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Ok, so I can’t figure out how to post this video from funny or die.  So, you just have to click the link and watch the musical about California’s Proposition 8 – starring Margaret Cho, John C. Reilly, Neil Patrick Harris, Maya Rudolph, Jack Black and more! 

 

I just have so many issues with this topic…  I keep hearing the phrase “deconsstruct marriage” and to me, that’s like saying “jumbo shrimp.”  The focus of marriage is to construct a new relationship…  We are discriminating in America still, and it’s sad.  Why is one person more valid than another?  There’s no answer, and by not allowing people to have civil rights we are making them feel invisible.

Maybe we just love to eat.  Maybe we just love to drink.  Maybe we just love having Brazilian friends.  Why?  Because then we actually get to indulge in the things we only see on the Travel Channel and Food Network.  Our favorita Brazilian, Mila, invited us to a bbq of sorts this weekend, and we were introduced to all that is Brasil.  For starters, cahaça, a liquor made from the distillation of fermented sugarcane juice, is like the unoffical national drink of Brasil.  And I know why: it’s g-double o-d.   In fact, it’s so good that Brazilians are keeping most of the drink for themselves.  Of the billion or so liters the country produces each year, only 1% is exported (mainly to Germany).  How do you say “stingy” in Portuguese?!  Haha!

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The most popular drink made with cahaça is the caipirinha.  The drink is simple to make as Mila’s dad quickly showed me (muddled lime & sugar, cahaça or vodka, ice), and fun to drink.  Think margarita-ish, minus the salt.  Alongside our caipirinhas, we filled up on rice (of course!), vinaigrette (like a salsa, and it tops your rice…sooo good!), grilled pork and picanha.  Now, picanha is the main reason we headed to this bbq.  While in California, we learned of a cut of beef known as tri-tip (read what the cut is here) – and apparently, it’s the hit in Brasil as well. 

Anywho, food + drink + friends = good times.

Now that I actually have more than five minutes to type something, here I go….

The last year has been quite a journey. We had the chance to visit 3 countries (AU, NZ, USA), and traveled over 5,000 miles through 12 states (OR, WA, CA, NE, UT, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, TN, GA) in the USA. For part of the drive we were on the historical Route 66, which was pretty cool. What’s more, we had the chance to visit with 6 family members and 4 friends in different cities and states, attend a bachelorette party and spot 3 celebrities (kind of!).

All in all, it’s been crazytown, and we’ve loved every second of it!

For your reading enjoyment, some stats of our USA trip:

Start: April 13 – Portland, OR – 76,037 odometer
April 17 – Redwood National Park – 76,810
April 18 – San Francisco, CA – 77,140
April 22 – Joshua Tree National Park – 77,717
April 23 – Zion National Park – 77,907
April 28 – Petrified Forest National Park – 78,613
April 30 – Tennessee border – 79,897
End: May 04 – Palm City, FL – 81,331

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Many people have also asked us about petrol prices, so here are some we saw:

Crescent City, CA (northern CA) – $3.99
San Francisco, CA – $4.05
Amboy, CA – $4.49 (OK, this place was in the middle of nowhere in the desert!)
Zion, UT – $3.62
Gallup, NM – $3.47
Bushland, TX – $3.55 (Bushland…haha!)
Valdosta, GA – $3.59
Jacksonville, FL – $3.57

(All I have to say is, Can I get a bike!?)

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Some notes I made on the road:

“Eugene, OR area. Sheep galore. Green. Beautiful.”

“Drive to Joshua Tree – traffic on 60 East. Suburbia. Plaza after plaza, then totally different terrain. Dry. Wind farms. Twentynine Palm Highway. Morongo Valley, ‘Dig Your Own Cactus $0.59.’ Brown. No grass.”

“NM to TX. Bushland, TX. Cows. Smelly dead horse. Amarillo, TX. Steaks. Largest cross in the Western Hemisphere. Boring. Oklahoma. Windy! ‘Vote Democratic‘ billboard. Lots of cops.”

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Anywho, it feels good to be back in Florida. We’re still constantly pondering whether this will be the right move for us, but for now, it seems to be. It’s comforting and exciting to know that we’re in driving distance to some of our closest friends and family, and I love the fact that I’m in the same time zone as most of my friends!

So, what do we do next? Well, I guess it’s time to plan a wedding!

While we may not be the most efficient or tidy campers out there, we’ve certainly picked the best time to give camping a go. Most of the parks we’ve visited haven’t been very busy, and the same goes for the campsites. From what we hear, it starts to get hella busy at the parks around Memorial Day weekend. In fact, the busiest parks we have visited were the two of the most popular parks in the United States – Grand Canyon (about 4 million visitors a year) and Zion (about 2.7 million a year).

We’ve camped in both basic campgrounds and RV parks. Our first stop in Roseburg, Oregon was at a RV park and it had electric and water hook ups. Next, at Redwood National Park, we got a $20 campsite by the river, flush toilets and showers; but, no electricity or water. In Joshua Tree, we paid $10 for a campsite that had a fire pit and picnic table, and a toilet (read: hole in the ground) across the way and no showers. During our stay at Zion, we hit up both a campground and RV park.

Camping is what camping is. And so far, it’s been fun and an experience. It takes a lot of teamwork and communication, and above all, as Chris Rock said once, “Sometimes you just gotta let shit slide!” I mean, there were nights when we were so tired that showering was arduous; there were mornings it was too cold to make a real brekkie; and, there were days (everyday!) we didn’t want to do dishes.

All in all, though, I guess those are the things that make camping.

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