Jacksonville Tour Tomfoolery

A 12 hour tour bus trip for work to the Florida Country Superfest meant only one thing this past weekend….endless shenanigans for this Nashville chick.

Me and my one adoring fan.

Me and my one adoring fan.

After prepping my ride for the weekend with an overabundance of booze, low-class snacks and booze, we were ready to roll.

Weekend ride

My chariot.

Being that this bus was full of party animals, surprisingly there was only one rule to follow the entire trip…

The lone bus rule.

The lone bus rule located in the bathroom.

As we pulled out of Nashville, I assumed my assigned position of tending bar.

Happy Times

One Skinny Pirate and glass of vodka coming right up!

After an hour (or three) of cocktailing, hoisting my ample ass up to the top bunk was no easy feat.

Uh...

This is the face after a self-inflicted concussion.

No worries about the wound, as I did what you’re supposed to do after all head injuries. I slept it off.

After what felt like 32 minutes of sleep, we’d arrived in Jacksonville and I couldn’t get out of my own personal coffin fast enough.

Whoa Baby

Trying to bust a move off the bus gracefully.

I high-tailed it off of the bus and followed the signs to my fave place in any venue.

The stage.

Sprint.

Sprinting to the stage almost cost me two sprained ankles.

I've arrived.

Florida was underwhelmed with all of my non-showered, greasy glory.

Naturally it’s not easy taking selfies while staying out of the crew’s way, busting their asses in preparation for the evening show, so I didn’t stay around long enough for them to ask me to help with sound check.

Check 1. Check 2. Check yourself off of the stage.

Check 1. Check 2. Check yourself off of the stage.

Escorting myself out of the high traffic staging area, I decided to take my talents back stage and offer assistance near the tour trucks.

Just

Please. We all know I sat on my ass and watched others work as my nails are “jewels, not tools.”

In dire need of a shower, I settled for a semi-clean bathroom vanity to gussy my raggedy ass up.

Concert prep after being escorted off stage.

Touring at its finest.

It was then time to head for concert where I was treated to a warm up show by a lady who gave me a run for my trashtacular money.

Front row for this...

Who needs a pole when you have a chair?

Not wanting to be out classed by the chair dancer, I managed to spill an entire Skinny Pirate on my pal Rocky as I was prepping for a pic of us.

Hey oh! Managed to spill an entirely full Skinny Pirate on this guy and he still smiles.

Swimming in a Skinny Pirate and he still smiles. Sign of a good friend!

Speaking of friends, what about me getting to hang with my Florida bestie, who I had no clue would be in attendance at the festival?

My fab friend!

Surprise reunion!

Think she looks familiar?

Well, she does. Not only has she joined me in being a Holly Jolly Drunk girl this past Christmas, she also took part in one of my very best photo-bombing events.

Yep,  you've seen her before in my photo-boming mad skills

Which one of these is not like the other?

But I digress.

Of course Holly Jolly Drunk Girl and I consumed cocktails while catching up.

This is all we did...

She talked. I guzzled.

While us gals were gabbing, nature started to call upon my over flowing bladder, so I went to wait in a line that was roughly 5,312 ladies long. After 20 hellish minutes I realized that an emergency was about to take place, so I sought other means of relief.

Yep. I did.

Yep. I did.

I sprinted into the men’s room with my hands cupping my eyes while yelling, “I’m not looking! I can’t see you! I’m about to piss my pants!”

A very kind, extremely inebriated cowboy with his pants unbuttoned turned around from his urinal and tried to escort me toward the first open stall. While trying to avoid his germ filled grip, I slammed the door behind me and was greeted to this lovely sight.

Most disgusting

Only the classiest will do for this fancy chick.

While I’d never shared a toiled with a Gatorade bottle, a beer can and someone’s regurgitated lunch it was well worth the sacrifice because I would have missed Florida Georgia Line waiting to use the ladies room.

NOt Gonna miss htis.

I mean seriously. The sacrifices I make.

Singing along with the likes of Little Big Town, Eric Church and Jason Aldean for the rest of the evening didn’t suck either.

While bleary eyed and not at all bushy-tailed the next morning, I was greeted to a scantily clad Luke Bryan outside the bus window.

Luke!

Our fingers were crossed his ball would break a bus window.

Collecting myself for yet another jammed packed day, I met my buddy Aha! who is on tour with Easton Corbin.

Or my buddy!

Buddies so old we used to be in a band together.

