New England autumn road trippin’ dudes! (part 1)


(I am sitting in a cafe at the window surrounded by trees and bushes outside and lots of big green leafy plants indoors.  The sunlight is streaming through canopy onto my face as I watch the sunset over the city.  I love it!)

I post pictures of my life and my travels.  To the outside world these pictures may seem like the perfect little snippets in a whimsical carefree life.  I clearly just do as I please and have endless funds to do whatever I want and travel wherever I want to go whenever I want to.  Every picture is the most stunning perfect place.  My life is perfect and I don’t have a care in the world…..la lee la dee da…

Oh wait… Darn it dudes I must have dozed off and been dreaming!  I am at the tale end of a two week solo road trip.  I have put just over 2,000 miles on my car (not the most I have put on in a two week period), I went 3 days without a shower and I had to seriously budget my money towards the end of this trip.  I was so darn tired yesterday afternoon driving back west that I just started crying from exhaustion.

I have always wanted to visit New England.  I wanted to go to New England in the autumn with the man of my dreams.  We were to drink, hike, stay in a cozy little cabin and just frolic through the country side.  It was to be all peace, love and bubbles…sigh.  Well I have yet to meet Mr. “Even Close to Mr. Right” so I said, “I’m just going to go by myself!”  So reached out to my dear friend Bre who lives in Maine and said I was coming in October!

So a couple of weeks ago I stopped by my folks house to spread out all my stuff and swap out clothes and gear out of my car.  Since I have willingly moved into my vehicle I don’t have the space to spread out my things and pack things well.  I am very lucky to have folks that back me up when I come to them with ideas about my life adventures.  (More about my life inside my tiny house on wheels in an up coming post.)  With my car packed up, a fresh oil change and full tank of gas I set off for the east coast.

I will say it felt odd driving east, especially up to New England.  So many of my trips take place out west.  Driving east I felt like I could dead end my trip in a day and technically I could reach the northern Maine in a day and that is weird to me.   As I drove closer and closer to the Maine border I totally felt a little claustrophobic!  Kind of like, “Dude…where can I go from here?!”  Needless to say that when I drove past the state line and snapped a picture of the Welcome to Maine sign, I let out a yelp excitement!

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I have waited so long to go to New England and I was finally here and was totally stoked.  I arrived at my friends Bre’s parent’s home and was greeted by a big warm hug from my friend.  I told her that I need two things, a drink and a shower!

I showered in an awesome outdoor shower!  I LOVE showering outdoors!  I listened to the waves crash onto the shore as the clouds floated above.  It. Was. Awesome!

After showering, Bre’s dad made me a delicious tasty cocktail.  I cannot remember what was in it but it was fantastic and took the edge off of a semi long drive.

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Sooooo awesome dudes!
Now normally I don’t eat seafood because I live in Ohio and I am never really sure how fresh it is and then there is the whole I don’t eat meat thing.  So why did I choose to eat seafood in New England???  Well for one it is caught fresh out of the ocean usually the same day.  Two, I felt just as bad but did offer up gratitude to the animal and that eased my mental dialogue about ethical fishing.

With all that out of the way I will continue.  ;D

Saturday night Bre and I went out to eat at some place that was good but I cannot remember the name of it.  Oh, she just texted me back, it is Buffleheads!  I kept saying Hufflelumps, and Snuffleupagus and other various nonsense..lol!  Bre worked with the manager previously and she sent over complimentary muscles.  Geez oh Pete’s they were good.  The sauce they were in was light and creamy and dreamy!  After muscles, calamari and some delicious salad I was sooooo ready for bed.  That night I crawled into the lovely guest room bed and fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the beach.  Life was so totally hard at that moment (insert eye roll here) lol!

Sunday morning I crept down stairs, made some french press coffee and walked (like 50′) to the rocky shores at the tip of the out cropping my friends live on.  I watched in utter bliss the sun rise over the distant horizon of the Atlantic ocean.  I watched the tide flow into the tide pools and the ocean spray it’s water that had traveled thousands of miles onto the rocks.  I hopped from rock to rock and couldn’t stop taking photos.  I just had my iPhone so they are only semi descent pictures,  Capturing a sunrise with a camera phone isn’t easy but here are a few.

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The next morning we headed out to the Palace Diner for breakfast.  This cool place seats only about 16 people but is a throw back to rail car diners.  The servings are plentiful, the coffee hot and the tunes were pretty good.  I am not a grapefruit fan but they have on the menu a halved grapefruit that they grill for a “hot minute” and then dip in sugar.  Kind of like the salt rim on a margarita glass.  It sure did look good but I didn’t try as I didn’t want to waste it.

