the final leg of our trip–roswell, santa fe, cortez, moab, arches (!), park city and HOME!

•October 20, 2010 • 1 Comment

so, by now we’re home, but we can’t leave our four loyal readers with an incomplete accounting of our journey. (thanks for reading, friends).

after carlsbad we went to roswell, new mexico–aliens everywhere.  there was way too much to read at the museum but i managed to take a few pictures.

sad ufo museum--too many things to read in there, not enough aliens

cute alien snow globe (not for sale)

artist's rendering

mural at ufo museum

ufo in the french quarter

alien autopsy reenactment

close up of g-man and decomposing alien

after roswell we made our way to santa fe where we met up with ariel, maria, and max at a cute little place called ‘cowgirls’.  (no pictures were taken).   we spent the night at the sage inn, a beautiful hotel with lots of amenities, clean bathtub, right next door to a whole foods.  i took a bath while lantz took a walk and took some really cool pictures.

virgin

pretty

one from the back

trains

train

downtown santa fe

in the morning we had a healthy, homemade breakfast at ariel and maria’s in their cute ass trailer.  spinach was involved, raw seed bread, nut spread, onions, scrambled eggs and avocado.  yum.

sadly, max was in school

cute ass trailer

we went downtown to the georgia o’keefe museum and found this lovely doorway.

wooden doorways

and this lovely doorway. . .

painted doorway, downtown santa fe

and this amazing mosaic. . .

santa fe mosaic

from santa fe we drove north to cortez, colorado.

tomahawk inn

next day only two hours of driving!!  whoo hoo!

found ourselves another native american-themed motel–“the motel where john wayne stayed” in moab, utah and took a nap. [photo taken at night after our arches visit!]

the apache motel, moab, utah "the place where john wayne stayed" was their tagline

post nap–ARCHES!!!

hanging out under an arch

arch

wilson arch

delicate arch

pinching the delicate arch

don't know what that thing is called, but it was cool looking

park avenue, arches national park

we hiked up that hill and it was hard

lantz's shadow

dork

balanced rock

that's my husband

on our way to park city (our next destination) we made a short detour into dead horse state park.  [you don’t want to know how this place got its name.]

view of canyonlands from dead horse point state park

husband over canyonlands, squinting

on the edge

almost over, i promise.

last night of our trip: park city, utah.  there were kittens!  our friends brad and dondi took us to a lovely dinner in cute downtown park city.   no pictures of brad, dondi, or the kids but of course i didn’t forget to take several dozen of the kittens.

he was so casual

playing

fighting brothers

very photogenic

fletch. he kept trying to horn in on my fun with the kittens.

thanks, rusts, for the delicious dinner and comfy bed and we promise we’ll stay longer next time.

on our 27th day on the road we left salt lake city at 2:30 p.m.  we had decided that we wanted to be home for a party on saturday night which gave us 28 hours to get home.   instead of spending another night on the road, we made it home in 13 hours. and this beautiful boy was sitting on the couch waiting for us:

petey wearing his new hat

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austin and carlsbad

•October 19, 2010 • 1 Comment

one of the overriding themes of this trip has been not really planning very far ahead.  other than when we’ve stayed with friends, we’ve never known ahead of time where we were going to stay.  for the most part, that’s worked out really well.  it didn’t work out so well in austin.

thirty minutes or so outside of austin, carol asked me to look and see if there were any good shows that night.  odds were good since austin is the live music capitol of the world (so they say and who am i to say otherwise).  of course, there was a giant festival going on.  the ‘austin city limits music festival’.  needless to say, there were no rooms to be found.  not in the cute little old school motor inns on south congress (just past the bat bridge, which was covered with people watching bats when we drove over it).  nor pretty much anywhere else downtown.  boo.  so we found a motel 6 a few miles from the city center.

motel 6?

