Welcome readers, friends, and friends of readers. This blog post is coming to you from the Urban Garden Hostel in Lisbon, Portugal. That’s right! We made it! Wait!? Joey isn’t here. What happened? Let me tell you. So the night before we are supposed to leave Joey goes and loses his passport like a big dummy. We spend hours searching for it to no avail. Anyways, the next morning the time comes to leave and we hop in Val,s car and drive me to O’hare to start my adventure. Once at O’hare I drag my bike to the check in desk and get my ticket to Boston. It’s supposed to cost 50 dollars to check a bike, but after 15 minutes of trying to get the system to work the nice lady behind the desk said “It’s not worth it.” So I ended up getting it checked for free! Sweet way to start this trip. The flight to Boston was smooth and uneventful. Once in the airport I had to go from one terminal to another. This involved dragging my 23 kg (50 lbs) bike box through the terminal past many strange glances from people wondering what was in that big awkwardly taped cardboard box. Also, TSA in chicago took the liberty of opening it up and “inspecting” it, which was fine except that they took my tent out of the bag and didn’t put it back. Weak! Anyways checking my bike in Boston was easy. Security was quick and I was on a plane to Ponta Delgada, a city in the Azores, which is an island archipelago in the Atlantic outside of mainland Portugal. It was a 4 hour flight there. Then a one hour layover, then back on the same plane for a 2 hour flight to Lisbon. Once in Lisbon I got to go through customs which is fun when you are not really sure where you are going or how long you are going to stay. The customs guy was very confused that I didn’t have a return flight but after some explaining, he stamped my passport and told me I could stay in Europe for 3 months. That’s when the fun started. I picked my bike up, went to an ATM, got some euros, and walked out of the airport to assemble my bike. I took everything out of the box and went to put my handlebars and seat back on… That’s when I noticed that Joey had given me the wrong size hex wrench. Joey you are an idiot. So I put my wheels on and started walking my bike to the nearest bike shop one mile away. Once there they tighten up my handlebars and put my seat on and then I was finally riding my bike in Europe. I was so pumped and started riding toward downtown Lisbon to the hostel. Now all I had to do was find it. Luckily I had written down directions… But they were from the airport not from this random bike shop. It was about an hour ride that ended up taking me about 4 hours because I had no idea where I was for so long. The positive is that I got to see some old worn down parts of town that I would not have seen if I had ridden straight to the hostel. I also came across a huge garden area by the train tracks. I was taking a picture of it when of course my phone died. It always has really good timing. I finally did make it to the hostel, got checked in, took a shower, watched some movies and then they served us chili. Yes, chili. This hostel has free breakfast and dinner every night! What a deal! Also, you get a free beer with check in! All for 10 euros a night. I love this place! So now it is thursday, and Joey has pulled off the miracle and gotten a passport and is on his way to O’hare and will be here tomorrow morning. So as the title implies, Joey is an idiot but somehow it really always works out for that kid.
Thanks for reading. Sorry there are no picture. More to come as this trip gets under way.