Category Archives: Final Stats

Hanna: Book Club (2014 Edition)

My motto when it comes to travel reading: find something easy, fun, and free. I always love reading John Grisham books and find myself rereading a lot of his tales when on the road. Usually it is pretty easy to find books in hostels, but you can’t always be choosy. Mike played on his iPad, and I read. Who’s the smart one now? I beat him in total number of books read both on this trip and the last.

Here’s my list of books read on the road:

1) THE PARTNER by john grisham
2) THE BROKER by john grisham
3) RISING SUN by michael crichton
4) THE FIRM by john grisham
5) TRUST ME by lesley pearse (This book was over 700 pages, so I should get double credit for reading it)
6) BABYVILLE by jane green
7) MONSOON by di morrissey
8 ) PICTURE PERFECT by jodi picoult (I have never read Jodi Picoult before and definitely felt like a housewife while reading it. Surprisingly good.)
9) THE TESTAMENT by john grisham
10) INHERITANCE by tara palmer-tomkinson
11) FINDING COLIN FIRTH by mia march
12) THE HELP by kathryn stockett (I read this book in a day. We watched this movie about three times before finding this book in New Zealand. It was fun reading direct lines of dialogue from the book.)
13) BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY by helen fielding
14) WAITING TO BE HEARD by amanda knox

Obviously I go for the intellectual reads. I am currently rereading the Little House on the Prairie series. Enough said.

Prairie Duggars.

Mike: Book Club (2014 Edition)

I do like reading. I really do. On our last trip, I only read 21.5 books because I often played dumb games on our netbook instead of reading. One thing that we brought this trip that we did not have last time was an iPad. Swap out netbook games for iPad games, and that’s the reason why I didn’t read a ton on this trip.

We stopped at thrift stores before our trip and overpaid for old John Grisham paperbacks (Hanna’s favorites). Otherwise we traded some books at hostels along the way, downloaded some classics for free on the iPad, bought more cheap paperbacks in Bangkok, or borrowed books from the condo in Maui.

Here’s the final list:

1) THE PARTNER by john grisham
2) ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by lewis carroll (e-book)
3) THE BROKER by john grisham
4) RISING SUN by michael crichton
5) THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS by lewis carroll (e-book)
6) THE FIRM by john grisham
7) THE HUNGER GAMES by suzanne collins
8 ) BOOKY WOOK 2 by russell brand
9) CATCHING FIRE by suzanne collins
10) THE TESTAMENT by john grisham
11) THE THIRTEENTH TALE by diane setterfield

Some notes:

  • I actually did not love the two Lewis Carroll books. Alice is meh.
  • I liked The Hunger Games books (and movies) more than I expected. Must be the Survivor fan in me… I have the third book but still haven’t finished it. Guess I don’t truly care about the finale.
  • Since I read Russell Brand’s first book on our first trip, I figured I had to read the second one when I stumbled across it.
  • I am impressed with myself that I read about half of the number of books from last trip in about a fourth of the time. My prize please?

Book Igloo.

100 Things?

Honestly we were going to keep track of 100 things we wanted to do while traveling. We make promises, and we break your ever-loving hearts by failing to do what we said we would do. Ultimately we DID end up with a list of 100 things we would try on our 2010-2011 trip, but on this most recent trip, we never even kept any sort of list. We could easily just make up a list now, but….uh, we don’t want to. Do not click here because there’s nothing to see.

Instead enjoy this random picture of ferns taken in Hokitika, New Zealand:

Ferns.

Ferns.

Why ferns? No idea. That is all.

Look Up! Miles/Hours Traveled (2013-2014 Trip) FINALIZED

Before leaving on our trip, we vowed to be good about updating the section of our site that documents total miles and hours traveled. Want a laugh? We never once updated AT ALL while traveling. Whoops. No, these travel times are not made up. We did keep track of the total times during the trip.

We finally got around to finalizing everything, so without further ado…

Click here to see the final tallies.

Obviously we did not come close to our tallies from the 2010-2011 trip. We, however, are proud of the fact that in about four months, we traveled over half of the total miles from last trip. Impressive, no?

Final Route Map

So when we finished our 2010-2011 trip, we posted our final route map and total miles/hours traveled almost immediately after returning home. How lazy we have gotten in three years… Though we finished our most recent trip three months ago (has it really been that long?), we Mike took it upon himself to start wrapping up the blog.

Enlarge the map to see all of our stops along the way:

Before embarking on this trip, we posted our route. We pretty much had everything booked/planned except our itinerary for the South Island. Whoa, living on the edge in New Zealand… While we have absolutely loved the two big trips we have embarked upon, we still do not feel that we have seen a majority of the world. Wait until we are old, retired, and rich; then we will see the world in style.

Stats on a Completely Random List

While trying to come up with ideas for blog posts, Mike revisited what we wrote a year ago. He was reading information about Tiananmen Square and stumbled across the fact that it is the second-largest city square in the world. (A random square in Mashhad, Iran takes the top prize.)

We decided to see how many places we have visited, and out of the 150 squares, we are proud to say that we collectively have been to a whopping… You’ll have to scroll down to see the answer.

Check out the list here first, and then read below to see where either or both of us have been.

1. Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China (BOTH)

#1. Tiananmen Square (No, We’re Not Sure Why Mike Posed Like That Or If His Eyes Are Closed on Purpose.)

