Saturday, June 27, 2015

Whitney Dodge.

Welp, just like that Whitney is married and I’m back at work.


Whitney wanted to know last night via text if I could take a long lunch, and then casually asked if I wanted to meet them at the court house to be a whiteness to her wedding, so simple so causal, just like that.

-Do you have any flowers!?
-Can I get you some?
-Should I dress up?
-Mike has a friend from work coming. I doubt he will dress up. But Mike and I will be dressed up.
If you wanta wear a dress that will look good.

So insane. 

So I skipped over to Trader Joe’s to get her some flowers and bought some rice. (I debated for a while in the store what kind of rice and I went with Jasmine. Who cares about the birds!) 
Whitney looked amazing her hair was wild, her skin was glowing, and her dress was so simple and perfect. 
Mike was getting sweaty and kept talking real fast.
I think at one point I was working three cameras. 
Randy and Steve looked real nice too.
Mike was nervous, then I was nervous. 
We were ushered into a small room with a terrible heart wreath and florescent lighting, and the Lady refused to put on her robe "it's too hot to wear my robe" (would you call her a minister?) she spoke some words, Whit got choked up and then they were married.
It was over before is began, Whitney was shaken with a bit anxiety trapped in this florescent government room as Randy took picture after picture, thinking that this is how her wedding would be remembered florescent, plastic flowers and no robe. Oddly those ended up being the things that made it perfect.

Quick and cheesy then outside we took pictures and everyone was giggling like kids, knowing we had all been a part of something big that our parents didn't know, it made you feel like you were in high school again. Overcome with a simple joy that the big fancy weddings can't buy.

This was an elevator selfie as we are leaving the court house, it makes me so happy.
(It beats Ellen's Academy Awards selfie by a long shot.)

So, I have an older brother now.  I love Mike so much, and I’m happy he is part of the family, and mostly I’m happy that there is a good man to take care of Whitney, she deserves the world. It’s been a hot, sweaty, quite wonderful day, and if it wasn't for the rice that stuck to their sweaty bodies rather then falling romantically to the ground, it would have been perfect.  So great.

Now I just have to wait until the news is made public before I hit “Publish” on this blog. . . 
I wish I could be there when they tell my parents, there is no way, NO WAY of knowing how they will take the news. . . 

I love my crazy family. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Its a Hybrid!

This is Joseph Patric and Zach, (I regret now not jumping in the picture.) 

Joseph and Zach live on the romantic Island of Victoria British Columbia. They announced back in March that they were holding a contest to win a VW Van, a 1976 Wesfedalla camper van. They called her Clemintine, she was a beautiful blue color, and they were just giving her away, so strings attached to whoever had the best story.

That’s it. A story and a picture. That’s all they wanted.

"Most folks that sell us a bus become our friends, and are thrilled that the camper they made memories in, will in fact be refurbished for someone else to enjoy, make their own memories and continue on... 

A simple life is a good life, and working on Westies with my son has truly made for great times together. We feel this giving something back, as the next part of the adventure. (... in a few days since posting this contest we have already heard back so many awesome & heart-warming stories - each week we will acknowledge each entry, to confirm receipt... and keep this legacy rolling on!). 

My grandpa said, that in this world, nobody owns anything except their character... so fine, in order to continue good karma, we are putting "our money where our mouth" is - for simply the most inspiring story sent to us. Call it a, 'what would Jesus or Jimmy Buffett do, type of thing'. 

So yes, there is one condition that comes with the sale of this van. The condition is: that the new owner/family MUST agree to keep Clementine in a proper manner. To Love, Honour and Service her ! When you see her, you will totally understand why. Amore, allow yourself to fall in love... "

-Don’t you just love that??
Just beautiful people with inspirational hearts.  

So I wrote a story, and then I wrote a second draft and then a third and then ninth. . and then I sent it in.

The wait was painfully long, and in the end they gave the bus to a well deserving guy named Patrick, he build Tepees and has a twinkly smile. 

But they were so moved by all the stories that were sent in that they said they wanted to meet everyone. With and invitation to “Come to the island!” for a BBQ. I had to go, what a great excuse to travel. 

So the Ol' man let me borrow his Hybrid car with amazing gas milage, and it was 17 hours there, with a 2 hour ferry and 17 hours home. With one full day on the island. 
Worth the trip. 

