Wasn't even a blip on my radar.. Now that I have, it will probably be something I will remember in to my old age... ha!
The last few months have been go go go.. so much riding, so many great countries, so many people.. so many goals to meet. I have absolutely loved it!!
But I can tell you I'm darn tired. Ready for a break.. a break from trying to find a place to sleep at night.. a chance to wear something different (and be able to wash it anytime I want), play with nieces and nephews, not have to ride a motorcycle for a few days, but drive on four wheels, replace gear, get gear I have been wishing for (so much easier to do these things when you know your way around to the shops and don't have to ask and get lost all day in a foreign language!)
One of the first things that hits me when coming back into the United States, is a trip to the grocery store. Where you have an ENTIRE AISLE dedicated to the "chip".
And another ENTIRE AISLE dedicated to "cola".
It's just a clear definition of American culture.. While in Italy, they had an entire aisle dedicated to pasta! (and not the sauce, very little pasta sauce can be bought in Italy, you make it yourself!)
While in some eastern countries, they have entire aisles dedicated to beer and vodka, something you won't see in an American grocery store.. We're all different, that's for sure.
I quite liked the Italian "wine aisle".. easy to buy wine at $2 per litre, which was cheaper than coke! And healthier if not too much intake.. ;-)
It's summertime in Indiana and good to be home with family and friends.. my first trip home without my Dad being around...
Here's a little run-down of the family..
James Dean today.. another Indiana native!)
It's.... Summer time!!!
The arrival of Clare, my good friend from Adelaide!
It will be quite an American experience for her here in the Midwest! Very cool to come so far out of her way to visit...
My wonderful sponsor Pasi from Innotesco and Rukka have sent me a brand new complete riding suit!! After wearing the first one every single day for the last 15 months, I feel honored they wanted to get me updated and looking sprucey! Thanks a million Rukka!!! http://www.innotesco.com.au/ in Australia and New Zealand. www.rukka.com for the rest of the world. ;-)
Clare was handy as photographer as we take some photos of the new gear in a pretend professional photo session.. love love love my Rukka gear ;-))
We all went to my favorite place on the planet.. the Exotic Feline Rescue Center!
This is Joey, one kitty cat I helped raise a few years ago.. she is such a good girl..
with lots of gossip and love to catch up on..
Herman tells Joey to move over, he wants to visit.. much to her disapproval..
Herman wins.. she moves and he contently lays down for his baby boy attention.. which I'm happy to give..
And Stephen McCloud, signing his new book for me. Amazing photographer and book with photos and stories about all our resident cats.. Have a look and order one at www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org I guarantee you will love it! I hate it when I sound like such a saleswoman.. but honestly, every person I've ever shown his books to have oooed and ahhhhed, loving the cats..
Joe Taft, Founder and Director
That boy needs a talkin' to!!
Jean Herrberg..Assistant Director Huge job, lots to do when looking after more than 230 big cats!! and still has time for me! ;-)
Today a new enclosure is finished and we are here to witness the lucky release of Leopald into his new home!
You know I love showing off these cats.. but I must mention that to have so many cats here is not a good thing.. They've all been rescued from wrong situations... illegal breeders, abusive owners, etc. We have some horrendous stories of abuse to these animals before they were rescued.. you can read some of them at www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org
They shouldn't be living in peoples homes across America in the first place if you want my opinion. There are more large cats living in America than in the wild. There are countless cats still in peoples basements or far too small cages with concrete and gravel.. used as prop's in a nightclub or being bred for parts to the Asian market..(why does a culture with such a massive overflowing population need aphrodisiacs in the first place! I'm getting myself in trouble here, but had to say it..) I always feel honored to volunteer my time and money to Joe and Jean and their huge undertaking of giving so many cats loving homes, large enclosures and plenty to eat.. they are truly the lucky cats to end up here.. EFRC has to turn away far more too many requests to take on more cats every day. I hope America wakes up and puts a stop to the madness of not only these exotic cats, but all exotic animals that don't belong in your neighbors basement!! 'Nuf said... sorry....
Clare prepares to go.. we all enjoyed so much having our true "Aussie" in the house! What a treat!
Last but not least, Steve.. good friend and accountant, came by to see the bike.. keeping my American taxes and details in line! God knows I couldn't!
And Brandon.. who's fault it is that I started riding a Harley many years ago in America.. haven't seen him in that long, so he was a bit shocked I was back in Indiana via my alternate motorcycle.. ha!
So this is my Indiana family and friends post.. ! And a great goal to meet that "sort of" marks my 1/2 way around the world... Not to mention the many milkshakes I managed during my time here.. I can certainly vouch that there is no other country that makes a better milkshake!
Lots of great home cooked meals by my family... a very very full three weeks. I'm exhausted!! There was no rest about it as much as I was needing one.. This was more fun, I can do that later.. ;-)