might have noticed the occasional tweet mentioning hedgehogs. Including the hashtags #HedgehogNation, #HedgehogArmy, #TeamHedgehog or variations of that. In one memorable occasion even #HedgehogPorn.

I didn’t invent any of those.

My personal #HedgehogLife on twitter was sparked by the awesome @CairnRodrigues and her gang of hedgies.1

I didn’t chose the hedgehog life, the hedgehog life chose me!

Then this happened:

 

 


So thanks to @LauraLeeSEO who inspired me to think about this some more2 , I had THIS commissioned3.

Hedgies of the world unite

 

 

Credit for this goes to the amazing @hananahammock !4

Spread the hedgehog love, promote the Hedgehog Nation, hedgehug somebody and 

Go team hedgehog!

Those little guys are not only adorable but also stand for everything good in the world:
The love of food5, books, interesting and funny conversations, being kind and awesome to each other and many other things.

Now please rise for the anthem of the great Hedgehog Nation.

O beautiful for green hedgerows,
For brownish heaps of leaves,
For hedgerow and bush majesties
Above the fruited dirt!
Hedgie Nation! Hedgie Nation!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with hedgehoghood
From bush to shrubbery!

 

Footnotes
  1. Cairn is the creator of the Solstice fantasy cycle, starting with The Last Prospector and the Light Stealer Song blog []
  2. you should totally check out her blog. It contains funny and thoughtful stories about failures small and big. Including a guest blog by me and other awesome people []
  3. because I am not exactly good at things that require manual skills and discipline like drawing and enjoy giving people money to do stuff they do better than I ever could []
  4. who you should not only follow on twitter if you like people who are smart, bonkers and funny, but also consider her youtube channel or her patreon site at http://www.patreon.com/hananahammock []
  5. cheese! []