Saturday, December 31, 2011

Funny redneck t-shirts

On the way back from Pennsylvania, US, we stopped for dinner. Adjacent to the restaurant is a little store that sells a little something of everything: spoons, t-shirts, mugs, other items of clothing, key rings, also including some local arts and crafts. In my opinion the items that are less commercial often makes for better souvenirs. I rather enjoyed the collection of Redneck t-shirts. (They were covered with glass, causing the light to reflect, and I battled to get good pictures regardless of the angle.)

See which one you like best :)   

Personally, I like the one in the middle best. 
He may not wear diapers but I think we should have bought that one for Lil' M ha-ha

Thursday, December 29, 2011

King of HIS jungle

I think we fall more and more in love with our animals the more we get to know them - their personalities, their habits, their way of communicating with us (their love, their needs, their moods). I don't know about you but to me they become like little furry or feathered 'people'. To a stranger a cat is a cat, is a cat, or a dog is a dog, is a dog, but to you it is a companion, a baby, another heartbeat in the room, a best friend, etc.  

Lil' M (short for little monster) is no different. He is full of life and full of mischief and he is certainly not shy about it. Lately he has been playing a new game. He's taken quite a liking to my chair. He lurks around and when I get up he jumps on the chair and makes himself at home. I tell him that I've been keeping it warm especially for him! I feel too bad to kick him off when I come back so I type standing up till he gives it up. lol (The things we do for our pets... ;) 
This is my chair! Signed Lil' M

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas wishes 2011

Here's to wishing you a very merry Christmas!

(It was the first time that I ever recorded straight into YouTube. I was not very impressed. This was from my heart and every other attempt just seemed rehearsed and fake. So I decided to keep it and add the words where you are unable to perhaps hear them due to the technical glitches that I was unable to iron out. If you have external speakers for your computer it will help, but I hope that you will be blessed regardless!) Merry Christmas :)


Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow angels

They've been telling us it was going to snow for a while now but none of the weather channel's predictions proved true. Some were relieved and others wondered whether we were going to have a white Christmas at all this year. The weather has apparently been pulling some strange wool over eyes the past two years. Then finally the weather channel got it right! It snowed! It snowed enough for snow angels (as supposed to mud angels - yuck!) and it has been cold enough for it to stick around for a few days of white winter beautiful bliss.

I've never made snow angels before. I thought it would be very cold and very wet but it wasn't - yay! Once I was laying on my back in the snow I felt like a little kid and I couldn't help but giggle like one. I felt alive. I can understand why they are called 'angels'. Pretty :)

I scouted a spot where the snow was deep enough and where there were no footprints and then laid back carefully so I wouldn't have an angel with a trampled wing.

The Secrets they Kept (By Joanne Tombrakos)

I've just finished reading The Secrets They Kept - a debut novel by author Joanne Tombrakos.

The very first time I heard about Joanne's existence is when my eye caught her comment on a friend's blog mentioning that she has just self-published her first novel. I've never met Joanne in person. Being in the process of getting my first book published I decided to support Joanne in buying her book just as I would like for others to buy mine when it is available. The story sounded interesting but I didn't really have a clue what to expect.

Joanne, I am so very pleased to say: I was blown away! I read all 287 pages of it in one day! I just couldn't put it down. You had me hooked from around... oh, page ONE.

In short, the book is about Elena, a Greek-American lawyer living in New York City, who thought she knew all there was to know about her family but then all of that changes the day the police arrive at her front door to inform her of the death of a person whom she never even knew existed but who had her name down as his next of kin. Suddenly everything she knew to be real was shaken to the core. Who was this man who called himself George Poulous? That was her father's name and he has been dead for ten years. What are the secrets that her family - especially her mother is not willing to tell. Elana wants answers and, as hard as it is for everyone concerned, she will not rest until she knows all there is to know. As the secrets are slowly revealed it restores broken hearts, broken relationships and new hope for Elana and her family.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

(5) Colorado: The fast, the furious and a tragic death

On this day we woke up to our last morning in Colorado. Even though I wasn't cold during the night, I missed my blow up mattress something terrible. While G went out scouting for early morning pictures I took advantage of a few extra layers of blanket and another two odd hours of sleep. And then I was hungry. We still had some leftover rotisserie chicken, ham and fresh bread safely locked in the car and before long we were not the only ones who knew that. Only the coffee was missing. ...And the bacon. And the eggs... ;)

G had this one eating out of his hand! - bird eating bird. Hmm....

