Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pictures from North Carolina

I finally ventured into NC for the first time, and what a trip! I got to see my first snow of this winter, stood on top of a 150ft waterfall, and had the chance to drive through some beautiful mountain scenery. For anyone who has never been to the Rainbow or Turtleback Falls in NC, they really are a must. In the summertime, you can go sliding off of Turtleback (you'll have to wait your turn in line, though) and just a few hundred yards down the Horsepasture River is Rainbow Falls. You can stand at the very top of it (as you can see in my gallery below) and just take in the roar of the falls and the beauty of the mountains. It truly is the best hike I can think of (and it's only 3 miles round trip from where you park - not too shabby).

If you're ever within 2 miles or so of Lake Toxaway, NC and need a way to kill an afternoon/day - make the trip up to Gorges State Park. It'll be well worth your while!

Next up for me is Christmas in Greenville. I just met another Clemson gnome who is about to move up to Waukesha, WI so hopefully he'll be able to share some of his adventures with us on here as well!

As always, safe travels - and happy holidays!

~PG

North Carolina

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lake Toxaway

So I'm heading up on a hike tomorrow - Lake Toxaway has received snow the past two days, and should be sunny and 30 tomorrow. Hopefully this means I'll get to see snowy mountains on the drive up! I will be sure to snap a ton of pictures to share from my first venture into NC - keep your fingers crossed that I don't get into any auto accidents!

As always, safe travels!

~PG

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pictures from Newberry

Well, I had a blast at the wedding this past weekend. Spent some time walking around Newberry, and after about 4 hours I'd say I learned just about everything there is to know about that small town! Had a blast - stopped in an antique shop and picked up a Woodstock poster, then posed around some sights downtown. Take a peak at the pictures!

Hopefully I'll find time to update the blog during my Christmas break - I'm sure I'm going to have plenty of pictures to share as I venture to North Carolina for the first time for a hike! Keep your fingers crossed that I don't injure myself...

As always, safe travels!

~PG


From South Carolina

Friday, December 11, 2009

Going to Newburry!

I'm en route to a wedding in Newberry - can't wait til the reception where I'll be downing thimble after thimble of Sweetwater IPA! Saturday morning I'll be roaming around town to take in the sights, so look for some pictures from that next week.

I really can't wait for my Christmas holiday - I'm hoping to get a good bit of hiking in, spend a lot of time with the family, and maybe get to hit up some of my favorite restaurants in the upstate (Beacon, Taco Casa, etc.). Hopefully I'll have plenty of updates from that in the New Year.

The only future plans I have are for Asheville, so I'm hoping to make some travel arrangements for the next few months...anyone have any suggestions? :)

As always, safe travels - hope to see you on the road!

~PG

Sunday, December 6, 2009

ACCCG

Well, I just got back from the ACC Championship Game in Florida. Had a really memorable time down there, and despite the outcome it was a very fun and entertaining game to watch (as pretty much every GT game for the past 6 years has been).

We also were selected for the Gaylor Music City Who Cares Bowl in Nashville against Kentucky. A few years ago I had the chance to go to the Who Cares Bowl in Nashville to see us play...Kentucky...and I said then what I'll say now "One of two outcomes could happen: we beat Kentucky (who cares?), or we lose to Kentucky (why'd I waste money on this?)." What'd we go out and do? Lose, because our team didn't care about playing Kentucky, which after the last two losses we've had I really feel like will happen again. If we want to have much in the way of positive momentum for next season, we don't need to just beat Kentucky - we need to slaughter them.

That being said, that doesn't mean I want to travel to see that. So I'll be watching the game from the comfort of a couch in Greer, probably working off a meal from The Beacon in Spartanburg.

Also, I've found that over Valentine's weekend I'll be going to Asheville, NC. This will be my first time going to that state, so I'm very excited (although there is a slight chance I'll go to NC over Christmas break). I'm also going to a wedding in Newberry next weekend, which should be fun - it's been a while since I've been in formal wear.

I'd go into more detail on the ACCCG (like how we should focus 99% of our recruiting in the next year on linebackers), but I really don't have the energy from all the driving I did today. So I'll leave you with a few pictures from my visit to Tampa.

As always, safe travels, and let me know about any fun trips you are going on!

~ PG


From Florida

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Going to Tampa!

I'm buying my plane tickets tomorrow...I really can't wait. I don't want to overlook the SC game, but all I can really focus on is beating Georgia Tech. Hopefully the team doesn't have that mindset this coming Saturday...

I'll be going to Greer for Thanksgiving this week, then on my way down to Columbia for the game. I'm thinking that I'll fly down to Tampa on the morning of the game and then drive back up on Sunday, but that's still up in the air. All the same, hopefully I'll get to see some of you down in Florida. Thankfully, I'm finally getting a trip that doesn't take me to South Carolina!

As always, safe travels!

~PG

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tampa...?

Hadn't posted in a while, so I figured I'd get one here and share how excited I am about this coming weekend's game against Virginia. One more win and I can book a plane ticket to Tampa! I'll be in Clemson this weekend tailgating my heart out, so hopefully I'll be in good game shape by the time 3:30 rolls around.

But in case you weren't aware, Mr. Spiller is trying to win the Heisman. Make sure you vote on a daily basis for him - I know I am! He's in first as we speak, but we can't let anyone catch him.

All that being said, hopefully I'll have some news of exciting travels in the near future. Right now all I have booked (other than maybe Tampa) is some trips to South Carolina. We're about to start planning the next beer trip, and my hunches are it'll come down to North Carolina or Maine. We'll see how that all pans out. In the meantime, if you're going anywhere fun and want company, just let me know!

As always, safe travels - hope to see you on the road in Solid Orange!

~PG

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trip back from the Wake Forest game

On the way back from the Wake Forest, I had to take a detour from I-85 which took me through West Anderson and over to the Hartwell Dam on the GA/SC border. Quite a site. So I took some pictures on the lake and figured I'd share.

