This is our travel blog. Sort of. We are not the untethered, backpacking “travelers”, who cross frontiers month after month with nary a care but for the cost of the visa. We are quite tethered. House, job, cat. No matter where we go and what we do, we are happy to come home. Everything you’ll read on this site we’ve done as tourists. But “tourist blog” is a little clunky, so I’ll stick with calling it a travel blog, and admit right off that it’s not the only time on this site that you will read something with a relationship to the facts that is, shall we say, tangential.
The we mentioned above, consists of me, Todd Wells, my wife, and our three children. We live in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. When our children started arriving in 2008 my wife and I made a pact that we would try to keep our moss-gathering to a minimum. One child, then two, and we kept it up. By the time the third arrived they had us so punch-drunk that we couldn’t change our habits if we wanted to. So we continue to pack ‘em up and stuff ‘em in a car, plane, train, or boat every chance we get.
In the essays on this site I have described some of our adventures. I am writing with two audiences in mind. The first being like-minded souls who might be looking for a suggestion for their next sojourn. They can treat this like a guide of sorts, a catalyst in the consideration of the dos and don’ts for their own trip. The second group of readers, and certainly the much larger segment of the population, are those who have no desire whatsoever to waste a vacation or free time on these off-the-beaten-path snipe hunts. For this group I am happy to be exhibit A in the validation of their choice.
I am taking liberties with the word “adventures”. Allow me to be clear, danger is not my middle name, it’s Franklin. I do not want to put anyone in the family at risk, least of all me. I also don’t discriminate based on the amount of frequent flyer miles earned. Adventures can be found down the block as well as across an ocean.
This is not meant to be a “how-to-travel-with-kids” site, but since the kennel won’t board them for us, we take them along, and they steer the narrative as much as anything. I think (or, perhaps, delude myself into believing) that most of the places we visit and the activities I write about would hold appeal for both the swingin’est of singles as well as any other families of five. Wishful thinking, old man? Perhaps, but there’s nothing to be done about it now.
From Whence the Name?
Many years ago I read “Diary of a Madman”, Nikolai Gogol’s short story about a man locked up in an asylum who believes that, as the imagined heir to the Spanish throne, his loyal subjects will be arriving at any moment to spring him. Ever since, I have felt a kindred spirit in Poprishchin, the inmate. Whenever I come up just short in some endeavor or another, when the wider world continues on, oblivious to my talents, and I must scheme yet again as to how I will unleash my genius upon a finally grateful society, I (usually) stop and laugh at the both of us. That’s where the website’s name came from. Also, it was the first thing I thought of that wasn’t already taken.