Meeting Joseph after hearing e-mail after e-mail from him was a treat, he spoke just like he typed all over the place and in a rambling manor. Turns out they don’t even run a VW restoration place, WV busses are just an extreme hobby. The real family business is making organic shampoos and soaps out of sugar. . . What?
They are crazy, lovely crazy people who were so happy to have everyone come, they gave us ugly t-shirts and fed us amazing tacos. Others came from all over,  Eric from New Hampshire, Marty & Dianne from North Carolina, Muktaali from Harrison Hot Springs, Christa from Alberta, Jack from Japan, Leah Australia, Duff & MK from Victoria, Guillermo from El Salvador, John & family from Port Alberni, Saara from Finland, Becky & Gary from Nelson and many more awesome Adventurous spirits.

Few in number but proud in spirit. They said that the BBQ will be a yearly thing, and they may be giving away another bus. So next year maybe I’ll take a week off, one day to soak up the salty air on that beautiful Island was not enough. 

Slightly disappointed that the winning bus didn't make it to the BBQ, but other busses showed up, they are so adorable. .  . 

I don't make a bucket list, I rather like to make lists of things I've done.
But if I did make a bucket list visiting the town of Nanamo to eat the famous Canadian Nanamo bar would be on it. I feel in love with this little treat when I lived in Canada,
Coconut chocolate crust, custard/cheesecakey-type filling with a hard dark chocolate top.

To eat one in the quaint place where they originated was perfect.
That Island holds a charm that only the experience its self can describe to you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Queen Mary

It has been such a joy to beekeep, these tiny little creatures have made my little world a little brighter.
The drive to see them is about twenty minuets from my apartment so when I visit I stay for a while. 
I bring them watermelon, I give them a piece and I eat a piece. I’ll sing songs to them, and then I’ll humm songs to them when I get paranoid that someone is in the trees watching me. I inspect the hive, then put it back together and sit and watch them go in and out. I was thinking of hauling a chase lounge down there because I really could lounge there for hours. 

I found the queen yesterday upon inspection, I must of been blind before because she stuck out like a rose among weeds. Maybe my eyes are just being trained better on how to see her. I wasn’t going to name her, and if I did it was going to be Latin and powerful, but I saw her yesterday and named her Mary. (For a few reasons: The love of Freddie Mercury’s life was his girlfriend of 6 years named Mary, even when he decided to be promiscuous and crazy she was still his dear friend to the day he died. Also: And Marry Poppins Also: Our mother Mary, Guadeloupe, the virgin Mary, is for some reason a hilarious great point in Catholic art, I just love it. And like the virgin Mary’s immaculate conception I really don’t understand how the queen bee can mate once and be fertile the rest of her life, that also could be viewed as an immaculate conception. )

Also: She looks like a Mary.  (Can you see her? In the middle?)

Needless to say I love the little guys, they are so happy are aren’t too bothered when I open up the hive and look around. I read in a book this week that for some reason when a bee leaves the hive it travels South for a few feet before it takes off in the direction is needs to go. Isn’t that weird? I sat and watched yesterday and that is about 80% true, some bees are rebels and take off in whatever direction they want but for the most part they would depart the hive traveling South.
Can you see the cute little larva in this one? New troops are coming!

The Honey production is also happening and it is nothing short of a miracle, God exists in the moments of watching them. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sleep away the part of the day that I can not drink away.

I haven't been myself this past week, I've done a lot of creepy things.
My frail little heart is been on a roller coaster and has landed face down on the hot pavement.
I have bruises on my body from roller skating, a massive swell on my arm from my sweet little bees (the picture) and scabbed knees from falling out of my apartment. (or off the last step rather, but that is how I worded it to my family)
I watched the Fed Up documentary on Netflix's and don't know what to eat anymore, so I don’t eat and it makes me feel better in a I’m-not-anorexic kind of way.

And before I sleep at night I turn on my window box AC unit and put my head phones on and music makes my thoughts come alive.

I hate sleeping alone.

These are on repeat my world. . .

Twenty One Pilots - a Car, a Torch, a Death
Billy Joel- Home
The Civil Wars- I've got this friend
First aid Kit - Stay Gold
Fun- The Gambler

Give em a listen.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Travel Lessons.

My Mom wanted me to choose some of my favorite travel pictures of myself to give her and so she could hang them up.
It has been fun to sift through them. . . .
It's made me think, and so I thought I would share some McKay Lessons to whoever thinks it would be wise to listen to me. . . . . . .
Here ya go. . . .

Life Lessons I have learned from traveling:

1. How to get uses to almost anything.
I had been traveling for over a month, I was sitting in an open air restaurant (everywhere to eat was open air) nothing was eventful, and I sat enjoying my meal when up the street drove a Cambodian boy on a motorcycle, on the back of the bike was a massive dead pig, so morbid, so huge, still bloody. He turned off the road and went right into the back of the restaurant. I looked down at my food, sure enough, pork.
It made me smile but didn’t even phase me, I just kept eating. 

