Road Trip 2010 – New Mexico

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285 from the passenger side...down the open road.

Have you ever found yourself on a road trip within a road trip?  This was a first for me.  I was a little reluctant.  Here we were in Colorado, with so many people and places to catch up with.  But, it was Sadie’s idea…and I do love Sadie…and it sounded like…fun! 

Airstream Excella II sighting on the way to Taos

Sadie and Paul have different road rules.  For example, Paul doesn’t stop unless we are low on gas.  Sadie; she stops.  For Airstreams with SALE signs on them.  And horses, enjoying sunny days along streams.  And restrooms.  She even stops for lunch!  

This is my kind of commute...

I won’t lie to you.  We did have a few Thelma and Louise moments.  I love traveling with Paul but it isn’t quite the comedy of errors that it was with Sadie.  Teehee.

Runaway Train. Antonito, New Mexico

Antonito holds a little inside joke for us.  Definitely a “you had to be there” sort of joke.  Let’s just say that Sadie is a funny girl. 

Welcome to Taos

I was really looking forward to Taos.  Paul and I had been to Santa Fe back in 2006 and we both loved it.  Taos was cool, but I have to say that Santa Fe is still my favorite. 

We contemplated camping in the Taos vicinity, but after a strange incident involving a creepy gas station attendant and a pissy cop, we decided to just.keep.driving. 

Partay at the KOA

It was not our intention to end up at a commercial campsite…but, under the circumstances (the film Deliverance springs to mind), the KOA just outside of Santa Fe was a little slice of Heaven.  No, really.  

Morning Coffee at the Indian Market

The Santa Fe Indian Market has been running for 89 years.  This was our main reason for driving hundreds of miles in less than two days.  It was well worth the drive.   We got there first thing in the morning, and took one of the very last parking spaces.  Good crowd. 

Foolishly, I did not ask permission to take and post pictures of my favorite artwork and/or the people behind the creations.  Below is just one of the many rows of booths.  

Early morning at the Santa Fe Indian Market

Santa Fe is known for it’s architecture (duh).   I love being surrounded by curves, adobe, and iron with a blue sky backdrop.  It is the oldest capital city in the US and along with that comes some historical masterpieces. 

The Lensic Performing Arts Center

And let’s not forget the masterpiece on a plate, also known as Huevos Rancheros.  Do yourself a favor if you haven’t already.  Go to Tia Sophia’s

"Huevos Rancheros, Christmas-Style, please..."

Yes, I will be drinking Shakeology soon (had to crop my butt out of this next picture) but in the meantime…happiness in the form of New Mexican cuisine.  So very worth it. 

Happy Campers at Tia Sophia's

We wandered a bit more, then it was back to Colorado for us.  Santa Fe deserves a good several days, but I will take whatever I can get!  Thank you, Sadie for having me along as your sidekick. 

Santa Fean Wall Art

Another fond road trip memory for us to reflect upon whilst rocking back and forth on a front porch (most likely yours Sadie, unless Paul and I change our nomadic ways); sipping at our JD and Cokes throughout our twilight years…

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Road Trip 2010 – Colorado

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Oklahoma Rest Stop

From Mississippi, we drove right through Arkansas and stayed one night in Oklahoma City.  I am sad to say that the only thing I remember about Arkansas was the amount of squashed armadillos on the highway.  Asked Paul to help a girl out but he had nothing to add.  And Oklahoma City in August was simply too hot.  We wandered a bit, had a bite, melted.  On the way back to the nondiscript chain hotel, we came across a small wedding party.  And here is my favorite memory of Oklahoma…

An Oklahoma Wedding

If I were getting married that day in OK, I would have done the exact same thing.  My least favorite memory of Oklahoma?  Worst huevos rancheros ever in a restaurant in a town with no people on it’s streets…or in it’s shops…or restaurants.  That should have been our cue to drive straight through.

Um...Where is everyone?

I know I am not being very fair to Arkansas and Oklahoma…I know if we had stayed longer things would have been different.  And when I say different, I mean better.  if you have a fun memory of either place you would like to share, that would be great.

And now.  The state we took to the road for in the first place.  Colorado.  Where Paul and I met.  Where Mountain Girl Organics was born.  Where most of our friends are.  Ahh, it’s good to be back in the ‘hood! And since every picture tells a story, and since I’m hoping for some rapport via your comments…here goes.

