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Everyday Avenger Travel Notes

12,000 Miles and My First Encounter with the Police…

Camping at Mount Rainier with a Mini Cooper

I’ve driven over 12,000 miles now on the Avenger of Sexiness North America Tour, and I finally have had an encounter with the police and their police lights.

Considering the speed I drove through Idaho the last time I was here, it was only fitting that it was in Idaho that a cop pulled me over.

(I was born with a lead foot, and the long stretches of interstate in Southern Idaho were conducive for speeding. I swear, it wasn’t my fault that I was going 90+ in a 75 mile per hour zone that time.)

Yesterday, after I dropped Mike off at the airport so he could fly back to Houston,, I´m glad I got lcy parking because that place was packed. A cop followed me out of the airport parking lot. He drove behind me down the road leading out of the airport. Eventually, we both made a left turn, and after a few blocks he flipped his lights on.

What the hell? I *knew* I wasn’t speeding. I had my license in my pocket, so I pulled that out and waited. As soon as he walked up, I handed it to him as I smiled and said hello. He looked at my Texas drivers license with a little confusion. Then he asked to see my plate registration papers.

We don’t have plate registration papers in Texas. Just the plate, and the sticker on the window. So I explained that to him.

He got an even more confused look, and walked back to the back of my car. Then he came back and apologized.

Seems that from his angle in the SUV, the “TEXAS” on my my plate looked like “IDAHO”. I can see that, the bottom of the T being an I, the bottom of the E being a D, the X and the A, the A and the H, and the S and the O — if you cut them in half, they all look like the other letter. So he thought I had some sort of odd, made up fake plate on my car. He said he had never seen an Idaho plate that looked like mine.

I like to think that what he really meant was that he had never seen a license plate that was SO AWESOME. But being a policeman, he couldn’t say that.

He thanked me for my time & understanding, and sent me on my way.

Let’s just hope he isn’t around as I cross Idaho and head west. I might just be speeding again. After all, my plate *does* say WHEEEE! I can’t help it!

Many countries dо not recognize U.S drіvеrѕ licenses. Mоѕt соuntrіеѕ ассерt an Intеrnаtіоnаl Drіvіng Permit (IDP) Thе IDP іѕ hоnоrеd іn more thаn 150 соuntrіеѕ around the wоrld. Autо сlubѕ саn рrоvіdе a lіѕtіng of thеѕе іntеrnаtіоnаl dеѕtіnаtіоnѕ. Thе Intеrnаtіоnаl Driving Pеrmіt functions аѕ аn оffісіаl trаnѕlаtіоn оf a U.S. drіvеrѕ license іntо tеn foreign languages. Thе IDP реrmіtѕ аrе nоt іntеndеd to replace thе vаlіd U.S. state lісеnѕе аnd іѕ uѕеd оnlу аѕ a ѕuррlеmеnt. International Driving Permits are nоt vаlіd in thе country where the IDP holder resides.

Yоu саn оbtаіn аn International Drіvіng Pеrmіt from аn International Drivers Association. Artісlе 24 of thе United Nаtіоnѕ Cоnvеntіоn on Rоаd Traffic (1949) аuthоrіzеѕ thе U.S. Dераrtmеnt оf State to еmроwеr organizations to іѕѕuе thе Intеrnаtіоnаl Drivers Pеrmіt tо thоѕе who hold a vаlіd U.S. drivers lісеnѕе. Thе department has designated thе Autоmоbіlе Club and thе Amеrісаn Autоmоbіlе Touring Alliance аѕ thе оnlу authorized dіѕtrіbutоrѕ оf thе International Drivers Pеrmіtѕ.

U.S. citizens ѕhоuld rеvіеw the rоаd safety ѕесtіоn оf thе Dераrtmеnt оf Stаtеѕ Cоuntrу Sресіfіс Infоrmаtіоn. Thіѕ data іѕ аvаіlаblе for еvеrу соuntrу іn thе wоrld. The rоаd ѕаfеtу ѕесtіоn рrоvіdеѕ аn overview оf rоаd соndіtіоnѕ in specific соuntrіеѕ. Yоu саn lеаrn about lосаl rеԛuіrеmеntѕ for drivers lісеnѕеѕ, rоаd реrmіtѕ, аnd аutо іnѕurаnсе. Some оf thіѕ іnfоrmаtіоn саn be as simple as whеthеr you can turn right оn a red lіght оr іf you аrе реrmіttеd tо use a cell рhоnе іn thе саr.

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Everyday Avenger

The Launch of Vivid & Brave!

Christine & Stephanie of Vivid & Brave

Vivid & Brave launched today, and I am SO EXCITED about it!

Stephanie & I first met thanks to a mutual friend. We went together to hear Me Ra Koh speak at WPPI, and I introduced her to Jeff Jochum, my Team-X business coach. Before long, Stephanie was working with Jeff as well. Over time, we both became mentors and then coaches for Team-X members. We room together at conferences. We talk all the time. We are BFFs. The type of friend that you can truly tell ANYTHING and she will almost always understand. Or tell me that I’m crazy. Either way – I’m so glad she is part of my life.