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And ladies are totally invited!..(eye roll..)  haha
After breakfast we went apple picking at the super cute Russell Orchard in Ipswich, Massachusetts and then went to lunch and ate lobster rolls at Billy’s Chowder House in Wells, Maine.  Scruuuuumptious but at $20 a pop I had to control myself!  For some reason I thought lobster in the lobster rolls was going to be served warm but it isn’t.  The sliced bread bun is toasted then the cold lobster is served inside of it likened to a hot dog in a bun.  I did take a picture but I had already eaten half of it, sorry.  Hahaha!

IMG_4043 shipyard beer

I drank plenty of Shipyard beer, which is a totally nice accompaniment to seafood, on this trip to Maine.  It is a brewed locally and is quite good especially on the very warm days I spent up in New England!  And with that it is time to go have a beer somewhere.  ūüėÄ

 

To be continued….

 

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (<— born in Portland ,Maine!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Accent, sore muscles and red wine….lol


(this post is to be read with a British accent)      

Birmingham, England                                                                                                                                       October 24, 1885

Dearest Everyone who reads this blog,

I am writing to tell you about the oh so very exciting life I lead. ¬† PLEASE DO NOT BE JEALOUS OF THE FOLLOWING POST! ¬†(it will be hard but you’ll get through it)

I worked out on Saturday morning, it was leg and core day and I was feeling in tip top form. Quite  wonderful that I was able to exercise my right to perform other exercises apart from taking turns around the garden with my sister Jane!

I then went to work with a client. ¬†(On the weekends I help people organize their homes and offices.) ¬†After working with the client I went to do some light bouldering at local crag if you will. ¬†Now, let me say that I am not the best climber, nor the worst but it is nice to be outside in the elements by one’s self. ¬†However, even though I was climbing by myself there were people who were hiking by and some stopped to watch me. ¬†Seriously. ¬†No one wants to watch me climb. ¬†I am not very good but I work at it… 60% of the year, okay maybe 50%. ¬†Lol… ¬†I keep ear buds in my ears so I don’t have to listen to people ask questions. ¬†I mean if you circle back around I will be stuck on the same crux that I was 30 minutes ago and you’ll think to yourself, “She stinks…let’s keep hiking.” ¬†Not very exciting to watch after all eh?! ¬†lol… ¬†Needless to say I am still working on the same problem.

Sunday morningI awoke in crazy arse pain! ¬†I mean it was painful to sit down, stand up, climb stairs, hang pictures, laugh, breath. ¬†Weirdly I had no problem eating, my buccinator muscles are in top form! ¬†:/ ¬†I felt like the Tin Man who needed the oil can. ¬†Except I needed massage and a beer! ¬†I decided to take a rest day and not workout at all. ¬†I organized a client and then my friend and I went to a movie and I almost fell asleep a few times through out it. ¬†I felt I owed it to him to stay awake as he paid for the tickets! ¬†Bloody hell people…. it is quite difficult being 29 years of age. ¬†Okay, that is a lie…I am somewhere between 31 and 100 years of age. ¬†I am not narrowing it down for you anymore. ¬†You don’t deserve to know the truth.

Now it is Monday evening.  I stopped at the market and then came home where I proceeded not to use a single darn ingredient I bought 20 minutes prior. I opened a bottle of delicious red wine and made vegan nachos.  Vegan cheese still sucks.  This brand melted better but was still absolutely tasteless.  One good thing that I learned is that if you mix vegan sour cream with buffalo sauce that combo will mask the bad taste of crappy vegan cheese!!!

Now I am off to bed where I will toss and turn waking up to dry a mouth and two very dry eyes WISHING I would have bought that humidifier I saw on Amazon for $30 a week ago! ¬†I will get up at 4:15am, press snooze twice and then finally crawl out of bed and get me arse to the gym. ¬†I will literally look like the walking dead. ¬†If any of you don’t watch it on the television feel free to meet me at the gym and you can see a live performance! Lol…

Your loving sister and dead poet,

Lori and Henry (Wadsworth Longfellow)  He gives to people and thinks it is cool.

 

 

 

Oregon…We’re going down like the Titanic!…..


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Oh Oregon…I like you but need a better sign!

Dudes I am writing from Glacier National Park in beautiful northern Montana!!!! ¬†I will dedicate like a 1,000 posts to this leg of my trip a little later ;D ¬†First up…wonderful Oregon!

