Enough About You, Let’s Talk About Me and My Hair

FullSizeRender

As a matter of fact, I do indeed own a hair dryer!

San Diego, CA

May 4, 2016

You probably don’t know this about me, but I’m obsessed with my hair. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, ‘cause I’ve mastered the “Don’t Give a Crap About My Hair” hairstyle.

In other words, it usually looks like it’s “growing out.” Growing out from what, I’m not sure. You know the look. And I’d like you to believe that I just don’t care. But in fact, I do care. I’m just not willing to do anything about it….until yesterday.

My usual hair routine is this…maybe wash my hair, and then let it air dry. But yesterday…yesterday was special.

Yesterday I had a lunch meeting. And so I washed my hair, and then I dried it with a hair dryer. And then I put on my motorcycle helmet, and rode my scooter to my lunch meeting.

All in all, I’d say I had my motorcycle helmet on for about 15 minutes. When I arrived at my destination, took my helmet off, and caught a glimpse of myself in a nearby window reflection…OMG….my hair looked awesome!! It was like something out of a magazine, like an ad for Pantene or some other luxurious shampoo!!! I couldn’t stop touching it and swinging it around, like they do in all those shampoo commercials (almost tweaked my neck). It was, well, spectacular!

So you know what I’m thinking, right? This is my new hair routine…wash, dry, ride. I know, it takes some time, what with the 15 minute scooter ride and all, but my hair looked really really good, so I think it might be worth the time investment.

Wash, Dry, Ride, Repeat…………

Alien Abduction…..Really? Again?

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Aliens!!!

Day 120     October 7, 2014

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico  to  Sedona, Arizona

Although the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta would continue through the week, this would be our last morning at the festival. We grabbed a couple of breakfast burritos from one of the vendors, and hung out to watch the balloon skills competition.

Early morning balloons...

Early morning balloons…

Balloons & more balloons

Balloons & more balloons

Mark & balloons

Mark & balloons

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Funny balloons

Fiona (the Space Shuttle) & balloons

Fiona (the Space Shuttle) & balloons

Airstreams & balloons

Airstreams & balloons

Another one bites the dust...

Another one bites the dust…

One of many specialty balloons

One of many specialty balloons

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Crowd control

Crowd control

Lining up to watch the skills competition

Lining up to watch the skills competition

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By 11:00 we were on the road, once again heading west towards home. We made a quick stop for lunch at Hotel el Rancho, in Gallup, New Mexico, and then, back on the road.

Gallup, NM

Gallup, NM

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

The main drag in Gallup

The main drag in Gallup

Cool road side stuff....

Cool road side stuff….

 

More cool road side stuff....

More cool road side stuff….

Just moments before crossing the Arizona state line, we lost our FM radio reception to pure static. This left us in a bit of a panic, as we tried to ascertain whether or not we’d lost seven minutes of time. Not knowing whether or not we’d experienced time loss, left us also not knowing whether or not we’d been abducted by aliens. Too much X-Files?? Maybe!

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Was it an alien abduction, or just a hoax?! We’ll never know.

Arizona!

Arizona!

Arizona...very friendly place...welcoming us twice!

Arizona…very friendly place…welcoming us twice!

Instagram art. Making art out of nothing.

Instagram art. Me, making photo art out of nothing.

If you need knives, I guess this is the place...

If you need knives, I guess this is the place…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We missed the exit for Winslow, Arizona, so you’ll be spared from the usual corny photo and references to the old Eagles song (“….standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…yada yada…blah blah blah…”).

Before dark, we arrived in Sedona, Arizona, which was a good thing, ‘cause we got to see the beautiful red rocky peaks that surround Sedona. Pretty spectacular! We checked into Rancho Sedona RV Park. Exploration would have to wait until morning!

On the road

Almost in Sedona….

First glimpse of red rocks....

First glimpse of red rocks….

Just gettin' in to Sedona

Just gettin’ in to Sedona

Very red......

Very red……

Very cool......

Very cool……

Very beautiful....

Very beautiful….

I Want Beer, And I Want It NOW!!!

Great choice for dinner!

Great choice for dinner!

Day 111            September 28, 2014

Little Rock, Arkansas  to  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

For a minute, I thought we’d time travelled back to the dark ages. We tried to buy a 6-pack of beer to restock our little fridge. But guess what?! The great state of Arkansas doesn’t sell alcohol on Sundays. WTF??? And so, we left Arkansas.

Leaving Arkansas. No beer, no stay.

Leaving Arkansas. No beer, no stay.

There seemed to be an unusually large number of motorcycles also heading west on I-40. I talked to a couple of the bikers at a rest stop, and found out they were all driving home after attending a huge bike rally in Fayetteville, Arkansas. And I’m guessing they were leaving on a Sunday ‘cause they couldn’t buy any freakin’ beer!

