Monday, 8 March 2010

Dancing in New Mexico

The night before we had driven to Las Cruces, where Vic's dad resided and spent the day watching the television of badness. I can't remember some of the movies, but Melissa Joan Hart was in one of them.

Enough said.

We then went out for the evening with Vic's friend's from high school. I do not talk to any of my firends from this time anymore, spread out, as we are, across England and the world. The connections have been lost. But not so here, in this town. Vic seemed to know everyone and everyone seemed to know her. The group grew and undulated all night, with more people added at every turn. We spilled out from one pub to another.

A choice was made at one point to go somewhere we could talk as the band was too loud. They took us to a 'quaint Irish pub', Dubliners. At least that is what they thought. Upon arriving it was quickly understood that something had changed since everyone had been here last and what had once been a quiet bar was now a cross between a bar and nightclub, entitled 'Club Dub'. There was American dancing, so everyone on the dance floor, moved with the same moves, like a crazy music video, this turned into mad salsa. It looked like fun and so I tried it out with a friend of Vic's and it was definitely fun. Lots of turning though, which could be a mistake if slightly tipsy. But I was steady and fine and the evening ended with much mirth.

The Countess


Today, I did nothing.

I lazed in the sun.

Slept till the hour of ridiculous.

Ate, drank and made merry on foot.

Not a wheel in sight.

A book started and finished.

I had forgotten the greatness of sloth, stillness and silence.

The Countess.

Four Corners and questions concerning chilli

So after arising and eating a hearty breakfast we moseyed on up to Four Corners, so I could doggy position myself across four states.

It was closed

No doggy styling American states.

It was closed due to contsruction.

Come one!!!

What construction is necessary? Were they making sure the four corners still meet????

Pooheads, I say, and I say it again...Pooheads Sirs!!!!

So we drove into Colerado, so I could see another state and then back down to New Mexico and headed for a friend of ours to spend the weekend. The delicious Victoria Harben. She kindly recieved us and we went out to have mexican. The closest you can have to it without being in Mexico apparently.

They ask you a question

"Green or red?"

and you are supposed to know that this means, red or green chilli? Luckily Vic and the Baroness explained this to me. They also warned of the heat this chilli brings to ones mouth and so I asked in a coward like way, if I could have 'neither' please. Allowing my tourist status to shine out. But then I am not a tourist.

The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing." ~Daniel J. Boorstin

I am definitely a traveler.
The Countess

Grand Canyon and Dinosaur Tracks.

Okay Today was supposed to start with the Grand Canyon skywalk. But after braving what they call a road and I call a dirt track (To call this path a road, really does offend all roads everywhere) we discovered that this trip would cost us the grand total of $75!!!! for each of us. I am sorry but no can do sir. So we left and hoped the dodgy tyre would make the return trip.

It did

So we continued on our journey and aimed for a town near Four Corners where we could rest for the night.

The snow started to come. Something that annoyed me greatly as in Arizona, we were supposed to have hot weather, I had just come from snow and would be going back to snow soon. So please can I have the sunshine at the moment!!! Weather god!! Are you listening?

Luckilly it missed the dinosaur tracks on the Indian Reservation.


We stopped off, we had time, The Baroness was driving, enough said people.

I have never seen prehistoric remains that were not behind a glass case or barrier of some kind. I could actually touch these ones. Though others before me had gone one step further and stolen a few, before the Native Americans took charge of the area.

Then we drove on to our motel for the night.

The countess.

Getting our kicks on Route 66!!

Early to rise, and we were on the road so we could make it as far into the Grand Canyon region as was possible, and definitely out of the state of California. We had time to view the sights and after a quick shopping trip to grab some clothes that were not jumpers, jeans or thick socks we deicided to follow in the footsteps of beatniks, Hell' Angels, Hippies, gangsters before us and drive along route 66.

A personal dream of mine and one I never thought to live. I had heard the songs, read the stories, loved the poetry and dreamed the dream but now I was living it and creating my own experience.

They were awed by the literary and musicial genius that has ridden this path before and behind them. Their words had been stolen by ghosts and they were speechless in their presence.

The girls came from an age of disillusionment and disappointment. The songs had already been sung and the words already inscribed in tablet and paper. Their parents and those before them had broken all the taboos and left nothing for them to break. They were from a generation who looked back nostalgically at a history that they did not create. So they took themselves upon the road of dreams and drove through the ghosts of someone else's past to see if they could recapture the youth of the previous generations.

We sped along the old highway, basking in the glowing hot sun and listening to the appropriate music (and if you have no idea what thay may be, then I will not tell you and perhaps hanging your head in shame would be a good start to rectify this problem and lack of education). Life could not get any better than this. If you think it does than you have never managed to complete one of your life goals, with a best friends, with beautiful sun shining over a beautiful desert with music gods playing in your ears.

Trust me.

It is an interesting road to take. Parts have seen the potential for money and old diners have been restored and shops and museums have popped up. Other places are like ghost towns, empty, broken buildings and old signs that still talk of free love and the hippy way.

We made our way to the Calico Ghost town. I had never been to one and though it was fun. It was not how I imagined it. The place did have the all the old buildings still standing, but now they were booming businesses, capitalizing on the town's 'ghost town' status.

I know

I am unsure about this also.

Anyway, I took it in good spirit and had some fun in the buldings as they were very interesting to look at and then we hit the road again and made it into Arizona and to a motel.

I slept in a motel on route 66. You have no idea how happy that made me. I went to bed to dream of a different time.

The Countess

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Prison Time and Chatting to Walt Disney

It's 9.40am and we are boarding the ferry for Alcatraz.

No The Baroness has not been arrested for speeding.

No I haven't been arrested for stealing all the toiletries from the Motel rooms.

We are merely visitors to the infamous prison.

This tour was fantastic, as you were left to your own devices on the island and you could wander at your leisure, as long as you made it to the last ferry at 4.30pm. I love mobster crime history from the 1910's to the 1950s. It is very juicy stuff, so it was a lot of fun to see the place that incarcerated Al Capone and the like. It fascinated me actually and the stories of the attempted escapes. The Baroness bought me my birthday present from the giftshop on the sly...