I was so totally stoked to visit one of my super best friends Shannon residing in The Dalles, OR!  Shannon and I have been friends for nearly 20 years and even though we go through spouts of not seeing each other we always pick up right where we left off!

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Oh Oregon…I like you but need a better sign! ¬†Dinner at Southland Whiskey Kitchen, Portland

Shannon moved to Oregon to take a great job and be with her boyfriend Matthew about 3 years ago and it has taken me this long to visit! ¬†(I will not say that she never ONCE came to visit me in California!) ¬†Oh wait… I just did…. >(

Anyways… What didn’t we do while I was in visiting?! ¬†First off let me tell you that Shannon and Matt have a sick view from their backyard!

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Yeah….that’s from Shannon’s backyard!

 

I got to hangout, chat, workout and chill with my friend Shannon ūüėÄ ¬†Also her friend Dave was in town for a wedding so it was a Cleveland reunion! ¬†#216love

Here is what I didn’t know about Oregon… the eastern part of the state is dry, dry and dry! ¬†As an Ohio gal, I thought ALL of Oregon was covered in giant towering pines and lush forest ground! ¬†Yeah, no. ¬†As I drove across the country I was able to see how the landscaped changed over the course of beautiful endless miles. ¬†It’s not that I expected each state to be a certain way, I just didn’t realize that drastic of a contrast to what I had in my mind about eastern Washington and Oregon.

With that said The Dalles is beautiful! ¬†Hood River is beautiful! ¬†All in all it is a great chunk of land that offers endless outdoor activities to take part in. ¬†For instance: horseback riding (we didn’t this time but Shannon has horses so it’s on the list for next time), paddleboarding, sailing, hiking Mt. Hood, jogging along the river path and SO MUCH MORE!!!

I went sailing for the first time and whoa dude….crazy cool and crazy scary at times! ¬†Especially when your BFF almost literally slips right into the water and you think, “yep this ship (boat) is totally going to capsize!!!!

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That’s the boat. ¬†Some fun facts that maybe one should know before the going sailing for the first time…MATTHEW!!!!….lol!

  1. Boat’s really do not sink without human error.
  2. You can cut the power of the sail (by dropping it) if crap hits the fan.
  3. There is a 6 foot 1500lb KEEL that is preventing that effing boat from tipping so far over that is goes UNDER water!!!!
  4. Sit facing HIGH side so you’re not turned around looking LOW side and thinking, “Oh POOOOOOOOOP ¬†we’re going to Titanic the S%#T out of this boat!
  5. You can trust some dude named Matthew….because even though he’s only been sailing for a year…he know’s his stuff.
  6. 5-6 knots feels like 100mph!

After I survived sailing…lol, the next day we kept things low key and went for a jog along the Columbia River. ¬†Just beautiful! ¬†Then the next next day we drove to Portland tocheck out that very cool city, hiked Mt. Hood and paddled boarded ALLLLLLLL the way to Washington! ¬†(the Columbia River averages a mile in width so it wasn’t¬†that far.)

Did we do some drinking…yes but it was all because we prefaced it with a great workout!

I had a fabulous time in Oregon but sadly it was time for me to wander on ūüėÄ ¬†I said my goodbyes (why does’t that look like goodbye is spelled right? LOL) and moseyed my way to Montana!

Thank you Shannon for being such and amazing, wonderful, adventurous and crazy friend!  I miss ya already!

~Lori

“Give what you have. ¬†To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Life (for a couple weeks anyways) on the road :)

 

Do you see that cloud?!  That cloud is a map of the United States, Canada and part of Mexico.  How awesome is that?!  I saw this cloud as I was driving through Montana, the state where I born.  ūüėÄ  Yes, I was just a baby when we moved but none the less I can claim to be a native!

FINALLY the time has come for me to be on VACATION!!!  You know how you count down the days until your vacation starts but once it arrives it seems like some sort of dream?  That’s what it totally felt like for me.  It didn’t actually hit me that I was on vacation until I was driving out of Ohio.  This trip is taking me through the northern part of the U.S.A.  There are 2 main destinations on this trip. 1.  To see one of my very best friends Shannon and 2. To finally make it up to Glacier National Park!  Shannon lives in Oregon and even when I lived in California I never made it up to Oregon.  Although… I did almost move there post whitewater rafting accident but decided on staying in California.  Good decision?… who knows?!