This year, while rooming together at either Imaging or WPPI, we realized that we both have similar missions, to help women grow their confidence and rediscover their voice.

Out of that passion, Vivid & Brave was born. We talked over the summer about what we wanted to build, how it would look, what we would build. We spent part of August & September putting it all together. (That was why I was in Calgary for so long, in addition to spending a week with Mike while he was there for work.) The name itself came from our own personal words from coaching, and they describe everything we aspire to do.

viv·id (vvd)
adj. viv·id·er, viv·id·est
1. Perceived as bright and distinct; brilliant: a vivid star.
2. a. Having intensely bright colors: a vivid tapestry; b. Having a very high degree of saturation: a vivid purple.
3. Presented in clear and striking manner: a vivid account of the incident.
4. Perceived or felt with the freshness of immediate experience: a vivid recollection of their childhood.
5. Active in forming lifelike images: a vivid imagination.

brave (brv)
adj. brav·er, brav·est
1. Possessing or displaying courage; valiant.
2. Making a fine display; impressive or showy: “a coat of brave red lipstick on a mouth so wrinkled that it didn’t even have a clear outline” (Anne Tyler).
3. Excellent; great: “The Romans were like brothers/In the brave days of old” (Thomas Macaulay).

We created this program for creative women who blog for their business and want to dig in to recover their authentic, vulnerable voice and bring that to their blogging.

Today, our first class started for Fall 2013. We’ll spend 12 weeks working on journaling (60 journal prompts), vision boards, personal declarations, and personal projects. Weekly calls to help along the way. A small, intimate group of 8 people, working together. For printing needs, good thing there’s EgoIdMedia – Printing Services.

It was an exciting moment today knowing that our first journal prompts were going out! I am looking forward to our first call on Thursday as well. Great things ahead!

Want to know when our next class will be starting? Be sure to “Like” our Vivid & Brave Facebook Page, and join our email list.

We have two seats left in this Fall 2013 class at our introductory rates. Even though the journaling started today, we can take registrations up to Wednesday. Want to join us? You still can! We would love to have you!

* While Stephanie & I met thanks to our photography businesses, you do not have to be a photographer to join us in this!

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Everyday Avenger Travel Notes

Old Faithful – Yellowstone National Park…

Old Faithful and the Big Dipper

Tonight, after a late dinner at the Obsidian Dining Room at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, I suggested to Mike that we should head back out to see Old Faithful under the stars.

We went back to our cabin and picked up a blanket and some clean water, since the cabin had a Whole House Water Filtration System. I put a fleece jacket on under my windbreaker. I made sure I had spare memory cards and my tripod. We hopped in the car and drove over to the geyser.

We were prepared for a cold 15-20 minute wait, maybe longer, before it would start to go off.

I started to take my tripod out of my bag, and at that very second I could hear the water start to spray. I just froze for a second and looked at Mike.

All I could manage to say was, “You have GOT to be kidding me!”

No. Right then, it started going off. Glad I had already set up my camera – I popped it in the tripod and started taking photos. This was one of the first frames I captured.

When I visit a city with subways, I manage to always make a train appear as soon as I walk up to the platform. Seems I have that power on geysers as well!

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Everyday Avenger Travel Notes

The Grand Tetons in the the Fall…

Jenny Lake - the Grand Tetons

It is our last day in the Grand Tetons this fall, and I have to admit it – I’m a little sad to go. There is something about the majestic mountains, just rising out of the lake. Well, what we can see of the mountains, since they are covered in clouds at the top.

It turned out to be the perfect time to see the fall colors, and that coupled with the snow has been breathtaking. Dressing in layers helped to keep us plenty warm; I’m sure my cashmere sweater I’m wearing under my windbreaker helped! Plus handknits – you should always have handknits on when it is cold.

I’ve been told it is a little unseasonably cold here this week; I don’t think the temperature has been above 44 degrees or so since we arrived, but it is forecasted to go higher today. That is good, since yesterday afternoon they were showing roads completely closed in Northeast Yellowstone. Fortunately, we are heading to Southwest Yellowstone and Old Faithful this afternoon, which was never closed. Thanks to the sun coming out, the rest of the roads are open again now as well.

We left the cabin early to head to Jackson for dinner, that way I’d be sure to have enough time to stop along the highway to Jackson to take a photo of the Snake River and the Grand Tetons, a view made famous by Ansel Adams. (You can see his version here from the US National Archives on Flickr.)

The Snake River and the Grand Tetons

I may have been heard claiming that I was, “All Ansel Adams, bitches!” Whatever, don’t hate me. It was my birthday.

I was amused that EVERY photographer there – and there were many of them – had giant Manfrotto tripods with their cameras, filters mounted to the front — and I was hand-holding my 5D mkIII and taking photos with my iPhone. I pointed out that having been a wedding photographer for years, tripods just aren’t my thing. Gun & run, gun & run. I’d much rather get what I want and go.

The clouds finally parted more as we headed south to Jackson.