...A metal inmate cup.

Love it!! This girl knows what I like. I have a strong urge to drink milk from it and also Whiskey, maybe mixed together in the form of a toddy. It is now my favourite cup.

We were then on our way to LA. A place I have never had the urge to visit. But we were going by and The Baroness had a friend who worked there, so we thought, why not? Her friend, Sam, worked for the ABC studios and promised me a night tour. Very excited by this in a completely geeky, television loving way.

We calculated that we would reach him by 7.30pm. We made it at 6.50pm, The Baroness rocks the road. We had the address and were looking everywhere for these studios but we could not find them.

Two illegal 'flip bitches' later and we make a desperate phonecall to Sam.
Me: "We see the Disney studios, where are you in relation to Disney?"
Sam: "Helen, we are the Disney Studios"

Oh, well surely this was impertinent info that would have been valuable two illegal driving maneuvers ago. We flipped a bitch for the third time and went into the lot. Now I realized I was getting a tour of the Disney Studios, complete geekdom took over and I was incredibly Goofyly excited (get the Disney in-joke?)

So we got to see studios and buildings, including the old animation building. Which Walt (we are on first name terms now) built to look like a hospital wing. This was in case the venture he was embarking on went tit's up and he had to sell the place. He could sell the building to the hospital across the street.

Nice thinking Walt!

I loved walking the streets many of my old school acting heroes of the Golden Age had. Stopped to have a chat with a very bronze looking Walt and Mickey.

The Tour was over and a leather couch on Sam's apartment was my final resting place for the night. By the french doors overlooking LA in a spectacular view.
The Countess

Wine, Jelly Beans, Mystery and Tree Driving

Early rising..again. Due to the long way we still had to travel today. We were speeding along the beautiful 101 in Northern California, which was populated with divine redwoods and sea views. We made it to the Avenue of Giants and a Drive-Thru tree by 8.30 am...we may have been a little eager and we had a feeling we would have to wait a while before we could enter.

But it was open!!!


We were the only ones crazy enough to be there at this hour in the morning, and so, had this place to ourselves which is the only way to experience it. The baroness, then proceeded to drive a Durango through the tree with intense skill, as we had 1 cm either side to work with. Then she got out and I backed it up for photo fun and then drove it out.

We then left our mark upon it's bark as many had done before us.

L & H

Inscribing ourselves into the bark of this tree, was inscribing ourselves into a small piece of history, a flake of me is living alongside the tree till it decides to leave this earth, which will probably be long after me, so I feel part of me will still live after my body decays, which is an intriguing feeling.

We continued along our path. We needed to get to San Francisco that night, but our attention was caught by the many fun attractions lining the road we were driving upon. More importantly our attention was caught by...

"Mystery" "Intriguing" "Confusion Hill"

Our interest was piqued.

We had no choice. Curiosity killed the cat? Well Mia-ow! I bet it died happy in knowledge and so would we.

It turned out that confusion hill had strange gravitational properties and you could stand on the walls of the house and balls and water moved up rather than down.

Lot's of fun and well worth the $5. Hee hee...Still giggling. I love surprise fun.

We then made our way to Napa on a mission from the English parentals.

Our mission, should we choose to accept it, was to locate and enter the Mason Winery, taste and purchase Mason Sauvignon Blanc.

We found it.
We tasted it.
We bought it.

We rock as mission doing people.

Then realizing that we had a little time to kill (The Baroness really is a speed demon) we missioned it to the Jelly Belly Factory. We were not in time for the tour but we were just in time for the shop.


1lb of jelly beans later and we were on the road again, slightly on sugar high, and soon made it to San Francisco and found our motel.

It didn't have curtains. More flimsy lace things that passed for curtains and that the passing public could see through into our room.

One trip to the car to retrieve more rugs and we rigged a rug curtain with great skill and one souvenir Sheriff badge. It really was a masterpiece of design and ingenuity.

Rock it

The countess

The Filler State, Shipwreak Beads and Rainbow Bars

On the beach by 8am, I am in one of the heavens. I am hoping for the snail one, but am so happy right now I am not sure I care.

The cottage was delicious, though didn't find the heater till the morning, so the woolly socks remained firmly on the foots.

We drove

and drove

and drove some more.

A sign caught our attention "Shipwreak Beads"

What could this be?
A delight?
A horror?
Well whatever it was we had decided to find out and were driving down the side road towards the mystery.


I took The Baroness to the largest bead shop in the world. What was I thinking, she would bankrupt herself within the second.

I made a valiant grab for her purse as she exited the Durango quicker than a cheetah.

But I failed. Not giving up and knowing this was for her own good, I whipped around to the side of the car and made a last ditch attempt to gain possession of her plastic.

Again I failed

and more than $100 was spent...on beads.

After this excitement we drove on

and drove on
and drove on.

Oregon really is a filler state..where is all the funness?

We drove
darkness descended
We drove

and finally Eureka!!
The town not the saying and this is where we bedded down for the night.

Now at what age, do two girls travelling cheaply by staying in one bed motel rooms, go from friends to lesbian couple???

I think me and The Baroness passed it.

The lovely man behind the counter, and he really was incredibly sweet, took the map and encircled a part of it, proclaiming that he would show us something that we would love...and yup, you guessed it...the gay bar. Though he couldn't remember the word gay so said "Er you know The Rainbow Bar...Gay!!!" which I thought was lovely.

It is nice to know, however, how far society has come that he would think to do this with a smile upon his face. Lovely Eureka Super 8 man. Power to you, but we choose the one bed option because we are poor.

The Countess.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Sunny Seattle and Seaside

We left the mountains and the temperature began to rise by 15 degrees. Lovely. So we missioned to Seattle powered by the sun. We made it to the 11 o'clock underground tour, which is a crazy exploration of city below the city. Long story short, after the fire the town needed to do two things.

1: Raise the town
2: Rebuild the town.

And Seattle decided it would be more fun to rebuild the town and then raise the streets. Gotta love a town that does that. So they rebuilt the buildings with a few doorways, so no matter how high they put the streets they would not need to alter the buildings. Genius.

