Welcome to 2013: The Year of the Big Box

(What I Did On My Winter Vacation – Part One)

By Dave Fox
Somewhere in America

Wow man… 20,732 flight miles logged; from Singapore to Tokyo to San Francisco, to Washington, DC, to Seattle, to Denver, back to San Fran, to Hong Kong (with a surprise refueling stop in Beijing en route), and finally home to Singapore. Those were some hectic holidays! Kattina and I have sworn we will never again attempt to visit so many cities in a single trans-Oceanic visit, unless somebody buys us a private jet.

With a Jacuzzi.

Having never visited mainland China before, I was excited when our pilot announced we'd be making an emergency refueling stop in Beijing. This is what it looked like.

Having never visited mainland China before, I was excited when our pilot announced we’d be making an emergency refueling stop there. This is what Beijing looked like.

We had a jam-packed schedule during our time in the States with family, friends, and Globejotting Happy Hours in four different cities. We slept approximately nine-and-a-half hours during our 18-day journey, which is why I have been in a blogless coma ever since.

In Redwood City, near San Francisco, we freaked out Kattina’s mom, Gisela, with a Christmas Eve surprise. Kattina’s brother, Mike, picked us up at the airport in a van that had no windows in the back. He asked Gisela to help him carry something into the house. When the doors slid open and Gisela saw us, she screamed, which we think she meant in a good way.

From there, we zoomed to Washington, DC, where snow flurries were falling on the Capitol Mall. Our beloved travel mascot, Sven Wondermoose, got his first look at the Washington Monument. I then escorted my nerdy science teacher wife to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History where I endured 93 hours of Kattina looking at rocks and telling me how awesome they are.

Chillin' with Sven Wondermoose at the Washington Monument.

Chillin’ with Sven Wondermoose at the Washington Monument.

In Maryland, we held the first of four Globejotting Happy Hours at the Mussel Bar, a Belgian-themed place with scrumptious, fizzy, malt elixirs. For the first 30 minutes, only one of the six people who RSVPed showed up. Just as I was worrying the event might be a flop, I spotted Globejotting guest writer Mike McHugh on his way toward the bathroom. Two different restaurant hosts had designated two different tables at opposite ends of the sprawling establishment for our meeting spot. But all was well in the end with five people and one moose for this cozy first happy hour.

Onto Seattle, we arrived just in time for New Year’s Eve. I’d heard rumors my beloved Pig & Whistle pub had been sold, turned into a Canadian hockey bar, and renamed the Angry Beaver. The menu has changed. They now offer a “flight” of three different kinds of poutine, a Canadian culinary specialty consisting of French fries slathered in gravy. The flight offered three gravy options – traditional beef gravy, mushroom gravy, and curry. It all tasted delicious and naughty.

2013: Year of the Big Box!

2013: Year of the Big Box!

As the clock wiggled past midnight and 2013 began, a bubbly and possibly inebriated young lady appeared at the bar, carrying a pizza box the size of Singapore. A message, scrawled across the box in magic marker, announced, “Welcome to 2013: The Year of the Big Box.”

I had not been informed 2013 was the Year of the Big Box (had you?) so I went to investigate.

The woman explained she and some friends had bestowed the title upon 2013 because they had awakened on the morning of December 31 with horrible hangovers, discovered the mutant (empty) pizza box in their living room, and had no idea how it had gotten there.

And that, dear readers, is how my 2012 morphed into 2013.

This tale continues tomorrow with more happy hours, surprise guests, and a sneak preview at what’s coming to in the next few months – including some spiffy new writing courses and equally spiffy travel adventures. But first, I must go find a big box. And so should you. Apparently that’s what the cool kids are doing this year.

Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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