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Friday, December 31, 2010

don't stop get it, get it

(I love that song.)

I've got surprises coming throughout January and a new BLR look coming on Monday!

CHEERS!!! (I am raising a glass and clinking here.)

***My new favorite cocktail for a celebration like New Years Eve:
*2 ounces vodka
*4-5 ounces of fresh lemon and simple syrup or store bought lemonade
*Shake over ice
*Pour in martini style or fun glass of your choice
*Drizzle 1 ounce of red wine (pinot noir best) over the back side of a spoon onto side of glass (this will make a pretty red ring around the top of glass.)
*Top off with drop of bubbly. (I'm a big prosecco fan.)
*Sip and enjoy!

Not the greatest photo, but the Crackberry only does so much:

Cocktails for NYE at Stefani's


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

get your bubbles ready!

Our bottle of bubbly on the coast of Maine

I took this photo while in Portland Maine 2 summers ago. My Mom, Brother, Sister and I walked by a fabulous little wine and cheese shop while perusing the streets and thought grabbing a bottle of bubbly, a baguette and some manchego cheese would make for a good snack and relax pit stop on the sunny afternoon overlooking the water. Isn't the sweat coming off the bottle perfect? During this cold winter, it makes me dream of warm summer days lying in green, green grass and sipping deliciousness while spending time with people I love.

Cheers to popping some bubbly, and all the great adventures to come!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

here's your sign

When I was in Nashville a few weeks back, I asked a clerk about the tax rate after my order rang up. He told me what it was and then asked where I was from:

Me: "Well, I am from Vermont, but just came from California."
Him: "Is Vermont near California?"
Me: Speechless, smiling, saying thank you and walking away trying not to make a face.

I made a phone call this morning confirming an appointment. The staff person on the phone asked me what my name was:

Me: "Diane Peacock"
Her: (spelling it out...) "Is that P,e,a,c,o,k,e?"
Me: "No Ma'am, it's P,e,a,c,o,c,k."
Me: Raising eyebrows and making faces on the other side of the phone.


In the adventure that's next in life, in job interviews, meetings- other, it's good to know that I might be at least one step ahead of some, simply based on the fact that I know that Vermont is not anywhere near California, and I can spell peacock. (I can knit too- watch out!) Did I mention I have also been asked which state is Vermont in? Between that and the comment I overheard someone making once that "Vermont is in one of those states, like New England"-I don't think have anything to worry about.

It's always good to have a good laugh in your day.

This one is dedicated to you Camilla~

Girl...we have nothing to worry about. They might even vote us in as Co-Presidents soon because we are so brilliant :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

tick, tock, tick, tock

Only 4 days until we ring in 2011. How time flies when you're having fun. I'm looking forward to sharing some news with you here!

I hope everyone is getting up, getting out, and chasing those things you want and love. After all, the only way to get things done is to start doing them first.

Cheers to taking a step with your own two feet.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

guess where?

House in Sitka, Alaska

Yes! Alaska- but where oh where on the Inside Passage?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

good girls get magnum bottles of wine

In time for Christmas (I mean Santa is watching right?) I've been a good girl and gotten back into my regular running routine again:

So the irony of me mentioning my Napa wine diet this fall and getting back into good habits? After my run, FedEx Santa delivers this to me:

Alexis Cab. Magnum gift from Swanson!

I guess I was such a good girl, Santa Swanson couldn't resist sending me a big ol' treat. YUM!

To my Swanson Sisters~

I love you! What a great surprise. Thank you, thank you. Miss you all tons and I will save this for a very special occasion. I have an idea what that occasion that will be, but you'll have to wait to find out...

Bubbles to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 24, 2010

two j's doin' good

I have friends that do the coolest things. If I was ever cool, like even one bit- it would only be because of the variety of interesting and remarkable people I have in my life.