Also, how about that FSU game? Hard to argue with the result, but 3 missed extra points? 3!? And pitching the ball on that interception return? I'm surprised I didn't have an aneurysm from anger. All the same, I had a blast and can't wait to see us roll into Tampa for the ACC Championship Game!

Also in other news, next month Christen (my friend in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia) is returning from her service. Can't wait to welcome her home with a New Year's party down in Hilton Head. Should be a blast.

Anyway, I'm off - enjoy the pictures from Lake Hartwell, and as always - safe travels!

~PG

South Carolina

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Travels Around Georgia

The picture in the link below is from a recent trip to Alpharetta, however also in that gallery (following this picture) are photos from my trip to Ellijay, where I took in the sights at the Georgia Apple Festival. Let me tell you, you certainly got a much different look at culture up there than you do here in Atlanta. I can't remember the last time I had a deep fried Oreo and deep fried Twinkie in the same minute (but boy were they delicious).

The sights from our cabin were definitely worth the trip in and of itself. In fact, after all my trips to the mountains (Helen, Ellijay, Dahlonega, Cleveland, etc.) I can't remember a single trip not being enjoyable. Not too bad for being so close to home!

~PG

From Georgia

Massachusetts Pictures

I finally got some time on my hands (at 1 in the morning, no less!) to finally upload some of my pictures. Most of the details there are to share about my trip to MA have already been told - as you can tell by my Boston picture, I didn't have any time to spend in the city. I'm hoping in the near future (maybe next year when Clemson goes to Boston College for football) to be able to go there and get the full "Boston experience". But alas, it wasn't to be on my last trip.

I'll put up a post after this with pictures from my trip to the Georgia mountains. As always, safe travels!

~PG


Massachusetts

Friday, October 9, 2009

In Ellijay

I'm currently up in the mountains of Ellijay enjoying a relaxing weekend away from the big city and traveling. When I get back to the city, I will be helping make both a Belgian strong pale ale and a standard American pale ale. And then when I have time, I'll make sure to put my pictures from both trips onto here and Facebook.

As always, safe travels!

~PG

Monday, October 5, 2009

Greetings from Massachusetts

Just landed today - drove through Boston (drove right past Fenway - wish I could have stopped by!), and spent some time in the Worcester area. Took some pictures, and will be uploading when I get back from my trip to Ellijay for a long weekend (Thursday - Sunday).

Don't forget to let me know if you're going anywhere fun in the future and want company, or if you are a Clemson gnome like me who has cool pictures from somewhere away from Clemson!

Safe travels, as always...

~PG

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Greenville

The day before going to the TCU game, I spent some time in downtown Greenville picking up a few growlers of beer from the Blue Ridge Brewing Company. I decided to take the time to go around town and take my picture with some of the sights. Here are the results.

Safe travels to all - hope to see you on the road soon!

~PG

From South Carolina

Clemson Games

Unfortunately both the Boston College and TCU games were rainy - and unfortunately, our offense sucked in both games. Fortunately BC was even worse than we were - but we couldn't find a way to score in the 4th quarter against TCU, a game a competent team would have won. Here's to not driving to Clemson for another rainy weekend next week - just hope we have ourselves ready to go for Wake.

Although, if we lose to Maryland, you might not hear from me again.

Anyway, here's the lone picture I took that was worthwhile from our BC tailgate, where the first monsoon of the week took place. I'll probably post in just a few minutes with pictures from my trip to Greenville.

~PG

From Clemson

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Travelin Tah Bawstan

Just got word I'll be heading up to Mass for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. I'll be trying my best to take pictures while there, and if I can get done with work early enough maybe I can make it out to a game at Fenway! Keep your fingers crossed!

~PG

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pictures from the road trip!

I finally got around to posting the pictures Mark sent to me from the trip he and I went on - and what a blast we had! The way I handle my photo albums is on a state by state (country by country as well) basis, so I divided them up into separate albums. Below is my Louisiana album, and you can follow it to find the ones I created for South Dakota, Iowa, and Wyoming (I added a picture for Washington too). Hopefully you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed being in them!

The Clemson football game was quite an adventure yesterday - I'll try to post about that sometime in the near future.

As always, safe travels!

~PG

Louisiana

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Long time no type

It's been a while since I last wrote - largely due to the excitement of college football (and to a lesser extent, pro football) starting up. But tonight I'm finally getting my pictures from my roadtrip with Mark (he's been holding on to them for the time being) and once I've had a change to go through and reminisce, I'll be posting them online for all to see.

I may have an upcoming trip to the northeast for some business, but that is still up in the air - hopefully I'll have an update on that shortly.

Also, I'll be going to the next few home games. I have some time on Friday of next week to myself, so I think I might be stopping in at The Beacon for lunch. Oh yes, I will be having that double chili cheeseburger a'plenty!

Anyway, safe travels and I'll talk to you all soon!

~PG

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Greetings from Arizona!

Mark and I are heading back eastward, and after a few days in California, we've made our way past Las Vegas and into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona. It is easily the hottest place I have ever been to, but I must say that there have been quite a number of sites to see. Mark's blog still has amazing pictures from the trip, so make sure to keep checking in on him!

I've also been updating my map as we've gone along - it's starting to get pretty crowded on there with all of my markers...just the way I like it!

I'll probably have to cancel my trip to Greer since I won't be back when I had planned, but I am certain I'll be going there sometime soon in the not so distant future. See you soon, Grr!

Anyway, safe travels everyone! Talk to you soon.

~PG


View My Travels in a larger map

Friday, August 28, 2009

West Coast Segment

Hello again, everyone! Since my last posting Mark and I have made our way from Olympic National Park in Washington down to the Redwood National Park in northern California. Along the way we stopped at the gorgeous Crater Lake in Oregon (a place I've been wanting to go to for a while!), and have been taking in the sights along the way. Mark is still taking some amazing pictures on our trip, so I really encourage you to keep checking up on Mark's blog to see the most recent places we've gone to.

