Day 23. Bucket List Trip

Safe Travels Home, may the wind be at my back. 

This miracle trip has finally come to an end and it is time for me to head home. I’m actually ok with it.  I miss my bed!! I have had a pillow with me this entire time, because I sleep better with my pillows. But, this pillow had been with me at every locations, New York, Venice, Florance, Rome, New York again, Woodstock, New York again (again), Tampa and then finally back to California. I had it with me to lean on during every plane ride, bus ride, train ride, tram ride and even some of the cab rides. 

I was so lucky to be able to have such an amazing experience. I feel so blessed. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to go back to my normal life again.  Yet, at the same time I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m also looking forward to using my brain a bit. 

There were so many wonderful times on this trip.  I’m so grateful l that I got to see the country and the city life of each location.  As soon as we started growing tired of a place, we would be leaving for a entirely new place. Each new city brought new beautiful sites and new experiences. 

  
  New York City was base camp but I still got to go upstate to sleep in the country for a day. 

I got to see the bustle of San Marcos square


To the quiet more residential areas of Venice and lovely aquatic roadways. 

  

I got to stay in a large popular square in Florence  

 while enjoying the frantic Flornce city life (there are no street lanes. You just drive. It’s crazy)  

  
To the sweeping hills of the Chianti region. 

In Rome we got the best view of the park from our Hotel room.  

   
And yet we got to travel in the city and see all the excitement there.  

 
Once in Tampa I thought things would slow down but they didn’t. And again I got to enjoy city living  

   
As well as the serenity of the lakes and the beauty Tampa has to offer. (Though I’m sorry the food does not compare to Italy)
    
It’s been a trip of a life time. Now back to reality.

  
 Ciao Bella’s

Day 18. Bucket List Trip

Woodstock or Bust

I woke up at 3 am into total blackness and all I could hear was something running.  It wasn’t the heater because that old dog made a completely different sound; It was something else. I just knew I wasn’t in my home .  I couldn’t place the sound at all, which I found unnerving to say the least. It wasn’t until 4 or 5 hours later that I finally figured out what the running was. 

  
It was this beautiful creek rushing by my bedroom window. After knowing where the noise came from, and appreciating What a wonderful way to wake up it is, I was finally able to relax.  

I forgot just how much I love this cabin.  It’s a place of peace and harmony for me and I never want to leave once I’m here.  Even having been there during a rain storm once, I didn’t care. I’m content to just be laid out in front of the fire or in the magestic serenity of sleeping in the screened in porch. 

  

The guys have made so many comfortable and peaceful little pockets for their guests to enjoy, it’s impossible to not feel relaxed while you stay there.  It’s impossible to not be struck by its beauty during any season. I’m so happy for my guys, that they have made this beauty a reality for themselves. I’m glad they have a break from their jobs because they both work so very hard.  

  
We were getting ready to leave and I watched as this chipmunk scurried around the front of the house collecting nuts for the quickly approaching winter months.  I wanted to “pay it forward” for those cute little chipmunks and help them in their work. In a sense let them have a day off.  So, I spent about 10 minutes collecting any nuts I could find and putting them in a pile in the middle of the grassy area I had last seen the little chipmunk.  It was my hope that my contribution would help them get their own vacation. We will never know but my intentions were good.     

 (I swear while I was gathering the nuts I could feel several chipmunk eyes on me. It felt like they thought I was taking their nuts.  I could feel them wanting to bite me in the butt. So, I worked quickly and this is what I was able to leave for them.)

Day 17. Bucket List Trip 

The Day of Travel 

Today has been a trek! An absolute trek! I woke up at 6 am in Italy. For the first time the entire trip ( funny enough on my last morning) I got to see the sunrise. At home I am always up before the dawn. But this trip I have been usually going to sleep right before the dawn. 

  
  
 I can’t tell you how nice it was to finally see my first Italian sunrise. 

We then traveled by taxi 45 minutes to the airport; Which was the wrong terminal. So, then it was A 15 min bus ride to the correct terminal. A five minute tram ride to the gate. Then a 10 hour airplane ride which they tried to put Johnny in two different aisles and both of us in a middle seat because of over booking. (This is when it pays to be the annoying American) We both just stood there and said, “think again”! Johnny had to show them he paid for specific seats. After haggling with them we finally got them to move the people in our seats so we could sit together and not in the center! After the flight we had another 45 minute taxi ride to Manhattan. Where we re-packed and ate a bit, it was now 4:30pm In NY. 

