About Me

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My human, Mia, has been working so hard. She is so inspired by my plan. My plan is to go all over the United States meeting new and wonderful people, to share their stories, and to find the connection between all people. Mia is so wonderful, and I want to meet more wonderful humans like her.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Jacksonville, FL - Interesting Meal

Clark's Fish Camp Seafood Restaurant 
I have NEVER seen a place like this before! 
 The food was fantastic.  
And it had 3 rooms (or more) PACKED full of taxidermy-ed animals.
There was animals everywhere!!! Mia's pictures do no justice.... it truly has me speechless.
And I would recommend it. It was great tasting, and different atmosphere.

Jacksonville, FL (thoughts)

I had the opportunity to go to a High School Junior Varsity Basketball game with a friend of mine.

While I was sitting there watching these young men play basketball, I was having  thoughts about how there are people all over the US doing the same thing at the same time. (Since High School's schedule the same for these everywhere)

Not sure what I want to say about that, expect I was moved by the thought of all the people doing the same thing, spending family time (or for the High schoolers hanging out with friends). All of them creating memories.

Of course to Mia - she was only watching a BB game.

So I guess we all add our own significance.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Affinity and savoring a meal

Fried Green Tomatoes
So I went to Paula Deen's Restaraunt "The Lady and Sons" I had an amazing meal! Even though it costs a little bit more, I would recommend if you go there to order from the menu. We started with fried green tomatoes, they were like non I'd ever had before, very flaky and sweet. Everyone gets two free breads one was like a pancake I think they called it a po boy, the other was in my opinion better, it was an herb bread. Next we had the tomato and dill soup!!! Fantastic! Reminded me of a mixture of tomato basil soup & pickle soup. For the main course I had a grilled asparagus sandwich on pumpernickel bread. YUMMY! And for dessert the pecan pie.

Po Boys
Now one would think eating a GREAT meal at Paula Deen's would be the focus on this blog, it really isn't. What I experienced during this meal was FAR superior to any food.

Affinity occurred. About three tables, a total of about 6 people all strangers ended up eating our meals together.

Tomato & Dill soup
Asparagus on pumpernickel bread
Mia & I were seated first.  While Mia picked out what we'd try a table was sat next to us, 4 people. Mia over heard them discussing what to get & commenting on our Fried Green Tomatoes, Mia offered them 2 fried green tomatoes so they could try them too. And Mia suggested to them to order from the menu, we'd be told be others to avoid the buffet. Mia ended up in a small conversation with them off and on through out our meal. While we were waiting on our main course to come out, Mia noticed a gentleman across the way eating the chicken pot pie so she went over to ask how it was. While Mia was gone our sandwich showed up. Again Mia and the table of 4 ended up in a small conversation. Turned out they were Canadians headed to Florida for a cruise.

Pecan Pie
Towards the end of the meal the waiter came around and we ordered our dessert, when we did the waiter told us the man (with the pot pie) had order the same thing.  When the two desserts came out, Mia couldn't wait so she took a bite! WAIT!!!! I needed a picture! The man noticed the distress at our table and offered his pie for a photo.  So the photo on this page is actually his dessert and not ours.

Now this may not seem like that special of a meal written out. BUT it was! Six perfectly good strangers ended up in mixture of interactions & enjoyment that brought this already fantastic meal to new levels.

The lesson Mia and I learned on this day is: All meals can be made better with friends & everyone is your friend, you just haven't met them yet.
Have a great day, I hope you meet a new friend. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Savannah GA - Friends

On Wednesday Dec 1st. is the day I got sick (see blog here) that night Mia and I went into Savannah to get our bearings for the next day.  I'd thought we'd get to do Savannah  on Dec 1 and wrap it up on Dec 2nd. Since I got sick we had less than a half day on Wednesday and then all day on Thursday.  

Wednesday night, like I said, we went in and got our bearings. Bought our Trolley pass and planned exactly how  to attack Savannah. We rode the trolley around and got the full tour to learn everything we could about Savannah before roaming on our own.

Forrest Gump joined us on our tour trolley for a little while.

