Welcome to Erk Pod episode 508. Erk decides to go for a walk in the local area around his hotel in Shinjuku. Exploring a local area on foot in an overseas country to see things that tourists normally doesn't see is something that Erk enjoys to do.
Photo – Erk visited the SLO PD, February 2013. It was closed.
NOTE: Due to Erk’s time out of Australia in early 2014, Erk Pod will not be heard January – March 2014. That said, Erk will be recording content for the show in America (January/February), Japan (February), Singapore (February), UAE (June), Germany (possibly – June) & London (June). The show will return in the first quarter of 2014. If you follow Erk on the social networks, you will see & hear updates no matter where in the world he is in close to real time.
IMPORTANT NOTE – Episodes 25 – 322 will be very gradually being converted to the new format & audio host.
Welcome to Erk Pod – Erk’s longest running podcast. Dating way back to 2007, Erk Pod was Erk’s first podcast. At many stages the show has been news & current affairs based & sometimes is based on Erk’s travels. Currently, the focus is on Erk’s travels with a mixture of soundscapes & travel observations. Erk has had overseas trips to the US (2009 & 2013), Europe & Asia (2011), the Caribbean & Mexico (2013) where listeners have come along for the ride.
Upcoming Major Event
In 2011, Erk visited Europe & the UK for the first time. In mid 2014, Erk is returning for another visit. Traveling via the Middle East for the first time, Erk will be heading into Europe & the UK again. Details to be confirmed but a highlight will surely be repeating a music podcasting pub crawl in London with fellow members of the Association Of Music Podcasting,
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 507. Erk decides to go for a walk in the local area around his hotel in Shinjuku. Exploring a local area on foot in an overseas country to see things that tourists normally doesn't see is something that Erk enjoys to do.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 506. Erk's snow day continues in Shinjuku & the surrounding areas. Erk is having a great time in a new country after spending over 40 days in the US. The snow has added an extra dimension to Erk's Japanese experience as his previous trip was in the Japanese summer.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 505. Erk explores snowy Tokyo and the subway systems. There are many options on the public transport systems and despite the snow, the trains are mostly running well. Also despite the snow, there are still many people out & about on the streets.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 504. Erk has been in America for over 40 days and this episode sees his first full day in Japan. His first visit to Japan was in 2011 & he stayed in Nippori. This time, Erk stays near Shinjuku. Having seen a lot of snow in recent weeks, Erk is not expecting the snow to disappear & his first full day in Japan sees that there is snow still around. In fact, Tokyo is recovering after the highest amount of snow in Tokyo for around 40 years a few days prior to Erk's arrival. Much like in 2011, Erk is amazed by what is going on around him although he is a little more prepared this time.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 503. Crossing the International Date Line once again, Erk finds that a Tuesday afternoon departure from LAX becomes a Wednesday evening arrival into Tokyo. Rather than forgetting where he was staying & having a border security interview like he did in 2011, Erk remembered where he was staying and manages to navigate his way to his hotel by airport high speed train and a couple of subway trains. He even manages to buy a smartcard & acquire some Japanese money.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 502. The day starts with Erk farewelling Shawno & Jen in San Luis Obispo. A journey on a very small plane follows down to Los Angeles & a quick visit to a frequent flyer tradition - a visit to the nearby In N Out Burger. Returning to LAX & the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Erk boards a very large plane bound for Japan.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 501. On this episode, Erk is in San Luis Obispo. There may be some overlap between this episode & episode 500 due to the two different ways that these episodes were recorded. Last time Erk was with Shawno & Jen in SLO, we had many conversations but many of them weren't recorded because we were out & about somewhere. We ended up telling the stories later but they didn't feel the same compared to when the moments themselves happened. This is Erk's last full day in America.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 500. It is a milestone episode & 500 doesn't come around very often. Erk Pod started as a podcast in May 2007. Not that he knew how far he would get with his original podcast (ie Erk Pod), who would have thought that in August 2014, you'd be listening to episode 500 (recorded February 2014). It was not planned that Erk Pod episode 500 would be recorded in San Luis Obispo with his good friends Shawno & Jen but that is the way it worked out. The three of us met via the interweb & the Erk Pod Round Tables in mid 2008 & met for the first time in person in 2009. Then there were meetings in 2013 & now 2014. The episode was a long one covering a lot of Erk's time in SLO but it was a great time hanging out and catching the slightly infamous SLO Transit double decker bus, eating (often) at Dennys, occasionally at Applebees & a lot more. There are many people who have played a part in Erk Pod - some of you are still here & some of you have gone. But whatever. Regardless of if you read this or not, thank you.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 499. Erk expected to be in San Luis Obispo seeing his good friends Shawno & Jen by this point & be waking up in California. Well, Erk did wake up in California - but bunkered down at the San Francisco airport was not part of the plan. The plan on the previous episode was to fly Walla Walla - Seattle - Salt Lake City - Phoenix - San Luis Obispo. But due to a faulty de-icing truck, this did not happen. Instead, there was a shuttle van ride over to the Tricity airport, a massive wait there, a flight to Seattle & another layover before a late night flight into San Francisco. Napping at the airport, Erk had to get another plane to San Luis Obispo. Not the plan Erk had in mind! In case anyone is actually reading this, the next episode is Erk Pod episode 500 & it will be a lllllooooonnnngggg one!