While perusing the other buses backstage, my eye caught a very sore sight. It was a plane with an advertisement that was obviously never double checked, as it read:

“$250 for AIDS and hearing test”

Only at a country festival

Only at a country music festival…

Popping back up on stage, I earned a new side gig acting as a guitar tech for Easton Corbin. My big moment came when I ushered a guitar out on stage and whispered in a semi-shout, “Turn this thing on!”

Just helping guitar tech for Easton Corbin. My new side gig.

Aha! aiding me in my new career.

Being that I was embarking on a new profession called for a celebration with the crew.

Three cheers for the guitar

Four cheers for my abilities to guitar tech volunteer!

Many celebratory cocktails later, we were crooning along to our fave country tunes with our closest 75,000 friends.

Eric Church

Luke Bryan looking good in the fabulously lit hood.

When it was all said and done, we headed back to our home on wheels that looked like it’d been through a 21 day excursion, instead of our 48 hour trip.

Bar?

Anyone see the Captain?

Of course I was still enamoured with the mirrored ceiling that provided yours truly with endless entertainment.

Still

Mirror mirror on the ceiling, I still find this overly appealing.

Returning home, the only thing I could do Monday night was sift through the weekend aftermath in my purse.

Remnants...feels like my liver. Direct reflection of how my liver feels.

Remnants of a fun-filled two days.

In case you were wondering, this photo is a direct reflection of how my liver is still feeling.

Until the next tour…

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Winks – Road Trips and Bridges of Terror

Oh what fun it is to decide on a last-minute road trip for Valentine’s Day. While running around the office Friday, trying to tie up loose ends before heading out of Nashville, I forgot the garbage wasn’t my purse as I slung it up over my shoulder…forgetting it was trash but wearing it like it was Louis Vuitton.

Packed and ready.

Stylish new accessory.

Being that it was Valentine’s Day, I must share my two Iowa loves as they celebrated all things hearts.

Double to love.

Double to love.

While my niece typically doesn’t get to indulge in sweets, Valentine’s Day was an exception and her reaction to dessert went a little something like this…

Nothing but love for chocolate. True woman.

Nothing but love for chocolate. True woman.

As I had received news that family wasn’t doing well in Missouri, I embarked on a solo road trip with my fingers crossed I would be able to find my way in the dark, with ancient MapQuest directions (if you were wondering if anyone in the world uses MQ anymore, old school ladies like me do) as my GPS couldn’t connect when I was driving through large metropolises with whopping populations of 907 folks.

Takin' it back to 2003.

Taking it back to 2003.

I was cruising at high speeds of 45mph when I suddenly hit a bridge. A bridge where I was sure to die on if any other vehicle came from the opposing way. A bridge that I was fairly sure flesh-eating zombies lived under. A bridge that took more than four minutes to drive across with what was sure to be a 500 foot drop into the Mississippi River.

Bridge of terror.

Immediate sweaty armpits and white knuckles.

Arriving shortly after midnight in Joplin, MO, I was greeted by my immediate new friend Lucy.

Sweet Lucy.

Not too sure if she likes the Nashville visitor yet…but cute as hell!

I traveled to visit a family member who’s not feeling so hot these days (one who helped move me to Nashville years ago).

Memories

Then.

current

Now.

As I went to settle into my room, I almost pissed my pants seeing the photo display on the dresser, which reminded me of the game…

Which one of these is not like the other?

Which one of these is not like the other...

Clue. It’s the chick in the ultra fabulous suspenders.

For those of you who don’t remember, Joplin had a mile wide tornado rip through the heart of its city in May of 2011. I was curious as to what the path of the tornado looked like presently, so I was given a tour of the remnants.

Shrapnel

A tree stands with snarled metal.

still stuck

Still stuck after three years.

A lone tree in the tornado zone has been painted honoring the victims, the city heroes and the volunteers who came to Joplin after the devastating storm.

Spirit tree.

Spirit tree.

Memory wall by Conoco

A painted memory wall by a local Conoco station.

What struck me the most was a lone cross standing in a barren field, which is all that is left of what was once a Catholic church. During the tornado, the priest was alone, took cover in a bathtub and all that remained after the storm was the cross and the man of the cloth, who survived.

Lone cross and preacher

Rubble and remnants from the church.

While Joplin is most certainly back up on its feet, seeing the devastation caused by nature can certainly take your breath away. Which is why we needed a Starbucks pick-me-up after the tour of town.

Starbucksing it up.

