Tag Archive for: traveling

Au Naturale and Old School

Come on a journey with me. (*Caution: Unusually heavily photographed Rebekah post.)


Let’s walk down the road together-celebrating the times before we were constantly connected, a time where we look at each other while at the dinner table instead of at our phones.


Pack a backpack, grab a film camera, a paper map and wear your favorite comfy pants-we’re about to get au naturale and go on an old school adventure together.


No makeup is required-even during extreme close-ups (thank you, Biceps) and you have permission to wear the same clothes for a month.


You can’t take your computer with you because laptops aren’t affordable yet and your camera never shows you what it is you’re taking a picture of. You just have to hope for the best and be surprised when you develop the prints and hold them in your hands.


You have to rely on either your paper maps or asking the natives for directions-who might invite you in for a cup of coffee, fresh bread and a conversation in broken English.


You might regret your hairdo and pant choice, but you can just always throw the prints away. And nothing has been posted on the internet or on instagram.

You can pretend it never happened.


And locked away in your brain are lovely conversations, incredibly unique meals, and experiences completely void of anything dinging, chiming or buzzing at you. Ah…what a great au naturale and old school adventure we just had together.

Now, slowly come back to your connected reality of computers, iPhones and digital cameras. We’ll do another old school adventure soon-but until then-we’ve got our memories.

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Touring is like childbirth

For those of you not familiar with my former lifestyle, I married a man-who at 19-had a band that was signed and touring.


He met me at the ripe old age of 22, threw me over his shoulder and we kept going.


For the first 5 or so years of our marriage, we criss-crossed the U.S., while he bounced around the stage playing bass guitar and singing, I watched from the side-so proud of my husband.


Touring with his band quickly morphed into driving our friend’s tour buses during our downtime, which then morphed into a career for the both of us.
We were able to spend every waking minute with each other and make decent money-only working 4 months out of the year.

And, we got to stay in really cool hotels-for free.


I mean, really cool hotels-like ones with complimentary white robes and house shoes, Starbucks in the lobby and manager’s receptions.


And hotels where Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant used to stay.


We saw more of the U.S. than I ever thought possible in one lifetime, let alone a couple of years.


Often, in just a few days’ time, we would go from laid back towns with southern sandy beaches…


…to fall weather and the craziness of New York.


We were invited to a real Louisiana crab boil, complete with Zydeco music.


And we ate at historic restaurants with tortillas the size of a spare tire. (Which subsequently, gives you a spare tire.)


We’ve been fortunate enough to experience things in a weekend-all paid for-that most people save up years to do.

And I got to do this all with my best friend at my side.


However, for all of the perks, a touring lifestyle can be unpredictable.

Would the bus break down today, and if so, how much money will we loose?
Can we make it through this traffic/construction/snowstorm and get to the show on time?
Will the other bands on tour like us?
Will we get to eat today, and if so, is it pizza again?
Am I going to get to sleep in a bed tonight/this afternoon?
Will I drive Biceps crazy singing, “Baby went to Amsterdam, She put a little money into travelin’, now it’s so slow, so slow…” too many times when traffic slows down?
Will we crash and die?
Am I going to encounter any other normal human besides Biceps today? (Probably not.)


But, now that we’re away from touring and into a normal routine of life-getting up at the same time, packing Bicep’s lunches, ironing his “Blues”, being at church every Sunday, cooking dinner every night-I miss the unpredictability of the touring lifestyle.

I miss the sunrises every morning, making breakfast sandwiches on the bus, and having someone else wash my towels and my sheets.

I miss the whirring sound of the bus generator, the early morning coffee time and seeing towns empty out after a huge show.

But, then I think about the slumber party stomach from lack of sleep, blinding snowstorms that scare the crap out of me as I’m driving through New York, and the loneliness of having a flipped schedule from other “day dwellers”.

It’s so easy to forget all the bad stuff, the painful stuff-only bringing to mind all the good stuff. I think touring is a bit like childbirth for me.

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Log Cabins, Mile High Pies and Mom-Kimmswick, Mo.

History is one subject that I can’t get enough of. My mother is the same way-after all, she majored in History at the University of Arizona. So, I blame her for my bad habit of asking inane questions that most wouldn’t dare say out loud.