Friday, December 9, 2011

(4) Colorado: Sunset with friends

We stayed at the Mueller State Park the second night. What a breathtaking place! I love sunsets and we decided to hike one of the trails to see if we could find a good spot to photograph one. Gosh, there is a notable difference between fit from cycling and fit from walking. I was just about ready to accept defeat with my chin up when someone pointed out to me that it might very well have something to do with the altitude.

Bring on the next mountain! :D

As majestic as the mountains are, I also find myself very much drawn to seeking out the little things to photograph. I don't even have to think about it. 

A chipmunk - a real live one - and no, his name is not Alvin.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

(3) Colorado: Breakfast beauty... lunch, sunset, dinner

Yesterday was somewhat overcast and some really cold weather was blowing in by the time I took the picture of the mountain in the back yard - I mean chilly! I was all too grateful to be cosy inside with roast chicken and salads for dinner, a nice chunk of red velvet birthday cake for dessert and a hot shower! 

We certainly woke up to a beautiful morning! After an early breakfast we headed out to Mueller State Park, which we had stumbled across around sunset the previous day.

Standing here, breathing in the fresh morning air, I just wanted to reach for a thermos with hot coffee. I can't say I love coffee but I most certainly get caught up in the smell of coffee early in the morning. There is just something about the way it announces the break of day.

(2) Colorado: From barren to beauty

If you are just joining me - welcome!

We have been driving west from Kansas to Colorado. Most of the way - until we crossed the border anyway - there wasn't a lot to see but the closer you get to Colorado the more the topography changes to look a little more like this (below). Beautiful, isn't it?

These iconic Rocky Mountains was formed between 55 and 80 million years ago and stretch more than 3,000 miles from the northernmost part of British Columbia (western Canada) all the way to New Mexico in the southwestern United States. The mountains can be seen from about 100 miles away and they are truly spectacular - with or without snow!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

(1) And then we were off to Colorado

My day trip to New York city was just a few days premature for a birthday present but who cares, right? By far one of the best birthday presents yet! Now it was G's turn. He wanted to photograph the fall colors and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I wonder why some call it autumn and others call it fall? Either way, October is the perfect time for it!

After driving the 1,200 miles to Pennsylvania, the 600 mile drive to Colorado was a breeze but with one very distinct difference: the scenery. Now, I've heard people describe Kansas in two main ways: (1) the place where the Wizard of Oz plays out, and (2) flat, wide open spaces with not even a tree in sight. Firstly - and I'm unsure whether I should feel ashamed or not - I haven't seen The Wizard of Oz. I've heard of it often but I haven't seen the movie, and secondly I haven't seen enough of the States to make an accurate topographical comparison. This trip gave me a whole new insight but how about you judge for yourself:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is this what 'forgotten' looks like?

We had one more day in Pennsylvania after my day trip to New York City. We mostly spent it packing and saying our good bye's. It was going to be a long trip back home. G also wanted to make a trip to the cemetery; it’s been a while.

These graves were the first ones I saw as I got out of the car and the first thought that crossed my mind was Is this what ‘forgotten’ looks like? It was clear that no one had visited these graves in a very long time.

What happened to their loved ones? Did they move far away? Were they even still alive? Or are these people who cherish memories of their loved ones in their hearts wherever they go?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

YADA YADA FISHPASTE has a new name and a new look!

A new name, a new look AND A NEW ADDRESS!

Hey there everyone!

I have been giving my Yada Yada blog some thought and I've decided it is time for a change. Not only am I trying out a few new ideas but I also feel - well, almost feel - as if I've finally decided what I want this blog to be about. 

