Posts tagged ‘road trip’

January 2, 2015

KY: The Bourbon Trail – Heaven Hill

Bourbon Trail Heaven Hill

Bowerbird and I have decided to stay off the booze and abstain from spirits in 2015*. Not because either of us has a drinking problem that has made our lives unmanageable. But because we both really dislike the lethargy and mild headaches that just one glass of alcohol can induce. 2015 is a big year for the both of us, and we want to be on top of our game. So it’s a good thing we hit the Bourbon Trail in 2014. We are both sad to be giving up whiskey and bourbon, our favorite spirits because of the aroma and smooth finish. Yet I don’t think we will be able to top the sampling of a $400 bottle of Evan Williams either.

The portion of the bourbon trail we visited was in Bardstown, which is only thirty minutes from Louisville, and where essentially most of the bourbon distilleries reside. Also the ‘trail’ is a paved highway, just for clarification. Welcoming us to the Bourbon trail was a sign propped on the front lawn of a lovely house that read, “Bourbon destroys lives.” Our first stop on the trail was Heaven Hill distilleries and Bourbon Heritage Center. It had great interactive displays of how Bourbon is made, with buttons and knobs that lit up and made noises. At the touch of a button one of the displays released the sharp and hypnotizing scent of bourbon. I felt like a kid in a science center. There was also a history of distilling bourbon; describing why corn is used as the mash, and the ways it was hidden from officers during prohibition. Bowerbird and I were mostly just interested in a tasting, and not the full 2 hour tour of the distillery, so with our souvenir tasting glasses we enjoyed an array of premium Heaven Hill bourbon.

Bourbon Heritage Center

Heaven Hill Bourbon Tasting

Sadly I can’t find my notes from the tasting, and apart from knowing that one of the bottles (seen below) is $400 and only sold in Japan, I don’t recall the specifics of the other bourbons. But they were delicious. First enjoying them neat and then with a dash of water. The water changing the flavor ever so subtly. I remember one of the bourbons evaporated on my tongue. Another one tasted sweeter after the drop of water, giving a more caramel and syrup quality to the bourbon. We were with three other couples during the tasting and it was fascinating hearing everyone’s take on the flavors.  It was so much fun to geek out with other bourbon and whiskey nerds.

Evan William Bourbon Trail

adding water to bourbon

By the time we left Heaven Hill we could only make one other distillery and another couple from the tasting highly recommended seeing Maker’s Mark. As you drive up onto the Maker’s Mark property, the buildings and trees are all black, windows trimmed with red. I didn’t know much about Maker’s Mark before my tour, but I’m so happy we went there.  The history and marketing behind Maker’s would make any feminist fan of branding drool – and that’s basically me.

I’m going to break this up into two stories as the tale of Maker’s Mark deserves a post of its own.

Tell me what’s your favorite bourbon? Have you been on the bourbon trail?

*Exceptions to our 2015 resolution includes vacations and one double date to a whiskey bar we couldn’t get to in 2014.

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November 4, 2014

SC : HUSK RESTAURANT – The Food

HUSK Restaurant Road Trip

This road trip was all about being open to new experiences, approaching life with an openness to meeting new people, trying new foods, taking detours, and seeing where we end up. Luckily we ended up at a table in Charleston, South Carolina at the acclaimed Husk Restaurant; there is a location in Nashville as well. Currently Chef Sean Brock of Husk restaurant is in the middle of a book tour for his first cookbook Heritage. I’ll need to pick up this book for Bowerbird, so we can relive our night of pure gastro bliss. Getting a table at Husk was a significant part of this culinary adventure, and I can’t thank Sean and Kristin enough for making it happen.

Husk Charleston is well situated in an antebellum style home built in the late 19th century. A white picket fence surrounds a courtyard that leads out to a separate side house where waiting diners can start with drinks and appetizers at the bar, which was packed with liquor and people. Bowerbird and I squeezed through the crowd to the opposite end, away from the door, to get bourbon before dinner. I tried to snap some photos but the dark lighting made it difficult without being obnoxious to other patrons. The bartenders were sharp and fast, there were about 30 people inside and only two bartenders attending them- I commend them. Just as we were about to take our drinks out of the bar house and into the courtyard for a less claustrophobic experience, the bartender unveils a massive ham leg (what I think) for fresh sliced Prosciutto. Please correct me in the comments below, but whatever that was, I want it next time.