this motel 6 was a fucking bitch to get to. let’s just say that the drivers are as insane as the ones in chicago and there are these service roads running along side the interstate where people drive faster than on the damn interstate.  scary.  the motel 6 was totally sketchy.  there was a cute little family of cats living in the parking lot.  carol wanted to take them home with us; i didn’t think pete would appreciate it.  the weird thing was that the inside of the room was totally amazing.  it was like sleeping in an ipod case or something.

iPhone tv

after checking into the ipod motel 6, we drove back down to south congress ave to eat at el borrego de oro.  it was some damn good mexican food.  this drunk dude came in.  he was so hammered, he couldn’t remember what he ordered.  out of no where, he asked us if we’d liked ‘iron man 2’.  i told him it was good, but not as good as the first one.  carol asked him why he wanted to know.  he said he just figured it was a good point of conversation for such a lonely little restaurant.  good point.  i doubt he remembers enjoying his food.

we walked around on south congress.  there were lots of cool signs.  neon and otherwise.  and a couple a kickass little motor inns that were, of course, totally booked.

neon at night

blackmail

stella blue

cute motel, no vacancy

cute little pizza maker

i totally agree

the deadly tower

i blame ‘slacker’.  it colored my expectations of the city.  i expected to be peddled famous medical effluvia.  i expected to see laid back denizens ambulating between alt book stores and tiny coffee shops, sharing conspiracy theories.  instead, i got pretty much nothing but loud aging slumpbacks in not-cute-too-short-mini-skirts-and-overly-ornate-cowboy-boots and lots of road rage.  the only other exposure i’ve had to austin is via austin city limits (love it, it’s soaking up of nice motels aside) and ‘the deadly tower’.   so, i feel like i didn’t get a good view of the city.

except we did have a really nice breakfast the next morning at the south congress cafe (unsurprisingly on south congress ave).

carrot cake french toast with pecan-cream cheese sauce.

the waitron was overly helpful, but the architecture was cool and the food was great.  especially the carrot cake french toast.  we got there early, which was good, because the joint was packed in 15 minutes. it was a nice mix of people (except for the one slumpback whose voice was so shrill it could cut through the din of 50 sunday morning breakfasters like an annoyingly high pitched foghorn); so, maybe i misjudged austin after all.

after leaving austin, we headed to carlsbad.  on the way, we drove thru another living ghost town: pecos, tx.  i grew up in the middle of nowhere, but pecos is the middle of nowhere with nowhere to go.  there were several streets that were completely boarded up.  we saw two or three old school abandoned motels.  cute ones.  or they’d been cute anyway.

in carlsbad, we stayed at the stagecoach inn.  nice place.  i got “the look” from a friendly hooker and there were these guys who had setup their chairs outside the door of their room so they could smoke and watch tv comfortably.

drive-in theater...

carlsbad caverns

spooky...

we got up really early and drove out to the carlsbad caverns.  wow.  seriously, wow.  i’ve been in a lot of caves.  mammoth cave in ky (the longest in the world).  some cave on a farm outside of richmond, ky, that had a cool painting of a fire engine (the room that contained it has since caved in).  another cave outside of lexington, ky where a bunch of bats lived.   indiana’s wayndotte and morengo caves.  but i’ve never seen anything like carlsbad’s ‘big room’.  the big room measures 350 thousand square feet.  holy shit, that’s giGANTIC. that’s like 6 football fields!  my favorite thing about the cave was that, unlike all the other caves i’ve been in (other than the one outside richmond, which had to be entered in a clandestine fashion), the tour was completely self-guided!  we got to go at our own pace, stop where we wanted, skip the uninteresting stuff.  and there was no one there to give me shit about bringing up the rear while taking a shit ton of bad photos.

during the peak season (i don’t know when that is, but it’s not now), around half a million bats live in the cave!  they leave each night around dusk and come back just before dawn.  it takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours for the bats to make their way out.  supposedly, from a distance the bat’s egress looks like smoke on the horizon.  we didn’t get to see this.  i was a little bummed about that.

