Visit our blog as we travel here, there any everywhere in our shiny home with wheels. Without a set schedule, with no reliable income, no expectations, and without proper medical insurance we are bound to run into failure, fun, trouble, opportunity and many new (senior citizen) friends. Co-piloting this adventure are our side kicks; Lois The Pie Queen, the saucy siamese vixen, and John Bunnay Ramsey, AKA, Senior Biscuit.
We are a happy couple of three years that met while traveling in Germany. We relocated from Los Angeles to New York City, and recently purchased a vintage 72' Airstream Tradewind, 25' trailer to live out of while we explore all points connected by land. We hope to achieve minimal cost of living and in exchange have extra free time to spend together and work on our our creative projects. The end result.. 1. We will have lived in many parts of the world we wouldn't normally have visited, 2. We will have opened our doors for various experiences that normally wouldn't cross our paths, stories to tell 3. We will have developed our own companies which we plan to continue after we decide to leave full time trailer life. We hope to do good things with our extra time too.
This is Michelle in total astonishment in front of the local Walgreen's in East Nashville
Here we are in the Airstream, I'm giving the tour, and showing off my Master Control Panel to Michelle
Here we are, "trailer sisters"
I long for the days that I can spend a whole day in a Goodwill with an old friend. Our days in Nashville just keep draggin' and draggin'. Now I understand how so much sad music was produced in this town.
We left our place in Ashland City. It was a sad departure. Thankfully we still keep in good touch with Lisa and Stephen regularly. We really miss the dogs! Dewy, and Bonnie and Sue Baby, and JoJo. Our new arrangement is working 10 or so hours a week renovating a 1968 Airstream Tradewind. It's parked in the backyard of the Nashville Music City Hostel. So we are parked right up against it, and we spend our days researching and doing labor on their Airstream. To be honest Bill does all the manual labor. I won't take his fire away. We also work part time hours in the office checking people in a few nights a week. Our experiences here at the hostel have been overall positive. There is a heap of drama, which neither of us like to be involved with, and you get lots of clashing personalities, but on occasion that special traveler comes through and inspires us, and gives us their contact information which grows our world wide network of friends. Our Location you can't beat. We are in the Midtown section of town. Walking distance to several decent neighborhoods, Vanderbilt University, the only place to get food after 9:00 pm. Cafe CoCos, and a few other coffee shops that i have found I enjoy. We are about a 30 minute walk from the sites in downtown, which is where we find ourselves often showing the tourists where the good honky tonk bars are.
I was so excited to find out that my food service resume landed me a server/bartender job right off Broadway in Downtown. It's been years since I waited tables, but my eagerness to serve plates of food must of meant something to the owners. My first shift I made $140 in tips. Not bad. My second shift, $13, and every other shift after that for two weeks varied between $12 and $16. After two weeks I couldn't afford to come back. It was too bad because I was excited to have possibly wait on country megastars that I could care less about. They even had a good jukebox to boot. The place was somewhat reminiscent of my days working at Jitter's Cafe in Minneapolis, so that alone was worth my time there. After talking to a few people in town, it turned out that Past Perfect can't seem to hol don to their employees. Other than the few suckers that have been there since day one. It's a pretty miserable place.
If you are new to Nashville and you came across my blog by googling 'Past Perfect Nashville' consider this a sign, that you shouldn't waste your time.
Since our car is not in working order, and it wouldn't be too cool of us to take our Home Owners car out on New Years, we decided to keep in in the neighborhood. There isn't much in Ashland city. There is one Walmart 15 minutes away, and there is another Walmart about 25 minutes in the other direction. Did I mention that we live in the middle of nowheresville? And then there is the VFW hall a half mile down the road. (no sidewalks of course - so you gotta watch out for speeding pick up trucks) This place looks so perfect from the outside. My kind of place if you know my tastes.
We had heard that they had $2 dollar beers and they accepted cards. Which that's unheard of anywhere I've been. Usually a VFW requires a membership but this location justs asks that you sign in at the front door! We figures New Years would be the best time to check it out for our first time.
These are some of our new friends that helped us ring in the New Year...
Even the local Marshal came in for a midnight two step with his honey!
The Drivers provided music for the evening. They told their story of how they got their name. All of them but one used to be bus drivers for various touring acts. The other guys never was a professional driver, but he had a truck!
This next clip is of The Drivers announcing that CJ is on the phone wishing everybody a Happy New Years. CJ is a local hero fighting the war over in Iraq. The Drivers wanted to send a special shout out to CJ and his troop. Here you can hear The Drivers Perform the Star Spangled Banner. Towards the end of the clip some lady fell off her chair but i missed that unfortunately.
Here are some couples dancing. It's a rather dark clip but you can hear The Drivers pretty good in this one.
Here's me and Bill, happy as bugs in Tennessee. We LOVED the VFW Hall. We had a real good time!Yay for 2007!
