2.5 week notice

It’s official. I put in my 2.5 week notice at my bar – www.eatatginger.com

I told my manager, Matt, the bar manager. After the phone call – on his day off – and after he accepted my early departure, I told the chef, head manager (Joe) and a few of my favorite staff — Chelsea, Joe, Brian, etc.

After I got out of work, I had a glass of wine with chef, Dan Marsh and Joe and Brian.

All things went well. I’ll fill you in on how it actually turns out in the next 2.5 weeks.

Hubba Hubba Tent vs Hennessy Hammock for Bike Touring

This past weekend, an old friend from college and his girlfriend came up to Traverse City. Chris and I used to hang and bond over cycling and he has gone on a few tours within the state.

When I met up with Chris and Sabrina, they had mountain bikes and planned on camping somewhere in TC. After hopping on Aretha and showing them around, we decided to crash up at the disc golf course in the west side of town. It’s a beautifully wooded place at the end of the road, without any traffic at night.

Sabrina was asleep in the car from a long day, so Chris and I set up our shelters. It was second time planned to sleep in the Hennessy Hammock… the first one was where I was rained out by the sprinklers. :-p

I set up my hammock without any lights and did a pretty good job. I borrowed a stake from Chris because the trees to tie the rainfly to were too far away.

Chris, on the other hand, set up a MSR Hubba Hubba tent. It was his first time setting it up, but he was done in about the time I was – no more than 5 minutes.

We got our sleeping bags, made our places up, and peeled Sabrina off the car seat. I hopped into my hammock, expecting a nice, relaxing night. Before we went to bed, we checked the radar map and saw a fat stream of thunderstorms coming our way. It was going to be a fun night.

At about 1:45am, we all were in bed and falling alseep. And the rain started to come. Hard.

Chris claimed it was the hardest thunderstorm he’s witnessed all summer. It was intense!

Long story short, we all had crazy dreams, slept well, and woke up dry. My hammock braved the weather, kept me dry and allowed me to sleep well enough.

I would say that I was a bit envious of their ability to sleep together. Sleeping in a hammock, all alone, without your partner nearby is a bit of an inconvenience. Not to mention the issue if there are not 3-4 trees close by to tie up to.

When I came home, I decided to call Kristen and talk about tenting. She was 100% down for tenting.

Today, I won an ebay auction for a Hubba Hubba for $220. $20 s/h means I got it for $60 off the price of a new one. Good enough for us!

And… another Hennessy Hammock would have cost near $160-180. This is a much better shelter — and we’ll be able to use it when we head out west.


Finally – today, I’m putting in my “2-weeks notice” which is actually about 3 weeks. I love the bar that I work at, and want to give them time to fill the position properly. Should be a fun conversation with the bar manager.

I’m taking the last week of Aug off to focus on some mobile work, clean up my living space, and get some more miles under me.

Chris, Sabrina, Kristen and I are planning a 5 day trip around northern Michigan on Sept 2. It’d be nice to have some experienced riders come ride with use before the trip.

— Casey “Hubba Hubba” Stanton

Ticket from Ann Arbor to Chicago on Megabus

POST UPDATE: Megabus won’t take bicycles in boxes or out.

I was chatting with my sister after she got home from work and we got to talking about the bike trip. She is having a big family party at her place in Ann Arbor on September 12 for the big football game. It’s going to be a blast and Kristen & I are both going to be there.

Actually, we are both leaving from Ann Arbor to Chicago where Kristen can see her family before we take off.

One big logistic question is … how do we get to Chicago?

My friend Max said he’d drive us, but that’s a bit unreasonable for a guy to drive from Traverse City to Ann Arbor to Chicago and back. Plus, he’d have to borrow my dad’s car.

My sister Emily mentioned Megabus. We checked it out. Megabus has 2 seats from Ann Arbor to Chicago for ONLY $28 TOTAL. It’s crazy cheap.

$14 to go to Chicago? What would it cost me in gas??

Super cheap. Super awesome.

Gotta make some phone calls before we purchase them, but it looks good.

**Gear Update**
I talked to Wayne at TheTouringStore today about handlebar bags. I purchased 2 Lone Peak handlebar bags, plus a TW-Trailer for the tour. More on those, and new fancy bells for the bikes once we get them…

Oh… and did a hard workout today. Supersets of pushups/squats, pullups/lunges, burpees/plank (3 sets of each). Tomorrow, I’ll get in some HIIT and on Wednesday I’ll get some mileage in.

Coleman Taos Sleeping Bag. Status: Purchased

Helloooo! Its Kristen for a change!

I wanted to post about the awesomeness that was yesterday’s mummy bag purchase. Both Casey and I need pretty solid sleeping bags for the trip and I have been on the look out for something practical and inexpensive! A couple weekends ago we went to REI in Ann Arbor; the sleeping bags they had there were up to 250 dollars (Holy CRAP!) so we decided to hold off on the purchase.  This past weekend we were camping with some friend’s up in Sterling, MI. Unfortunately we were unable to bring a blow up mattress for our tent so we had to sleep on the sleeping bags we brought. Anyone who has been in this situation knows how uncomfortable this can be. I found myself thinking that it would be a much better idea for Casey and I to sleep in the hammocks he brought. It was pretty hilarious when I stumbled out of the tent on Saturday night with my arms full of my mom’s mothball-scented sleeping bag and pillow. Casey and I made our way over to the hammock and snuggled up. The hammock proved to be a lot more comfortable than the hard ground in the tent, but I was pretty cold. It seemed as though the sleeping bag I had was just unnecessary dead weight and didn’t keep us warm.

So…even though I knew I wouldn’t be taking anything that heavy and impractical, I was on a mission to get a suitable sleeping bag for those cold nights in France. While I was driving back to White Lake with some of my friends, we decided to stop at Birch Run shopping center. Immediately we spotted the Coleman camping store and headed in.  As I was scanning the store for treasures and bargains I saw sleeping bag racks. Like a little girl in a candy store I bolted over there and stared wide eyed at the mummy bags that were hung. I asked for some help and tested out a few.  I immediately had some reservations because they seemed way too long but they were cheap, warm and light.  This one especially caught my eye:  The Coleman Taos 25-Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag!! I called Casey, unsure of what to think and since he is (in my eyes) the resident expert on these things I figured he’d be able to direct me. We both came to the conclusion that it would be smart to purchase it, so I did! WOOOOOOHOOO! Much better than the 250 dollar Northface one we were looking at the previous weekend. I just hope that it is high enough quality to last us on a 4month trip…on a bike! I have high hopes and a positive attitude about it, hopfully I will come back with a good report and prove to the world once more that high prices don’t always mean higher quality!

Anyway, I’m so excited for this trip I could burst!

European Bicycle Tour: Tickets – Purchased!

Friday, over 1 week after we wanted to purchase the tickets, we FINALLY DID!!

We are both SO freakin’ excited for this trip. This past weekend, we went out camping in Standish/Sterling, MI for 2 nights. We didn’t try out too many things, and the weather was so nice we didn’t need to don our new raincoats. We did, however, have a great weekend together and talked about the trip.

Just so we all have an idea of when this trip is going to happen, from this exact moment we have 66days, 1hour, 31min until departure from Chicago/O’Hare.