Today and and the Vice talked about driving cross country for a friends wedding we have in August. My buddy, also a writer on this blog, Joe C, wants me to spin the 1s and 2s. After crunching some numbers on flights rental cars and rental DJ equipment, I almost makes more sense just to drive west. I have always wanted to drive I-90 from coast to coast. Eric and I will be podcasting shows and making some videos along the way. It should be a good time.
So as I was moving some stories over from the old sites to the Packie, I came across some entries from my old blog I set up in 2008. I thought I’d share my summary and perspective of some adventures I took between 2003 and 2007. I linked every spot I stopped and every event seen. A lot of man hours of searching this stuff out, but at the end, it is here forever. Enjoy
The Pres | Arty 84 | Twitter – @DJArty84 | Facebook – http://www.Facebook.com/partywitharty
2003-2007 (Travel Adventures with the Friends)
From an older blog of Arty 84 circa 2007
2003- March- First Spring Break: Joey M, Joey P and I drove down to Ft Myers via Dillon SC. We stayed at the Days Inn in Dillon on US301. We stopped here because South of the Border is here. If you dont know what this is CHECK IT OUT! About 20 miles before we had gotten to SOB, the yellow jeep blew a tire and we were forced to go to the Wallmart in Lumberton, NC. The nexy day we continued our travels to Ft Myers Florida but first we must stop on a Shoney’s, home of the all you can eat breakfast cafe. We seen the sox play spring training ball, chilled at Ft Myers Beach and visited my grandparents. Our next stop was to Joey P’s uncles house in Clearwater Fl. We stayed there for a fewdays. While there we went to Busch Gardens and club liquid blue. After that adventure we headed back home to Boston. We managed to get to exit 11 on I 95 in VA. The town was called Emporia were we stayed at the Best Western. The best part about this hotel was the truck stop that was located right next store. The place was called Sadlers Travel Plaza, but the sign below it siad “Slip Ins”. The next morning we headed home, but not before stopping by at a Shoney’s one last time in mid-state I95 in VA. On this first real road trip we learned a lot and used our new found knowledge for future road trips.
July- Drove up to Seabago Lake ME with my family to visit my aunt
Aug- Well it had been about 6 months since the first road trip, so why not another? This one was to Montreal, QB the under 21 party capital of north america. Here Joey P, Adam and Mike V took the yellow jeep north to Montreal, through NH and VT. This was my third time out of the country. Adam work at the Sheraton, so we got a discounted room at Le Centre Sheraton, Montreal. While here from Friday to Sunday, we went to club dome (Now renamed and 21+) and sir winston churchills Pub ( a crazy 3 story club with a bar floor, live music lounge floor and a dance club floor) which if you never been GO THERE. Then on Sunday afternoon we decieded that our fun was over and headed back home to Boston.
2004- March- Second Spring Break: well it was our second year of college and our second spring break. This time Joey P took the trip off and we brought on Adam and Anthony. This trip to Ft. Myers was going to be a little different. First off we were going to drive straight down without stopping for the night. We left the Revere Dunks at 5:30 PM and headed south. At around 9:30 PM we head made it to the I 95 rest area in Milford CT. We filled up and didnt stop until we had just gotten into northern Maryland at around 2:15 AM. We stopped at the Chesapeake House rest area right over the Maryland border on exit 98. Again we filled up and our next stop was in VA. We were gettng tired and wanted to stop for some breakfast, but it was around 5:30 AM and we couldnt find a place open. We then ended just getting gas in NC and then around exit 70 in NC we seen a place where I have drove by for years, Cafe Risque (road side trucker stripclub) and then we were sick. They made Adam by some 80’s porn mags. Mind you this was at about 7:30 AM.
Well at around 8:15 we got to South of the Border, and yes nothing had changed here since the year before, except for the fact that we were not going to stay here. We tooks some pics of us on the fiberglass figures then we were on our way. A few more stops for a gas and a quick stop in Jacksonville FL to visit some old friends, we were now at 10:30 PM in Ft Myers Fla. We stayed here with the grandparents, seen the sox spring train visited the Ft Myers OJ factory and went to the Edison Mall & Bell Tower Mall. When night came we were usually at Ft. Myers beach. Well mid week came and we were about to see what the fuss of Daytona Beach was all about. We had gotten a room for a few nights right on the beach at the Best Western Mayan Inn. Well it was a week after bike week and nothing to do if you were under 21. So if you’re under 21, don’t bother plus there were more dudes then girls and it gets a little cold at night in March. While we were there, we took a day trip to Orlando to go to Island of Adventures, we visited the Daytona International Speedway, drove some of the fastest go-carts I have ever rode on and went to the Volusia Mall. While we were here, I was able to take the jeep right on the beach and drive along the water, which was pretty cool.
