Nov 07 2007
0

NYPL could soon be reviewed on Tripadvisor?

In the New York Times today, an article appeared about the New York Public Library mixing it up with a base level $750 per night hotel.One thing that I distinctly remember about my time in Amarillo and whilst visiting the main library in Nashville was the amount of homeless people using the library for warmth and shelter. Thus, I’m guessing, the obvious reason for the two separate entrances at the NYPL branch.My own personal wish – a library with a day spa.

Oct 03 2007
0

The obligatory catchup with a catchup of catchups post

I hate saying it, but I have to. The past 5 weeks have been CRAZY. Not that it is any excuse for not blogging but… I am going to pull out my ‘Get out of blogging free card’ and use it. Let me summarise – 

*Green card stuff – read about it here. It is moving along *very* quickly.

*Collingwood – well can I say it was the most psychotic few weeks I have had in a long time whilst barracking for Collingwood. I thought September would be uneventful and the perfect time to stay right on track with all my classes and assignments. Boy, I was wrong. So we won against Sydney… which saw me booking flights to Perth at an ungodly hour to ensure I got some of the very rare cheap seats. $388 return – I was impressed! The pressure leading up to that was intense with assignments, training days at work and classes… as well as the ‘Will they win?”. Well they did… after they drew first. I have to say I have never been so tense, so crazed and so… well I still can’t believe how that game played out. There weren’t many of us there but we definitely made ourselves heard and did our jobs as Collingwood supporters.The very few whirlwind pics from that night I will never forget can be found here.

Video is as follows –Boarding at Perth Airport to come home (I still feel for those non Pies who were on that flight.)Video from the game…check out how close my seats were!Oh and my moment of national TV glory can be viewed here from about the 4.30 mark GO PIES! (I cannot believe how many people actually saw it… kinda scary!)Then we had the following week and build up versus Geelong and I can safely say that in 7 days I had been on the highest of highs to the lowest of lows knowing we were so close. Argh. 2008 is the focus and if we do happen to make it and I am not here… I’m flying home.

*The study stuff- The past week and a half has been crazy and it is going to continue like that for the next three weeks. For the most part, I have stayed on top of my work – it is just the work load with juggling three separate group work projects that is absolutely ridiculous and really stretches my ‘Jenelle resources’ of patience, humility and understanding. I have a couple of weeks downtime and then I am doing two intensive subjects right up until mid-December when I will get three weeks ‘off’ (but will still be doing homework) before I fly out for the two intensive subjects in the US. I will then get home from the US at the start of February and start my final subject near the end of February.

*Social life- Throw in a couple of concerts, nights out and a wedding this weekend and you get the picture.

*Facebook- Yeah yeah… everyone is on it and it is an addiction I can do without at the moment BUT I wish to state here and now – I have been on it since it was restricted access… I am not one of these Facebook fly-by-nighters. I am old skool baby, yeah!!! 

*Other stuff- I’ve decided that if the Green Card stuff all goes to plan… I’m really wanting to blog my experiences of an Australian Librarian trying her utmost to get a library job (which I am thinking is going to be pretty difficult) and sort out some kind of life over yonder… any views..? Should it be part of Jenelle.net or should I set up a separate one? I have already found a hairdresser it seems… I think I am going to try the salon in January to spoil myself… and see if when the time comes, they will be it. I have only had three hairdressers my WHOLE life. So it is a big deal!

Too many times – Mental As Anything

Aug 01 2007
0

Final RHCP show in Melbourne

AK

I just realised I had not blogged about the final (and most memorable show!) here in Melbourne.

I got to the Music Bowl at about 6pm. Chili Peppers don’t normally come out until 9pm. But I was at THE front. I had a seat in Row H but tonight.. I was going to brave it in the Pit! As I was on my own, I was able to muscle in and babysit those around me. Yep – some of them were that young.

You can see how close I was here. I am soooo happy with the shots I got. Especially this one of Flea and Chad – check out the drumstick!

I waited patiently through Har Mar Superstar. Interesting um.. act. Luckily he didn’t throw his sweat drenched singlet my way. A highlight was The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti who was accompanying Har Mar on his bid to takeover Australia. So I stood. And stood. And stood some more.

I also took some videos and you can view them here on YouTube.

