ShoSho-wing too much

This weekend my wife and I took a road trip to northern Nevada.  It was awesome and NOT the basis of today’s blog…don’t worry.  This isn’t a travel blog after all; I only write about shit that either A) happens to me, B) pisses me off, or C) has a combination of A and B.

There are a lot of C’s in this blog, I can tell you.

(insert smirky face here)

Anyway, back to my reason for today’s post.  On the way back from the land of fucking nothing for miles and miles, we detoured to a natural warm spring in Duckwater.

duckwater-hot-spring

This warm spring has been referred to as the largest in the United States and is located on land owned by the Shoshone Indian tribe.

In essence, this place is in the middle of fucking NOWHERE.

After turning off the main highway, it was another million miles along a road that I can only describe as the beginning of almost every horror movie ever.  This was followed by a gravel ‘road’ that eventually led to the warm springs and the need for repair to the underside of your car.

We didn’t see another vehicle in either direction for almost an hour.  Not one.  I was genuinely fucking scared.

Here are the warm springs on Google maps.

 

Zoom out. Seriously, do it.

Do you see just how much ‘fuck all’ there is around?

I wasn’t joking when I say we saw NO-ONE!

As we parked up in the completely desolate parking lot (or ‘area of gravel’), another car suddenly pulled up next to us.  Wait, what?  Where did they come from?

Out of the car jumped two young ladies who, it soon became abundantly clear, were more than just friends. I was a little bit disappointed at their arrival because I was looking forward to romantically dipping in the warm spring with my wife.  It wasn’t a huge ask, considering the fact it was in the middle of buttfuck nowhere and had taken us an hour and a half out of our way, but that’s fine.  No, really, it’s FINE!

I shot my wife a look that said “For fuck’s sake!” while our new friends chattered to each other as they merrily collected their shit from their car and joyfully trotted to the water’s edge.

Oh well, it was what it was.  To be honest, it was still lovely. My wife and I had a bit of a swim, joined by our friends (who aren’t just friends) and we even had a bit of a laugh and joke with them.  I couldn’t really be a complete dick about them being there too because, after all, we were also interrupting their romantic warm spring dip.

After half an hour or so my wife and I decided to get out as we had a 4 hour drive back to Vegas.  We picked up our stuff by the side of the springs and walked back to the car, dripping sacred Shoshone water all over sacred Shoshone land.  When we got to the car I looked around and saw nothing was coming from miles around; no glint of vehicle metal on the horizon and no dust clouds in their wake.  I glanced back at the springs and our new friends were still swimming and chatting in the water.

“I’m going to change back into my clothes here”, I said to my wife, as I couldn’t be arsed to traipse back to the restroom (wooden hut) to change out of my wet swim shorts.

My wife looked around and agreed it made sense.  Besides, I could hide behind the car door, away from the prying eyes of two young women who really had no interest in my penis anyway.

Behind me was just desert as far as the eye could see.  I was good to go.

So I gripped the elastic waistband and dropped my shorts to the ground in one rapid movement.  This was no easy feat considering they were soaked through and sticking to me like a Jewish mother.

It was quite nice to feel the cool Nevadan breeze tickle my untickled areas.

As I stood up, miraculously one of the girls was out of the water rummaging through their belongings, 10 feet away from my manhood swinging1 freely in the breeze!  I dropped to a half squat position behind the car door quicker than if I’d been swiftly kicked in the nuts.  I was almost uppercutted by the door.

Is uppercutted a word?  Meh, it’ll do.

I couldn’t believe this girl had decided that NOW was the time she needed her phone, cigarettes, rubber fist or whatever.

My wife was in bits with laughter.

I decided to sit inside the car and remove the rest of my shorts and in no time I was completely naked, in the middle of sacred Shoshone Indian country.

At this point my wife said, though stifled laughter “Oh, I don’t believe it.”

“What?”, I barked?

She pointed behind me and attempted some words that failed her.  I turned and looked through the car windows and, sure enough, there was another car trundling down the gravel road towards us.

ohcomeon

They were greeted by me, sat there, door open, naked and wet.

Enjoy your swim.

 

 

1 Who am I kidding?

mario-shrink

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Wishing the Mile High Club was an actual bat!

A week or so ago my wife and I took a trip to Venice.  In lieu of our upcoming move to Las Vegas we felt it wise to visit some places in Europe while they were still pretty close by (and a lot cheaper!)

Plus, as we are moving to sin city, I thought it was a good idea she see what Venice REALLY looks like, rather than basing her ideas on The Venetian hotel on the strip.  We’d already visited Paris the year before and she’s already been to New York, so the only one left – that the Las Vegas strip had ripped off – was Venice.

And before you mention The Luxor, friends of mine have been to Cairo and apparently it’s a shithole; so fuck that.

Anyway, I want to tell you about our trip.

