Meeting a man on Craigslist

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Thank you Universe! You always know. 

So this morning I set out to meet a man from Craigslist.. His ad boasting of everything I was looking for. I’m usually typically shy when I meet someone I don’t know… And despite all intention of breaking thru that.. It’s rare that it happens, and I leave fruitless.  

  
I pulled up into his driveway, and I could see he was ready.. Garage door open and the bed waiting there for me. Do I just walk in? Should I knock on the front door? I decided to ring the bell, and around he came from the side of the house.  
“Heeeyyy Roger!!!” I exclaimed, extending my hand.. “I’m Storme!” 
He shook my hand and invited me in. We talked for a little while, sharing travel and camping stories. I checked the bed out .. Comfy enough! I told him about my frugal travels and when I told him how little I spent in some of my endeavors he smiled .. “A woman after my own heart” .. The connection was there.. He told me he couldn’t go to Mississippi for that much. I told him that’s where I live, and he started talking about Cruising the Coast.. Our annual antique car week.. “Do you like old cars?” He asked.. Unveiling his 76 Mercury cougar in mint condition.. 

  
He had stickers for every cruising the coast in the last 17 years or so.. Talk about a match made in heaven! 

  
I showed him my Airbnb listing and invited him to cut his costs the next time he’s in town. It was a total win win for us both. Realizing he probably knows many mechanics and automobile enthusiasts in the Houston area, I asked if he knew anyone that would have the knowledge to work on food trucks, remembering that Courtney had just put that out there the day before. Yupp! He gave me the info and we started loading up the camping beds and Coleman oil lamps..  

  

Who would have thought I’d have so much to talk about from a random grandpa from Texas? His wife came to say hello and let him know he had a phone call and we parted ways. ❤️😊

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NYC – from the airports

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If you are heading to Hattan Hostel for a frugal $24 a night then you’re probably on a budget.. Transportation can seem overwhelming at first, and a taxi may seem easier.. But at $50-$70 it’s a rip off.. Here’s what you need to know 

Rule 1 – avoid Newark! Getting across the Hudson River is expensive no matter what transportation you use!

JFK Airport – when exiting the airport, follow the signs for AirTran.  It’ll bring you to a station where you’ll board a train to the subway.  Get off at Howard Beach Station. 

  
To exit, you will have to buy a metrocard.  I suggest buying the 7 day metrocard at this point.  It’s $31 for unlimited buses and subways for a week, and well worth it.  You will have to pay an additional $5 for the AirTran.  (MasterCard and Visa is accepted)

Follow the signs for the A train towards Manhattan.  (Blue line on the subway map)

  
On the bottom right you will see JFK .. The top left you will see 163rd and Amsterdam.  This is your stop! Off you get and walk 3 blocks south and 2 blocks west, and you’ll be at 160th and Riverside Dr.

  
On the second map, look at the red line.  That station is at 157th st and Broadway.. And is the best choice to take the subway down to a Times Square (42nd St) or Central Park starts at 59th St Colombus Circle.  The 1 train connects you to anywhere you’re looking to go within the city.  

Laguardia Airport:  when exiting your terminal you’re going to take the Q70 public bus to Jackson Heights, and then take the  E train (blue) to 42nd St, and transfer to the 1 train (red) up to 157th st. 

Be sure to check out my NYC on a dime blog for tips on seeing the sights for as little as possible! 

Follow my blog for tips and tricks on traveling all over the world on a dime! 

Also feel free to share anythin you find interesting .. Thanks!

 

“There isn’t any toilet paper…” a true story

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So I’d like to tell you that yesterday was as magical as it sounds.. Fly from Rome to Barcelona to spend the night on a sailboat, watching the sun set, the dinner cooking on the stove, and the breeze blowing in the cool of the night…. but i’d be lying…

I’ll pick up where I left off.. sitting on the train, blogging my “Dear Haters” piece.  I arrived at Termini.. the main train station in Rome, and found the bus stops on the side that have the transfer buses back to the airports.  Well, as my luck would have it yesterday, my bus that I had purchased a round trip ticket for had left ten minutes earlier.. it was now 7:51am and the gate for my flight opened at 9:05am.. I knew it was an hour trip to the airport from the bus ride in, which happened to go past everything I had just commuted thru to get to the terminal (im sure there must’ve been an easier way to do this had I researched it some more)  I took the bus that was there already, paying an additional 4 euros.  Eventually the bus left, and we arrived at the airport, thankfully at the right terminal for 9:10a … I couldn’t seem to find a board anywhere to figure out what gate I needed to head towards.. The airport had 5 different areas with gates.. and I had zero time.. I saw the Vueling check in desk.. first time flying with them, and headed thru security, frantically taking out my clear bag of liquids, removing my boots, and my laptop .. of course when you’re rushing, non of that happens easily .. I hopped thru security.. made it to my gate, practically holding all of the contents from my backpack, just in time to see that my flight was delayed. Exhale!

I bought a bottle of water, and found a spot to start repacking my bag .. this time not for the convenience of the security check, but to consolidate everything so that it was as little as possible, getting as close to the carry on requirements as possible.  I started to notice that everyone elses bags had orange tags on them, indicated they had been passed for carry on… FUCK! Were they going to make me go back to the check in desk with my backpack? what if my bag gets weighed? it’ll never pass… do they allow carry on and a personal bag?  I started panicking a little, which wasn’t helpful, and completely unnecessary when I look back at it now.. I mean worst case scenario, they make me pay 50 euros for my pack to be checked.. but my Barcelona budget was already well over its limit..

All that worrying was for nothing .. I walked right thru, boarded the plane, that incidentally had way more room than RyanAir, and a pocket infront so that I could sit my phone and charger to recharge during the flight, while working on some past blogs.