This man loves black coffee like I love Captain Morgan (and Teddy).

After a few days of fun visiting, it was time for me to trek the eight hours back to Nashville. And I was feeling pretty foxy about being able to drive in the daylight until I saw this….

Uh...Houston

That f’ing bridge in the light of day. Way scarier.

The sun shone brightly on what seemed to be a 400 mile bridge that was about as wide as the doorway into my mini manse.

Roller coaster

This feeling equates to the slow course uphill of a roller coaster…

As I was holding my breath, crossing my fingers, toes and legs again hoping to not encounter any oncoming traffic I was so terrified that naturally I stopped to snap a photo.

No semis please

No semis please. PLEASE!

Upon defeating the bridge for the second time in three days (with the need for more deodorant), I turned my scorn toward the snow still on the ground.

SNow?

Snow? At least it’s sunny.

While being all dramatic on the road, I was quickly put in place by my sister who sent me a photo of their Iowa driveway last night.

Shut the fuck up, Southerner.

Shut the fuck up, Southerner.

Two little furry faces were awaiting my arrival home and I’ll let you guess which one is extremely tired of being a host…

Please. Find him a home.

Please. Find him a home.

While I’m not usually a hearts and flowers, mushy gushy kind of gal here I must say that to have your health, you have everything. With recent cancer diagnoses of a close college friend and a dear uncle in California to the illness invading my Joplin family, it’s never a bad reminder to be thankful for who you have and squeeze them tightly.

Teddy’s almost turning blue right now.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Kitty Cocktail Time!

It’s time for cattails!

Ted and I don’t want anyone to be drinking alone, so if you find yourself in that situation over the weekend, please pull up this photo and we’ll drink right along with you. I’d even put my head in your drink if you need me to (and yes, this is a ritual that Mr. Bear and I do extremely often. Way too often. But what can I say? He’s my bebe – that, and I’m a cray cray cat lady).

No one likes to drink alone.

No one likes to drink alone.

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!

CBXB

CBXB!

Ted in Times Square!

It’s true! Teddy is a gigantic star!

My furry feline is beyond famous (in our two brains) now thanks to the photo magic of one of my blogging besties, Phil Lanoue, who created this picture for our entertainment (and healthy ego bump for a cat who didn’t need any help in that department).

Teddy was so flattered at Phil’s thoughtfulness, he started to do a back flip (momentarily forgetting how truly lazy he is) when he saw himself on the big screens but decided to demand a belly rub instead. This cat’s head is now as big as a lion’s and yet he still sounds like a goat when he meows (making him all the more special, right?).

Meeeow adoring fans!

Meeeow adoring fans!

I wonder who will call first…The Today Show? The Ellen DeGeneres Show? Maybe this will bring Oprah back to daytime TV? Oh, the possibilities seem endless!  I wonder if Phil Lanoue Photography will have to take a small hiatus from shooting fantastic wildlife shots in order to keep up with the demand for fresh pics of Ted? Hopefully he won’t regret creating this madness.

Now I’m impatiently waiting for the phone to start ringing off the hook as Ted is busy beautifying each strand of fur one by one.

But wait, we both just had a thought…

How will Teddy give his pawtograph?!

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Make the Rain Suck It

Rain rain go away, I’ll look good with your presence anyway (well, here’s hoping)!

Today is full of dismal, dreary showers here in Nashville, with gray skies.  I often feel like a drowned rat when out and about – probably because my choice of shoes is limited – but I’m always prepared with a little leopard (of course).

Rainy days make the leopard boots come out and play!

Rainy days make the leopard boots come out and play!

On stormy days, I try to coax the sun to come out by wearing my sunglasses anyway (looking like a complete and total jackass).  Accompanied by my high “I didn’t do my hair today” bun, I look like I’m trying to be somebody. Anybody.

Who needs an umbrella when armed with sunnies and a bun? Not this nobody.

Today I tried kicking rain’s ass with a little faux fur action, accompanied by a sequined sweater, black skinnies and of course my fabulous galoshes (please forgive the ugliness in the background below – restroom under construction…).

blah

Vest, Skaist Taylor for Target, $14.98. Sweater, J. Crew, $19.99. Black skinnies, Target, $24.99. Boots, Target, $19.99. See a theme here?!

But the best part about my day? The pop of hot pink inside my jacket.

Oh snap!

Oh snap!

It’s my way wet day version of the sun.

Suck it, rain!

CBXB

CBXB!