The concert happened (see setlist below). Flea was awesome singing ‘Sunny’ (for his daughter, Sunny) and the show went soooo quick. The minute the guys came out the crowd surged towards the stage but everyone was quite mellow. Security bought us all water and we danced, sang and went nuts for two hours. I am obviously not as young as I once was and the minute I got to the tram and sat down, CRUNCH. My back obviously didn’t like the fact I stood in the one spot for five hours straight. Sorry back… it was all worth it.

Setlist –

Intro
Can’t Stop
Dani California
Otherside
Charlie
Fortune Faded
21st Century
Throw away your television
Jam
She’s only 18
Brandy – John
Snow
Me and my Friends
Velvet Glove
Sunny – Flea
Don’t forget me
Warlocks
Stadium Arcadium
By the Way

ENCORE:
Jam with Flea on trumpet
I could have lied
Give it Away
Long jam

Jul 30 2007
2

Back at building 108 and loving it

Fiona just did a post about her return to study this semester, so this is a perfect time for me to get everyone up to date on what I have been up to.This semester, I have returned to RMIT full time. I am LOVING it! It is amazing what you can take in at 10.30am as opposed to 5.30pm after a full day of work.I decided to give the MBIT a bit of a rev-up for a variety of reasons. There was one subject during the day that I really wanted to do. I want the qualification out of the way by the time my consular interview for the Green Card comes around. I needed a bit of a break from work after all of the many changes over the past five years that have left me completely drained.I am not regretting this decision one bit and my timetable has worked out really well.Other study news is that I got accepted on the RMIT USA Study Tour that takes place at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University in January 08. Woohoo! I get two subjects out of the way and the site visits to the IMF and World Bank, I am especially looking forward to. As well as the usual excuse for my yearly holiday to New York and this time, a week in Hawaii on the way home. Perfect!While I haven’t visited the UMD campus before, I spent a whole day exploring Georgetown University last time, so I can’t wait to get back there – it is absolutely stunning.So all in all, apart from being somewhat poorer, I am loving this return to study and have found it to come around at the perfect time since it has been five years since I finished my undergrad. Back to work full time in February 08. Yay!I can feel the fire – Renee Geyer

May 31 2007
0

Dreaming I was at the Hollywood Bowl…

Red Hot Chili Peppers

After a quick stint of lazing around in bed, it was time to get ready and head into the city for the 2nd Chili Peppers show. It was a gorgeous night in Melbourne – balmy with a clear sky and I had no idea of what to expect as the show as that the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and I had no idea of how the show would be in this kind of outdoor venue. Todd and I hailed a cab from Collins Street and had another great taxi experience – the driver had no idea where the Music Bowl was. There were thousands in the general admission area (no way) and as Todd and I made our way to the seats I could not believe how close we were actually going to be. The stage ‘screens’ that are behind the guys were a smaller version of the stadium look that we had in Adelaide but it still had a totally intimate feel to it and with the seating at the front and general admission at the back, it was a great way to see a concert (for us) – there is no way known I would have stood there on the hill at the back.

The setlist went as follows –

Intro/Can’t Stop
Dani California
Scar Tissue
Charlie
Havana Affair
Warlocks
Parallel Universe
This Velvet Glove
Songbird (John solo)
Snow (Hey Oh)
Get On Top
C’mon Girl
Hump de Bump
Right On Time
Californication
By the Way
——————
Jam (Flea trumpet, Josh bass)
Give it Away
Outro jam
John playing with pedals.

It was a great show – especially with John singing Songbird. I lucked out – some Chili and some Fleetwood Mac! Also so very very happy they played C’mon Girl – one of my favourites from Stadium Arcadium.There was no Under the Bridge for Todd but it was a really enjoyable show. With the outdoor feel of the concert I was able to try and imagine as if I was at the Hollywood Bowl, relishing a true Californian moment

After being encased in the Chili Peppers for a couple of hours it was strange to be thrust back into the reality of “now it is time to go…”. Todd and I wandered across the Birrarung Marr and through Federation square… almost as if coming out of some wilderness experience!

Two RHCP shows in two nights.. what a feeling!

Last.fm Journal on the RHCP 2nd show

Everybody’s Talkin’ – Harry Nilsson

May 30 2007
1

Ev & I & RHCP & Adelaide 4 Eva

Six months ago, Evan and I diligently planned our trip to Adelaide for the first Australian Red Hot Chili Peppers show. After both putting up with each other through the 2006 trip to LA, Boston, Washington DC and New York – Adelaide should be a sinch!

