Thursday, May 5, 2011

Road Trippin Cross Country! You got me Dallas

              Due to my hectic schedule and a million things going on with the current trip I am on (back east), I have not been able to post anything!  So much going on that I can't even begin to get into it. I am very fortunate to have found the work space that I recently acquired. Getting back to the road trip though.  My next stop on the road was good 'ol Dallas.  I had never been to this part of Texas so I was anxious to see the difference in people and scenery.  The drive was about an hour and a half and to be honest, I don't remember much of it at this point.  I do remember a quick conversation with my mom trying to figure out the best place to stay near Amarillo.  That would mark the beginning of my trip on Route 66.  I drove through the city and had absolutely no idea where I was going as usual.  This lead me out of town and then a quick U turn got me back on track.  Seeing the skyscrapers loom over me brought a smile to my face.  I've always loved big cities.  I don't think I could reside in one but I could definitely work in and visit one.  I found a lot that was decently priced and parked.  Then began my walking adventure.  I was still attempting to wear my chucks on a daily basis which was not the brightest choice I must admit.  They are not the most comfortable shoes to walk all over in but they became a part of my road trip style.  I couldn't resist taking a couple self portraits in the tall glass buildings.  Another signature of mine.  I even grabbed up a few shots while crossing in the cross walk.  To my pleasant surprise, the pictures are completely in focus :o)  The Nieman Marcus building was a lot of fun, all decked out with store front interactive decor.  Who wouldn't stop for a cute little robot with a camera?  Not me!   The stars were a sight to see especially since they were made by local children.  I'm always a sucker for displays with purpose.  It didn't take long for me to find the huge, abandoned hotel that I couldn't figure out if they were trying to save or to demolish.  I think I walked around that building at least twice.  If only I could have gone exploring inside.  Now that would have been fun.  I kept walking and eventually ended up in a rougher part of town.  Not my brightest moment but I was fine the entire time.  I am very lucky that nothing has ever happened to me while I'm out exploring.  It then began to get closer to nightfall and I was then on to my next mission; finding a Starbucks.  Now, you would think in a city as big as Dallas it would not be a problem finding one or even just a coffee shop open past five.  Nope, they all closed when the working man went home.  Le sigh.  I did come to find that they were filming a tv show in and around the lot where I parked my car.  I believe the name of the show was Chase.  I had never seen it but I hear from the crew it's "alright."  They were all so nice and helpful after they found out that I not a paparazzi but just a traveling freelance photographer.  After getting the call from my friend that she was off work, I then proceeded to head to her place for a much needed dinner and relaxing time.  It was good to see a fellow alumni from my school being that I hadn't been able to see much of anyone after we all graduated.  Kristen and I had a little fun with my now boyfriend; Matt, on the phone.  This would again became a regular thing with the phone calls and video log shout outs.  The long hours on the road were starting to get to me and I was getting more and more ready to be home.  We ended the night with a movie and then much needed rest.    

Sunday, March 6, 2011

On to the Land of Ten Gallon Hats and That Good 'Ol Rodeo; Eastern Texas!

                 Howdy ya'all!  I know it has been quite some time since I have posted but I can't even begin to tell you how busy I've been!  I was fortunate to join my mom on an amazing cruise recently and ever since I have been just been trying to play catch up and keeping insanely busy with all the editing and work. Picking up where I left off though.  After I left the music world of TN, I then headed west to eastern Texas to stay with my best friend of over ten years.  I had not seen her in almost three years so you can imagine how excited we both were for me to finally get there.  I intended on getting up much earlier that day but the exhaustion was kicking my butt hardcore and the fact that the drive ahead of me was to be extremely long. Fourteen hours and almost 809 miles to be exact.  That two hours of sleep would come in handy.  Traveling through six states in one day was pretty awesome but not having time to really stop and explored killed that completely.  I did stop in Louisiana to check out an old dirt road just passed the railroad tracks.  I stumbled across a few houses and an abandoned school bus.  As I was taking pictures it again occurred to me that I was in south and the chances of me seeing an alligator were a lot higher at this point lol.  This thought encouraged me to get back in my car and continue on my way.  The scenery in Alabama was actually quite beautiful.  I was tempted to stop and snap up some scenery shots but the off and on again rain and long road ahead of me kept me stuck in my seat.  Seeing my very first bayou was pretty kool.  The bridge seemed to carry on forever and at this point the sun was setting and the exhaustion started to kick in.  My best friend kept me slightly entertained and about every two hours asked if I was there yet. lol.  The highlight of the conversation was our southern and valley girl talk.  Well it was entertaining to the two of us at least :o) As I hit Texas I began to liven up and get much more excited. I still had a little bit of driving to do but I was so close.  I had to post that I had made it safely to Texas on my fb of course which I am very, very happy I did because this one status started another amazing journey.  Curious?  Well it involves a very cute boy from the east coast and the conversation that would turn into shout outs on my video logs and then into something so much more :o)  Our story is pretty unique and awesome at the same time.  He was to be a big part of helping me to survive my tom tom going crazy, random dirt roads, getting lost and praying I didn't get shot.  I remember being on the phone and then yelling out; "Tom Tom! What the duck are you doing now?! (yes, I really do talk like this) There is no road there!!! Stop it! No! Wait, what? Ahhh! No 3G..... 1 bar..... no service! Matt? Matt? God if you can hear me now, please don't let me get shot! What is that now?! I'm so going to die tonight!" Not dramatic at all right? lol.  Despite being extremely nervous, exhausted and fed up with my screwy gps, I was still laughing hysterically.  I find that I tend to laugh at myself a lot. Hmmmm.  Eventually I did arrive safely and yes, alive at my best friend's house.  It only took her a minute to come running out of the house and nearly tackle me.  I think she missed me or something :op  I collapsed onto the couch so ready to pass out.  The video log would have to be done from my phone while I was out in the thicket since I had no internet available to me.  My best friend and I had way too much fun recording the video and Matt even got his very first shout out :o) This would be the first of many.  I spent the next few days just enjoying seeing my best friend and relaxing.  The social center; aka Walmart didn't provide as much entertainment as I had hoped but at least I was able to get my terrible haircut fixed and get back to civilization for a quick minute.  Although we joked about it, I was praying that her mother-in-law would not cook up some squirrel stew.  I don't make this stuff up people, it really does happen in their neck of the woods.  As much as I make fun of the thicket and Texas I do enjoy visiting and experiencing a world so different from my own.  I didn't pick the camera as much as I should have but spending time with friends was more important at that time.  After taking the family photos it was then time to have our sad goodbye.  I'm never really sure when I will get to see her again but we're as close as sisters so I know we will make it happen.  I am happy to report that my best friend is pregnant!  We're keeping our fingers crossed for a little girl since she has her two boys already.  Can't wait to find out!  Ohhhhhh!!!! And I became an auntie today!  I can't wait to meet that adorable niece of mine :o)  No ADD here lol.  I left the thicket and headed up north to Dallas to stay with a classmate from photography school.  You will just have to wait for those pictures though ;o)  This girl needs some sleep!  Enjoy these pics and watch for many more to come!  I am back to working on the blog and photos now so keep a look out for those new posts :o)  Thanks guys!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Road Trippin Cross Country! Oh That Nashville Charm!

