Do You Enjoy Travel Stories?

This website chronicles our trip around the world in 2006. It has lots of photos, videos and stories. We invite you to come in, relax and enjoy the scenery.

~Lee and Sachi LeFever


To see what we're up to now, check LeeLeFever.com or CommonCraft.com

Our Recent Dispatches Are Below. RSS

A Dispatch is a report from our trip. Browse via keywords or global map.

On Location: New York

By: leelefever on December 13, 2005 - 7:02pm
It's cold, again.  We had enough cold in Canada really, but we have yet to see many temperatures in NYC above freezing. It goes with the territory I suppose, and it adds to the the wintery and Christmasy feel of the city, but it's cold and the summer of New Zealand is looking oh-so-good.
 
Right now we're having an appliance face-off in our hotel room.  We have a heater without a thermastat that makes the room too hot.  So, we turn on the air conditioning on to acheive some balance in the temperature. .
 
We're not doing so great on the whole "defeating jet lag" strategy.  We were up until past 2 last night and this afternoon we had a 2 hour nap, so I'm sure we'll be up again tonight, faithful to our Seattle schedule.
 
So far we haven't boarded any wrong trains or been late to any appointments, but we realize that we have the luxury of all signs being in English- but still, it's good practice. I really enjoy the train rides out of the city- going through the Bronx and Harlem, it's seems like the real New York somehow with huge residential high rises.
 
We're taking it easy tonight.  We're in the Murray Hill Neighborhood, which is around Lexington and 30th - due south from Grand Central Station about 12 blocks.  We really like the neighborhood- lots of great food. Tonight we got cheap and good Indian take-out from a place called Curry and Curry at 153 East 33rd St.  Good stuff. Tomorrow it's downtown, Central Park and dinner with some travelers we met via this site. 

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Visiting Consumer Reports

By: leelefever on December 13, 2005 - 6:10pm
I first met Anne McKay and Daniel Harrison at a annual conference called the "Online Community Summit".  They both work at Consumer Reports and I had been looking for a time to take Anne's invitation to visit the headquarters.
 
We hopped on a train this morning to Yonkers from Grand Central Station to meet Anne and Daniel. 
 
Along with doing a quick talk about online communities, we got a tour of the headquarters, which is where all the testing occurs, except cars.  What an amazing place- it's filled with experts on TV's, paints, washing machines, speakers, mattresses, treadmills, cameras- you name it.  They put a group of products through the paces and then rate/rank them, all for the good of us consumers.
 
The artificial butt to the right is used to test couches by sitting on them millions of times.  Often, they have to create their own machines to do the testing.
 
One of the most fascinatng parts was the anechoic chamber, which is used to evaluate speakers.  It's a room designed to be devoid of any sound and is the perfect example of deafening silence. I know why Daniel says he can't be there long- it's a freaky place.
 
We owe a big thanks to Anne and Daniel for lunch, a great tour and introductions to interesting people.

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New York Serendipity

By: leelefever on December 12, 2005 - 10:26pm

Today was so fun. We started rushing to White Plains for a meeting with just seconds to spare and making the train we needed from Grand Central Station, which seemed very New York, with husle and bustle.

Coming back to the city, we met up with AJ and Andrew at a little Mexican Joint called Mi Nidito, very cool.  AJ and Andrew, from YourInnerVagabond, have done a ton of travel had tons of stories of practical advice.  As we left, they gave us a couple items that, to outsiders may seem funny, but meant a lot to us.  Along with a list of travel wisdom called "The Tao of Travel" and a handful of safety pins and rubber bands- truly practical items for the road.

From dinner we went to the Christmas spectacle at 30 Rockefeller Center.  I can't imagine a Christmas in NY without a visit.

On a whim, we went down to Greenwich Village and the serenipity began.  We ended up on an industrial street called Little West and saw a couple of doors with no sign, but a bar and people inside.  We walked in, sat down, and ordered a drink.  We aked the Bartender about the name of the place and, no shit, this is what he said...

"Yeah, this bar doesn't really have a name.  We've only been open for 4 months and we want to keep the opens open for the nest idea.  Only the local west village people know about it, I'm suprised you found it."  We knew we had found the right place.

After a too-expensive drink or two, we walked up Hudson and met a guy on the corner who happended to be from LA and looking to hang out, so we hung out with Jim for a beer and came home.

All in all, a great time with great people, all of which were out to have a good time.  We do love New York. 