It was the end of the week and time to go. We had left Daytona around 5:30 AM and headed out. We made it as far as Trenton New Jersey on the way and deceied to stay for the night at a Howard Johnsons hotel. At this point we were only 5 hours from home. Adam and I stopped in southern CT to visit some friends we met in FLA while Joey and Anthony made there way back to Boston and had gotten there around 2:20 PM.
May- Day trip to NYC. This would be my first time to New York City. I was staying with a friend in southern CT. We took the Metro North Commuter Rail into the City. There we visited Time Square, Ground Zero, Grand Central Station, Empire State Building and Central Park. Later that night we jumped back on the Metro North and headed back to southern CT.
June- I decieded I was going down to Ft. Myers Again. This time I was going to fly, first time in almost 8 years. I flew Jet Blue, it is a very good airline with the direct tv and xm radio on every seat makes the flight go by very fast. I was down there for a week without a car so we bussed it and walked everywhere. Some Places we went was Edison Mall & Bell Tower Mall, OJ factory and Ft. Myers beach. We got around using the Ft. Myers Bus system called lee transit. We flew from NYC JFK’s airport. we took the metro north from southern CT, then took the subway to the airport. We we got home we reversed our arrival to the airport, 2 hours total time.
Nov- Well this was another day trip to NYC.This time i was actually going to CT, but i took the greyhound bus down to NYC then took the metro north to southern CT. It was a very interesting journey, took a little longer then it normally would, but it was an adventure.
2005- Jan – On new years day I set off for a weekend trip to Niagara Falls, ON. This was a mini 8 hour road trip from Boston down across I-90. well while stopping on one of NYs I 90’s rest areas, I had made a phone call and they have informed me that my hotel room wasn’t saved. Well we were suppose to stay at the Days Inn up in Niagara, but because of the screw up they put us in the Hilton next door. Let me tell you that the hilton was much much better. There was a casino right across the street, the falls view casino resort. we spent a lot of time there playing games, drinking and shopping. Also we had dinner & observation deck view at the skylon tower and took the behind the falls tour. And when you run out of things to do, take a walk down victoria ave and clifton hill. We went to this haunted house called screamers and ripley’s believe it or not. Go when its warm, its less of a pain to get around.
Feb- Well this was another day trip to NYC. Didn’t do anything different then before except we went to the UN Building because i was doing a project on it.
March- Third Spring Break well here i took the jeep down to Fla heading to Ft. Myers. The trip was normal. we stopped at a Dennys in VA near Manassas. I didn’t do as much stopping and exploring as I wanted to. I wish we spread the trip out so I could of seen more of VA, MD and NC. We made it to South of the Border at around 7:30 PM. After doing some exploring and shopping we looked at the clock a realized we much be heading to a hotel. SOB is very nice at night (to look at). It was around this time I became very interested in the history of SOB and how it start. Check out History of SOB. I wouldn’t stay or eat here but its one of those road side attractions where you msut stop. Billboards for miles and tons of cheap stuff, plus the tallest free standing sign this side of the Mississippi. Well we traveled a few more miles down the road in SC and stayed at a cheap hotel, Americas Best Value Inn (yuck it sucks being a college student on a budget).
The next stop was down to Florida. First there was a Shoney’s next to our hotel in SC, so we ate there for breakfast, we stopped for gas in GA then visited the welcome center in FL on I-95. The Florida Welcome centers are cool. They provide you with all the info you need to know about Fl and free OJ. Clean bathrooms and vending is also a plus. From here we to I-10 W instead of of taking I-4. The reason for this was because I was going to take the US 301 shortcut to Ocala where i would pick up I-75. Its scenic and is a shortcut, but BECAREFUL there are some spots where the speed limit drops from 55 to 25 and cops will hide and give you a ticket. Once we got to Ft Myers we went to Edison Mall & Bell Tower Mall, OJ factory and Ft. Myers beach. It was a little easier this time with a car so we decided to visit the shell factory. The place is an ok tourist area. Its a place you go once just to say you been there. Well after a week, we left and headed home. We got to about mid-state NC in the town of Selma. It was exit 97 and we stayed at a Days Inn. Again we didnt stay at any nice hotels this trip.