[you forgot to put this picture in, husband]:

ranger lantz

 

but i did get to see my second favorite thing in the cave: the entrance.  there were 100s of cave swallows.  little tiny chirpy birds. flying around, chirping, and nesting inside the mouth of the cave.  like day time bats.  i wondered if the swallows had scary stories about the bats.

bats!

cute!

cuter!

jabba the hutt

underground reflection

a light in an overhead hole

it looked a little like lost in the cave's lunch room

goin’ south

•October 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

it’s hard to keep up with a blog when you’re driving and visiting and picture taking and trying to find green vegetables. . .

after our visit to gatlinburg, we headed south stopping in chattanooga for the best burritos at a place called ‘mojo burrito’.  (there’s also a breakfast place in town called aretha frankensteins which looked fun).  stopped in eutaw, alabama at a comfort inn (which was soooo comfortable and had a gym:  see alabama treadmill).

 

i don't think anyone used it anyway

 

after brunching in meridian, mississippi, at a waffle house (don’t judge, it was good and $5.56 for both of us.  we left a 100 percent tip and the waitress said, ‘ya’ll come back soon’ in the most serious way), we had our scariest moment of the trip thus far at a gas station just north of the mississippi/louisiana border.  big, burly, pick up driving dudes in overalls looking at me like i was prey.  i started to feel flattered until i realized they weren’t hitting on or in a heightened state of desire for me, but were hating on both of us.  i don’t think they liked the size of our car.

as we drove off we didn’t look back.  ‘that was fucking weird, right?’, i asked.  ‘um. . . yeah, very’, said lantz.  ‘there was an acrostic in the bathroom on the condom machine, OBAMA, One Bad Ass Mistake. . . and then they couldn’t figure out what to do with the second ‘A’.’ sadly, there is no picture of this.

and then new orleans.  five years ago i drove that same road back into town through slidell, from st. pete, florida where i had been staying in an extenda-stay with four cats and my ex.  the road, then, was littered with roofs, cattle, trees, boats.  the road, this time, was surrounded by new buildings, new palm trees in the median, new bridge over lake pontchartrain.

first stop (after target where we looked for a replacement pair of one stars for lantz, and whole foods for shampoo) was the best lebanese restaurant in new orleans, byblos, where we kind of ate too much.  labnah, fattoush salad with marinated chicken, fresh pita, lantz had the hummus and lentil soup.   one of the things i miss most about new orleans, for sure.

 

fattoush salad with chicken schawarma

 

 

their lentil soup is better than mine

 

we hosed oscar down at a car wash near my old apartment off canal street on bayou st. john then headed over to my pals ann and laura’s house where we set up our little bed in the masking/feather room.  their house is rumored to have been the place where bob dylan stayed when he wrote songs for ‘blood on the tracks’ and is mentioned in ‘tangled up in blue’.

i miss ann and laura more than i miss byblos.

ann got off work and we all headed over to vaughn’s where laura, bartending, was given very specific instructions–no wine, no whiskey.  i didn’t want to make the same mistake i made in december where almost three days were ruined by the worst hangover ever.  she laughed at me when i ordered a vodka and soda.   different boozes affect a person differently, right?   despite her heavy pour, i only had a slight hangover and i think that was from the taco bell run ann and i made later in the evening.

we didn’t take a ton of pictures in new orleans because last december when we visited for 11 days, we took so many.

 

booze

 

 

serious business picking out music on the jukebox

 

 

faye, old bar dog

 

 

vaughn's

 

day two: lunch at bennachin’s, amazingly delicious african/gambian food in the french quarter.

 

cope ne macando with spinach and coconut rice

 

we had a walk around the french quarter then uptown, then after almost three weeks on the road, we needed a cool dark place to rest so we went to see ‘the social network’ which depressed lantz but gave me a good nap.

later we had a little dinner party at the house.  laura made fresh, delicious pesto.