I want it to be about my photographs and my stories of the places that I've been, the things that I've experienced, the lessons that I've learned and the things that I've realized on the journey. And no, it is not insignificant - yada yada fishpaste - it is travelling the journey with me: seeing what I see and reading my stories. 

I'm inviting you to join me on my travels - in the world and in my life - and to enjoy the beautiful pictures with me, but instead of finding me on the old address (, it is now, so please save the new address to your favorites ;) 

The name and the look might be different but it is still the same old "Yada". If you've enjoyed my blog before, I hope that you will continue to do so with me through Postcards and Pictures. And please feel free to let me know your thoughts on the new name, layout, color scheme, etc. I would love to hear your input. After all, the idea is to keep you coming back ;)


Friday, November 18, 2011

(14) PA - Full circle (NYC)

Today our tour of the Big Apple comes full circle as we find our way back to Time Square. There are some interesting little things along the way that you don't usually see in tourism brochures or websites. I think they are the kind of things that I often wonder about when I see footage, photographs or websites of some places around the world. Most of the time you only get to experience those bits when you go there yourself, but sometimes that is not possible, so maybe - if you're anything like me - you get to see some things through my eyes today. Join me, why don't you :)

Trapeze School of New York. Hmm... I wonder what you learn there? ;) I took a few shots of this as we were driving by and was very happy to have this one of them in action. It doesn't look half as interesting when they're standing off to the side. That's not what trapeze artists do, is it? People pay to see them swing and tumble. She's swinging, alright. For all the aspiring trapeze artists out there, now you know where to go.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

(13) PA: Two love birds, Wall Street and The World Trade Center

We are slowly nearing the end of one absolutely A.MAZING day in New York City. Today we are heading to Wall Street and the World Trade Center Memorial Site. Enjoy site seeing with me and feel free to share any thoughts or interesting tidbits if you have any to add. It's always fun to hear from you. Here we go!

This is looking down Wall street from the Hudson River. That building "next" to the lamppost is the Trinity Church steeple from a distance.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

(12) PA - Introducing Lady Liberty

Time has simply run away from me since my last post. Finally today, after a trip down the Hudson River, you get to meet Lady Liberty.

Even though I've visited New York City in the latter part of August it still stirs my heart with fond memories of an awesome visit to New York City. If this is the first time you join me on the journey, welcome! If you've been chewing your finger nails in anticipation of the next leg of the journey, then I hope that you are not disappointed.

I invite you to share your thoughts. I always enjoy hearing from you :)

A glimpse on the inside of the Zephyr. Everywhere I looked there were men with yellow t-shirts.  What the?... And not just yellow, but a real 'in your face' sunflower yellow. I simply couldn't rest till I knew what it was about, and just as I was about to ask outright, I caught sight of the embroidery on the shoulder: It turns out it was a choir.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

(11) PA: A trip to the pier - don't want to miss the boat!

Today we take a trip to the edge of the pier where we will board the Zephyr for a tour of the city along the banks of the river, and right to the feet of Lady Liberty herself. For some reason I thought the water in the skyline images of New York City was the ocean, but no, it's the great Hudson river. Join me, why don't you?
The Flat Iron Building was completed in 1902 and is seated on a triangular island formed by 5th Avenue, Broadway and East 22nd Street in Manhattan, New York. From looking at it, it must have been a very spectacular structure more than a century ago - impressive, wow! It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

(10) PA: 5th Avenue and the Rockefellers: what a combination!

It's been a while since my last post. For those of you who don't know, I've been spending much of my time on my first attempt at writing a book. As much as I've been enjoying it, it is also hard work, and I've also missed writing my blog. So today I'm taking some time out to have fun. Anyone reading my blog for the first time - I've recently had the most amazing visit to the Big Apple and I've been doing some 'show 'n tell'. Please feel free to read up on previous blog posts at your leisure. As for the rest of you, I hope you've enjoyed your breather, because we've not even gotten to Lady Liberty yet. Let it give you something to look forward to, yes?
Stop! You are about to enter (one of the) hoity-toity shopping strips of New York City - 5th Avenue. At this juncture you might want to reconsider who is in possession of the wallet with credit cards and cash or you may just be heading one way - straight towardsbroke.Don't say you haven't been warned... haha

Sunday, September 18, 2011

(9) PA: NYC - so much to see!