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Does anyone know what that rainbow circle is on the clouds? Just wondering.

So we landed! 🙂 Two hours after landing and waiting in line with FireFly, I finally had wheels!  I have to say.. renting a car in Barcelona is completely pointless.. but I am now in Day Two and looking back in hindsight… getting ahead of myself.. okay, so we are on the road ! yay! finally… on our way to the boat!!!  I hadn’t left the airport when I saw two hitch hikers thumbing it for a ride.. “ahh sure  why not? i have a car!!!

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Maybe on another trip I won’t be so fortunate, and I’ll need a ride?” I pulled over and let them in.. Two guys from Poland, just landed in Barcelona, and heading to Morocco the next day.. “My kinda people!” i thought…

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and i was right!!! 🙂 You totally thought I was about to tell the story of how they robbed me didn’t you? lol nahh. They were actually really cool.. We were all admiring the palm trees, and the mountains in the distance

 

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Finally I arrived at my boat! 🙂 I was so excited just to get on it, and be in it, and relax…

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Just one problem.. I couldn’t get on it.. Yupp.. trying to get from the dock, over the rail of the boat while it was moving back and forth was scary as fuck! I kept imagining myself falling into the water, and worrying I wouldn’t be able to pull myself back out.  My anxiety kicked in, which totally didn’t help because then my body felt like it wasn’t responding to my thoughts and commands.. ugh it was so embarrassing.  My host was so patient with me, and brought my backpack on board for me.  Twenty minutes later I joined them.  I was starting to have second thoughts about the whole boat thing, but I really wanted to do it.  Once on board, the guy gave me all the info I needed, and left me to it… which was great, until I needed to get back off the boat……….

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It looks closer in this picture than it is.. I think lol .. so another 20-30 minute later, I made it off the boat and headed to town to get some groceries.  Should be easy right??? Noooo .. not today! The nearby area looked like a chinese warehouse district.. huge buildings full of merchandise with a store front.  Past that area I found a town tho.  I followed the big blue P signs for parking, and it led me underground.  I parked, remembered my parking space 1012, and headed out to the street.  I remember thinking to myself that I shouldn’t walk too far, and maybe I should just grab something from the cafe, but no.. i wanted to cook on the boat, and keep it cheap, so i walked and walked, looking for a grocery store.  I saw some women walking up the hill towards me carrying shopping bags, so I figured I was going the right way.  I passed a woman walking down with an empty bag, so I had to be in the right direction! When I got almost to the bottom of the hill, I could see the train tracks, and on the other side was the harbor.. I could’ve just walked here!!!

I purchased some bottles of water, some horchatta, cereal, cheese, eggs, candles, potato chips and milk, and headed back to the car.. straight up the street.. take a right.. one block, take a left.. walk to the square and take the elevator down into the parking garage.. right? Nooooooo… not today!! I never found the square.. I walked around and around for two hours looking for the square that had the elevator and couldn’t find it.  I found another parking lot that was underground, tried my card, but it didn’t allow me, and didn’t have my space number… Shit!! What if there are dozens of underground parking lots???? I’d lost the car… my first night in Spain, and I had lost the fucking car, in some tunnel somewhere.. Maybe I could just walk back to the boat? Maybe the rental company had a tracker? Noo.. it had to be here somewhere.. how big could this town be? I kept walking with my 6 liters of water, milk, potatoes, and every other heavy grocery you can  think of! Ugh, it was no use… I sat on a bench, staring at my phone, trying to think of how I was even going to begin to figure out where my car was.  They billed for parking by the minute.. this was gonna be an expensive tab… so much for my cheap groceries… A woman sat down next to me and spoke a sentence in English to her granddaughter… “YOU SPEAK ENGLISH???” I said.. kinda excited.. “Ahh noo.. my granddaughter, she speak english, i speak little” she said… pointing to her 3 year old granddaughter.. “Great” i thought.. the fate of my finding my car is about to rely on a 3 year old translating my english into Spanish for her grandmother… Well, the little girl was scared of me and didn’t want to talk, so that didn’t work, but I was able to pull my translator app out, and slowly piece together some Spanish to describe where it was that I parked.  Finally the grandmother looked like she’d had an epiphany… She got up and walked me several blocks to a light, and at the corner she said “go this way, not first, no, second light, no, three light, right, go straight and see park”  I thanked her and walked that way.. it was now about 8pm.. dark, colder, my battery was dying.. and low and behold.. The square!!!!!!

I finally found my car, got in and drove back to the boat… Ahhhh… Finally…. the boat.. the fucking boat.. i still had to get on the damn boat, WITH groceries.. Fuck this.. I tied the bags tight and tossed them over.. fifteen minutes later I managed to bounce up and down on the rope like a tight rope, enough for it to tighten so I can hold on for near death, and pull my fat ass over the railing, back onto the boat…. I did it!!! I picked up the groceries.. the milk didn’t make it .. and eggs and potatoes when thrown.. not a great combination.. the butter had busted out at the bottom.. but we had made it!!

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I looked up and saw the moon shining down, almost full and smiled.. I used to fantacise about killing myself on a full moon, shimmering over water.. opera playing in my ears.. and here i was, full moon, on the water.. having the adventure of a lifetime!  I had to pee again… I wasn’t trying to get back off the boat, so I used the tiny little toilet.. and low and behold, no toilet paper .. go figure.. I had TP in my backpack tho.. this wasn’t the first time I had encountered a lack of toilet paper on my travels.. private boat right? I shimmied out the bathroom to my pack laying right outside the door, and KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK .. as he popped his head over the opening.. there I stood, half naked from the waist down.. “There isn’t any toilet paper….” I said.

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Welcome to Spain!

On the up side… I woke up to this this morning…

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