The DEViNE Ministry
Alone in a Godless Universe...
Without any shake-n-vac.
We're currently just North of New York in Connetticut. Spent the day roaming around Ellis island and Liberty island. Personally I think 3 weeks alone with Eddie has started to affect me... the mere glimpse of a semi naked woman is promoting (un)healthy thoughts. The statue of Liberty no longer is a symbol of American-French friendship and the promise of hope to generations of immigrants... no, it has become tarnished, tarnished by the Eddie effect... it had become just a tall French chick in a toga, and all I could think of was what was under the toga. Mike was quite distressed to find that due to the 9/11 disaster visitors are no longer allowed to enter the French chick -- something he's been wanting to do, in the singular, since arriving in Las Vegas... He must admit that he enjoyed the free feel up by security on the way into the ferry. I must appologise for the infrequency of these posts, it is mainly due to the lack of free (or even money orientated) internet booths, and the hectic schedule that we've been following... and before anyone asks, we've not seen the hurricane, but the weather was blustry the following day. I'll leave you with a couple of photos of New York and the famous toga-wearing French chick. See ya'll later.
Someone once wrote that the reason Washington DC was chosen as a location for the seat of power was because the uncomfortably clammy climate made living there almost unbearable leaving only those who had a passion for politics remaining to govern the country. Having spent a rather pleasant day wandering around the various monuments I can only imagine the overbearing humidity and heat of a Washington summer - a glimpse of which was felt as evening approached. Driving into the capital was reasonably straight-forward, for some reason the roads have been given letters as names, most odd, but it did make sense after a while. Security around the capital, while present, wasn't over bearing; the highest security presence being situated, as expected, ontop of the White House. Washington D.C caters very well for the tourist, with most of the tourist attractions open for free to the general public. Unfortunately for us, the hurricane had pretty much wiped out most of the power in the D.C area so we found it quite difficult to find a motel for the evening, eventually we drove 30/40 miles outside of Washington before we found any place which was reasonably priced and available rooms. It must be noted that the picture of the Whitehouse was taken rather hurriedly by myself as MikeI decided to block traffic in the "van", much to the annoyance of the local police. Only Mike could p*ss off the cops in the middle of D.C. infront of the number one terrorist target of the Western World. At least I was holding the camera if the attractive (female, I must add) officer with a gun decided to put a cap in his ass. Here are some pictures from the walkabout.
I can't hand-on-heart say I was a fan of Elvis. To be honest I never really listened to his music or watched his films but suprisingly I still felt drawn to the place he called home. In order to get into Graceland you have to goto the tourist offices, first impressions told me that this was a place for racking up as much Elvis cash as possible. The King may be dead, but if the cash flowing into this place couldn't pay for the research required to produce dandruff sourced clones of the King then nothing could. I'm not gonna lie and say it was cheap, it cost more that a few dollars to wander 'round the Kings old domain, and even more to get the headphone/mp3 player which allowed you to learn about what you were looking at. Still, how often do you get to wander 'round the home a legend. I was a little dissapointed by my first glimpse of the house, it looked a little small -- but then again, I thought the same of some of the celeb homes in Hollywood. The tour takes you through most of the lower floor of the house, including the "Jungle Room" thats referenced in the Marc Cohen song from which this blogs title comes from. The upper floor is restricted as the property is still a home, and rather like a stately home the residents would like a little privacy. You only get a true impression of the property's size when you wander around the grounds, ok, so it's starting to look a little bigger. Throughout the grounds you are informed of the Elvis story, not wanting to spoil it for you I won't tell you how it ends, and virtually all of his show costumes are on display as you walk through his career. I would recommend anyone with a remote interest in music to visit Graceland; even if you aren't a fan of the King you should get a taste for who he was and how he lived, afterall, without him there wouldn't be Rock 'n Roll as it is today (personally I prefer B.B. King -- who incidentally has a bar in downtown Memphis) Without wanting to spoil the end of the Elvis story too much, here's one of the pictures we took while paying our respects to the one and only Elvis Aaron Presley. Catch 'cha later.
