Search my site
Can't display this module in this section.Can't display this module in this section.

Entries in US Roadie (17)

Tuesday
Dec152009

I'm back in Okiehomie and ready for some R&R


Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

I am back in Oklahoma finally, after an amazing roadtrip and a great staff meeting in Los Angeles. Sam put me up in Long Beach and (even though she was deathly ill) was the best host I could have asked for. I got to meet the infamous Tiffanie and spent time with all the old regulars. Patrick, Mike, Jen, Anthony, Marissa, Liz, even Larry (*cough*) were super excited to hang out and we had a great time doing the usual (aka drinking beer, watching football and playing rockband - best life ever).

E2's staff meeting was in Seal Beach on Thursday and Friday and was relatively uneventful. We had a good (Long) meeting at the hotel and a gorgeous dinner and gift exchange at McKenna's on the Bay in Alamitos. For once, Jeff and I actually held it together and I made it up and chipper in time for the 8:00 EMIS meeting on Friday (miracle!).

Unfortunately, I started to feel sick about half way through the staff meeting. I've been fighting this one off for a couple weeks knowing that there was no way I could get sick in the car. So I decided to fly back to Tulsa early and let the mom take care of me. I hate to miss the LB Christmas Parade :( but I'll just have to go back again for it next year!

Tulsa is... well... Tulsa. I haven't told anyone I'm home, which has been nice since I really need to get some sleep and get caught up on all things life before I head out of the country forever. Update in a few weeks once I have my next trip figured out!

XOXO

----------------
Now playing: Alice in Chains - I Stay Away
via FoxyTunesReblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday
Nov282009

The end to an incredible cross-country roadtrip


Location: Long Beach, California, USA

I can’t believe it. But we actually got up at 2 AM – which was great because we got to take our time on the drive and not freak out about getting me to the airport on time.

We head out of Amish town in Wisconsin (which was creepily dark without electricity) and drove straight West. The ride was uneventful. Dan and I played music and talked and Emma slept in the backseat. Somewhere in Southern Minnesota we ran into this giant field of flashing red lights. Literally a thousand lights that all blinked on and off at the EXACT same time. It was so creepy. After some stellar iPhone research, we learned that it’s a giant windfarm and those are the flashing lights at the top of the turbine. I tried to capture it in a photo, but with no luck. It was way too dark to see anything clearly.

We turned South at I-35 (yes… the wrong direction) and drove about 20 miles out of the way to hit the Iowa border. Ok, I know this is sort of cheating, but technically, I did touch Iowan soil, so I have been to the state. I pledge to go back at some point in my life and actually see some of the state, but for now, that’s all you’re going to get. Since we had to wake Emma up for the Iowa sign, we kept her up to catch the Minnesota sign once we turned back North. Minnesota has a really great sign on northbound I-35. We decided to sit on the wall for this one, and after I set the camera up and hit the automatic timer, I ran for the sign, jumped up on the wall, hit the back of the sign and fell straight on my face on the ground. Luckily, my camera clicked right as I hit the ground and Dan and Emma are cracking up (thanks guys). Second shot was the one and I made it without incident.

From here, Dan wanted to snooze a bit, so I took over the wheel (*shudder*) without much drama. I stalled the damn thing once, but then we were fine. I drove us up through Minnesota, around St. Paul and Minneapolis and West towards North Dakota. Fargo is right on the other side of the border and unfortunately, we couldn’t find a sign for North Dakota (my LAST state!!) so I was quite disappointed. We found some stupid buffalo painted in rainbow that had a plaque that said North Dakota, but I thought that was stupid and was in too much of a bad mood to play nice with the state. Ruined my whole trip.

Ok not that bad. Fargo was actually quite nice, except there is absolutely nothing there. We were trying to look for a generic place to eat lunch, a Chili’s, TGI Fridays, Hooters, anything. We couldn’t find anything. We drove around town for a solid 30 minutes before finally stumbling upon a cute little sandwich chain called Cousin’s. At this point we were desperate, but luckily, the food was actually pretty good.

From here, Emma and Dan drove me the short hop up to the Fargo airport and we said our sad goodbyes. Thanks again for everything you guys, especially for helping me finish all my state s :)

The airport was actually pretty impressive inside. The check-in/security process was very quick and straightforward. The wait was quick and the plane boarded quickly. We were out of there in no time. I slept the whole flight except when I was eating snacks (gotta love Allegiant Air’s snack packs). I hopped on the train to Long Beach and got to Sam’s at about 8 PM. Of course, the girl is cooking up some trouble, and has some sort of get together planned tonight as a welcome home. Something about beer pong and chicken queso dip? Not sure but it sounds amazing, so I am going to go participate. Update soon and a wrap up for the trip! What a great one it was.

