Archive for category: Hotels

An Old Venetian Night

According to Biceps, I went to bed last night at 9pm. What am I, 90 years old? My parents have been in town and they are party animals. On one occasion, my parents hung out with brother and sister-in-law till the wee hours of the morning. I saw the clock strike pumpkin hour and couldn’t keep the eyelids open.

Needless to say, I was pooped when they left. Or, I’m just getting old.


I dreamt of our trip to Venice throughout my nine hours of sleep. I swear that my dream had the appropriate smells of the sea, baking bread, pasta and old stone in it.


I wandered back through the narrow streets, hand-in-hand with Biceps. We ate at familiar restaurants and enjoyed glasses of red house wine.


While we were in Venice (in real life), we enjoyed overcast days-great for being a tourist (lesser people on the street), not so great for being a photographer (flat colors). But even in my dream, it didn’t matter as we grabbed hot espressos and enjoyed the coolness of the day.


I don’t smoke, but it seemed appropriate as all the Venetians do while drinking their coffee. However, one cigarette was enough for me. Yuck.


One of my favorite things about Venice were their ancient bricked garages-no cars, just boats. In my dream, Biceps and I zoomed around the open sea with awesome sunglasses and super fancy white outfits.


At the end of my dream, before the cat woke me up, Biceps and I sat in the plaza eating spaghetti, drinking red wine and feeding the pigeons the bread from our table.


When I woke up this morning, I grabbed my computer and snuck out of the room. Biceps slept while I planned our next trip overseas, starting in Germany, winding our way to the south, north, east and west. With airfare just over 1k a piece-why not?! I carry that kind of chump change in my wallet.

Hah. I guess my dreams will suffice for now.

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Touring-A Weird Life unto Itself

Dear Readers:
I haven’t talked about touring (as an entertainer coach driver for bands) in awhile. Sometimes, I like to forget that part of my life.

Biceps and I have the occasional rendezvous, but it’s nothing like packing up your life for two months, riding around the country seeing what most never get to see, stressing out over mountain passes and sudden snowstorms, babysitting lead singers that you used to idolize, and watching girls disrespect themselves so that they can have a story to tell later on.

It’s a weird and isolating life.


With a flipped schedule from most normal humans, you get to see cities when they are at their quietest. Often, the only people you talk to throughout the day are other bus drivers (which isn’t always a bonus), the checker at the Flying J and your hubby (if you are lucky and his bus hasn’t broken down somewhere).


Biceps sent me an article found in Spin magazine highlighting the life of a tour bus driver. The article said that they are only 12 female tour bus drivers in the U.S.. I don’t know if I was counted or not, but even if there are 13 of us-we are quite the minority.

Throw in the fact that I wear a dress when I drive, change the oil in the generator and do my pre-trip inspection, I am in the smallest of minorities.

I both love(d) the life and hate(d) the touring life. But with time, you tend to forget the worst and focus on the best.


I loved spending Thanksgiving in a Chinese restaurant in a deserted downtown with only Biceps and a styrofoam container of Mu Gu Gai Pan. Depressing at first, I soon realized we had never spent a Thanksgiving alone, just him and I. It became pretty romantic even if we were eating off of plastic forks.


I loved being invited to the home of one of our coastal living crew members and then promptly being stuffed full of fresh caught crab, corn, potatoes, beer and death-by-chocolate desserts.


I loved seeing the weird stuff in cities that make me laugh outloud. I’ve seen enough cathedrals, city halls and monuments to last a lifetime.


And I loved being so bored on long drives that Biceps and I began to name the bug splatter on the windshield, come up with personalities for each of them and write their obituaries.


And isolation isn’t always bad. Enjoying sunrises and hot cups of coffee on deserted city streets with your best friend is calming.

I can handle the drunk lead singers, dragging my luggage through gravel parking lots, a snow goose breaking my windshield on the last day of tour and waylaying me at a truck stop for two days in Canada, having my anniversary outside of a bait shop, all because I was on the adventure with my best friend.

Touring is a weird life unto itself, but at least I was with my weirdo husband and I (think) loved every minute of it.