The stumble home that night may have been the most interesting of all my stumbles home.. Getting there I was mostly concerned with not getting hit by a redneck in his truck racing down our country road. It's narrow, hilly, and no sidewalk, and ditches. Not meant to be walked down. I was too happy and drunk on the walk home to worry about passing cars, and it was rather quiet. I had the shit scared out of me though cause i heard this LOUD noise. I was like, "What the fuck is that Bill?" it was a cow. and then the Cow got the horses going, and then it was total mayhem. I guess these farm animals don't see pedestrians that often walking these roads in the middle of the night. I've never really been on a farm or anything so pardon me for my lack of knowledge. While I was walking with my head down, texting "Happy New Years" to a friend in NY, I felt something soft under my sneaker. It was a GIANT dead animal. I didn't stay to figure out what kind of animal it used to be, but it i think had been there for a while. Roadkill is all over the place out where we live in Ashland City, Tennessee. Deer will jump out at you while you drive all the time. It was so gross. In any case we made it home safe and sound that night.
One night these two kids 12, and 13 came over. I've never tripped out so hard on two young boys before. It's the southern accent. These kids were so awesome. It was sort of like having Gummo in the living room with me. They weren't to thrilled with me shooting video of them, so this is the best I got.
Getting out of the door took two tries. The first time we left we didn't use the weight distribution bars given to us by Uncle John. Uncle John is Bill's Uncle that spends his spare time Rving around New England with Bills Nanna (Nanner if you are from their part of the country). Like idiots we got about 40 minutes away and we decided to turn around and hook up the confusing rusty piece of junk that we had no idea what to do with it. Turns out we needed it. We totally would of died without once on the road. It was like the scariest thing ever. We had towed it empty, no problem. But then you load it up with 5,000 lbs of junk, it's like a fish out of water back there. Thanks Uncle John.
Leaving Merrimack, NH
It took us about 13 hours driving time (16 hours total) to get to the half way point of Pittsburgh. There we got to catch up with my Grandma, Steve and Ivy and of course eat some Hot Primanti's Sammiches. It was a quick in and out trip to da burgh, but never a bad time. I love Pittsburgh. Go Stillers.
Me and Bill up on Mount Worshington. Downtown Pittsburgh it's so pretty.
Here I am with Grandma Anne Celeste. She's my #1.
Grandma is very proud of her Christmas Hallway Decorating skills
Here I am with Jon Huha and his lady Veronica at the Squirrel Cage
Here I am with Steve Novick right before we departed from my Uncle Sonny's (Thanks Steve and Ivy for a great time in Pittsburgh)
Day 2 of our trip was from Pittsburgh to Nashville. That also took about 13 hours of driving time. We pulled over in a Wallmart Parking lot in Kentucky for a night. (Sam Walton was big into RVing so he encourages travel trailers to park nightly in their lots) Here is a photo of our rig in the Wallmart lot. It was cold that night. We just slept in the Suburban though that night, we were in transit and the Airstream wasn't quite ready for us. Shit really gets tossed around when in tow.
We only planned on sleeping for 3-4 hours and somehow we managed to sleep like 9 hours in the cold truck. We must of needed it.
The following morning we got started around 10:00 am and head south for Nashville. We were only about 4 hours away at this point. Things were looking bright! Almost to our new home!
Here are a few Roadside monuments we saw in Kentucky
Pulling into Tennessee was not that monumental. Ashland City is Northwest of Downtown, and we were driving in from the North so we didn't get like the grand hello from the downtown skyline or anything, and then all of a sudden, all went to hell. "ssssssssss" was the noise from the engine, and then came the steam. Thankfully we were on level ground an over on the right hand lane already. The Suburban shut itself down, and we pulled over onto the dirt. We got over quick, and we called our helpful roadside assistance people, Good Sam. They told me that a tow truck should arrive in about an hour. Within 5 minutes somebody pulled over. Of course my first instinct is to "quick, lock the doors, roll up the window" I was just living in Brooklyn. Nobody pulls over to help a dying puppy dog there. And who gets out of his car but Garth Brooks! Just kidding, but the guy sure did look like him. In Boots, overalls and a cowboy hat this southern gent gets out of his Dodge mini caravan and took a few minute out of his day to see if we were Ok!
And then about 15 minutes after he left the second guy came. I was too afraid of snatching a photo without him noticing, and he just wasn't the type of dude I felt I could ask either, but he ended up giving us his cell phone # and told us to please call if we ran into any trouble at all...waaaah?? Where the hell are we?? I did manage to sneak a pic of his car. Notice his bumper sticker: "Horn Broken, Watch for Finger"
And then WTF!!! a third dude pulled over checking on us. I couldn't believe this this. Where are we that three nice people would offer us help. This guy offered us more than help, he offered to go down the road and "git us sum cold drinks" he was persistent too. We had to convince him that we were fine and people we on their way shortly for us. I mean, what an introduction to the south huh? Here is a photo of our dude who wanted to bring us cold beverages.