XOXO

----------------
Now playing: Dispatch - Mission
via FoxyTunes

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday
Nov272009

There is no good reason to leave Spring Lake, Wisconsin


Location: Dalton, Wisconsin, USA

What another beautiful day we have here at the lake house. I slept in most of the morning and awoke to a clean kitchen (thanks guys! Seriously, awesome treat). We’ve spent most of the day today doing absolutely nothing – and it’s been wonderful. I came to a revelation today that if you are traveling for longer than a week (notice I said traveling, not going on vacation) that it is ABSOLUTELY essential to take a day off once a week, or at the least every 10 days. Take one day, spend it in a hotel or other semi-private lodging arrangement and do nothing. No sightseeing, no tours, no landmarks. Go to a park, catch up on your blog, write some e-mails, upload your photos, watch TV, sleep in (and don’t feel guilty). I think this is the biggest piece of advice I’ve run across during this trip and needless to say, I was very grateful for today. We were actually supposed to leave this place today and spend the night in Minneapolis with Michael (a couchsurfing friend) but it’s so wonderful here, that we decided to stick around and get up early in the morning to finish he drive to Fargo.

We also decided to take our band’s first album pics today. Rockin’. We also attempted to put the rowboat down by the water into the lake, but it’s heavy and we found nothing around we could row with. As the second scene for our band pics, we decided to climb this awkward tree that leaned out over the water. En route to said tree, Emma, bless her heart, steps right into a pile of what I can only describe as Gloop. It was muddy shore water that was likely had at least a 60/40 water to dirt ratio; it was like quicksand. She stepped in with one leg, submerged up to her mid thigh in gloop and then made the all to easy mistake of stepping her second foot down next to the first to try and pull herself out – no dice. Now she’s got two legs in gloop up to her waist practically. I think, honestly, I was more hysterical than she was. I saw her sinking farther, and in between laughing and taking pictures from atop the tree, I had moments of panic that we wouldn’t be able to get her out. Brian saved the day though and drug her out with a large tree branch and his manly strength (*cough*). Emma even had the guts to reach back into her leg holes after she was out and fished out her shoes. All of this, combined with 40 degree temperatures made a frozen little Aussie girl, so we promptly cleaned off all the mud and ran back inside to escape the cold.

We watched a little more football this afternoon and then drove to Madison about an hour away to drop off Brian at the airport (he’s renting a car and driving one-way back to Chicago where’s he’s spending a couple more days with Sam and then flying out of there). Once we got back to the house, it was all cleaning, laundry and eating leftovers. We polished off the turkey and casserole pretty quick and grazed on the pies for the rest of the night. It’s early, now (about 9:30) but we’re headed to bed because the “plan” is to leave at 2:30. HA. We’ll see if that actually happens.

XOXO

----------------
Now playing: Coldplay - Speed Of Sound
via FoxyTunes

Thursday
Nov262009

A Day Dedicated to Stuffing your Face? Sign me up!


Location: Dalton, Wisconsin, USA

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It’s a beautiful day here on Spring Lake. The sun is out, it’s about 40 degrees F, and we are STUFFED full of Thanksgiving wonderfulness. Let me back up.

So the Cranberries, were amazing. They played such a great show and haven’t changed one bit. Sometimes I think concerts can drag on a bit, but this was the perfect length, the perfect crowd, the perfect venue. It was just very well put together. We left the show and walked Brian and Sam to a bar before heading back home to get some shut eye and pack up all of our junk.

We left Chicago, around 7 AM. Despite previous ideas, we did not pick up Brian’s brother and his friends in northern Chicago, so it was just the four of us (Dan, Brian, Emma and myself). We stopped at a Wal-Mart Supercenter just north of Chi-town and split up in to groups to grocery shop efficiently (duh, my idea – I even made a separate shopping list for each person). The best part, is that we only spent $120 including all of our food AND booze. Such a great deal. Now we hit a small problem after we got back in the car, and that was that we were already putting 4 people, plus our luggage (which included Brian’s guitar) into Wanda, who is quite small. We literally had to load the groceries in through the windows on to Emma and my laps in order to fit everything in. Let’s just say, it was not the most fun hour of my life.

After driving through the Wisconsin countryside for what seemed like forever, we finally arrived at our own perfect Thanksgiving Day lake house. I mean, seriously, I could have not picked this place better out of a catalog. The house itself is a 2.5 bedroom (two full sized rooms and a small twin bed in a ½ room) with a large living room/dining room/den area, a GIGANTIC back wrap-around porch and a huge entryway/living room/dry room. The place is HUGE - way more than we needed. There is even a washer and dryer in the basement (which has been going basically non-stop since we got here). The house is right on the water, with a small rowboat and dock attached. There’s a climbing tree, hiking trails, a huge yard. And the best part is that we are in the middle of Amish country so everyone around us is riding their horses, riding horse and buggies, we’re surrounded by bakeries, woodworking shops, tack shops, cafes. Absolutely perfect.

