::Bullet Note Style Trip Breakdown:
Black Market Restaurant- Amazing truffle fries, Spaetzle with mushrooms, long communal table, awesome pipe lined bathroom, Gumball Head beer and an amazing whiskey selection.
Book Store-Across from Black Market
Care and Don’t care traffic signs on Mass Ave. Huge Golden “J” on an industrial tower and no helmet law.
::Saint Louis, MI::
-One night, shared bed, back on road
::Kansas City, MO::
-Brunch at Succotash, Amazing garbage plate called The Kitchen Sink, coffee, huge painting of a women laughing while eating tomato soup.
-Kempter Museum of Contemporary Art/Outside
-Nelson Museum-World’s largest Shuttlecock , coffee shop made out a gas station
-Creepy brick town, went to Gella’s Diner and LB Brewery, Veggie Burger w/ fries, #2 Amber ale, Julia Hefe was watery, Wouldn’t sell us a growler as it was 5 minutes after 7pm, First TV coverage of the tornado started in the town we just drove through, Saw a truck turned over in a ditch, very windy, started to rain, stopped to get gas, felt like carport rain as a kid, storm was loud. women in rest stop covered in sores.
::KS to CO::
-Redlights blinking for miles, was a windmill farm, Facetime with Kelly and Mom, beautiful sunset with one single star in the sky, mountains vague with clouds, rabbits and a fox on the side of the road, Amanda Knox book and JJ Cale record
-Crown Plaza, first floor, sliding door for me to smoke weed, morning in the mountains, my first view of mountains in CO, Downtown Perk for coffee, barista looked like a nerdy John Cusack, they were out of bagels
-Drive to Great Sand Dune National Park, Abandoned houses and towns on the way, mountains were amazing, car was struggling up the hills, Old West Cafe where I ate a questionable beef taco and Julia ate a grilled cheese we split fries with mustard and a Corona, cherry pie to go and the server told us “Straight ahead is Alamosa, ’bout the most boring town there is”, lots of wild horses and cows, Buffalo, Trading Post, Girl on tree stump eating off of the ground, Julia convinced me not to take a photo of a stupid “marshals-like” sign “My life is a country song waiting to happen” hung next to a pistol and a frying pan. Full on cowboy and lady at the other table, secret hidden wifi password.
Great Sand Dune National Park
-Julia took some photos with her nice camera outside of the entrance sign, we were stuck behind a guy at the Entrance Booth for ever, we figured they were talking, we pull through, there is no one in the booth, warm river on feet when you start walking to the dunes, huge crow, people trying to sand board, sand cold underneath, cameras couldn’t capture size, Egypt/starwars/movie set, colored stones, Mountains to the east were black, FT with Kelly after Mom, bear proof garbage cans, dumped ice in our traveling cooler to prepare for a refill and beer stop, afternoon storm on drive back, first real live tumbleweed, lightening, clouds hanging in the mountains like jellyfish, attempt to take “Colorful Colorado” pic.
-Beautiful mesa shapes, dusk, mountain rose, windy lone road, dilapidated farms, Ribcage of a cow in the sun, light rain. Listened to Breakfast In America by Supertramp.
::Santa Fe, NM::
-Drove through Taus and some small, weird towns, vast and open, casinos everywhere, well paved road, sun setting, found hotel. “Las Palomas” was an adobe style village set up, room were bright and had skylights, cute room with fireplace and a bundle of wood by your door upon entry, sketchy unsafe feeling gravel lot and alley. Temp dropped a lot at night, went to freshen up for dinner, walked into town, ate a Pasqual’s, amazing upscale restaurant, had to wait an hour for table, so walked to get coffee, postcards, nicknacks. Read articles about the oldest house in the country being there and a documentary about a cult that was locally playing. At Pasqual’s I ate a slimey cactus salad, fennel pea and mint, bird crackers, odd couple (man was a dwarf and women was rather large), meal was so spicey 6 not a 4, homeless people in alley, Julia suggested we jog/run back to the room. Smell of fires everywhere, homes were so brightly painted, blue, orange and pink. Made fire and wrote in bed, julia laptopped and accused me of stealing blankets. Rolled up the rest of my stash into joints at the table and threw out containers.