 

dinner at the guches

 

we looked at some old pictures.  and took a few new ones of laura with her autograph collection. among the luminaries whose signatures she owns is christina aguilara, joe piscapo, the current incarnation of journey (the new lead singer also posed with the stalking guccione sisters) and this guy. . .

 

that's right, justin timberlake.

 

day three: sat at the sound cafe for a few hours and worked. sound cafe used to be one of my favorites.

 

sound cafe

 

we went to city park to the sculpture garden

 

my favorite tortoise

 

 

watchers

 

 

hanging with the giant spider

 

and the museum where i surreptitiously took a few pictures, one of this diane arbus photo of ‘lady bartender in new orleans with poodle’. . .

 

lady bartender with poodle

 

and this kandinsky, which was awesome. . .

 

kandinsky

 

and my husband looking at art

 

looking at art

 

then we met keith on frenchman street at ‘three muses’, a new restaurant/bar owned by a friend of his, and had some tasty feta fries and popcorn.  delicious.  got caught up on all the news and gossip worth knowing the FQ/marigny and heard some good stories. (thanks for hanging out and for the tapas, keith.)

 

catching up with keith

 

thursday nights at vaughn’s, kermit ruffins plays.  ann works the door and sells t-shirts.  used to be the crowd was 80 percent locals, 20 percent tourists, but now that ‘treme’ has gone in and exposed all the secrets, it’s 95 percent tourists and 5 percent irritated locals. . . really, it was kind of intolerable and we had to leave.  (i’m not known for my tolerance.)

‘treme’ has been kind to some locals and even since our last visit in december, we noticed a bunch more houses in the bywater are fixed up and painted pretty. . . and the neighborhood feels really safe.

 

pretty

 

 

all dressed up for halloween

 

 

bywater mosaic

 

 

fresh paint

 

new orleans was a hard place to live and if it weren’t for katrina i might have never left.  i never felt like we had a lot in common–i don’t like to dance, don’t like to drink a lot, don’t like seafood, don’t have a desire to let the good times roll, and for my own part, i complicated the hell out of my life and i spent too many hours in an office 32 floors above all the stuff that made the city interesting.  visiting a few times a year reminds me of why i fell in love with the city to begin with and the many reasons our relationship would have never worked out in the long run.

we left new orleans friday and drove to baton rouge to meet up with my friend penny who moved there after katrina.  we worked at the same soul killing law firm and are both grateful to be liberated from that kind of life.  penny used to read my tarot cards when things got rough and always saw that i would be happy and married “more conventionally” than i would have ever expected, with lots of friends and celebrations, living in a beautiful house. . . spot on.

here we are at lunch.  (thanks for the tasty lunch, penny.)

 

pretty penny

 

after lunch we headed to avery island, home of tabasco!  we made it just in time to visit the gift shop, but not the factory (which was fine because the factory tour is one room and it’s not too impressive).

 

they close at 4:00. . .

 

and across the road from the tabasco factory is jungle garden, a driving loop of swampiness–herons, gators, a bayou, a fuck ton of mosquitoes, turtles.  gators can run up to 35 miles an hour and the way to escape them is to run in a zig zag.  this might have been good to know before i almost got chomped by this gator for getting too close:

 

snappy

 

 

swamp

 

 

trees dripping with spanish moss

 

we met ann and laura in lafayette where they were selling masks at the creole-acadian festival the next day–had dinner at prejeans where we, A, didn’t eat too much, and B, didn’t take pictures of our food!  whoa!

 

at prejeans

 

we visited with ann and laura at the festival the next day to say goodbye and catch a little heat stroke. . .

