Statstravaganza – facts and stats about my vacation

While on vacation (and actually a little bit before, too) I thought it might be cool to gather random statistics and facts for a random-facts-about-my-holiday-blog-post. The one thing I am going to omit is money, I guess. Because I’m not that kind of guy, and, while I was able to afford the trip without getting into too much trouble, looking at those kind of numbers always freaks me out.

transportation stats

So let’s sRoadtrip 2014tart with distance. The whole trip, going from Jacksonville, FL to Niagara Falls, NY and back down to the airport in B uffalo, NY is about 1700 miles. There’s a train journey between Philly and NYC hidden in there, but we did enough detours and randomly driving around to clock in at about 2000 miles between the two rental cars we had.

But wait, there were boat trips, train trips and a lot of walking (not to mention public transportation and cab rides in cities which I will not count).

Between the boat trips (ferry rides in North Carolina and the Maid of the Mist boat tour at the Niagara Falls we can add 22 miles of boat tripping to our road trip. Neat, huh?

Next up, trains: Philly to NYC: let’s give it a hundred miles, from Manhattan to Long Island and back maybe another 50.

So that’s 150 miles of train. Let’s just add it up to 250 and include public transportation in travelD.C. and NYC.

On a whim I’ll also guesstimate cab rides. Maybe 3 miles in Virginia Beach, 3 miles in Philly and a whopping 16 miles in New York City.

The touristy bus in Philadelphia took us on rides worth may 5 miles I’d say.

Next and last: walking. Oh dear, @wacie will hate me for this. I won’t bore you with the details of walking 30 blocks because of miscalculation subway things in NYC, but all said and done, including museums and stuff…we probably did about 32 miles of walking around or more.

I am not going to split this up into a statistic based on how much time we spent with each type of transportation.

On our trip we visited seven museums, two related to art, one a mixed bag of history, science and art, the rest mostly history and science.

We did see a few animals1 on our trip.

– 2 or 3 alligators (I think I saw one cross the road2 )
– 1 deer3
– loads of turtles
– 3 squirrels
– roadkill4

All that travelling got us through ten US states, and one Canadian. Not Bad.5

Cellphone trouble

Times @wacie’s cellphone died after half a day of checking into every location on foursquare:
– seeing how we were on the road about 14 days, I’d say 14.
Times we thought the phone had died for good but I miraculously got it to work again:
– one
Times @wacie lost her phone:
– two
Times we got it back:
– two6
Times my phone caused me trouble:
– none7


Shopping spree

Times we had to stop/look for a drugstore because @wacie forgot something8:
– four or five
Times we stopped into a beauty/makeup-related store for mostly exclusively nailpolish:
– can’t say, most nailpolish shopping actually was drive-by-shopping9
Number of bottles of nailpolish @wacie (check out her blog. bought while on the trip:
– 6710 – 40 of which were bought in stores, 27 online from hotel rooms and what-not
Number of t-shirts I bought:
– six
Number of hard rock café’s I had to keep myself out of:
– five

Food trip

Part of this vacation was about food. Doing my first US american road trip I was kind of bent on trying as much typical American food-places as possible. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t. I “missed” quite a few of the typical fast food places, but here’s a list of stuff I ate and the places I ate them.

