Bruce

all photos updated!

Ok, have posted all my photos.
http://pics.livejournal.com/aka_bruce/
I'll try and go back in thru out the the week and add some comments about where we were, cars, people etc.
I need to know put all these files on our home computer, and back them up!! Wanna see how many I can put on a CD.
I also want to pick some out to print out. Might print out a few page size and put in a frame, and put some others together in some kinda travel scrap book perhaps.
Don't forget on the main scrapbook page to click next page for the other days of photos.

Bruceopen

Saturday, Fallon, NV

Vacation almost over, waah!!
Finally back at a hotel with internet.
So, what have we been up to.
Tuesday, we did go swimming at Balmorhea, it's a pretty cool place. Water was soooooo clear, and pool was huge. It had tons of fish in it, little Mexican tetras, big black catfish, and some turtles. The little tetras were everywhere, and kinda freaked my out, so I only had a short swim (where I shrieked and carried on most of the time, haha), and then dangled my feet.
That night we were in Las Cruces, NM. Their internet didn't work. We went to the restaurant attached to the BW, and it turned out to be quite nice, which was pleasant
Wednesday, we headed towards Douglas, AZ to hang out with Harrod at his ArtCarCultCompound. Chris and I ended up taking off from the others, and got there about an hour earlier. That plus the time change allowed for plenty of shopping time for junky crap -Douglas has many junky crap stores. I got a pair of purple framed sunnies, and a LED light up wand (haha). We had an exciting, kinda scary event in the afternoon in the compound. Weather had been changing with some clouds coming in. Earlier we had a big gust of wind go through, but no big deal. We're starting to help set up tables etc for dinner, and what we think is another wind gust starts, but it is HUGE!!! Now, it's 6 of one, half a dozen of another as to wether it was a huge wind gust or small tornado. We're going with small tornado cause that's much more dramatic!
Anyway, the wind just comes on - BAM. Emily and I dashed for the inside area, and Harrod started yelling to everyone to get inside and he followed us in and shut the door. The window in the living area was open, but we weren't game enought to get close enough to close it. Dust just poured in. The wind ripped off so many of the roof tar paper tiles on the warehouse side (they're working on taking them off, so I guess that's a good thing?) and they were just littered everywhere. It took us an hour to clean everything up there. Chris, when it happened, thought it was just another wind gust, so he had hunkered down in place hiding his face from the dust, and got conked on the back of the neck with probably a roof tile. He's OK tho, it was a just an abrasion. Sammy (Marilyn's dog) had been following Emily, but didn't follow her inside, so we all spent the first couple of minutes looking for him. He finally appeared out from somewhere! We let him into Marilyn's car (even tho it was still kinda warm) as it was a nice safe haven for him. He finally stopped shivering after an hour! Marilyn and Sunshine were still off shopping they hadn't noticed anything! It was pretty localised.
Dinner was great, and as I was pretty hungry by that point it tasted awesome! We had pasta, several salads, bread, strawberried and ice cream. Then we watched Harrod's movie. In comparison to the get together there in Feb (that I couldn't make) we went to bed early around 12:30, it was a school night! Unfortunately, our room at the Motel 6 we were staying at, the A/C didn't work (and we didn't discover this till we came back there at 12:30), and we were too tired to move, so left the window open, where some twit several rooms down decided to chat on her friggen cell phone outside our window at 3:30am, grrr. Crappy sleep night. Oh well.
Thursday, we went and looked around Bisbee in the morning, cute town! Chris and I went to the Mining Museum, which was pretty interesting, and I got some killer bee honey (which boringly does not taste any different from regular honey). Chris got a nice photo of an old truck. There are some nice art galleries in Bisbee.
Then we headed up to Phoenix, we were staying at the Motel 6 in Scottsdale. It was pretty nice for a Motel 6, and our A/C worked great, phew! It was pretty hot there, but a nice dry heat. We went out to see Mr Lee's Rock Garden, another folk art environment. We had tried to call him, to see if we could go in and look around, but the phone was always engaged, we didn't want to knock on the door (it was around dinner time) so we looked from the street (and there was tons to see just from there!) and left our postcards in his mailbox :)
We all ended up doing our own thing for dinner, and Emily went to the airport to pick up Ken. Chris and I went a long way to have dinner at Islands, it was good tho. We also got watch batteries for our tyre valve (3 batteries almost $15, ack, damn digital tyre guage) and did a TJ's visit. We met up for breakfast Fri morning to say our good byes and go our seperate ways.
Fri, Chris and I headed out of Phoenix northwest thru AZ on US93. After crossing over I40, we went to Chloride, AZ a half ghost town. It was pretty cool, pretty eccentric. I think a bunch of artists live there, cause there was some folk arty environments and metal sculptures around. We checked out the old jail, and some old Sear's cabins. We drove out to see the murals, on the Chloride rocks, and they were awesome. Heading back out of town, we went to the cemetery which was pretty interesting. A lot of home made headstones, several headstones with senses of humour. We thought there would be old ones, but not so much, most were more recent.
Then, up to and over Hoover Dam, some traffic, but not too bad. Into Vegas, and we went to Sam's Town for buffet dinner. Went off strip in hopes it wouldn't be too busy or expensive. But alas, we had to wait a while, and it was the more expensive seafood night (and I'm not really into crab legs anway) and the food wasn't that great. Oh well.
Then up to Alamo, staying at the Meadow Lane Motel. The owner's dog Daisy was *such* a cutie, so friendly! We went up that night for a soak in the Ash Springs hot springs.
Sat, today! Headed out and went up the Extra Terrestrial hwy (stopped at the Little Ale'Inn, where Chris got an indifferent hot breakfast) up to Tonopah. Then we took hwy 376 north, and visited the half ghost towns of Belmont (8 year round residents) and Manhattan (50 year round residents) Belmont is off the electricity grid, they all do solar and generators. The saloon there is for sale!! haha. The sign there said no dogs inside (there were about 3 outside), then we open up the door and there are like 3 more inside. We stopped in Manhattan at the bar there for a coke and a chat to the bartendtress. Then we headed up to Hwy50. Just before that we turned off to check out the Spencer Hot Springs. They were great, 3 tubs to choose from. We had the main nice tub to ourselves while we were there, then a couple of other groups of 1 or 2 people came as we were drying off, so we chatted a bit with them. So, timed just right! It was pretty awesome to sit in the warm water and just gaze about at the mtns all around.
We decided to stay tonight in Fallon (1 hour east of Reno) rather than push thru to Reno, then drive around at 9pm trying to randomly pick out a hotel. We're at the Holiday Inn Express, and it's pretty swanky! We thought about hitting Reno for a breakfast buffet tomorrow, but the Sunday one's are pretty expensive and probably crowded, so we'll just get something here instead.
So tomorrow will pretty much just be a straight shot home, nothing really to stop at.
I'll try and upload the remaining photos then.
Bruce

