Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Jeep now has it's Summer Look!

The hard top came off last weekend, thanks to the strong backs of my young neighbors (it takes 3 people to remove and put the hard top back on!) My oldest son contributed to the new 'summer look' by presenting mom with the new back cover for my birthday. This cover keeps the dust and rain off everything I take with me, plus keeps stuff out-of-sight when parked. I am still thinking about how to secure my belongings under the duster. Though the back gate locks, and I do think it would be noticeable if someone was seen slicing through the duster with a large knife or trying to rip it off, I'm thinking my bicycle lock and coil chain wrapped around my suitcase would be the perfect added security.

The front seats are covered by a 'sunlight bikini top.' This top has 1000s of little light holes which lets some light in but keeps the heat and rain out - sorta. As it only covers to the door frame, if it does rain, the driver's left, and passenger's right side will get wet. I always keep my golfing rain suit in the car for just these occasions! With the widows rolled up, you'd be amazed how well the air conditioner/heater works - even though there is no 'back window.'

Parts of my route have been determined by where my friends and family live. Of course, they were all so thrilled when I announced I was coming to visit! No, seriously, they were. Then just this week my best friend Ellen invited me to join her in Santa Fe August 19-24 for the annual Indian Market, an event I have always wanted to attend. She's rented a condo and I just have to 'cook and provide wheels for the week to pay for my room'! I've also been invited to stop and visit with friends from Kure Beach who have a home near Taos. I am so lucky to have friends who live in some of the most beautiful parts of the country.

I've also been working hard contacting prospective sponsors for the trip and things are looking up. Ideally I would like to work one or two days each week while I'm on the road, writing articles, interviewing people, moderating focus groups and taking photos of everything I see to share with you.

Until next time......enjoy the official start of summer!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Summer Road Trip Route

This gives you an general idea of the route I have laid out this summer for my road trip. It will certainly change and this map does not show the specific highways I will be driving, only the areas I plan to cover.

I welcome the names of places I should visit and ideas of things I should see. At dinner last night my good friend Beth said I must not miss The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. It's places like this that I want to take the time to see - maybe something I normally might pass by, but because you've been there and enjoyed your visit, think that I should add it to my list of 'must see and do's."

Until next time.....


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Getting People Interested...

in my upcoming 'little road trip' is what I have been working on for the past month. When I realized exactly how many miles I was planning to drive, how much gas that would take, and in turn, how many $$ each tank will cost to fill, I had a brilliant thought....why not see if several publications, organizations and websites might not be interested in 'sponsoring' a portion of my trip.

So far I have contacted Jeep (Why not go Big! It is one of their great little Wranglers I will be seeing the USA in.) I started with my local dealer, Neuwerth Motors, who not only volunteered to give me a total and complete check-up and oil & filter change - for free - before I leave, but also have the contact to pass along my proposal to at Jeep headquarters.)

Next I have sent article proposals to both AARP and AAA. AARP to do articles on 'a woman traveling solo across, up and around the US @ 65' and AAA to do articles on all the wonderful places I visit and stay (using their fabulous Tour Books and Tripix) It was their Gas Mileage Estimater that helped me realize how many tanks of gas I will need.

My friend, Heather Claus, founder and publisher of 365 Days of Sewing works closely with both BurdaStyle and Nancy Zieman, came up with the suggestion that I should involve my passion for sewing and fabrics as part of my trip. Her idea - stop and visit every single fabric store I find along my route - to see and write about who...and what...America is sewing today.

That idea in turn lead to me contacting The American Sewing Guild , a national organization made of up sewists that I have been a member of since the early 1990's. With Chapter's located in all 50 states, I thought I could easily stop in for a visit with those located along my route. Not only would it make for a interesting article or two in their member-publication, Notions, but perhaps a live 'webinar' broadcast during my visits on their website would be interesting and fun.

So right now I am just waiting to hear back from all the people I have contacted. I received a huge box from AAA with all of the state maps and tour guide books I had requested. I will spend the time I will be laid-up after my knee surgery on Thursday, surrounded by great reading materials and colorful, magic markers to highlight my various route choices.

(Isn't this fabric great? Found it at my all-time favorite fabric store - Vogue Fabrics, Evanston, Illinois

Until next time.....