I finally had gatortail. At Gator’s Dockside in Jacksonville, Florida
Georgia saw me eat Spinach & Strawberry salad at the district café
a delicious steak at the Peddler Steak House in South of the Border, SC
pecan waffles at Waffle House somewhere in NC
Should I count the Bomb Burrito I heated up in the hotel microwave on the Outer Banks in NC?
Bob’s Grill11 served us delicious seafood benedict.
fried oysters and crabcakes were had at Abbey Road, a Beatles themed pub in Virginia Beach
Fried chicken at Nando’s in Washington D.C.
I ate at a McDonalds at the Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C.12
Taco Tuesday in Washington D.C. gave us… tacos!
Pancakes at IHOP
Hot dogs at the Lincoln Memorial, some more hot dogs in NYC
A Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia13
Shrimp Shumai, Beef Negimaki and a perfect tuna steak and some Sake at a Japanese restaurant in Philadelphia14. Don’t forget the green tea tempura ice cream.
Some tasty pizza calzone at John’s Pizza, a converted church in Manhattan
Hamburgers and hot dogs at my friend’s Memorial Day BBQ in Long Island
A bagel at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Brooklyn
Funnel cake and deep fried Oreo on a Manhattan street fair
Lobster roll on a rooftop bar
Korean BBQ Burger at the Madison Square Park eats food festival
Another Taco Tuesday in Poughkeepsie, NY, where I had Mole Abuelita15
Lobster, shrimp and fish ad Ruby Tuesday
Florentine benedict at a diner in Kingston
Buffalo chicken pizza for dinner in Niagara Falls, NY16
A maple donut at Tim Horton’s in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Poutine in Niagara Falls, Ontario

All that food makes me thirsty, so let’s move on to the beertistic.
While on my road trip I tried 26 different beers.  I thought about turning this into a neat graph, but it would be very American-IPA heavy.
There was one beer I had tried before, one Japanese Ales, one Belgian beer and a German one. The German one was NOT the one I’d had before.
So here’s a list so you can revel in my vacation boozing:
– Dukes
– Sam Adams
– Flagship IPA
– Sunken City IPA
– Hoptopus IPA
– Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen
– Brew Free or Die IPA
– Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
– Raging Bitch IPA
– Port City Optiuma Wit
– Green Eyed Devil
– Roge Dead Guy
– Entire Butt Porter
– Riverhorse Summer Blonde
– Evil Genius IPA
– Allagash White
– Hitachino Red Ale
– Brooklyn Lager
– Stella
– Würzburger Hofbräu
– Hurricane Kitty
– Sam Adams Summer Ale
– Molson Canadian17

And now let’s finish this post with

leftover random stats

– @wacie argued with 3 talking crossroads. While being sober.
– I met four internet friends on this trip, none of which I’d ever seen in person before, one of which I spent the whole 15 days with
– I mailed 25 postcards










– I expressed my adoration for the southern dialect countless times
– we saw 1 space shuttle (not actually in use)
– we saw 1 aircraft carrier (actually in use)
– we tried taking a picture of that “speed limit enforced by aircraft” sign a dozen times
– never got pulled over
– got asked ((or people just implied)) if we were a couple/on our honeymoon five times
– ran into Germans countless times
– @wacie verbed all the nouns18
– times I tried to open the wrong door with my key: two19


All in all, a good vacation!

  1. not counting the Virginia Beach Aquarium []
  2. why did the ‘gator cross the road? []
  3. almost ran over it []
  4. raccoons, armadillos, various other animals []
  5. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Ontario []
  6. the second time they stole her 8GB microSD Card, which is kinda hilarious []
  7. well, okay, in NYC the texts from and two one friend took about 30 minutes to go through []
  8. and once because roomkeeping stole her tampons from the hotel bathroom []
  9. popped a bottle of polish in someone’s ass? []
  10. sixty-seven []
  11. the one that we stopped at just to take a picture of the sign saying “Eat and get the hell out []
  12. I am deeply ashamed of this, but we were hungry and out of options []
  13. in an Irish pub. And it was good. []
  14. the Aki Japanese Fusion []
  15. delicious chicken breast in a spice, chocolate & almond sauce []
  16. and leftover pizza for breakfast, because GARGANTUAN []
  17. I drank that in Canada []
  18. most notably: bench, Canada, gatortail and beer []
  19. hey, all those doors look the same []

Operation Gatortail – Roadtrip 2014

I am back! I came back from my vacation this week! To satisfy your curiosity, have a brief account of what happened. Later posts might (if called upon) feature anecdotes or more detailed retellings of stuff that happened on the road, more pictures, statistics and whatever I can think of.