For example, Mom and I went to a tiny town called Kimmswick, Mo. It’s known for its pioneer era buildings and mile-high pies. Each cute little shop is bedecked with pretties that would make most women break the bank. You can buy tutu’s for your little girl, ceramic figurines, sparkly shoes, chocolates, stuffed sock monkeys and most anything else that you “must have”.


But, instead of shopping, I ask these types of questions while we walk around the town.

“How old do you think this building is? What was it’s original purpose? Who built it?”

To which my sweet mother typically responds very kindly to my 5 year old questions: “I don’t know. Are you hungry yet?”


I press on, curiosity getting the best of me. “Do you think those wooden gutters were original or an addition? How many times was this added on to?”

My mother states that pioneers wouldn’t be concerned with gutters and no, they weren’t original.

I ask how she knows that, and she says, “I don’t know, I just do. What should we eat? Oh, shoot. Where’s my phone?”


A cute little teenage bird calls to me, its fluffy head feathers waving in the wind. “Do you think he fell out of his nest? Do you think he knows that he’s hanging out on a 200 year old porch?”

“Nope,” mom says to both questions, probably wondering when her adult daughter is going to quit asking inane questions. She walks towards a tiny shack of a building, just behind this one.


I follow her to the tiny shack-which was a homesteader’s home in 1876. The bed was lofted above the kitchen/living/dining room and the entire thing couldn’t have been more than 100 square feet.

“I can’t believe that a whole family lived here in 100 square feet. No wonder everyone frowned in their pictures and died around 45. Everyone was sick of each other!,” I said and laughed my hearty, embarrassing laugh.

“They frowned because they couldn’t move in the pictures and they died early due to disease, childbirth and unsanitary conditions,” mom said.

I liked my explanation better.


This building sat vacant, but used to be the “fancy” restaurant in town. I guess it was too fancy and the prices were its demise. That didn’t stop the two curious kittens (mom and I) from pressing our noses against the glass to get a good look.
The linens were still on the table, a mop propped against the wall, spiderwebs caking everything.

“I think this must have been a stage coach stop or something, originally,” mom said.


“I don’t know. I just think it’s too big to have been a home.” Mom led me to go look at the menus that still were still behind a glass display case-although most of the glass was broken.

“So, why do you guess it would be a stagecoach stop? Is this indicative of what they looked like-you know-since you were alive then?” I said.

I got a punch in the arm for that one.


By this time, I had started to annoy even myself with my questions. There’s no point in asking questions that cannot be answered-unless you’re me and you just can’t help yourself.

We gave up our historical search of Kimmswick and decided to go grab lunch at the Blue Owl-the famous mile high pie maker and the best restaurant in town.

“Do you think we’ll get pie?,” mom asked.

“Definitely. You’ve earned it.”

Thanks for putting up with me and my inane questions, Mommy. I love you.

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Mothers and Angry Birds

Following our Thanksgiving visit, my Mother-in-Law camped out in our van in her driveway in Minneapolis. She refused to leave the van as we said our good-bye’s. She had even packed a bag-several bags in fact, and she had her pillow, house shoes, bags of presents, bags of food and her new phone. We told her that we commended her on her preparedness, and understood it was hard to say good-bye to us-since we are so dang fun. But we reminded her that all good things must come to and end.
She said she wasn’t going anywhere and she sure as heck wasn’t about to say good-bye.
She was coming with us.

So, I did what any good daughter-in-law would do. I challenged her to a game of Sequence. Of course, I lost. I think she had the game rigged somehow.


She had some sort of motivation for coming with us. Apparently, there was a new baby about to be born in our family. But then, you probably already heard about that.
Off we drove into the sunset, eating dried apricots, playing Angry Birds (as shown here), speaking of things yet to come, enjoying the road…


…until this happened. We were 45 minutes from home when a real life Angry Bird went all kamikaze on our windshield. What did Mr. Bird have against our van?
Was it the fact that my mother-in-law so carelessly tossed around his friends during her enjoyment of said game?
Or was it mere coincidence?
Or is it some sort of Angry Bird conspiracy to redefine just how hard a bird can shatter glass since all that I consider them to be are cute and fluffy creatures?
Or was it everything combined?

My mother-in-law said that I was crazy and went back to her game.

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