Arriving in VA

(1) The flight out here wasn’t bad. I was able to use my frequent flyer miles to upgrade my ticket from coach to 1st class (or “Envoy Class” as US Airways calls it). Well worth spending the miles – it was an eight+ hour trip and having the extra room to spread out and stretch was nice. Instead of watching movies, sleeping, or reading, I spent most of the flight talking with a German businessmen who spoke excellent English. He was extremely well traveled in the US – had been to 45 of the states. We also talked about the war in Iraq and he thanked me for my contribution. I thanked him for the German hospitality I’d experienced, as well as sung high praises for German beer and coffee (and the Autobahn, train system, cafes, etc.).

(2) Picking up the Tundra was relatively easy. It’s exactly what I wanted – plenty of space inside the cab… the back seat is pretty roomy. It’s got a bazillion bells and whistles… some stuff that I don’t need but I guess I’ll live with (sun roof, seat warmers, approximately 8 cup holders throughout the cab). USAA should have the check to the dealership tomorrow (Friday), I have to go sign it and then I should be good to go. The truck drives very well – smooth like my Dad’s ol’ Buick.

(3) If everything is on schedule I should be rolling out Saturday morning for the Road Trip. I think my first stop will be Cape May… although I’m still trying to find a place to stay.

Getting Up On APRS

I am a wannabe amateur radio enthusiast, currently holding a Technicians license (KD7PJQ). One of the reasons I’m looking forward to returning to the States is to get back on the air. An aspect of amateur radio I’m exploring is APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System). You use a transceiver, GPS, and computer – and with that you can transmit your location which can be tracked via the web.

You can check my current location here.

My plan is to setup a beacon on my truck during the cross-country road trip – we’ll see how that goes.


Upon my return to the States, I’ll be taking driving cross-country… from Norfolk, VA to San Jose, CA and then back. My plan is to take a slow, leisurely pace and I want to see as many “interesting” sites as possible while on the trip.