As soon as we got here, I started cooking. For our meal today, we had:







  • A turkey

  • Green Bean Casserole

  • Mashed Potatoes

  • Rolls
  • I also made queso for pre-dinner snack while we’re watching football and two pies for desert: a pumpkin pie and a chocolate pie. Now, this was my first Thanksgiving I’ve ever cooked the whole thing for and I was really nervous but trying not to show it so that everyone wouldn’t think I was a rookie. But everything turned out really great, nothing too overcooked, no food poisoning, and no leftovers. I’m quite proud of myself :)

    So tonight we are watching football and drinking and playing card games and practicing our band and just hanging out. Bedtime will be early tonight and tomorrow will be another day of just… doing nothing.

    XOXO

    ----------------
    Now playing: Oleander - Why I'm Here
    via FoxyTunes
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Wednesday
    Nov252009

    I'm supposed to be on vacation...


    Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

    Well look here. I guess I’m not really sure how to be fed up with something and then actually do something about it. I’m wrapping up at the end of an entire day of work. We woke up early this morning, I headed back to my favorite little coffee shop (I shouldn’t have a favorite coffee shop) and I have been sitting in the same table… all. day.

    I did have Dan and Emma go pick me up some Jimmy Chips from Jimmy Johns and I’ve had about 7 cups of tea. That was literally the highlight of my day. Oh, that and we found a place to go for Thanksgiving! I called my friend John, who was the guy who I met doing a Craigslist rideshare on the Texas Roadtrip back in May. His parents have a lake house north of Madison and I asked if we could have it for a couple of days and he agreed! I can't believe how lucky we are, but I'm so excited to get to see John and to have an actual home for turkey day so I can cook us a proper meal :)

    So I’m off. I can’t stare at a computer screen any longer. I’m leaving and we are going to see the Cranberries at the Riviera and this is the first show they’ve played in 7 years. I’m stoked, I can’t wait and I’m going to have a beer and try and forget about my job for a couple hours.

    Wish me luck!

    XOXO

    ----------------
    Now playing: The Pogues - Love You 'Till the End
    via FoxyTunes

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Wednesday
    Nov252009

    Take me Back to Chicago


    Location: London, Ontario, Canada

    We had so much fun last night and I’m so grateful for our wonderful hosts!! London was such a fun town and the people were great and so friendly. We hit up a little sports bar after I finished work last night to meet up with some more of Dan’s Pano friends and to watch the Leaf’s hockey game and MNF. The games were pretty uneventful and after some wings and quite a few pitchers, we decided to head to a real club. For a Monday night, this place was packed – we actually had to wait in line to get in! The bar itself was great; had two floors with different music and vibes on each. We camped out in a booth upstairs and chatted, drank and listened to the live music. It was a really great time and we got home quite late.

    After a long sleep, we left after noon and headed down to Chicago. Getting back into the US was relatively straight forward (although not nearly as much fun as getting into Canada) and the drive through Michigan and Indiana was… well… boring.

    When we arrived in Chicago, it was raining, but not too heavily. We stopped by Sam’s apartment to drop our stuff off and Dan, Brian and Sam all headed to the Metro to see the show we were supposed to see. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to get a day off from work, so I’m missing the show to put in the hours I wasn’t able to earlier today. I’m really kind of over this whole work while on vacation thing. I was supposed to be on vacation all of last week also and didn’t break one day. I guess the only thing that’s good about this is that I will definitely have some vacation days to take and relax once I get back to Oklahoma – ok I guess that’s sort of good.

    Anyway, I’m in a coffee shop down the street from Sam’s now. Just got done with the majority of the work I needed to do today and now I’m going to go meet the kids at the Metro to grab a drink and then drive with Dan out to the airport to pick up his friend Emma who is coming in town to meet with us today and drive the rest of the drive back to Pano with Dan.

    XOXO

    ----------------
    Now playing: Citizen Cope - Bullet and a Target
    via FoxyTunes
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Monday
    Nov232009

    How not to drive a stick...


    Location: London, Ontario, Canada

    It has certainly been a long day, but very productive. I stayed up all night last night, and more than anything, got all of my ducks in a row. I made about 20 lists of the things that I need to get done before Thursday, I scoured places for us to stay on Thursday and I did some thorough cleaning of my e-mail boxes. In addition, I made some substantial progress on my project for the Port of Long Beach; not enough progress to be able to relax and go out with my friends tonight, but enough progress to where I didn’t have to work in the car.

