Category Archives: Trips & Travel

The Roo Done Did Me In!

After a week of feasting my senses on the cosmic insanity that is Bonnaroo, I’m back in Toronto. I like it here, I think. Seems a bit drab, but after all, it’s home. I’m still shuffling and reshuffling the deck of cards I wrote my memories on, piecing together Polaroids and little snippets of songs. I’m in a daze. Sylvia just took a short video of me and this is what I look like:

I can’t find my camera but I have been able to track down a couple of images that illustrate the severity of this year’s Bonnaweird levels. See?

Look, a Unibaby! Since the elven folk over at Little Hippie were kind enough to take this photo for us, I will share their Facebook page with you.

And this … well … I don’t know what to say about this one. It was seven am … Umphrey’s McGee was jamming hard … and … some things happened. No one understands what, exactly, led to this photo being taken. No one understands why I gave my PHONE NUMBER to the guy flashing peace signs in the back of the shot. But I did, and that’s how I acquired this photo.

Peace and Love,

Sarah “Two Hot Dogs One Bun” Cynthia

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Goodbye, goodbye, I’m sailing away to Tennessee to see some bands, knock off a few brain cells, and commune with my furry brethren. See?

It was at Bonnaroo last year that Sylvia and I first fell in love. The drive down was a daisy chain of laughter and fun, and our whole experience at the Farm was vibrantly coloured by our newfound infatuation: each other. Thus it is with greatest sadness that I part from my beloved Syl for a whole week; she simply shan’t be coming to Roo this year! After all, someone has to earn some money around here!

So in honour of my friendiversary with Syl, I thought I’d share some honeymoon pics. These are all from Roo 2011. More to follow upon my return. For now my darlings, feast your eyes on these beauts …..


Syl messing around with Gary. I’m not sure it’s water in that Camelbak.


Sometimes what you need to stumble upon at seven am is an impromptu dubstep party!


Now that I think of it, this was the first time I’d ever encountered a Spirit Hood. Funny how much things change in a year, non? PS: I still love you Tim. You, and your moustache.


Gary about to go shank a bitch.


Some Roo freaks and geeks.

Love you all and promise to keep you at least sporadically informed of my … activities …
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OFO is a Go!

Jill, Jenny, and Geneva, the bad-ass bicycling trio and founders of Odyssey for Opportunity have flown the coop, even if their adventure commenced earlier than originally intended. Alas, every big challenge walks hand in hand with smaller challenges, no? As I sit here and write this, Jenny and Jill are sitting side by side in an old RV en-route with all of their equipment to BC.

I was lucky enough to share an evening with my Jill a week or so ago; where we got a little tipsy (hurricane drunk in actuality), and spoke candidly about her upcoming trip. The natural emotions were all present; she said she feels excitement, apprehension, pride, but also… she said she is scared shitless. If I were about to embark on a 75 day journey, on bike, across our beautiful if sometimes treacherous nation, I would also be terrified.

What struck me as most interesting about our dialogue was the ways in which Jill described the manifestations of her fears. She is isn’t really afraid she won’t be able to accomplish this feat, her drive to succeed and prove the value in what they are doing for the cause is too great. Instead she is fearful of all the time she is going to be spending inside he own head. I had never really thought about the tertiary challenges aside from things like weather, road conditions, tune-ups, and physical exhaustion, and Jill called to my attention the mental and emotional exhaustion that I am sure each of the three will experience at least a few times during the trip. The three of them are together yes, but when you are cycling on the Trans-Canada, you are doing so in single file, always remaining alert of the oncoming and very present dangers… transport trucks anyone? You can’t wear headphones safely, and you can’t really speak to one another because it is too damn loud. Eight hours in your own head under these conditions would be challenging to even a well versed shaman.

But Jill, Jenny, and Geneva, we tip our hats to you and your pilgrimage, which is exactly what this trip will be about in the end. Without a doubt, these three will return home in late August changed, both in subtle and obvious ways, and I can say confidently that I will be a little envious. Not many people in their lifetime pull off such an extraordinary accomplishment, and the pride I have about it on their behalf is bubbling over and splashing at my feet.