 

HUSK Charleston Bar House

When we were seated our extremely nice waiter made a comment that we’d traveled a long way. Being a giant dork, I didn’t even connect the fact he would know about my road trip tweet and went into the entire story. He politely smiled and said he knew then he inquired if I was a chef myself. I informed him I wasn’t, but an avid eater and food appreciator. Confession: I’ve been caught more than once talking to my food in a restaurant.

To begin our dining experience, the waiter brought out warm rolls served with a side of pork fat honey butter. These rolls were light and could be pulled apart like cotton candy. There was a subtle flavor of bacon, topped with toasted sesame seeds adding a woodsy flavor to compliment the sweet bread. As a first impression, the rolls had me on my knees; I could eat those morning, noon, and night.

HUSK dinner rolls

Bowerbird and I shared two first courses and two suppers. Based on the menu from the night before, we strategized our dining experience during our drive from Richmond to Charleston. We had wanted to experience as many flavors as possible and in the end chose four different proteins to sample.

We ordered wood fired clams and smoked Surry County sausage with braised peppers and mustard greens in a tomato broth served with roasted garlic toast; and TN pork ribs with peach BBQ, pickled peaches and green peanuts with puffed pork skins as our two first courses. Bowerbird can’t have anything with added sugar, which makes experiencing southern BBQ difficult, as brown sugar tends to be a main ingredient. But our waiter assured us there was no additional sugar in the peach BBQ and relied strictly on the natural sugars in the fruit.

 

We started with the wood fired clams which had a delicate flavor profile and were light and buttery while bursting with garlic flavor, the tomato broth was savory and void of acid. The sweet onions and red bell peppers balanced the bitterness of the mustard greens and fennel in the Surry County sausage. It seemed as if the saltiness in the dish came straight from the ocean, we sopped up every last drop of the broth with the one piece of garlic toast we had. At times I wish I didn’t need to be classy at the dinner table, manners prevent one from truly having every last bite.

We waited until we were done with the clams before eating the BBQ pork ribs. This unfortunately had us experiencing the ribs when they were lukewarm but none-the-less they were still amazing. The TN pork ribs were thick on the bone, they’re then charred on the outside just enough to add a good smoky flavor but not unpleasantly burnt. Slathered in BBQ sauce, it had a spicy kick that built with each bite. The caramelized peaches brought a unique element to the BBQ sauce. I was most impressed by the elegant touch of green peanuts, as it added a satisfying crunch to the tender meat. The puff pork melted in our mouth and stuck in our teeth like taffy, it added a fun factor to the plate. Being of Hawaiian heritage, in reminiscing about the dish it reminds me of something I would have in Hawaii; but instead of pineapples they used peaches, and instead of macadamia nuts they used green peanuts.

For our supper we ordered cornmeal dusted catfish, sweet corn and VA sausage “gumbo” with Carolina gold rice, charred okra, and confit cherry tomatoes. I’m a duck fiend, so we also ordered the confit duck leg with Anson Mills Brewster oats, heirloom pumpkin and chestnuts, Tuscan kale, honey vinegar, and spiced chevre. Both of these dishes were delicious and inspired very strong narratives. When I had a music and art blog, I’d describe the music in narratives. It’s the same for how I experience food. Stories develop in my imagination, the food being the inspiration.

The catfish was soft and flaky and it didn’t have that odd bottom feeder flavor, instead it acted as the perfect canvas to the gumbo Creole spices. The cornmeal crust was a crisp delicate second skin on the catfish. The confit tomatoes were out of this world- while being only the size of my thumb nail, this tiny tomato burst in my mouth, enveloping it in a rich savory flavor. It was like tasting a tomato for the first time. The dish was young, fresh, light and vibrant.