On my city tour of New York City in August this year our tour guide was so resourceful. At times it felt like a bit of an information overload and I wish I had my note pad out and scribbling while driving around in the bus and taking pictures all at the same time - but sadly I couldn't do it all together and I did not remember every interesting detail he mentioned. I wish I could.

Thankfully I do remember quite a lot and some bits of the rest - it is the blanks that I have been filling in with some additional reading online, hence it taking me a while to write my next post on New York City. (Those of you who are only joining me now can read the first installment of my adventure here. For the rest of us we can just pick up where we left off, right? (*smile*) Let's go!

I love cycling but when I saw this I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. You'd better be fit if you're going to be doing this for a living. I suppose a good or a bad day will depend on whether you have a more weighty or lighter load. I love the plastic cabin cover but I still don't think it is a good idea in the rain - not my idea of fun anyway. And if I cycle I prefer to do it alone. Shame, I wouldn't have the heart to expect of someone to peddle me around in the rain either. Then again, he might want to strap some paddles on. Never know when it might come in handy - haha

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(8) PA - A long, EXCITING day in NYC

Once I heard that Pennsylvania is not that far from New York City I felt excited. Maybe, just maybe, we could squeeze in going there then? I hoped. A few suggestions were made, one of which was to check with my friend, Nancy, whether she would be up to spending a day in New York with me and showing me around a little.

Nancy and I 'met' on Facebook. We have been e-mailing back and forth for about eighteen months but I have never met her in person. As excited as I was about the prospect of seeing the Big Apple I wondered if we would hit it off as well in person as we did in writing. The thought even crossed my mind, "What if we don't quite gel?" But then again, we had been chatting for eighteen months. Come one! The girl simply adores me! (*giggle*) I made up my mind that we weren't only going to be just fine, but we were going to have a blast - and we did!!

Initially when I found out that we were going to Pennsylvania I really wanted to make use of the opportunity to meet with Nancy but I didn't quite know what we should do for our memorable occasion. Initially I thought maybe just a simple meal at a restaurant or maybe just coffee. However, I have to be honest: those ideas were nothing compared to seeing New York!! Who would want to go for a breakfast if you can take a bite out of the Big Apple instead?!

Once I had mentioned the idea of NYC to Nancy she was in - boots and all! Within a day or two she had

Monday, September 12, 2011

(7) PA: the day before New York City

Nothing like working up a good appetite walking in Lackawanna State Park before going to dinner: All you can eat clam special. It was a fun day.
We went for a walk in the Lackawanna State Park. Under the canopy of the beautiful green tree tops you can walk for miles in the beautiful woods.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

(6) PA: Explore, explore some more with me

So... we had finally arrived in Pennsylvania. Now what? It was time to start expl-o-ring. Join me for a bit of sightseeing, why don't you (*smile*)

What's that strange looking "thingy magic"? If you haven't guessed it... It's a jukebox in a diner booth. Cool! right? What makes this different is that it's not a jukebox for the whole diner. This is only for the occupants of this particular booth. The question that rose in my mind was, "How does each booth listen to their own selection? A bit of a mad house, don't you think?" Apparently not so. This is listened to at a volume only loud enough for your own booth. Hmm... Stereo speakers...? Maybe that is to make the soft music more clear? It certainly can't be to make it loud, right?

From what I gather it works similar to a vending machine. It uses quarters (25c) and your selection is made using the letters and number, e.g. D7 - almost like selecting your favorite chocolate or drink. I only saw these in the one diner where we ate.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

(5) PA: Red means stop (for now anyway...)

Now! Now! I know some of you must be anxiously looking forward to the New York City pics but we're getting there... Remember, we had to drive to Pennsylvania first. I've taken so many pictures and I'm still processing them. 500 just in NYC! Remember, see what I see, yes?