March- It was a week after getting home from Florida and now i find myself heading up for another roadtrip to Montreal. With some of the same characters from the first trip to Montreal, we repeated our tracks. Adam wasnt with us or work at the Sheraton but we stayed at Le Centre Sheraton, Montreal anyways. At night we went to club dome (Now renamed and 21+) and sir winston churchills Pub ( a crazy 3 story club with a bar floor, live music lounge floor and a dance club floor) which if you never been GO THERE like i siad before. And as usual we left on sunday afternoon.
April- My family was heading down to florida, but this time we were stopping in GA for a wedding. So we left in the morning and made it to Salisbury, NC on the first day. We stayed at the Hampton Inn right off I-85. It was alot better then some of the places I had stayed at when I was with my friends. We stopped for the wedding in Helen GA. It was a nice little town that had a very thick European feel to it with its architecture and such. Here they have little resturants and shops. Also down the street there was a little zoo where there was baby black bears. I believe we stayed at the Hampton Inn there also. From there we continued down to Ft. Myers. I myself only stayed there for a few days, then I jumped on a plane back to Boston. I flew home Delta (first time on this airline and wasnt impressed). I had to stop over in Atlanta’s hartsfield-Jacksons Airport, then when I got to Boston, did something I will never do again. I took the Blue line into town, switched to the Orange, got off at Haymarket and took the bus back home (2hour trip) Never again will I get home that way.
July- Wow another roadtrip with my family. This time we are going to Baltimore for a family get together. Second time in Maryland visiting family, but this time the Sox are in town playing the O’s and we got tickets for 2 of the 3 games at Camden Yards. Baltimore is very nice. We stayed at the Sheraton in Columbia Maryland which is about 20 mins south of Baltimore. Nice mall across the street, Mall of Columbia.
July- Well this was another day trip to NYC. This time was to go see the New York Mets play at Shea Stadium against the LA Dodgers again. It was here that I found one of my fav restaurants. Sui in downtown Manhattan in the village has some of the best sushi I have ever had. If your downtown, def check it out. CHECK IT OUT good stuff.
Aug- well if its Aug then its Florida. Joey M, Anthony and this time cousin Richie and I jumped on a Jet blue Flight down to Ft Myers. Here we did the typical sights, Edison Mall & Bell Tower Mall, Mike Greenwells Go- Carts, OJ factory and Ft. Myers beach. With already have done this many times, we set off for an adventure. Our First trip was to Miami. We have never been there before so we jumped in the rental and drove to south beach. While we were here we stayed at the Palms South Beach Hotel. It was a nice hotel but was on 30 street and all the good clubs and resturants are between 3rd and 8th street, but if your not into the club and night life scene its a good pick. We had gotten free tickets to the Florida Marlins game. Dolphin Stadium is a nice stadium for football but for baseball it dosent have the same feel. When we got back to south Beach we were looking for a club to go to. Richie was under 21 so we needed to look for a 18+ club. We found this club called Club Deep. It was cool, it had a 2000 gallon fish tank of a dance floor. We were there on a wen night and it was pretty packed and a good time. ( went back again in march 06 & jan 07 and not much was going on. now if you go to the sight, it says that the club is for sale).
Well we got back to Ft Myers the next day, but on the way we felt the need to stop in Bonita Springs. There we found one of the only DeLorean Dealerships left. At this place, they take old ones and rebuild them to modern standards. For 20 Gs you can get it as is and for 30 Gs it will be all fixed up and ready to go. If you ever wanted to see or test drive one, Go There! Well now we were bored and were thinking of something to do, so we decided to go to Busch Gardens and get a cheap hotel in Clearwater. After the park we were hoping to go to club liquid blue but when we got there it was Mexican night, nothing like it was 2 year before. Well while figuring out what to do, we went back to our hotel on US 19 in Clearwater, The La Quinta Inn. It was ok, wasn’t the worse but wasnt the best. We found out that the Philadelphia Pillies spring trained next door. Well if your looking for a strip club in Clearwater, your not going to find much so the beach is always a nice alternative. We left Clearwater the next day and headed back to Ft Myers, where spent the rest of the week at the pool until we had to back to boston. While we were in Ft Myers, we discovered a pretty good island themed restaurant called Bahama Breeze.
Aug- Well this was another day trip to NYC. This time was to go see the New York Mets play at Shea Stadium against the Philadelphia Pillies. I stayed in a cheap Howard Johnsons hotel in Darien, CT. If your in this area you’ll find that it is very over priced and not clean. My room smelt like smoke, it was very outdated and goes down with a long list of bad hotels I have stayed in.
