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