May 15th

After a trip through time and across the Atlantic, clearing baggage claim, re-check, customs and immigration in under one hour1 I arrived in Jacksonville, Florida, where @wacie picked me up at the airport, I got a rental car and we ended up eating delicious Gatortail2 in Gator’s Dockside with two friends of her’s.

2014-05-15 21.09.24


May 16th

The first day on the actual road saw us driving up I95 to Savannah, Georgia where we walked around a bit and stopped for a lunch break in the district cafe & eatery which I can only recommend. The rest of todays 367 miles took us up to South of the Border, South Carolina which we embraced in all its tack and cliché. The signs anouncing it started about 160 miles out3 but couldn’t prepare us for all it was.

2014-05-16 19.45.57

Welcome, to the tackiest place on earth!

2014-05-16 21.55.27

The Peddler Steak house is a good place to eat if you are looking for a really awesome steak, though.

May 17th

This was the day we turned the road trip into a boat trip. Nah, not really. But we did drive about 241 miles to Cedar Island4 only stopping at Waffle House5 for breakfast and a gas station for Cheerwine soda.

After first taking the ferry to Ocracoke on the Outer Banks, which is a two hour ride, we managed to time the second ferry crossing in a way that let us experience the magic of a sun setting at sea.

Eos_Gatortail 193

By the time we arrived at our hotel it was too late for any of the local restaurants, so we feasted on microwave pizza and this beansplosion burrito. It wouldn’t fit in the microwave, so I had to cheat.

May 18th

We spend most of the day driving along the Outer Banks, stopping for Wildlife Preserves with turtles, ponies who weren’t actually there, and the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk6. Fun fact: while North Carolina and especially Kitty Hawk7

We actually didn’t even plan to go to the Wright Brothers memorial8, but when we saw the sign I just had to pull over, and it was well worth it.

The stop before that9 was about as coincidental.

“Hey, look at that sign!” – “Oh wow, I want a picture of that!” – “Hm, why don’t we just eat there?”

Eos_Gatortail 241

And it was absolutely delicious! Eat the seafood benedict, if you can.

The day also finished on a high note. We arrived at our hotel in Virginia Beach, got ocean- and poolview rooms on the 6th floor, the front desk supervisor was in a good mood and gave us free parking and the frustrated concierge handed us taxi fare after trying to conjure information on how to get into town, using an automated hotline system. Dinner was at a Beatles themed pub/restaurant called “Abbey Road” where I had fried oysters and crabcakes. Walking back along the beach some random skater said he liked my Metallica jacket.10.

2014-05-18 22.50.04


May 19th

Today we passed the 1000 mile mark. But not after we spent a few hours at the Virginia Beach aquarium, marveling at various sorts of marine life and taking a walk around beautiful Mt. Trashmore!

2014-05-19 14.05.38

At some point in the evening we arrived in Alexandria, VA, where we met our host for the next few days. After dinner at Nando’s11 where I was carded for the first time on this trip((I handed them my German ID, they looked confused and gave me beer, so it went well enough)) we ended the day in a boardgame simulating wholesale destruction of Tokyo.

May 20th

Our first day in Washington D.C. ! We took a train towards Capitol Hill and spend some time walking around, looking for breakfast. That took us until dinner time, when we succumbed to the McDonalds12 in the Smithonian National Air and Space Museum. That museum is a blast, by the way. Lots of interesting and some interactive exhibits about flight and space travel.

Best part: When I didn’t spit and laugh at the guy who explained to his mate that the lunar rover’s wheels were hollow due to the Zero-Gravity on the moon. His mate called him a dumbass.13

2014-05-20 11.19.26

Some more walking around took us to the White House14, Washington Monument15 and Taco Tuesday in Alexandria. Followed by watching “National Lampoon’s Vacation” about one and a half time.16

May 21st

More planes! More Space! But first: Pancakes. On our way to Chantilly we stopped for breakfast at an IHOP17, then we went to America’s hangar, the second part of the Air & Space Museum.