and today, we ate...

good road day today, only about 360miles, as we hadn't wanted to plan for too much as we just had such a busy 5 days in Houston!
We went to Austin, along the way I called one of the Creative people in Houston for a bbq recommendation. Although we would have liked to have gone to the best place (the Saltlick), we went with Ironworks BBQ, as it was quite close to where we visiting in Austin. We all really enjoyed it. I was worried as it was near downtown that it was going to be a new place and all slick, but it was older and funky looking. Yummy food.
We then went to tour the Cathedral ofJunk, which is near I35 and 290. Very nice! Don't know how he managed to weave and bind all that junk together so it was as sturdy as it was! It was cool because it was a relatively small footprint, but still absolutely tons to look at and appreciate. Derrick liked it the best of the folk art places we have been to, as it was the most industrial looking (like his car!) and likewise Vince (the Cathedral of Junk guy) liked Derrick's car the best!
Drive out to Sonora after that was nice. Pretty are of Texas that, still all nice and green. Derrick split off in Harper to have dinner with his sister, and will be coming in late tonight. Apparently he hit a deer on the way to his sis's place, ack.
We had dinner at a steak place here that was very good. Marilyn and I did the steak for two option, 2 lbs of steak, ack! Needless to say we didn't finish it all. It was a Kansas City cut, whatever that is. It was tender and flavourful, so alright with me! Had some nice big strips of fat on the edges that were cut off for Marilyn's little dog Sammy (as were the BBQ rib bones saved for him) that dog is livin large!
So, quite the meatorama today, at least we all had salad bar tonight, haha. Probably be like this for the next couple of days, appetising veggie options aren't too common. We expect we'll be doing more Mexican once we hit NM and AZ, so the BBQ and steak was nice today.
We're here at the BW in Sonora, it's pretty nice, relatively new I think. Has a pool, with no water, haha. Oh well, it's not too hot today (that will be coming as we go west, ugh). We may go swimming tomorrow at Balmorhea, a huge spring fed pool. Free breakfast at our BW tomorrow morning features make our waffles in the shape of Texas, woohoo! I'll take a picture ;)
Bruce

