Monday, October 31, 2011

Santa Monica

We are at the airport waiting for our flight home. Paul is flicking through his camera at all the great photos. We have spent our last day at Santa Monica, for a change of pace we hired bicycles and rode along to Venice Beach and sat in the sun.

Paul's Comments:
I have learnt to stay on the right side of the road.
I have learnt to stay clear away from American politics in the pub.
I have learnt a little about American football and baseball.
I have learnt not to get to close to a buffalo.
I have learnt Park Rangers don't always drive marked cars.
I have learnt draught beer does not come in a bottle.
I have also learnt that the GPS (we bought on sale) is not always right.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Salt Lake City

Twelve states across America, 3,480 miles in 14 days!
Safe in Salt Lake City! Paul has driven brilliantly!
Fortunately we have had great weather, travelling in the RV has been a fabulous experience. We have loved meeting so many friendly people, enjoyed the excitement of New York, the passion and inspiration in Providence at the Zentangle seminar and the thrill of the open road driving across the country.
Snow on the mountains and bags packed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Yellowstone National Park

Buffalos, snow and Old Faithful!
We spent a couple of days with cameras at the ready for what ever animals we could see, plenty of buffalos and antelope but we didn't see a bear. There were only 3 campgrounds open in the park and the ranger suggested we go to Mammoth Hot Springs up North. On our way we stopped to see the famous geyser Old Faithful erupt, it spurts at about 90 minute intervals give or take 10 minutes.
The hill behind the campground was large and just the shape of a huge mammoth. Deer roamed casually around the hot springs. We woke to a slight frost and to our delight as we drove around the loop and south the snow fall during the night was spectacular with steam from the springs adding to the amazing scenery.
The next night we spent at Jackson Hole, a popular ski resort village. We went out to dinner and Leon Russsel was playing at the Centre for the Arts so 'great balls of fire' we joined the locals for a night of rock and roll.

When I 1st saw these arches made from antlers on each corner of the town square I thought 'Oh dear' but the deer's antlers naturally fall of every spring. The boy scouts collect them, then have a large charity auction.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cowboy Country

I have had a little time to tangle of an evening and we have made it, way out west. Yesterday we stopped at the famous motorbike rally town of Sturgis. Every August about half a million motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world gather and ride the fabulous roads around the Blackhills. It is very quiet at this time of year but at least we could wander around the museum and shops with ease.
Next stop was the cowboy town of Deadwood, rich in the wild west history of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. We had lunch at an old hotel and check out the beer!

Just on sunset we drove up and around Devils Tower, America's 1st National Monument, a huge stone pillar, it is the core of a volcano and sacred to the American Indians.
There was a campground close by which looked quite deserted and fortunately the caretaker was happy for us to stay the night as long as we didn't need the restrooms. Glad our RV has a beaut heater, fabulous hot shower, good toilet and everything we need.
Today we ventured over the Big Horn Mountain Range, Wyoming, to Cody, Buffalo Bill territory.
The weather is quite mild but there is snow on the mountains, we hope the roads are clear for the next couple of days to explore Yellowstone National Park.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Great American Road Trip

All along Interstate 90 were signs about the Corn Palace at Mitchell, intrigued we made a stop, the whole building which is a community and sporting venue is decorated each year with corn cobs, stalks and grasses from the region. This seasonal event has been happening for over 100 years. A Tangler's delight!
We have continued into the Badlands, the roads and scenery are picturesque with the changing colours from desert to the green and gold of the trees in the Blackhills of South Dakota. We have seen the small prairie dogs dart down their holes, deer grazing on the side of the road, even a large buck with beautiful antlers. Last night 3 huge bison just roaming calmly while people stopped to take photos.
Luckily the weather has been good to us, we woke one morning to a slight frost, with a clear sunrise, gorgeous! Yesterday we were able to miss the rain while admiring the amazing carvings on Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.
As we came into Rapid City last night just on dark we spotted a campground with the most wonderful view over the city, perfect except for the 'Closed for the season' sign!! Ok the GPS guided us to another campground 2 miles down the road but no, that was completely gone so we settled down in a Baptist Church car park, safe and quiet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fields of Gold