How Sadie rolls on Bear Mountain

Dakota Blonde with Ernie Martinez at The Comfort Cafe in Denver

Meeting Em at my old stomping grounds, the Bergen Park Farmers' Market

Em, Sadie and I, showing off our new pedis

Looks like Aussie Ken's been shopping again

Jodee, John E, Tom C, and Me at Rio Del Sol

Paul (always a hit with the ladies) and Casey at Rio

Robb & Mary, this one's for you ; )

Michele's shop, Bella Vita, in Kittredge, CO

One more of Bella Vita. Cause I love it.

Billy's Pub

Paul has help blowing out his belated Birthday candle

Hanging out at the old digs

Bear Mountain Barn

Latest addition to Bear Mountain - Wyatt

Oliver, playing "pull my finger" with Paul. Scary.

Yay for babies! Congrats, Jon and Lee!

My current favorite Colorado church sign

Evergreen Lake, pre-concert

Sadie, Barre and Tom at the Lake

Jakarta at Evergreen Lake

John E & the Ladies (aka Jen, Kit, and Kathleen)

BYOK (Bring Your Own Keg) Night with Ken

In case you were wondering where the spots on my lens came from ; )

Denise, hitchin' a ride

Until next time, Evergreen!

Stay tuned for Santa Fe, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio!  Oh, and the contest is still on – you have between now and tomorrow night (Sunday, 10/10/10 at 10:10pm) to leave a comment on any Caretaking Couple blog post!  XOX, V&P

Road Trip 2010 – (Mostly) Mississippi

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Yes, it is October, and yes, this road trip did take place throughout the month of August.  Sigh.  Still, I am determined to give you the scoop because it was such a GREAT trip!  I am now writing from lovely Provincetown, MA where we have rented a sweet apartment between sits.  Then it’s Tennessee, here we come!

Creepy. Pretty. Pretty Creepy!

After North Carolina, we drove through a bit of Georgia and spent one night in Tennessee, where we met with the homeowners we will be sitting for as of next month.  I will ply you with TN pics then…for now, on to Mississippi.  But first, what is this stuff growing over everything?  Will someone please enlighten me?  Someone familiar with the South?  Thank you.

We didn’t have much time in Mississippi – just one night.  We tried to get two, but the Inn we were staying at was fully booked.  You wouldn’t think this would be an issue, judging by the exterior of the place.  But it was, and now I know why.  On the way to Clarksdale, we stopped in Oxford for lunch.  What a cool town! 

Yes, Please

"Say, aren't you William Faulkner?!?"

Our lunch break was short and sweet and like so many places we happened upon in our travels, I wanted to know more.  However, until I can convince the S.O. (Significant Other, aka Paul) to go in on an Airstream, we’ll just have to keep movin’.

I went down to the crossroads...

We ended up in Clarksdale Mississippi because Paul and I both share a deep appreciation for blues music and wanted to find out more about the Delta blues in particular.  That, and Paul found the site for a place called the Shack Up Inn while surfing the web one day.  It was love at first click. 

Welcome to our shack for the night

We stayed in the Pinetop Perkins shack.  This (along with the rest) is an original sharecropper shack.  The Shack Up Inn is located at an old cotton plantation…Hopson Plantation.  An eye opener as to how things were not so long ago in these parts.  By the way, Pinetop Perkins is ninety-seven and still going strong. 

Pinetop mural in the living room

Shacks (from the back)

RV Art

I'll take mine silver ; )

And rusty teal

the Juke Joint Chapel

Chevy & The Cotton Gin Inn

Hopefully I have given you a good feel for the premises.  It really is one of those places you have to see for yourself.  I suggest you go there.  And now, for what we chose to do with our one night on the town…

Blue Cheese Fondue with House Fried Potatoes at Rust

Parking at the Ground Zero Blues Bar

I think I'll just grab a seat at the bar...

Razorblade takes the stage

Razorblade & Yours Truly

Ground Zero Blues Club  is just one of the local joints and I have to be honest, I did go there knowing that Morgan Freeman is a co-owner and…how cool would it be if he just happened to stop by?  What?  At least I’m being honest.  I’m not starstruck in general, but, come on…Morgan Freeman! 
 
Alas, no Mr. Freeman that night, but we did have the honor of meeting Josh “Razorblade” Stewart. 
Another unforgettable evening on the road.  Go to www.reverbnation.com/joshrazorbladestewart and have a listen.  My favorite song is “Every Goodbye Sure Don’t Mean I’m Gone”.  I can’t wait to be back in Clarksdale.

The Crossroads, made famous by Robert Johnson

Biscuits and Grits for the road at the Rest Haven Restaurant

P.S.  Thanks to you, we’ve had over 10,000 hits to this little blog; and almost 1,000 comments!  This calls for a celebration in the form of a PRIZE drawing.  Just leave a comment on ANY post ANYTIME between now and Sunday night (10/10/10 – how cool is that?) and I will announce the winner/prize first thing Monday morning : )

***BREAKING NEWS***

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The new face of MGO (pictured here with her family)!