Thanks to Good Sam our $400 dollar tow was covered by our $65 dollar annual fee that we paid before we did our first tow with the Airstream. It covers both the truck and the trailer. We are so lucky we broke down when we did and not in the Pocono Mountains or in rural Kentucky. We happened to break down only about 15 miles from the house in Ashland City. This meant the tow truck could tow us right to the address, which was a total life saver. Two tow trucks came and towed our road real estate one at a time. I went with the guy towing the truck and Bill hung out with the guy towing the Airstream. While I was talking about fried chicken and Alan Jackson's residence (which is a half mile from our the place we are staying at) Bill was rapping with his dude about how his dude has never left Nashville and can't wait to get the hell out. In the end we learned that we somehow lost the A/c belt on our travels which caused this whole chain reaction of error under the hood. Two rods when shooting through the oil pan, and we blew the main gasket. We are looking at an $1,800 repair. Ugh.
This is the gimpy 3 legged dog from next door that stole my heart, Sue Baby
Grocery shopping here is so much fun. It's like being in another country! Stuff is so cheap! They love their biscuits down there, that's for sure. They manage to display biscuits in 4-5 grocery aisles.
When Bill and I were in Iceland, Bill went on www.mandy.com looking for Cameraman jobs and there was only one job available in the whole state of Georgia, and we thought, well that sucks, but at least it's in the small town we are moving too. Then he read a little further into the listing and it turned out that it was to shoot the KKK rally happening in Downtown Elijay. Whha? But, this is where we are moving. This blows. I mean we knew the Nazi's were still hanging out in the deep south, but why in the llama town we were heading for? So while we were in Iceland we kicked the idea around of coming up with a Plan B. When we got back to NH, we sat on it for a few more days and we both decided that the llama farm idea was a great idea but our kind just aren't welcomed down there. We were excited about the prospect of working on the farm and the people we were going to work with seemed great too. It was the town and the lack of anything to do within an hour radius is what really changed our minds.
We kind of came up with Nashville (as we had kicked the idea about visiting for quite some time now) and it turned out to be an easy decision without much discussion. We started posting on craigslist that morning for any opportunities to park the Airstream. That night we got a great response. This leads us to where we are today, Christmas Day.
We are currently in Ashland City, TN. approximately 20 miles out of downtown Nashville out in the country Side. An extremely nice couple wrote us looking for a Pet/House sitter while they went away to Europe for a month long backpacking trip. They originally hail from Northern California, and after a year of road tripping back and forth across the US, they decided Nashville would be their next residence. They welcomed us here with loads of hospitality, invited us to eat all their food, drive their car, and pretty much have full run of the house while they are gone. They have given us a place to park the Airstream, electrical hook ups, and an extra bedroom in the house too. They are so nice, and we feel so lucky that we have such a nice place to be, with warm people in a time that we had to make a quick decision with little to no money.
New Hampshire is in our past. Nashville is our future.
All in all New Hampshire was the worst place I've ever lived. 1. People drive like total jackasses 2. Everybody is out to prove you wrong on absolutely everything 3. It's overall it's a pretty negative place, oh.. and 4. They add r's behind a's for no reason, example - "I sawr Lind'r yesterday with grandmer and grandper." We were anxious to leave, but we are also very grateful for the situation we had in Merrimack. We had a place to live, rent free. A place to park the Airstream while we worked on it. We had family around who were nice to spend time with and Lois and John were pretty happy there too. Of course with the bad a few good things must come. While we were there we took on a primarily macrobiotic diet and I lost 6 inches, and we both feel great. I found myself cooking around 3 hours a day, and I discovered that I really like cooking and I'm not half bad at it. We started getting our produce locally from Farmer Rodger Noonan. We became seasonal shareholders to his farm. If you visit www.localharvest.org you can find out who you can get fresh organic seasonal produce from. The best part is that a lot of the farms deliver right to you.
While I spent most of my spare time cooking, Bill took up a new past time as an assistant soccer coach for The Tigers. Bill just didn't seek out some little kid soccer team like a creep, but it was his little cousin Chris' team. We all had our fingers crossed that B'brad would score a goal by the end of the season and with all of Bill's encouraging words and tugs B'brad scored at the last game of the season.
Chris and Conner are Bill's two little cousins who we spent a lot of time with while living in NH. Bill's mom takes care of them after school so we seem them almost every day. Chris is 7 and Conner is 5. Chris eats one kind of chicken nuggets (strips) and Conner eats another kind (Tyson Nugs), Chris will eat a few other things, but Conner won't even try pizza. He literally only eats Chicken nuggets. Anyways here are a few photos of the boys. I personally grew attached to them, and Bill was really happy to spend some time with them during their more formative years.
I still cant believe I actually got to see the Sugarcubes live, and In Reykjavik. My dream come true. YAY! Definitely the best Birthday EVER. Oh, did you hear..? Bjork and Matthew Barney were on my flight home too! On my flight there we had Mike White up in first class. So my three favorite creative genuisis in film, art and music were all on my flights in and out of Iceland. So strange. Well, here are some photos from the concert as well as some other people who I became friends with who also traveled far and wide for the big event! For a venue for 5,000 people 1,000 came from outside of Iceland. What pull. Opening acts were Mum and Rass.