Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Travel Tunes - Week 15

As I was doing my taxes last weekend, my mind wandered to Willie Nelson. 
Is there a more joyous travel tune then Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again?"  I don't know, but I can't think of any right now.

More of a song about the joy he feels about touring...not's still a rousing number and has popped into my head many times during the countdown to a trip.

In 1980, Nelson was the star of the move Honeysuckle Rose in which he played a country & western musician.  I know, it must have really stretched his acting abilities...

Anyway, the producer, Sydney Pollack needed a song to go with the movie and asked Nelson if he could write one.  "On the Road Again" is that song which went on to become Nelson's biggest selling single of his career.

The video below is from a tribute to Nelson at the Wiltern Theater here in L.A.  Enjoy.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Travel Tunes - Week 14

It's Olypics Week here on The World on Wheels so let's pick an appropriate travel tune.  It's a tough chore, considering there are so few songs about Olympics, snow (that's not holiday related), or ice sports that would also be considered a travel song.  But...found one!
From Canada's Innerlife Project comes this haunting tune, Vancouver City , released just in time for the Olympics.  The lyrics talk about taking the Skytrain down to the Quay and finding yourself.  It's a good song but what I really like is the high definition video that goes with it.  You've never seen Vancouver like this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OLYMPICS WEEK - Munich, 1972

It was to be Germany's coming out party after rebuilding from a devastating war.  It turned out to be a record breaking games...with Mark Spitz capturing a then record 7 golds in the Schwimhalle...and a heartbreaking one with the terrorists of Red September capturing, then killing, their Israeli athelete hostages.

Back in September, we visited the site of the games which is now a large and very beautiful park across the street from the BMW factory.  Here is a slideshow of that visit...
For more on Germany, check out our complete trip reports...including video.. at the links below:

French Riviera
Bavaria, Germany
Bavaria, Germany - Final Chapter

Monday, February 15, 2010

TRANSIT REPORT - Vancouver, Canada 2010

With the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver is planning a massive boost in transit service. The entire transit system is wheelchair accessible. Options in the city are varied and a new streetcar demonstration project will be part of the mix during the Olympic period.
SKYTRAIN – This is Vancouver’s version of a subway which, here, is actually a light-rail El although there are small sections buried underground. The trains are automated and do not have drivers. At 43 miles, it’s the longest automated rail transit system in the world. It has three lines. The Expo line was the original, built in 1986 for the World’s Fair. It runs from the Southeast section of the city at Langley. The Millennium Line opened in 2002 and runs a loop through the city core. The latest line is the Canada Line, built to accommodate travelers to the Olympics, runs from the airport and also a spur from Richmond. All three lines converge at the Waterfront station in the heart of the city.

For the Olympics, service on the Skytrain will be increased to a train every 108 seconds at peak times.

WEST COAST EXPRESS – This is a Monday – Friday rush hour only commuter rail service that runs from Mission City in the east and terminates at the Waterfront station downtown. On weekend, a bus only service is run on a mid-day schedule. During the games, six additional weekday trips will be scheduled…three each way; nine extra trips on Saturdays; and eight additional runs on Sundays.
SEABUS – This is a ferry that runs from the Waterfront station across the bay to Lonsdale Quay. Crossing time is 12 minutes. During the games, service will be increased 50% to every 10 minutes.
BUS – An extensive bus network covers the rest of the city. Service will be increased on a line-by-line basis as needed during the games.

HANDY-DART – the region’s paratransit service is accepting applications from Olympic visitors (PDF) to use the service while they are in the area.

OLYMPIC BUS SERVICE – The local organizing committee is running a temporary bus service from Vancouver to the Whistler area for the games. The buses are accessible, reservations are required, and are mandatory for Olympic spectators…there is no parking at any of the venues. Accessible shuttle buses will transport you through the Whistler area. Bus transportation is included in the price of your ticket.

OLYMPIC STREETCAR DEMONSTRATION PROJECT – During the Olympics, the City of Vancouver and the Bombardier Corporation will run a free, 1.8KM streetcar line from the Olympic Village to Granville Island with two stops in between. The ridership will be evaluated to help determine if the streetcar system should be expanded throughout the city.
BC FERRIES - operates service throughout the coastal region, notably to the beautiful city of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Bus service is available to/from both Vancouver and Victoria/Nanaimo.

Olympics or not, Vancouver is a great place to visit. Have fun!

Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia
Alisdair McLellan under CC-SA license
Seglea under CC-SA license
scondarywalts under CC-BY license
Phillippe Giabbanelli under CC-BY license

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Our favorite show is back on the air, here's how we saw it...
TAR 16: EP 1 (Air date 2/14/10) -
Okies! Police - best teams via first impression

UGH...Big Brother.  Leave the stunt casting alone.

Letty: "71 years old-wow"

Starting at Elysian Park…better than the LA river

Public transit…here in LA!!! Hope they know about the flyaway bus or that they read our LA transit report.

Phil: whoosh!

Good, flyaway is the quickest way..

Team Miss South Carolina is far from Unions Station.

The blue line…not the quickest way

Establishing shots are of a regular bus, not the flyaway and the gold land green lines, not the blue.

Brazilian money? For Chile? Team Okie just lost a few points with me.

LAX - the worst aiport in the world

Cool funiculars
San Francisco of South America…I had heard that Toronto was the New York of Canada…not so much

Chile is not Brazil…repeat three times

Letty is going crazy at the bad Spanish

Tightrope walking! Woo hoo

How did the teams know someone would need to not be afraid of heights?

Those shaky legs would freak me out.

Letty and Tim are getting sick of “I love you , bro”
The funicular reminds me of Salzburg

Adrian’s pretty buff

Read the clue!
Is this a detour (painting)?

It’s not too hard to find if you ask for directions

Of course the teams we like are in the back of the pack.

Pretty city but it doesn’t look too accessible.

Someone didn’t watch the Karate Kid…paint on, paint off.

Drunken, elderly person on stilts…but still a triathlete!

That’s a nasty fall for Adrian

Cord’s flying

Kind of a weird prize after the luge accident this weak.

Read the CLUE!

Breaking and painting!

Free labor for the locals

Don’t assume!

Texas? I thought they were Okies

Doesn’t the grand daughter look llike Sally Field?

Boy, they didn’t even make it to the mat!

All in all, kind of a slow first episode, but it's still the race...see you next week!

-Darryl, Tim, and Letty
Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia
Lucide under CC-BY-SA license

Saturday, February 13, 2010

EVENTS & FESTIVALS: Belgian Beer Festival

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia
Josef Stuefer under CC-BY license
We're wrapping up Wine and Beer Week today to coincide with the opening of the Belgian Beer Festival at Lucky Baldwin's pubs (Pasadena and Sierra Madre, California).  If you're in the area, be sure to check it out as you can taste dozens of great Belgian brews on tap at festival prices.  We do this every year...we take a cab and have a ball.  Also available is a menu of great Belgian specialties like mussels and waterzooie.  The festival lasts through the end of the month.

If you see us, stop on by and say hi.  Hope you enjoyed Wine and Beer for Olympic Week starting on Monday.


Friday, February 12, 2010


Picture courtesy of Wikimedia
AgnosticPreachersKid under CC-BY-SA license
Now that we're wrapping up our week dedicated to beer and wine here at The World on Wheels, we're putting up a list to all our reports that have to do with the two drinks.   Here you go, happy trails...

Viktulienmarkt. Munich, Germany
Bavaria, Germany - Beer heaven.  I thought pubs were about the most fun you could have until we found the beer gardens.
England, Ireland, and Belgium part 1, part 2, and part 3 - Pubs are still a lot of fun, though.  Belgium is the pinnacle of beer making.
Seattle, Washington part 1 and part 2 - One of America's great beer cities.
The World on Wheels Beer Taste Off

Amador County part 1 and part 2 - My favorite wine country in California.  Part 2 has most of the wine related information.
Napa Valley part 1 and part 2 - The world's most famous wine producing region.  Great wines but you're going to have to fight to find it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Travel Tunes - Week 13

Continuing our theme of Wine and Beer, this week's Travel Tune is one of my favorite Beach Boys tunes...if not my all time favorite.  A tale of a Caribbean cruise gone bad from a night of binging and drinking, it still makes me want to catch the next plane down to Jamaica or Aruba.

The Beach Boys tend to be underrated, a lot of people thinking they're just bubble-gum pop and surf songs.  Under the surface is a musical Van Gogh...Brian Wilson...who has fought a lot of demons, starting with some truly epic confrontations with his dad over the direction of their music.  The entire group had to fight through a lot of obstacles along the way...their dad, Charles Manson hanging around, the death of Dennis Wilson, Brian's mental sickness...that usually don't show up in their music. Though he didn't write this one, I have to think that it was kind of a slap back saying he'd do things his own way.