Once Mia and I decided to go on our own we knew we wanted to start at the cemetery. As we walked in I noticed the sign that Mia had to be leashed to me. Mia had forgotten her leash, so I used her scarf to connect the two of us. 

While Mia and I were walking around the cemetery we started talking to two gentlemen.  After about a 20 minute conversation we decided to join up and walk around Savannah all together.  It was wonderful getting to know "strangers".  We walked all around town together for about 2 or 3 hours. Then Mia & I went out on our own. Had lunch. And went shopping on the water front. It was a wonderful day seeing Savannah & getting to know more people on our trip. 

Savannah was a great place, I loved it and would recommend people to visit it! We have to go back to do a Ghost tour, we didn't get the chance to do one of those. And since Savannah is the most haunted place in the USA that just seems like something we HAVE to do their!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Savannah, GA - I don't feel so well -Nov 1st

 Since we're headed south I need a hair cut before heading into warmer weather. So this morning Mia took me to the groomer.  While the lovely lady was buzzing my hair down my skin split open.

It turns out I was dehydrated and when I'm dehydrated my skin gets very thin.  It didn't hurt.

Luckily Mia had brought me to a groomer's office in a Veterinary Clinic. So the groomer immediately took me to the veterinarian. The vet sealed the sore with surgical glue.

I asked the groomer to call Mia to tell her about what happened to me.  When the groomer called Mia she was almost to Savannah about an hour away from where I was. Mia turned right back around and came to see me & to talk to the Vet.

The Vet and Mia talked about how I got dehydrated and what Mia needed to do to get me better.

Then the Vet put fluids in my back for me to absorb.  I did feel better once I got it all absorbed.

I got dehydrated because I stopped drinking water a couple of weeks ago.  I didn't like how the water tasted.  Mia said the water all over the USA tastes different, so I was hoping the water would get better real soon.

Mia and the Vet decided I'd be happier if we traveled with bottled water for me the rest of the trip.  I agreed, so I'm now traveling with Distilled water.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"It's all about your perceptions"

This was written by
 a friend of Mia's I thought it was very inspiring :  
I don't often write publicly about struggles, but I wanted to take a moment and REALLY put this out there in hopes it helps some of the others in my world who are feeling bleak, hopeless, going through some tough times, and not sure how the holidays are going to pan out.

Almost five years ago, I found myself in a brand new position: single with two kids, no education, no bank account, having to ask my mom to co-sign on a home, and trying to find a job. I moved into a wonderful home where for 9 months, we didn't have hot water or a working stove, we took icy baths and heated up water in the microwave for washrags. I was getting food from a food bank each month and cooking with an electric skillet. Things were tough and it was hard to see an end or know where I was going in life.

That first year, when the holidays rolled around, I had no idea what I was going to do for my boys. I worked as much as I could and saved up a measly $125, I'll never forget it. It was the first year, not the last by any means, that I found myself turning to a church and charity for help. They helped me get food and gave each boy a present to help. I was touched, I felt humbled and grateful that they could receive such kindness from a stranger. The boys got a lot of second hand items and dollar store toys from me that year, but I look fondly on that time. We really made the best in that hard financial year by sitting down and being with one another.

We had to rely on holiday help for a few years. Eventually, my divorce was finalized and things settled down. And last christmas, I no longer had to put my kids name in for gift help any longer.We still struggle, I am still considered "poor", but I will never embrace that idea because I feel more rich in what I know and have seen about love, hope, kindness, generosity, and appreciating the small things. Small things, lol, like the day when the hot water came back on and we no longer had to grit our teeth to bathe. When I could stop cooking only hamburger helper in a microwave and healthier foods came back into our lives. Small things like tucking the boys into beds that were warm under a roof that was mine.

Through all that time, all those moments of struggle, I grew into a stronger and simpler person. I honestly don't need fancy things, I'm just happy to have the basics. And I have worked, and set goals, and motivated myself to be better every day, every month, EVERY year. And it keeps getting better and better.

I believe you have to keep trying. You have to see where you are at, even if it's at the bottom rung, looking up at that ladder you just fell from. You just put one foot in front of the other and climb your way back up. There's a lot of fear along the way, self doubt, guilt, and tears, but in these tough times, it hasn't been me who has lifted my spirits up, but my kids. They will never know how much it was their innocence, their loving spirit, their happiness, and unstoppable determination that drove ME.  Being poor isn't a bad thing, but it just isn't relevant.