Take Justin for instance. He is a musician and has been a part of Silly Bus for years while educates and entertains kids through music. He also volunteers for other community projects and oh yeah, he's a career guy too. Justin is way funnier than he realizes and it's always a blast to catch up with him. We had coffee recently and he brought this CD that he had just finished to me as a gift:

Flashlight Tag Christmas CD

Flashlight Tag Christmas CD

This CD is GREAT. I can't lie, I'm not a big holiday music super-fan. I don't usually bee-bop to Rockin' R'ound the Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving until Santy comes, but I am all about the Flashlight Tag tunes. (I have to say I am a sucker for some banjo.) Listen to Twinkle Lights here or get in touch with the guys to get a copy of the CD. This is a must have in your holiday collection.

In more news on interesting pals doing exceptional and unselfish work, meet my friend Jocelyn, owner of Green Duck. She has recently finished up a HUGE project at the World Equestrian Games. With over 500,000 visitors to the games, can you imagine all the waste? Well, Jocelyn and the crew she worked with managed to collect 175,000 pounds of materials to keep them out of the landfill. Yay! Watch the video with Jocelyn busy at work here. Next time you're noshing at your favorite local restaurant, or your socializing at that annual fundraiser you go to, remind the people in charge if they don't already- to forget the styrofoam devil and order their food packaging from Green Duck. If you are green, you are cool. Enough said.

My Christmas gifts? Learning from, looking up to, and spending time with people like these two. They are inspiring kids, making art, respecting community and living consciously. That is my satisfying pile of wrapping paper. What more could I ask to be surrounded by?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

vermont gets voted over?! gasp!

Why oh why?

Check out my fellow wanderers, my soul peeps in love with adventure: Alex and Luke. I have written about them before. I just saw this note on their website. WHAT?! "poor Vermont just kept getting voted over time and time again..."

(Insert stake through the heart.)

This is a travesty. Come on my fellow Vermonters or whatever non-Vermonters out there who are lovers of the green mountains, delicious cheese, ice cream, fun country frolicking in fields of organic produce and progressive mindset and lifestyle (just to name a very few amazing things!) We need to send lotsa notes to Alex and Luke and rally them to Vermont or bust. It looks like they will be staying for 2 months in New Hampshire starting 1/2/11 so it will be easy for them to hop, skip and jump on over.

Dear Alex and Luke~

Look at me in Vermont in May. Don't I look like I'm having fun and in gorgeous scenery? See what you have to look forward to?!

In Vermont on Lake Champlain

My fellow Vermonters and I would like to cordially invite you here to Blue Lollipop Road so we can fill you in on all the best places to see, eat, visit- you name it, in the great VEETEE. Lets be in touch eh? Any question you might have, myself and my crew o' Green Mountain Gringos peeps have you covered. Never again will Vermont be voter over!

Here's to your bomb-diggidy awesome start of 2011 at the Balsams and in our neighboring New Hampshire!


guess where?

On the Alaska Highway near Yukon, BC

'cuase you just might get it

To call me impatient is an understatement. I like to be a mover and shaker and think my pace is normal because, well- am me. I have been told I talk to fast. (Again, normal to me, but my Mother who is laughing reading this right now has told me on several occasions that after 32 years she still cannot understand me on the answering machine. Yes, the 'rents still have an answering machine.)

The one thing I have been patient with is this blog. If you know me personally you know that I have often said I don't want babies. Who knows if that will change in the future. All I know is Blue Lollipop Road has been my baby for well over 2 years now. The way Mothers feel about their children I feel about this "little one" in my life: It means everything to me, I love it more than anything even when it is broken and bruised. Even when I am frustrated with it, and I have one of those "What the heck am I getting out of this deal again?" kind of moments- I still love it and don't care how hard, confusing, or endless the water treading feels. I refuse to give up because I feel hope, I see all the potential and trust that if I give all the love and truth I am capable of, it will grow up to be magical.

Even though I trust all the above, like a Mother looking at their child on graduation day with that "I knew she could!"- there is a simultaneous: "Holy bleep! Is this really happening? Did she really make it here like I knew she would???!!!" This is how I am feeling now. There are a whole lot of little things brewing, coming together and presenting themselves in the result of "raising" Blue Lollipop Road to be something. It feels surreal, there is crazy momentum and I feel like I am flying. Every teeny little thing in the right direction fuels my fire to go more and I am so excited I cannot even explain it. I just got this email from a friend I haven't seen in about 3 years and that I talk to rarely:

You know...I just learned that my wife regularly checks your blog. She is more aware of what you are doing these days than I am! By the way, she says you are a good writer. You should try to turn your blog into a book. Sort of an autobiography. Start talking to little guy publishers. While your writing is fantastic, you'll need an editor to get it into book format.