I'll let you know as soon as I stop at another location to send you an update. As always, safe travels!

~PG

Monday, August 24, 2009

National Parks in Washington

Mark and I have left Idaho and have been seeing the sites at various national parks in the great state of Washington. We spent a few days at Mount Rainier (something I had only seen on flights to Seattle), and are currently on the Pacific Ocean at the Olympic National Park, just west of downtown Seattle. For Mark's most recent posts, check here.

I'll update as soon as I have more to share. Safe travels, all!

~PG

Friday, August 21, 2009

Update from the road

Greetings, all! Long time no type, as I've been on my cross-country road trip with Mark. I haven't had a chance to gather any pictures of my journey yet, but I'm sure upon my return I will have a few to share. If you want to keep up with Mark on his journey, you can follow his blog here.

Some highlights from the trip thus far: hot air ballon races, horses tied to mobile homes, Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, and Atomic Burgers...and we still have 2 weeks left on our journey! Should be exciting times!

Signing off from Glenns Ferry, Idaho! Save travels, all.

~PG

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Road Trip

Unfortunately, I have had to cancel my upcoming weekend trips to Athens and Birmingham. Fortunately, that is because my friend Mark is embarking on a month-long cross-country roadtrip and has taken me along for the ride! We left yesterday, and I will hopefully be providing an update here and there on where we've been. Mark may even start his own blog of the trip, which I'll be sure to link you all too should that happen.

It's going to be an exciting few weeks. And on top of all that, once I get back...it's football season! Does it get much better than this? I say not.

As always, safe travels!

~PG

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trip to Aiken and Augusta

I got back from my trip yesterday, and what a time I had! I got to go on a Sunday drive through the Aiken and Augusta areas, as well as the Sumter National Forest! Below are links to my Georgia and South Carolina photo galleries - hope you enjoy paging through them (the pictures are also up on facebook)! Now it's time to update my map...

I'm not going to announce anything yet because I'm still not sure, but I might be embarking on a very impromptu road trip in the next few days. I will keep you posted.

Safe travels!

~PG













From Georgia

South Carolina

Friday, July 31, 2009

Trip to Aiken & Future trips

Tomorrow afternoon I'll be heading to Aiken/Augusta for the weekend, so perhaps I'll come back with some pictures from there. :) In other news, I'll be travelling to Nashville again January 30th with the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club to see our Thrashers play their closest geographic rival, the Nashville Predators. I really can't wait, as it will be my first regular season road game!

I also took the time to add on that I'll be going to the Clemson/Auburn football game in Auburn next year - figured I'd go ahead and put that out there.

As always, let me know if you want to take me somewhere, and safe travels!

~PG

Monday, July 27, 2009

Update from my brother in Europe

I just got this picture from a fellow gnome who is travelling through Greece and Turkey (you can see other pictures from him in my
photo albums or on my map). He got to pose with a number of fellow Clemson fans/students/professors, and I figured I'd share it all with you on here. If you want to see a better version of the photo, go over to Facebook and check out my new profile picture!

As always, safe travels, and let me know of any future travel plans you'd want me to join in on!!

~PG

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Columbia Trip

Been a while since I posted, so I figured I'd go ahead and upload the photos from my weekend in Columbia. A few friends on Facebook expressed interest in my safety while in that town, and while their concern was well deserved, fortunately I was never in harm's way (this time). Anyway, I was able to stop by Death Valley South and the Riverbanks Zoo while in town, so feel free to take a look at the pictures below.

Unfortunately, my trip to Boone has been canceled, but hopefully I'll be able to plan a trip to someplace out of the southeast in the near future...

As always, safe travels!

~PG


From South Carolina

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Columbia

Greetings from Columbia, SC! I haven't had much time to do sight-seeing, although I did get to stop by Williams-Brice Stadium (Death Valley South) for a photo shoot - hopefully I'll be back here Thanksgiving weekend.

Anyway, I'll try to stop in an interesting city on my way back and will post pictures as soon as I am back in Georgia. Safe travels!

~PG

Monday, July 6, 2009

Going to Columbia this weekend

Just made plans to travel to Columbia, SC to visit friends for the weekend. I'll be hitting up some bars, maybe going to see the new Bruno movie, and anything else that may come my way. If you happen to be in Cola this weekend, send me a message and let me know so we can hang out and have our picture taken together!

Safe travels,

~PG

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Charleston Trip

I spent a long weekend in Charleston a week ago, and got to visit some of the areas outside of downtown, which was very nice. Time on the beach, time looking at the city from the comfort of James Island - it was very relaxing. I did get to go downtown for a while, however I didn't have a chance to get any pictures taken - but somehow I'm sure I'll be taking another trip to Charleston before everything is said and done.

The last picture included in the set below (and can also be found on my map) is of me on the welcome sign for North, SC. To get to that sign was a bit more dangerous than I would have thought - I had to jump around a snake and leap over ditches in order to get to it. But don't you think it was worth it?

I can't wait for football season to start - officially 2 months from today, Clemson kicks off against Coastal Carolina. Can we just skip the next 2 months, please?

As always, safe travels!

~PG

From South Carolina

Zach Bogosian!


As promised, here is the picture of me with Zach Bogosian from the Thrashers draft party. Since the draft party happened outside the perimeter in Lawrenceville, it also gave me a chance to add a new location to my map. I'm beginning to realize that this quantity of pictures is making my map load far slower than I'd like, so one weekend I'll have to set aside time to create thumbnails for the map.

But now that that's done, on to my post/pictures about my trip to Charleston last weekend!

~PG

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hello from Charleston

I'll be in the Palmetto State until Monday, so I'll be sure to take some pictures while down here. But the big news is that yesterday I had my picture taken with Zach Bogosian! He wasn't nearly as excited about the photo-op as I was, but I still got my picture - which, at the end of the day, is what really matters.