Getting to the airport we first noticed the amount of Kangaroos players hanging about the Qantas area. We checked in and ran up to the Qantas Club (QP or Qantas Pub to those on the FF community) and proceeded to sit back, relax and enjoy what lay ahead for our Adelaidian adventures.

This was also the first time I had decided to not check baggage. So armed with my Vera Bradley Petal Pink Large Duffel I set up to give the overhead bins a touch of pink. We also decided that the weekend would be a geek fest. Armed with our iPods, my Bose headphones, and a stack of iCreate, Macworld Australia, Macworld US and MacLife magazines we planned to get all Applefied in Adelaide.

Sitting in the plane, we realised that the whole Kangaroos team would be on our flight. The only other time that I have flown with a footy team was when I went to Adelaide for the Collingwood Vs Crows match back in 1995 and we lost – but having the team on the flight ended up making Jayne and I feel quite victorious!

Then – over in row 17 – Joe Camilleri – my hero. Visions of Jo Jo Zep, Black Sorrows, the Revelators… the man himself was right over the way. I had also taken a great photo of Joe at the Countdown Spectacular that I really like. Also.. my other musical addiction is Rockwiz on Saturday nights. Nothing better and I just adore James Black – especially when he plays the riff for Master Blaster Jammin’. And here he was, walking down the aisle of the plane and sitting in the row behind us. Good lord!! I was going to be seeing him in exactly a week at the special Mondo Rock gig. Spooky!

The flight was uneventful with the average Qantas non-meal snack of those rock hard huge cookie things and an apple. Before we knew it we had landed and we were off the plane.. then spotting the Adelaide team at the airport before boarding to come to Melbourne.

Very big deal for Adelaide at this stage was the tram track construction on North Terrace. Our taxi driver seemed to break into a panic when we told him our hotel was on North Terrace. He was then asking us where he should drop us off at… eek. We weren’t from there. And that is something that is strange travelling in your own country – your accent means nothing! We ended up ‘landing’ near the hotel and walked down a dodgy lane onto the barren lands of North Terrace for check in at the Accor.

After a little R&R it was time to discover what Adelaide has to offer. And it isn’t much. The NLS in 2004 made Adelaide so… bearable. We did the whole Rundle Mall thing (aka a trip back to the 80s). I spotted Daryl Wakelin at the Vodafone store.. woohoo. We then walked North Terrace, had a peek around the buildings there, visited the Don Bradman exhibition for a foot rest and then thought we should have a look at the casino. Eeeek. It was like a local pokies venue but we did have fun at the Adelaide railway station… tres cool with unlimited timetables that are plentiful, color coded and in alphabetical order. I was so impressed I took a photo. Hurrah for Adelaide timetables!

We returned to the hotel for some R&R, Ev set out to visit Haighs because he spied my Choclatier Easter bunny for him that I had packed and I thought I may have a little nap. Then before we knew it we were dining in the hotel restaurant and getting ready for the concert at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre… another trip back to the 80s. Rollerama style.

Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Approching the Entertainment Centre we were greeted by the most 80s sign I have ever seen. So it needed a photo. I was also greeted by a scene that resembled the Star Hotel riots in the 80s. It was 8pm and there were bottles everywhere. Absolutely plastered 18 year old guys… staggering.. yelling… wearing their Quiksilver tees with pride and being… boys. It resembled a hoe-down y’alls… or an outback B&S ball. I felt so very old and so very.. square…!

Our seats were to the side of the stage and there is only one level at their entertainment centre. We deliberatly missed Har Mar Superstar and that wasn’t a bad thing… little did we know he would later create so much press for being booed at every single show and simply being not very.. appreciated.

Before we knew it the lights were down and the show had started…. here is the setlist –

Can’t Stop
Dani California
Scar Tissue
Charlie
Readymade
Throw Away Your TV
This Velvet Glove
Snow
Nobody Weird Like Me
Wet Sand
Get on Top (this was not played – changed to Right on time by AK scribbling on the setlist)
Don’t Forget Me
Hump De Bump
Californication
By the way
—————
Flea trumpet jam
Under the Bridge
Give it away
Outro jam

Ev was disappointed that there was no 21st Century. It was actually a very special show as they played Under the Bridge. I have to say the crowd was one of the noisiest crowds I had experienced at a concert – it was full chili worship. The Chili Bowl was just out of this world. I was so happily overjoyed that we didn’t get tickets for there. I wouldn’t have lasted a minute and would’ve got thrown over and out like many of the crowd who had waited around all day for pole position.