We then took a 20 minute subway ride to port authority. Where we caught a buss for a 2 hour Long ride to Kingston NY. It was here on the bus that I caught my first U.S. Sunset in two weeks.  

  Once arriving in Kingston  at 7:10pm NY time, we took a 30 minute taxi ride to Woodstock. Where we jumped in Johns car for a 5 minute drive to the cabin.  I finally put my feet up at 8pm NY time.  

 
With all of that travel, for all those hours and all those miles, things actually went surprisingly well.  The only real stress we had was at the airport gate, when trying to get our seats back.  It was a very long but surprisingly relaxing travel day.  

(Maybe it was because I took a Xanax for the first time in my life right before we started flying? I don’t know? )

I’m happy to be back in America where there are always toilet seats on the toilets (unless your in a scary gas station).  Where there is no smoking in most place. Where I can read and understand all the signs  (except for in china town or little Mexico), where when people are talking and looking at me I know what they’re saying. 

I will miss a lot of Italy. The amazing wines and scrumptious food! The surrounding history and that feeling of knowing I’d been there before. All the cool outside cafes.  The very cool outfits that people wear.  People watching in Italy was a favorite pastime. (How some woman where stilettos on cobblestone streets is beyond me?)  But, most of all just the relaxation of it all.  It was an amazing trip!!!

Thank you so much John and Karl, I love you both so much!!! Prego mi amores! (Or something like that.  

  
 

Day 3. Bucket List Trip

It is The Calm before the storm.  Even though it is infact my birthday.  I am taking it easy today. Before I have to travel 7.5 hours Accross the pond. I am flying to Venice tonight.   A place that has been number 1 on my  bucket list since college! 

I am blessed to be best friends with a man I have known since I was 13 years old.  He is a man that is so kind and so giving, I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate him. He has gifted me so many wonderful life time experiences with his fortune, that I don’t know how I would ever even begin to repay him. 

All I could ever do is just always be there for him mentally and emotionally if he were ever to need anyone. I offered up my ovaries to him and his love long ago.  I would give birth for him if he ever wanted a child. If he ever needed a kidney I’d give him one of mine without thinking twice. He is one of my soul mates and we have never even kissed. Just goes to show you that soul mates come in all forms. 

This whirlwind trip to NYC, Venice, Florance and Rome has all been gifted to me as a birthday gift. He is even sending me to Tampa when it is all over, so I can go see my best friend and my adopted family. I have been in such a state of shock I still don’t think its real and I’m already in NY. I wonder if it will ever seem real?  Will I be in Italy wondering if I’m really there? Will I be begging someone to pinch me? 

Hell pinch me now! So I can fully wake up and appreciate and be aware of this amazing gift.  Next post will be from Italy!

Johnny and I in a cab in NY

Day 2 Fashon or Bust

Yesterday had a very real theme of rich spicy food and tons of alcohol. Starting with the cheddar and jalopena stuffed tator-Tots and sloppy joes nachos for breakfast.  Then lunch was some salted Carmel vegan ice cream. Bringing us to dinner of barbecue meats and homemade mac and cheese. But, that is not really what I want to tell you about as I sit sick to my stomach this morning. (Gee I wonder why? Could it have been the fried shrimp deviled eggs? )

In the middle of our rampage of consumption through Manhattan we also went to the underground gallery at FIT (Fashon institute of technology). Which is not some top secret gallery. No it’s just located underground.  They were displaying looks by Suzanne Bartsch. Which was a perfect venue for her looks considering she was a fashonite from Switerland originally but then she moved to London and then opened a clothing boutique in SoHo of what people considered, underground Fashon. 

Underground Fashon eludes to self expression and transformation through Fashon.  It is distinguishable from mainstream Fashon because it is creative and can border on performance art.  Her style and the looks she brought to America brought the downtown gay, straights, Fashon forward and art enthusiasts together.  She was amazing at pulling together looks from items you may not consider clothing. Such as deer skulls for hats or Barbie legs as a pho-Mohawk.  

 
I was shocked by her looks. Not living here or being a big Fashon fan I’ve never heard of this woman but when looking at some of her ensembles it seems she is probably a real fun person to know. 

These were the looks that greeted me at the door of the exhibit.  


Susanne it’s seems, is stylish at all times, but the looks pradomently show in her exhibit were her club (nightlife) looks.  Most of them had a lot of skin showing or exaggerations of the female form, with fake rubber nipples added in or not much covering her backside. 

  
She feels, “style is about expressing yourself. You can be whatever you want to be- a silver screen star, a Marie Antoinette baroque creature, or a Victorian punk. I love that about Fashon and makeup.” 