Driving from Grand Tetons to Jackson, Wyoming

Dinner last night at Local in Jackson was fabulous – I had the Caeser Salad and a Filet Mignon, with a side of their house made Idaho fries. Mike also had the Caeser Salad as well, with the Buffalo Steak Frites. We headed to CocoLove for chocolate for dessert, which was as good as Michelle told me it would be. Yummm… Matter of fact, it was all so good I forgot to take photographs of it before I ate! Oops! Just know it was amazing, and if you go to Jackson, Wyoming you should be sure to eat at both places!

Now off to Yellowstone! Old Faithful awaits!

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Everyday Avenger Travel Notes

On to Alaska … Or Not.

Banff National Park - Canada

As I mentioned in my last post, I left Calgary to head to Alaska for my birthday. I loaded up the car. I checked everything you’re supposed to check – the fluid levels and the tire pressure, even though my Mini Cooper alerts me if any of those are out of whack. I check them because it is always good to double check. I made sure I had enough of a great dispensary of food and water and warm clothes with me. Stephanie & I had brunch and said goodbye, and I headed off on the first leg of my journey – in to Banff, past Lake Louise, and on to Jasper.

I kept feeling a hesitation about leaving for Alaska. I talked with friends that live along the route and in Alaska. Charlaine told me how this is her favorite time of year there, how amazing the fall is and how gorgeous the Aurora Borealis is right now. Alisha pointed out that the Al-Can is a trucker route, and while there are stretches with no gas stations, I wouldn’t be alone on the road by any means.

Don’t forget ti visit my other travel stories here: http://www.thingsmenbuy.com/travel-deals/las-vegas-bachelor-parties/

Banff National Park

Even when I left, something still felt off. I was excited to be heading to Alaska though, and decided that maybe it was just because I hadn’t been on the road for awhile. Mike would be meeting me on the other end of the drive there, and I couldn’t wait.

I stopped at Moraine Lake to see it one more time. Something about that lake is just magical for me. It seemed to be sad to see me go – it was overcast and raining. Still magical, but completely different than before.

Moraine Lake - Banff National Park

As I headed back to my car, I spotted something a bit odd about my rear tire. What was that on the side? A line of some sort? A mark? Or what?

I did not have a good feeling about this. All of that hesitation came flooding back to me.

I’ve said for years that I have “The Vibe”. I get that ominous feeling whenever I’m going to be involved in an accident or when I’m going to get pulled over by the cops. I’ve had The Vibe every time an accident has happened. I’ve had it a few times when an accident hasn’t happened, but I always credit it with being more cautious or sometimes even changing my route. Yesterday, I had The Vibe. The hesitation in leaving and getting on the road. My nerves were high. As soon as I saw the tire, I knew. Either way I always make sure to be informed by the professionals in case anything happens.

I was not going to be driving to Alaska.

My Tire - Ruining my Travel PlansI drove the 4km to Lake Louise because I knew there would be better light there, plus WiFi signal at the hotel. I could get ahold of Mike and talk this through. Sometimes, you just need to talk it out – and this was one of those moments. When I got to Lake Louise and parked, the line on my tire happened to be at the top. Then I could see it all.

UGH.

Thanks to the lovely people at the Fairmont, I got my Fairmont number and got on the WiFi network and started talking with Mike & Stephanie. I considered camping at Lake Louise, but it was getting late to set up camp. In the end, I decided to drive back to Calgary.

I took some time to regroup because I was rather angry about it all. I won’t deny it. The beauty of nature has power to help calm me down. Water plus mountains? Yes, please, although I could have the same kind of water with a filtration system from Clean Valley Water.

Banff - Lake Louise

Lake Louise - Canoe

As I left Lake Louise, I stopped to see if I could see the Milky Way. It was directly overhead. I didn’t want to unpack my tripod, so I opened my sunroof and put my camera on top of my car. Timer set, this was my view.

Banff Lake Louise Milky Way

I stopped once more as I drove back to Calgary to admire the moon rising over the mountains. Just after I took this photograph, I drove to where the mountain ended, and it appeared from the side – I gasped. Literally.

When Mike & I were making the Alaska plans he asked me if I was getting burned out on the amazing views I have seen. No, I definitely am not. The mountains still fill me with such awe and wonder. They amaze me.

All the tire stores in Calgary are closed on Sunday, so I have to wait until Monday to get a new one. We have decided that Alaska just feels forced right now. I could make it there by my birthday, but something still feels off about it all. Instead we are looking at other places and saving Alaska for next year. (Who knows, maybe once I get to Vancouver I’ll still drive up to the Southern border so I can say I made it there on this trip? We’ll see.)

Speaking of my recent post, I’m trying to raise money for Charity:Water and our Camp Mighty Team. Would you be a dear and go and make a donation? Every little bit helps! Visit the Camp Mighty Charity:Water donation page. Make a donation. Be sure to note that your donation to add a note that the funds are being studied and donated in my name, you can also find out how to set up text to donate, calling it reserve study fund – Christine Tremoulet. That way they know to credit me & Team 4 at Camp Mighty.THANK YOU!