I'll post the picture as soon as I get back home. Until then, safe travels!

~PG

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Weekend Getaway

I may be traveling this weekend - we'll see if any pictures are taken for me to share with all of you. But the exciting news is that tomorrow is the Atlanta Thrashers draft party, which I will be attending. There we will meet Zach Bogosian (future NHL Hall of Famer), whom I will hopefully get to take my picture with. It would definitely be the first celebrity of any sort I've had the honor of meeting, so it should be fun - as long as I can muster the courage to say hi!

As always, feel free to let me know if you have any travel plans that I could be lucky enough to take part in. I won't be leaving the southeast anytime soon (although there may be a trip to Europe in the works...), so going someplace new would be a very welcome idea.

Safe travels,
~PG

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Florida Pictures


I'm back from my trip to Florida, and as you can see below there are pictures to be shared! My flight down was a bit scary (between the plane's electricity turning off during taxi, seeing another plane's landing gear fail, and two unexpected and sudden dives during the flight I had enough flying for the rest of my life), but once I was there I got to relax for a few days on the beach. I even made time to head down to the US Navy SEAL museum, which was definitely an interesting time. My visit was far too short, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Looks like I won't be going to Illinois after all...unfortunate, to say the least. But hopefully I'll be traveling somewhere interesting soon!

Safe travels,

~PG


From Florida

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In Florida / Another trip cancelation

I'm here in an awesome hotel on the beach in Vero - quite a pretty area. I'll be posting pictures upon my return sometime this coming week.

Yet again, my trip to Deerfield has been postponed. Apparently it will "eventually" happen, just not sure when so I won't bother posting that I'm going until I'm about to get on a plane. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I'll be able to get up there sooner rather than later.

Safe travels,

~PG

Monday, June 8, 2009

Preparing for Florida & A Trip to Illinois

I just received word that I will be going to Deerfield the week of the 15th. Hopefully I'll have some time in the afternoons to take in some sights, but we shall see. I might even get the chance to run into an old friend of GNOME's! Should be a lot of fun.

This past weekend, in preparation for my trip to Florida, I watched the Clemson super regional out in Arizona. Sad to say that our team got swept, but given that we didn't even make the tournament last year you cannot be disappointed in how Clemson performed. While watching the games we also brewed a hefeweizen that will be on tap sometime very soon. Once I move into my new apartment next month, hopefully my own tap system will be in place and I can start brewing for football season!

Anyway, I must be off. Safe travels!

~PG

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Travels Around Georgia

Two weekends ago I spent my Saturday and Sunday visiting different parts of Georgia. On Saturday I spent the day walking around Atlanta and taking in all the sights (the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke, a Braves game down at Turner Field). While that was a lot of fun, it took a lot out of me, so I decided to head north the next day to Dahlonega and Cleveland to have lunch at a brewery (the Dahlonega Brewing Company) and go on a winery tour (at the Blackstock winery in Cleveland). It was a wonderful weekend - although I'm sure glad I had a driver to take me back home on Sunday!

I had plans to be in Deerfield, IL this coming week but those got canceled. I might be there the week of June 15th, but that is yet to be seen. As such, my next trip is going to be to the beaches of Florida in two weekends - I can't wait! In the meantime, I'll probably just spend my time watching Clemson in the Super Regionals for baseball on TV and homebrewing this coming Sunday - should be a blast.

Safe travels, and enjoy the pictures!

~PG

From Georgia

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oregon Stories


I promised to tell the story of my travels in Oregon, and almost an entire month later I am finally getting around to it. Read everything after the jump. Hopefully I'll be able to get pictures posted from my trips around Georgia last weekend - we shall see what time allows.


We got on our plane on the 1st of May after having some pints at the Sweetwater Ale House in Concourse B of the Atlanta airport. Our plane was late taking off for Denver, and as the tension was building on our descent, we were told we were going to need to "run" to make it to our connecting flight to Portland. After sprinting through the Denver airport, we found that boarding was still yet to begin for our Portland flight...out of breath, we cursed the flight attendant who had told us to sprint down there.

We arrived in Portland a bit later than anticipated, but our other friends were arriving even later after having bigger delays in Texas. So we set course for Concordia Ale House (after being given an H3 to drive around Oregon instead of the large van we had requested [oh and our luggage got lost too]). Concordia was a cool enough place, although you could tell it was a Cheers type of place - everyone there knew everyone else's name...except ours. So the service lacked a little bit, but still the beer was a decent enough start for the trip.

We then went back to the airport to pick up the rest of the gang, and immediately we went to the Kennedy School. This place is an old school house that has since been converted into a series of bars in different "rooms" (detention, cafeteria, etc.). Very cool place to hang out, although we wished the beer had been a little bit better.

The next morning we started our drive towards Rogue in Newport, but en route we stopped in Corvallis, home of Oregon State University. We stopped in at Block 15, where three of the guys took part in the Brewmaster's Challenge - a two patty burger with Tillamook cheddar, bacon, and jalapeƱo poppers on it. Also, you had to finish two sides in order to complete the challenge. To the victor went a free pint of beer. Fortunately, two of the three completed the challenge, while the third fell short by not eating the tomatoes or jalapeƱos from the burger. Still, a tasty treat that later caused tremendous pain in their stomachs.

We then proceeded to the Oregon Trail Brewing Company, where they were celebrating National Home Brew Day (May 2). After grabbing our beers ($3.50 a pint) we went out back to see what was being brewed. We had some homebrew, and were invited upstairs for a quick tour of the brewery. We ran into a group of OSU students with their mothers who posed in a picture with me - it's always nice to meet new friends. After exchanging stories with the brewmaster, he gave us a bottle of the bourbon porter that he had just bottled. We will probably open it on our next beer trip (which we are currently in the process of deciding where to go to), but we're very excited to give it a try.


