From the monthly archives:

April 2009

Online, Off-The-Wall

by Alan Rider

Perhaps my favorite thing about this blog is when readers send me links to extraordinary experiences I might not otherwise have found on my own.  My second favorite thing is when I get to turn around and share them with the rest of you.
With that in mind, here are some of the most entertaining, unusual, and even downright strange things to land in my e-mailbox over the past several weeks.  Enjoy!:

 The Rapper:  I fly a lot and have to admit I usually end up tuning out the flight attendant’s safety spiel.  But there’s no ignoring this guy, who gets bonus points for creativity.  Extra points to the airline for letting [...]

Read More →

Boredom Busters

by Alan Rider

Just got back from another one of my frequent roadtrips to southern California.  And, let me just say, you don’t know boredom until you’ve been motoring down Interstate 5 through California’s flat and featureless Central Valley for five straight hours.
Luckily on this trip I decided to bring along a trio of new compact discs I just got from my friends at National Public Radio.  The series, just coincidentally titled NPR Road Trips, is made up of three new CDs including “Roadside Attractions,” “National Park Adventures,” and “Postcards from Around The Globe.” Each features more than a dozen stories from NPR’s crack correspondents that run the gamut from silly (everything you [...]

Read More →

Scream Machines

by Alan Rider

It’s been said that, since life has its inevitable ups and downs, the best thing any of us can do is to sit back and enjoy the ride.  Which is precisely the point as far as roller coaster enthusiasts are concerned.
If you count yourself among them, you’ll want to check out this blog post from Kathika.com that lists 56 of the coolest coasters in the U.S., including everything from vintage wooden classics like Cedar Point’s Blue Streak (the first rollercoaster I ever rode—scared the heck out of me) to cutting-edge “giga-coasters” like Six Flags Great Adventure’s Kingda Ka that’s as tall as a 45-story building.  Along with interesting factoids about [...]

Read More →

Hit The Road jack!

by Alan Rider

Look through the extraordinary experiences featured on the pages of XTRORD.com and it’s pretty clear I’m always up for a new adventure.  Especially, a good roadtrip.
Which may help explain why I think June’s Rental Car Rally from San Francisco to Yuma, AZ sound like so much fun.  What really makes the idea of this 36-hour run so entertaining however is that, in addition to traditional rally scoring based on time and distance between checkpoints, the organizers award a healthy number of points for things like “Team Style” (think themed costumes here, and the more outrageous the better) and “random tomfoolery.”  Those two elements alone make it seem well worth the price [...]

Read More →

Hugs & Kisses

by Alan Rider

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to have had several truly remarkable wildlife encounters with everything from a 400-pound Alaskan grizzly to a 24-ounce Harris hawk.  And now I can add another extraordinary experience to that list thanks to folks at Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys.
Hawks Cay, which is located on Duck Key about 90 minutes south of Miami, has all the things you’d expect at an upscale resort, including a wide array of watersports activities (Hot Tip: Check out their jet ski tours where we saw both dolphins and sea turtles in their natural environment).  But the hotel also has something you’re not likely to find [...]

Read More →