    The drive today was incredibly short. We just had to pop down from Rochester to London, Ontario where we are staying with some of Dan’s friends from Panorama. We left Rochester at about 11 and headed for Niagara Falls. We ran into an anomaly at the US border when the border guard felt the need to chat us up and joke around with us for a couple minutes. He was so nice and I was glad to not suffer through the nerve racking interrogation that usually occurs when crossing the border.

    We tried to find a parking spot near the falls so we could get out and walk around, but alas, we couldn’t find anything for less than $20. So I blurt out, “Well, why don’t I drive and drop you off and just come back and pick you up in like 15 minutes?” Great idea, Hesser… especially since you haven’t driven a stick in like 5 years. So Dan and I switch spots, he cringes as I kick the thing into first gear and we pull ahead… slowly… slow… almost… Yes, no. Stall. Ok, that’s fine, it was my first try in a while, and it’s a new car for me. Breathe. Alright, let’s try again. Breaks, clutch, first gear… slowly… ease… Ahhhh! *Jerks Forward*, *Jerks back* , *Jerks forward*, *back*, KEEP, *Jerks forward*, GOING, *back*… ahhhh… first gear :) And we’re off! I managed to circle the block while the boys jumped out to look at the falls, and didn’t completely strip the gears.

    The rest of the way through Canada was smooth sailing. Dan got his first glimpse of Lake Ontario (I tried to tell you it looks like the ocean!) and then we turned south. We arrived into London in time for Trevor (our host for the evening) to take us on a nice leisurely drive through the hotspot that is London, Ontario. It was quite a pleasant place, looks a bit like Tulsa, actually. We’re back at the house now and watching a bit of TV (while I’m getting some more work done and hanging out with my new best friend, Trevor’s cat). Looks like we’re going to head to a sports bar tonight to watch MNF and the Leaf’s hockey game. Excited for a little relaxation!

    XOXO

    ----------------
    Now playing: Jefferson Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
    via FoxyTunes
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Monday
    Nov232009

    A Long Day on the Road


    Location: Rochester, New York, USA

    We were very ambitious this morning with our early projected start time, and honestly, we didn’t do too badly. We were a little delayed by the long route we decided to take into the city through Cambridge. We drove past Harvard and MIT and down across the river to Fenway Park. This marks #7 on the list of ballparks Brian and I have visited in the past 9 or so months – which I feel is pretty noble. The original plan was to head to the Bleacher Bar to be able to see the field, but unfortunately, we got there too early and really didn’t have time to stay. So we took a quick stroll around the perimeter, checked out the green monster and then hopped back in the car for a long day of driving.

    We headed north first through New Hampshire and into Maine. Our only real goal in Maine was to get some lunch, preferably with as much lobster as humanely possible. We drove along the coast through some really cute towns (Portsmouth and Kittery). We found a small lobster shack in Kittery Point called Capn’ Simeon’s so we pulled off and went inside. From our table by the window, we could see the ocean, a dock with a load of fishing boats, including one with fresh lobster cages coming off and being loaded in the back of a pickup truck; doesn’t get any fresher than this.

    We decided to do a little family style dining and ordered fish and chips, a lobster roll and lobster macaroni and cheese to share between the three of us. I was praying that the food was amazing, as I had convinced Brian and Dan to drive the hour out of the way to come up here and eat lunch. Fortunately, this was the best lobster I’ve ever had in my life. And at about $30 for the whole ticket, it was a smashing good deal as well. With full stomachs, we took a stroll around the fishing dock and then got back on the road headed towards Rochester, NY.

    We passed through New Hampshire and Vermont which were both beautiful states. We missed the timing of the leaves changing on the trees up here by a couple weeks, so everything is pretty brown, but everyone once and a while you catch a glimpse of a straggler. We took the backcountry roads most of the way, so we really got to see some good scenery.

    Once we entered New York State, it was a pretty mechanical drive. We busted out the guitar, did some serious jamming, started a road song game where we pass around the iPod and you have to play a song that starts with the letter the song before ended with. It’s actually pretty entertaining and gives everyone a fair chance to DJ. We got to Rochester just after dark and checked into a Super 8 motel (my new favorite place to stay). We got some Easy Mac, a 6 pack and got under the covers to watch Monday Night Football and the MLS Championship (incredible game!).

    The boys passed out pretty quick, as it was a rather long day. But I just made the decision to make this an all-nighter. I have great internet and the room is rather peaceful right now so I think I can get some good thinking in.

    We had a brainstorm today and decided that I think we want to find a place to stay for Thanksgiving with a kitchen so I can cook up some food. I just don’t feel right being on the road for Turkey Day. We’re thinking about getting a room at the Residence Inn or somewhere else like that with a small kitchenette. Not sure yet. Cooking will be necessary though.

    XOXO

    ----------------
    Now playing: Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko
    via FoxyTunes

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]