Hello Friends.  To clear up any confusion, we returned from our August road trip a month ago and I am just now finishing up my posts, so when you see titles with Mississippi, Colorado, Kansas, etc. in them, we aren’t actually there anymore.  It isn’t that I haven’t been dying to tell you about the rest of the places, people and pets we met along the way…it is just that I got a bit…distracted.  Shocking, I know. 

What was I distracted with, you wonder?  Well.  The BIG news is that my little business, Mountain Girl Organics has officially sold!  We have been doing all the stuff that needs doing to get Paula (the proud new owner) up and running.  Just in time for the Holiday Season, no less.  Phew – so much to do!  Luckily she will have lots of help from Laurie Teason (of Sweet Cheeks Soap Co fame) and “the guys” (see above). 

We will be sending out a press release and more very shortly.  There are a few things that still need tweaking!  In the meantime, if you are a facebook user, be sure to fan Paula at Mountain Girl Organics.  Paula is currently working on the website, www.MountainGirlOrganics.com, and you can still leave comments on the blog, www.MountainGirlOrganics.wordpress.com

I was going to wait until everything was “just so” to make this announcement, but it really is a process and I just can’t keep it to myself for another minute.  In other words, I am very excited!  A little sad, as well (my baby…) but mostly excited!  Paula is taking on A LOT in a very small amount of time, so if you would care to share the love through a few words of encouragement via fb and/or the blog I know she would appreciate it : ) 

OK, now…where was I?  Oh, yes…Clarksdale, Mississippi…

Woman Confronting Her Fears

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I met Rachelle at a farmers’ market in Frisco, Colorado a few years back.  We bartered Shea Butter Body Whip for magnets.  This is my current favorite.  She’s got more on her website, www.rachelleart.com.  Rachelle, I think you are great – did I ever tell you?

There is so much I want to share with everyone…but it’s going to have to wait another week or so (thankfully, you are readers of the understanding sort).  In the meantime, Happy Fall, Y’all!  That’s me, practicing for our Southern Sit in November : )

Road Trip 2010 – Wilmington, NC

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All I really cared about with regards to North Carolina was finally getting to see the Outer Banks for ourselves and maybe hitting Asheville, of which we have heard so much about.   Somehow our plans changed and Wilmington took the place of Asheville on our itinerary. 
 

CW Worth House

I wasn’t too disappointed, knowing we will get to Asheville at some point in the next several months (we are heading south for our next sit come November).  And when we drove up to the CW Worth House , Asheville was all but forgotten.  This Victorian beauty was built in 1893 and has been impeccably preserved, inside and out.  It is the longest operating B&B in Wilmington.  I highly recommend you stay here if you get the opportunity.

Boardwalk along the Cape Fear River

And walking distance from the Worth House is downtown Wilmington, along with its fantastic boardwalk full of restaurants and shops and college students and dogs out for their evening walks. 

Romantic dinner at The Pilot House

Food tastes better when riverfronts, boardwalks, candles and sunsets are involved.  I think so, anyway.  We enjoyed every minute at The Pilot House.  And, although I don’t consider myself a city girl, I do love being able to wander around town and back to our digs on foot.  

Mind you, there are things you don’t notice so much at night.  Things like spiders. 

Big Garden Spider. Very Big.

I know there are some of you who don’t like spiders and would rather I hadn’t posted this pic.  However, they are everywhere in Wilmington and therefore worthy of mention.  According to a gardener we happened to meet on the way to the B&B, this spider is not poisonous to humans.  Excellent news.  It is also known as a Writing Spider, owing to the webs it weaves.  Interesting, I know! Right.  Time to move on.

Downtown Wilmington, NC

August in the South is hot.  I am guessing this is why you don’t see many pedestrians in this photo.  There are some funky little shops and bars.  This is my favorite Wilmington storefront…

Hardwire Tattoo

No, I don’t have any tattoos.  Do you?  Tell us about it via the comment link, won’t you?  And while we are on favorites, this is my favorite building in Wilmington:

St. James Parrish

And I don’t go to church.  I just think this is a magnificent piece of architecture.   Especially against summer blue.  If you enjoy architecture, I am sure you will appreciate Wilmington. 

Brick & Iron

To keep the “favorites” theme going,  guess what one of my favorite southern dishes happens to be? 