We then made our way over to Newport, where we got to do a brewery tour, distillery tour, drink in the brewery's taphouse, and also have some beers and play trivia at their ale house across the bay. The city was very pretty, with a very scenic bridge and inlet into the bay. I hate writing so little about the "main" brewery we planned our trip around, but there weren't many specific stories to tell from that particular day. Other than walking back from the ale house and some of the guys having too much beer once they got back to the hotel...


We woke up early the next morning and made our way up to Pacific City to have breakfast at the Pelican Brewpub. The brewery is located ON the beach with an astonishing view of the shoreline. The beer and breakfast was very good, and it was really cool of them to give us our own brewery tour (the second they heard we were from Georgia, they jumped at the opportunity - got to love beer trips). After doing the tour we went for a walk on the beach, which led to us Kiwanda State Natural Area, where we got to enjoy the beauty of the Oregon shoreline from a very unique perspective. We spent hours out there, and after finally going back to the beach saw quite a commotion as a downed surfer had to be rescued by US Coast Guard helicopters. Fortunately the surfer was able to walk away from the incident, and as such we were able to drive away.

After that, we drove our way back to Portland. Along the way we came up for an amazing iPhone app, and also determined that Brandon was producing the most awful smelling farts in the history of time. We first ended up at the Raccoon Lodge, which was known for their sour beers...the one they had on draft was quite impressive, so we bought some bottles to bring back home with us.


Portland was two days of staying at a hostel and going to as many brewpubs as possible. What stood out the most from the trip were Hopworks, the tour and tastings we got at Hair of the Dog brewery, Deschutes Ale House, Pix Patisserie (amazing desserts), Laurelwood Public House, and The Horsebrass Pub (can't argue with drunk darts).

There were too many specifics about my stay in Portland to go through, so I just decided to list our favorites. All in all, it was an amazing trip - lots of beer, beautiful views, and meeting a bunch of new people who were (for the most part) doing great things with beer. Perhaps when we start making beer in the next month or so we will be inspired by something we had on the trip.

Did you actually just read all of this? Kudos.


Safe travels!

~PG

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gnomes in the Mediterranean

A few days ago one of my Facebook friends tagged me in some pictures from Turkey and Greece. However, the Gnome being tagged was not me - in fact, it was another of my Clemson Gnome brothers! Which gave me a fantastic idea - there are many of us traveling about the globe. Why not have us all combine forces to find our long lost brother, GNOME? Thanks to Benjamin Miskelly, we have now searched some famous landmarks in both Turkey and Greece, and can eliminate them from the list of potential places GNOME could have been taken to.

If you have any evidence of your Clemson Gnome in other locales that we have yet to search, please send them my way so we can check them off of the list.

I will be updating the blog with stories from Oregon as soon as I get a few minutes to type it all out - it'll happen eventually, I promise!

Safe travels,

~PG












Turkey
Greece

Friday, May 8, 2009

Colorado

As a slight addition, I also took some pictures on my layover in Denver. They can be found below.

~PG

Colorado

Oregon Beer Trip

At the moment I am a bit short on time, but since I have a gap between now and my next trip I will just post pictures from my recent visit to Oregon. While I did have a lot of fun, I did not find any clues leading me to GNOME. With each day, my hopes of finding him get bleaker and bleaker. I'll provide an overview of the trip in the days to come - in the meantime, enjoy the pictures and check out my newly updated map!

~PG


Oregon

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clemson visit

In my search for GNOME, I decided going back to his true home might be a worthwhile trip. Unfortunately, my results were not positive as he was not in town.

On the positive side, I was able to watch Clemson beat the then #4 Yellow Jackets by a score of 6-3. It was quite an entertaining time, even though I did get a bit sunburned. It's always nice to spend a weekend in Clemson - can't imagine anywhere else I'd rather be.

On Friday I depart to search for GNOME in the state of Oregon, a place I have never been to before. I will make sure to keep you posted with updates, and will add pictures as soon as I can.

Safe travels,
PG

From Clemson

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Clemson

I've obtained tickets to attend the baseball game between Clemson and Georgia Tech tomorrow, so I will be traveling to South Carolina again in my search to find GNOME. I'll report my findings upon my return.

~PG

Monday, April 20, 2009

Long time, no type

It's been a while as I've awaited word from GNOME as to his whereabouts. We still have not heard from him, so this weekend I began my journey to track down my long lost brother. While his last known point of contact was in Germany, it is fair to assume that weeks after his abduction he could be anywhere on the planet. As such, I will leave no destination unturned.

My most recent stop was on Daniel Island in South Carolina. There was a high-profile tennis tournament going on there, so I figured I might interrogate some of the famous tennis stars to see if they had played any part in GNOME's abduction. Security was not as willing to let me interrogate the Williams sisters as I would have liked, so not much was answered. I did thoroughly search the island, and it is fair to say that GNOME is not there. As evidence, I have included pictures from my investigation.

I will continue to keep this blog as a point of contact between myself and anyone else out there attempting to find my brother. If you have any information, please let me know - otherwise keep your eyes open for an orange gnome with broken legs.

~PG

South Carolina

Friday, April 3, 2009

GNOME MISSING!!

Hello all, my name is Pseudognome, and I'm the brother of GNOME. While on his journey to Germany, it appears as though GNOME has been kidnapped. His last known location was in an academic office at TU Kaiserslautern. All efforts are being made to find him ASAP, and I will make sure to keep you updated as to any progress that has been made.

In the meantime, I vouch to travel the globe in search of my lost brother until he is returned safely home. I would hope he could run away from his captor, but with his recently re-broken legs, I think he will be needing someone's help to rescue him. Please keep GNOME in your thoughts and prayers.

~Pseudognome

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Last Legs

I arrived in Germany a couple of days ago, but not without some scars to remind me of my trip. My legs which had been so badly damaged (but so brilliant repaired) in Ethiopia were once again crushed en route to Germany. Fortunately my friend Matthias has me in his care, and hopefully I will be back in walking/hopping/skipping shape sometime soon.

