08/12/2013 – 39 days/3919 miles

I stopped in Chicago for a couple days to visit my cousin’s family. Despite having not spent much time in Chicago, I was mostly just interested in hanging out with them and wasn’t too concerned with checking out the city. But I did manage to go for a chilly swim in Lake Michigan and eat some fantastic pizza (deep dish > thin crust, end of story).
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08/14/2013 – 41 days/3919 miles

When I was 11, my family went on a road trip that included a stop in Toronto.  The part of that trip that sticks out the most in my memory was visiting Casa Loma, so when I decided to visit Toronto again, I knew that if I was to do one touristy thing, it would be to revisit Casa Loma.

08/23/2013 – 50 days/5713 miles

In the US, roundabouts lie somewhere between uncommon and unheard of. But despite rarely coming across them back home, I don’t really understand the confusion that they can bring about…it seems to be a pretty simple idea. But I must admit that one in particular threw me off…I’ll call it the double roundabout. I think the goal here is to enter, complete two figure eights, and exit without crashing…upon completion, the mayor presents you with the key to the city.
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08/28/2013 – 55 days/6866 miles

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On the morning of the 26th, I took the Chunnel from England to France. For those wondering, you don’t drive through it. This may sound silly to those who know, but honestly, I didn’t know how the thing worked until fairly recently. Its a bit like a ferry…you drive your vehicle onto a train, and the train hauls you and your vehicle underground/water, then drops you off on the other side. The funny thing about it is that the entry and exit points are not within view of the sea, so it takes a bit of time to grasp that you’ve crossed anything significant once you get off on the other side. Kinda similar (for me, anyway) to how when taking a long flight, I struggle a little to convince myself that I just landed in a completely new place.

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09/01/2013 – 59 days/7738 miles

I had another great experience with a previously unknown person hosting me at their house.
Pascal contacted me through this site and said that if I was passing through Nancy, France, I’d be welcome to stay at his house. I was originally planning to pass through Verdun, and Nancy isn’t far south of there, so that seemed like a perfect option! The only requirement was that I share the guest room with one of his “girlfriends”…with 4 bikes already in the garage, his fifth was stored in the guest room.
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09/04/2013 – 62 days/8070 miles

The last few days have been great, but I’ve slowed down a little bit. Staying up late, drinking beer with new friends, then getting up early to see new places has started to catch up with me.
On my way out of Brugge, I stopped in Antwerp to have lunch with a friend I met last winter in Thailand. The next day was spent in Eindhoven, with a friend I’d just met in Brugge. It felt really nice to spend a couple days not feeling so much like I was traveling. Getting to slow down and have lunch and some great conversation was the first I’ve done anything ‘normal’ feeling in about a month.

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09/08/2013 – 66 days/8606 miles

Berlin has been a great destination. Since getting to Europe, this has been the first city that I’m revisiting. I notice a slight feeling of nostalgia and comfort coming to a place that is a little bit recognizable. And seeing some places that I had seen on my prior trip here was nice, whether it was the Tiergarten, which should be on the must visit list of anyone coming to Berlin, or a random bookstore in Savignyplatz that I happened upon with an old friend three years ago.
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