Girls, I sincerely hope you have a chance to read this during your downtime before the trip soldiers ahead because you should know that every single person in your life it cheerleading for you. Big hugs everyday, and lots of love and support every moment.

Sylvia “Can’t-Wait-to-See-the-Size-of-Your-Legs-in-August-cause-Dem-Bitches-Will-be-HUGE!!” Stout

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Please please please can we??

Go to this tree house hotel in Chile??  PLEEEEEEASE. Sylvia. I’m not joking.


– Sarah

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Acqua Alta

The summer I was sixteen, I traveled to Italy to attend a study abroad program for a month. The college was located in the quaint and picturesque town of Lanciano on the Adriatic coast in the Abruzzo region, about four hours east of Rome. It was my first major trip, and the only one I had made overseas up to that point in my life. I fell in love with everything. The scenery, the landscapes, the rolling farmlands and little villages built upon cliff-sides just teeming  with history and beauty. The narrow cobblestone streets, the stacked apartments with their perpetually open windows, flower boxes and laundry lines offering a smattering of vibrancy to the golden, sun-drenched architecture. Drinking Italian reds and smoking cigars at sidewalk cafes at the age of sixteen also lent a certain charm.

My very favourite part of the experience was the trip we made to Venice. Venice is a city unlike any I have ever seen; a backdrop to the magical settings we read about in literature. OH… the pure romance of it all is enough to stun a person into speechlessness. I will forever remember what it feels like to roam the streets of Venice at dusk.

One thing I didn’t experience while I was visiting the sinking city however, was the flooding. Ms. Cynthia with her penchant for finding awesome things we love to look at, suggested we post these. Acqua Alta is the term used in Venice to describe this phenomenon, caused by exceptional tide peaks common in the northern Adriatic sea during the months between autumn and spring. As the pictures below highlight, the citizens and travelers of Venice have simply learned to adapt. Call me crazy, but I would love to purchase a coupla pairs of gum rubbers, toss ole’ Sarah upon my back, and travel over to experience this myself, before the whole city turns Atlantis.

Let’s get wet!


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Platoons Soon?

Since I live in a city with transit options (501, what up??) — and I blow all my money on taking taxis to expensive restaurants where I get drunk before going out to see live music — I don’t have a car. I drive so rarely, in fact, that I lost my driver’s license for about six months, and the only reason I noticed it was gone was because this one time I went to the El Mocambo and they asked me for ID (yeee!), and they didn’t want to accept my health card. So I was like, “Sir, I’m 25 and it’s my friend’s CD release party and would you puhleeease examine this here piece of government-issued photo ID and let me IN THE DAMN DOOR I’M MISSING IT!!!” Totally worked. Then, during that heat wave we had in March, I pulled out a spring jacket and found my license in the pocket. Hurray!

But anyways, I can in fact drive, and this past weekend when we went away, I did so. On the trip back we of course hit some nasty traffic, and I started thinking about three things. They’re the same three things I think about every time I’m in traffic, and I think they could be fairly universal.

1. “As long as the traffic going in the other direction is worse than what I’m stuck in, it’s all okay.”

2. “Imagine I had a hovercar or something with rocket launchers … then I could just blast right up and over these other cars and fly to the place just in front of the traffic jam, land, and continue driving on the road.”

3. This. “Why can’t we all just accelerate at the same rate at the same time??” Are these Platoons, aka Automated Highway Systems, the way of the future? They may not be as ideal as hovercrafts, or the spontaneous ability to sprout wings and fly, but I would definitely give ’em a try.

I will leave you with this interesting article about the longest traffic jams in history. And here I thought the DVP during rush hour represented the thirteenth level of hell, but a traffic jam lasting 12 MOTHERFUCKING DAYS in Beijing!!?? No Bueno.

– SC.