Anyway, keep an eye out for updates as they become available! Perhaps in the near future I'll be announcing my entrance into the Gnome Paralympics.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sweden?

I'm almost to Germany (at least I think so - the days are starting to blend together), but during my journey I finally heard back from my friends in Sweden (the ones I met in Fort Lauderdale) and it looks like I'll be traveling there! We are still straightening out the details of when (I could be going straight from Germany, but it depends on if I'll be able to get back in time for my trip to Portland), but I am very excited about the prospect of visiting Scandinavia for the first time!

Next time you hear from me, I'll be in Germany - safe travels!

~ GNOME

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back across the Atlantic

While the snow melts away in Georgia, I am now on my way to Germany where I will probably be for the next few weeks. Updates might be sporadic between now and then, but as soon as I have pictures/stories to share, I'll make sure to put them on there.

As always, if you are going to be traveling to somewhere I haven't been before and want some company along your trip, make sure to let me know!

~GNOME

Sunday, March 1, 2009

SNOW DAY!!

So I found out yesterday that my planning for Birmingham was mistaken - the tournament is next weekend, not this one. So I've decided to travel to Germany tomorrow instead of waiting an additional week for a trip to Alabama.

However, staying an extra week resulted in good news - it's snowing in Atlanta! This is our first snow of the year (and I'd predict our last), and actually the first snow I've ever seen. So I stepped outside of my home to take a few pictures with my roommate Luke - check them out if you'd like. :)

Tomorrow: off to Deutschland!

From Georgia

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chattanooga, TN and updated travel plans

This past weekend my friend Luke and I went on a quick drive up to Chattanooga, Tennessee to take in the sights. It is a very pretty city which is surrounded completely by mountains. The downtown is quite pleasant to walk through, as you can walk along the Tennessee River, go in to the Tennessee Aquarium, or just shop around. We didn't have a chance to go into the aquarium though, as we had plans at Lookout Mountain, which overlooks all of Chattanooga. Inside of Lookout Mountain is a cave which contains Ruby Falls, a waterfall that is about 60 or 70 feet tall. We went on a tour of the cave and got to see a lot of pretty formations, and of course the awesome falls. The trip seemed to come and go, but overall it was a great day for the both of us!

In other news, I have put off my trip to Germany until next Monday as I have obtained tickets to the Davis Cup tennis matches this Sunday (March 1st) in Birmingham, Alabama. Once I am done there, I will be immediately on my way across the Atlantic, but I couldn't pass up the chance to see Andy Roddick.

Safe travels!

Tennessee

Friday, February 20, 2009

Albuquerque pictures

Below are the pictures from my recent trip to New Mexico. I really had a lot of fun while I was out there (of course I stopped for some drinking), and I'm beginning to learn just how many different cultures there are out there - not just around the world, in our very own country! I might be going out for a short excursion tomorrow, but after that I should be en route to Germany! I'll keep you posted on any updates as they come.

Take care!


New Mexico

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ethiopia Journal

While I was in Ethiopia, I took many notes of everything I got to do while in Africa. Unfortunately, the list was far too long for me to try to transcribe. But luckily for me, my friend Christen was nice enough to transcribe my notes for me, and even put them in my voice! You can find my journal below after the jump(I've always wanted to say that!).

But even if you don't take the time to read my adventures from Ethiopia, make sure to keep track of Christen's ongoings at her blog: christeninethiopia.blogspot.com.




---------------------------------------

Loyal fans and devoted admirers,

I've arrived safe and sound back in the United States, and, having finally shaken off this horrific jet lag (which, by the way, is even worse when you've traveled home packed inside a cardboard box), I'm ready to update you on my Ethiopian adventures!

My first international trip was a brilliant success. What a whirlwind month! I saw so many crazy things, went to so many beautiful places, met so many great people. Ethiopia is an incredible country, and Christen and the rest of my hosts made sure I got the full experience of it.

The journey began in Knoxville, Tennessee with an epic and overdue reuniting of Clemson friends - what can I say, bringing people together, it's what I do! I was carried through five different airports en route to Ethiopia - Knoxville, Atlanta, Zurich, Cairo, and Addis Ababa - which made for a long but eventful trip. I got to see the Alps as we flew out over them, got to snuggle with Christen for warmth in the over-air-conditioned Cairo airport where we slept for twenty hours on a metal bench....good times! It was sort of a relief to finally land in Addis Ababa, even if it was at 3:00 in the morning.

We blazed through the Ethiopian capital as soon as it got light, making our way to the central bus station. We happened to have arrived on the day of Ethiopian Christmas (December 29th on the Ethiopian calendar, January 7th by our reckoning....I don't know, I gave up trying to keep up with the day), so we headed immediately down to Christen's first Ethiopian hometown, a placed called Welliso (or Welisso or Wolisso or Wallisso or basically any way you wanted to spell it, since the Ethiopian language is written in its own separate alphabet anyway). I was a big hit with Christen's host family, and they treated me to some full-fledged Ethiopian hospitality. I was treated to Momma's FANTASTIC traditional cooking, and I partied at Big Sister's graduation celebration. There was a constant stream of people in and out of the house during the entire holiday week; I'm pretty sure I met the entire town. (People know me; I'm kind of a big deal.)

Once Christen decided we had stalled long enough, we made our way to Debre Markos, where she lives and works. She showed me around town (I think she was showing me off - no shame, Christen, no shame). We met the local characters, checked out all the local hot spots. I watched Christen "work", which I think I've determined is 10% actual work and 90% drinking various hot drinks. Her house is pretty sweet, though I had to get used to the lack of running water and the fairly frequent power outages, and I'm certain the dogs on her compound would have eaten me if ever left alone with me.