After the show it was time to bolt out of the Entertainment Centre for the great taxi fight – we managed to hail one after walking in the dark alongside some dodgy Adelaide roads. The taxi managed to get us back to the hotel (just!) and again a big deal was made about this road block on North Terrace.

Walking back to the hotel, it was only about 11.30 and already there were people vomiting in the streets. That said it all – we Chili Peppered our way back to our room where we found we could hear the wedding that was taking place on the floor below us. Greased lightning… and other great wedding songs.

The next day we walked the vomit laden streets of Adelaide to Maccas where we encountered one of the most unorganised and ridiculous McDonalds. The manager was shouting to the staff, the orders were slow, people were angry and the vibe was shocking. Get us to the airport..!!!!

It was with pleasure that we got a cab and made our way to Qantas check in. As we were standing at the counter I looked to my left and saw a tattoo on a guy that I recognised. I was looking at him thinking “My gosh where do I know him from?” It was Ritchie Vez or (Ritchie where the community benefits, as Frannie would say!) Diesel’s unbelievable bassist. Then looking beside him I spot DIESEL HIMSELF. Ev had to finish check-in as I could not comprehend that basically the one singer that I feel like I have been listening to and seeing play live since birth, was just so close. When it came to boarding… he ended up being our flight. Yay!! Frantic SMS messages to Frannie in the style of “OMGGG HE IS THREE ROWS IN FRONT” were just flying back and forth.

It was an eventful trip. At one stage I felt some water on my arm… then drip, drip drip. I looked up to see water coming out of the overhead locker and over Ev and I. What the??! The stewardess came over and opened the locker and we discovered the airheaded woman had put a bottle of water up in her bag in the locker and hadn’t put the lid on properly!

Arriving in Melbourne was the least eventful part of the trip to Adelaide and I only had a few hours to wait until show number two… bring it on.

(Note – in the week after, I found out that the Chilis were staying at the Hyatt, just across the road from our hotel and did an impromptu little show in the bar of the hotel. Argh!)

Lovers and Sinners – Dallas Crane

May 28 2007
0

Magpies swoop on the Lion’s den

Have just got home after a quick and busy trip to Brisbane. Flew up on Friday with a recovering sprained ankle to meet mum and dad who had just spent the past week on the Gold Coast. We had an apartment booked at Kangaroo Point which is straight across from the Gabba!

Friday night we had a great night out at Byblos at the Brisbane wharf area – it was exactly like the Melbourne Docklands surround. It was my mum’s Aunties 80th Birthday and the food was delish – kibbeh, Siyadiya, tabouli… ohhhh it was all good and a wonderful, very family orientated night. (For a lot of family that I have never met before)

On Saturday morning, we all took a walk from our apartment around the back area of Kangaroo Point to the Brisbane river where we were able to take a great ferry ride up past the State Library area of the river and then back around and down, under the Story Bridge and further on. We then took a steep steep steep walk back to the Apartment to get ready for the footy.

With the Gabba being so close, we had dinner in the Lions dining room (there were some ‘Pie supporters in there so it was all good…) After the game and walking back we actually realised that the German Club was just across the road for the Gabba so that would have been an awesome place to grab dinner – at least we know for next time.

Walking around the Gabba is a crazy exercise in logisitics and reading strange signs. We got our seats eventually and they were up quite high… but the atmosphere was as close to experiencing those days back in the outer at Vic Park as I could remember. The stand was full of Collingwood supporters – and VOCAL Collingwood supporters at that. It was amazing and it felt more Collingwood than the Ponsford ever has.

Another bonus of the Gabba – they serve Chiko Rolls at the footy!! AMAZING!!! It is worth flying to Brisbane for that alone.

In the end, it was an great match as we won convincingly!

Lack of real public transport access to the Gabba as well as no car parking would have made for an interesting experience if we weren’t staying so close. 30 minutes after the siren went, I was already in my Pjs!