 

laura and ann selling masks and feathery things

 

 

this one was my favorite

 

thanks for the hospitality, ann and laura.  love you both and wish that i could teleport to visit you more often.

next stop: austin, texas.

pigeon forge, gatlinburg (crapway to the smokies), and the smoky mountains

•October 9, 2010 • 6 Comments

so, we thought we were going to spend two nights in gatlinburg, tennessee, thought it would be a tad tacky, but charming, and it’s so close to some beautiful nature, and it’d be campy, and we’d go to dollywood because we love dolly and dollywood would also be campy and we’d get t-shirts for our friends, and we thought it wouldn’t be so crowded this time of year because, you know, the kids are back in school. . .

um. . . we were wrong on all counts.

first a disclaimer: i’m not religious, but i know people who are and i like them.  i’m all for spirituality.  believe what you believe.  worship how you worship.  don’t push your stuff on me and i won’t try to get you to join a coven or talk about reincarnation with me.   we don’t have to agree about it.

another disclaimer: if you love palin or miss george w. or enjoyed glenn beck’s rally we probably don’t have a lot to discuss politically if we want to be polite to each other.  i will probably condescend to you and won’t be able to look beyond it.  i won’t argue with you, but on the inside I’ll be sad that you’re voting against your own best interest and believing the lies.

 

i miss will farrell doing his impersonation of you. the hopey changey thing isn't working out thanks to you and yours--the corporate overlords are still in power.

 

with all that said:  i love old time country music, the kind where they sing about Him having holes where the nails have been, people singing because that’s all they had in the world that was beautiful, their voices and banjos and fiddles and their faith that after this shitty life was mercifully over they were going to get their reward.  conversely, i don’t love the belligerent, willfully ignorant, “patriotic” propaganda, modern country music.  it bites.

driving through kentucky we listened to the stanley brothers and john prine and old crow medicine show (new old timey) and a couple ‘this american life’s just to brace ourselves.   and we were so excited about dollywood, hoping to catch a glimpse of our favorite confirmed bachlorette, if you know what i mean. . .  ;-). and so excited to see the smokies, a place where neither of us had been.

we got to tennessee late in the afternoon on a gray, drizzly day and decided to put off dollywood for the next day,  headed towards gatlinburg “gateway to the smokies”, and once we hit town, were in immediate sensory overload.  it was PACKED full of people and from one end of the two mile main strip to the other we drove looking for a motel.  we found one, the grand prix, way at the far end closest to the park.  it had a pool the shape of a clover.  it had an indian man at the front desk.  it wasn’t advertised as “american-owned, american-run” and therefore we were the only guests.  $41! that’s with tax. the room was clean. the TV was nice. the bed was comfortable.  it was great.

we walked from our motel to the far end of the strip and here’s a sampling of the bizarre mixture of things we saw: dozens of pancake restaurants, far right wing sloganed and religious t-shirt shops

 

i thought there was a rule in the bible against this kind of garbage

 

 

yikes

 

airbrushed personalized t-shirts were also available

 

we got one for everyone back home. . .

 

 

lantz was mesmerized

 

fudge/candy/ice cream/funnel cake peddlers

 

diabetic fudge was available

 

childrens’ activities (mini golf, paint ball, etc.), adult emporiums (porn and sex toys for the honeymooners–we saw four different ‘just married’-covered trucks riding through town), thomas kincade galleries (barf)

 

tom, please stop painting

 

and, the weirdest, in a way, combination gun-knife-bong shops.

 

one stop shopping for all your hookah and air rifle needs

 

there’s also an attraction called ‘christus gardens’ which we didn’t visit, but is described hilariously here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/terrible2z/4189167665/

so, here’s the thing, i’m all for bongs.  i’m all for fudge, candy, ice cream, funnel cake.  i’m all for kids having fun stuff to do. i’m all for pancakes.  i’m all for the first amendment.  i’m even on board with the second amendment.  the thing that was so repulsive, as is usually the case, was the hypocrisy.  this combination of the holier than thou religiousity [two out of the ten channels were preachers–one a hipster preacher, the other, the fire and brimstone older dude] and the garish, and often illicit, conspicuous consumption.  this spot in the universe was beautiful and perfect at one point, a holy place in the purest sense, it was the fucking smoky mountains, and now people barely make it into the mountains because there’s too much diabetes-inducing over-stimulation to be had.