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Open road and a semi buggy windshield…lol
People kept asking me, “Why don’t you just fly?”  Great question people but the answer leaves a lot of people shaking and scratching their heads in disbelief.  I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE driving across country!  People then asked, “Someone is driving with you, right?”  Nope!  I have driven across country solo a few times before so it isn’t anything new nor is it scary to me.  People say flying is so much quicker, flying is so much cheaper and my personal favorite, driving is so boring.  Okay, okay… the first two are true.  Flying is way quicker and much cheaper but the third is SO not true for me.  Then people ask me if I get lonely out on the road.  It is very seldom that I get lonely while road tripping.  Would I love to have an amazing, adventurous, spontaneous and fun loving boyfriend to travel with?  Um…yeah!  It would be so great to share experience, the cost of everything, the driving, the set up of tents, picture taking and such but I’m sure as heck not going to wait around for Mr. Right to show up just so I can travel the way I love to travel!

Driving across this amazing land is a privilege and I am so lucky to be able live here as a free citizen and experience all the different landscapes these states have to offer!  What other country in the world can you experience all the different types of climate?  Between Friday and today I drove though a temperate humid climate, desert climate and temperate rain forest climate and that took less than 5 days!

So let me start this journey with you…

I woke up Friday the 30th of July and headed out of Ohio.  I packed only what could fit in the hatchback of my car.  I like to keep things neat and tidy when I travel!  Clutter in the car equals clutter in the mind…. and me no like clutter…LOL!  Heading out of Ohio was uneventful as was Indiana and Illinois (both beautiful in their own right.)  Although it took me a while to get through both states due to construction.  I looked at google maps ahead of time and wow…what a difference 10 years makes!  10 years ago there really wasn’t a google maps.  I headed to the west coast (to live) with an actual paper map!  I still love paper maps and almost prefer them because I think paper maps take a skill that is long lost on the newer generations.  Skills such as cardinal directions, legends and topography interpretation.  Now google maps tells ya the quickest route, traffic and construction!

About 12 years ago I drove the northern route out to the Badlands of South Dakota and then up through Wyoming and the lower part of Montana.  I took the almost the same route this time because it was the quickest and I really wanted to get out to Oregon.  I am going to mosey my way back through Washington and Montana once I leave Oregon. Wisconsin and Minnesota are so beautiful!  Rolling farms, views that go on forever and just the simplicity of the land.  Driving though those two states is very calming.

 

Minnesota and Wisconsin

I was SOOOOO excited to see Caribou Coffee that I literally screamed aloud when I saw the sign on the highway!  My girlfriends and I always used to go to Caribou when they were open in Ohio.  Caribou had such a friendly and cabin cozy atmosphere and it has yet to be rivaled by any coffee shop in the Cleveland area.  Erie Island is awesome and my new favorite but definitely not as cozy or friendly as Caribou Coffee… ūüė¶  The giant load on the truck looks like a huge wheel of cheese and since I was stuck in a little bit of traffic in the cheese state capitol of the U.S. I thought I’d snap a funny picture!  lol…  I also love that there is a city somewhere in Minnesota called Blue Earth!  It sounds like it would be a cool place to visit!

I spent the night at a KOA in Minnesota and it was nice to wake up a take a warm shower.  Props to the KOA I stayed at because the shower heads were amazing!!!  I will say that this KOA was next to a highway and it was awfully loud.  I ended up going into my car in the middle of the night just to dampen the noise.  Ever since I started hammock camping I really dislike sleeping on the hard ground.  The car didn’t offer a better nights sleep either.  Oh well…that’s life on the road!

 

South Dakota

 

South Dakota will always be one of the most sacred and beautiful places to me.  12 years ago I traveled to The Badlands in South Dakota on a sort of spiritual pilgrimage.  I was searching for a spiritual practice and started reading a book called Black Elk Speaks.  This book opened my eyes and my heart and was the reason that I traveled to The Badlands.  The rest of that story I will keep to myself for now….I am sure I will share later!

Dudes…when you get to western Minnesota you will see your first sign for Wall Drug.  Then for the next 400 or so miles there will be a crap ton of billboards of all shapes and sizes advertising a free doughnut and a 5‚äĄ cup of coffee!  5‚äĄ cup of coffee?????? Heck YES PLEASE!!!!  Well the coffee if 5 cents if you sit down in the restaurant.  I bought mine to go as I have already wandered around Wall Drug before and it is very touristy and very crowded.  Definitely a must see if you have never been out that way!  You almost feel like a jerk if you don’t stop by because they goad you with cute and welcoming signs for 400 hundred miles!  I don’t want to dampen their efforts…so I always stop by when I am in the neighborhood ūüėÄ

After I left South Dakota I cut through the upper northeast corner of Wyoming.  Wyoming so much to see and I definitely recommend getting out there to visit but on this trip I took the quickest way to Oregon.

