Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Road Trip Continued: Pueblo,Co 2013

Last week I shared about my random road trip Los Angeles to Nashville (posted below).  After a few days in Nashville, Lisa and I headed to the beautiful and historic town of Pueblo in Southern Colorado. Lisa works for this awesome company,, writing content about the nations raddest places you should visit or move to.  We had talked in the past about meeting up on a trip sometime, this was our chance.

We left Nashville at before the sun had even a thought of rising, and on our way.  Lisa got in a little nap during the flight while I gibbered with a precocious red-headed, freckly, solo flying tween, she was hilarious.  Landed, exhausted and it's only around 10am.  Set out from Denver to Pueblo, about 2  our  drive of beautiful scenery and landmarks, it really was a sight for sore eyes.

With time on our hands, feeling haggard, scruffy and a travel worn,  I could actually go for a hair cut, Lisa was up for one too.  I know what you're thinking, a stylist in a town you've never been to? Well, the gamble paid off.  After a Goldie Locks like series of calling places, we found the joint that was 'just right.'  The girls at Infinity Salon, we kind and talented and we left looking amazing (even with my roots!)

Lisa had her meeting and I napped, or at least tried to.  I cleaned myself up, put on my new awesome vintage dress I score in Nashville at my favorite shop The Hip Zipper.  A delicate pre WWII piece, with  gorgeous velvet buttons.  I am almost scared to wear it, it's so pretty, and I'm the girl likely to climb a tree before the night is over.  It's still in one piece somehow!

Dinner by the river walk at Angelo's, holy hell, so good.  I should mention Pueblo is kind of famous for their Mira Sol chiles, and they will put them on everything.  And that ain't a bad thing at all.  I am so thankful for their gluten free pizza crust and extra mira sol chiles,…mmmm.  Back to the hotel, quick change into 'post pizza eating' pants, yeah I said it, and off to Pueblo reservoir for one of the most gorgeous sunsets I have witnessed.  My photos cannot justify the magnitude of the beauty.

It unfolded in different stages.

Clearly, we were amazed. (this phone picture was after the fireworks of the beautiful sunset.)

Even much after the light was gone, more beauty.

The next morning, I tagged along with Lisa for a tour of the newly renovated Memorial Hall.  This building was simply breathtaking, and we saw every corner of it! The planners of the renovation had made efforts to restore, revitalize and reuse any pieces that already existed.  There is a theater side, and the other side will be city hall  offices.  Lisa and I were disappointed we couldn't come back for the Memorial Hall's debut with comedian Anjela Johnson the following month.

Did you know Pueblo is the hometown for many recipients of the Medal of Honor, making this historic Colorado town the "Home of  Heroes."  President Dwight D. Eisenhower is attributed with the quote "What is it…something in the water out there in Pueblo?  All you guys turn out to be heroes!"

We grabbed a bite at Bingo Burger, a local hot spot.  Now, being vegetarian and not able to eat gluten, I am a travel food nightmare.  However, I was able to really pig out without any dietary concerns, it was awesome, go Bingo Burger. Veggie burger, lettuce wrapped, extra chiles please!!!

The weekend came around along with the downtown event the 'B Street Bash.' Live music by a band composed of all high school music teachers rocking everyones faces off, they were awesome and had the crowd dancing all night long.  We ran into a couple of the girls we met a day ago at the salon, danced in the rain, and even were serenaded by Elvis?

A beautiful unexpected trip that kept delivering new excitement.  Time to leave Pueblo, but first to hoop down by the river walk to complete my hooping in every state.  Back to the (creepy) Denver airport (ALIENS!) I'll spare you the conspiracy theories tales, haha. 

Evidence of Aliens at the airport?

Waiting for my plane under stormy skies, and then off I go. Southern California bound, for the air I watch the landscape turn, hint of snow topped mountains with clouds to dry, reddish swirls, to golden land and sprawling neighborhoods. 

Home at last. I whipped through in 8 states 6 days, at a fast paced, but still thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I hope you say yes to any opportunities that come your way.

I'll see you on the road.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Random Road Trip, Los Angeles to Nashville? YES!

It was literally this week a year ago that I was on the road, Los Angeles to Nashville, with a chance return trip by air, stopping in Pueblo, Colorado.  This trip sprung up with little notice, I was at the crossroads of random adventure and staying home comfort.

Nashville friend Shawn was stationed temporarily in Southern California and would be heading back home in his utterly gorgeous and badass Ford Raptor,…with a small chihuahua, "Coco" a gift for his wife.  The combination is laughable indeed, but dogs like trucks.  All dogs, all trucks.  She made a great little road companion she chilled and napped the whole way, you almost didn't even know she was there.

It begins, a touristy photo-heavy blog.

My husband, a very sleepy husband, seeing us off after sunrise. With the dog on board and my hula-hoop packed, it was time to roll.