speaking of the smokies. . . how come it’s illegal to smoke in bars in many, if not most, states, but it’s no big deal to light up in national parks?  that’s weird.  and i’m only exaggerating a little when i say that EVERYONE was smoking when we got out to look at the view and get some fresh air (air that didn’t smell like fried batter or burning sugar).

i think the lesson here is not to enter through gatlinburg, and to bring warmer clothes so that we can go for a long hike away from the throngs, and to really just be prepared that people and their children, pissy and fighting with siblings from spending too much time in a car, are going to be loud and unaware and no one really wants to go there to look at the majesty of the damn park, but for a photo opportunity.  here’s ours:

 

where are the mountains?

 

 

i think the mountains were actually smoking

 

 

the abrupt border of crapville and the smokies. . .

the abrupt border of crapville and the smokies

 

deciding a third night in new orleans seemed like a better idea than a second night in gatlinburg, we left the park and headed to dollywood.  the parking lot was nearly empty.  awesome, right?  i’m guessing it was empty because people who had flocked to dollywood from all around the country arrived at the entrance gate and heard “that’ll be $55.90 each plus $9 for parking” and did what we did, turned the car around and high tailed it out of there. oh, dolly. i might pay that much to see you in person, but seriously. . . we were going to spend half an hour there at most.  you should have an adult pass that let’s you go in and buy merchandise with your face on it, take a few pictures, and let’s us get on our way.

and even though it seems like i’m just complaining, all of this was fun and there’s nothing like visiting a place that is almost exactly the antithesis of where we would ever live to make us even more appreciative of home.  can’t wait to get back to portland, to petey, first and foremost, who sent us a message via krystee:

 

dreaming about me

 

and friends (and especially the new little friend who’s fixin’ to arrive on or around her due date of november 9th) and our home and comfy bed and the cafe where the sassy barista will laugh at my snarky comments and i even can’t wait to get back to 24 hour fitness and the hipsters on fixies and the six month rainy/drizzly winter and work.  yay, home!

flw in madison

•October 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 

unitarian meeting house, madison, wi

 

we stopped in madison, wi to check out the unitarian meeting house.  it’s really a church.  a totally bad ass church.  with a sample size of three flw unitarian churches, i can safely say i like the aesthetics of unitarians.

when this structure was completed in 1951, it was “in the country” and the university of wisconsin was nearby.  now the university pretty much surrounds the meeting house. it has those same pop out rock walls that taliesin does.  don’t let the angles in the photo above fool you, they’re not artifacts of the photo stitching process.  that roof over on the far right really does droop low enough to bonk *my* head on.  it’s part of the flw idea to “bring the outside in” and making designing to fit the land.

 

hands clasped in prayer

 

instead of a steeple, the angle of the roof and the apse resemble hands folded in prayer.  the apse was originally open, but sometime in the sixties they threw a pipe organ up in there.  it’s a small one, though, so it doesn’t really muck up the view or anything.  i’m betting it sounds pretty cool.

 

 

non-ringing church bell

 

a “bell” used to hang under the highest part of the roof.  it wasn’t designed to ring, just to look pretty.  it would bang the shit out of the roof when it got windy, so they removed it.  now it sits inside one of the children’s classrooms.  i’m betting the bell sounded pretty cool when it was banging the shit out of the roof.

this structure was designed using a triangular module.  that is, the floor plan was made up of interlocking triangles of various sizes.  this is a common technique for flw during his usonian period.  he would take a single polygon and use it as the basis for the floor plan.  rectangles, triangles, hexagons, parallelograms, and even circles were common.  neat idea, for sure.