So we saw the original shopfronts and pavements before the raising. Great and very amusing tour, the guides were more like comedians than guides. Recommend anyone who finds they have a couple of hours to kill in the city to try it.

I loved this city, but I have been informed that it rarely shines the way it did that day and so may have viewed Seattle with rose coloured specs. It is apparently very reminiscent of northern England.

Grey and rainy.

According to The Baroness it has the second highest suicide rate next to Alaska

Wait she is unsure of her fact...

Still waiting....


We were wrong

Anyway we left Seattle and made our way down the 101, a small room that travels along the coast with phenomenal sea views, which we happened to catch as the sun began to set. It blew me away.

We made it to Seaview, a lovely little town where we stopped in a little cottage for the night. So cute and right by the sea.

We had our own little cottage for the night.

and tomorrow when I awaken I will be a two minute walk to the beach.

I am ridiculously happy.

The countess

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Antiques, cowboy boots and the Thunderbird Motel

So unsure of the weather conditions awaiting us in this crazy place. We decided to be brave, adventurous and foolhardy and go over the Rockies and be done with it.

If it snowed...Eh!

then we would laugh in the face of this weather and bed down in the Durango under the 15 rugs that Mommy McCartney made sure we had in the boot.

Today was a day of tiny towns and antique stores.

First stop Deer Lodge.

The sun was shining and the promised snow was still not tumbling down to encase us in it's icy prison. So we decided to play with fate and take some time off travelling and visit the Old Montana Prison. A large red brick building in the middle of a tiny town. We had no joy, however, as for the first time this year they were not opening in the winter season.

But we did find an amazing thrift store where we purchased cheap vintage license plates and a great antique store where I bought my vintage cowboy boots and I LOVE them. Possibly a favourite purchase.

We then moved onto the Garnet Ghost town.

It was also closed

Bad road consitions.

Fuck the bad road conditions.

So we sighed, swore and went in search of food.

We followed a sign. It said 'FOOD', so we figured this was a good place to start.

What we found was Alberton.

No food

But Alberton, a place with homes and antique shops.

Go Figure!

The Baroness purchased her cowboy boots.

We went away again, the need for food gnawing at our insides. We need more than things to survive.

We found our life nectar in Superior and we served by a waitress whose mother lived in Preston, Lancashire, UK. This world is tiny people.

We had a rough patch in Idaho, where the speed limit went down to 65

The Baroness was angry.

actually she was furious.

We finally made it to Washington and stopped in Ellensburg Motel at...

The Thunderbird Motel.

Love it

The Countess.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Presidents and Cowboys

Early to rise and soon to Mount Rushmore we shall go.

Half way there we realised we had no gas, and that the one gas station on the road was closed.


But Rushmore came into view and we forgot this troubling point. We went through to the carpark, where they charge you $10 for parking!!!!

Don't fret too soon, it is an annual parking ticket, because you know the percentage of tourists who come to this sight may come again in the next 12 months...i don't think so.

But I was awed by the sight and couldn't quite get over the amount of work that went into the creation. The dangerous hanging in precarious positions to chisel into bare rock blew my mind. When faced with that piece of rock I would have no idea where to start.

After doing everything we could do we were back in the car and frantically searching for a gas station. We managed to find one.

it was intriguing

Apparently the shop had a pump since 1931 and the pump was from the 1960s. Luckily The Baroness is awesome and knew exactly how to work that ancient pump.

We headed for Deadwood. Very excited about this one. We ended up on a 45 degree angle hill covered in snow, praying we did not fall backwards. But we braved this trecherous road to see the graves of 'Wild Bill Hickcock' and 'Calamity Jane'.

Unfortunately we had no map, as the place was out of season and so we had to trail around the 3600 graves laid there to find them. The cemetary was on a hill and I have already explained that snow laid all around, so we were slipping and sliding all over the damn place. Bruise galore!

We found the graves and took the pictures.

We headed for Sundance, the place of the birth and incarceration of the Sundance Kid and a little further on we came to Little Big Horn.

I love the Wild West!!! So much crazy, perverted, violent history.


I only wish that I could have been there at the time...

...maybe as a brothel madam.

I had my cowboy cherry pooped when a saw my first bonefide cowboy in a delightful little cafe, Grannies Kitchen, where I was fortunate enough to delve into the delicious depths of the best Tuna Melt I have ever had the pressure to masticate upon. mmmmmmmm!

Though a lot of the towns around here have kept the old facades and so it feels like I have stepped back in time.

We stepped on th gas and made it to Bozeman, MT. A town filled with Yippies (Part Hippy, Part Yuppy).

The Countess.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

One Cherry popped and a puncture

After being awakened at the tender time of 6am by a phone call from the Mother of the Baroness, who had forgotten the two hour time difference.

We were off!!!

At 40 mph.

Bugger the roads were still shit. Has Minnesota never heard of salt, or snow plow?????

Half way to the state line another disaster was to envelop us in it's evil grip.

Hole in the Tyre!!

Next stop and we were sat in a lovely auto shop where the culprit was found - a hand made nail. Only in America.

Onto South Dakota where the Baroness went a little crazy when the realization that the speed limit was 75 mph hit her. She fell in love in seconds. I fell in love to with the Back Hills and Badlands. I wanted to go back in time and be a crazy ass cowgirl in the 1800s and ride horses all over the state.

This country, I feel, requires you, a horse and a solitary existence and riding as far as you can. We drove through Wall Drug, a crazy place that has stayed in business because of one man, his drug store and his vision for a line of wooden sides on all roads in the state, proclaiming his 5 cent coffee and free water from the 1930s till the present day.

The coffee is still 5 cents and the water still free.

I also saw my first native American and popped that Cherry in style, as I was visionly gang banged by a whole group of them.

Crossed the Mississippi River...awesome!

Also spent a bit of souvenir money on an old 1960s license plate from South Dakota for $8 which I see as a bargain.

We stopped off to see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. Which is a building covered in mosaics made entirely from corn. The entire outside is covered. This was intense, inspiring and more than a little bit creepy.

We finally made it to Rapid Falls for the night and after directing the Baroness to the wrong address twice, I finally found our Travelodge.