My first moments in Thailand I was lead through the streets and then onto a bus by a tall “Ladyboy” (Transvestite) and he/she gave me a nasty roll to eat with surprise meet in it. It was the worst. I wanted nothing more then to go home. Yet after weeks being there I didn’t even give the Ladyboys a second thought and the while the mystery meat remained a mystery, it was a welcome treat. 

Even squatty-pottys are not that bad. 

Everything you think is normal will disappear when traveling out of the country and what a liberating feeling that is to free your mind of “Normalityies” and let whatever makes you ‘you’ stand out.

2. Food/ The importance of sharing a meal.
I love food. I LOVE IT!!! And when you travel there is nothing better then tasting the country. No better way to connect, no better way to experience something new. Try everything twice. I have heard that love is the universal language, well allow me to disagree! I have seen how the Asians “Love” each other and it weirds me out! (Nothing funny, they are just nuts!) Food is the Universal Language! Food! And MORE FOOD! In no culture in the world do people generally eat alone, people gather to eat, to share a meal is to share a memory, a memory that is defined by the dish. And I think as people get older we all realize (hopefully) that emotions and people are more important then things, thus food is one of the most valuable things you can buy for a person. Take the time to share a story over food. 
In Thailand you basically lay down to eat, it is beautiful, in Europe no one is in a rush when they eat you are rude if you are. Share a meal, buy someone food, it makes your day brighter.

3. How to ask for help.
I am a prideful soul, I like to pretend I know it all, and there is a fake it till you make it fasade that I love to parade around.
Yet I have learned to stop all that and ask for help, I have no shame in asking around for anything anymore. 
Most of the time it is an easy, very easy way to make a friend. Who doesn’t want to help out a cute girl traveling? (I’m cute right?)
I read recently  that "If you want to ender someone to you quickly, ask them for advice. Doesn’t matter what on, just asking for their opinion on anything shows that you respect them and value their input.” I think that fits in with what I’m trying to say. Don’t be afraid to talk.

4. How to have fun anywhere
Drew is my favorite person in the world because he is a master at this one, and I will forever love him for helping me do it too. 
Vacations with Drew usually end in organizing rocks, or spending the night in a Price parking lot, not ‘fun’ activities but some of my favorite memories. 
Sitting in a restaurant with Drew last week and he says “If you had to hang one pice of art in here in your bedroom what would it be?” A classic Drew game. Drew always forgets his phone, or lets it die and is with you, present in the moment. He makes being hungry and hot and annoyed hilarious, the worst situations are funny, and not that he is always happy, he just makes getting angry fun, getting mad is part of the game, and I feel like with him more then anyone I have moments of awe.  It’s a talent, I have very little advice as to how to acquire this. Maybe just let go of any expectations. That seems like a simple statement, it is hard to travel to Disneyland and not expect to go on Splash Mountian, or even drive to Disneyland and not expect to enter the park. But if you let go of any and all expectations, everything exceeds expectations. 

5. How to trow stuff away
When I was in Thailand I did everything really light. I had to, carring everything on and off motercyels, and walking for a few miles trying to locate things. To collect souvenirs was a joke. 
I bought clothes when I got to Thailand, wore them out and then threw them away to come home. Take pictures, and write down everything. I have been a good handful of places and the things that matter to me the most about these vacations will always be the pictures, and my stupid journal entries. 
I wish I could say I am a minimalist, But I am only one at heart. I imagine a world where I live as Nathan Evans with just my Dog and my Truck and America’s promise of freedom. But I love my collections of cake stands and colored glass and old lights too much. I just can’t.
But when traveling act as a boy scout, take only pictures leave only footprints. 

6. How to empathize

It is one thing to learn about sex trafficking, and it is something else entirely different when you see it first hand. 
My sister told us about the Romain orphans who lived on the streets, but seeing a man hole with a bed down inside changes it. 

I remember when I went to Mexico, we went down to work in an Orphanage (in between surfing and camping on the beach)
When we got there, day one we were so completely saddend at the conditions these kids lived in, the rooms they would pack them into, the sweet dirty faces smiling at us. 
And it almost kocked you over to realize that this was a reality for these sweet kids. 
Yet after spending a week with the kids, forgetting a bit about the home you have waiting for you, you realize that these kids have it quite good, that they are happy that they are fed well and they love each other, and that my life, my life that I think is more important because I own a car, I grew up with a traditional family, that I had a collection of American girl dolls as a girl, my life seemed almost the same, that there was things that I lacked that they would pitty me, that my fancy life wasn’t at all superior, but different. 

