Sunday, December 28, 2008

Come out and vote!

The new poll on TeamKettle requires a bit of an explanation, so here´s the latest update on my travels in South America. My return flight is scheduled for the day after tomorrow. I have decided to stay down here longer so I can run the legendary Futaleufu River in the southern part of the country. Now I´ve encountered some obstacles with returning home.

After severals hours of outrageously intimidating phone conversations in spanish, I was finally able to speak with the right person at the airlines and successfully communicate my desire to change the date of my ticket. Much to my dismay, the charge for such a simple maneuver turned out to be much more that I had anticipated: somewhere around $1,000. And then I would still have to spend $150 and four days getting to Lima, a city I have no desire to return to.

So now my search has begun to find an alternative way to get home. Here are the options that jump out at me immediately.

1) Get a new flight
After a few minutes online, I was able to find a more affordable ticket one-way from Santiago to LAX. This would be the easiest, but least adventurous option imaginable.

2) Take a boat
I don´t really know anything about this one, but the travels of my uncles Bob and Rob have gotten me thinking: it could be pretty neat to spend 10 days cruising back north via the great Pacific Ocean, with a few days in port at various cities. But I would imagine a cruise to be a tad cost-prohibitive.

3) Drive
How stupid of me would it be to spend a bunch of money on a truck, plan on driving it the 10,000 kilometers back to California, then have it break down in Colombia, if it even made it that far? But I really do want one of the pickups everyone down here has......

4) Ride
Perhaps it would be even stupider (though cheaper) to buy a motorcycle, learn how to ride it, and spend a few weeks on the saddle working my way through all of South and Central America.

5) Hitch
Alternately, I could stick my thumb out there on the Pan-American Highway and see who I meet. It could save me a lot of money unless I get into some real trouble. Like a kidnapping or something!

6) Give up
It sure would be convenient if I just fell in love with some beautiful Argentinean lady who loved cooking and wanted to take me and my friends kayaking on a regular basis. Then I wouldn´t have to worry about this travelling nonsense.

So look over the options, think about them, and cast a vote in the little box in the right-hand column of the blog homepage. If you have another idea I haven´t yet considered, leave a comment. Let´s see how creative everyone can get!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The New Flavor on the Block

I was wondering through our local market the other day. It was a normal shopping experience. But, as I was perusing the beer and chip aisle I was struck by a huge surprise. Kettle came out with a new flavor! Sweet Onion! Oh momma I was excited. Of course I bought a bag to acompany my six pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and headed home. The pairing was great.
The chips are definitely more sweet then oniony, but have a perfect onion finish. I ate the whole bag and drank the hole six pack in the one sitting. I was left wanting more!

(photo courtesy of Kettle Foods)

Sweet Onion is a great new addition from Kettle Foods and I look forward to eating another bag soon!