Having realised I no longer needed so many tangible things as presents I was delighted when my hubby agreed to sponsor an up and coming singer songwriter to pen a song for me as a Christmas gift. Collaborating with Danny Wright was fun and Drive (4Denise) was born. Needless to say this was top of the playlist compiled for the road trip and formed the inspiration for the newly acquired desire for a tattoo. My daughter was a little aghast as she thought I was going to have one done whilst away but I reassured her that it would take a bit of research to find the right design and artist to achieve it. However this did not stop me from beginning the process with a henna ‘trial run’ curtesy of an artist on site at the festival. On first listen you could be forgiven for thinking the song is just about a road trip but the hidden metaphor is that of someone heading off towards the ‘sunset time’ of their life with all the challenges that can bring & how to deal with it.
Bend is a trendy place in more ways than one with its growing desire to replace fourway junctions with rotaries as (who knew) they are statistically are safer than the junctions. Having driven in Europe I negotiated these easily, avoiding any fines & admiring the art on those we encountered to meet my niece, her partner & my ‘dog nephew’ Eddison.
In true Oregon style we packed up the wagons and hit the trail to George, Washington for the Sasquatch Festival. Pre sale booking meant parting with more than a few bucks in advance so I was a tad perplexed to be given a hand written post-it note with a look that sort of said ‘are you at the right campsite’. On parking up it was evident that none of my fellow campers as far as the eye could see was much over 30 & facilities very basic. Armed with ‘no water’ body wash from a previous adventure in Ghana I still was happier than being corralled with the ‘older folk’ near the entrance.
Whilst its true my love of rock, punk & indie rock drew me to listen to bands such as Pup & Hippocampus I was surprised to discover a hitherto hidden taste for country and western courtesy of Margo Price!
Being an honorary Millennial for the trip was proving cathartic. Climbing through Forrest’s sky light to party on the roof it occurred to me that as you age embracing the opportunity to dust out the corners of your firmly held mindset was very empowering………. and possibly why I woke up the idea that I wanted a tattoo!
Hitting Vegas in the dark as we enjoyed sipping tea in Santa Clarita for too long was possibly a blessing as the roads were deserted as we crept into the rv site.
A shuttle bus ran us in to the strip which avoided the nightmare of taking the van which meant we could relax and have fun. For those who have not been this place is a barmy as it is made out to be and the noise and bustle is breathtaking.
We walked literally for miles just wondering in and out of the seemingly endless casinos and shopping malls all overing tempting means of parting you with your cash on frivolous things. I admit to succumbing to the cupcake ATM which delivered me the most delicious chocolate cake & we took the heady decision to gamble 10$ and came out with 11$. I promptly bet the 1$ and lost and at that point we decided to quit while we were still even!
I confess to having a bit of a thing about viewing cities from a height and Vegas was no different so up we went into the sky in a glass pod that gave us a fantastic panorama of the place. It helped us gain our bearings as we had a date with Magic Mike at the Hard Rock Casino and wanted to be able to find our way there. Not entirely sure whether it makes me a good or bad mother but having one of the performers come over and perform a sort of lap dance to us both probably ranks as one of the strangest mother and daughter experiences we have had. Not one I would ever could imagine occurring with my own mother!! Reeling with giggles we left not sure if it was the cocktails or the dancing – possibly a mixture of both but with the sense that probably best that the details stayed in Vegas!!