Mar 24 2007
0

Soundtrack to a trip

Strange things were happening on my iPod throughout this holiday – I ended up listening to a lot of music that I owned but had hardly listened to, so it made for a refreshing change.

One horrifying discovery that I made that I am actually willing to share is that I found out I actually had nine Billy Idol songs on my iPod. NINE! With this discovery I set about listening to Billy on repeat and I can now proudly state I am a fan.

So now I will try and assign some Billy Idol songs to experiences on my trip –

Hot in the City – played very loudly flying into JFK
White Wedding – I got to see one wedding whilst I was away and this was at the gorgeous wedding in the Chapel at Edinburgh Castle
Cradle of Love – my bed in Nashville – HUGE!!!
Flesh for Fantasy – the Naked Cowboy doing his thing in Times Square when it was -10 degrees.
Sweet Sixteen – the hours spent getting from LA to Melbourne
Mony Mony – pronounce it as ‘money’ and it is something I spent a lot of!
Rebel Yell – what I did lots of at Universal Studios
To be a lover – what Howard K Stern wishes he was!

This trip was kinda strange musically. Normally I really play lots and lots of Hunters and Collectors/Crowded House/Diesel while I am away for a taste of home but that didn’t happen much at all. Other artists that got mass rotation for no particular reason include Bob Dylan (great flying music), Elton John (great to listen to when you need something to play in the ‘background’), Patsy Cline (even before Nashville – she is just my all-round holiday music anyway) and another strange happening – 80s power ballads. They were awesome to listen to! Peter Cetera, Chicago, Foreigner, Glen Medeiros – the songs that you know all the words to even though you hardly listen to them!

I am a man who will fight for your honor
I’ll be the hero you’re dreaming of
We’ll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love

In my notebook I would constantly be scribbling songs I would find so I could get them when I got back. Nashville catered for a lot of this so I have ended up purchasing some selections from Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins, Taylor Swift, Faith Hill (Like we never loved at all is a fave at the moment) and Big & Rich.

Another shock discovery was on Amazon. Many years ago, late night on TV I saw this very rare AC/DC show with Bon Scott from the London Hippodrome in the 70s. It was an amazing concert and it has been on Amazon for years with no release date planned. I was so excited tonight when I found I could pre-order it! Until I saw the release date – 2010! I kid you not.

Read the reviews – you can see how great it is. So 3 years and counting…

Mar 23 2007
0

Taking AA from TN to LA

After my kinda-big-night in Nashville it was a shame knowing my time in TN was drawing to a close. I got up the next day for an early breakfast and with a 12 noon checkout, laid around and enjoyed the comforts of the room without worrying about luggage/flights/transportation.

My shuttle was picking me up at 3.30pm to check in with plenty of time to spare and it was too cold to go exploring and to tell you the truth, I couldn’t really be bothered as I was tired from Saturday night. So I basically became a loiterer in the foyer of the HI Express. I made use of the free internet, hung out reading every Nashville tourist brochure and writing notes in my journal. I then ventured down to the local Maccas and the only thing close by for a quick bite.

After ordering my cheeseburger and sundae and waiting for ages (in the US, Maccas/Mickey D’s isn’t fast food at all) I found a table in front of the flatscreen tv (yes even in Maccas, there are great TVs to watch the Anna-Nicole case!) I looked around and realised… I was the only non-homeless person there. But in reality – I was actually homeless for that period of time.

There were two guys on the next table trying to secure a room at what sounded like some halfway house accommodation. Obviously with the bitter cold, finding a bed was hard. It sat there playing Tetris on my phone and understanding how slow time goes when you want it to go quick when one of the guys at that table came up to ask me how to use his phone. I didn’t want to be rude but when I travel alone, my guard is up 24 hours a day and I don’t like to draw attention to the fact that a) I am not a local and b) I am in unfamiliar surrounds. He pulled out his cell phone and explained to me that he just got it (has a phone, but no bed) and has received a message but didn’t know how to retrieve it. I showed him how to get it and what the symbols meant and he went off on his way! Then before I knew it he was back – I paniced! (See what happens when you watch too much America’s Most Wanted?) He leaned towards me and then said “Ma’am I just wanted to come back and tell you that you have the most beautiful voice I have ever heard..” Awwww! I went on to explain that I was from Australia and found out he had never met anyone from Australia before and he was hoping I was enjoying my time in Nashville.