The first 8 hours have become so regular throughout my travels in the southwest that I did not take very many photos.  I really should have, there is beauty and interest in everything.  We start to see the same things so often, we forget to look closer, lesson learned.  If my hands are free: leave the camera ON and keep shooting!  We were in Arizona before long, there were so many of these little tourist stops with kitschy designed buildings, I still dunno how I feel about them. But I will say this, what trip across America is complete without seeing a few roadside DINOSAURS!

We actually stopped to see Meteor Crater, but no pets allowed, we didn't want to leave Coco in the truck.  Also, this attraction was nearly $20 a pop, and all kinds of fuss, we opted for hooping in the parking lot and "hey look at that fence around Meteor Crater." Moving on…

We breezed through AZ and got to the backside of New Mexico before needing to get at least a couple hours sleep before, up early and on our way.  This is traveling with friends in the Air Force! Rise and shine!  And I did, even got this snap of the road-devouring chariot before we were on route.  With a beast like the Raptor, it's a shame we didn't get any offloading time, but that means another trip!

WIRED, and that's caffeine free I'll have you know.  I cant' speak for Coco though.

A little pre-driving hooping keeps that spine feeling good.

Under smoky skies from fires in the Southwest, we left the "Land of Enchantment" and onto…

As car enthusiasts, we were excited to make a stop at the Cadillac Ranch or Cadillac Graveyard in Amarillo, TX.  Shawn and Coco enjoyed stretching their legs and clearly I had a good time, and I had an awesome outfit for the site.

Before leaving the Lone Star State, passing Tinker Air Force Base and Charles B. Hall Airpark.  

Pit stop, I wish I had gotten a photo of the restaurant called "Chair Busters" or something, but we gassed up the Raptor and got out of Texas before we got diabetes.  Making our way and quick, all the while maintaing safe speed bout 70.  Pacing, people, pacing!

We hit Arkansas and the reality of the destructive power of mother nature was all around.  Homes, trees, power lines, barns, business, vehicles, all twisted, crushed and scattered across the landscape.  I didn't get many photos here either.  I understand sharing images of devastation can be moving, however, it was hard to look at, let along photograph.  I'll leave that for others. 

Then another fill-up stop, and the peace andbeauty of mother nature revealed.  That's reason for a hooping celebration. 

The sun went down, by the light of the full moon we rolled on to Tennessee.  Stopping in Memphis, we discovered the casualties. Eww.

Near 3am, reaching lunacy, we made it to Nashville.  A short nap, and it was time for a dawn walk at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center.  This is part of my trips to Nashville every time, and this time I was so excited despite little sleep, I went ahead and strolled along in my pajamas, two great friends, and a dog.

Once back at the house, a little relaxation with the new pack member, Zephyr!  I love staying here with my friends, the Willis's.  There's always good company, plenty of laughter, art, music, and good eats!

Taking a chance on this trip once again rewarded me with an awesome experience, photographing the beautiful +Alaina Thetford. Nashville beauty by way Memphis and band manager to some of the most talented young musicians coming out now. Not to mention, she set us up with a vintage Airstream!  I loved photographing her, she is so lovely and SO rarely in photos (she's always taking them!) It was a beautiful coincidence to be in town and get these shots that would be a cornerstone for my new brand.  And all started by just wanting to help a find split up driving on the long haul back to Music City. 

From our shoot:

It was SO hot in that trailer, you'd have no idea from looking at her.  We were sweating and feeling the strain of the heat and humidity.  I actually stripped down to my underwear to be more comfortable while shooting.  Unfazed, Alaina continued to give me amazing shots, we had a good laugh about it though.  We have known each other many years, there's no being shy after the first shoot with me.  We made up for the heat though, we recovered with a scoop or two from Jeni's.

Such an eventful handful of days already since I left California, and it was already time to head out again. Not before a little more backyard hooping with the fireflies and the insect symphony.  

I had such a fun time seeing more of the USA, even if we were breezing by.  I learned that nothing should stop me from taking photos of everything, even if I've seen it before or it doesn't seem interesting.  It's an opportunity to see things in a new way, this is my craft and my passion, I expect more from myself.  I learned I can get by with less sleep at least temporarily if art and nature are involved.  Most of all, my friends in Nashville, are such a gift, they really are family, and I am thankful to have them in my life, near or far.  (I miss y'all and I promise I will make plans to come 'home' soon!) 

4:30am came around and Lisa was coming to pick me up for our flight to Colorado.  Another trip that came up with random coincidence,  another adventure awaiting, and I was ready.  These opportunities come up more often in our lives than we think.  The more we say yes, or at least a "why not"  the more of these beautiful experiences pop up.  Say yes, take a chance, beautiful things WILL happen.

Next Blog:  Pueblo, CO   (Adventure Week Continued)

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