Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trip to Chappaquiddick Island

On my most recent trip to Martha's Vineyard, I caught the ferry in Edgartown to Chappaquiddick Island. The $6 ride for an individual and bike was only required going to the island, and it took about 3 minutes. From the ferry it was about a 20-30 minute bike ride to the beach on the east side of the island. While there weren't any bike trails, the roads weren't particularly busy. The only downside was the sandy, dirt road about a quarter of the ride, but it was relatively compacted. The beach was nice and not terribly crowded; it had a few non-flush toilets and no running water. The beach cost $3 per person for walk-on access or much more for driving a truck on the beach. Many people would wait at the entrance to let the air out of their tires to drive on the beach.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Volunteer and Visit Paradise

The New York Times had an article a few days ago about volunteering with the Appalachian Mountain Club in St. John, USVI. You could get a reduced rate in a large tent for $55/night vs. the usual $90. This would require a 4-5 hour daily session of manual labor. That doesn't exactly sound like what I would like to be doing on vacation, unless it provided a good social environment with the group.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cat sitting

I'm staying 10 minutes away at a friends house, keeping an eye on her two cats, Jesse and James. It's a vacation from my routine, since I am accompanied by these two cats and I have access to the wide world of cable. I can binge on pet friendship and the travel channel. It's fun to see them show places I've traveled like Key West, and new places to see like Nashville, TN.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Martha's Vineyard Hostel

I have traveled to Martha's Vineyard Hostel twice this year, already, and I have been impressed with some of the improvements. The first being a generally, friendlier staff. The biggest changes I noticed were the conversion of the sitting area in the kitchen to dining tables. This unfortunately removed the opportunity to relax while eating, but I guess this change was inevitable. I stayed in different rooms in each visit, and managed to get a small room the first time. It was a very comfortable setup with 8 beds, while the larger room with probably 20+ beds in adjoining rooms was annoying. This is one of my major complaints with this hostel, since I don't think it is necessary to have such large rooms. The hostel also painted the reconfigured eating area a weird yellow color that I didn't care for.
There aren't any other noticeable changes, and the hostel still doesn't have any interesting activities in the evenings.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Downtown DC Hostel

For the July 4th holiday I stayed at the Downtown DC Hostel for 5 nights in a 6 bed room. The hostel is conveniently located within walking distance of Union Station, but more importantly the Capital City Brewery. This brew pub is attached to the Smithsonian Postal Museum and across the street from Union Station, a busy Metro and Amtrak terminal. The Postal Museum is one of the worst Smithsonian museums, and not worth wasting time visiting. My iphone also dropped on the floor going through their metal detector, which also pissed me off. It isn't much further from Union Station to the Capital building and the mall, so you are better off heading down there, and only stopping here for a drink or to catch a train. The hostel has functioning AC units in the common room and bedrooms, but are adjustable by guests to hot, cold, or in-between. The staff is very friendly, and I enjoyed my experience at this hostel. It is fortunately small enough to avoid the large crowds of children traveling, and other annoying travelers. I would probably pick this hostel over HI for the atmosphere and the convenient beers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hawaii Hostel

I stayed for a few days at the Kona Pineapple Park Hostel on the west side of the big island. The hostel is located ten miles south of Kona above beautiful Kealakekua Bay in Captain Cook. A nice hike down to the bay and you can snorkel with tropical fishes just feet from the beach. The hike back is a bit of a trek, but worth a little adventure. The hostel isn't anything to write home about, but they were helpful and you can catch a free bus outside the hostel down to Kona.