Note to self: Sometimes it helps to let your guard down!

I made it to the airport and was charged excess baggage fees even though I was 1.5kgs over and I was on an international ticket. What annoyed me was getting this reaction from AA which is a One World airline and considering I was on my way home, it was rubbish. Nashville airport was the pits. It is being renovated and there is *nothing* to do. Throughout this trip, when it comes to flying everything I take on board, and I mean everything I have carried and worn has been exactly the same as the day I flew out of Melbourne. Basically I allocated one packing cube in my suitcase to flying. I carried the same stuff on board, wore the same (washed) clothes and kept everything the same. I do this as I means I can keep track of what I am carrying and I find it lessens my chance of losing anything. The security area was packed at Nashville and as I went through the metal detector it went off. I hate the security areas – especially on my own. I am trying to watch my bag, get everything sorted, watch my bag, get lost in the queue of the slow people who have no idea and then continue to keep watch on my bag.

The xray went crazy beeping and I didn’t even have my shoes on. The guard yelled at me in the meanest way “GET YOUR WATCH AND BRACELET OFF – IT HAS TO BE THAT!” And I politely commented to him that it is impossible seeing as I had been through about 5,000 in the past three weeks (well it felt like it) wearing this same watch and bracelet (the only jewelery I had on) so it must be a problem with something else. So he made me take my Tiffany bracelet off (which is hell to get off in a hurry) and my watch and put it on the conveyor belt. Well der we know that after the conveyor belt is the rolley thingys. So what happens? My bracelet and watch slip through the rolley thingys and end up in the black hole of Nashville airport – UNDER THE XRAY!

Here I was, on my hands and knees, while he was yelling at me to move forward and I was yelling back “JUST YOU HANG ON !!! MY BRACELET HAS GONE THROUGH THE ROLLEY THING WITH MY WATCHHHHHH!!!!!” I had lost the plot – scrounging around with my bum in the air, trying to fit my hands through the bottom of the xray table to find my bracelet. It was a lost property wonderland under that table – credit cards had slipped through, loose change and bits and pieces. THEN after all that they then try and tell me there is something in my bag that wasn’t right. Well that is a possibility seeing it has been out of my view for what felt like an eternity – they have no comprehension of just how difficult it is trying to keep track of everything and pay attention to what they are saying. How interesting after carrying the EXACT same bags and wearing the EXACT same clothes and accessories now on my 2nd last flight I am getting picked on. Their attitude sucked in a major way and I wish Keith Urban was there to do some damage with his guitar! Well not surprisingly nothing showed up – I asked the guy how all of a sudden I could beep and something be wrong in my bags after eight flights and no hassles and he couldn’t give me an answer and I still can’t explain it. What worries me is maybe I was meant to beep and be suspicious on all those other eight flights and no machine or person picked up on it.

I had two hours to kill in a newsagency that had no decent mags and at a BBQ place that was full of greasy fare. I learnt at the gate that this AA flight, even though it was nearly 5 hours long would not have any catering. Yet on the 7 hour flight with AA from Heathrow I got enough food for a 18 hour flight. Still loving international AA!! At the boarding gate there was two kids running around like maniacs and screaming (I was happy for them to use all their energy before the flight) and then three people with babies. The flight was going to be full. We boarded and was told there was a problem with some light on board and there would be some delay. Two hours later we were STILL sitting at the gate. And the problem – the three babies had been screaming at the TOP of THEIR LUNGS for the whole two hours. I had my earplugs and my Bose headphones on and I could *still* hear them. We eventually took off, two hours late and the babies screamed for the next three hours straight. NON-STOP SCREAMING HYSTERICALLY! I really felt for the parents but at the same time it equated to a hellish ride after a positively very average day.

There was a bright point to this flight – two passengers in front of me were APPLE DEVELOPERS! They had the Apple gear on (the Apple polar fleeces are gorgeous) and were just oozing Macbook/iPod/iMac/iEverything Appleness!

Landing at LAX was uneventful but the Super Shuttle ride through LA was exciting as we had one drop off at the apartments where they film my favourite MTV show, The Hills!

