We now return to our regularly scheduled travel posts…
I’ve been in the Florida panhandle for several months. I love it here and hope to stay for a long time. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in the U.S. Yes, California and Pennsylvania are both lovely, but this area has several things those two don’t: lots of greenery, trees and beaches all together, wide-open country farms, and polite Southerners. There’s also a nice little airport, and a couple big shopping malls.
The sugar-white sand beaches are loaded with amazing sea shells, some as large as your palm, others the size of your thumb, the kind of shells you see for sale in souvenir shops. On the beach, they’re free for the digging. I recently got to dig for shells with a couple friends. I felt like a kid again, looking for perfect shell treasures, and running to my friends to show them my find.
Florida panhandle beaches.
Florida panhandle beach panorama.
There are also millions of very small shells all over the shore.
As I’m sure I mentioned before, the sunsets are amazing. The place has an overall sense of peace and calm I haven’t often found, and certainly not in a long time. But, wait! There’s more…
The smell of money stinks.
No, really. Money smells like shit. Literally, like shit.
Cow shit, chicken shit, and the gasses produced by drilling for oil all smell horrid and are toxic if inhaled for too long. But methane (cow), ammonia (chicken), and hydrogen sulfide (oil drilling) are the smell of money. Big money.
You wouldn’t know it to spend any time in the middle of Nowhere, Texas (aka Cow/Chicken/Oil Country), but there is big money here. This county was recently named one of the top three oil producing counties in the world.
Unlike California, you can’t see any of the money here. People aren’t flashy and dress casually out here in the country. Many of the wealthy cattle ranchers and newly prosperous oil land/mineral rights owners still work their ranches. They wear regular blue jeans and drive pickups, sometimes old beat up pickups. There’s not one Ferrari or Porsche here. You might see a few of the new muscle cars, a couple older Mercedes, and a couple (random) Hummers driving around town. But most vehicles are Dodge Rams or Ford F150 trucks.
A chicken house for organic “free-range” chickens… the doors are so they can go out if they want. They don’t want. Your “free-range” chickens don’t give a hoot about ranging.
But you can smell the money wafting through the air from the cow ranches, the chicken houses, and the oil derricks. Since I’ve already shown y’all the cattle ranching, farming, and the oil derricks, this post is about the ammonia, err I mean, chicken houses… But, wait! There’s more…
Sculpture near Tower of the Americas, aka The Tower of Doom.
Most of my adventures and travels center around seeing those weird and the wacky sights you can only find in America. But every now and then I come across something wonderful in my travels, such as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
While San Antonio’s Riverwalk and the Tower of the America’s may not be as awe-inspiring as the natural beauty and grandeur of the Grand Canyon, they still took my breath away.
San Antonio Riverwalk at Christmas. (Yeah, it’s a shitty photo. Sorry, but you’ll just have to fill in the blanks.)
Once again, my photography skills won’t do justice to the scenery, but the San Antonio Riverwalk at Christmastime is stunning. All of the trees are vertically draped with Christmas lights. More lights decorate the floating gondolas and the bridges.
But wait! Just when you thought my crappy photos were all you had, my friend sent this great photo of Santa riding in a boat on the Riverwalk… But, wait! There’s more…
In this part of the country, atop the Eagle Ford Shale and in between all the cows, oil derricks dot the land.
One of the larger oil derricks in the area, and the subject of my tour.
Besides the cows and oil derricks there’s not a lot around for many, many miles. In this particular town the bovine to human population is 10:1. At the very least.
Traffic on the way to the oil derrick.
I really wish I owned land here.
Why? you ask. Do you like cows? you ask. But, wait! There’s more…
Knot A Clew. It’s like they knew I was coming aboard.
“Knot A Clew”… I’m sure they named it after me. This should totally be my boat.
I don’t even need to make this stuff up, it just finds me. Like flies find fly paper.
“Not a clue” is the theme of my life, particularly when it comes to dating. Thankfully, this wasn’t a date.
Probably one of the better photos I’ve taken in a while – or will take for another long while. So much for that photography class in college. I knew that “B” was generous.
Two friends own this aptly named sailboat. They’ve just started a blog about their misadventures with the boat, The Misadventures of the SV Knot a Clew. Considering some of the hilarious stories they’ve already told me, it’s sure to be a funny blog. Plus, they use real cameras so their photos will be better than mine.