-woke up early went into town to by cards, Julia refused to answer a question about how I looked in a skirt, so I coined her “Lucille” for the remainder of the trip.
-Coffee and croissant, I was nervous to eat it because I told Julia I didn’t know how without getting crumbs everywhere and she attempted to show me. Read in the paper about the devastation that happened in OK, Went to Guadeloupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps got stamps (Steve Zissou hat, anvil, burger, 6-pack, paper bag) bought cards, women at the counter was named Elizabeth. Dropped cards at Post Office, walked into the town square, lined with venders on the ground, sage everywhere burning, hot and beautiful, didn’t a squished penny with my last change, NM Museum of Art, bought Lip Gloss, pin, postcard. Stopped by a TINY coffee shop called Holy Spirit coffee, talked to an Australian guy who owned it. Went to used bookstore, bought Travels With Charley, One Flew Over The Coocoo’s Nest. Went to the Santa Fe railyards/farmer’s market, trains, water tower. Steered away from eating at the Flying Star restaurant because of the “Kids Eat Free” sign. Noticed amazing manhole covers, went to whole foods (Beer, salad, sandwich, pizza). Native American chatty fellow named Thomas cashed me out and chatted it up, heavily tattooed cop nods at me on the way to car, repacked cooler in lot. Headed to Albuquerque.
-Drive there was gorgeous, listened to Neil Young’s Albuquerque, horse farms, Speed limit was 75, mountains, big skies. Totem pole at our exit, on way to find pueblo ruins. Searched for Sandia Reservation, missed turn and stopped at an antique shop full of license plates, old BLACK FLAG bug killer, chaps. Found Sandia Reservation, no photography allowed, oldest church in the country, horses, orange dirt, red. Checked into hotel, noticed elevator out of order sign, went down to pool, sunbathed, small until nightfall. Had cheese, bread and beer. Julia had another Lucille moment. Went into Knob Hill for tacos at night, went to The Last Call, started as a taco truck, no lights during the day, super smokey. Guy at counter had insanely beautiful, huge blue eyes. Ate chicken tacos, veggie tacos, truffle fries, girl with super long pony tail and a hospital bracelet, cast. Walked down to busy street to Urban Outfitters, shopped, got ice cream, back to hotel. Woke up, sunbathed, I went to walk to smoke a joint and get us starbucks, handsome fellas working and cop staring at me.
-Walked into old town, bought fake meth from The Candy Lady who made all the fake meth for Breaking Bad, old wood and adobe houses, Church Street Cafe, alien beer, first tamales, burrito. Pigeons were fat and man referred to them an NM Chickens. Bought a great scarf with horses on it, Went to the Museum of Natural History, passed ladies stretching in the square, Dinosaur exhibit, lava, cacti everywhere, bought pins and a tiny dinosaur. Super hot outside, guy walks up and asked us where to eat we answered that we didn’t know and he yelled “thats why I was asking!”. Stopped by to take photo of Octopus Carwash. Stopped at some stores to get things we needed, more sunscreen etc. Down to hotel pool, got stuck in hot elevator for 15 minutes, Julia was more panicked than I’d ever seen her. Guy and wife at pool had Buffalo, NY Harley shirts on. Went to the ghetto to pick up a pizza from Giovanni’s, we got green chillies on it. Asked them for Blue cheese and they said they inherited packets of questionable dressing from a sister pizza place that closed. Ate it by pool and drank Heady Topper, we both felt wasted from one. Watched Breaking Bad, journaled/postcards and fell asleep.
-Last Day in New Mexico, woke up early, coffee, laid out, new bathing suit, hot hot hot, played music by the pool, checked out, first time I’ve left a maid tip and note, drove to Salina’s National Monument. High mountains, ghost towns everywhere, FT with Mom, so many different landscapes, changing colors, mountain air. Signs for DIPS, that were like 5 feet deep. Saw Salina’s National Monument, got red sand that probably cursed me, guy sitting alone by tree, old school map and info guide, rattlesnake privacy signs, church echo, ranger was out to lunch.