Sat night, and Sunday

We skipped the illuminated cruise last night for family dinner out at an excellent Indian restaurant called, I think, Mayuri. Seriously yummy food!
Em said the illuminated cruise was lots of fun tho, very wacky, and really good to have a cruise that was just for the artists to enjoy driving around. They stopped a couple of times along the way for food etc. They didn't come home till around midnight tho, didn't realise it was going to go so late!

We left relatively early for the Orange Show Brunch and Awards, as I wanted to make sure I got fed today, haha. There was a ton of yummy food tho, so no worries there. Someone told me that some other group was doing food for us yesterday, and they didn't have it together, eh, who knows. Aggravating at the time, but clearly not a biggie overall!
It was quite humid today, and overcast most of the time, with some sun (that was worse, sun and humidity, blech!). It finally rained around 4pm, and that was some rain! Oh this delicate little Californian with her humidity aversion, and awe at 'real rain' as Chris likes to call it. Probably explains why I love going out to the desert :)
The awards for fun, Emily won third place for political, yay! The Swirl Car from New York that I really liked won second place in painted. For participant's choice, the person I had voted for won, woohoo! It was Robert from Asheville, NC. His first trip to Houston, his first big art car thing (I think he had gone to a small fest in FL), and his first trip west of the Mississippi. He was floored! He's a super nice guy tho, and makes beautiful art. I hope we can entice him out to CA/West Coast in the next couple of years for our events.

I was going to go over with a bunch of others for a pool party, but the rain kept me in. Stopped now, but we'll be having dinner here in a couple of hours, greek hamburgers! Doing a last load of laundry too. Have packed up the underbed storage in the truck, and just need to pack up the clothes and electronics.
We're aiming to meet up at the ArtCar Museum tomorrow morning at 9am, to head out, as we all know where that is! Conveniently it's pretty close to us too :)
Our route to Austin is still under discussion, there's some that like I10 to 17, and others (incl me) that like Hwy290. I want to have bbq lunch at one of the BBQ places in Elgin, east of Austin on 290. :)
We'll visit the Cathedral of Junk in Austin, then head out to Sonora for the night. Probably end up doing night driving again, blah. Everyone complains about leaving so early (and I know there's no way we'll actually leave at 9am, ha -maybe we'll just leave at 9am, and I'll definately be able to have my BBQ lunch), but we have a folkart visit that will take at least 2 hours, and I'm sure some dithering about lunch, then the usual other stops, and it's suddenly dark and we're still driving! Anyway, I love caravan driving, really, hahaha. Sigh, the problems with being a control freak.
Bruce

ArtCar Parade!!!