By the time I got to the Hollywood Celebrity hotel it was midnight. With my 1.5kg extra of excess luggage I nearly cried when I saw the stairs up to the foyer of the hotel. America is the leader in accessibility and the one time where I would have loved a ramp, it was nowhere to be found. After seeing my struggle the desk guy thankfully put me in a room just down the hall… as there were no lifts in the hotel either. Bless first floor rooms – even if they are close to the vending machine – cans of coke are so noisy when they drop to the bottom!

I was in LA and I was also nearly home.

Love Junk – Diesel

Mar 07 2007
0

Snowy, Trashy and Nashy

Hey Hey it was finally Saturday and it was a day I had fully planned for months! My Nash Trash tour with the Jugg sisters was going to make my day and the Grand Ole Opry and the honkytonks was going to make my night. I had previously posted in my state of country music shock about my amazing night previously, so now it is time to fill y’alls in on my day!

If you want to see what Nash Trash is like here is a clip from the Today show! And you can also read the Trip Advisor reviews!

The tour leaves from the Nashville Farmers Market. It was really snowing and windy so I envisaged getting the shuttle from the hotel to the market. Unfortunately, I left it too late and he was out doing all these other pickups and drop offs so I had to walk all these back streets and across a main roadway and out back even further in the snow to this Farmers Market. I didn’t mind though as in the Lonely Planet it had recommended the Farmers Market as one of the great places to visit in Nashville so I planned to get there two hours before the tour to look around, get a nice fresh market lunch and take it all in as it is open all year round! The car park had any cars in it which I thought was a little strange. No wonder. I walked into the food hall and there was one mexican place there – everything else closed up and empty. No worries I thought – the fresh food area will be bustling. I walked out to the market area and there were a few dodgy stalls selling old fruit and veg and nothing all that exciting. I had two hours to kill in a food hall that had no food and in a market that wasn’t a market at all. There were a few other people who obviously planned to do the same as me – or maybe they were reading the same Lonely Planet. So I sat at a plastic chair and table set making lists in my notebook for over an hour, daydreamed for about half an hour and ate for the other half an hour. I heard some people mention that the Market is getting totally renovated and that is why all the places have closed. So that explains it!

Before long I was lining up in the snow waiting for the doors on a bright pink school bus to open. When it did, out jumped Sheri Lynn and Brenda Kay and we were off – around the block doing introductions and listening to their jokes for about half an hour before we made it out of the market. Already my cheeks were sore from laughing and smiling so much – they were hysterical! One lady was there from somewhere in Texas and then said after this she was off to Dallas. The sisters went on to ask her what for and she replied in a very matter-of-fact voice “For the Kentucky Fried Chicken Convention”. With this the bus just exploded with laughter – you couldn’t ask for a more hilarious response and her manner was so serious and yet we all found it all so hyserical for some reason! Absolute classic reason to be going to Dallas and you could just imagine what it would be like… or maybe not because I wouldn’t know what to expect.

The Nash Trash tour isn’t a real tour in the sense that you hear about all the historical stuff or historical crap as they put it. 😉 It was the funniest, what I think were three hours, I think I have ever had. If you ever go to Nashville basically you have to do this tour. What made it so great is that it was so original and so Nashville – not trying to do anything that has been done before or trying to do anything that just didn’t feel perfectly suited to the experience in the bus! When they read out my name, they actually said “Bess in the office said y’alls blog is great!” So Bess, if you are reading this – hi!! 🙂 I got to sit beside another lone traveller, a teaching professor from NYC who had been to Nashville before for a conference and she wanted to come back and experience it over a longer time and we both had an absolute blast. It was one of the best and most fun experiences I have ever had travelling and am so happy that I did it!

We stopped at the Country Music Hall of fame for a bathroom and drink stop when another lady and her daughter came up to speak to me. “So you’re from Melbourne right? We’ve got some friends in Melbourne – their surname is Morgan.” I quickly responded that Melbourne is a big place and there are lots of Morgan’s around. She went on to say that the family was the “Val Morgan” family – you guessed in – CINEMA VAL MORGAN! I just lost it laughing – trying to explain to them that basically everyone knows Val Morgan. A big difference between just a Morgan and Val Morgan!

Walking back to the hotel in the snow was so much fun as the Jugg sisters made a snow day one of the best ever – so I couldn’t think of any way to top it.

Little did I know how awesome my night was going to be…!

Better – Screaming Jets