::Drive to Roswell::
-increasing number of alien and UFO signs, listened to Davis Sedaris’s new book, Flat open landscapes, changing pastel colors. Everything was 80’s and covered in aliens. Arbys’s had aliens, the lampposts were aliens, R2D2 mailbox. UFO Museum and alien zone, picture taking center, bought a bunch of crap. Skipped UFO museum to get back on the road to Dallas, as the tornados had been following us the whole time. Storms hit. Traveled back and forth on a long dusty farm road in the middle of no where between NM and TX trying to figure out a way out of the storm, used radar. Stopped at gas station to try and watch news, nothing. Talked to a truckdriver who didn’t speak english and didnt care about the gigantic crazy storm ahead and coming towards us. Stayed at the gas station for 2 hours on the phone with Mom and Scott, watching the radar and helping us make a new plan. Fled north, no way to get to Dallas to our hotel. Headed through the storm towards Amarillo. Texas was full of cops. Raining and crazy lightening storms, trains blowing whistles loudly in the rain flying passed us through the night. Mom helped us book new weird room. Couldn’t gauge which way the storm was headed, we matched speeds with it for miles. Summerfield smelled like total shit and zoo cages, mildly like PB. Checked into creepy hotel with indoor river and white piano. Take our stuff up to the room at 1am and encounter a hammered, overly friendly cowboy from OR. He excited the elevator by saying “See y’all tomorrow. NY, huh? I thought I was a long way from home!”. Bug in the hotel room that Julia claims jumped at her face. Both drank a sip of beer, before slowly zoning out after a long day. Old bed, old phones, old loud AC unit, crappy door, HUGE TV. Got breakfast in the am by googling “comfort food”. Went to the Calico County Restaurant, waiter was a polite dick, gave us a carafe of coffee. Conversed with “the mayor” bus boy who was asking about my tattoos, was born and raised in Houston, TX, supper enthusiastic while mopping the floor.
::Drive across TX::
-FT Dana and Leon, truck stop, smoked a joint and a butterfly landed on my hand, which my mom claimed was possibly poisonous, there were TX shaped grills at all of the picnic areas, woman with badge watching me, but not caring. Emailed Graceland management for possible tickets, dumped ice, back on road to Oklahoma.
-Lots of Cherokee signs, outlet trading post with huge indian head. Found coffee shop in Oklahoma City called Element Coffee. Hip, surreal and weird area. Nice employees, strong chai, got mugs and coffee.
-Muggy weather, back on road. Across OK, over the Mississippi River, got word on Graceland VIP passes, drove south on the 40 to Little Rock Arkansas. Tried to stop and get food but there was a huge Riverfest festival occurring, clogging the streets. The bands playing were Darius Rucker, Dierks Bently, Peter Frampton, Lupe Fiasco, Daughtry, etc. Drunks wandering around with Darien lake style beer glasses. Our car tires kept getting stuck in the railroad tracks. Drove in circles attempting to eat, then attempting to exit back to thruway. Listened to Cass Mccombs and Paul Simon’s Graceland. Entered Memphis at almost 2am and found an amazing place open called Hog n’ Homony. Waiter was amazing, Abridged menu with neck gravy poutine and other amazing treats, open kitchen, Abita beer in the can, pizza with shrooms. Talking Heads cover band playing next door. Back to hotel to check in. GPS doesn’t understand neighborhood. Only white people in the entire hotel, decorated like the MAX, ridiculous lights and fountains. Nice room, no outlets. 24th floor, comfy beds, soccer convention in town. Women on elevator discussing sleeping in “10?! 11?! 12?! That’s more like it!”
-Woke up Julia with a loud, slow screech from the ironing board. Showered, packed, changed. Drove to Graceland. Julia convinced me it was ok to hit my joint, but there was security everywhere on golf carts. Did it anyway. Elvis impersonators everywhere. Waited in line for passes, woman in front of us yelling “I don’t know what’s going on here!” flipping through a huge stack of credit cards.