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God’s Great Country-Salzburg, Austria

Dear Readers:
I’ve felt as of late, that I’m barely making it up the mountain in my life, while being passed by others who don’t seem to mind the climb. While reading this scripture this morning, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25, I was reminded of this scenario.

Just outside of the city of Salzburg, Biceps and I found a hostel that perched atop a mountain, promising spectacular views. We had to take a train to get there, but trains meant croissants, hot coffee and jam. Stepping off the train and onto the desolate track, with our backpacks firmly in place, we began the long ascent on foot to Haus Lindner.


A couple of Billy Goat school-aged kids had hopped off the train with us. Dressed in their dark blue uniforms, they immediately passed us by. Their backpacks were only packed for the day-not the entire month. And the Billy Goat kids’ calves and lungs were used to climbing the mountain home.

Biceps and I were sucking wind within five minutes.


With my best attempts at speaking plain German, and hoping they’d understand, I asked how far it was to our hostel. They replied (I think), “Just up that hill.”
The hill was a mountain. And it wasn’t a small one. “Follow us,” they said, looking over their shoulders.
Determined that the whippersnappers would not get too far ahead, and wanting to make America proud, Biceps and I picked up our pace.


Finally, after reaching the top, the Billy Goat kids pointed out our hostel and trotted off for home. My legs ached and my backpack seemed to have gained an extra 10 pounds on the long climb up.

But, the scenery spread out before me-bright, spring-fed grass covered the mountain, the sun had begin peaking its head over the horizon, the terra cotta roofs dotted their way down the lane we had just climbed. It was breathtaking.


The Billy Goat kids had been conditioned for the climb-they were ready. And although I am a runner, my midwest legs only knew slight inclines-I wasn’t ready for the mountain.

But determination of not being the weak link and the promise of more croissants are rather motivating factors for this girl. I knew that I had to just get inside the hostel, set down my backpack and the breakfast would be waiting. The climb had been worth it.

I knew there would be rest eventually for me-“the weary”. If you are, like me, struggling on your mountain climb today, know that there will be rest for you. God in his faithfulness will give you rest and hopefully a croissant.

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The X Factor and Britney Spears

I had the rare opportunity to spend this past weekend solely with my little brother, Daniel. (Although, my little brother is not that little. At 6’2″, he pretty much dominates any sort of crowd situation.)


Daniel, a.k.a. “Average Dan“, works for Fox television here in Tulsa and was sent to the X Factor auditions taking place in Kansas City.


And wouldn’t you know he asked me to go along with him? I felt so stinkin’ special.

As kids, Daniel and I traveled to the most exotic midwest small towns with my parent’s ministry. We became so accustomed to traveling the back roads that now traveling on interstates seems almost sacrilegious.


We still appreciate 2 lane highways, slower speed limits, weird sightings such as the world’s largest prairie dog, ball of twine or pen collections, roadside fruit stands, and cowboys hanging out the DQ.


We chose the circuotous route, stopping in Coffeyville, Ks. to act like morons and climb all over this train and relive old memories.


We learned long ago that even in the tiniest town, most mexican restaurants offered edible food. If there isn’t a mexican restaurant to be found, Plan B was always chicken fingers. You can’t really screw up either of these food sources, for the most part.

So, we stopped for mexican in Iola, KS and ate at El Charro’s. It did not disappoint.


After a quick change at our hotel, we walked to the Sprint Center to watch the X Factor auditions. The place was packed, the emotions were high, the weirdos and the talented alike stepped on and then off stage.


The judges were Britney Spears, L.A. Reid, Demi Lovato and what should have been Simon Cowell but ended up being the British X Factor’s judge Louis Walsh. I was concerned Britney might freak out and jump on the table, or threaten someone with an umbrella, but she was rather composed and gentle when it came to crushing someone’s dreams.

I saw three promising vocalists out of the 10 or 15 that tried-a 40 something year old male who went country, a 12 year old R & B female that blew us all out of the water, and a 16 year old chick with pipes that tore the house apart and then down.


We speculated what Britney was doing while we were eating fish tacos and drinking a dark beer. I just hoped it didn’t involve her hair, a razor and crazy pills.

But, it probably did.


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