Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Plans For December Are Starting To Come Together

I have made my travel plans and they are as follows.

I hope to be in Kremnica Friday the 5th of Dec. and stay the weekend with Joey, Martina and other friends. Returning to Bratislava on Sunday the 7th.

On Dec. 8th I will fly from Vienna to Amsterdam. I will stay until the 12th. It is my birthday gift to myself. What can I say I love the city and if it was not so expensive I would move there for 3 or 4 months to really get to know it as well as I want to. For those who have never been I recommend you put it on the list of places to visit. The best way I can describe what I enjoy about it, is this; take the multicultural aspects along with great museums, great food, etc. about New York City and put it on a small scale. 600,000 people compared to 8 million in NYC. The lack of really tall buildings in the city center is also one of the great things about it. You could walk from one end of the city to the other in less than an hour and a half. I am hoping to get lucky and have it snow just a little while I am there. I would really like to have a Winter series of photos from Amsterdam.

On Dec. 12th I will fly to Prague and visit with my former flat-mate Eva. Her Birthday is the 6th but we are going to celebrate it on the 12th. My current flat-mates and a few others will take the train from Bratislava to Prague for the weekend. We will all then return by train on Sunday afternoon.

Then I have booked a flight to Istanbul on Christmas Day and will stay for 4 days visiting friends. I am really excited to go back to Istanbul. To me it is the jumbo size version of NYC and this is why I enjoy it. But that many people is somewhat overwhelming to me sometimes.

I hope but am not sure I will be back in Kremnica for New Years Eve. But if that doesn't work out then the dream would be to return to a tiny little town on the western coast of Ireland called Doolin but only if my friend Kelly flew over to celebrate it with me. And would require me to fly Ryan Air again, not something I want to do. We had a great time there in 2001 and always said we should do it again some day. The third choice would be Amsterdam of course.

I hope it stays this way but if it changes it changes. I hope to keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My New Favorite Toy...

The Slingbox Pro - google it

The thing is great, I can watch live TV or from a Tivo (still the greatest thing EVER) at my Dad's house over the internet anywhere I have a high speed internet connection. I will see how it works in Slovakia. If it works like I think it will making watching Giants games simple. I will keep you updated.

For any of you who travel and miss seeing local coverage of sports and news while you are away from home, the Slingbox Pro is for you. The Solo is also good but spend the extra 20 bucks for the Pro, if you can find one. (I got so lucky to get mine but again, the Universe puts me where it needs me when it needs me there.) It was easy to hook up and setup , the only extra I needed was a wireless adapter. The kind the work on the Xbox 360 works with it and it was the easiest and cheapest solution to get it connected to the house wifi. It just plugs into the network port on the back of the Slingbox. That took about 3 minutes to setup with a PC before connecting it to the Slingbox. After making the connections in the back of the box I plugged it in and worked perfectly. You download the software (Mac or PC) and it walks you through setting up the the Slingbox. It took less than 10 min. but I was taking my time, mainly because I was amazed how cool it was and easy to setup. I then spent the next two hours just playing around with settings and basically went into super geek mode. I have tested over the internet and it works great. the faster your internet connection the better.

A special thanks to Dad and Janet for letting me set it up in there house. Dad, enjoy watching the races on your laptop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Leave for Home Soon

I have been in the States for the last 11 days visiting friends and family. I had a great time but I am ready to get back home in Bratislava. What can I say, I miss being a houseboy. The NY Giants game was great and I had a great time hanging out with Jason. (J - I told you that you would love having a Mac.) It was great to see the newest edition to the family, Conner. I got a chance to visit with my friend Kelly in D.C. She took me to a great little local place near her house called the Red Derby. I am now in NJ at my Dad's house until I leave tomorrow. I fly out from JFK at 6pm and should be back in Vienna around 9am. I can't wait.

My New Favorite Quote

A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Am Back In America

I flew in yesterday afternoon in to Newark and meet up with my friend Jason, who flew in from Virginia. We just got back from the Giants - Cowboys game. Nice win for the Giants!!! (sorry Jason) We will drive to Richmond tomorrow morning. I will stay in Richmond at least a few days before heading back north. I have not decided if and when I will stop by Camp. I will see what things I need to get from the cabin and decide later if it worth the drive to get what I need. I am also thinking about visiting my brother Ben in Vermont, I would like to visit to see the renovations he did on the house that I lived in 2 years ago. I will then spend a few days in New Jersey before flying back to Slovakia for the next five months.

Yup you read that correctly, I will not be back for five months. I plan on a two week visit in early April. Over the next five months I am going to study, study, study. I am really into the idea of learning to speak Slovak, even though I know it is one of the hardest languages to learn. I really like living there and I need to be able to communicate with everyone not just the younger people who speak English. Plus I really want to see if I have the stones to actually do the work I need to do for me to learn the language. As most of you know, for me, school and studying rates slightly higher than getting kicked in the nuts while holding a baby. I will let you know how it goes.