j.j. toothman

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Category: Travel (page 2 of 3)

Upcoming Travel

Yes, this post is about travel plans I have after the summer and in the early part of 2009.  Life with a one year old – and soon to be a life with two kids – means you plan trips way in advance.  It’s the ultimate example of how life with little children can so very calculated.

Nevertheless, my enthusiasm and anticipation for these trips is hardly muted.  I definitely could use a long vacation. 

Boston – September 26 to 30

First up is a 4 day trip to Boston for a family wedding in late September.  This is the hardest trip we’ve got planned.  Not only are Keturah and I taking the redeye from San Francisco to Boston, we’ll be doing it with 2 kids.  Jude will be 8 weeks then and Mason will have turned two.  To say that our hands will be full is completely understating it.  But we’re determined.  If we can fly with Mason from San Francisco to Italy, then anything is possible.

We’ll be out there primarily for a wedding, but also hoping to catch up with some of the UVM crew

New York City – December 4 to 7

Another weekend trip east for a wedding.  Really excited to tear it up in Manhattan. The big difference being Keturah and I won’t have our kids in tow.  As I’ve been telling my friends in NYC, That means I’ll be drinking tons of bourbon, I’ll want a cigar after dinner, and Keturah will bust out her loud “I’m kinda drunk and I can’t keep my voice down” tonal range.

Costa Rica – January 30 to February 9, 2009

OMG…yet another trip centered around a friends wedding.  Amazing how these types of events always come in waves.  This is the big enchilada for us.  For two years now, Keturah and I have been pointing ourselves at milestones centered around our children. Before that, our milestones were always the big trip that we had on the horizon.  Costa Rica early next year is a return to that line of thinking.  Incredibly excited to be getting out of the country again and doubly excited that it’s not to Europe – where the crummy dollar exchange rate means a cappuccino costs you $10.

The Costa Rica trip will be our first extended vacation that’s just for the two of us since before Mason was born.  Since we traveled to Kauai in October 2005.  Looking forward to exploring a new country with minimal itinerary, a jeep, and not much more than a good pair of sandals.

5 Things to do in SF to get off the beaten path at web2.0expo

After recently exchanging tweets with Richard McInnis , I found out it’s going to be his first time in SF.  So was thinking about some stuff he should do and came up with a short list of things to consider doing.  Especially if it’s your first time to SF and you want to escape the Web2.0Expo chaos.  All of them are within walking distance or a very short cab ride from the Moscone Center area.

Hang out at Tunnel Top

It’s my favorite bar in the city.  Has that beat up neighborhood bar feel.  Great art on the walls.  If you’re staying at a hotel in Union Square, you have no excuse to hit this place up on the way back to your room late at night. 



Ask for “The Hong Kong Stuff” at Buddha Lounge


Think you’re tough?  Hit Buddha Lounge in Chinatown and have a shot of the “Hong Kong Stuff”.  You may have to talk the bartended into giving it to you.  I’ve seen grown men have half of this shot, then start running like mad, like they are trying to escape something they can’t. 

Bourbon and Branch


Get your brown liquor fix at this speakeasy styled bar. This no place to order a chardonnay.  This place can be a challenge to find (as speakeasy’s are supposed to be) so make sure you have the address handy.

Climb the Filbert Steps

Oh man, these are all bars.  So how about a good urban hike?  Sneakers preferred.  Sandals will work too.  Dress shoes?  Forget it.  When you get to the top of the stairs, you’ll be at Coit Tower and rewarded with killer views of Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge


Go to the View Lounge at the top of the Marriott and pretend to be the emperor


“Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!”

This one is pretty easy since it’s right across the street from Moscone at the top of the Marriott Hotel. Great view of the galaxy, I mean downtown San Francisco.  Be warned – drinks here aren’t dirt cheap and you probably won’t be escaping the Web2.0Expo chaos.  But you’ll feel like you’re in the Death Star.  Isn’t that worth a $9 vodka tonic?


A Former Austin Resident’s Recommendations on What To Do.

In preparation for heading to Austin for SXSW I asked a buddy of mine who used to live in Austin for his recommendations on what to do, where to eat, etc. Here’s what he had to say…

Good restaurants
-gueros: it’s classic tex mex and in a cool part of town on south congress. Great for lunch.
-shady grove: it’s on riverside next to a trailor park and has great outdoor eating sometimes with a band. It’s classic austin.
-saltlick: best bbq in the austin area it is about 15 minutes south of town in driftwood. It is a dry county so bring a 12 pack with you. They have a cool patio where you can habg out and drink while you wait for a table

Fancier Restaurants
-z tejas over by 6th and lamar-sort of nuevo mexican
-mars which is in a funky old bungalow and serves american
-kirby lane has great pancakes and is another austin classic

-a lot of the sxsw stuff will be around 6th st. That’s the college drag and kind of nasty. I’d stay more on 4th west of congress
-club deville is a great bar just by campus with a great outdoors
-gingerman is on 4th and lavaca I think. It has 30 or 40 beers on tap and an outdoor patio. They also have some kind of happy hour around 5 where beers start at a dollar and then go up every half hour. Good deal

-i’m sure you’ll go to most based on the acts but continental club (across from gueros) and antones are the classics

-barton springs pool: it’s a natural spring that they turned into a public pool
-hamilton pool: also a good place to go swimming if it’s warm enough. It’s an old river bed that collapsed leaving a pool with half shell over it.
-lake travis: this is a little far but there are cool views of the lake from the oasis restaurant.

Home Sweet Home

The family and I are back from an amazing two weeks in Italy. We actually got back Sunday night (or was it Monday morning?) and it’s taken a few days for all of us to overcome jet-lag and get back into our schedules and routines. That’s especially not an easy task when one of the people in your family is 15 months old.

Our trip was AMAZING and there’s over 800 photos I took which need to go through an editorial phase before I start posting them to our Flickr account.

Help With My Italy Itinerary

I’m headed to Italy with my family in less than two weeks and I’m beginning to feel a bit unprepared. I’ve got the basics covered – plane tickets, lodging, rental car. But have yet to flesh out the itinerary with things to do, places to visit, and most importantly… where to eat. Here’s an outline of my itinerary. If you have some input, please let me know by sending me an email or posting a comment.

October 29- October 31

Staying in an apartment right off the Duomo square.

November 1 & 2

We’ll be lodging at Il Borghino

Novemnber 3 – 10

Well, not exactly in Siena. But in the Tuscan village Vignale . We’ll be using this as home base to explore numerous hill towns in Tuscany.

Update (Oct. 22, 2007) : The Red Sox are in the World Series. So if you know places this obsessed fan can take in the games while in Florence, please let me know!

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