All the bikers leaving Arkansas, in search of beer..

All the bikers leaving Arkansas, in search of beer..

Onward to Oklahoma City. There’s a funny story about Oklahoma City. A story that happened many years ago when we were driving across the country to move to California. I’m not gonna tell you the story, as it’s quite long, but it involved Mark getting locked outside our friend’s house in the middle of the night. Just a little story that we laugh about to this day…..well, I laugh about it.

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

I knew it’d be depressing, but, we went to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial. You know, the one that honors the victims of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building. It was depressing to see, but it was also very beautiful, and I’m glad we went to see it.

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

The museum @ Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Personal mementos on the fence @ Oklahoma City National Memorial

Personal mementos on the fence @ Oklahoma City National Memorial

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After the somberness of the memorial, we needed a little pick-me-up, so we headed to the Bricktown district for some margaritas and beers. We had the most delicious dinner at Bricktown Brewery…meatloaf, fried okra and black eyed peas…totally gourmet…totally yummy!! And did I mention the awesome stout that went along with it?

Looking for margaritas in Bricktown

Looking for margaritas in Bricktown

Bricktown district

Bricktown district

Great choice for dinner!

Great choice for dinner!

Photo does not do this justice. It tasted freakin' awesomely gourmet!!

Photo does not do this justice. It tasted freakin’ awesomely gourmet!!

We docked for the night at Council Road RV Park.

Leaving the city...

Leaving the city…

Moshe Safdie, Surfing & Legos…One Degree Of Separation!

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Day 99     September 16, 2014

Montreal

Quebec, Canada

Just as we suspected might happen, we hit morning traffic going into Montreal. It was slow going, but we did get there. Of course, the central downtown district was crawling with traffic, so we couldn’t park there. So screw that. 

Morning traffic into Montreal

Morning traffic into Montreal

Nowhere to park the Space Shuttle...

Old meets new in downtown Montreal

We got out of the downtown mess and made our way over to Habitat 67. I remember seeing it on a family vacation to Canada when I was only about 9 years old.. a long time ago, in a land far far away. It was time to see it again!

This is from Wikipedia…

Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Canada, designed by Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It was originally conceived as his master’s thesis in architecture at McGill University and then built as a pavilion for Expo 67, the World’s Fair held from April to October 1967.

According to an article on dezeen.com, Safdie planned the arrangement of the project by using 2:1 Lego bricks to build models.

“We bought out all the Legos in Montreal at the time, because we built many, many alternatives.”

I wonder if he still owns all those Legos. I hear they can be hard to find and can be quite expensive. He could be sitting on a gold mine of Legos!

Habitat was pretty spectacular! And despite all of the signs surrounding it, telling us that this was private property and to keep out, we didn’t. This is just how it is when you are with an architect. Look around…until you get kicked out. And we did look around…and we did get kicked out…but not before having a good look at the place!

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

We're in!!

We’re in!!

Trespassing @ Habitat 67

Trespassing @ Habitat 67

Cool view from inside one the courtyards

Cool view from inside one the courtyards

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

One last shot before being kicked out of Habitat 67

One last shot before being kicked out

One of the little known cool things about Habitat, is that it’s located right next to a surf break. Uh-huh!! There’s a surf break on the river right behind it! When the fast-moving water hits underwater boulders…voila…it forms a stationary wave that can reach up to six feet in height.

Surfing on the river!!

Surfing on the river!!

The wave wasn’t that big when we were there, but the rapid speed of the water, and the fact that the surfers had to enter the wave by being swept backwards, downriver into it, made the whole scenario look rather frightening! And if a surfer missed the wave, which most of them did that day, they’d get swept downriver, get out, walk up the embankment, walk back to the entry point, and try again. Not for the weak or faint of heart.

When we’d seen enough of the surfers and enough of the architecture, we ate lunch in the Space Shuttle, and then went to visit the nearby Biosphere. Like Habitat 67, Biosphere had also been built for the 1967 World’s Fair.

Lunch in the Space Shuttle

Lunch in the Space Shuttle

Biosphere is now an interactive environmental museum, and, unlike Habitat 67, it is open to the public…just not on Tuesdays!!! Crap!! We could walk around and take photos, but we couldn’t go inside.

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

We thought we’d try one more time to find parking in downtown Montreal. And once more, we were shut out. So we drove over to the old historic part of Montreal, where we totally lucked into finding two adjacent parking spaces on the street.

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

New stuff, in Old Montreal

New stuff, in Old Montreal

After further exploration, and dinner, we left the city.

Industrial scenes

Shooting while stuck in traffic on the way out of Old Montreal

Industrial scenes

Industrial scenes

Industrial scenes

Industrial scenes

We’d planned to return to the city in the morning to look around some more and to go back to Biosphere, so we found the nearest RV park and called it a night.