But, Headinablender isn’t a travel blog, nor will it ever be unless something weird, wonderful or funny happens.  I’m not about to go on and on about the beautiful canals, the crippling expensive food and drink, the amazing architecture or the overpriced gondolas driven (driven? Is that right?) by uninterested Italians with an oar in one hand and their phone in the other.

No, i’m talking about our actual experience of getting there and back; literally ‘the trip’.

There are certain moments in life when you realise you’re now ‘a proper grown up’  These include hosting a dinner party, paying rent/mortgage, choosing curtains and, in the case of our trip, checking in at an airport.

I remember going to the airport when I was a kid and just following my parents around while they organised tickets, passports and luggage.  It was just a thing they did until it was time for all of us to sit on the plane.  I never considered the effort that had been put in before we’d even got to the airport.

The thing is, no-one pulls you aside at school and shows you how to book a holiday, you just ‘wing it’.  Nowadays it’s pretty much all done online.  There seem to be two types of holiday companies; those you’ve heard of, and those who are cheaper. Either way, you select your holiday, type in some stuff, pay some money and it’s done.  Apparently.

No tickets, no paperwork.  That’s it.

Then you find out you have to go to the airline’s website and enter your passport information and pay extra if you want to take a suitcase.

Still no tickets or paperwork.  Just faith that all will be OK when you get to the airport.

So, when we arrived at the check in desk and the clerk took our passports, checked us in, took our luggage and handed us our boarding passes, I felt like a proper grown up.

I felt like turning to an imaginary 5 year old me and winking, but I decided against it as I didn’t want to appear twitchy or weird and I wanted to actually be allowed on the flight.

franco wink

Anyway, fast forward to the departure gate.

We were walking down the tunnel to the plane and there were a lot of people in front of us, and more coming in behind us, including one couple who had a little boy that kept running up and down the tunnel.

“Elliott!  Elliot!  Come back here darling.  Elliott!  Elliott!”

His name was Elliott.

After we (and a lot of our fellow passengers) had enduring Elliott’s delightful stomping and kicking of our hand luggage, shins and patience, we finally boarded the plane.

Then, after waiting an eternity for people to put their hand luggage in the overhead lockers and actually sit their fucking arses down, we took our seats and relaxed.

This relaxation was short lived as, sat noisily behind us, was Elliott and his fucking family, comprising of mummy, daddy and younger sister Imogen.  How did we know their names? It was all…..we fucking heard…..for the duration…..of the fucking……flight.

Mostly from ‘Daddy’

“Elliott, try not to kick the seat in front”

(my wife’s seat; Elliott was playing a very dangerous game)

“Elliot, please sit down”

“Elliott, please let Imogen look out the window”

“Elliott, please stop crying.  Look out the window, can you see the clouds?”

“Imogen, please stop crying.  Look out the window, can you see the clouds?”

“Imogen, let Elliott have a go with the colouring book”

“Elliott, please don’t throw the pens on the floor”

“Elliot, please try not to kick the seat in front”

(this was a popular one.  Notice the word ‘try’)

“No Elliott, you can’t sit by the window now, we’re about to land.  No, please stop crying”

And then, once we’d landed and taxi’d to the gate, we were treated to this moment of absolute fucking lunacy…..

“We’re here!  I’m going to get you an ice cream for being such a good boy”

You had to be shitting me!

Once the ‘Fasten Seat Belt’ sign had been switched off we stood up and joined the rest of the plane, who had already stood up a long time ago, to retrieve our bag from the overhead locker.

baseball riot

This was my opportunity to turn around and get a proper look at these people who had made our two hour flight feel like ten.

The parents looked like death.  Gaunt, tired and dead behind the eyes.  They almost looked grey; drained of all the colour in their lives by the little prick jumping up and down on their laps.

So that made me feel better.

To be honest, the best part of the flight was shortly after the wheels had hit the tarmac.

We were sat over the wing, so as the plane was still hurtling down the runway we were able to see part of the wing lift up; creating more drag and slowing the plane.

I smiled, turned to my wife and said “Flaps”.

Ryan Reynolds grin

We both laughed.

It was all we could do not to strangle (H)Elliott with his seatbelt.

Speaking of seatbelts, have you noticed the crew walk up and down the plane to ensure you’ve fastened it, and THEN show the demonstration of how to fasten your seatbelt?  It seems as redundant as showing a pregnant woman how to lose her virginity.

Anyway, we left our woes at baggage claim and went on the have a great time in Venice. What a beautiful city.  If you ever get the chance to go, go. Photos don’t do it any justice, it truly is stunning.

Venice

By the end of our stay we were looking forward to our flight home.  We had chosen a late night flight to ensure we got as much time in Venice as possible and we could also enjoy a nice sleep on the plane.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

We had the ONLY drunk person on the plane sat behind us, sprawled out across three seats kicking us both in the back for the entire flight whilst he snored like a baboon being sawn in half.  We lost count the number of times the cabin crew had to show him how to use the seatbelt.

If anyone needed to pay attention to the safety brief and seltbelt demonstration, it was this guy.  Mind you, he was having problems blinking both eyes together so it’s unlikely he’ll be able to successfully operate a life jacket.