After a solid week at her site (nice work), we traveled up north to Gonder, at the foot of the Simien Mountains, for Ethiopian Epiphany, or Timkat. Timkat is the largest Ethiopian religious holiday after Easter, and Timkat in Gonder is one of the largest religious celebrations in the country. On the day before Timkat, I watched a huge parade through the streets. Groups of teenagers ran around chanting and carrying sticks, priests and nuns walked in procession with their gold-fringed velvet parasols, while church musicians beat drums, blew horns, and sang religious songs. There were so many American and European tourists in town for the big event! I sat up on a hotel balcony with Christen's friends to watch the parade, and I met people from the U.S., Canada, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The next day, Timkat day, we dragged ourselves out of bed (or, rather, out of sleeping bag, as we were crashing on a Peace Corps Volunteer's floor, along with a couple of couch surfers from Maine) at 4:30 AM to walk to the Fasilades Baths, where the Timkat ceremony would take place. We staked out seats on some rickety wooden bleachers, amidst the assembled crowd of Ethiopians, all dressed in their white cultural clothing. The bleachers overlooked the bath, where the castle-like structure in the middle was decked out in colored lights. Through the dark, early morning hours, people chanted and prayed in unison, and the mood was very solemn. (I have to admit, I mostly just slept inside Christen's bag.)

Around 8:00 AM, the priests entered the baths, to drum beats, cheering, and applause. They lined up shoulder-to-shoulder around the bath, wearing brightly colored robes and large metallic crosses around their necks. There was a ceremony that, being in the Amharic language, went mostly over my head, but after lots of singing, drum-beating, and chanting, the priests blessed the water and placed floating candles on it. Then the place went crazy. Young men took it as their cue to run out from the crowds and fling themselves into the water - from trees, from the bleachers, from wherever they could. It was chaos. At one point, one of the lower bleachers audibly cracked, and Christen decided it was time to go. We had to physically push our way through the massive crowd to get down off the bleachers, then literally ram our way through the small doorway to the Baths, where crowds were attempting to push through from both directions. Somehow Christen managed to shield me from the mobs, and we escaped unscathed, alive to tell the tale.

Unscathed, of course, not counting my previous injuries. As you have already heard, the only dark spot on our Gonder vacation was my breaking both legs on a local minibus. Again, I have to thank the dedicated team of Peace Corps surgeons that worked tirelessly to put me back together. Though there were some pieces of me that were never recovered, I am slowly working my way up to full strength, and no amount of damage will keep me away from future adventurings!

On the way back from Gonder, we stopped through Bahir Dar, a large town beside Lake Tana. It was Presidential Inauguration day when we arrived - or, as the local Obama Cafe announcements called it, "The exciting moment moving to white house". We chilled that night on the patio of the Obama Cafe, where the ceremonies were being shown on CNN International broadcast, projected onto a big outdoor screen. I had the privilege of meeting Miss Obama, who had been crowned the night before in the "Miss Obama Beauty Contest and Celebrity Culture Show." I'm still not exactly sure how one becomes Miss Obama...perhaps by showing the most excitement and love for the man. Though from what I saw - the t-shirts, printouts, and even mudflaps bearing Obama's face - that would be stiff competition among Ethiopians, for sure.

Back in Debre Markos, I attended a wedding, visited Christen's local mill project for people living with HIV, drank ridiculous amounts of coffee, played foosball with the boys on the street, and was generally an outstanding ambassador for American Gnomish culture. Real connections were made, my friends. Bridges were built. Before long, though, it was time to head back to the capital and start the journey back home again.

I'll never forget the great times I had in Ethiopia! Thanks again to my spectacular hosts, and to my loyal fans out there, remember to support your Peace Corps volunteers (preferably through the sending of delicious American junk foods to PO Box 141, Debre Markos, Ethiopia)!

Love and peace,
GNOME

PS - To see more about the things I saw and did in Ethiopia, check out Christen's pictures and blog at christeninethiopia.blogspot.com.

Back from New Mexico

I returned home to Atlanta on Tuesday, and wow am I glad to be back - it's so dry out there in the dessert! My skin started to crack (as though I don't have enough problems with that as is!), which made things very interesting, but I still had a great time. I'll be uploading pictures from that trip sometime in the next day or so.

In sad news, I was not able to get done with Albuquerque soon enough to make it to Italy. I will still be going to Germany, though, so I am very excited to leave! If all goes according to plan, I should be on my way starting this coming Monday.

In the meantime, I will post additional pictures of my Florida trip that I received from my friend Stacy a few days ago. Enjoy!

From Florida

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seattle/Bellingham, WA (September 08)

These are the last pictures I have of my past trips - from my first west coast visit! It was very beautiful out there, and I can't wait to visit the Pacific Northwest again when I go to Portland, OR in May!

Washington

Helen, GA (08.23.08)

Here are some more pictures from my recent past - a trip my friend Luke and I went on to the mountains of Georgia, and the small town of Helen. If you ever imagined "what would a small town in the mountains look like if Walt Disney tried to make it look like a town in Germany", you would get Helen, GA. We had a blast up there, and can't wait to head back to the mountains again!

Georgia

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Clemson trip (07.26.08

Here are some pictures from my last trip to Clemson - I'm sure this album will have more pictures added to it as time goes by. After all, I need a picture at an actual Clemson game!

Clemson

Friday, February 13, 2009

Trip to Syracuse (06.12.08 to 06.24.08)

Continuing my theme of posting old pictures, here are some from when I spent two weeks up in New York traveling through Syracuse, Cooperstown, and Darien Lake back in June of 2008. I got to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ommegang Brewery and a theme park! It was a really fun trip, even though I got busted by the cops...but that's another story for another day!

New York

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beer Trip 05.27.08 - 06.3.08

So while I'm getting comfortable in Albuquerque, I figured I'd go through some old albums from before I started this blog. I found a whole lot of pictures, so over the next few weeks I'll be adding albums from 2008. Today's album is from a tour three of my friends went on that took them from Atlanta all the way up to Wisconsin! They stopped at breweries all along the way, tried different beers, tried different foods, took in the sights, and managed not to have to go to the hospital (even though one of them had severe burns on his foot!). The pictures have decent enough explanations on them - hopefully you can get the idea of how much fun we had!