7. You are more resporseful then you thought. 
I lost my shoes in Laos, I was alone and only had one pair of shoes and they were gone. Stolen while I ate. 
I had to walk barefoot into a store and buy new shoes, put them on and walked out.

Most of the little hostles I stayed in in Bangkok didn’t have a bathroom, you would have to go down the hall, or down a floor. 
And at the end of a long day it was hard to motivate yourself to get leave your bedroom. 
So I kept water on hand and I would brush my teeth and just swallow my toothpaste and take a drink of water. 
It was weird but I kinda started to love it, sometimes I still do it. 

I was in the back of a truck with a girl who had been backpacking for 8 months, she told me it just gets to a point where all you use is shampoo, no face wash, no body wash, no conditioner just one thing. 
I thought she was nuts, my hair is long I need conditioner and face soap? I can’t use shampoo.

But when I hit about the two month mark out traveling, that’s what I switched to, it was easy, and it worked really well and simplified things. 

It’s nice to not panic about anything, I’m not a panicer anyway but it is nice to let go, if I loose my bag, I’ll figure things out.

8. The joy of being alone
I love being alone, mostly because I love to run in circles. 
Last month I took on the new York City subway tunnels all by myself, it was so exellerating to me. I got on to three wrong trains,  resulting in it taking three hours to get where I needed to when the direct route would have taken an hour. 
If I was with someone else they could have freaked out, they would have had there advice on where to go, and even if they were a person that was stress free I still wouldn’t have been able to put my headphones in and watch the people of new york dance around to the music in my head. It was empowering, it was so fun to just be in the tunnels, surrounded by a million people that didn’t know me.

To be alone for 24 hours in a new place listening to your own thoughts prioritizes things for me, I can see clearly the things that I place at the greatest importance, then adjust it or try to adjust it, if I want. 

I admit that sharing a moment is more fun then telling someone about it. I admit that while I was alone in Laos I was lonely, I remember sitting in the jungle of Laos watching the sun set and wanting  a familiar face so bad that my heart hurt. But while that moment sucked it makes me feel so glad now to have people around me that I love. To feel that contrast uplifts me. 

9. Embrace Spontaneity
I think I was born with this one. I crave spontaneity I love the unknown. Shit happens. . . All the time, and I have learned how to love those moments the best. Chillax, trust more then you normally would, say yes to everything. Don’t ever let laziness consume you on vacation! Place yourself where the action is! And if you must nap, do it in public! 

Remember plans are meant to be broken, let the wind carry you, follow good smells, smiling faces and bright lights wherever they are take you.
And Dance, always Dance. You catch more flies with a hair flip, and if you teach a man to dance he’ll dance life. . . . Something like that. 
Dance, it’s free therapy, and it’s HELLA fun. 

10. Step way. 
There is a million wonderful things about being on a backpackers trail, but one of my favorite things is the book exchange. Leave a book, take a book. And with out using your hand to impulsively open up Instagram you have time to keep an index finger in a book to save your spot. I finished four books while I traveled in Asia, and if you know me you would know that is kinda a big deal. Don’t travel for others, travel for yourself. Let people know you are leaving, then leave. 

I like to keep my blog updated, I love blogging from a weird location. Up load some pictures I’ve taken and leave a few words, but leave your world behind when you travel, no one cares about your Instagram and snapchat is shit. To step away and give a stranger your complete attention is worth more then 5,000 likes. 

11. Let go of your Religion (But not your morals)
My Parents may not agree with this, I’m not even sure I do.
I sat with a monk for 3 hours one day in Laos he taught me (or tried to teach me) to meditate. It was so humbling to see the devotion he had to his God, he had given his life in attempt to be closer to something greater then him. His devotion was his testament to his belief. He was as devoted to his religion as I was to mine, maybe more. Who am I to tell him he is wrong? Who am I to force on my beliefs to him? All I could do was sit and respect him, learn how to meditate and let go of the ideas I had craved into my heart to better understand him more hoping I left him with the same happiness he gave me. 

And when you are on a hippie farm in Canada and you are offered a drink that may have alcohol in it, that they have brewed themselves, just drink it. And if shrooms are legal in Laos and you just met a boy from New Zealand who wants to have a chat and sip a shroom smoothie, just do it.  Don’t go crazy, listen to your gut, never do anything you know you will regret. But be open to the universe, act on the things your heart tells you, and avoid most of what your head says. I have found that this oddly has brought me closer to my God, with a better understanding of love and acceptance.  As well as a great adventure. 

-So travel, and when you don’t have time or money you should still travel (That may be horrible advice) 
God has packed this earth full of variety beyond anyone’s lifetime can intake, and to open your eyes to others is to open your eyes to yourself.