 

logan's run prop?

 

the main body of the church is a big diamond (two back-to-back triangles).  the nave is an open area with specially designed pews that can be easily reconfigured for various seating arrangements (looking at the pastor, in small work groups, etc).  along the outer walls of the forward triangle, there are three rows of pews.  following flws design idea of compression and release, this room slopes from about 6′ in the rear (a kind of cave like overhang) to something like 30′ behind the pulpit.  this is not a large room.  it has an open, but intimate feeling. i’m bad at estimating how many people you can get in a room; but this would be a good size for an indie band with decent following.

 

dumbfounded, again.

 

like the other two unitarian churches we’ve seen (unity chapel in spring green, wi and unity temple in oak park, il), there are no obvious crosses or crucifixes in or on this building.  interesting for a christian sect.  my guess is that it has to do with the unitarians stressing community and introspection over witnessing and testifying; but what do i know.

 

 

detail above the pulpit

 

we also tried to go to monona terrace on the isthmus between the two big lakes in madison.  the initial design of the monona terrace is from like 1938.  flw had been revising it from then up until his death in 1959.  it was finally approved and built in the late 1990s.  it looks like it’d be pretty neat to walk around in, but it took us for fucking EVER to find the place by following the signs.  they had us driving all over the isthmus.  we finally said ‘fuck it’ and drove on out of town.  i almost got a photo of it over the lake, but the damn camera wouldn’t focus fast enough and the other drivers were too crazy.  so, no photo and no tour.  oh well.

cincinnati

•October 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

from henry county we headed north to cincinnati, where lantz lived for five years in the early to mid ’90s and has been so excited to show me.  our list of things to see was long with only two nights to hang out: train station, spring grove cemetery, krohn conservatory, skyline chili.  we showed up at darryl’s house much to zaxon’s excitement.  he, like boston, licked all of lantz’s exposed skin.  even though his jumping wasn’t quite as controllable as tiny boston’s, he was just as big a softie.

darryl and zaxon. . . darryl does not have an antenna growing out of his head.

short nap, some more saag paneer and graeter’s ice cream (not a perfect combo nutrition-wise, but so yum) in the clifton area, a long walk past a frank lloyd wright house that was right across a bird sanctuary from where lantz used to live and then a night tour of the cincinnati union train terminal which was fucking awesome! so awesome that i insisted we had to go back the next day so i could add to my crushed penny collection.

they were going to tear this down.  wtf?

they were going to tear this down. wtf?

interior

blew my mind

ceiling of train station, ten stories up

then back to darryl’s where we slept so well in his comfy, soft-sheeted guest room.  ahhhh.

in the morning we took a long walk with zaxon and darryl.  zaxon was cool, he’s a rottweiler and they were bred as herding dogs and he kept stopping and checking to see if we were keeping up.  when lantz fell behind, zaxon would not continue until he caught up with the group.  so cute.

michael j. fox as alex p. keaton and lantz at melt

after a hippie breakfast at melt, we went back to the train station and spent nearly three hours there.   [there will be a lot of pictures in this post.]

so, we kind of snuck into an off limits area.  and it was so worth it.

the ladies lounge which is no longer in use. the walls are linoleum with a rain forest scene. made in the late 20's, early 30's.

this was so beautiful

look at that detail!

we ventured further into off limits territory to what used to be a dining room for travelers and is now used for receptions and weddings.

mirrored on both sides

that's where the band would play (?!)

a mural on the ceiling!

and then even further off limits when we went up an unmarked stairway to get an above view of the dining room.  up there was a hallway with several locked doors which were private dining rooms (recently refurbished), some more rest rooms and all this beautiful art deco detail:

we were feeling sneaky and like we really got away with something cool when we noticed a kiosk with a sign that said, ‘free tours of the train station’.  the tour was in 20 minutes and we were the only ones on it.  it was the best $20 tip we’ve ever given.  so much history and we got to go into even more secret places.