Tomorrow, Mount Rushmore awaits.

The Countess

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Shit Fountain

Early rising and we missioned all the way to Chicago for breakfast. We hadno option but to visit the shit fountain when we learned of its existence. I mean could you resist this beautiful protest statue?

What are its origins I hear you cry? Well a man sick of people allowing their dogs to poop on the sidewalk, decided to make his objection heard by the public through the art form of sculpting. So he created a large bronze cast of an actual dog poo and turned it into a fountain. He inscribed the beautifully descriptive words ' Shit Fountain' upon the stone plinth that the large faece had been lovingly rested on.

Now how many people wished they could live on this street?

Hands in the air people!

We then met a friend of the Baroness and went to a little diner for breakfast, where the waitress clearly didn't have a dental plan in her job benefits but was a lovely and friendly woman.

Then we flew through the rest of Illinois and into Wisconsin, where we took the time to seek out another great American landmark.

A Chevy in a tree.

Yes, a man has placed a Chevy in a tree in his backyard as a treehouse for his son. Who wants that Daddy?

He had also placed another car, a jeep at a 45 degree angle to the ground. Magic must have been holding the backend up, as gravity was definitely being defied.

I have around 10 bruises at the moment, as I foolishly jumped from the car at a pitstop with crazy vigour and ended up on my ass.

Eating Ice.


I recovered in time to see the Pumpkin Head Silo, phew!! There was a sight I did not want to miss. And to sample 'dessert cheese' of the chocolate flavour. But by now the roads were bad, treacherous in fact and so we were forced to pull over into Super 8 for the night in Blue Earth, Mn.


The Countess.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Missioning To The West

So the Western American Road Trip begins

at 12pm

it was supposed to be 8am, but we may have procrastinated a little bit.

But finally we were off
We were packed
We were in the car
We were down the drive
We were going back up the drive.

"I forgot my bras," was the Baroness' explanation.

And then we were finally 12.10pm

We missioned across PA, Ohio in the hopes of getting to Indiana by the end of the night, due to the impending threat of 30% chance of snow. We saw intriguing sights. Fields of snow, mountains of snow, Sandusky and a man getting car head.
We decided to mission into Michigan for the shits and giggles and ended up in bumblefuck Michigan being followed by a pair of headlights unsure if it was a cop waiting for us to speed or a crazy local waiting to rear end us into a tree and then take us back to a house to play with and cut up into hamburger helper.

After loosing the headlights and finding our way back onto the interstate in Indiana we looked to find the nearest supermarket, it was in Michigan so we headed back across the state line. The shit scaring journey had never needed to happen.

Finally we found our way to an Econo Lodge in Elkhart. Familiarity, yeah!!!

The Countess.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

I am the Ice Queen and I was promised a jetpack methinks.

So PA entered a snowy time for me and the Baroness and much wintery snow fun was to be had.

We lived it up in Chambersburg at the Ice Festival. I finally sat upon a throne, where I felt incredibly comfortable and natural as I looked down upon my subjects from my frozen elevated position. I also grew some muscles at one point and revealed in my musculer foem.

The snow came quick and fast and soon a winter Narnian wonderland laid before me in crisp lovliness. I was about to fly into its whiteness when Mommy McCartney blocked my path.

One hour later, I was encased in snow pants, four jumpers, two gloves, intense ski boots, a woolley hat and three pairs of socks. I could no longer fly into the whiteness, I could only hobble and fall (see pictures). I wore less clothes when I was on top of the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland.

I had my first Boston Cream Pie, made by the fair hands of Mommy McCartney during a snow in. Unfortunately for my waistline, the recipe never makes just one pie, always two.

Why God, why would you make two??

Managed to make it to New Jersey and therefore New York for the concert at the Bowery Ballroom. Which was an excellent venue and 'We Were Promised Jetpacks' were brilliant live. Although my arms could not make it up, to rock out, without pain, due to the sleding fun had earlier in the week with the Sweeny's. The run was brilliant, with a small dip allowing for flight it going at the right speed and I was always going at the right speed. This should definitely become an exercise to tone the upper arms and stomach muscles. Though definitely not for the week hearted.

The Countess

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Aliens, Acorns and Anal Probes

Our final adventure along this northern trip was in PA, about one/two hours away from Dry Run. It was in the brilliant and intriguing town of Kecksburg. Yes this is another bizarre roadside attraction that we spotted and had to see.

Kecksburg claims that a spaceship shaped like an acorn landed there and many local eyewitnesses saw the police and military drive in and take things from the site and leave.

Nothing much was thought about this until the 1970s, when a documentary crew were filming a TV series about unexplained phenomenon and came into town. They created a replica of the 'space acorn' which they left when they had finished.

This acorn was placed onto the top of a building by the town and forgotten.

For many years

Until the Hype of Roswell and dollar signs entered the minds of the inhabitants of Kecksburg.

The Acorn was taken down and placed atop a large pole after being painted a fetching brown, at the bottom of a hillside. Two outdoor lights were fixed to illuminate this magnificent alien beast at night, so late visitors will not be disappointed.

I arrived in the light, which was quite lucky, as if I had arrived in the dark I would not have entered the UFO store, which is located in the back of the very local bar.

Kecksburg was not the most attractive of towns. nor did it seem the safest for strangers. So we may have procrastinated for ten r more minutes about whether we had the courage to enter the bar.

The Baroness had the decency to allow the poor English girl to enter the very local American bar first. I summoned my entire courage and opened the door, only to find myself at another door with a sign that simply said.

'Press Buzzer'

Why? My brain asked, while my hand full of bravery pressed.

Eight pairs of eyes turned to focus with strange intensity upon myself as I entered the room.

The UFO store was nowhere in sight.


Was this a ruse, a mere ploy to entice unsuspecting tourists into a scary trap. Visions of House of 1000 Corpses jumped into my mind.

I had seen Deliverance.

"Ask," whispered the Baroness, again revealing her gentlemanly behaviour.

"Excuse me." The eyes bore further as the accent was clocked "Is there a UFO store."