As much I have more confidence than some, I still scoff at the amount of people complimenting my writing. I guess it's hard to take that compliment when you feel like you are just a girl babbling about everyday life. I am learning to take compliments like these with a smile, giving myself credit for "raising a good kid" and trying to accept all the good things that seem to be flooding in with a furry recently.

What's that they say, be careful what you wish for, 'cause you just might get it?

I told you I had some surprises to share. There's more to come. I wish I could reach out and smooch every one of you readers who check in here every day and have followed me through this all. Thank you thank you thank you. I will have more surprises for you soon!

Monday, December 20, 2010

progress baby progress!

Ok kids! Guess what? After all this time, we are finally making some traction (hee hee...no pun intended) with Honda. I have connected with Alicia who works for them. She now has some stellar photos of the BLR Mobile. What's a huge bummer, is I passed through L.A just a couple weeks ago, and she just asked me to stop by the American Honda Campus there. Humph.

Theme of the day? Timing. DOH!

It's never to late so stay tuned on car stuff.

In other BLR news; I am happy to report that I was contacted by Schmap New York City (YIPPEE!) last week. They found my photos here on Flickr and are going to use one from a yummy lunch I had with a friend at Cafe' Habana in New York back in July.

There's more brewing...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

this is what's in my dash

BLR Mobile on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway, California

Smiles. Big, big smiles.

good, genius, easy, change

I've been writing, thinking, brainstorming about this project I'm working on and I wanted to share a few things. Friends and family (even my Mom has teased me) about believing some of the below. Yeah, yeah- I know some people are effed up, miserable, mean to each other, there is hate in the world whatever. I still believe:

*We are innately good
*We really are willing to go out of our way to help each other
*We are all creative genius in one form or another
*Things are WAY WAY WAY (can I say WAY again?) easier than we make them out to be
*We often suppress who we are and what we want because of fear of phantom things and people that don't even exist

My most favorite "I believe" to date is from the blog of this phenomenal woman Danielle I met in California back in September:

*"...everyday is a chance to change your mind and change your life."

Guess what guys?! We live in America. We have a chance to choose it all. Lets chew on that one for a while.

Friday, December 17, 2010

reverse retirement

I'm working on something so exciting it's making me jump out of my skin with excitement. Enough to make me forget about the frigid temps and snow outside. If you know me you know how little of a fan of the cold I am- that is a big deal.

How blissful it feels to be alive when you spend time working on things you believe in...

On a side note:

I was reading Fast Company yesterday and saw an article about this incredible product. The brilliance of some humans minds and the things they create with them baffle me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

check out the red star above

...on the Alaska page.

Quite a circle- eh? The best one I have done yet for sure.

Next stop/thing/adventure?

Keep tuning in. The new year is coming...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

frozen pavement thoughts

During my run just now, the usual 56,000 things per minute flood my brain. Here are some fun ones I will share:

1.) When there is massive credit card debt in America and people claim they can't pay their bills and never have any time off, why have they gone out and purchased plastic reindeer, giant bows and blow-up snowmen costing god knows what to fill their front yards?

2.) Of those homes with enormous displays of holiday yard art in attempt for lovely decor, why have they then left dilapidated cars, boxes/bags of trash and rotten old plants littering their yards too?

3.) If the "American Dream" is so dreamy, then why is the divorce rate in this country above 50%, why are homes still being foreclosed left and right and why do so many people say they hate their jobs or bosses and if they "had the chance" to quit and do something- anything else, they would?

4.) Boy I'd like to get a pedicure sometime soon.

5.) Running in frigid temperatures sucks. This is why I vowed I'd NEVER complain about the heat. 105 degrees with 100% humidity? Bring it.

6.) I can't help it. love that Mariah Carey song; All I Want For Christmas Is You

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

when they say fried corn...

...they really mean actual corn that's been fried ya'll. (Yes, and that's hush puppies too :)

Tennessee fried-lovin' dinner!