Not even the uncomfortable car seat could ruin a beautiful morning like this one. I had no idea what we were driving throught the night before while it was dark. I've heard so much about the mountainous landscape of Pennsylvania, but it was more beautiful than I imagined.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

(4) PA: It will be dark soon (still day 1)...

By the time we reached Indianapolis we've been driving for roughly 12 hours with only short breaks to refuel, breakfast and lunch. I simply loved all of what I've seen so far; I was still on an adrenaline high and far from tired. Besides, I haven't yet had a chance to drive. I would have my opportunity soon enough - yay!

Approaching Indianapolis... A comforting sense of familiarity - again (*smile*) This is one of the biggest cities that we drove through on the way.

Recreational riding is popular in the US. Wearing a helmet is mandatory by law in 20 states, only mandatory for some riders in 27 states and in 3 states there is no law in this regard. In Kansas you don't have to wear one except on the military base. Personally I prefer wearing one. It just seems like the responsible thing to do, you know.  
Beautiful view; a glimpse of civilization the way I'm used to it. Until now I've only seen this kind of America in the movies and now I was driving in it. 
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: a highway.
City scape of Indianapolis from the highway.
Look familiar anyone? I was fascinated by the blue on these bridges. It wasn't until we drove back and passed it a second time that we noticed that it is part of a space theme around the highway. They had all sorts of space shuttle cartoons "engraved" into the concrete on the side of the road. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of it - sorry :(
There's that famous off-ramp to the right...
Garett was a little concerned that we were going to hit Indianapolis during rush hour traffic. His memories of the highway was a little unsettling and he didn't want to have a repeat experience. We only realized it just on the other side of town that the time zone changed in Terre Haute, Indiana, so instead of it being 5pm, it was already 6pm and the worse was already over.
Those little VW bugs are also rather popular around the cities... Seeing as we've already been driving for 12 hours by this time it was quite a relief that this highway was not that busy. Just like everyone rushing home to dinner we were starting to feel like it was time for dinner and a decent break.

Unfortunately it was dark after dinner and I couldn't take any more pictures. Finally it was my turn to drive. The weather was cool and rainy - much appreciated after the fairly hot day in the car. We got to see a spectacular display of lightning. We decided to drive as far as we felt the energy to do so safely. It turned out to be around 3:30am. Now both Garett and I were pooped and we decided to find a safe spot to take a break until at least sunrise.
Note to self: Liane is too tall to take a nap on the front seat; comfortable for driving but not for sleeping. I would have preferred the backseat instead but it was filled with luggage - sadly no luck there :( Either way it was a welcome break. The upside was that we wouldn't have to drive another full day to our destination. We were now already within the state of Pennsylvania and I was slowly starting to look forward to getting the long drive behind us.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

(3) Road trip to Pennsylvania: Day 3 (blog) of day 1 (trip)

Just recently someone made the comment to me that they wish they could be where I am and see what I see. So with that in mind I set out on this road trip to take pictures of things that you wouldn't usually see in travel magazines. On the one hand I very much enjoy seeing the pictures that provoke a "oooh!" and "aaah!" response, but on the other hand I also enjoy seeing some of what is to the left and the right of that moment that is frozen in time. Does anyone else ever wonder that?

So to some a highway is a highway is a highway, but to me it is seeing what is to the left and to the right of the famous image that is always portrayed in magazines or on television. It is a taste of "real".

What strikes me often as very fascinating is how other countries are portrayed in a way that makes them look so much better than the place where you live. When you're marketing some place as a tourist attraction it makes a lot of sense, but what is beneath all of the glamour? Is there also "ordinary" the same as what we get bored with where we are everyday, or take for granted? Is there also crime and poor areas or dirty areas? No one likes to show those, huh? But when you get your head out of the cloud isn't that some of what you see everywhere in the world - even if in varying degrees?

Anyway... where were we?

I completely agree: wearing safety belts are wise. How some people drive without them I really don't understand. I feel almost "naked" without it on; so vulnerable. In some other places there were signs that said, "Seat belts for the next million miles"! I kind'a enjoyed the creative way of saying "always" instead of boringly spelling it out. Almost as if saying everyone should know it by now.
Well, well, what do you know: the same BP sign. I've seen this before!
About 350 miles into the trip (560km) it is time to refill on gas and check oil and tire pressure. Garett is being very responsible. Note the little device in his left hand: the gas station does not have a pressure guage for you to measure the air in your tire. You actually need to drive around with your own tire pressure guage. If you don't have one you're either someone who don't care about the right pressure or you're pretty darn good at sucking your thumb. You can either view this as something new to learn - yay! - or you can feel it as a big inconvenience. I think especially the ladies in South Africa often count themselves very privileged to have someone at the garage to help you with this kind of thing. For me the missing guage is rather annoying when I try to put air in my bicycle tires.  
HYUNDAI! One of the popular car brands here (although not exactly taking over the market), especially in the bigger cities I've seen more of them, and especially the Tuscon.
Approaching St Louis, Missouri - This is what a lot of the highways look like around the bigger cities. St Louis is also where Joyce Meyer lives. I love her ministry and what they do across the world.

One of the things that took me a while to get used to in the US is not just driving on the other side of the road, but that everything else that we take for granted so easily is also opposite, like the on- and off ramps on the highway. It is still - or was anyway until before this trip - quite odd for me to take an offramp to the right, or to watch out for traffic flowing onto the highway from the right hand side. Driving on these big highways (interstate) is not too hard because all the lanes on one side go in the same direction. Oncoming traffic is not really an issue - less that confuses your mind - and rather the same as driving a left hand drive vehicle on a South African highway. It sounds odd but it is almost easier driving on the big highways instead of a smaller road with two way traffic, believe it or not - for me anyway. What it helped me with a great deal was that the highways didn't scare me at all. I felt rather at home - just always having to remind myself that I need to move over to the right for an off ramp, that the fast lane is on the left (instead of on the right) and of course that the gear stick is also on the right in case I need to respond quickly. What I also liked about the bigger highways was that you could do a moderate speed that you felt comfortable with and there was room for other "Schumaghers" to overtake you with ease on the left or the right. I'm still only a "Schu" so far and working on it (*wink*)
There we go: St Louis, Missouri - officially
...the same kind of concrete divider in the middle like we're used to in South Africa...
...same kind of fly-overs and bridges that I know... The reason why this is so interesting for me is that such a big deal is made of South Africa being a third world country vs some larger countries in the world, and yet what are all the cool stuff that we have to enjoy and to be grateful for that is the same in the first world countries of the world! We're not that far behind in all regards. Or maybe the concept of third world country is often used in the wrong context.

Sometimes those who seek to "escape" the country to some place better make it sound like other places are heaven compared to what we know. I've often wondered just how true some of those stories are, or is it purely the perspective of someone desperately seeking greener pasture and through their eyes they only see the impressionable opposites of that which they are running away from.

For instance, I've heard people quote unemployment rates like other countries don't have any poverty whatsoever - I don't think that is true. There's always rich and poor, even if it is billions vs thousands. I don't think there is any place where everyone is only billionairs (although I did see an article on Yahoo the other day where rich people were/are planning to build their own island in international waters and for it to be recognized as their own country - if I remember correctly)...