              So I guess December is deer season.  I should have known this from living in Western MA but alas I forgot and was reminded in the most creepy and slightly humorous way.  I left NC bright and early in the morning because I was trying to get to my brother's place in TN and to Nashville well before dark.  I was still also trying to get my self portraits for the trip done somewhere secluded and scenic.  People tend to look at you a little strange when you sit on your car and take pictures.  The morning sky was gorgeous so I was determined to take the pictures that morning.  I went off on another random road and spotted a little path going up to a field.  Since my friends went off roading all the time in MA I had picked up a few tips.  Yes, I drive a small car that has no power but where there's a will there's a way :o)  Oh yeah, I did it!  lol.  I was amazed my car made it up the hill and was able to even back up and find a nice spot.  After about 30 mins of messing around with poses and such a hunter dressed all in camo except for the nice bright orange hat, made his way towards me.  My body tensed up as he came closer explaining to me that he could have shot and killed me being that it was deer season and I was in a field. I thought I was safe due to the fact that there were plenty of houses well within eye shot but it's the south and none of that matters.  The hunter was your typical hillbilly southern folk dawned with yellow teeth and a loaded rifle.  He stopped about 5 feet from me and eyed my car, me, my camera, car and then me again.  At this point I was screaming in my head that this was the end, I was going to die.  No joke.  He questioned me about why I was there and what my story was.  I gave him the slim of answers and prayed hard that he would just go away.  After three more identical notations about how he could have killed me, (my car is white dude and you didn't see that?!) he slowly turned and walked just far enough away for me to feel slightly safe again.   I could feel him gawking at me as I made my way down the hill.  The trek down was a lot more interesting than the trek up which made for nervous giggles the whole way. Go rolla go! My car amazes me sometimes.  The rest of the road to TN was actually kinda fun except for the one really bad accident I came upon.  This was almost a daily occurrence sadly.  I think the most fun of the trip was the curvy road that reminded me of the routes back home.  I passed many cars because this was what I was so used to driving and was very comfortable with hugging the curves.  It sure put a smile on my face!  The abandoned gas station was not as good as I had hoped but I did get a few pictures out of it and the adult movie store across the street did add to it all.  Rest stop for serial killers maybe?  Ekkk.  I arrived at my brother's place at about two so we had to hurry and get on the road to Nashville.  I was so exhausted from the drive and lack of sleep that I slept the entire way.  I was however awake long enough to catch the giant icicles protruding from the rocky walls next to the road.  Those reminded me of MA.  I was really starting to miss everyone back in New England at this point.  I woke up just in time to see the beginnings of Nashville.  Wow!  It was huge!  The excitement jolted me awake but I was still a little out of it when my brother asked me for directions on where to go next.  We just decided to park and wander around.  Exploring was one of my favorite past times after all.  The lights, the music and the people, I was in love!  That Nashville charm had seduced me and I was hooked.  I don't know if I could see myself setting up my business here but the thought did cross my mind.  Singers do need their head shots and promo pictures......  We were bummed that the Grand Ole Opry was not within walking distance so did not see that unfortunately.  I did however see a Lady Gaga license plate lol.  People amuse me!  The 911 sign was amusing to me as well for some reason.  I don't think I've ever pocket dialed the police thankfully.  The shops were the most amusing of all and I got a good giggle out of way too many little things.  We grabbed dinner at the famous Wild Horse Saloon and even got a "show".  The guy in the brown sweater dancing in the middle of the group was great.  I think he got more into the line dancing than anyone else in the group.  Yes, I did take video :o)  Thankfully it wasn't too late when we got back but I didn't get to bed until about one that morning.  Very typical of me.  The next day's drive would completely drain me but I couldn't resist peeping the pictures and working on getting my website back online.  I crashed out knowing that morning would come way too quickly.