j.j. toothman

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Category: Travel (page 1 of 3)

The AT&T dropped iPhone calls problem. Definitely an SF thing.

I’m sure that no one will be surprised by this, but my opinion of AT&T iPhone service has changed dramatically since I left San Francisco. My iPhone is even more of a workhorse than it was before.  And it’s performing like a champ. I’m doing numerous 60-90 minute conference calls on my iPhone on a daily basis.  Once I did an hour long conference call while on the Acela from New Haven to New York.  During these calls, I’m putting my iPhone through its paces by surfing the Web, accessing info on the Evernote App, or other things sucking up the data stream.  And my call’s aren’t dropping.

Yes, this has resulted in heavy voice usage and the amount of minutes I’m using is skyrocketing.  This month, I would have been the victim of heavy extra charges on my bill if not for AT&T sending me a text message alerting me that I’m way over and I should change my data plan to compensate.  Thanks for taking care of me, AT&T!  I was especially pleased to find out that I could retroactively change my plan back to my last billing date.  Overage charges be gone!

It will be interesting to see how things change when I’m in metro Boston full time. 

On returning to New England

It’s done. Despite the fact that I haven’t changed my mailing address or gotten a new driver’s license or even found a permanent place to live, it’s time for me to admit that I am once again a full time New Englander.

The family and I are all on the east coast and currently staying at my mother’s house in Glastonbury, Connecticut while we house hunt in the suburbs west of Boston.  We’ve emptied our house in Half Moon Bay and everything we care about is either with us or has been packed by the moving company into storage.  Both of our vehicles have safely arrived on the east coast.

Glastonbury is about 90 minutes from Boston.  Yes, we’re in the house I spent much of my childhood growing up in.  Yes, Keturah and I are sleeping in my old bedroom.  And yes, it feels a little odd to be back.

But it also feels good.  Keturah has a friend who is also moving back to Boston from San Francisco and on one of her recent Facebook status threads was the statement “we came for the lifestyle out west and we’re moving back for the lifestyle back east.”  That pretty much encapsulates how I feel about all this.  I loved living in the SF Bay Area.  But my love for it began to wane as soon as Keturah and I had children.  San Francisco is a great city.  A great city to be a young professional.  But it’s not the most kid-friendly area I’ve ever been to.  One of the reasons we moved back to New England was to live in strong family oriented communities.  I’m not saying those don’t exist in the Bay Area.  They do.  But for whatever reason, they don’t seem like the communities I grew up in.  Those of you who have experienced living in both areas probably know what I mean.

I haven’t spent significant time in Glastonbury since….I don’t know when. The town has exploded. There’s a second middle school. Downtown Glastonbury has tons of new restaurants and cafes. There’s a Whole Foods. The library has tripled in size.

But some things remain. It’s odd what I’m noticing. The car wash on Main Street is still there. I totally forgot about drive up bank tellers. Most of the banks have those.  And it’s still ridiculously confusing to figure out how to get from point A to point B. On day 2, we realized we had to go out and buy a top notch GPS in order to navigate the back roads of New England.1

But in the long run, this won’t be about returning to Glastonbury.  It will be about relocating to metro Boston.  For all the time I previously lived in New England2, I’ve never been a resident of Massachusetts.  And I think the longest consecutive string of nights I’ve spent in Boston is probably 4 nights.  So there’s a newness to this adventure that is very exciting to me.  One that I’ll be even more excited to embark upon as soon as we deal with the next thing in the relocation critical path – finding a house to live in.3


  1. We got a Garmin Nuvi 1450 LMT 

  2. 23 years 

  3. Mason starts kindergarten this fall.  So figuring out what town we want to live in is priority #1 

Only in Vermont

Now these are the kinds of nuances that make Vermont unique. A TV station in Burlington has an official Phish correspondent.

23 Hours in Boston

After WordCamp SF ends today, I’m taking the red eye flight tonight from San Francisco to Boston.  My flight lands at Logan around 7 am.  My friend Dennis is picking me up so that I can get some rest before gathering with friends in preparation for Phish at Fenway park tomorrow evening. 

Yes, that’s correct.  I’m travelling to Boston to see Phish at Fenway.

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After the show, there will be more hijinks, then I’m jumping on a plane back to San Francisco at 6 am Monday morning. 

If all goes to plan, I will be in Boston for 23 hours.  Keep track of what’s going on by following me on Twitter

Am I crazy?  Obsessed?  Or inspired?

Heading to Costa Rica tomorrow – help fill up our itinerary

Keturah and I are heading to Costa Rica tomorrow morning.  Travelling without our children (WOOT!), we’ll be splitting 10 days around the areas of the Arenal Volcano (staying near La Fortuna – in a treehouse, of all things) and the Nicoya Peninsula (staying in Nosara).  With less than than 24 hours before our plane leaves, we’re pretty unprepared. We haven’t packed and we don’t have much of an itinerary.  Sure we’ve got our hotels booked and we’ve got a rental car, but that’s the extent of our preparation.

So if you’ve been to Costa Rica and have any tips or advice.  Leave a comment below and let me know what it is.

We’re open to hearing anything…

  • Places we should eat, foods we should try
  • Hikes and other outdoor activities that we shouldn’t miss
  • Best local beer
  • Hot springs to find
  • Beaches to find
  • Anything else you can think of

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