Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Perils of Low-Budget Motels

Meth Hearse found in Cookesville, Tennessee. For the budget road tripper, occasional stays in a fleabag motel are a given. They’re convenient, cheap and charming in their own special ways. I’ve stayed in my fair share of them. Some had mold beneath the peeling wall paper. One came with hair in the sink. In another, a used condom and wrapper laid rudely in the bathroom wastebasket. More than a few had cigarette burns in the carpet. Paying between $25 and $45 a room, it never was any surprise that these rooms didn’t sparkle or smell particularly well. The trick is… Continue Reading

The Home Stretch

Winter wreaks havoc on the regional rail lines, causing frequent delays, which usually means long waits in the cold. For me, a late trolley equals a missed train equals a missed bus to the office, resulting in tardiness and smaller paychecks. Sometimes the train ride becomes a debacle. Earlier this month, on my way home, the train lost power between stops. For 45 minutes we sat in the dark, cold vessel until it coupled with another train that pushed us to the next station. There, we unloaded and waited 30 minutes for yet another train. I could air grievances all… Continue Reading

From Around the Travelsphere

West Philadelphia at 47th and Baltimore A round-up of travel items from around the world. Bans and Restrictions A ban on booze in Phuket’s national parks has angered Russians to the point they’re canceling vacations to the island, located off the coast of southwestern Thailand. The ban comes on the heels of a college student’s alcohol-related death. Inside Russia, president Vladmir Putin forbade government officials from taking vacations amid chaos-causing airport power outages. In America, a Russian junior hockey team was booted from a Delta Airlines flight out of New York for drunkenness. An Italian law banning nondegradable plastic bags… Continue Reading

The Feral Scribe’s Top 10 of 2010

Year in review features are the best, the way they wax all nostalgic on events we grew tired of hearing about as they happened the first time. These neatly packaged retrospectives of natural disasters, sensational events, celebrity deaths and questionable news captivate us all over again. In the last week I’ve seen and read so many lists, rundowns, roundups, recaps and reviews I can practically recite 2010 like I can the Pledge of Allegiance. Like the world, I had a pretty exciting 2010, as well. And I’m looking forward to a very active and even more adventurous 2011. But before… Continue Reading

A New Year’s Eve Journey Home

The fog was thick just before my 3:15 p.m. departure from Madison. I was twice stranded in Madison last summer due to van troubles, making it back to Philly a week after I was supposed to return to my job in September. Now here I am three months later having missed another week of work due to an inability to get from here to there. Five days after a blizzard slammed the east coast, delaying thousands of flights, I was finally on my way back to Philly. The fog in Madison yesterday was thick, raising concerns I might again be… Continue Reading