2006- Jan- first trip of the year, Joey M, Anthony and I decided we were going to take a weekend trip to NYC. We drove down and stayed at the Milford Hotel on 8th ave, between 45th and 44th street. I had a great location to times square and the late night porn shops that line 8th ave at night. The hotel was alright, the rooms were very small and the room needed some updated. It looked like they were redoing the lobby, but that was about it. We did the typical NYC stuff, the empire state building, ground zero, grand central and such. We took the subway everywhere, MTA.
March- Forth Spring Break: This will stand to be the biggest and most expensive of the 4 spring breaks. The events and locations that were visited were mostly first timers. The trip started really in October of 05, that’s when we booked and planned the path we were to take. We flew delta (after i said i wouldn’t fly again). We couldn’t get a direct flight so we had to stop at Atlanta’s hartsfield-Jacksons Airport, then made our way to Ft. Myers. It was there when we got a fre up-grade of a rental car from a ford touris to a dodge durango. A nice upgrade for snow but not when you plan on driving 1000 miles. We stayed a few days in Ft Myers Doing the usual Ft Myers events, Edison Mall & Bell Tower Mall, OJ factory and Ft. Myers beach. After a few days we left for the first stop on our trip, Panama City Florida. Here we stayed at the Howard Johnson hotel. We had no idea we were a good 10 miles from the beach.( never do that again) For the last 20 years, there was so much talk about how great Panama City was for spring break. Well it sucked. We went to Club La Vela and it was a dude feast. like 2 to 11 ratio. The next day we were bored so we went to the Panama City Mall. Did i note that in march, the weather was about 70, a little cool to be laying out on the beach. well On our third day here we decided we were going to take a sub road trip un planned. At first we were just gonna go to Mobile AL, but it then led to stopping in Pensicola Fl and going to Gulf Port and Biloxi MS, followed by New Orleans, then back to panama City in the Same night. We left around 10am and did get back to Panama City until 5 AM. Biloxi and Gulf Port were still a mess. It was only 8 months after hurrican Katrina so many of the buildings were still in ruins. New Orleans though, the french quaters, at least were back to normal shape. we were there the weekend after mardi gra so the place was still happening. You can drink a beer and walk down to any of the bars on bourbon street without anyone saying anything to you.
Well after 3 days in Panama City we left and headed to Daytona Beach, a place where we were two years earlier on Spring Break Second. But now we were of age and wanted to see if anything was different. Well Unknown to us, it was Bike Week. It was pretty nice looking at all the bikes down there. It was a good time. we were only there for a night but we had fun. We stayed at the Oceanside Inn. Not a bad hotel. It was better then the Panama City hotel, but the only problem was that it was so far away from the pier and city walk area. We went on those go-carts as we did a few yars before and this time anthony didn’t break his cell phone. We left Daytona and headed south to Miami. It was here that we stayed in one of my fav hotels, The Colony. This hotel was actually featured in Scar Face, Located right on Ocean Drive In South Beach in the club district area. Each room got flat screen tv, there are stairs to the roof where you can chill an watch the peeps down on the street. Well anyways we went to club deep, and it sucked. We went there on wen & thur night and it was a no go. Like i siad before, it is now closed and for sale, but the 2000 gallon fish tank dance floor was kick ass. The last night there we did go to this outher club. During the day this place lookd like an old run down building, but at night, it was crazy, it was an indoor/outdoor club. about a 35 dollar cover and 10 dollar beers. it was nuts. It was called Opium Garden. Its one of the best clubs on the beach, but unless you are with a girl or girls who are looking good, expect to pay big bucks. We made a friend at the hotel who knew the door guy so we got lucky, but all i can say its sick once you get in, so make some friends.
Well we left Miami, prob was the best part of the road trip. after $1600 later, we were set to leave Ft Myers and head home back to Boston. Overall, Miami is always a pick daytona wasn’t bad and Panama City sucked!.
March- Well this was another day trip to NYC. This time i took Amtrack into the city for a school trip. We had a Radio Station Convention. They stuck us at a crappy hotel up on 110th and broadway. It was a 1 star comfort Inn and we were killing roaches like it was our job. Here is a tip, if you are staying in NYC, pay some bucks for a hotel, because if the price is to good to be true, IT IS!.
Dec- Guess where I am, NYC. I took the bus this time for a 2 day trip. The person i was with it was there first time so we did everything you would do if it was someones first time in the city. We stayed at the Amsterdam Hotel. It wasn’t bad, like any hotel in NYC your gonna geet a small room. We did eat at my fav sushi restaurant, Sui. Like i siad, if you like Sushi, check it out!