The parade was awesome, tons of people!! I waved and waved and waved. People seemed to enjoy the truck a lot, so that's awesome. Being #51 was pretty cool, they staged us in groups of 50, on the left and right side of the road, so we were right up the front at opposite from number 1, and got to see the first 50 roll out. Then as we were parading back on the other side of Allen Pkwy, we saw the other artcars rolling along. It was pretty hot today, but not humid, so that was great.
I made the stoopid mistake of trying to hop onto the tailgate of Bruce when he was still moving when we were navigating out of the area, mostly pride hurt, and a scraped knee and elbow, whoops!
A bunch of us parked in a nearby parking lot where they had arranged free parking for us, which was fine, meant we could leave whenever we wanted. Was left with a bit of bad taste at the end of it all, because going over to the Park where the food and performances etc were, on our badges it noted that our badge was good for 2 drinks and lunch, but it turns out only at the special tent. When we find that, there's no food but a sandwiches that have been sitting out in the sun, and absolutely no drinks. Seeing as we were car #51, that kinda sucked. Then when we went over to the merchandise booth to redeem our t-shirt coupon, I was lucky enough to get the last men's xl (the were out of the women's size I would have liked) and running out of others soon. So it would have been nice had they offered t-shirts to the ArtCar artists at prior events, or asked and put aside what we would have liked.
Later we went by the food/drinks booth tent again and they had just water, and some hot dogs (again, not that appealing), so I grabbed a water, and we went back to the in-laws and made a ham sandwich. Would suck for the out-of-towners staying at hotels who didn't have that option tho! Our Bay Area ArtCar Fest may not have that kind of sponsership, money and attendance (cars and spectators), but nobody evers wants for food and drink, we pile it on! Hopefully the brunch tomorrow will be better, I'm gonna get there early to be sure! ;)
Anyway, the parade itself was certainly a blast, and we'll hopefully have my brother in law tape it for us when they broadcast it May 25th.

Skipped the illuminated cruise tonight for some family time, we had excellent Indian food, hit the spot!
Bruce

ArtCar Symposium/Shop Talk

Fri night was the ArtCar Symposium at the ArtCar Museum. It was great! We had the ArtCar Horn Concerto, which was a lot of fun, very inventive! Inside the museum there was a showing of a short documentary made about the WMD (Weapon of Mass Distribution) that was made by Mel Chin and some TN university students, it was fascinating, an awesome project! I'm looking forward to seeing it at the Orange Show tomorrow!
The man behind Big Horn also talked, and he was very good (I think he's a motivational speaker, so that explains it!). We also had a performance by Max rada dada, who did some fantastic unexceptional tricks for us, that was a hoot.
I skipped out on going out for a late dinner of Thai food, getting 20 artcar artists out to dinner?? Not my cuppa tea! All the go-go-go is definately getting to Chris and I, and I'm a little worried I'm getting sick, but hope it's just allergies. If it's allergies, I don't want to over do it and have it turn into a sinus infection.
Bruce

Main Street Drag

The Main Street Drag today was so much fun!! We were in about 7-8 groups of about half a dozen art cars each. Each group had a leader, and a route of about 5 stops, mostly at elementary schools (our group did all elementary schools). But the best part about it is that each group got two motorcycle cop escorts that went with us and stopped traffic and we ran red lights and all sorts of fun!
ArtCar Artists love having people look at their cars, and to have two motorcycle cops draw even more attention to us, well, we were in artcar heaven!
The visits to the schools were awesome. The kids were a lot of fun. My car is apparently "tight", haha. There were many interests in purchasing Bruce too. Having visited schools before, and learnt from experience, I either kept the tailgate up, or sat on the tailgate and didn't allow kids in the back. They're like burrs, you can't get the darn things out once they get in there!! ;)
Bruce seemed to be quite the hit with the kids, it's the back they love (and it's my fave part too!), and I can see why, it's sized well for them, and like a hangout/cubby house.
I just posted some pics of the kids in the scrapbook, so go check out the cuteness!
Bruce

Finally, some pictures!

Woo, technology's tough! Ok, finally some pictures, but unfortunately haven't had time yet to label anything, just have them seperated into days so far.
This ArtCar stuff is almost non-stop so far, but we had a few hours this afternoon to nap and upload photos before we go out to the next event! The Symposium at the ArtCar Museum. Chris is gonna hang out with his brother tho tonight.
Big parade tomorrow!!
http://pics.livejournal.com/aka_bruce/