 

HUSK Catfish

 

On the other plate, the duck was moist and tender. The entire flavor palate rich and warm, it resonated within a deeper place and felt more mature. I didn’t know this was possible, but the cooked kale was succulent. The oats, pumpkin, and chestnut were mixed together as sort of risotto, spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon; it was like tasting autumn.

 

HUSK Duck Confit

 

Every bite of the duck confit wrapped me up in a cozy blanket and invoked a sense of nostalgia. Its a dish you’d want to serve your family during the holidays. The catfish was more youthful, its story younger. I could imagine it being made for a one year anniversary, and the home cook’s funny little mishaps till it was executed just right.

The two suppers were like the past and future existing on our table. Bowerbird and I have been together for two years. The catfish dinner tasted like those first few dates where you’re nervous and everything is electrified with newness. The duck confit our future, with decades of memories collected together and a deep love enriched by time.

Sean Brock is all about the story and heritage that is conveyed through food. I felt like I was served, tasted, and understood those stories; at least on how they apply to my own life. I hope I was able to give our dinner justice. I did order dessert, but at that point had pushed my stomach beyond its limitations and with a few mindless bites of the apple potpie, all I can report back is that it was good. My dinner at Husk was one of the best meals of my life. It almost brought me to tears. The whole experience of getting the table, the amazing food we ate, one of my favorite bands Drive by Truckers playing over the speakers in the background. It was a culinary dream come true. Husk completely indulged my five major senses. I’m so happy I didn’t give up when I saw there were no reservations available or that I didn’t surrender to a full stomach when dessert came.

If you are incredibly lucky and in Charleston looking for the best meal of your life, book in advanced for a fantastic night at HUSK. Here is a link to book your reservation.

November 3, 2014

SC : HUSK RESTAURANT – The Table

South Carolina HUSK

As we are back from the road posts might be a little out of chronological order, like this one! We left off in the first half of Nashville which was the 9th of October, now let’s fast forward to the 15 & 16. Zoooom!

One of the most exciting things to happen on this trip was getting seats at the fully booked Husk Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina through twitter. Yes, Twitter! Before we left for this trip, I was expressing to a friend that we would be traveling mostly through the south. He told me I had to check out the second season, first part of The Mind of a Chef (available on Netflix). This portion of the show is strictly about Southern food hosted by Chef Sean Brock of Husk Restaurant. He expresses his love for heritage grains and preserving the history and stories of backwoods cooking that earned the south its culinary distinction. From the Low country to the Appalachian Mountains, before southern cooking was only known for fried chicken, mac and cheese, gravy and grits; it had flavors and grains that were unique to the seeds and people.

I respect Chef Sean Brock and his passion for food and its purpose in preserving his heritage. He’s even explored the history of the flavors brought to the states through the southern slave trade. It’s agreed slavery is a terrible horrible institution, but it’s a part of American history and shaped the south. I believe Sean Brock addresses all aspects of Southern cooking and food in a very educated manner, that’s why I HAD TO GO TO HUSK!

On October 15, we were in Williamsburg, Virginia. As we would be heading to Charleston the next day, I thought, “Oh I should probably book a reservation, just in case”. Putting in our arrival time into Open Table I watched as the loading dots searched for a table and presented the next available reservation, 5:30pm October 28. My heart sank. I was shocked. I felt stupid for not booking earlier, and then started coming up with reasons I couldn’t have booked earlier to make myself feel better. Bowerbird could see how terribly upset I was, I felt like the stormy clouds that loomed outside. The rain that fell down were my tears. But as my mother always told me, there is no use feeling sorry for yourself. I rallied. I told Bowerbird “Maybe we can just get a seat at the bar” or “Hang out till a reservation cancels.” We were going to Charleston just for HUSK. I packed a pretty dress. There was no way I was giving up so easy.

My professional bread and butter is Social Media Management. I’m no social superstar, yet. My follower count on Twitter is under 300. But I was going to Tweet Husk anyway….

HUSK twitter

Being a social media professional I thought it might be hours or a day before anyone read my tweets. So I turned to Sean! I had tweeted him before, while watching the show. He never interacted with me, but maybe he remembered my tweet to his buddy Edward Lee regarding a Dolly Parton karaoke showdown. I directed my plea to the chef, because I really just wanted to experience his cooking. I didn’t need the fancy restaurant. I just wanted to taste the grains, farms, and the southern heritage Sean puts into his dishes at HUSK. This road trip was all about the South, I could not give up on the ultimate in southern cooking.