Beer Trip

On The Road Again

Just as soon as I got back to Atlanta, it's back to the skies as I head west-bound for Albuquerque. My plane leaves Atlanta around noon, and I have a quick layover in Houston before arriving in New Mexico. Later tonight I'm hoping to get some time to add some details to the photos in my photo album (there are so many good stories from my trip), so keep an eye out for that.

I'll be immediately leaving from New Mexico to Italy (via Germany) and will be staying in Europe for a while. Once I return from that trip, however, I should have a few weeks in Atlanta to relax. Hope to see you on the road!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Back in Atlanta & Pictures from Ethiopia

I just arrived back home from Ethiopia - boy, am I tired! And a little bit worse for the wear...but that won't slow me down, as I'm hopping on a plane on Wednesday! But as you can see below, I uploaded my photo album from my trip. Next up for me is updating my map with my new pictures and location, and then a much needed rest. Hopefully I'll have more to report on later, but for now...sleep.


Ethiopia

Thursday, February 5, 2009

When in Gnome...

While discussing plans for my trip to Germany in March, my new friend Matthias informed me that he will be traveling to Rome, Italy for the week prior - only catch is I have 5 days between Albuquerque and him leaving for Italy for me to get there. But I will try my best to work some magic!

The biggest plus side about potentially going to Italy is all the awesome puns I'll be able to make! If you don't believe me, just reference the title of this post!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

European Adventures!

I just received word from a friend in Germany that I will be going there in early March! I am very excited about this, as my only experience in Europe has been in airports en route to Ethiopia. I've updated my map accordingly, and will be adding pictures once I get home to Atlanta.

I'm hoping that I can get back to Atlanta by the weekend so I have some time to explore around town before I head off to Albuquerque for the better part of a week. After having my injury in Ethiopia, it might be a good thing for a little R&R...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Returning from Ethiopia

I am currently traveling back to Atlanta after a few weeks in Ethiopia. I am bringing pictures back with me, and soon will be able to share the sights and stories from my trip. I'm hoping I can get back soon enough, though, as I will have to immediately turn around and board a plane for New Mexico!

Keep checking in - I should have pictures up sometime in the next week or so.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Future Trips

While I'm recovering in my last days in Ethiopia, I got word from a friend that I may be traveling to Germany sometime in the very near future! Once I get the exact location and times set up, I will make sure to update my "Upcoming Trips" list as well as my Google map. Word has it I may be getting a tour of the Bitburg Brewery...I can't wait to check out their experimental brewery!

Also, make sure to keep me in mind if you have any trips to new places coming up (even if they are far off in the future) - the more I get to see, the happier I'll be!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Injury Update

My doctors in Ethiopia just sent an email home, and instead of me telling the story, I figured this would suffice. I will live to travel another day, but my walking days may be behind me.

GNOME was involved in a minor vehicle accident over the Ethiopian Epiphany holiday. He sustained multiple breaks in both legs. He was rushed to the Peace Corps volunteer clinic in Gonder, where he was placed under the care of four PCVs and two couch surfers from Maine who professed to have passing experience in Gnomish Medicine. They worked tirelessly through the night, armed with Gorilla Glue and their unshakable faith in humanity. Things were touch and go for a while, at times they seemed to be losing GNOME, but it was at these times that Head Doctor Josh threw forth his fiercest lifesaving efforts, crying defiantly, "NOT ON MY WATCH!!!" After several harrowing hours of surgery, I am happy to report that GNOME has been successfully reconstructed and is resting and recovering nicely in Debre Markos under my tender care. I am afraid I must tell you, however, that GNOME's right Achilles and lower calf was never found. The larger medical community told him he'd never walk again...but he's a fighter. He'll prove them all wrong. F--- the man and his rigid medical establishment.

GNOME would also like to take this time to draw attention to vehicle accidents as the "silent killer" of Africa and make note of the fact that Ethiopia has the highest rate of traffic deaths per vehicle in the world. He is happy to be alive and is devoting his life to the promotion of traffic safety and the establishment of sound traffic laws, for the cessation of these needless deaths.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pictures From Florida

I finally got some time to myself, so I uploaded my pictures from my Christmas/New Year's trip to Florida! They can be found here.

I still have no word yet from the doctors on my status - they've been keeping me waiting, and I'm getting quite anxious to hear the diagnosis! As soon as I find out the news, I will pass it along.

Florida

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dark Times in the Dark Continent

I only have a moment, but I felt the need to report that I have been injured in my journey. My legs were the victim of a tragic bus accident, and I am going into surgery tonight to try to repair them. I don't know any more than that at the moment, so I will share the story of how this happened when I have news on my (hopeful) recovery. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks,
GNOME

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reporting from Ethiopia

We don't have very much time on internet terminals here, but just thought I'd give you all a quick update that I have indeed made it to Ethiopia - my first trip through customs was completely uneventful! After having been scanned at the airport in Syracuse to make sure I was not carrying anything illegal, I thought I would run into tougher times...but so far, so good.

I just celebrated my second Christmas here, as Ethiopia is on a different calendar than the rest of the world. Two Christmases in one year? Yes, please!

Anyway, I must head off - make sure to watch out in the coming days as I'm sure I'll be adding pictures from Florida in the near future. See you soon!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back from Florida

Well, I got back into Atlanta today and I must say that I had a heck of a trip down in Florida. I got to see so many places, met so many new people, and may have even met some friends who will let me visit them in Sweden! All in all, I really had a great time and cannot wait to post pictures for you to see - I just need to wait for my friends to email them to me.

Tomorrow I'm off to Knoxville to meet Christen, and then it's time to hop on a plane for Ethiopia where I'll be through most of the month. Internet will be scarce out there, but Christen tells me we can check my email from time to time, so feel free to send me a message if you want. See you soon!