Silver lining.

Also, we were lucky enough to have three incredibly noisy Italian kids on the row behind him who were the ONLY people on the plane making a noise; everyone else was sleeping.

This is the reason they don’t allow guns on planes.

Still, two amusing things happened during our stay in Venice that i’d like to share with you.

My wife really wanted a new purse/bag, so I said I’d buy her one.  Big mistake.

I was dragged into almost every bag store in Venice, and when you consider that shops in Venice only sell either Bags, Gloves or Masks (yes, masks)…..that’s a lot of fucking shops.

I noticed a lot of the bags had ‘Vera Pelle’ written on them.  Never heard of her.  This designer was everywhere!

vera pelle

My wife pointed out that ‘Vera Pelle’ means ‘Real Leather’ in Italian.  I could be forgiven for my mistake, but i’m half Italian!

Twat.

And the second funny thing was this:

ARS Liquid

Nuff said.

Chesney Hawkes would turn in his grave (if he were dead)

As most of you know, I work in the travel industry.

There is a chain of hotels called ‘One&Only’, which actually consists of 8 resorts with 5 more on the way.

One & only, my ass.

chesney unsure

The Great(?) British Weather?

We Brits hate our weather.

Let’s be honest, it’s a constant battle to try and second guess what clothes would be best to wear for the day.

“But it’s supposed to be nice later”, you’ve said whilst looking out of the window in your pyjamas at the thunderstorm destroying half of your garden.

The warmth of your house feels so lovely compared to the cold touch of the glass, and the fact that half of the neighbourhood’s kids have just flown past your window (being chased by frantic parents) only reinforces the belief that maybe, just maybe, the weathermen are wrong.

Yet, by 2pm, it is glorious sunshine and the massive chunky knit jumper you’re wearing suddenly seems like a bad idea. You’re slowly shrivelling to a sweaty little raisin under the sheer depth of insulation you stupidly decided to don.  Luckily you didn’t wear anything underneath so there’s no chance of beating the heat by shedding a layer without the possibility of getting arrested.

This is why we Brits talk about the weather, a lot. It is unpredictable and ever changing, so of course it becomes the focal point of most conversations.

We hate it. We long for consistency in our weather; preferably involving a lot of sun, plenty of sand and an assortment of brightly coloured fruity beverages with umbrellas in them.

The irony of the umbrellas is often lost on us.

It is because of all these things that we love to travel. We love to go to faraway places and do nothing but eat, drink, shop and tan. In fact, the quality of our holiday is often judged on just how dark we can go.

Also, the colour of choice is brown; the darker the brown, the more awesome the holiday. Dark pink, on the other hand, is as welcomed as it is on a chicken leg at a barbeque.  Burning and peeling is deemed a sign of a bad holiday and, by the laws of British conversational etiquette, usurps weather as the prominent topic of which to moan.

“I was so burned I had to have an ice bath”

“I can’t stop peeling. George A. Romero called me to see if I wanted a job as an extra”

So off we fly, to faraway lands and the limitless experiences that await us. We eat, we drink (and being British, we DRINK) and we meet lots of different people, cultures and customs. We also take plenty of photos and videos to ensure we keep Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on their toes; buying bigger data servers to accommodate our overwhelming need to show off

‘Point of view’ shot of your feet by the pool?

Don’t mind if I do.

You see, these holidays are a necessity for us. We manage to sleep better than we have in years and we allow the stresses of everyday life to dissipate in the bubbles of our in-room Jacuzzi. In fact, whilst having a massage in the spa, all we have to worry about is whether we’ll be having white wine or a cocktail with dinner.

Obviously it depends if we go for the Lobster or the Sirloin.

But we’ve earned it. We’ve worked hard for this. Day in, day out we’ve endured deadlines, emails, phone calls and everything in between. We’ve saved our pennies and now it’s time to cash in and treat ourselves to a little luxury.  This is what life is all about, right?

We simply love our holidays.

Then, when it’s all over and we arrive back in good old Blighty, there’s an odd part of us that looks forward to going back to work.  We look forward to others commenting on how brown we are in our carefully chosen white shirt.

That is unless we’re the type, guide book in hand, running around at breakneck speed to ensure we’re getting in as much culture and sights as possible.

Can’t miss a thing!

We end up spending more time inside buildings than outside them, resulting in us returning home almost the same colour as when we left.

The upside is we have a lot of photos to show you in a well prepared four hour slide presentation.

“Here’s Bob next to a tree”.

“Here’s Bob inside the cathedral”.

“Here’s Bob eating an ice cream”.

“Here’s Bob next to a tree”.

Ad Nauseum.

And after all is done, as we commute to work in the rain, we think about where we were this time yesterday and where we want to go to next.

Yes, we Brits hate our weather sometimes, but without it we wouldn’t have the desire to go out into the world and explore what’s on offer.

Mind you, our summers can be pretty damn good!

Pimms anyone?

British socks and sandals