Stop for one moment, even in your worst moments, and see the wonderful things around you. Don't let life make you sour and grumpy. Don't become a fatalist, because we CAN fix things. There is always a way to climb back up, it's all about your perceptions.

Be grateful for things like hot water and food on your table. Be happy you have a warm place to rest your head, and a computer to type your facebook updates on. :)

Anyway, I have come a long way. I'm not perfect and there are things I still have yet to fix and make better, but I have accomplished nearly every goal I set out to make since 2006 and it's been hard work that I am seeing the wonderful side effects of now.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November Wrap up

WOW!! 4 months down 8 to go!
Here's the link to August's wrap up if you missed it :) LINK 
Here's the link to September's wrap up if you missed it :) LINK
Here's the link to October's wrap up if you missed it :) LINK

I'm now 33% of the time done with the trip!!  4 months done 8 to go.
I've done 36% of the states (17 out of 48)

Commonly asked questions
What states did you do in the month of November Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina

How many states are done in total? 17  Go HERE for the list and to see a map of all the cities I've visited.

What's been your favorite (in Nov)?  I loved the Food! Oysters!  I enjoyed visiting at an elementary school (you can request me to visit your school just send a message to Mia here). I loved the Biltmore Estates. I loved going to the top of Mount Mitchell. A super unexpected thing this month was the clown workshop!

We also changed the Donation page.  We are choosing to use all donations to get us to Alaska! If you wish to donate follow the link here:  DONATE

Trivia I learned about myself this month: I've learned trying new foods can be fun. And that Gratitude goes a long way!

What's been the hardest or least favorite this month? I have failed again this month to add exercise into my routine!  I am going to buy tennis shoes (The others got destroyed on accident), so EXERCISE!!! This is something I'm adding into my routine!

For some reason it was also "hard" for me to get on and keep my blog up to date.  Partially do to being busy and Partially to being good old fashioned LAZY & Procrastination! (notice a theme for this and the exercising.....  a blog about this may be on it's way)

What's next? Georgia,Florida, Alabama, ( I'll take small trip home for a quick winter break - I will still be blogging during the time "away")

If you have any other questions or want more in depth answers please feel free to ask :)

This next month I'm continuing to practice the skills of staying in the present moment, and connecting with people as I meet them.  I'm also practicing being inspired by the small things, the everyday & common things of life. 

I am adding to my practice: Exercise, creating deeper connection with my family, acceptance of all people.
Will you practice with me?

Visiting A school, Charleston, SC

I had WAY TOO much fun in Charleston! Mia and I are going back FOR SURE!  I got so much love and attention while in Charleston I'm doing four blogs about this one city! (The other three are The Food & Farmers Market, and Much LOVE)

I got the opportunity to visit an elementary school while I was in the Charleston Area. It was so a BLAST! I got to meet a guinea pig! (we were about the same size) PLUS about 60 Students!
Hanging out with the 2nd graders

It was fun having Mia there to talk about all my adventures and to answer questions the kids had about me and the trip.

They sure were curious asking about my weight & how much I sleep.  They wanted to know about my bent ear & even what I liked to snack on.

Kids are so great they know the important questions to ask.

The 4th graders even gave me suggestions on what to see next. How generous of them!

First time meeting a guinea pig

Making sure the older kids are studying

Farmers Market, Charleston, SC

I had WAY TOO much fun in Charleston! Mia and I are going back FOR SURE!  I got so much love and attention while in Charleston I'm doing four blogs about this one city! (The other three are Visiting a school The Food, and Much LOVE)

I headed off to the farmer's market on Saturday morning.  I was told this farmer's market has been racked in the top 5 farmer's markets in the USA.
I don't know the source, someone told me that (might have been local pride).  Anyway it was a great day!
They had boiled and fried peanuts, crepes & many other food worth waiting in line for.  People even took pictures of their food it was so good!

They also had several pet accessory vendors & lots of things for humans too.

Of course I got a lot of attention, and I love every minute of it.
Even though I do look nervous most of the time.