Sean Brock Twitter

I tweeted in the rain with droplets collecting on my screen to the point I was afraid of water damage. My request was out in the universe and on Twitter. Now all I could do was wait. Dan and I explored Williamsburg.  Drank a beer in a non-designated area like teenagers, hiding next to Coca Cola vending machines. Visited the museum and exhibit on the first colonial Mental Institution on the site of the first asylum. We even had a delightful dinner in one of the colonial restaurants. They fortunately had available space when we made reservations.

When we got back to the car, I was feeling really weird. This was also the day after we had stayed in the haunted hotel, more on that later. I had to stop and pray. Not pray for us to get seats at HUSK, but just that this heavy weird feeling that was lingering would go away. As we drove to the home of our couch surfer, I received a tweet from a Kristin saying she was happy to help with my mission to HUSK.

Kristin and I began corresponding through email regarding the reservation. Emails that my phone was not receiving in a timely manner, and created some anxiety as we drove down to Charleston the next day. But in the end it all worked out, by 1:30pm on October 16 we had reservations for that night at 8:30pm. My Mom and Dad are amazing home cooks, I’ve been spoiled with delicious food my entire life. I appreciate the work that goes into a plate, and nothing peeves me more than overpriced mediocre food. The dinner at HUSK was not the case. I’m splitting this up into two stories, as I feel the lead up was just as interesting as the actual dinner itself. So if you would like to continue reading – click here – .

Once again it was shown to me you really bring about what you think about. I had told the story of Husk and Sean Brock to dozens of people since I’d watched Mind of a Chef.  Every person we met and asked what we had planned, I mentioned going to HUSK. I tried to express the enormity and importance of preserving grains and seeds to other people, the way Sean shared it on Mind of a Chef. Now I get to share just how amazing his cooking is too.

Here is the schedule for Sean’s “Heritage” book tour. It started on October 19, and unfortunately it never synced up with our own trip.  If you happen to be in the same town as his tour, I really urge you to go. He is a personable chef with a lot of heart and understands how to deliver flavor!

Sean Brock Heritage

October 17, 2014

Sweet Sounds Alabama

Muscle Shoals Road Trip

“Buy a chevy get a gun!” announced the radio commercial somewhere in Mississippi followed by another commercial with a sultry women’s voice enticing the listener, “ever wanted to get into exotic dancing, come down on talent night and make lots of money”.

Leaving Memphis we drove through Mississippi and Alabama to get to Muscle Shoals. The trees in Mississippi have vines growing all around them, connecting each tree with an overgrowth that sweeps down up and around. Men drove tractors on the side of the freeway keeping nature away from the road, pulling trailers that pushed down on the long grass and probably cut the vines.

I’d seen the documentary earlier in the year, and it motivated me further to start planning actual stops on our road trip. Bowerbird and I being music nerds, Muscle Shoals was a must see destination followed by Fame Studio which is around the corner and down the street. The documentary is a little confusing when it comes to the timeline of both studios, but Muscle Shoals Sound studio was established after the partners at Fame studio decided to go their separate ways.

Trying to be a prepared tourist, I messaged Muscle Shoals Sound earlier in the month to make sure they we’re open the 8th as I know the studios will be restored. I got a friendly reply back saying the studios were open till 2pm that day. Bowerbird and I do not arrive places early together, more like right on time. So when we of course left Memphis a little later than intended, we tried to be light hearted and joked the entire way to Muscle Shoals, looking at our GPS which read ETA 1:57 and every time we increased our arrival time I’d chime “we will have 6 minutes at the studio – damn now only 3 minutes – come on sweetheart I know we can get 9 minutes.”

As we drove up I saw someone from the studio come outside and remove the open sign from the front lawn. I had Bowerbird flip a Dukes of Hazard u-turn and hopped out of the car before we officially parked. Opening the door to the studio, the adrenaline was pumping as I asked the guide if we could still look around. She kindly said yes, her name being Georgia.