Six pairs of eyes rolled. One smiled and pointed to the eighth, who was getting up of her seat.
"Sure it's back here." She puts our her cigarette and opens a door, revealing a space no bigger than a toilet cubical, filled with sweatshirts, T-Shirts, Little Green Men (either stuffed or blown up), mugs, hats and shot glasses.

The Baroness purchased a mug (mugs are a thing with her) and I could not resist the hoodie with a fantastic reenactment of the Acorn crash landing (which in the jumper resembled, unfortunately, an anal probe.)

It is now my favourite item of clothing.

Then we headed back home to PA.

The Countess.

Canada and Satan's concubine

Saw Niagara Falls, unfortunately in the rain, but HEY! Whose complaining. It was magnificent and beautiful with the snow all around and the strength of the water creating crazy patterns with the snow and frost.

We didn't stay long before we were heading for Canada.

We were extremely excited about crossing the border and I got told off for trying to film my passage. The booth lady told me to go into the little room and get my passport stamped.

Everything was fine.

Until we walked up to Satan's mistress booth.

"Where are you going?" She asks, but I do not know the name of the town, so the Baroness answers. "Oakville," she says. "Can she speak English?" Asks the wench. "Yes!" I said. "When are you due," I thought she said. "25th March" I said "No," The Baroness said "She asked what you do," "You need to go and sit down," she pointed at the Baroness in a patronising tone. "You are answering for her,"

Satan's concubine then proceeded to grill me and the Baroness separately. She needed to know the amount of money I had in my bank account, at the Baroness homestead and in my purse.
"You travelling around the US on that amount?" she asks in what I deem unprofessional decision. "So you are unemployed?" "Yes" "You're not studying?" "No"

Another look of derision swipes across her face.
'Bitch!' sweeps across mine.

Baroness' turn and she is made to go back to the car, take out her purse, and count out all her money, note by note, in front of her.
"Where did you meet?" "London," "How do you know each other?" "We met at uni!" "Why are you going to Canada?" "To see a friend,"

The interrogation went on and on for 30 minutes, they asked the same question again and again in different ways and tones. Until she finally, and looking very grudgingly, stamped my passport and we were allowed through the border, in incredibly angry and hating moods.

Canada had Sherri and her family's warm welcome to thank for the small love I feel for this country. They were a great family and I felt incredibly comfortable in their home.

The Countess

The Boring Journey...Wait Is that a cop following us Baroness??

So we missioned to Niagra Falls today, after stopping off to see the Baroness' land in upstate New York. The Yank (her father) bought me an amazing haddock sandwich, which consisted of a battered fish and a bun placed directly in the middle. Confusing to understand how to eat. Some folded, others cut them up and ate some as a sandwich and the rest on their own. It was a poser and you know using up your braincells gives you an appetite, so if it's tasty and makes you think, I am all for it.

We spent so long in New York that we entered Niagra Falls in darkness. The journey here was pretty uneventful except for the small part in the middle where The Baroness was pulled over for speeding....

82 MPH in a 65MPH zone.

mmmmm. We would have been fine except we had been snoozing, as we had been on the road for a while without any excitement. I wanted to take a picture of the Sheriff so bad but the Baroness said told me if we got ourselves into this situation that I was not to speak but merely smile and flash a bit 'o' tit if I could. I smiled but the boobs were covered by a 50 cent Tinkerbell T-Shirt purhased at a Thrift store the day before, so that was a no go. Also she thought my English accent could anger certain people and we did not know if this Sheriff was a certain people.

We also made a quick stop the day before at the Whispering Statue in Barre, Vermont. A monument raised to celebrate youth, it had a freak side effect in the design and so if two people sit at either side, with the statue betwixt them they can talk at a normal level and it sounds as if they are sat next to each other.

The Countess

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Stop taking the Picture and help me get out of the snow Baroness!!!

Today we left Maine along with the wonder that is the route 25. We joined it and rode it to the end through nowhere, pretty, divinely beautiful, sometimes bizarre and occassionaly scary.

I recommend the world to travel along route 25 and see the delights it holds Including 'Simply Divine Brownies' These brownies are a feast of deliciousness. The Baroness saw the sign 'CHOCOLATE', I saw the sign 'BROWNIE' and we realised that is was necessary to stop.
The devil stood behind the counter smiling, knowing the downfall of these two victims was near. They edge to counter and the devil caught them in it's smile. It knew what it was doing when it offered them temptation. It knew what it was doing offering them evil in the form of tasty chocolate, melt in your mouth treats. It gave They received It exhaulted They fell. $6.50 dollars worth later they walk out with no feast, but two tiny squares of cake. But oh what tasty tiny squares!

We later frolicked in the snow in New Hampshire. Well it started as frolicking and then turned into chaos as first I, then the Baroness got our legs stuck in the snow and found ourselves incapacitated while the other took five minutes to take pictures before helping their friend in need.

My ass was soaked.

We stopped in Albany, the true capital of New York and got another Econo Lodge.

I stole a pen.

The Countess.

Lobster Loving in Maine.

I have been frolicking in the land of Witches, which we discovered was maybe a bad idea with the Baroness in tow. It would appear that a book written by a long dead Pope, teaches us how to spot a witch; Red hair being one of the clues. So the Baroness and her flaming hair would be the 'Spawn of the Devil' and a perfect target for scary puritanical witch hunters. So we did not dally long in this beautiful twon, only a mere morning as we did not fancy being hunted down and burnt at the stake.

We made our way to Essex, a place which claimed to be the 'Antiques Capital of New England' This town consisted of Antiques and food and that is about it! We could not see any homes. We spent a while frolicking in the antiques and bought two old polaroid cameras and a side order of advice of where to dine that lunchtime. So we ate lovely things and wrote our postcards in a dive with delicious food and finally made for Maine and my first lobster.

We rested for the night in an Econo Lodge. A delightful little motel-esque place run by a sweet Indian couple who lived in London for four years and miss the cricket and pubs!

We headed for the nearest supermarket and the Baroness ordered two 2lb lobsters for us to be cooked there. We took them back to the lodge with a bevvy of beers, as the Baroness is a firm believer in washing Lobster down with beer and now I would have to agree, they compliment each other lovingly. The Baroness showed me how one eats lobster as I excitedly looked on and followed. Only two words to describe this feast.