The Dangers Of Speaking French! Who Knew?!

Longest covered bridge in the world!

Longest covered bridge in the world!

Day 96     September 13, 2014

Somewhere in New Brunswick  to  Quebec City, Quebec

Canada

When I woke up this morning, and looked out at the lovely river view that we had from our camp site, all I could see was the massive amount of steam rising off of the water. I don’t imagine the water was warm at all, but that’s just how freakin’ cold the air temperature was!

I don’t know why, but I was still shocked to find out that the air temperature in the campground shower/bathrooms, was equally as frigid cold. Brrrrr!!! Mark and I decided that we’d go see Quebec City and Montreal, and then head the hell south. It was so cold that, for the first time ever, when we hit the road, we both turned on our seat heaters!

We took a detour to Hartland to drive across the world’s longest covered bridge.

Longest covered bridge in the world!

Longest covered bridge in the world!

And another view of her....

And another view of her….

And it spans this pretty river....

And it spans this pretty river….

 

And on the inside....

And on the inside….

And across we go!

And across we went, just to say we did.

And we stopped in Perth-Andover, where we had an amazing lunch at the Waterfront Bistro. Gourmet smoked salmon and asparagus panini. Delicious!

Chillaxin' on the deck, waiting for lunch.

Chillaxin’ on the deck, waiting for lunch.

This would be our last stop in New Brunswick, which was a significant landmark. After this, we’d be crossing into Quebec Province, which is French speaking. I am not French speaking. Mark is barely broken-French speaking.

Our first stop in officially French speaking territory, was just over the borderline in Quebec, at Tim Horton’s. Using his not so stellar French, Mark tried to order one doughnut. We got six huge doughnuts. We proudly walked out of Timmy’s with a bag full of six doughnuts, and planned our strategy for survival.

It was time to bring out the big guns….the iPhone language translator app. Mark would speak French into the phone, and, in theory, the proper English words would be spoken back to us. Then, speaking as precisely as I could, I would try to mimic the French words into the phone, and then listen to the English translation spoken back to me.

Here’s a little chart of what I thought I said in French, and what the iPhone thought I said:

What I thought I said in French…………………..The IPhone’s English translation

I’m sorry, I don’t speak French…………………..I saved Jana Ronson

I’m sorry, can you say that again…..……….……I’m sorry, and you could diet

I’m sorry, repeat please…………………………..I’m sorry, pizza please

And then there was a translation that had something to do with telling someone they need pants. I decided that it’d probably be too dangerous for me to attempt speaking French.

At the end of our fun little day full of adventures, we checked into Motel et Camping Etchemin, just across the river form Quebec City. This was a combination motel and RV park. Lucky for us, the receptionist spoke perfect English. And so, we DID end up with a nice RV site behind the hotel, and NOT with a deluxe hotel suite!

In Dax We Trust! When Dogs Are Smarter Than People!

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, waitin' for the tide to come this way...

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, waitin’ for the tide to come this way…

Day 95        September 12, 2014        part 1

Antigonish, Nova Scotia  to Somewhere in New Brunswick

Canada

In a reversal of our previous decision to skip it, we decided after all, to go to the Shubenacadie River, in Truro, to see the “reversing falls.” With extraordinary 40+ foot tides in the Bay of Fundy, when the tides change, the direction of the flow of the water on the Shubenacadie also changes. The term “falls” is completely misleading, but the phenomenon is still cool to witness.

Our timing was perfect (dumb luck), and we arrived at the interpretive center 20 minutes before the tide change. We were instructed to drive ten minutes up the road to Maitlin, and to watch from the pier.

Pastoral beauty on the river's edge in Maitlin

Pastoral beauty on the river’s edge in Maitlin

Mark and I and the doggies, and ten other tourists, gathered on the Maitlin pier, waiting for the tidal change  It was a friendly bunch and we had a good time talking with everyone. Dax and Trixie were extremely popular with this group as well. I guess everyone else was missing their doggies back home.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, waitin' for the tide to come this way...

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, waitin’ for the tide to come this way…

Yes, the riverbed IS really this red!

Yes, the riverbed IS really this red!

Coastline in Maitlin

Coastline in Maitlin

High tide was scheduled for 12:55. I know these things aren’t exact, but there we all were, just waiting for the big moment to happen. We weren’t even really sure what was gonna happen, just that we wanted to see it, whatever it was.

Surely something special was gonna happen, ‘cause otherwise all of these crazy kayakers wouldn’t be trying to drag their kayaks through the filthy red mud to get to the tiny bit of water that was currently in the river. That in itself was a hilarious sight to see!

Crazy kayaker trying to get out into the middle of the river without actually touching any of the red messy mud.