our personal tour guide, don, was very interesting and loves the train station so much he volunteers to give free tours

they're historical timelines--one of the country, the other of the cincinnati valley

20 feet tall and 100 feet wide mosaics

restored to original photos, this was the secretarial office for the president of the train station, that furniture was sweet.

lamp from the president's office

wood inlay map in the president's office--there were only 48 states and cuba

door hinge

deco andirons

lighting in a waiting room

turns out don brought us into the places we snuck into anyway.

we also visited the cincinnati history museum, housed in the train station (along with an imax, a natural history museum, a cafeteria, some shops, and an ice cream store.  all that green is rookwood [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rookwood_Pottery]] and is beautiful.)

ice cream shop, tiled in rookwood tiles

the cincinnati history museum was an entire floor of dioramas, the biggest one either of us has ever seen, of cincinnati’s history.

diarama of what the train station would have been like in the 30s and 40s when it was in full use as a train station

where the vehicles are coming out, that's where the cincinnati history museum is now

precursor to the brooklyn bridge

now amtrak comes through here three times a week, but for years there were no trains at the train station. at one point the city leased it out and it was a mall.  luckily the citizens and preservationists saved the station when land developers wanted to tear it down.

lantz then took me on a driving tour of the city.  here’s my favorite house.  these bricks were made at the same place the tile for the ice cream shop were made.

green bricked house. i want.

went to the krohn conservatory.

humid

went on a search for the other two (out of three) frank lloyd wright houses, which we found but didn’t really get a good look at.  here’s lantz trespassing at one of them.

behind me is where the no trespassing sign was

here's the top of the house through some trees. . . we know it's from the usonian period and that the owner is italian and only visits a couple times a year. jerk.

we then had some of that famous skyline chili.

that's a lot of cheese

then hung out at a cool cafe and wrote postcards (me, i need to sit in cafes to regroup, so i cheated on my palio’s pals back home at the highland cafe and had a mocha almondine.  it was passable.)

here are a couple murals/wall art projects we saw during our driving tour.

wish that car wasn't there

mysterious

later we met merry, a friend of lantz’s from his cincinnati days, and darryl, at the comet bar. nice meeting you, merry.  now i have a face to put to the person who almost always trounces lantz at online scrabble.

merry and lantz. we won't say how long it's been since they last hung out.

long day.  another restful night at darryl’s.  thanks again, darryl, zaxon, and morris (the grumpiest cat who wouldn’t let me love on him except for a little head scratching).

on our way out of town we hit the cemetery.   i haven’t uploaded those pictures yet and i’m getting behind on this all and i really can’t wait to describe the horror show that is gatlinburg (o.m.g.) so i’ll post this and then later put the spring grove cemetery pics up.

family in kentucky

•October 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

after illinois [stay tuned for part two of lantz’s frank lloyd wright post for details on the most amazing house ever] we headed to kentucky to have a night with the family.  hung out a bit at lantz’s brother’s place and met boston.  boston’s cute as hell and wouldn’t stop licking lantz’s ankles, face, hands, arms. . . basically anywhere salty skin was showing.

it's boston!

then had a delicious dinner with mom, pop, brother tim and nephew lee.   lantz looks so happy because he’s about to eat his favorite seiten parmesan sammich.

moore-fentress family

here’s mom and pop, me and lantz at ramsi’s on bardstown road in louisville.

the moores and the mo-fos

slept so well at tim and mary’s place (thanks again!) and headed for pleasureville.

henry county boy

supposedly, this was a brothel

and then we had a visit with uncle david, cheri, and dylan (he’s the one in the excellent outfit).  as an added bonus, there were KITTENS!!!

hanging in p-ville

don't tell pete!

mama julia with jack black and moo having lunch

too tired to get into all the cool stuff we did in cincinnati, that’ll have to wait for tomorrow night.