  
 I was shocked by the use of materials. I saw one dress where the boobs had old change purse clasps sitting above each breast. Only then to realize the bra part is actually the fabric pouch of the chain purse.  And yet as weird as that all is, it still looked great. She has a way of still looking stunning and provacative even while sporting a makeshift feed bag. 

   
 
I wish I had this woman’s eye for Fashon. I also wish I had her seemingly endless funds to make it all a reality. Being able to work with famous designers to collobarate on looks would be an amazing experience. 

 
She worked with the famous “Mr. pearl” on one of his first ever corsets. (Seen above)  I was struck by the detailed work and beauty of this piece. The hours that must have gone into making it. It is a piece of art and I almost feel needs to be hung in a museum or art gallery. 

If you live in New York and you love Fashon. I suggest you check it out. 

susanne Bartsch

Day 1. Captains Log

Day 1. Captains Log

No seriously. Haha that’s how I feel though

Ok let’s try this again. 

Day 1. Bucket list trip

I left the west coast for the east coast yesterday.  Once at the airport in NYC, I grabbed my luggage and jumped in the cab. After the 30 minutes it took to deal with the traffic on the Williamsberg bridge, we we’re heading into the west village. I’ve been here before so nothing shocks me.  The fact that I heard more horns blare in 30 minutes then I have in two years where I live, was noted but not surprising.   You could tell it was Friday night in the city. There were people everywhere, it was a flurry of fun and entertainment.  I almost thought it would be better to just get out and walk to the restaurant because people would walk past my cab and it would take us 5 minutes to catch up to them. 

Once finally at the restaurant I met up with three of my guys (gays) that I hang with while I’m here.  They had been at the restaurant for hours already but stayed a few more hours so I could finally get a meal in me. It was now about 11 pm New York time and 8pm California time.  I don’t know how many drinks I had.  The guys just kept ordering them.  But our bill was over $500. I was thankful someone else paid for it or I would have had to go home already for spending all my money. Lol/ cry

We finally grabbed my suitcase and walked to their Fifth floor walk up. First stopping for more booze. We proceeded to talk and laugh, hypothesis and strategize about Fashon and trends for hours in their small kitchen. Only to determine in our drunken state that Fashon trends are much like the weather and you can’t depend on knowing what’s gonna happen at all.  

Somewhere around 4am we all decided it was time for bed.  I don’t remember going to sleep.  But I did wake up at 8 am this morning on the couch with my sleep mask next to me instead of over my eyes and my nightshirt was inside out and backwards. It was  fun night in NYC and I’m already exhausted. I’m sure tonight will be much of the same. 

Just another NY minute in LoLa-Land

$5.00 Bucket

There is something my NY Gays do that I am aiming to start doing. My entire adult life I have put all my change into two different bins silver and copper. In fact when my ex and I were finally divorced, we took a piggy bank that my dad made us, that you could not be opened without being destroyed, that we put only quarters and dimes in it for 17 years and we took a drill to it. When all was said and done we had damn near $1000.00 and we were both so excited.
Well, my NY gays do the same exact thing but with fives. They have a $5.00 bucket. Not a change bucket or a $1.00 bucket but a $5.00 bucket! They said that they realized at some point that they both always had fives on them. So, they decided when ever they had a five in their wallet at the end of the day it would go in the bucket.
All I could think was man I wish I could have a five dollar bucket. I wish I could afford to give those up when I have them. How nice it was to be able to not stress about cab fare because the $5.00 bucket was full. If I were to pull out enough change to make up cab fare from my change bucket it would take all of it. So now I wonder, how can I implement my own $5.00 bucket? Would I be actually able to keep it full? I wonder if instead of calling it the $5.00 bucket if it would have more effect as the “trip to Italy” bucket? When one is not wealthy what is the trick to helping us save our dollars and even our fives?

Wiggen in the Catskills

My wonderful friend who Loves me enough to send me a ticket and bring me out to see him and his husband is also amazingly talented (just like his husband but in a different way). My dear friend can bang out some major hair in minutes. He works with both real hair and wigs for broadway, cinema and television. He amazes me with his skills and I am always first in line to be his test dummy or pose-able Barbie. We did a impromptu “wiggin out” photo shoot in NYC last time I was in town. This time we planned one in the Catskills. Here are some of the looks he gave me.

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Not only did he design and do up all of my looks, but he fixes the lighting and posed me too. The man is a genius and I am again so incredibly blessed to have him as a friend.
I hope you enjoyed them because we had a blast.

