2011 – The Year In JoliePosted: January 1, 2012
2011 was The Jolie’s first full year of travel. Wow, has she ever traveled. She’s been to the Arctic, she’s been to the Caribbean, and a bunch of places in between. Let’s review, shall we?
The Jolie ended 2010 and started 2011 in my home state of Maryland. She was in Baltimore as a guest of Wendi, whose food blog, Bon Appetit Hon, is a regular stop of mine.
Anyone who hosts The Jolie is a risk taker, Wendi proved she was no exception to the rule. Bringing The Jolie to work is always risky. She played Godzilla with a building model.
The Jolie tried to escape from Wendi by hiding in a beer stein.
At great risk to the stability of the world, I decided to let The Jolie leave the country. From Baltimore, she headed north to Canada.
She slipped quietly over the border and headed to Saint John, New Brunswick to spend some time with Wendy who writes the blog Herding Cats In Hammond River. Soon after she got into Wendy’s home there was an…well, she got involved in some…despite the fact that Wendy has kids in the house, The Jolie and some guy sort of got together.
While in Saint John, The Jolie visited the sites, including The Carleton Martello Tower.
I think this was The Jolie’s first siting of snow. She was about to see a LOT more snow.
Wendy sent The Jolie off, far, far up north to Iqaluit, Nunavut to visit Suzanne and Ian. When she got there, they helped her out with a parka and set out to show her around. She learned quickly that the Inuit have a different word for everything.
Her exploration went on, until she ran across some bird tracks in the snow.
Seeing those tracks was enough to drive her inside. Inside, where a gentleman plied her with drinks and shoes. It worked.
The Jolie left Iqaluit and headed south for St. John’s, Newfoundland. Maggie showed her around while she was in town.
They hit the annual beer fest. I’m not sure whether Maggie planned that trip or if The Jolie talked her into it. I’m leaning toward this being a Jolie thing since the cups seemed sized to her.
After a little recovery time, Maggie and The Jolie headed out to see Cabot Tower.
The Cape Spear Lighthouse was built on Newfoundland in 1836, but The Jolie wasn’t sure it had been around that long. After all, if it had, surely she’d already know about it, right?
And then, as easily as she had slipped into Canada, she slipped back out. She kept slipping until she got to Tallahassee, where she caught a flight out to Las Vegas. Yes, she could have flown from Canada, but even The Jolie isn’t so rude as to skip traveling with her host.
When they got to town, The Jolie started gambling. Perhaps it isn’t gambling when you just win.
High rollers like The Jolie get to collect their winnings directly from Caesar.
The Jolie was so impressed with Las Vegas. In Vegas, even the water knew she is important.
The Jolie wasn’t through with vacation paradises (paradaii? paradisum?). Amiable took her along on a trip to the US Virgin Islands.
Upon arrival, the Jolie got out to look out over her surroundings and look for trouble.
It didn’t take long for Trouble and The Jolie to be face to face, or in this case, face to…yeah, all that.
As usual, The Jolie was ready to move on. Once she started moving she kept moving and moving until she got to…Hoboken?
Yes, she visited Elly in Hoboken, NJ, birth place of Frank Sinatra and me, in that order.
Manhattan is a short trip across the river from Hoboken, so Elly took The Jolie over to the big city. The Jolie swore she could get them in to see Letterman, but not surprisingly, this was as close as she could get them.
But, like in so many other of her adventures, The Jolie had to push things, until she pushed too far. Inside One Columbus Circle, this happened. Not that. This –
Where do you send an action figure who tries to get action like that? Boise. The Jolie was co-hosted in Idaho by Jean and special guest, Mr. Potato Head.
The Jolie was very active while she was there. She attended her first rodeo. Sure she tried to act like that it wasn’t her first rodeo, but it was.
Then she took a lap in a race car. She tried to act like it wasn’t her first rodeo, but it was.
After the race, The Jolie and Mr. Potato Head dined on paella at the Basque Market.
The Jolie headed east from Idaho and didn’t stop until she met Katybeth in Chicago. Katybeth tried to get The Jolie’s visit started with a traditional Chicago hot dog. Sadly, The Jolie showed her lack of refinement and ordered hers with ketchup. The shame!
Not deterred, Katybeth took the Jolie to visit another famous Chicago food tradition – The Billy Goat Tavern.
The Chicago River and its architectural cruises are a must for any visitor to The Windy City.
The Jolie headed to Kentucky to spend some time in Louisville with Brooke.
Being a devoted Louisville Cardinals fan, Brooke was sure to take the Jolie to a football game.
Later that weekend, The Jolie did some drinking. She wasn’t the only one!
Later, hanging around Brooke’s office, The Jolie spent some time drawing a picture of the mysterious Omawarisan. I didn’t know she could do that.
From Louisville, it was off to Detroit. She showed up on Sara’s doorstep on a bright fall day.
At the Michigan Beer Festival… ok, wait, let’s stop here.
The Jolie drinks a lot, doesn’t she? Like the kids say, I’m just sayin’.
Anyhow, at the Michigan Beer Festival, the Jolie met a wizard from Detroit. Not just any man can make that outfit look good.
And then, The Jolie went to the biggest sporting event she’s ever been to…Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers. Tigers win! Tigers win! The Jolie is a good luck charm!
And then the Jolie headed to my house to prepare for a big trip, she was going along on my trip to Key West!
In our travels on the island, The Jolie made friends with this couple. They’d ridden their bicycles from Washington state all the way to Key West. The Jolie was impressed and actually spoke of learning to ride a bike some day. Then she decided it was just easier to take a picture with people who knew how and could prove it.
She lapsed into a food coma after eating part of my Cuban Mix sandwich from 5 Brothers Grocery. 5 Brothers is a church of sandwich making.
When she finished her nap, The Jolie went to the Green Parrot Bar to catch a show by Bill Wharton, The Sauce Boss. Hot blues and a hot bowl of Bill’s gumbo at the end of the night put The Jolie back in a great mood.
The Jolie covered 17937 miles in 2011. Add that to the 7676 miles she covered in 2010 and you get a grand total of 25613 miles over the course of the project. She’s been in three provinces, one territory and thirteen states. She’s been to two major league baseball games and two college football games. And she seems to drink a lot.
As usual, she’s a bit behind schedule and is on her way to California. If you’re interested in hosting The Jolie, let me know and I’ll put you on her list. Thank you too all who’ve hosted The Jolie and all who’ve been waiting for so long. Don’t be shy about reminding me you’re still out there awaiting your big visit!