Eos_Gatortail 750 Eos_Gatortail 829

This baby is why!

Oh, and the other planes and the flight simulator that lets you do barrel rolls and stuff is pretty neat, too. And yes, we spent most18 of the day there. No, we don’t regret it. Yes, I bought astronaut ice cream. And ate it!

May 22nd

More Washington D.C. goodness! Technically on our way out, we spent the morning around the National Mall again, taking in the reflecting pools, the Lincoln Monument and the groups of 5th graders rampaging through all of it.
After this blissful experience we drove on towards Philadelphia, PA. Got stuck in a hailstorm because a tree had fallen across the road in a thunderstorm that just passed through but managed to get to the hotel unscathed, so we could finally get our original Philly cheesesteak. In Philadelphia.19

May 23rd

Today was history-, culture- and art-day. After an okayish hotel breakfast we went to see Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art20.

2014-05-23 15.06.35

That successful day21 ended on a very delicious note. While I didn’t like Sake that much, the food at the Aki Japanise Fusion restaurant was pretty awesome22.

May 24th

The first half of today was devoted to needlessly pannicking about not being let on the train to NYC23 and actually travelling to NYC by train. We’d given up our trusty rental car24 because I didn’t want to drive into NYC just to have it stand there and gather dust for $25 a night.
A harrowing walk25 and an equally harrowing cab drive later we ended up at the hotel, just to drop our bags in the tiny room in Brooklyn, just to get a subway train back to Manhattan, where our friend Allie showed us around mostly Time Square and introduced me to Mr. Softee26
After some tasty pizza in a converted church27 we took a train back home just to get off at the wrong exit, being to confused to find our way to the right train and walking about 30 blocks to our hotel. Wacie might have hated me for a while that evening.28

May 25th

We split up after taking the train to Manhattan, Wacie went wild in MoMA29 while I went up to  Top of the Rock.

2014-05-25 11.24.55

We abandoned all other touristy plan to spend the rest of the day30 with Allie and her friends in Long Island, eating burgers and hotdogs, and ending up playing Cards Against Humanity until we ran out of white cards.
Ever wondered how it feels to be playing that game, as a German, in a group of mostly jewish people, with them playing most of the holocaust cards and usually winning the round? It was pretty awesome, to be honest. ;)

May 26th

The morning was filled with some touristy stuff, namely the Staten Island ferry so we could look at the Statue of Liberty without having to go to Ellis Island, the Ghostbusters HQ, me hopping into MoMA while wacie went up to Top of the Rock. The afternoon was taken over by our trusty indigenous tour guide Allie who showed us the Disney Store, Nintendo World and the Lego Store before we first went to a street fair31 and a rooftop bar with a nice view of the Empire State Building.

2014-05-26 18.20.43

After that we went down again, having awesome food at Madison Square Eats32 before we called it a night. Not before going up Empire State Building in the dark though. And while the view was nice, god was the wait long. And the platform crowded. And how the tourists33 hogged every inch of view. I was able to grab a few pictures, but leisurely enjoying the view for more than a few seconds as a time was simply not done. But I did have my revenge.

2014-05-28 05.27.21


May 27th

After our second cab ride in New York City we got our new rental car. In Manhattan. On 40th street. But what can I say? Driving out of the city, while pretty crowded, wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be, so we were on our way along the Taconic State Parkway in no time and arrived at @JadedArsenic‘s place in the early afternoon. And we only almost hit a deer once!

Pentax_Gatortail 138

After being shown the local sights we went for another instance of delicious Taco Tuesday before we called it a night.