2007- Jan- Florida again. We stayed a few days in Ft Myers Doing the usual Ft Myers events, Edison Mall & Bell Tower Mall, OJ factory and Ft. Myers beach. We took a day trip and went down to Miami beach. we stayed at the The Colony again. We went to club deep, and it sucked again. we checked out some other clubs up and down the strip. It was a wed night so there wasn’t much going on. Best part about the trip was the hotel. After Miami we went further south and went to Key West. It was my first time there. We stayed at a cheap hotel, The Days Inn, places was the greatest. It was a good 4 miles from duval street so we had to cap it. If your gonna go to the Keys, stay closer to Duval, makes life so much easier. Duval street is great. we eat at the hard rock, went to hemmingways house, looked at the butterfly imporium and the end of Rt 1 and the southern most point of the US. On the way back to Ft Myers we stopped for breakfast at Shoney’s. From there we spent a few more days in Ft Myers just laying low.
Feb- Montreal for the third time, this time we took a different route
March- Well this was another day trip to NYC. This time i took Amtrack into the city for a school trip. We had a Radio Station Convention. They stuck us at a little bit better hotel then before, still nothing great. I dont even remember the day but it was around the corner for grand central.
March- First of the 2007 baseball road trips started here. The redsox have been playing a pre-season series against the Philadelphia Phillies for the last few years now in Phillie. We drove down on a sat morning to go to the game at Cit Bank park. We stayed at the Double Tree hotel on Broad Street. Its a good choice becasue the SEPTA (phillies subway) runs right under that street and its a very nice hotel with a pool and spa. We went to this club called Flow. It was an ok place. There was a lot of southern NJ peeps there.
May- We took a day trip to NYC to see the Mets play the Cubs. We left early in the morning and took the greyhound into NYC. The took the MTA to Shea Stadium. After the game we headed to the ESPN zone for dinner in times square and back onto the bus home to Boston by 12 AM.
June/July- Baseball Road Trip 2007– At this point i had already been to 3 stadiums this year (boston, NYC Mets and Philly), and now I set off to see 5 New ones and Philly again. The trip started off with a morning drive to philly. we got there at night and settled into out hotel. We stayed at the Club Quaters hotel which was a very nice hotel. At night we went to club flow and on the second day we were there went to Cit Bank Park to see the Phillies play the Mets. At this point I have been to philly twice and had not had any complaints. The second stop of out trip was to Pittsburgh to see the Pirates play the nationals at PNC park. We stayed at another double tree, which again was very nice. Pittsburgh on a sunday is pretty dead, not much going on at all. There were a few clubs but nothing to crazy. The next day we were on out way to St Louis so on the way there we stopped in Louieville KY to check out the louieville slugger museum. Here we seen the history and making of MLB bats for the pros. We we got to st louise we stayed at the Mayfair Wyndham hotel in downtown. That night we seen the Cardinals play the Diamondbacks at Busch stadium. Next stop was chicago. we got here early enough to do some sight seeing. we went to the sears tower and grabbed some food. To get around town we took the CTA. We seen the White Sox play the Orioles, but did go to Wrigley Field to check it out. The hotel we stayed at was one of the nices of the trip. It was called the James Hotel and was very simular to the Colony hotel in south beach. The hotel had flat screen tvs, a nice bar down stairs and overall was very art-deco modern.
The next leg of the trip we headed towards Michigan were we stayed with my aunt who lives outside of detroit in oakland township. we had 2 games to go to where the tigers were playing the redsox. detroit is a run down city inwhich i would never actually stay in and I would have to say have the rudest fans in basball. the place was very unfriendly. We didnt do much sight seeing here, just hit up a mall in Troy. After detroit we headed north of the border to Toronto to see the Blue Jays play the Indians at the Rogers center. The stadium was ok, it was raining out so the roof was closed. after the game we went to the CN tower, the tallest srtucture in the world wherer we were about 113 stories in the air and could of went 134 stories. We then headed back to the states where we were staying out side Buffalo in Amherst NY for the night. Here we stayed in the Marriott. The hotel was nice, we rested up for a long day and then on our last day of the trip headed to Cooperstown, baseball hall of fame. after spending many hours here, we headed back to boston to the conclusion of our trip.
Aug- went to florida for the end of summer vacation. we went to ft myers, busch gardens, universal in orlando. while we we u in the tamp area we stayed at the gulf view hotel on clearwater beach and seen the tampa bay devil rays play the red sox at tropicana field. in orlando we stayed at the wyndem on International drive. The night when we were there at night we check out a few bad clubs such as one called Hush in a mini mall.
Dec 2007 – Montreal 4