Fried Green Tomatoes at Circa 1922

Circa 1922 is in the heart of downtown Wilmington and has heavenly tapas.  Our meal was, however, briefly interrupted by a patron who fell off her bar stool.  Oopsy.  It helps to drink water (instead of booze) if one is dehydrated on a 100+ degree day, methinks.  Anyway, my Circa 1922 refreshment of choice?  Pear Cider.  So refreshing.

The Battleship North Carolina

We didn’t tour the Battleship North Carolina, nor did we see the Wilmington coastline.  Alas, we had to keep movin’.  A fun aspect of cross-country road trips is figuring out what parts of the country you want to see more of; spend more time in.  I’ve fallen for North Carolina.  Couldn’t you see me sitting here with a pint of lemonade and my lappy, writing the next Great American Novel?  Sigh.

Front Porch of the Worth House

Road Trip 2010 – Ocracoke Island, NC

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Guess what you’ll want to do first thing when you get off the ferry to Ocracoke?  (Hint:  see below).  

Ahhh, Ocracoke sand...

Paul was extra excited about Ocracoke because he had found a place called Pam’s Pelican Bed & Breakfast.  Their tagline is “Peace, Love and Bacon Grease”, so Paul felt it absolutely necessary that we stay there.  I was a little wary, but the place was popular…  

Casual and friendly...that about sums up Ocracoke

Pam made great big delicious breakfasts (with bacon on the side, every morning, naturally), and Mike is a musician and local DJ (bonus points).

What? No Redneck Radio Show in your town?

My only complaint was that smack dab in the middle of the living room was a genuine poker table, and nobody, but nobody would play with me : (   

Anyone? Anyone?

I wasn’t that upset, as island living is really all about sun, surf and sand after all.  Still – would have been fun!   

Meanwhile, back at the beach...

If you like to plop yourself on the beach with a good read, a cooler and an umbrella, then this is the place for you.  The water feels lovely and there are miles and miles of pristine beach with not nearly as many people as you would find on the east/west coasts.  And if you have kids…   

How fun is this?

Separate pools form, depending on the tide.  So the kids can play in the water without giving the ‘rents agita.  Seriously, the Outer Banks come with some fierce rip currents – nothing to mess around with.   

"Run for your lives! It's Blackbeard!"

Speaking of fierce…we couldn’t resist Teach’s Hole .  Fun if you are into pirate history.  Strange really, how popular pirates are, considering they were (and apparently still are in some parts of the world) a bunch of criminal a-holes.     

I wanted to wait for these people to come out but Paul wouldn't let me

However, I am fairly certain these particular pirates are of the friendly sort…these are the kind of people that would be fun to interview for the blog, I bet.    

Zillie's Island Pantry

Paul and I loved Zillie’s.  The wine and beer selection was impressive, and they had tons of yummy cheeses and gourmet snack items that you could purchase for a beach picnic or, in our case, consumption on the patio.  So, we made ourselves at home there one afternoon.  Fun.   

Shelves and shelves of beer at Zillie's

While we sat on the patio enjoying our Chocolate Box Shiraz and various cheeses including an especially yummy Stilton,  a friendly woman said hello and the two of us started chatting away.  And that is how we met our new friends, A.B. and Diane.   

Another fun day on the water thanks to A.B. and Diane!

Next thing you know, we have been invited to go fishing on their boat first thing the next morning.  And what a great day the four of us had.  Paul managed to catch a couple of bluefish…   

Paul's first catch of the day : )

Then we had lunch and enjoyed another afternoon in and on the water…   

Paul loves this boat like I love Airstreams

Pelicans

Until a waterspout formed off in the distance (hard to tell but you make the pic bigger by clicking on it) and the weather turned from balmy to stormy.    

Spout forming (to the left of the lighthouse)

Back just in time!

The spout actually hit land (taking an umbrella & chairs at Smacnally’s with it), then bounced off the water (if you click the pic you can just make it out).   Even the locals were impressed.   

Speaking of Smacnally’s – below is a typical scene at this great little outdoor bar.   

Enjoying an afternoon with Willis Gupton at Smacnally's

By the way, if ever you find yourself listening to Willis Gupton, don’t let on that you don’t know who Alan Jackson is (Paul!).   And don’t think that just because this fine establishment serves only beer and wine, the place won’t get rowdy.  Cause it will.   

We loved our time in Ocracoke.  I kept an eye out for the wild horses (you know, like the ones in Nights in Radanthe) but it seems that now they aren’t so wild, due to increased traffic and the like.  That was my only disappointment, really.  Oh, and there are no laundromats on the island, so don’t hop on the ferry without doing your laundry first (Valynne!).  Miss you already, OBX…

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