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Fling Flong

We’re playing table tennis! It’s exactly not like this at all:


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Dusty and “Gut”ted: A Weekend in the woods

This morning we woke up late and well rested to offerings of hot, fresh coffee and french toast drenched in real maple syrup with a side of mimosa. Our gracious hosts really know how to entertain their guests; every little detail has been considered for us, all activities have been planned out ahead of time. Hospitality epitomized: Just when you are hungry, a charcuterie spread appears. You have a thirst that needs quenching? A cold beer or glass of wine materializes as if by magic. This easter getaway has exceeded all preconceived expectations, and isn’t that a wonderful feeling? We have included a slideshow for your perusal, highlighting some of the days activities… so far…


SC & SS.

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Odyssey for Opportunity

Jill Brennan, Jenny MacLean, and Geneva Winterink are going to bike across Canada this coming June because they are badass.

They are badass because they want to give under-privileged  children across this great nation an opportunity to play sports. They figured that the first way to make this happen was to start a charity and to name it Odyssey for Opportunity. Biking across the country to raise awareness and funds for their cause is the platform. These three chicks could finish a colosseum of enraged minotaurs without breaking a sweat, but alas we don’t live in Rome so pumping the pedals for over 8,000 KMs is the next best thing. Did I mention that they are badass?

The Players:

Roughly three years ago Jenny returned to her hotel after celebrating the end of the World Ball Hockey Tournament in Newfoundland. It was the wee hours of the morning when in walked three cyclists and Jenny jokingly inquired as to whether or not like she, they had been out painting the town. They responded that no, in fact they had just arrived in Newfoundland after having finished cycling across the country. This little nugget of inspiration made a huge impact on Jenny and ever since then she has wanted to herself partake in a gesture so grand.

Geneva it has been said, entered into this world twenty four years ago swathed in sports gear, cleats and all. She spends most of her spare time coaching children in a variety of sports, so to embark upon a charity driven adventure seemed to be a no brainer. It was decided last January 2011 that Jenny and Geneva would undertake the massive challenge of cycling across Canada to raise awareness and support for children who have not had the opportunity to get involved in sports, whether recreationally or competitively.

Jill, another born sports enthusiast, decided to join the ranks because she knew that an opportunity like this simply doesn’t present itself everyday. She has never done anything like this before, and claims that, “it would take more training and discomfort than I have ever known.”  Masochism meets philanthropy, I like it! Before OFO she had no real experience with fundraising, and is overjoyed to be given the chance to affect the lives of others on such a grand scale… that and Peachtree TV discontinued re-runs of Saved By the Bell.

The Plan:

The trip will commence this coming June out of Vancouver, BC. The trio expect to do it in 75 days making roughly 75 stops along the way, barring any unforeseeable delays. That is approximately 8,105 KMs and on some days they will bike for a duration of 8 hours. My gluts ache just thinking about it. They are going to have a small team of drivers accompany them in a donated trailer, so that they will have a mobile kitchen, washroom, and a place to stay, as camping may not always be a viable option. There have been fundraising events planned for some of the stops along the way and they hope to accrue some supportive cyclists for certain legs of the trip, a la Forrest Gump. They will complete the journey in St. Johns Newfoundland mid-August. I hope to be there to greet them with a flurry of back slaps… and beer.

The Sponsors:

Their concept has been incredibly well received so far, and while they are waiting eagerly for feedback from their desired title sponsor, they have quite a few reputable allies on board thus far. These include Napoleon BBQ, Durham Regional Police, Skiis and Bikes, and Toronto based eco-fashion label Muttonhead Collective. OFO holds charity events to further their progress as well. In November they had a Bar Night at Alto in Toronto and at the beginning of March they are holding a charity bowling event in Oshawa… More to follow of course.

How You Can Help:

Check out their website and their blog for more information, their route and stops, to make a donation, or to send it on to spread the good word. We will also be making regular updates during the ride with pictures and videos of their experiences. We are very excited and enthused to support such an amazing group of women, and their epic cause. Get on Board!

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All We Wanna Do is Bonnaroo, Roo, Roo!!


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That’s it. we are turning this car around.

Enough Already!

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