-Graceland lines for shuttle full of Elvis’s of every age from old men to baby Elvises. Took our picture at the Gates of Graceland (which they later printed out and gave you the option to buy but were $35 and when you didn’t pay for them, they ripped them up and threw them out, guy from Pittsburg with awful breath. Loaded on shuttle to Graceland (house), received old foam headphones and player. Graffiti on wall at the street entrance. Tour guides memory of the house’s history impressed us. Reeked like Nana in the house, house was smaller than imagined, smelled like 40 years of cigars and dust, living room, parents room, billiard room, upstairs (where Elvis died) off limited with large curtains. Photos of himself everywhere. Dining room, kitchen, down mirrored stairwell to basement with classic three TV room. Record collection, turntable, bar. Jungle Room, with waterfall (finally understood lyrics to “Walking in Memphis”), tiki furniture, bar. TCB everywhere. Swingset with bullet hole, Vernin’s office/Mail Sorting building, Horses, shooting range (room), Racketball lounge, workout room with pinball machine and the piano he played “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” on the night before he died.
-Building with all of Elvis’s outfits, records covering the walls, trophies, telegrams, more suits, guitars Learned Elvis played a Gretch. Backyard to pool area and graves of him, his parents and his grandparents. His body had been moved there after being stolen from the Arlington Cemetery. Shuttle back to building with his cars. Cars were so large, minus the white Mercedes he bought for Priscilla. Toy cars, tractors, golf carts. Waite in line to go on the Lisa Marie private jet. Lady in front of us smoking Menthol Pyramids making us choke. Plane was 90% couches, TVs and ashtrays. Guest closet/bathroom, with gold sink and counter and bench, clearly for drugs. Pop machine with diet Dr. Pepper, Lime Mountain Dew and Sparkling water. Jeff Bridges sounding prerecorded tour guide explaining the pop machine by saying “Elvis didn’t care much for the taste of alcohol..” which we then joked, “yeah because he was eating horse pills”. Skipped his own personal jet because line was insane. Went to gift shop and took photos in front of the Welcome to Graceland sign.
-Passed the Heartache Hotel on way out of town. Ate leftovers from Hog n’ Homony. Super hot out.
::Memphis to Nashville, TN::
-Took major highways, found Barista Parlor. Amazing coffee shop. Bought coffee, chocolate, etc. Stopped in the Five Points neighborhood and got some iced coffee, then headed to New Hungary and pulled over to eat at a airstream called “I dream of Weenie”, man had skirt on making carrot dogs, etc. Had a beer from the trunk as we ate at picnic tables. Tried to get coffee from Bongo Coffee, but they were closed.
-Tried to start Thomas Pinchen’s “V”, but the narrators voice drove us bonkers. Started The Great Gatsby. Moon was huge and hung super low. Winding roads through the Blueridge Parkway. Headed to Knoxville, TN.
-Got in late to the Grove Park Inn. Totally the Shinning Hotel. Gorgeous, built in the 1930’s. Very cold and damp out. Wooden everything, decor was all classic Native American art. Room was beautiful, took a bath, read and listened to Billie Holiday.
-woke up and 9, walked the grounds, took photos and sat my massive fireplace. On road to Ashville, NC.
-Stopped at Laughing Seed in downtown Ashville, had amazing bloody mary, mushroom omelette, Julia got tofu benedict, we shared a pooh bear shake, grits and rosemary potatoes.
-Were seated outdoors next to The Jubilee, which was an all faiths musical gathering, everyone had their own instruments. Sax man playing across the street for money, played intro to people entering the venue then only children’s songs. Lady sitting net to us wearing fur and saying “vegetarians touch it and love it!”
-Emporium Strikes Back yarn store with crocheted Star Wars Characters in the window. Shopped downtown. Stopped at French Broad Chocolatier.
-Had tea and filled out postcards at Dobra
::Back To Buffalo::
-Stopped in Morgantown to hit up their brewery for food and a beer, growler for home. Had a burger. Back on road and drove straight through to Buffalo, stopping 40 minutes outside of Buffalo, for Julia to rest eyes. I walked around the rest stop and there was a religious couple giving away free coffee that I drank, then drove the remainder of the way to Buffalo.