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 498. Leaving one regional American city (Walla Walla, Washington) and heading to another (San Luis Obispo, California), Erk knew that he would not be getting a direct flight between the two cities even though they are on the same coast. During planning of the trip, Erk looked at flying via San Francisco (too expensive) or Los Angeles (did it last year) before settling on a plan. With cost, time & frequent flyer points/credits in his mind, Erk finally settled on a route that while long, satisfied him in terms of sights, cost & miles. Leaving Walla Walla, Erk would first fly to Seattle on Alaska Airlines. He would then fly Seattle - Salt Lake City - Phoenix on Acme then conclude on US Airways Phoenix - San Luis Obispo. Nice plan, Erk. One faulty deicing truck changed all that.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 497. Erk spends the weekend in regional Walla Walla, Washington. So where exactly is Walla Walla & why is Erk there out of all of the places that he could have went to in America? As Erk finds out, Walla Walla is about an hour's flying time in a turbo-prop driven plane. Depending on which direction you decide to go, you can comfortably drive to either Seattle, Portland, Spokane or Boise in a few hours. It is a very short drive from the Washington/Oregon state border. Erk is in Walla Walla not for the location (although he comes to like it) but (once again) the company. Erk meets up with music podcasting colleague Justin Wayne from The Justin Wayne Show, makes a snow angel, throws snowballs & sees streets that Mr Plow hasn't visited for days.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 496. Continuing on from the previous episode, Erk is on his way to regional Walla Walla, Washington. With a long layover in Seattle, Erk has a bit of time to do some plane spotting from the terminal as well as a couple of rides on the airport train system. Erk has been through Seattle twice now as of this episode (2009 & 2014), not stopping downtown on either occasion.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 495. It is time for Erk to start the more regional part of his US trip. He is heading from Chicago to Walla Walla, Washington. When booking the trip, Erk knew that he would have to connect to a smaller plane in Seattle to get to Walla Walla but did not know that he would not be able to fly directly from Chicago to Seattle via Acme. Instead, he has to fly elsewhere from Chicago - to Minneapolis/St Paul. Erk is not impressed by this but he is well impressed with the airport during the brief connection. This episode covers the first half of Erk's long travel day enroute to Walla Walla. It was very cold on Erk's arrival!
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 494 recorded in very cold & snowy Chicago during what is day 36 of Erk's trip. As he says often during the snow covered parts of his trip, Erk doesn't have to do any of the boring, mundane, usual stuff to survive in the snow. He goes outside for a while, walks around, looks for falling ice (and falling ice signs) and when he gets too cold, he goes inside for a while.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 493. Erk's first full day in Chicago, Erk has a hotel that is very convenient location downtown which gives him a great view of the passing trains. It is Erk's first time in Chicago since 2009 & it was spring at that time. Winter in Chicago is very different to Chicago in spring as Erk finds out on day 35 of his adventure.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 492. On this episode, Erk has arrived into Chicago. Not knowing if he would even end up in Chicago, he did not book any accommodation until after arrival. The first thing on the agenda was deciding if the hotel should be close to the airport at Midway (where Erk would be flying in & out of) or downtown. Downtown is where most of the action would be so the search started downtown for a suitable location. Over the next few days, Erk would hear from the locals that this winter was the worst one that the city had suffered for a while & even on his arrival, Erk believed it. Several people questioned why Erk would even bother with a Chicago winter but it is part of the adventure!
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 491. After a weekend in Atlanta, Erk's next part of his US tour commences with a first class Acme flight from Atlanta to Chicago. At Atlanta International, Erk is able to celebrate a rare event at an airport. Taking advantage of a good seat & the new personal electronic equipment rules, Erk had a nice flight & a nice view coming into a very cold Chicago.
Welcome to Erk Pod episode 490. After sailing on 70000 Tons of Metal, Erk flies out of Miami and spends the weekend in Atlanta. Meeting up again with Captain Jeff from the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, together we got to explore the city - or at least the outside of some buildings. Coke Centre? KLOSED. CNN Tour? KLOSED. Aquarium? KLOSED. Thankfully there was a nice place to eat that was open as well as Atlanta's tallest building. Still, the company was awesome & Erk was able to give Jeff an impromptu train driving lesson. In addition, Erk was able to observe Jeff observing what it is like to see a plane land when normally he is on his side of the cockpit door. Captain Jeff-less on Sunday, Erk explores Atlanta, tours the CNN Centre (highly recommended!) & even tries his hand at newsreading. He spends the evening at Hooters watching the NFL Superbowl. It was a short time but a good time in Atlanta.
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