Sloop John Bis a traditional West Indies folk song about a notorious boat whose crew would make very merry in each port they visited.  Al Jardine brought the song to Brian Wilson's attention, who didn't care for it at first, but after putting in a new arrangement, recorded a classic with Wilson and Mike Love handling the lead vocals on their Pet Soundsalbum.  Catchy tune, great lyrics that are subtly haunting ("I feel so broke up, I want to go home"), and evoking of that Caribbean vibe.  Here's the Beach Boys with their version of Sloop John B


Gear: Wine and Beer

Some Amazon links to items you might find useful for your wine and beer activities (proceeds go to Tim's job search)...
I tried this once at the Wine of the Month Club.  It's easy to use and an instant decanter for your wine.
We use this for times when we don't want to drink an entire bottle of wine.  It sucks out all of the air and keeps your wine fresh and drinkable.  Also allows the bottles to be stored sideways without leakage.
If you've eyed those Heineken mini kegs at the store and wish you had a tap to go with them, here you go.  Only works with Heineken though. 
Maybe you want to make your own?  We've done it a couple of times.  It's fun, but also time consuming and it takes up a lot of room if you don't have much.

And, finally, if you just want a good source for great wine at great prices, here's a link I really believe in...and, no, I don't get any commission for it but if you tell them Darryl Musick sent you, I might get some free wine pourers...
Paul Kalemkiarian's Wine of the Month Club is the place to get wine.  From their monthly picks to everyday bargains, you can't beat it.  Especially nice is that Paul and his staff are not wine snobs...they'll work with you to find the perfect wine at the perfect price.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

MISCELLANEOUS: Gabriel Iglesias Show

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia
Tom Villegas under CC-BY-SA license
Not strictly travel related, but we also cover life as it happens in the chair.  Last night we saw Gabriel Iglesias at the Wiltern Theater here in L.A.  The show was great...even though it started an hour late.  Here's the scoop:

Accessibility (Wiltern) - A.  When I bought the tickets, the seller told me "the only place we have for wheelchairs is the front row.  Is that OK?"  Yeah, I guess that will work.  Actually, although it was the first row, there was still the orchestra section in front of us.  Still, only 20 feet from the stage.  Also, ALL the seats on the lower level are removable so technically a wheelchair could fit anywhere on the lower level.

Transportation - A.  Directly across the street from a Purple Line subway station.  Trains stop running just before midnight, however.  There is an all night bus that will take you back to Union Station if you miss the last train.

Show - A-.  Great show, four leadoff comedians who were all pretty funny.  Iglesias was hilarious but seemed to run out of gas towards the end, asking the audience if they had any old bits they wanted him to do.  Also have to knock off a bit because the tickets said 7PM.  Once inside, the ushers said 8.  First person on stage was 9.  The wait bordered on the unbearable but, according to the performers, it was necessary because they had received threats (everybody had to be wanded and patted down before entering).  Still, it seemed that everyone was pretty much in the building by 8, even though many of them were hanging out in the lobby drinking.  I think the show could've started earlier.  It ended at 11:30.

Concern for the Fans - Here's where they get the grade back up to an A- because to make up for the delay, they offered every body in attendance a chance to pose with Gabriel Iglesias and Erik Estrada (yes, Ponch) after the show for a picture taken by a professional photographer.  Everyone will be able to download the picture for free from Iglesias' website.
And finally, here's a picture I took...sorry for the quality, I only had a phone camera to use.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Travel Tunes - Week 12

I can't really save that I love L.A.  More of a like/hate relationship.  I love the extreme variety of ethnic foods.  I hate the crowding.  I like the beaches.  I hate the sprawl.  You get the idea. 

It used to be a lot better here but overcrowding and mismanagement have pretty muched ruined a lot of what was nice here.  Although it doesn't spotlight the less savory aspects of the location, Randy Newman's "I Love L.A. " is the perfect Los Angeles song.  It hits all the right notes and should be the official song of the city.  As to the mismanagement angle, the clowns in the city council actually voted on whether to make it such...but voted it down because it does show (very slightly) some bad things in the city ("look at that bum...he's down on his knees").

Newman wrote and recorded the song in 1983 and was the big hit of his album Trouble in Paradise.  Watch the video below for a great tour of the city without having to get stuck in traffic.  Bonus: my office appears in one of the shots.  Enjoy...


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


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