My Love Affair…part 1

Those of you who know me well enough to come to my humble home, will no doubt have heard all about this. My friends and confidantes with
whom I cannot contain my excitement on the subject. It’s true I am having a love affair…
With the U.S of A!

Before a few years back, I had never wanted to go there. There were many other destinations that appealed to me a whole lot more. Through the news and pop media, it seemed a crowded, dirty, unsafe place. The people were rumoured to be rude and loud, the food cheap and greasy. The cheese was all supposed to be orange??
All I can say to that is..Don’t believe ANYTHING until you’ve experienced it for yourself! Nothing could be further from the truth.

Through a Buell internet forum ‘Badweather Bikers’, Chili and I had made a lot of online friends all over the country, and when it was time for
the Annual ‘Homecoming event’, when Buellers from all over the country travel to the East Troy- the birthplace of Buell motorcycles, we decided to bite the bullet and just go. It was this time 2 years ago, feels like yesterday still.

This is part one, because our trip lasted four glorious weeks, and we packed as much as humanly possible into it, and a few extra things which I believe were relatively above human capabilities too. We wanted to do everything.

Ummm..had I mentioned that I absolutely HATE to fly? A small hitch. So tickets in hand I nervously boarded for our 13 hour flight over great expanses of ocean.

V Australia were great, right down to the nice steward who kept eyeing Chili off 😉
About halfway there I got sick…very sick…and stayed that way for the next 7 hours-Yay me! Getting off the plane, I had never been happier to have my feet planted firmly on the ground before.

Our amazing hosts Melanie and Asbjorn whisked us out to San Dimas (69 Dudes!) for the first stop of our amazing journey. Having only just met, they made us feel so comfortable and welcome, we could have known them for years. The below pics are at the downtown LA restaurant ‘La Golondrina’ where we scoffed spicy chocolate coated chicken and margaritas! and of course Madame Tusseads wax Museum on the strip 🙂

From there we only stayed overnight in Vegas (which will soon be remedied) but it was a great night and we packed so much into that 24 hours you wouldn’t believe. I’m not sure if 24 days would be long enough to see all the sparkly sparkly blingy cachingy city has to offer!!??
We stayed at the fabulous Treasure Island which came alive with a full size Pirate ship sailing around it at night, and a battle with the Sirens of the deep. By this time we were throwing back ridiculously strong vodka slushies. Good times, good times. We got lost in Ceasars Palace, Visited the underwater aquarium with a friend, saw the fountains of the Bellagio sing and walked miles.

   

A few days in L.A to lose the jetlag and look around and a sad farewell to Asbjorn and Melanie, and we were off on the next leg of our trip.
New York, New York-The Big Apple!
We stayed with friends on Statton Island. Such a great place. So many things to see, and a fantastic tour guide Court turned out to be too!
  

Above were taken looking toward the big smoke, in Central Park and with Court and ‘Super-Jack’ who allowed us to feed him treats while we stayed in his home 🙂
New York really is a fabulous place to visit. We met up with a huge group of fellow riders/forumers at the ‘Dinosaur’ in Harlem. Awesome day!
 

A few more days in New york which involved some serious shopping-shoes, clothes-serious stuff, we headed out into the wild yonder in our beige (don’t tell anyone that)
rental car to see where the road would take us…
As we drove I reflected on all my expectations of America and it’s American-ness. So far, none of it held true.
The people were not rude and loud, they were outgoing, animated, generous, welcoming and above all, friendly.
The food was not cheap and greasy, it was cheap and fabulous! A taste explosion to be believed only when experienced.
The cheese was not orange (well not all of it). The orange stuff is great with turkey too!
The countryside was not dirty, and as we drove we meandered past row upon row of neatly manicured lawns and flags flying proudly above homes.
I was loving America, and I wanted more.

So where DID the road take us you ask? I guess you’ll just have to read the next blog to find out 😉

Cheers
V

All about loss.

Loss is hard, whether good or bad, always hard.

A friend recently asked the universe this very question…”Why am I so afraid of loss?” The answer seemed simple to me, having dealt
with the topic a lot.
“Because that fear lets us know that what we have is worth keeping” It is a healthy fear, it keeps us grounded.

This week the world lost many people, amongst the more publicized from the musical word-Adrock from the Beastie Boys and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, one of the best bass players in the business (Blues Brothers ref). Amongst the lesser publicized but just as important and notable-Melanie Doerman.
Who? I hear your brain ticking. Melanie was a dear friend of ours, whom we spent time with in L.A on our last trip to the U.S.

I could tell you that Melanie was a beautiful, kind woman. I could tell you that she was a talented beader/jewellery maker. I could tell you that she was an inspiration starting her own business. I could tell you she was a great adventurous motorcycle rider, who travelled the U.S solo for a month. There are many other things I could tell you about Melanie, but the most important thing I can say is that she was a friend. We will miss her, even from hundreds of miles away, knowing she is no longer in the world, makes it a little bit less bright each day.
Melanie had just finished her first book which is now published and available here…http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Forgotten-Things-Creating/dp/1596685484/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337112400&sr=8-1

In the theme of loss, I will also touch on something else very personal at this time of year-Mother’s Day.
For those of you who don’t know, my own Mother, the amazing woman she was, passed away when I was just 8 years old.
My Mother was the best one ever. She was a professional doll and teddy bear maker by trade (what a way for a kid to grow up huh?!). We were surrounded by toys and affection growing up. My Mum taught me to sew, be creative and so many other things. Special occasions were always that little bit more ‘special’ and we grew up climbing trees, catching bees in plastic bags (well maybe that was just me) and becoming independent little people.
It was a great childhood, cut short by Mr Cancer.
It has been a long time now, but each year, when people ask if I am going to visit my Mother, it still brings that little twinge back when I have to tell them that I can’t. She is with me every day, but I often do wonder what she thinks when she looks down on my life today.
I can only hope she would be proud of my achievements big or small and that I have found someone I love to share them with 🙂

And finally on a positive note-more loss, but of the good kind!
I finally bit the bullet and joined a gym. I can’t help but feel a little proud of myself for just doing it. It’s a great ladies only gym, with a team that offers genuine support. No ‘fishbowl’ style of gym, where everyone can walk past the front window and gape at you wobbling all over. No self obsessed gym junkies loving themselves in mirrors (and that’s mostly the employees).

I have been three times so far (my required allotted visits for the week) and even though I don’t have to go in the morning, I find myself trying to find the time to slot it in anyway. I feel good when I leave and it makes my day better. I really want to stick with it and see results. I am so sick of feeling frumpy and disappointed with the way I look. I want to bring sexy back! So it starts here and now! Go Me!! I’ll keep you posted as to how it’s going.

Cheers

V