Setting Sail for San Jose Island
But, wait! There’s more…
Thought long and hard about that catchy title, I did.
Welcome to Rockport, Texas!
Rockport, Texas is one of the most beautiful places I’ve yet seen on my travels. That short list includes the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, and Monterey, California. It’s full of palm and oak trees, and bordered by miles of coastline. It’s one of the top fishing and birdwatching places in the nation.
There are more linear feet of fishing piers than sidewalks in Rockport.
But, wait! There’s more…
Guess what I learned recently? A study found the brain views money as a drug. They found it lessens social distress and physical pain.
No shit? Well, color me addicted.
They also suspect it is a substitute for romance.
Coincidentally, I’ve just found my new boyfriend!
This is a picture of my bank account after I win the lottery. No, wait. It's a picture of my new boyfriend. No, that's not it either. It's a picture of BOTH!
To quote the article Study: Your Brain Thinks Money Is A Drug by David Kestenbaum,
If you’ve ever thought of money as a drug, you may be more right than you know. New research shows that counting money — just handling the bills — can make things less painful.
Money As A Substitute For Love But, wait! There’s more…
After spending a couple hours getting to know each other, I was ready.
I’ve waited a long time for this moment.
Taking my time, I slowly warmed her up. Pushing all the right buttons, her fine motor began purring beneath me. I wrapped my hands around her, slowly stroking her, discovering the feel of her, getting to know her better.
She had unexpected strength and power, but she gave over full control to me, completely trusting me. Not one to hold back, she gave me as much as I wanted, as much as I could take.
I wanted all of her, and I was ready to take her to the next level.
With her sweet motor purring beneath me, I But, wait! There’s more…
Holy heart failure Batman! I joined an exercise Boot Camp.
The cat took me for a walk.
In case you don’t know, Boot Camps are a hardcore outdoor exercise program where they run you backwards up hills, and make you do backwards pushups and a ton of squats and other evil stuff. There’s also a strict diet plan that doesn’t include sweets. They’ve set me up to fail.
I don’t know why I signed up. Really. The only thing I can figure is I was under the influence of an overdose of cold/flu medicine at the time.
I believe being “under the influence of cold medicine” is grounds for temporary insanity. Not that I necessarily qualify for the “temporary” part.
This particular Booty Camp is ten weeks long, and it started this past weekend. (I’m calling it “Booty” camp because it’s all about getting my booty in shape.) Needless to say, my booty was bringing up the rear of the booty camp. Thank goodness I wasn’t the very last booty, like I was six months ago. This time there were about 200 people so my odds were better.
“Before” photos were required. Mine are really awful looking – which is why I joined the Booty Camp. If I do well, I may share the “after” photos. Maybe… but they might be awful, too. But, wait! There’s more…
Mega Yacht "A". This picture makes the 394 foot yacht look small, but if you look closely you can see a tiny, little boat in front of it. There are about 6 people in that little boat.
The BIG local news is all about this Mega Yacht, the “A”, owned by 38 year-old Russian Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, that’s currently anchored off the coast of Sausalito (near San Francisco).
There are three pools, one with a glass bottom viewable in the dance room below, and doorknobs worth $40,000 on the ship. Entry to the master suite (all 2,500 square feet) is by finger print recognition. There is also a special “nookie” room. This is my kind of man! The mega yacht is 394 feet in length, and worth a mere $300 million, but it’s only the 12th largest in the world. It is smaller in size to Larry Ellison’s (local celebrity of Oracle fame/billions), Larry has a reputation in these parts (and also Malibu) as being somewhat of an ass.
I love the fact that Andrey has parked his mega yacht in Larry’s back yard, so to speak. Hah. Yay Andrey!
Mega Yacht Eclipse. My new home.
Eclipse, the world’s largest mega yacht an estimated at 538 feet in length, is owned by another young Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. This beauty has two helicopter pads, you know in case you want to go to a different port than others on the yacht. Like the “A”, much of the glass is bullet proof. I’ve ridden in a bullet proof Mercedes before – this is so right for me!!
Roman will be 44 this year, and he’s pretty damn cute (not that I’m superficial or anything, it’s not all about looks with me).
He has a bit of a bad boy reputation. Fuck, it’s like he was made for me, y’all!
Hey Roman – I’m single and love yachts and bad boys. We should hook up!