God help the next man who takes me on a dinner date. Mwhahhahah.

The Countess

Yes, We Found the Middle of Nowhere...In Rhode Island!

So the trip to New England begins with a Greek restaurant called the Parthenon, which possesses personal jukeboxes on each table. This has been a great fantasy of mine and I grabbed the opportunity to play. One dollar and three selections. So I ate stuffed shrimp listening to James Taylor, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix in Conneticut. Love it!!!

Later in the day, we ended up in the a dodgy part of Rhode Island. We didn't realise such places existed there but as we drove past the diner proudly stating 'the Middle Of Nowhere Diner' we realised we had actually found the Middle Of Nowhere.

That evening we followed the directions to the MOBA, no not the MOMA, but the Museum of Bad Art. We realised something was a bit funny when the direction ended up saying 'Go to the Male basement toilet', and indeed this one roomed art muesum is located next to the men's basement bathroom that did not have a door but an inadequate partion saving the man's modesty

We finally rested for the might in a motel.

My first motel.

I was a little bit excited. More than a little bit excited.

The Countess

Thursday, 21 January 2010

New York - Part Three - Pizza with a side order of Crazy

Sunday began at around 7am, as the sun shone in from the half closed blind. Which would be fine if you hadn't got to bed only two hours ago. Today I was to meet My mother's cousin Terry who runs a pizzeria in New York called Fivo's Pizza. We had spoken muchly using the wondrous greatness of the Facebook medium. After using a mixture of Terry's directions and the iPhone we found the street, where I stood directly outside the place, looking for the place, while Terry was sat in the place, watching me from inside.

We went in and were welcomed in an incredibly warm greeting by Terry, who proceeded to feed us with much pizza and soda. Feed us to the point of bursting and then when we could eat no more, he sent us away with more pizza to gorge ourselves at a later date.

Everything was happening as it should be, the meeting was going well, then Crazy walked into the place and this normal meeting went up in smoke. First meeting was when an old lady, about 70, came up to our table and stared intensely at Lauren for about five minutes before screaming at her in a loud American accent

"Are you from England?" Our relationship with this woman moved on quickly from there, including the fact that this woman was bleeding profusely from her nose and the blood was dripping onto her pizza. She went through about 50 napkins, a bag of ice and Terry even sent out for peroxide to stem this crimson waterfall.

Terry was sat on a table next to us. She placed her coat on a seat around the table and went to get her pizza.

"Hey," says Terry, " This table is taken!"
"I know," she said " I just took it!"

She had a smattering of words in many different languages including Greek and her favourite word was 'loco' which she applied to all of us at one point. She had a wealth of incorrect knowledge, claiming that the national language of Jamaica was French.

She also demonstrated her soccer (that is football to the English) skills that culminated in her kicking me in the shins. This woman managed to scare me and make me laugh but definitely entertained me.

We finally said our goodbyes to Terry and made our journey back to New Jersey. Where we finished our weekend by playing 'Superheroes' .

Baroness - Lex Luther
Me - Frozone
AJ - Superman
Fran - Spidergirl
Jason - Lois Lane.

Obviously the Baroness was the baddy, and myself and Fran were AJ's sidekicks and Jason being Lois watched from the sidelines. Lex Luther managed to trap Spidergirl and Frozone within meer minutes, using her steel-like thighs and powerful upper torso, leaving Superman to tussle with Lex Luther for the majority of the game.

The sidekicks sucked and the game ended because they hurt in places and needed to recharge the batteries.

Beware the Baroness

The Countess

New York - Part Two - 2am Bowling? Yes Please

We finally found Nita, she had been sleeping and contacted her towards the end of our gastronomic treat. So we left Harlem and made our way to the Village and a bar called the Mason Dixon line. A bar in possession of a mechanical bull. A bull which I did not ride till the morning light. My friends had not planned this night right and I was not wasted enough to mount the beast and grab and squeeze it betwixt my thighs. Later in the night we were en route to another bar located in Brooklyn, which was an ass and a half away from Emely's place in the Bronx. So a quick decision was made on the metro and the course altered to...


I have only been bowling twice, once in Cyprus and once in Burnley. So late night (2am to be exact) is something I have never experienced. We entered and I fell in love. The pins were illuminous with black lights bearing down and lighting the tattooed skin of the Baroness. Belying my obvious inexperience compared with my companions, I won the first game. Then came third in the second and second in the third. I have definitely taken to this game. We drank beer and dined on chicken wings, moss sticks and fried chicken. We left around 4am a very merry band.

The Countess

Monday, 18 January 2010

New York: Part One: Chez Chase and Dinosaurs

Ever had a weekend that didn't exactly go according to plan, but was possibly in the top twenty of your most bizarre and therefore most enjoyable nights. You end up laughing from the offset till the closing of Sunday night.

My weekend in New York has so many different facets attached to it that I am finding it difficult to contain in mere prisons of text. I am sure that my words will be of inadequate strength and will not be able to hold the fun, craziness and at times sheer insanity of these last two days. I find myself questioning whether trying to describe these events is a good idea or to just let the memories fester in my head for as long as can retain them, allowing them to disappear hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. Until it morphs into a distant memory only occasionally sparked into life by a change meeting with one who shared all that joy, frustration and confusion.

But I started this journey with the intention of writing down all fun, interesting and bizarre moments and so I must continue, for this weekend in New York, contained all these elements.
We started at the Natural History Museum with Baroness, Baroness' friend Fran and her two children AJ and Emma. Fran is a supreme being who used to follow the grateful dead around America. Who cannot love a person who did this feat?
We had a mission, us four.
To Seek and Discover those great Attraction As Seen in that Great Movie 'Night At The Museum'.

This movie must be responsible for millions of kids requesting and begging their parents to take them to the museum rather than Disney World.

So we find the T-Rex and check one of our list. Mammoth is next, and another one is found. Easter Island Head is next and tis the place for a perfect picture opp.