The Muscle Shoals tour is informal with a capital I. You walk around this hallow ground, where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote music, Simon and Garfunkel recorded, the sound of a generation was shaped at your own speed. Pictures hung on the walls with the famed musicians working in the studio, writing is physically written on the wall like playful boys marking their spot. The toilet seat from which “Wild Horses” came into fruition. Georgia shared stores with us, explained the structure of the building, and how tiny it felt when it was originally in operation due to how large engineering equipment used to be. To think now most people just make music on their laptops, and before it took an attention to detail and agility to make sure everything was laid right because the last thing you can afford is a botched recording.

Apparently one of the Swampers haunts the property today, and most of the photos I took are blurry, so it makes you wonder. Although I didn’t feel any spooky spirit, not like I did in West Virginia but that’s another story. Here are a few of my favorite shots from Muscle Shoals.

After Muscle Shoals we visited Fame Studios for a tour. Still an operating studio, we only saw Studio B as they were recording in Studio A. The history of Fame was shared along with the stories that directly came from Studio B. My favorite being guitarist, Duane Allman camping outside Fame Studios until Rick the owner would give him a chance to perform and record. He slept in the parking lots for weeks till he was given a chance, and I just loved the story of commitment and roughing it out to get what you want. It’s a metaphor for all success, because the road to success sure isn’t comfortable.

Bekka an d Bowerbird at Muscle Shoals Sound

We are in South Carolina right now, and clearly in the second half of the trip, 3rd quarter. I’m trying not to get sad, while already on it. Mourn the loss of the trip, while I still have more states to go to I’ve never seen. Tonight is Atlanta, the day after possibly southern Alabama and next Monday – New Orleans! Ok I’m no longer mourning, I’m just excited. So many wonderful things have happened on this trip, even a few weird things. But altogether I’m living my dream, I’m seeing new sights. Yesterday I picked cotton off the side of the road. I’m experiencing life in a way I don’t normally get to, and that in itself is the greatest part of this adventure. It’s new.  For me a full life is achieved when you seek out new experiences, break routine, and get out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s a thrill seeker going to a silent yoga retreat or a shy introvert going on stage and belting out their voice. Variety is the spice of life they say, so let’s spice it up!

October 13, 2014

TN: Walking in Memphis…

Graceland Memphis Road Trip

Memphis has soul, it possess a grit that can be felt throughout the city. It’s this authentic character even amongst the most tired tourist spots. I’m not a huge Elvis fan, but you don’t visit Memphis without going to Graceland. A different tour guide experience, your handed an ipad and headphones to help direct the tour. Older gentlemen and their wives at times looked like lost children with the clunky tech around their neck, trying to figure out where to go next once the audio (spoken by John Stamos) ended. It’s a tour that depends on self- reliance to move from one room to the next, and a little bit of attitude in not allowing the museum staff to heard you from one room to the next too quickly.

Elvis’s decorating style was as distinctive as his sound. There is no doubt you are in the home of a king; it’s opulent carved furniture, stained glass windows, shag carpeting as wall treatment, and bright patterns on the walls are loud but in harmony. For any interior design nerd, you must go to Graceland. It overflows with unique focus pieces, and is a challenge to the bold to see if one could decorate their own home this way, and succeed.

Next we headed to Sun Records, the source of where it all began. Parking in the back alley a man approached us, being friendly he chatted us up about traveling and being from California. He eventually asked for a couple bucks, and I said I had no change but would give him something when I broke my twenty.  Going into Sun, I bought our tour tickets and then walked back outside to search for the gentleman.  He appeared out of nowhere, once again like how he appeared the first time, and lit up at the fact we had gone out to actually find him to give him the dollar. A woman of my word, I handed it to him and he gave us a hug.