I've even heard people talk about other countries saying that they didn't have any pot holes! Really?! Is that a reason to move to another country? Well, people, let me tell you: America does have potholes, ok. In case that is your reason for imagrating, then this is not the country for you! (*giggle*) Or otherwise you'd have to get over here and drive through all 51 states to determine which one you'd prefer living in. Might take you a while... (*wink-wink* *ha-ha*)
Yip! There's the state line. Almost missed it!
Next we have Indianapolis; the largest city that we drove past/through on the way. Garett was convinced that the highway around/through this baby would totally freak me out. Now he had me intriqued. If you want to get me fired up then tell me that something is hard or cannot be done. That's when I really want to do it! Even if just to prove a point to myself. I can be so stubborn sometimes, but in the same way I've done many things that others have said couldn't be done. In my mind I have valid grounds for my suspicion of "impossible". I was going to have to wait and see for myself... Can't say till you've experienced it for yourself sometimes. Unfortunately Garett doesn't know what it is like where I'm  from so he doesn't understand what I am used to or not. I have to keep that in mind. 
Outside of the cities much of the highway looked like this... (One thing that stood out for me are all the trucks on the road. They are huge when you drive next to them in a normal sedan. And they don't play around, I'll say that much. I don't know when last that many trucks overtook me. I don't feel intimidated that easily on the road, but I had a new respect for these trucks when we were done. They don't shlep along in the slow lane backing up the traffic. They motor and you get out of the way! However, I have to add: I came across only one truck driver that I thought was driving careless and inconsiderate - not just toward cars but even other trucks. Otherwise they are actually quite polite from what I've seen. 
Pocahontas..? Wasn't she some native Indian chick living in a forest on an island somewhere that was threatened by modern westerners and then she falls in love with one of them...? Hmm... maybe this is what those woods look like now and her home is just a half a mile from here... (*giggle*)  Most of what I remember about that movie is one of the songs in the soundrack, Colours of the wind sung by Vanessa Williams.
At first the landscape was nothing more than agricultural land; fields and fields and fields of mostly beans, corn and soy, but as we progressed westward the scenery became more luscious - I almost want to say it had more of a tropical feel to it, similar to driving to the Kwazulu-Natal coast. At this point in our trip it was also starting to feel a little hot in the car and the airconditioning was a very welcome cooling down. Don't know for sure if it felt tropical because I was hot and sweaty, or if I was hot and sweaty because it is more tropical...  
On the one hand one of the difficult things about the lush growth right next to the road, however, is that it makes it harder to spot deer running toward the road. "Now you don't see me. Now you do!" Now, maybe if you're driving an 18-wheeler... no problem for you - shame! the little deer :( But if you're just driving a regular car there is no way of knowing.

On the other hand it felt pretty darn intimidating over taking one of these huge suckers! Because of how fast they're driving it took a while to overtake them sometimes. I found that I had to concentrate on the road ahead extra hard or I'd start feeling "drawn" to the truck with it's huge wheels constantly turning in the corner of my eye, the loud noice of the road and the engin - Garett likes to drive with the windows down - and the movement of the road and the scenery on the side from the speed of my own vehicle. A few times I wondered - but just for one second - how it happens that two cars drive "into each other" side by side... Then I'd accellerate just a little and just get it over and done with. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

(2) Road trip to Pennsylvania - A-N-D we're still going...

OK... So we're still cruising along. We haven't had breakfast yet and the coffee is finished, but we're still smooth sailing on adrenaline! It's not hot and we've not needed to turn the airconditioning on, and at this point (I'm happy to report) I'm still best buds with the passenger seat - lucky for Garett (*wink*). So let's get back to 'show 'n tell', shall we?

I just threw this one in because I loved the silhouette of the truck on the bridge. Cool! isn't it?

Obviously we did not pass through here during rush hour...

Kansas City from a distance. I couldn't help but feel a twinge of familiarity from some photographs I've seen of Johannesburg's skyline.

Some more Kansas City. Driving through here I got a sense that I might feel right at home.

Kansas City in hindsight. Doesn't that just remind you of driving into Johannesburg or Cape Town?

Just to show you a little what the roads look like. (This is just outside of Kansas City of course.)

A little bit more on what the roads look like. This is called an interstate highway. The speed limits on most of them were typically between 60 and 70mph (97 - 113km/hr). With the GPS on the dash Garett made sure we stuck to the limits. He watched me like a hawk.

Uh oh! You know what this means...

...Roadworks! We had quite a bit of this along the way but seldom was it cause for standstill traffic. We were backed up a few times on the way there but maybe only once on the way back. Typically in these zones the speed limit is 55mph (88km/hr) but - as usual - you have those who either can't read or think they're invincible. Who knows what I'm talking about?

R-i-g-h-t! Columbus is a city in the next state: Missouri. They also have 'Toys R us' - a little something familiar... again :)