Crazy kayaker trying to get out into the middle of the river without actually touching any of the red messy mud.

Misery loves company.

Misery loves company.

This guy's gonna do it standing up!

This guy’s gonna do it standing up!

Once in a while, we’d have a false alarm. Someone would think they heard something or saw the water rising. But no, nothing was happening.

It’d been twenty minutes since the tide was supposed to change, when suddenly, Dax stands up, faces down river, and starts barking like crazy. Well damn! Wouldn’t ya know it, as we all looked up to see what he was barking at, we could see the water heading towards us, up the river in the reverse direction!

And that is how we discovered Dax’s hidden talent! Apparently, he has an uncanny ability to predict tidal changes! The crowd on the peer hooted, hollered, laughed, and applauded Dax! For just those few moments in time, he was a Superhero!!

The reversing falls was pretty fun to see. Suddenly, the almost completely dry river bed turned into a very wet river flowing in the opposite direction, and the water level was rising so fast you could see it. And the kayakers then had little rapids to run!

We hustled back to the interpretive center, where there was a platform viewing area high above the river’s edge. This was an even more dramatic view where we were able to watch the river rise 40’ in 15 minutes. That’s a lot of agua!!

Finally, some water in the middle of the river

Finally, some water in the middle of the river

Low water

Low water

Same view. Higher water.

Same view. Higher water.

Still some dry spots in the middle

Still some dry spots in the middle

No more dry spots in the middle

No more dry spots in the middle

Tourists in motorized rafts ride the rapids!

Tourists in motorized rafts ride the rapids!

So much water rushing in!

So much water rushing in!

So yes, it was worth the detour to Truro. We got to witness the power of nature that day. But even better, we got to discover the Superhero that is Dax!

Three Californians Walk Into A Bar in Nova Scotia, and…….

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Day 94     September 11, 2014

Glace Bay  to  Antigonish

Nova Scotia, Canada

Maybe it was due to the gloomy overcast day, but Glace Bay completely underwhelmed us. Maybe we’d set our expectations too high. Maybe it was just the grayness. Well, we checked it off the list and moved on.

Next, we drove to Louisbourg. Have I mentioned how much I dislike historic reenactment villages? I think I have. But somehow, I ended up at another one of ‘em…..the Fortress of Louisbourg.

They welcomed us. How nice!

They welcomed us. How nice!

Unlike my experience with Glace Bay, my expectations had been set very low for our visit to Louisbourg. And this was so uncalled for, ‘cause the Fortress was pretty dang cool. We took tons of pictures, bought homemade wheat and rye breads, and ate lunch in the cantina. So glad Mark talked me into stopping here!

More or less, the front door of the fortress

More or less, the front door of the fortress

Let the reenactment crap begin.....

Let the reenactment crap begin…..

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

A fortress must have a moat, right?

A fortress must have a moat, right?

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

A fortress needs some cool weaponry too, right?

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Green door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Green door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Red door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Red door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

The view of the fortress from across the water

The view of the fortress from across the water

Finally, a nice little graveyard...

On our walk back to the visitor center….a nice little graveyard.

It was early afternoon when we got back on the road and headed west on Route 104. We drove past the lake region, which looked pretty, but we didn’t have time to stop. We had to put on some more miles today.

We stopped for the night at Whidden Park Campground in Antigonish. This was one of those rare campground/RV parks that was situated right in the town….not two miles outside of town…right in the town.

This was a great opportunity to go out for drinks and dinner. Antigonish is home to St. Francis Xavier University. So, it’s a university town, which meant there actually was some night life!

We walked through the town, checking out a few places, and settled on The Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery. It was live jazz night, and the place was packed, but we lucked into a couple seats at the bar.

This was going to be a fun and easy place to talk to some locals, which was why I nearly fell off my bar stool when I discovered that the guy sitting next to me at the bar (not Mark, the other guy, other side of me), was a realtor from San Diego, CA. WTF??!!! What are the chances of that? He was equally as shocked to discover that we live about 1/2 hour from him back home in California!

Our new friend from California was on a fishing trip. He and his buddies would catch and release big fish during the day, and then drink like big fish in the Antigonish bars at night!

Now the guy two bar stools down from me, on the other side of Mr. California, he was a local. And he was hilarious, and had a keen mind for trivia. He challenged all three of us Californians to an informal game of trivia. This meant that he’d ask the questions, and the three of us would try to get the correct answers. He kicked our asses. And he even let us chose the categories. This must have cemented in his mind, the opinion that Californians, although we are a good looking bunch, are dumb.

It was a fun evening. And by the way, The Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery had fabulous food! Anyway, although our new friends invited us to go to another bar with them, we had to say goodnight and get back to the Space Shuttle where the pups would be awaiting our return.