Our 1st 2 nights on the road were spent in Travel Plazas, large flash truck stops. They are very clean with everything you need. The 2nd Travel Plaza even had power plug ins, it cost $20.00 but good for charging up our gadgets (like the computer).
Paul is driving well in the traffic, he drove straight through the centre of Chicago. We parked on a parking meter to go into the Navy Pier area and had to pay with the credit card, that was a 1st!
Although we did have a hiccup coming into Milwakee, I entered a camping ground address into the GPS but when we arrived a 6 lane Freeway had been built right through the middle, all we could see was a broken gate! It was dark at this stage so we stopped the night in a Bank carpark, we had a 24 hr MacDonalds on one side and a drive through ATM on the other, luckily it was quiet and no problem.
A photo of our RV in the Harley-Davidson Museum carpark in Milwaukee, we spent half the day looking about. We had planned to be here in 2003 for the H-D 100th Anniversary but that didn't
happen. We actually had a better look because back then the whole place would have been crowded. Amazing how things are meant to be!!!
Today we crossed the Mississippi River and drove most of the day through thousands of acres of corn fields across the southern part of Minnesota. The area must look stunningly lush and green in the summer. I love the old barns and farm houses. Some of the signs along the roadside are fun to read but I'm not quick enough with camera, one advertised an 'Adult Shop and Bakery' that's OK, I've heard many folks say they are off to the bakery for a tart!
Tonight we are just east of Sioux Falls in a lovely camping ground looking over a lake. It's a bit to cold to get the camp chairs out but the wine is good and we are warm inside.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Official!

What a day and celebration!

Plenty of tangling and official business, photographs, more tangling, more laughs and wonderful friendships formed.
I know I wasn't the only one feeling emotional and thrilled about receiving our gorgeous certificates.

With Kit (also from Tasmania), Rick and Maria.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CZT7 in full swing!

The Hotel Providence a buzz with tangle talk, our lessons are taken in the beautiful ballroom. We all chatter and compare notes and tangles until Rick and Maria step up and all is quiet.
You can feel the appreciation and gratitude from everyone, our passion is shared and is flowing out and around the hotel and into the dining room. Tonight our waitress had a peep in the Zentangle shop and now she has been bitten by the Zentangle bug too.
What a treat it is to actually chat (in real life) with these lovely ladies....Tricia, Lori and Linda.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's all go!

Name tags and seminar bags were passed out as we introduced ourselves. So many faces that we recognised from small internet photos. Hugs and smiles as we finally met and connected names to faces. After dinner and a glass of bubbly with pomegranate juice we spent a lovely evening admiring each others Zentangle art work and special pieces created by Maria.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I knew we were at the right place when the Hotel Providence front door opened, we were greeted by an especially large Zentangle tile. WOW!!
Early this morning while waiting for the train at Penn Station, Paul was sitting with our bags while I ordered coffee. He must have looked as though he was guarding all his worldly goods because a very kind lady came over and offered him $5.00.
And no he didn't take it.
The train from New York to Providence takes about three and a half hours through beautiful coastal towns.
Our room is very flash and comfortable, quite a few happy Tanglers have arrived and we have met Maria and Rick, they so very friendly. What a treat!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Greenwich Village

Saturday was perfect for a stroll around Greenwich Village, sunshine and feeling relaxed. We stopped at Caffe Reggio, an Italian coffee shop with a very exotic atmosphere. It had the most interesting toilet, a small narrow green door and was like walking into a cupboard I suppose that's where 'water closet' comes from. Paul had the biggest coffee and the New York Cheesecake, the best for sure, it was the smoothest with a lovely meringue topping.
Later in the afternoon I wandered up 5th Ave on my own for a bit of window shopping and came across this window with a bright display of beautiful floor mats.
We finished the day with a meal at the BB King Bar and Grill, another late night.
Today we were in the right place at the right time with a visit to see Grand Central Station, that was WOW! When coming out we could hear very loud band music. It was a parade for Spanish speaking South American communities, all were dressed in their native costumes and looking spectacular.
Our last day here has been quite hot but we still walked about to soak up the sounds, sights and smells of New York City, the buildings are incredible with beautiful ornate features, not a space is spared. One of the bus tour guides said that you can even buy air space now so you can build ontop of other buildings. It's all WOW!!
Early night, big day tomorrow....we are off to Providence.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Loving New York