2. Sanam Luang in Bangkok, Thailand (BOTH)
3. Millennium Park in Chicago, USA (MIKE)
4. Prato della Valle in Padua, Italy (MIKE)
5. Place de la Concorde in Paris, France (BOTH)
6. Charles Square in Prague, Czech Republic (BOTH)
7. Museumplein in Amsterdam, Netherlands (BOTH)
8. The Square in Palmerston North, New Zealand (BOTH)
9. Piazza Garibaldi in Naples, Italy (BOTH)
10. Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain (BOTH)
11. Wenceslas Square in Prague, Czech Republic (BOTH)
12. Place de l’Étoile in Paris, France (BOTH)
13. Erzsébet tér in Budapest, Hungary (MIKE)
14. Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Italy (BOTH)
15. Schloßplatz in Berlin, Germany (BOTH)
16. Washington Square Park in New York, USA (BOTH)
17. Square of the 56ers in Budapest, Hungary (MIKE)
18. Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey (MIKE)

#18. Taksim Square (Hanna Is Now Kicking Herself Because She Didn’t Go There with Mike and Bonnie.)

19. Kungsträdgården in Stockholm, Sweden (BOTH)
20. Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris, France (BOTH)
21. Franklin Square in Philadelphia, USA (BOTH)
22. Logan Square in Philadelphia, USA (BOTH)
23. Plaza de España in Seville, Spain (MIKE)
24. Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London, England (BOTH)
25. Neumarkt in Cologne, Germany (HANNA)
26. Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, USA (BOTH)
27. Washington Square in Philadelphia, USA (BOTH)
28. Heroes’ Square in Budapest, Hungary (MIKE)
29. Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy (BOTH)
30. Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece (BOTH)
31. St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Vatican City (BOTH)
32. Dam Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands (BOTH)
33. Place des Vosges in Paris, France (BOTH)
34. Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany (BOTH)
35. Columbus Circle in New York, USA (BOTH)
36. Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy (BOTH)
37. Ban Jelačić Square in Zagreb, Croatia (MIKE)
38. Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy (BOTH)
39. Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain (MIKE)
40. Trafalgar Square in London, England (BOTH)
41. Union Square in San Francisco, USA (BOTH)
42. Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic (BOTH)

#42. Old Town Square

43. Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, Italy (BOTH)

Not even a third of the whole list. Wow. There really aren’t that many in Asia or Oceania. Guess we need to head back to Europe or experience South America for the first time…

Between the two of us, Mike kicked Hanna’s ass. There were nine that Mike had been to but Hanna had not, while there was just one that Hanna visited independently of Mike. He wins the prize as true world traveler, so Hanna owes him a million euros, seventeen yen, and fifty-four baht.

How many squares have you seen in person?

Final Trip Numbers: EATING and TRANSPORTATION

We’ve come to the final day of numbers. Learn how many times we went to McDonald’s (it’s sickening) and how we got around this fine world.

EATING

  • Most Expensive Meal: US $108.93 for Christmas dinner in Bali (Well worth it.)
  • Least Expensive Meal: US $0.84 for a big plate of tofu pad thai in Bangkok, Thailand (Mike bought this daily from street carts, and it was enough for two people.)
  • Number of Times We Purchased Something at McDonald’s: 94 (To be fair, that includes a lot of trips that were only for ice cream cones–sometimes even twice a day when it was hot. Pretty disgusting though…)
  • Favorite Meal: Four-course dinners at our villa in Tuscany (We enjoyed wide varieties of appetizers, fresh pasta, meat, and divine desserts. Food always tastes better when it’s paid for by your parents!)
  • Least Favorite Meal: Mexican food from Patrick’s in Bali, Indonesia (That meal incited the worst case of food poisoning ever. Hanna still doesn’t eat nachos.)
  • Favorite New Food: Peanut butter pancakes from street vendors in Bangkok, Thailand (We dream about these.)

TRANSPORTATION

  • Amount Spent on Flights: US $6,879.67
  • Number of Flights: 22
  • Most Expensive Flight: US $1,450.20 for both of us (Multi-city: L.A./Tokyo/Beijing)
  • Least Expensive Flight: US $94.72 for both of us (Izmir to Istanbul)
  • Longest Flight: 13 hours and 30 minutes, Kuala Lumpur to London
  • Shortest Flight: 40 minutes, Koh Samui to Phuket
  • Favorite Flight: Koh Samui to Phuket (Cheap, short, and had free food. That’s all we ask for. Also it meant we didn’t have to take another ferry from hell to get off the islands.)
  • Least Favorite Flight: Bali to Kuala Lumpur (Hanna had just had food poisoning and was forced to get on a flight and then sleep in the airport. Definitely not the best day on the road.)
  • Longest Train Ride: 18 hours and 30 minutes, Shanghai to Hong Kong
  • Longest Bus Ride: 6 hours, Bangkok to ferry for Koh Tao
  • Number of Modes of Transportation Taken: 10 (Plane, train, bus, car, motorbike, tuk-tuk, boat, bike, walking, and an elephant.)
  • Favorite Mode of Transportation: Tuk-tuks in Cambodia
  • Least Favorite Mode of Transportation: Ferries in eastern Thailand

Well, that’s all for now. Are there any other numbers that you want to know? Are you totally over hearing from us? We’ll probably have some more wrap-ups about the trip in general, but that will probably take another twenty-seven months.

We Ate Millions of These. Sydney, Australia. January 2011.