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Me and the amazing Johnny the Bum

Beautiful Catskills

I was in such a wonderfully introspective mood yesterday that all I wanted to do was stay another day in this beautiful environment I am in. I was able to convince my friend (very easily, in fact I think he may have suggested it) to stay another night at the cabin instead of going back to NYC.
This place, even on dark, cold, rainy days like yesterday is so magical, I never want to leave. But it isn’t always like this.
Both yesterday’s morning and today’s morning, I have spent on a comfy mattress covered with throw pillows, in the corner of a floor to ceiling, windowed covered porch. Beyond my room of opened windows is a raging creek. I have sat for hours here with only the sound of the flowing creek and chirping birds for company. I would so desperately love to call it a river because it is as big and as strong as one, but honestly it is a creek. It is a creek that just spilled over its on creek bed during hurricane Sandy and engulfed the very room and cabin that I am in. It filled up so fast and so much that it ate up my friends cabin and continued on over Hwy 28, making it impossible for the local residents to do anything but go up into the mountains and pray the water stops.
Sandy did not take the cabin thankfully, but it ran through it drenching the floors, walls and furniture with mood, water, twigs and rocks. I can’t even imagine the amount of work it took to bring this place back to life. I can’t imagine the sadness they felt seeing their home engulfed in water. I am so thankful they were not in the cabin at the time.
Their neighbor however, a single mom with two kids who lived the same distance from the river said she lived in her house for three years as a full time resident and she was told to evacuate her home 6 times in those 3 years. She was overwhelmed by what seemed like the constant threat of her home and kids being washed away. Fed up with it all and her kids fears of the storm horns that sounded they begged her to move away from being directly on the creekside. Which speaks volumes to me because what kid doesn’t want a huge moving swimming hole in their backyard.
Hurricane Sandy filled the creek with so much water that the force of it not only swept through houses and over roads it moved entire 1000lb boulders from their comfy resting spots and pushed them to an entirely different spots in the creek. My friend was pleasantly surprised to find that the large boulder he loved to layout on the most, on a hot day, which was always nestled under a tree on His neighbors side of the creek, Had been forced to move to this side of the creek, with its under belly exposed. Leaving a large, flat, smooth surface that is now perfect for sunning, only now this prime sunspot resides on my friends land. Another neighbor had a horrible creek access with rocks and knotweed blocking his entrance and after Sandy roared through he had no rocks or weeds but instead, a soft sandy beach that was unearthed in the storm.
I guess it’s amazing to me that something so beautiful, tranquil and peaceful could turn so quickly into something dangerous and deadly. They say that as soon as the water rises over the creek bed wall, it can sometimes only take minutes for the waters to reach your home. It makes me think twice about ever wanting to buy a home next to a body of water, but what about the other 98% of the time when it is like this, beautiful, peaceful and nothing but relaxing? Are the odds worth it? I’m thinking yes, yes they are.

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New York Reflections

It’s my last day in the Catskills and I am going to miss it dearly. I love sitting on the comfy wood chairs outside coloring or watching the creek flow by. I have been waived in quiet reflection these last few days. Maybe it’s the roar of the creek running over the rocks that lines it? Maybe it’s the call from the birds? Who knows, but I keep thinking How lucky can one person be?
I have been so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. I have been bestowed with their love and gifts and I hope some day I can repay them all in some way. Some of the gifts I have rejoiced in the most have been vacation gifts. I have gone so very many places for free and have had so many amazing experiences because if them. Here is the line up, Mexico, Maui, New York, San Diego, LA, Virginia Beach, Tijuana, Arizona river, Reno, Seattle, San Francisco, Oregon, Tahoe, sea ranch, Tiburon and the Catskills of course!
I can’t even get into all of the wonderful life changing experiences from them.
I hope that this is just my gift to myself this life, The gift of free travels.
I know I would rather accumulate free airfare on my credit cards then points or cash back. I know I ask for travel experiences from my angels. It is important to me to get away from home. I think it’s where I learn the most about myself. I just hope that if it id luck that brings me such good travel fortunes, I hope it never ends! I am blessed and I am thankful.

Previous Older Entries

Coloring Project – The Frog

Frog

2010 Summer Reading List

Sookie Stackhouse, the complete stories A touch of Dead
Finger Prints & Facelifts
His First Wife, Gracce Octavia
The promise of happiness, Justin Cratwright
Silk & Shadows
Wifey
The Honey Thief
The marriage
Ya ya Sisterhood book # 3
The Other Boleyn Girl
Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
3 book flower series by Nora Roberts
The Kept woman
Twlight book # 4
twlight book #3

Coloring Project – The Swan