May 28th

Another museum day had come! Starting off with the Samuel Morse Museum34 and house we moved on to the F.D.Roosevelt library and museum, dinner at Ruby Tuesday35 and what probably was the highlight of the day: We got all but kicked off the “Walkway over the Hudson”, a mile-long footbridge that closes at dusk. *cough*

May 29th

Eh, what can you say? Another roadtrip day, I guess. After a healthy and hearty breakfast at a pretty decent diner we36 drove all the way to Niagara Falls, NY. Unfortunately the boat trips had closed down by the time we’d arrived, so we settled for a Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza to be dinner and entertainment for this evening. It was tasty and huge enough to serve as breakfast the next day.

2014-05-29 19.16.23


May 30th

Alas, our last full day of vacation hathest arrived!

After our pizza breakfast we went on our Niagara Falls adventure. We did the Maid of the Mist boat trip37 and then walked over to the Canadian side of the falls.

And what everyone tells about that is true. Not only is the view much better on that side, there’s also basically a theme park going on there. So we busied ourselves with ice cream, Tim Horton’s, playing games in an arcade/sports bar and of course Poutine for dinner.

Only getting out of Canada was a bit of an exercise. At the foot bridge we realized that there were turnstiles, aksing for two quarters to cross. No biggie, you say? Sure. Unless you’ve spent all your cash because “Hey, last day of vacation!”.

Oh, look! An exchange and ATM shack. Good. So I grab a $20 bill38 from the atm and decide to break it up in Starbucks. I get Canadian change of course. Bummer. Well, back to the change shack. Oh, closed for the night. Luckily the border crossing has change machines that break up my Canadian $5 bill into a metric ton of coins, so we finally make it out of the country.

And that’s about it. We both flew home on May 31st, after turning in the car and having breakfast at the air port.

If there’s anything specific about the trip you want more info on,  let me know, otherwise look out, I will probably post a few pictureladen blog posts once I’m done with sorting through about 2000 pictures.

  1. thank you, United, for your quick transit procedures, because my first flight was delayed by about two hour []
  2. and Gatorsauce []
  3. Makin’ Whoopee, Virgin Sturgeon and some less weird ones, too []
  4. it took us about 5:20 hours, no kidding []
  5. for me the trip partly was about the all American roadside dining experience []
  6. formerly known as Chickahawk []
  7. I kinda like Chickahawk better) takes pride in being “first in flight”, the Wright brothers actually were from Ohio and just wanted a vacation AND a suitable place to do their flights. ((Hawk Chicka bow hawk! []
  8. simply because we didn’t actually know we’d pass it []
  9. our daily brunch break []
  10. I got it for free from a friend working at a merch retailer. I don’t even like Metallica THAT much []
  11. at this time the only one in the US []
  12. I am deeply ashamed of this []
  13. thanks! []
  14. Sadly we didn’t get in because we filed our application too late []
  15. We didn’t get in because we didn’t want to stand in line for two hours before 9 AM []
  16. Don’t ask! []
  17. another one of those dining things I’d never done, because duh, German []
  18. pretty much all []
  19. because yes, food is all this trip was about. Mostly. []
  20. yes, the one with the Rocky statue. Yes, I took a picture of it. No, I actually did go into the museum afterwards []
  21. because while Stacie actually lost her phone for the second time and it was returned again – minus SD-card – []
  22. No, I didn’t order sushi. Tuna steak, two starters to share and green tea tempura ice cream []
  23. so many bags! so little baggage allowance []
  24. I once cut off a Shelby Cobra with it. Bloody blind spot []
  25. to pick up our touristy stuff passes []
  26. yum! []
  27. get it? GET IT?? []
  28. I wouldn’t blame her. I was annoyed with myself. []
  29. and convinced my to go in the next day, when she told me Starry Night was in there []
  30. Sunday before memorial day []
  31. funnel cake! fried oreos! lemonade! []
  32. a local food festival []
  33. damn tourists! []
  34. turns out he did a lot more than just invent morse code []
  35. tasty, but not a museum, it had cheesecake and Coronaritas []
  36. well, I []
  37. ponchos included []
  38. US []