Adventure America

Long overdue.

18:04Meg Cowan

With night time on yet another full day about to tip into the early hours of Sunday todays update will be predominately visual. We are almost half way through our time here in the US and things have moved so quickly that keeping a record seems to have slid to the bottom of the list.
Let me see if I can remember...

Yes, that's right. We live in an apartment. Five kiwis who are used to indoor/outdoor flow live in an apartment. Fortunately Americans upsize everything and so the rooms are generously sized and we have room enough.

The large wardrobes have provided great spaces for E and G to practise their art installation concepts And no, we don't make them sleep here. This is their solution to the order to 'stay in your room until 7am please'. It's technically not disobeying when the wardrobe is part of their room and they still have their blankets and pillows nearby apparently.

By week two Mr Evans and I made our first visit to our distributors. A straight five hour drive from Nashville. And when I say straight, I mean, turn left in 222 miles. 

On a freezing cold night we managed to make sense of one of the oldest gas pumps in the state,
which is a good thing because we have the new 2014 Chrysler 300C (I think!?) to fill. Not a big deal car over here at all but Mr Evans liked them when they first came out in NZ so we're ticking that one off the list of cars to drive in our lifetime. 

Nashville has welcomed us. Or more specifically our good friend P-rock and the mighty mexican delights at RosePepper Cantina's helped settle us right in. 
Emma is a true lover of Mexican food which suits us perfectly as that's our meal of choice often times and there's plenty of Tex Mex to be had around here. 

When the food gets too spicy of course you need a little Jeni's Icecream to finish off with. We got there just in time as once we headed home the que snaked around the tables and out the door. 
The one key item on the top of E's list of things to do once we got to Nashville was go horse riding. 
We made our way out to Mt Juliet and drove up the drive past a tired looking structure. 

It didn't take long until E was ecstatically happy, riding by herself and exclaiming regularly 'Look Mum, I'm controlling her!. Old Lacey was near on 18years old and quite happy to humour E by plodding compliantly in line. 
Compliant however is not a word either Emma or Mr Evans could use to describe their horses. 
Judge for yourselves the image below but I see a rather stubborn glint in this horses eye. This was echoed by Mr Evan's horse 'Punk' who certainly lived up to his name over the course of the ride. Before they'd even started Punk managed to give a solid kick to another nearby horse, all with Mr Evans still in the saddle. It was an exciting start. 

G started off well in the coral but by the time I nudged my horse over to where he was waiting the enormity of directing such a large animal by himself was hitting him. I pulled up behind him to see a little face with tears streaming and he was sobbing that he didn't want to do it. 
It would have been easy to take him down and wait at the barn for the others to take the ride but after assessing the options I decided this was a tough love moment. He was on the horse and there was an hour of riding ahead so the guide was good enough to take his lead and a little of the pressure off. 
It was five minutes of bitter tears but once we were 10 minutes into the trail he was a true cowboy and full of bravado. As we recapped the ride with family on skype later that day G happily declared 'Emma was riding and her bikini came off!', meaning her 'beanie'!. 

Aside from adventures out there have been the regular day to day adventures as well. 
G, E and their little friend A, make fun for themselves where ever they go, like this trip to Walmart which resulted in a prolonged look in the groomers window. 

They all go to gymnastics together and Coach Ben, who's quite the man I'm told, has them really working to build strength and skill. 

It seems flexibility is required for doing household chores here also. This snap is of G at about 7am, so keen to get up and do his washing job for the week that he's got himself dressed and is almost inside the washing machine in his attempt to get the clean clothes out ready for drying. I'm not complaining. 
The rubbish removal is also his job some days and this is met with great enthusiasm as he gets to chuck it up into the big compactor. It's the simple things that make life fun. 

Then there are the surprise things that make life fun too. I raced onto a plane to Chicago (that's a whole story of it's own!) for a one day work trip and when I headed to pick up my 'compact economy' rental car I was told they were all out. I'd have to choose between a Toyota Prius or a two door Ford Mustang. Hard choice. My quick snap doesn't do it justice but the memory of the roar down the freeway will do me just fine. 

I missed the large snowfall in Chicago by a day and everything was melting so rather than a picturesque white blanket there was only dirty driven snow on the roadsides and a biting wind to greet me. 
With some stealth, so as not to be caught out before meeting a hundred plus funeral directors in the nearby building, and my teeth clenched against the insidious cold, I managed to snap a quick unflattering selfie in the car park with the largest pile of snow I could find. 

Not long after I returned there was another trip to the distributor and this time we took E with us by herself for the long drive. It was nice to make some time with just her and give her a peek inside our 'working world'. We stayed in a little motel and she was an absolute champion at the office, charming them all and ending up with a selection of trinkets she was given to take home with her. 
Then it was back to the warmth of home and some quality family time making use of the apartment pool complex, complete with spa for the crisp spring days. 

And that's just the half of it. I haven't even started on the funeral tradeshow pictures yet!.
To be continued...

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