 

 

 


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The Big Apple

By: leelefever on December 11, 2005 - 8:34pm
In some ways, I think New York City is the perfect place for us to start.  It's like we get a preview of the people, languages and foods of the world all in one place.  We're both quite sure that we heard more words in other languages tonight than English.
 
We also learned how to cross the street like a local. From a few observations, it seems to go like this...
 
Approach the corner and if there are cars parked by the corner, go ahead and get out onto the street about a cars width from the curb- the parked car can protect you from the oncoming traffic. Then, as the lights begin to change, go ahead and start crossing the street.  If you do it correctly, you should be half-way across the street when the crossing light turns to "walk". While I'm sure this isn't just a NY thing, it's different from Seattle and something we witnessed multiple times..
 
Tomorrow it's up to White Plains to meet with some folks I worked with at the March of Dimes and then early dinner with AJ and Andrew from YourInnerVagabond

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It's Really Happening

By: leelefever on December 11, 2005 - 7:53am

It's Really Happening, originally uploaded by LeeLeFever_TwinF.

Wow. Today is the day. I cannot remember being on more of an emotional rollercoaster. I've been dreading the departure because it's so hard to say goodbye to the dog- and it was very hard. Our throats are very lumpy, so to speak.



Now that the hardest part is behind us, it's all New York City from here for a few days. Here we come. :-)



This post was sent using Flickr and the Treo while sitting on a plane just before takeoff.


The Last Moments of Home

By: leelefever on December 11, 2005 - 12:09am
With over a year of planning leading up to this very night, you'd think things would be 100% in order and we could relax and take in home for the waning moments of our normal lives.  Not so.  Tonight has been a surreal fire drill, with mutiple lists going, things getting lost, champagne getting drank, and emotions running high. We could use just 1 or 2 more hours.
 
The clock reads 12:1O am and today is December 11th, a date that has been top-of-mind for a very long time.  We can't really believe it's here. Tomorrow we will wake up at 5:30 am and soon after, board a plane to New York City, leaving all normalcy behind for a year. It all starts in about 5 hours.
I just asked Sachi and the only words she uses to describe the feeling right at this moment is "free".  By the way, her words came as the walks around the house with her backpack on.  When, I asked "how does it feel" she said "heavier than I thought".  I had to say, "not that - I mean how does it feel to be living this moment?"  I guess "free" is a good way to put it, though it's a pretty damn heavy feeling too.


On the Chris Pirillo Show

By: leelefever on December 10, 2005 - 9:56am

On Thursday night, we spent a little time with Chris Pirillo and Ponzi, who happen to live very close to us.  On the show we talked about the trip (obviously) along with various tangents, including Chris' new XBox 360, bodily functions, underwear, gadgetry, etc.

 You can listen to the podcast here.

 


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On the Local News Today

By: leelefever on December 9, 2005 - 9:11am

I guess you could say it's our one minute, forty-five seconds of fame. King 5 News in Seattle came by the house this morning to do a quick story about the trip, this web site and the gadgetry we're using to document our travels.  The story will run at noon today in Seattle on King 5 News (and possibly at 5).  Our friend and star King 5 reporter Ray Lane came to do the story, which is happening at the last possible moment for us.

Sachi did an awesome job.  She says she fears speaking in public, but man she's eloquent.


I got to talk about gadgetry and web site- something I never tire of discussing.

 

 We both can't wait to see what actually makes it into the story.  We're hoping some shots of Amos make it. :)


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Tune Into the Chris Pirillo Show Tonight

By: leelefever on December 8, 2005 - 5:29pm

I know this is late notice, but Sachi and I will be on The Chris Pirillo Show tonight, which is a live audio show on the Web. You can listen to the live stream of the show starting at 6pm tonight (PST). I think we'll be on 7:30-ish.

Get involved if you wish by calling  877-414-5856 to ask questions, etc. If you miss it, you'll be able to listen for a while here.  I wonder what Chris is going to ask?

 

 


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Goodbye Canada - You Were Fun

By: leelefever on December 8, 2005 - 8:19am

Well, we're about to get on a bus to Calgary to fly back to Seattle for a couple of days.  What an awesome time we had here.  Good people, good fun.  The Banff Centre and the Banff New Media Institute put on quite an event along with RainCity Studios.

 Below is a shot of Lloyd Hall, where we stayed for 4 nights. We're off to home to pack the last bit before leaving for good on Sunday.



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