By now, however, the heat, speed of AJ as he zoomed through the exhibits and the crying baby began to take their toll on the poor Countess and tiredness kicked in. Luckily it had kicked in for the whole;e party and so we exited after making a quick stop to the Museum Shop., where I may have baulked at the prices. I settled on the best souvenir. A stretched coin with the Mammoth on it, all for the bargain price of 59 cents.

So we bid farewell to Fran and kids as they made their way back to New Jersey and we waited for Emely, our friend from New York, who finally showed up one hot dog, two rock candy treats and one hour later. Finally my night began.
We purchased Sushi from Wholefoods, as we were mighty hungry and went to find Emely and Baroness' friend Nita, who lived in Harlem. We new she lived in the Lennox Complex but we had no idea what building and it turns out there were many and Nita was not answering phone calls.
One hour later, we got tired, hungry and very frustrated and decided best plan of action would be to find a place to eat. Lauren pointed to a park in the projects and Emely pointed to the ATM vestibule of the Chase bank. We chose the latter and Emely swiped her card and we entered 'Chez Chase'. It was a self service establishment and we seated ourselves upon the window seat. It was a night spot to watch the passer by in the night. We then proceeded to masticate our sushi in joy and to the mirth of the Chase customers who were withdrawing their cash for hopefully a crazy night out in the city that never sleeps.

It was delightful, odd and one of the strangest places I perhaps have eaten in. We were very grateful to have a warm place to eat, so I wrote a note of thanks which we placed under the door. For those of you who cannot read the picture here is what we said to the bank tellers of the Chase bank.

Dear Chez Chase,

Thank you for the welcoming atmosphere your establishment provides.

We have dined on delicious treats of Shushi and Pineapple and supped upon fair bottles of water.

One thought for the future , a provision of chopsticks as well as a 24hour banking service
would be delightful.

the 8pm diners

More New York fun coming up
The Countess

Monday, 11 January 2010

So I have been having some all American fun these last few days.

I have been to a local pub and sampled a strange odd drink entitled 'Rocket Fuel' and from that fabulous title you can imagine the amount of alcohol that they place in this feast of liquid. Though while one is drinking said beverage, it would appear that one is merely supping upon a fruit drink and not copious amounts of alcohol.

The lovely and hilarious Burky and his delightful wife Barbara, took me up the snow painted mountain in the Argo (see picture if unsure what this vehicle beast be). Oh what a steed! It is the Barnoness' father's new transportation device.

Later that day, the father of the Baroness (As he refers to me as the Limey, as shall refer to him from now on as the Yank). So the Yank tool me fore my first taste of gunfire.

Pistol in hand, the countess was taught how to shoot a colt. 22 peacemaker. The gun that settled the West.

Oh the power!

Oh the funness!

I would like to take this space in the blog to point out that in one round, I managed to hit my target once. I hit something on my first try!

I rock

I know.

I kept the casings as a souvenir...I had to.

This was a great Sunday.

But in order to accomplish these marvelous feats I was bundled up into everything in the cupboard by the Baroness and my American Mommy.

This made walking...intriguing and of course once trussed up, peeing was not an option.

Well you only have to see the pictures to see my enfolded self.


and now I site supping on Pennsylvania's finest grape products enititle 'Red Vixon' and I hope this beverage may be just that.
Gather me into thy familiar arms of drunken amour and ne'er let me leave, oh mistress of my heart and liver. Red Vixon I give myself over to thee and thy machinations.

Aye me, sweet grapes.

The Countess.

Drive-Thru confession anybody?

So may I enquire as to what it is about Americans and their need to never leave the safety of their own cars?

What is this obsession with drive-thrus of every variety?

I have now experienced both an off license drive thru, where you drive up to the front door and they placed the beer purchased upon the back seat of the car for you and a drive thru bank, where they cash cheques, make withdrawals and bank your money, int he space of mere moments. There are also , I am told, pharmacy's of this nature. You can drop of your prescription at the window and then pick it up later from the same window, without ever having the need of leaving the comfort of your luxurious SUV or even the need to turn off the car engine.

With the portions they serve, one would think that they would like the occasion to get up and walk off the calories just devoured in a steak the size of a baby.

What is next America?

Drive Thru Confession anybody?

Man enters firmly ensconced in his Durango through the entrance and makes for the correct lane, a menu stands before him. Lit up in lights, to enable sinners to see in the dark and early hours of the morning.

Confession Menu
1: Confession to Murder

2:Confession to Stealing

3: Confession to Adultery

4: Confession to Lustful thoughts

Blessing Menu
1: Blessing for a new Marriage

2: Blessing for a new House

3: Blessing for a new Baby

4: Blessing for a new job

Exorcism Menu

1: Ghost of a relative
2: Ghost of a stranger

3: Poltergeist

"2 4 1 special on Blessings until Easter Sunday and 1/2 price Exorcisms all this week."

The Man regards the menu carefully and finally the speaker next to his window crackles into life.

"Bless you my child. What can we here at the Drive Thru Church of the Working Christians do for you this fair evening?" came the voice peppered with the machines crinkles.

"I would like a number 3 from the Confession's menu and a number 1 from the Blessing's menu, please,"

"Very god sir, please make your way to window number 1 and may god bless you my child,"

The man drives his car and moves to his alloted window. The hole is covered by a dark gauzy material.

"Bless you my child," came the voice as old as 1000 cigars.

"Forgive me father for I have sinned," began he man and confessed his darkest deed that week, and received his blessing for his newly married state and so drove away happy in the knowledge he had done all he could for his soul.

Or maybe Drive Thru Doctors would appeal to the masses.

The menu provided him with a multitude of choices.

"May we help you sir?" Came the disembodied voice from the small box next to his window.

"Yes I am sick and wish for a diagnosis,"

"Please state your symptoms in a slow and clear voice please,"

"Sore Throat, Headache and a Pain in the Abdomen,"

"Is the pain an ache or a stabbing pain?"

"An ache,"

"Thank you. Please proceed to window number 2 where Dr. Langdon will evaluate your symptoms and give you a diagnosis."

The man drove to window 2

"Hello sir, you have a stomach bug it would appear. Please take this prescription to the drive thru pharmacy next door,"

"Thank you, doctor"
and the man drove away, happy in the knowledge that he was going to be in health once more.