Yesterday started with a tour of the Intrepid Museum which is a sea, air and space complex on Pier 86. We had a close up look at the air craft carrier and heard personal stories of air men in World War 11. Paul enjoyed doing some man stuff and I found it intersting, especially the James Bond style spy plane and a look through the submarine SS Growler.
The day was gorgeous so we headed back to Central Park. We still hadn't found Stuart Little! A Pedicab driver greeted us wth a big grin so we thought that sounded like fun and off we went with Joseph. He took us to the spots of interest like the boat house, fountains, bridges and John Lennon's memorial. But still no Stuart Little even though we went by the lake.
But walking back from the park Paul spotted a huge rat hiding behind a car! Girls were stopping and looking but it didn't move then we realised it was stuffed and the parking attendant had a cheeky grin on his face!!
After seeing the show 'Chicago' which I loved with that great music and dancing we decide to line up for more show tickets and amazingly got into 'Superman'! Well that was spectacular!! The sets, costumes, singing, dancing, effects, everything was superb.
Margaret, we tried a soft pretzel, it was tasty but gee the salt made my toes curl!
Our hotel is just off 7th Ave on West 25th street which is a good walk from Times Square. We have done this walk many times now and feel really safe even at night. I love all the interesting characters like the group we met last night. As we were walking back after the show about 10 flash and shiny cars, some Cadillacs, with load music blaring cruised past. They stopped and we chatted for awhile, they call themselves The Lowriders and are very proud of their shiny machines. We also saw 'The Naked Cowboy' hugging the girls and having his photo taken, so much fun!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Statue Of Liberty

Our main interest today was the ferry ride to see the Statue of Liberty. The line up was amazingly long, we had to wait over an hour to get aboard and go through the same security screening as the airports. We are getting used to that as the screening is the same in the Empire State Building and Top of the Rocks. The trip was worth it as it was a beautiful day and watching so many people is an education. This is off peak season so it is a good time to be here.
We lined up again in Times Square for half price tickets for a Broadway show tonight and decided on 'Chicago'. This line was very well organised, it still took about 40 minutes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Uptown to Harlem

Our 1st stop today was the Museum of Natural History, everything from the smallest bug and butterfly to the largest whale and elephant, dinosaurs, the stars and moon, all very impressive.
Then for a change of pace the Apollo Theater (our We enjoyed the atmosphere in Harlem with friendly people stopping to chat. Paul loves The Blues so he bought some CDs from a street stallholder 6 for $10.00, I hope they work!!!
I can't remember the last time I had a hotdog but it was on my list to 'eat a hotdog in Central Park' it may seem a simple thing to some people and it is a good memory for me, yes I enjoyed it!
We finished the day with a night bus tour to Brooklyn and a 'yellow taxi' trip back to our comfy hotel.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It's 10pm Paul is asleep on the bed (still dressed) we have been out all day. The 'Hop-on-hop-off' buses are fantastic for getting around, our 1st stop was The Empire State Building. It was a bit cloudy but still magnificent, then down to the World Trade Centre area, we sat for a while to try and imagine the Twin Towers. Then Wall Street and a very late lunch at South Street Seaport.
We hadn't planned to go to the Top of the Rock observation tower today but when the bus stopped there just before sunset we decided to get tickets. The fellow in the ticket box asked what time would we like to go up and I said about 5pm he laughed it was already 5.36. time flies when you're having fun. Luckily we didn't have to line up for to long, the day had cleared we had a perfect view and sunset.
Looking toward The Empire State Building from The Top Of the Rock Observation Deck.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The 1st of 7 days in New York

Paul enjoying coffee in Time Square.
We flew overnight from LA to New York and was amazed at how quick and easy it was to catch the train from JFK into Penn Station. Well, I say easy because of the helpful and patient attendant helping us with the ticket machine. We all had a good laugh anyway!
Help came again as we popped out of the ground right in the middle of Seventh Ave. I must have been holding the map upside down! I was wondering do we go left or right and another kind local pointed us in the right direction of Downtown. Our hotel is walking distance in Chelsea with a bonus of free internet, a comfortable room and a view of a very interesting brick wall. It's funny but I actually don't mind the brick wall, there are very old steel shutters on the windows which must hold a thousand stories of the depression and a lifetime of secrets. I think there is inspiration for a Zentangle in that brick wall!
Whenever I have seen a photo of Time Square, I would think that one day we will sit on those red chairs, people watch and have coffee! Tick that off the list too!

Monday, October 3, 2011

2 days in LA

We settled into the old world exotic Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd a bit hot and quite tired after our flight. All I needed was a cool shower but when I walked into the bathroom, whoops, water was dripping quite fast from the light fitting in the ceiling. This turned out to be in our favour as we had to move to another room which was an upgrade and on the 10th floor with an amazing view straight down Hollywood Blvd and out to Downtown LA.
Looking forward to seeing the sights and not wanting to sleep to soon we hopped on the 'Hop-on-hop-off' bus for a loop. We did find it hard to stay awake though. I slept for 10 hours.
The view from our room.