It's day 13 of the tour, unlucky for some I guess, but for me it's very lucky... 'cause I get to visit two places which I simply couldn't miss... Those who know me may be aware of my fondness for whiskey, single malts or slutty blends are always greeted with the same friendly smile and no-nonsense introduction to the back of my throat. While I'm sure whiskey afficionardos would rather pour scorn than a generous double, I'll always have a soft spot for the worlds most popular Tennessee Whiskey. Straight, or on the rocks is the only way to serve it, and once you visit the spiritual home of easy riders and rock sluts and witness the time and effort that goes into the production of every drop you'll never again corrupt it by adding a certain fizzy, sugary and caramel coloured syrup. Lynchberg Tennessee, population 361. A small (some would say "Hick") town in the middle of truely idealic countryside greets all comers with a warmth and a friendliness that you've almost come to expect from the commercials and advertisments, and just like the adverts, the old boys are sat on rocking chairs taking in some Tennessee rays while their ex-collegues (and neighbours) volunteer to show guests around their old workplace. A guided tour of the distillery takes around an hour and is given by one of the very friendly and knowledgable locals who prefer to keep themselves busy in their retirement years. The tour is free, as are some non-alcoholic refreshments offered after the tour. Donations are appreciated, and considering the insight you gain into the production of whiskey and the history of Jack Daniels they are well deserved -- even Mike dropped a few dollars into the pot ! For more info on Jack Daniels and the tour (including a virtual tour) click here.
Its our first day on the real open road, we've just left Los Angeles and are heading towards Arizona. Stopped off for something to eat at Peggy Sue's 50's style diner. The food wasn't too bad, was persuaded to buy some of Peggy's homemade pie -- can't say it was very memorable. As we left we noticed some military vehicles causing a sand storm in the adjacent deserty area. For some strange reason I got kinda tense being so close to the US military; maybe it's because they have an uncanny habit of accidentaly blowing up British troops. Let's face it, two Brits in the middle of the dessert is an accident just beggin' to happen...
We're still in Los Angeles -- just chilling... We've got some photo's of the Hollywood sign and are about to check out the hand and footprints outside of Mann's Chinese theatre. Catch you all later.
We're now in Los Angeles (north Hollywood). We've been on a little tour to see where the stars live. It included Sylvester Stallone, Maddonna, Eddie Murphy, Britany Spears, Cameron Diaz, Brad & Jen, Tori Spelling, Al Pacino, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra's last house, Jenifer Lopez, Carol Lombard, The Osbournes House, George Clooney, Alex Baldwin, Will Smith, Peter Falk, Aaron Spellings' 123 bedroom mansion, Hugh Hefners playboy mansion. Of course, our guide told us all this so in reality the properties could have belonged to anyone -- but on the whole they were pretty large abodes in a nice area of L.A. and looked like they were probably owned by the stupidly rich and famous.
We have managed to survive San Francisco. For those thinking of visiting the place I advise that you first goto Blackpool, find a tanning salon then get a day return from Stargate to Fleetwood. Pier 39 etc are reasonable if you like wandering around shops and have a passion for sea-food, if those things aren't for you then I suggest staying away from the docks. The cable car ride is worth the 45 minute wait (yes forty-five minutes) and we were kept entertained by two of the locals. One of them was playing some decent'ish riffs on an old electric guitar, while another one was begging change "for a chicken sandwich". The chicken sandwich guy was being shoo'd away by a small chinese chap who ran the security for the cable cars, eventully the chicken guy got p*ss*d off at being moved on and so started shouting obsceneties at the little chinese bloke. You could hear the chicken guy bellowing "Suck my c*ck, taste the Gook -- you Gook" from a block-away... I guess San Francisco truly is the city of *brotherly* love -- and we're talking in the biblical sense. Later on we drove across the Golden Gate bridge to find the Skywalker Ranch only to be escorted away after only taking one photo of the front gates... Unfortunately we didn't get a photo of the blonde cutie that pushed us away :-) Here's a couple of pictures of the cable car and one outside the gates of the infamous Skywalker Ranch.
Looks like we were a victim of bad labour day timing. At the large tourist/ticket booth we were told that the earliest trip we could book for the Alcatraz and Bay tour was Monday... today was Saturday... in a word... BUGGER !!!! Still, managed to get a few photos.
We have finally made it to San Francisco. It seems that we are once again in a Godless world with only our cameras and MP3 players for comfort. The plane journey was relatively uneventful, once I was shoe-horned into the seats I found nodding off every now and then quite easy, but 15 hours on a plane is not a pleasurable experiance, neither is wandering aimlessly around American airports with a large set of baggage. Anyway, going to catch a cable car and visit Alcatraz. See you all in a month.
Those who know myself and young MikeI may have been aware of our previous Blog files that detailed our trippette to Boston, MA. Due to the great success of that site we've decided to create a new blog that will be following us throughout our impending rollercoaster of a holiday through the U.S of A. With any luck it may also be of some use to the authorities should we disappear off the face of the earth.
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