I mean will this madness ever end?

The Countess

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Amish and Tuppleware Treats

So I have spent a few days in the birthplace of the Baroness, a mixture of crazy, warmth and a lick 'o' hick, and I have to say I kinda like it.
There is no pretension and that is a very comfortable thing to live without.
I find that the people here make me reminisce to my informative years, living in North Yorkshire and the great people one finds in the small towns populating the marvelous countryside.

"Ar, got 'tgo down t' valley, get tha sheep and then ah can come up't bar for a wee pint."
There is a general welcome here with about a five minute suspicious undertone, until they decided whether they like you or not. Then when the teasing starts you have been welcomed and are now accepted.

I find being here is a bit like putting on a comfortable sweater, definitely familiar song, but with a different melody playing and the occasional offbeat.

A large population of Amish live in around the Dry Run area, which I find fascinating, never having encountered people who live the way they do. I have been here for a few days but I hve yet to find the sight of one of them in a buggy, just a common occurrence and I may still scream out 'Amish', when I see one riding by, in a very excited school girl manner.

I went into the suburbs of Philadelphia last night.

"I need to buy things I need, I need these things...I bought my husband BBQ tongs,"

This sentence echoed around my head and summed up the entire night for me.
I thought it was a joke and she was being amusing, trying to jokingly excuse the amount of money she was spending on these products.

She wasn't.

She was deadly serious, as my American tour guide, the Baroness, informed me when she saw my amusement at this statement.

I was at a 'Pampered Chef' party, which is a new look on the old 1950s Tupperware parties that America made famous. This old American tradition has never really caught on in the 'Old Blighty' and if you don't even know what a Tupperware party is, it is an Anne Summer's party but instead of a dildo, you can purchase a rolling pin.

At these parties, women perfectly capable of cutting up a pineapple in the traditional way (avec le knife), suddenly lament that they have always had an issue when cutting up their pineapples. In fact, cutting up this pineapple, has become an impossible task. So this pineapple wonder cutter is
"exactly what I have been searching the kitchen appliance world for."
They say to each other as they put down their order for two.
"I might break one"

Ode to the Pineapple Cutter
Oh Pineapple cutter How I love thee let me count the ways. I can't there are too many. I want thee I need thee.

So these women hand over $100+, they will wait in their previously inadequately stocked kitchens, awaiting the arrival of the necessary pineapple cutter and Chilli separator (for when your Chilli is so clogged a spoon or fork just won't do).

I do have a beautiful reminder of this evening spent in American suburbia, a delicious treat of a trivet bought by my American mommy.

Love you mommy!

The Countess

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Abused by A duchess wielding chaps!!!

I write in a state of despair people!
I have been abused!
Terribly abused and in a most disturbing and American manner by the Duchess and a pair of her chaps (no my English dears I do not mean two guys, I mean the things you wear over jeans when riding a horse in this country).

The Duchess used me as an English doll and played American dress up, turning me into half a cowgirl, shirt and chaps complete.

See the photo to prove this unfortunate and unnecessary to me (necessary to the Duchess), event.
I can only describe the sparkles, you would have to see to understand.

Also wearing the chaps (that are a lot tighter than one might assume) makes one incredibly aware of ones front bits and back bits (poon and ass to be vulgar about it). And the closeness you feel to the person putting on your first set of chaps is slightly wrong. They get muchly closer than someone your acquainted with, and hasn't seen you naked, should do.
Ever heard of personal space?
Is that supposed to zip all the way up there?

Have also had my first experience of a two wheeled vehicle that entertains a motor.
I have balance issues (ballet class aside) and such childhood greatness as roller skating/blading, ice skating, skateboarding, skiing, snow boarding bypassed me as something i was unable to accomplish or did not even try to bother (the pain would be too intense).

So I was mildly perturbed to be placed onto the back of a dubious looking scooter with the crazy red-headed Baroness at the helm. This hair raising trip was to be followed by a much faster and longer trip with the blond vixen, otherwise known as the Duchess.

Unfortunately for my heart and mother I definitely enjoyed it and am looking forward to driving other vehicles of dubious nature.

Baroness bringeth me my next steed!!!
Mother Pray for me!!!
The Countess

I'm Sorry How Big is the Small Popcorn?

Well I am playing catch up again due to a bout of ridiculous flu I have been experiencing with many uncomfortable side effects. (Duchess and Baroness you have been sworn to secrecy under the vale of the House Of Vera) I contracted this disease from someone on the plane or God smoting me for daring to cross the bible belt with my heathen ideas and ways. Either way I have been far to pleugh! to write anything down.

But after a crazy twelve hour trek from Alabama to Pennsylvania, driven by the Baroness in sheer ninja style, I am now safely ensconced in a land populated with more heathens and the warm bosom of the Baroness' family. This being the only warm thing in this cold, cold place. I am surrounded by coldness and stuffed deer etc. heads and slowly recuperating and planning the next trip, which will be to New Jersey and New York. So look out for the Big Apple Blogs of funness.

Before this illness cut short my Southern fun I did manage to have some shits and giggles. Most importantly I have embraced your left hand driving. My left hand Cherry being taken by the Duchess and the Baroness on a cherry red mustang. The chosen chariot of our fair Duchess on these American Shores. Not only was I out of my depth with the wheel being in the strange place but it was also an automatic. Yet apart from the occasional foot pumping on an imaginary shift pedal and grabbing the door handle in the belief that it was a gear stick, it went pretty well. Pictures (see below) aside (The lying wenches).

I was taken to an American Cinema. though they call them theatres here.
Now The size situation
I had been warned
I had been told
And people had demonstrated the size of popcorn and drink containers
But nothing can prepare one for the sight of someone walking past you with a vat of coke and a barrel (no other word will suffice) of popcorn.
and then there is the choice!
Around 15, yes 15, flavours/colours of popcorn in large pipes waiting for you to choose and devour them in a gastro haze of food villainy.
Such gluttony!
Such choice!
I am unsure if this is good for us but I am definitely getting the hang of America, piece by poundcake.

Stop with the poundcake!!!

The Countess