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October 9, 2014

OKC : Birth of a Dream

womb gallery roadtrip

The saying, if you knew how powerful your thoughts are you’d never have a bad one, really is the best intro into what I’m about to share. Wayne Coyne, singer of Flaming Lips, lives in Oklahoma City and has a reputation for being very nice, giving, and open. A king of the freaks, he welcomes people, if you can find him. Knowing his gallery, Womb Gallery was located in Oklahoma City, Bowerbird and I decided on a whim to just see if we knocked on the door possibly we would be able to stay at the compound.  Unfortunately the freak storm in Oklahoma, caused us to pull off the road 16 miles from the gallery and all my hopes of running into Wayne washed away.

The next morning we went to the gallery, and as Womb is known to have fluctuating hours, I assumed we’d only be able to take pictures on the outside and it would put us 10 minutes behind schedule max. We also had the diamond crater of Arkansas on our list of things to do that day. Instead Womb Gallery turned into nearly an hour excursion and it was better than we could have imagined, we found a different kind of diamond that day.

Driving up to the gallery, there was a group of men taking down an installation of a nose on the outside of the building. I could tell the gallery probably wasn’t open, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from asking. Approaching the gallery manager, we asked if it was open and after explaining we we’re on a road trip from California and wouldn’t be able to swing back for the show, Jake was very kind and offered to give us a tour. Their show Acid Off by artist Isis Fisher opens this weekend, October 11, and half the space was incomplete but the concepts mind blowing.

Glitter floors, fluorescent walls, textural and scent stimulating sculptures; the entire space awakens a creative spark within. Pushing norms, and mixing the absurd with post-modern fine art.  Jake and I geeked out on art, discussing past exhibits with Dalek and Bigfoot. I even shared with him an artist I had worked with before, Alex Chiu that I feel would fit in the gallery perfectly.

***photos and topics after the jump are graphic in nature, Bowerbird’s mom who is a loyal reader will most likely not enjoy the following – so you’ve been warned ❤ ***

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October 7, 2014

KS & MO : Toto We’re in Kansas

wamego Kansas oz museum

Remember VHS? The way kids used to watch movies. I had a copy of The Wizard of Oz that I played so much the color ran out of it, or at least the tape became so worn it had lines going through it. My earliest memories was watching Wizard of Oz, and sometimes asking my Dad to fast forward to the colored part. My mom would French braid my hair and I’d call it “Dorothy hair”. Surprisingly I never dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween, but I do have a collector set of all the characters. A lifelong fan, I’ve seen most OZ related material expect Wicked, I just can’t bring myself to endorse it. For kicks and giggles, I’ve even searched Ebay for first editions of Oz books by Baum.

In Wamego Kansas there is the OZ Museum. The largest collection of OZ collectibles in the world, I had to see this treasure of Kansas. First this museum is legit, its not just one musty room with a few items behind glass. The OZ museum is a well thought out and executed extravaganza of everything OZ. From the moment you walk through the front porch doors, you seriously don’t feel like you’re in Kansas anymore. Greeted by an alcove with a Dorothy statue, to the left of it is early editions of the OZ books and history on Baum and his career. Then moving through the museum, a new character alcove at every turn, the history of the MGM production unfolded. Describing casting choices, directors – which apparently the film had 5, and evolution of the OZ world over the decades.

They really created a fun atmosphere for any OZ fanatic. My favorite land till this day, I’ve always felt a little like Dorothy. Possessing a desire to explore, see new things, experience absolute wonderment; and in the end still have an inkling to go back home. In later books for non-OZ fans, Dorothy goes to OZ when in distress or when OZ needs help. Oz is a second home, because in the end home is just where the heart is.

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October 6, 2014

OKLAHOMA : The Rain on The Plains…

bad weather and oklahoma

 

Are terrifying and completely massive in scope! The majority of our trip from the Oz Museum in Wamego Kansas to Oklahoma City was completely pleasant, but for the last 2 hours it’s been scary as hell.  For miles and miles we watched lightening far off in the distance, making for an interesting light show. But once we drove into the storm, my California driving skills and California tires on the rental, were not prepared for what was to come. Sheets of rain, mixed with wind creating a cloud of water that blurred the lines of the lanes. The tires hit puddles or pot holes, and vibrated shaking the entire car like a toy.  Initially the storm was like a bad rainy week in California. After hearing an ad for Phantom of the Opera on the radio, I thought it would be humorous to have Dan record the lightening to see if it went along with the music. We pulled the song up on Spotify and below is the magic.