Charleston SC - The Food

I had WAY TOO much fun in Charleston! Mia and I are going back FOR SURE!  I got so much love and attention while in Charleston I'm doing four blogs about this one city! (The other three are Visiting a schoolFarmers Market, and Much LOVE)

What it starts out like
This is a fantastic city! I ate so much delicious food there! I can't even tell you about it all.

So instead I will tell you about the oysters. Starting when the temperature gets cool (about September) till about March they have oyster roasts.
This is how you shuck

When you go you have to shuck your own oysters, and it is amazingly delicious.  I tend to not like adventurous eating (most dogs don't), but I have put myself on this adventure this year and I will try foods everywhere I go! So this was a bit out of my comfort zone, grabbing a shell & having a knife to pry it open with.
The meat inside YUMMY!!!

But with all the work comes delicious yummy oysters.
Now many of you may be saying YUCK! oysters are salty & slimy.   Those are not THESE oysters, these are still a bit salty but slimy I did not notice.
After you open the shell you grab the meat and dunk it in a dip, we had a lemon & cracked pepper dip going on.  Add it to a saltine & eat away!

These Oyster Roasts are a Charleston Tradition so if you go down there be sure to partake and have a little adventure yourself.

Much LOVE! Charleston, SC

I had WAY TOO much fun in Charleston! Mia and I are going back FOR SURE!  I got so much love and attention while in Charleston I'm doing four blogs about this one city! (The other three are Visiting a school & Farmers Market, and The Food)

I received so much love in Charleston I just wanted to post pics of some of the different people loving on me!

She made a sculpture of my head! It looked just like me!
I got much loving!

The Biltmore Estates, Asheville NC

 I took a picture of them in front of the mansion.
The Biltmore Estates is located in Asheville, NC. It is America's largest 1 family home, and was owned by the Vanderbilts.  Mia had a friend in visiting here for this stop so it was the three of us that visited the estates together.

It look us 6 hours to tour the home, gardens, shops & eat lunch on the property! I couldn't believe how much there was to see "in" one home.  We didn't even tour the vineyards, the hunting grounds, golf course & many other sites. Mia took the picture below, it does look better than the one I took (but don't tell her that!).

"The Fly By" - Myrtle Beach & the OBX

Cape Hatteras Light house
Mia and I took an extra day we had and did a quick "fly by" the Outer Banks, NC and Myrtle Beach.  While we were on the Outer Banks (known as OBX) we saw Kitty Hawk &  Cape Hatteras Light Station.

Mia says she liked the OBX better because it was not over done with "tourist traps", it had a relaxing vibe & felt like a beach get away.

I did enjoy that too, BUT give me the lights & excitement of Myrtle Beach!  I love how you have so many choices in hotels, restaurants & things to do.

Of course we saw both of these places during the "off season" so we don't know how they'd be when they are in full swing we can only imagine the crowds.

The Highest Point East of the Mississippi!

The highest I've ever been!  I was a little bit scared. 
This was a great day trip from Charlotte, NC a few hours up the twisting turning roads.  You only have to walk the last few meters to the top, it's very user friendly and handicap accessible.  We were 6,884 feet up, if I remember correctly on top of Mount Mitchell.   While we were in the area we also drove by Chimney Rock and Lake Lure both beautiful places.  I'd recommend all these stops for the outdoor adventurer in you! 

Mount Mitchell, highest point east of the Mississippi 6,800+ feet

Charlotte, NC

Mia & I spent quite a few days in Charlotte, NC. 

We got the opportunity to see the Motor Speedway, not a race day but fun to see the practice laps & surrounding area.  We went to a car museum near by, that was a ton of fun! and I got to add my business card to the wall for future visitors to see!  

Do you see it? About half way down the picture in the middle... that's Mia & me on the card :)

The best part about Charlotte was meeting Coco Chanel a sweet chihuahua that I got the opportunity to play with! We got so tuckered out we both fell asleep, I coiled up under the pillow (like I like to do) and Coco sat on top of the pillow (like a good princess).  Luckily she only weighs 3lbs (like me) so she didn't put any pressure on the pillow to disturb my afternoon nap.