I am going to skip over my drive through Montana as I will be spending a majority of my time there and will write about it at length later.  I am heading out of Oregon tomorrow morning and making my way there!  I cannot wait!!!!

Next up Oregon!  To be continued….

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Part 1…why and how? New blog name?!

Hey folks!

I changed the name of my blog…not sure how I feel about it yet but any feedback is welcome. ¬†I really liked a happier human but people have started to call me by my Facebook handle Wild Flowers Lori and I think I kinda like it. ¬† ¬†As I sit typing I am eating a veggie hummus bowl from my favorite coffee shoppe! ¬†Yep you guessed it, Erie Island Coffee ūüėÄ

Okay dudes (ladies and gents)… so on April 25th I decided that I wanted to go vegan again. ¬† Again meaning I was vegan for a while when I lived in San Francisco. ¬†I had already been vegetarian for a bit and after not too much time and thought I decided that I wanted to go vegan. ¬†IT WAS SO EASY TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO!!!! Almost every place is vegan friendly and you can find great variety of veggies and fruits¬†ALL year long! ¬†Plus people out there are totally accepting of your dietary choices. I could take “ribs” to a BBQ and no one even blinked an eye or grilled me with tons of questions. ¬†Number one question here in Ohio is, “Where do you get your protein?” ¬†California is pretty progressive when it comes to healthy living and I miss that sometimes when I am grocery shopping back here in the mid west. ¬†I heart CLE though! ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†I will say this though, I can go to ANY restaurant and find something to eat on the menu. ¬†Even a steak house. ¬†I am not preacher nor an “Eeew I can’t eat there” kind of gal! ¬†We all make lifestyle choices that suit us.

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photo courtesy of plenteousveg.com

When I was vegan living in California I was in the best shape of my life, my climbing progressed as did my swimming. ¬†Mental clarity was DA BOMB! ¬†I was never in a fog nor did I have days where I felt like I was dragging butt. ¬†Sure I had days where I was tired from working myself too hard but normal days were AWESOME! ¬†¬†So I kept with it…until I moved back to Ohio. ¬†Then it was just soooo hard to maintain. ¬†Dairy is the basis of every food family and friend get together. ¬†Appetizers, main dishes, ¬†desserts, breakfasts etc. ¬†It wasn’t long before I was eating my way through all of it. ¬†I felt overloaded and defeated and bloated. ¬†So I gave in for years, ¬†4.5 years to be exact. ¬†I tried to go vegan about a year ago and it wasn’t the right time for me I guess. ¬†I was taking on a lot of things and being vegan wasn’t at the forefront of life.

There are a few different types of veganism. ¬†Here is where I am at. ¬†I don’t eat meat, dairy or eggs. I used to eat the eggs from my friend Ginger’s pet chickens but I don’t anymore. ¬†For a while she was known as my “egg dealer” as I would slip her some cash in her pocket at work all incognito! Hahaha :p ¬†I don’t buy leather goods whenever possible. ¬†(A lot of tennis shoes have leather accents. ¬†So if you know of any vegan running shoes let me know!) ¬†I did not throw out any of my leather goods I already had. ¬†I paid the money and will get my use out of them. ¬†I am not going to beat myself up if I have a cannoli once in a blue moon from Gallucci’s Italian Foods and Market on E. 66th and Euclid. ¬†I have been going here with my family since I was in diapers and somethings are sacred…like fresh filled cannoli’s. ¬†(I will thank and pay homage to the animals before I eat it.) ¬†I am not a crazy hard core vegan. ¬†I know I will have slips and cave in at some point. ¬†I am doing what I feel is the best thing for MY body, mind, soul and welfare of the animals.

The reason for this post is because as I emerge as a vegan people are asking questions.  They hear me ordering no dairy at a restaurant and want to know why.  So in following posts I will be talking about animal welfare, nutrition and cooking.  I am not a nutritionist.  My views, thoughts and ideas are mine and mine alone.  You should consult your physician before making any major dietary changes.

I hope you all have had a great week so far! ¬†Tomorrow night my best friend Sara and I are going to a Cinco de Mayo (yes I know it’s a day late) wine tasting and food testing at a local health food store. ¬†I am so excited as all the food featured will be vegan!

Let me know your thoughts and opinions about the blog name change and veganism!

~Lori

“Give what you have. ¬†To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow