Looking forward

As I sit down to write this, it’s about 6pm on the 31st December 2015 

New Year’s Eve.

And despite the luxury of a four day weekend, I have been struggling to shake the funk that has clouded my mood for the last few days.

It was easy while I was working, to blame the fact that I was having to work, while hubby and so many of my friends were having time off, but today, I too was able to ignore the uniform and simply stop and reflect.

Well reflect after the grocery shopping was done and a batch of brownies made.

I could hear myself sniping and grumbling at hubby for stupid little nonsense and that was enough to make me stop and wonder why?

Post holiday, Christmas funk, is probably a big part although The birthday I wasn’t looking forward to, came and went and ended up being a delightful day.

This time last year, I was plotting and planning.  The adventure, a year of working, saving and then flying off on what was probably the best trip I have ever taken.

So perhaps it makes sense I am feeling a little lost right now.

I am a goal setter.  A list maker. A planner.

And right now, I need to find new goals.

My bucket list needs revision.  New challenges need to be found.

2016 so far is a blank page.

No “resolutions” although I perhaps need to shed a few kilos.

Tonight, I will be bringing in the new year in the company of good friends, raising a glass to the adventures of the old year and possibilities of the new.

Time then to look forward, shake these ridiculous blues and find some new adventures and goals.

Perhaps no fabulous trip to far off lands, but there is art to create, and maybe , just maybe, this is the year that I finally get a new dining suite.

Thank you all, those who continue to visit this little blog of mine.

May you all have a wonderful new year, filled with love, happiness and good health.

May you have adventures, try new things and step out of your comfort zone.

Laugh lots, appreciate the little things and don’t be afraid to dream.

Life is short, precious and sometimes unpredictable.

Live it

Happy Birthday?

As some of you might remember, another justification for this massive adventure was that this year I am celebrating (?) the big five oh.

Yes, this is one of the last posts, most probably the last really, that I can refer to myself as in my “fabulous forties”.

And here is where I can confess, that despite an element of outward bravado, this is one of the first birthdays in my memory, that I haven’t looked forward to.

Anyway, enough about that scary number.

Last time you were here, we had arrived in Texas.

I loved Texas.  What we saw of it anyway.

We didn’t stop in Dallas, or make our way to Austin.

We did however visit the Dr Pepper museum, and wander along the river.

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We also marvelled at  massive mammoth bones.

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There was a flea-market, where we found old vinyl for Micael and browsed among the assorted bric a brac.

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We shopped for boots and ugly Christmas sweaters and a new suitcase to bring home all our wonderful treasures.

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There were archery shops and western wear shops and a fabulous jewellery shop with a lovely woman who was determined to sell me diamonds if only so that we could get the free gift with purchase – a rifle.

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Tempting, but no.

All this fun without leaving Waco.

But as we all know, I didn’t just come to Texas just to shop.

Not far from Waco is the town that Micael lives in.

It’s not big, but it’s pretty, and friendly and just how I imagined.

And we spent each afternoon together crossing off my “list”

“Paint together” – check.  Two canvas, taped together.  Two friends, one bottle of wine and lots of brushes and colour.

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Oh and did I mention the bottle of wine was a “comp” from the hotel?  Awesome gift thank you Hilton Waco.

“Eat snacks together” – Often we had talked about the differences in candy and snacks between our two countries.  So after a trip to the local store, I had the adventure of trying such delights as Milk Duds, Bugles, Hot Tamales, Cheetos and Moon pies.

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Confession, not everything was to my tastes but washed down with a Big Red and Dr Pepper, it was a long lasting sugar buzz.

“Sit in the yard and drink beer” – ok, not officially on the list but why not?  Holidays definitely do need a balance of relaxation as well as sightseeing.

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“Become a drag queen for a day” – As well as being an artist, poet, and writer, Micael was a professional drag queen for many years and I finally got to meet “Dazey Mayhem” and had myself a makeover.

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So much fun.  And in the end, we both looked fabulous.

And all the while, Hubby kept himself busy, often just giving us space so we could talk, and laugh and just savour each long awaited moment before our time together ended.

A week was never going to be long enough.

And the last morning was incredibly hard.

But I had to go home.

Back to reality, family and work.

Starting with a 17 hour plane flight….

So there you go, my grand adventure in a nutshell.

Now feel free to ask me anything you want about the trip.

Or we can just return to our usual erratic posts filled with art and musing.

Hang on, I nearly forgot to tell you about the food.

Texas BBQ – Freaking amazing

Before
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And after

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Before I go, I would like to wish you all  Happy Holidays (we are an inclusive blog here).

And hoping that 2016 brings each and every one of you, peace, happiness and love.

Thank you all for being part of my world.

See you on the other side (of 50)

heart-trish

 

 

 

 

“Why Waco?”

The plane was delayed leaving Vegas and it was late in the evening when we finally checked into the Hyatt at DFW airport.

There was never any intention to drive to Waco that night, in fact the plan was to shuttle to the hotel, crash, and then the following morning, return to the airport, collect the rental car and then drive to our final destination.

Another comfortable room.  Another nice hotel and after a cuppa from the lobby coffee shop, we slept.

Finally, after years of dreaming and months of planning and saving, I was in Texas.

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The morning dawned a little foggy, which thankfully cleared quickly, and we enjoyed a cooked breakfast which finished with the server uttering the perfect farewell..

“Y’all come back again soon”

Bags repacked, we caught the shuttle to the airport, then another shuttle to the car rental place before collecting our rental car.

Minor hiccup with the allocation meant an upgrade and nervously we put our trust in the GPS unit, programmed in our destination and drove off.

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In a car where all the controls are on the “wrong” side.

On roads where everybody drives on the “wrong” side…

Thankfully, Hubby had a bit of a lesson from the awesome Patty while we drove to Vegas, and we had developed our own little mantra.

Tight Right, loose left.

and pray.

Think about it.  Suddenly your centre mirror is on the other side of you as you drive.  Even your indicator is on the other side of the steering wheel.

All the speeds and signs are foreign.

There are a LOT of really big trucks

And EVERYBODY drives really fast.

It is fucking terrifying.

We don’t have roads like those here in little ol Adelaide.

My blood pressure is thankful for that fact.

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But in less than 2 hours, and only having been tooted once by a large truck, we arrived in Waco.  Happily in one piece.

The Hilton Waco, situated on the Brazos River, right by the historic suspension bridge, is a gorgeous mid sized hotel.

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Not super fancy, but lovely and so friendly we began to feel a little like celebrities by the end of our stay.

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They let us check in early, and despite being very excited about what was to happen next, we both agreed that we needed to stop, have some lunch, a bit of a walk and get our stress levels back to a more normal state before hitting the road again.

I will confess, I was a bit nervous.  Which really was ridiculous when you think about it.

After 5 years of nearly daily contact and conversations,  occasional Skype calls, and letters, there should have been no doubt that this was all going to go well.

Meeting Patty certainly had.

But this next meeting was the original reason I wanted to make this trip.

Yes, I loved New York, and Arizona now has a piece of my heart so that I want to go back and see more. (and spend more time laughing with Patty)

The Grand Canyon was spectacular and I loved the buzz of Las Vegas.

So many adventures already, sites seen, bucket list crossed off.

And now it was finally time.

Several times while in Texas, when people figured out that “y’all aren’t from round here” and we told them we were Australian, the very next question was “but why Waco?”

It certainly made us realise that Aussie tourists aren’t that common in that part of Texas.

It was really quite a simple answer though.

“I’m here to visit my friend”

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Halloween in Vegas

Vegas.

Loud, brash, and busy.  Different to New York in so many ways, and yet there was a vibe so familiar to what we encountered in Times Square.

Although while New York is a fashionable elegant lady, Vegas is the showgirl drag queen.

20151031_095304 After Patty went home, we had the day to explore and filled it with a long walk, a ride on the local bus, plenty of chocolate purchases and a Segway tour. 20151031_161604

Nothing quite like going up to the window of a drive through wedding chapel on a Segway.

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It was awesome, and a very memorable way to see the Fremont Street precinct.

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No show planned for the evening, instead we dined on Mexican food street side while enjoying live music and watching the crowds wander by in amazing costumes.

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People everywhere, it was a blur of humanity, as witches mixed with ghouls and skeletons. The atmosphere was one of a giant citywide party and we chose to finish our evening viewing the lights from the High Roller Wheel.

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We are not night owls, nor heavy drinkers or gamblers.  After a full day of adventure, we quite happily headed back to the hotel to crash.

We actually tend to be morning people, and we woke Sunday, clear headed and ready to explore the strip “the morning after the night before”.

Where the previous night had been a sea of bodies, Sunday morning was all about the clean up.  Street decorations were showing signs of having body parts souvenired and workers had the high pressure water sprays working hard, washing down the pavements.

20151101_075849-0 I love morning walks in a city.  The streets are less busy, and you can discover places and things that you miss when you are dodging a giant minion or yet another Elvis. 20151101_090128_LLS

We flew out of Vegas that afternoon.  Two days was enough.  It turned out to be one of Hubby’s favourite places on the trip, but I had a feeling it would be.  He didn’t enjoy the crowds, but loved the quieter moments, the walks and the Segway.

I came away with only one regret, that I didn’t try the cupcake ATM.

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I still wonder what that would have been like.

Next stop Dallas Texas…