A good ol' Tennessee dinner with friends...YUMMY!

Monday, December 13, 2010

meet ben

Ben is a friend of a friend. When I was in Seattle this summer, our mutual friend put us in touch, so he and I met for lunch. After lunch he was kind enough to tour me around the city (Have you seen that amazing library?!) Ben just so happened to have blue hair (how cool is that?)- so naturally we had to take a photo next to the BLR Mobile:

Blue hair and Blue Lollipop Road!

People like Ben make me happy. He volunteered to take a few hours out of his work day to show off his city to me, a perfect stranger. This is what awesomely generous, cool and fun people do because they appreciate adventure and curiosity a much as I do.

To Ben:

1,000 apologies for being incredibly late on this post! Thanks for offering yourself to be in the story of my great 2010 Alaskan adventure. I'm still smiling.

Is the hair still blue?

To E.V.:

Thanks for the introduction. When are we having hot chocolate?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

dear santy

All I want for Christmas:

1.) World Peace
2.) An apartment in the city so nice, they named it twice

Friday, December 10, 2010

21 days until...

...we ring in 2011. Be prepared for some surprises. They might come early if you are good little girls and boys!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

do you hear that?

That's the sound of construction vehicles! Blue Lollipop Road is getting some new duds for Christmashannakwanzika.

We are going to be ringing in 2011 like gangbusters.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

full circle: alaska or bust 2010

What's in your dash?

Monday, December 6, 2010

blue lollipop road~ phase two

*Blog writing for over two years...check.
*50 states, 13 countries and a million adventures...check, check.
*Goals, ideas and other forming as all of this was happening...check, check, check. (You didn't think this was all for nothing did you? :)

The construction vehicles are coming out, face lifts are happening as we speak and surprises are around the corner.

See you soon to fill you in...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

sunny saturdays

In the Marina in San Fransisco:

The Marina in SF

Ahhh....so nice.

Friday, December 3, 2010

method to the madness

I love it when the word of the day that pops in my inbox fits impeccably into what I'm living at the moment. This just in:

Word of the Day for Friday, December 3, 2010

divagate \DAHY-vuh-geyt\, verb:

1. To wander; stray.
2. To digress in speech.

But, vague vagabond, you will seem to divagate, while in reality you will keep both eyes open and your ears pricked.
-- Umberto Eco, William Weaver, The Island of the Day Before

don't leave me hangin' dude!

I know, I know- Sorry! I have BLOWN out some miles in the past not even 48 hours. (We are talking nearly 2,000 miles so I am a bit tired to say the least and my laptop time has been limited.) Even though this has been an abnormal trip for me just driving and driving without stopping much, I still have plenty of stories. Things like my classic car "camping" and freezing like I have never frozen before, America's most foul smelling bathroom, and almost running out of gas in the middle of nowhere New Mexico because I got chatting with my mother for hours and didn't realize how low my tank was getting.

Photos and videos in a bit. At this moment I am concentrating on my terrible but at the same time delicious and much needed coffee at the Denny's I'm at, along with giggling about food items called things like "Moons Over My Hammy."

P.S~ In case anyone is wondering, it is NOT warm in a place called Sayre, Oklahoma in December between the hours of 1 and 3am.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

and then there were 800

I didn't even realize I was approaching 800 posts until I logged on just now. Great way to kick off my next 3,000 miles.

I might be the only person in history to drive clear across the country to turn around and drive right back. That's how much some amazing people, a fabulous company, and a city like San Fransisco have stolen my heart. (Boy, do I love the energy of a big fat city!) As much as a huge part of me wants to stay west right now, the other portion tells me to complete the circle and trip I started on July, 13 so here I go. Maybe I just get east, wave hello, collect a few boxes and drive back 3,000 miles. Maybe I stay east forever. Either way I am such a huge winner. I have learned about what I want and need in my life to be happy, healthy, and balanced. I can't wait to make a home living around people and things that inspire me on a daily basis. I see clearly now more than ever.

See? There was a method to my madness all these years. My reverse retirement has paid off. I never doubted for a second that it would, but also never knew it'd feel this incredible or peaceful to get here.

Here's to all that's waiting in the future!