But shortly after this small moment of levity, the silliness of the video calming my nerves. The rain fell harder, faster, and violently to the earth. I white knuckled the steering wheel, my heart racing and a cold sweat forming on my brow. Our aim was to get to Wayne Coyne’s womb gallery, see if a light was on and hopefully charm anyone into letting us stay with them (potentially at the compound). But I had to stop driving. Every time the rain would let up for a second and I thought maybe we could still pull it off, it would come back with a fury. A meteorologic slap in the face. Only 16 miles away I had to pull off the road, book a room at a freeway hotel, and let go of my Wayne Coyne Womb Gallery sleep over fantasy. If the light was on, we would have totally knocked.  I’ve been talking to him on Instagram like we are old buds. He is the kings of the freaks, what’s more freak like than blind delusion?

Tomorrow we will wake up and swing by the gallery before heading to the Diamond Park and Memphis. I pray the storm has passed and I don’t have to see my life flash before my eyes.

September 26, 2014

Committing to the Dream…

I’m a dreamer and a doer. I know to accomplish what you set out to achieve takes hard work and dedication. But I tend to have commitment issues. I go for the easy more attainable goals first, and then let the big ones hang out against the wall. They can hang out for years, waiting for some TLC. Next week I start my road trip across the country, a big dream of mine that took more than just a few years to get to.

My family was all about road trip vacations, going to Palm Springs and Mammoth. Sometimes we’d jump in the car and head out on the road in the middle of the night. Aside from my terrible motion sickness, I loved being in the car on a trip. I’d stare out the window wondering about the people who lived in the houses, imagine epic tales that took place on the terrain, stop at the road side stands for fresh jerky and dates. Listening to my own walkman radio I’d imagine what road trips I’d go on as an adult, picking songs that I’d put on the soundtrack of my road trip.

The road trip day dreaming turned into an actual dream for my life, and for years I’d tell people how I’d want to travel the country collecting stories. Then about 3 years ago I finally decided I was going to do it. I was going to save money and drive across the country for 6 months, just to do it. Now this is where my dreams tend to get too big for my own britches. I was planning on saving enough money for 6 months on the road in just a year, without even having an actual goal on how much to save each month, just a rough idea of how much money I should have.

And as each month passed, the invisible savings of mine never grew. I met this great guy, and wasn’t sure if  I would want to leave him behind. I felt it would have been rude to leave my job after only being there a year. I made excuses, and I wasn’t putting forth the effort to make it real. I let the day to day, get in the way of making my dream a reality. I let myself down and it felt awful. By the time I would have left for my trip; I was ready to quit my job, the boy and I were strong, and I didn’t have any money to make it happen. So I let it go, and continued to have it just be this dream. A dream I always have, but never get any closer to…until now.

following your dream road trip map

The thermometer was at $100 for a over year, and the card saying October 2014 is covering May 2012.

 

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January 24, 2012

Bank of Bekka

From the time until I was about 16 I would never spend money. I would go to the mall with my girlfriends, walk around Forever 21 and see lots of things I wanted. But I could never bring myself to buying anything. Constantly I would be looking at a necklace or pair of earrings going to is so cute, my friends would be like “how much is it?”

“ Oh it’s $4, I’m not going to buy it…”

Nothing could sway my stingy pockets, I would never spend a dime. Now I have the hardest time not spending money. Last week I took myself to Beauty and the Beast 3D, my favorite Disney princess; smart, sassy, weird , and kind. I could not pass up the chance to watch this movie again in the theaters, so I spent $12 on a ticket, which isn’t where I went wrong on my spending.  It was the small soda and the nachos which cost $10 that put me back, followed by a tall can of PBR later that night at a bar for $6 + $1 tip.

What does my Friday night total? Thirty Dollars! That is a full tank of gas! That is 4 hours of drive time, in my road trip spent on a MOVIE NIGHT (by myself).  I need to go back to the ways of the Bank of Bekka, back to the days of when my family would come to me for a $40 dollar loan. I was like a damn ATM machine, should have charged interest.