Amuck at Alumapalooza

Another spectacular morning yoga class with 25 people making the effort to attend our 7:30am class. I wasn’t sure how people would respond to the earlier time slot (last year we started at 8am each day). But it seems to be working out just fine, with those who really want their yoga morning fix, making the effort to join us under the big top, breathing and stretching on the luxurious tall grass. How wonderful indeed.

However, all is not champagne and roses on this windy, schizophrenically rainy day. The weather was failing to ‘cooperate’ as requested :). Backup Derby in the rain … not the best idea, especially with the threat of an impending torrential downpour with 50mph winds. Today, the winds started out much milder than yesterday’s stormy schizophrenic weather (although the skies threatened with their similar tempestuous character). It was actually perfect kite flying weather!

This year, slaDE and I decided to register for the Backup Derby. This truly is a tough event where a driver can show off their backing skills.  Teams of one or two can sign up to participate (note: married teams are coached to be prepared for marital-disharmony potential). You can find the 2012 rules here. The other 3 years I had been completely intimidated at the thought of pairing up with my husband in a trial run of rVing communication skills that would test the most skilled of rV marriages / friendships! Somehow 3 couples (including ourselves) managed to weave our way backwards through the seemingly simple track before the skies opened up in a heavy rainfall that had us scampering to the Airstream factory’s safety and dry interior.  The Derby looked deviously easy with the supplied single-axle trailer, until you saw that the supplied truck had ‘blacked out’ rear + side windows and mirrors, and that the traffic cones were strategically placed considerably close together. Aha! This would indeed be interesting. slaDE and I were 2nd up to bat. And managed to finish in 2min 3 seconds with two penalties (we hit the cones twice ~ slaDE was driving and I was outside with a walkie talkie), giving us a final tally of 2:23 minutes. By the time the first rain hit, our score was indeed the best of the three. However, there were 6 other couples to compete in the finishing round tomorrow. Wonder if we’ll win ourselves another set of ZipDee Alumapalooza special edition chairs for this year (we won the Rivet Master contest last year, with 2 chairs as our special prize!)?

The rest of the day was awash until ‘Happy Hour’ and then things started to really liven up! I announced that we would be offering a yogaFLIGHT workshop as a Roving Happy Hour pitstop, but we needed all participants to be sober. That caused quite the funny heckling ruckus, until I stated that we would be having a wIne & cheese afterwards. We in turn received a huge hurrah! 🙂

Three couples showed up to participate in the hugely successful and playful class. Turned out that afterwards, we had a really amazing happy hour under the big top tent, dry and tucked away from the fickle weather. Food and wine kept showing up after our supply ran short. It was a wonder to witness!

Josh Rogan finished off the night with a wonderful 2 hour set of rocking great tunes. What a fabulous day :).

Day 2, Alumapalooza 4

Another gorgeous day at Alumapalooza! So wonderful in that I slept soundly and solidly through the night, waking just minutes before we were to be teaching our yoga class in the tent beside us. YIKES! Nothing like rolling out of bed and stumbling to work :). Luckily enough, I’m a morning person and I can hit the ground running as soon as I wake up. Usually, LOL. The 23 attendees were gleeful at my tension-taming, easy-does-it morning class of stretching and breathing. And I threw in a bit of Pranayama and Meditation before stretching it out with yang-like asana postures. Lucky for me, slaDE was a wonderful assistant and allowed me the pleasure of teaching the class, for the most part anyway. We’ll try to switch roles later in the week.

Today’s highlights beyond the yoga tent ….

  • A vigorous countryside bike ride – very WINDY with the added bonus of a front-seat visual of the lovely Ohio countryside, topped with a big side of kick-butt exercise
  • A revisit to the Airstream factory tour. Nothing like being called to the Mothership :).
  • The ‘Aluminum Gong Show’ was a fundraiser where anybody could offer up their talents, and during their act, people who wanted the act off the stage could speed up the process with donations of large sums of money, after the gong was . Oddly, enough, if one liked the act, people were encouraged to give money as well! slaDE and I offered up a yogaFLIGHT routine to wow the crowd, Cirque Du Soleil style :). No gong was initiated for us. BONUS!
    • Over $800 was raised for the Red Cross to help with tornado relief in the midwest (in light of the recent Oklahoma disaster). Talk about generous Airstreamers! What an amazing community. Brett and Rich pledged to match dollar for dollar of the donations, leaving the grand total at $1,636!
  • Sitting around Colin Hyde’s trailer with fellow Airstreamers, shooting the breeze and podcasting via Colin’s cell phone (Colin Hyde is the Panel Pro) with VAP host Tim Shephard. The VAP usually discusses the weeks vintage topics , but tonight, everyone hanging out at Colin’s trailer spoke mostly about their Alumapalooza week thus far and how each individual found themselves at this venture in their Airstream life. You can find ‘Episode 186: Live from Alumapalooza 4!‘ VAP here.

Yoga and Alumapalooza 4

Alumapalooza 4: Our 4th year of returning home to the Mothership! Airabella’s birthplace, 22 years ago. Oh how we love to return home. I liken a trip to the Airstream factory as a trip to the ultimate candy store. 🙂

Our first official day as this years Alumapalooza Yoga Instructors started out beautifully with our 7:30am yoga class … 20 people in total! The weather was pure perfection, and with a freshly raked mown lawn under the big top tent, the earthen carpet for those to practice on was soft, clean and so very compelling in its true connection to Mother Earth, in every sense of the word. I love it when  people who are new to yoga, make the effort to come to our morning classes, never having attended any sort of class before. From the outset, we were very clear that these classes were purely a practice of breathing and stretching where we learn to listen to our bodies. Becoming attuned to one’s senses and connecting with in the inner world can be a very new experience for many. Any of the extra benefits of yoga (such as flexibility and strength) are just that … additional perks rather than goals. No excuses necessary or allowed! We had 7 new attendees, 4 of them new to Alumapalooza. YAY!

I learned a lot today from the multitude of discussions being offered in the main tent …. many great tips on rV Organization by a new friend Ramona Creel, the tech tips behind axle replacement on the Airstream by our friend Colin Hyde (we are possibly due to replace all 3 of our tandem axles). I had a tremendous amount of fun learning how to fly a trick Revelation kite (‘The Rev’), with Joe and my hubby. Roving Happy Hour was a wonderful success! We’ve been hanging with a similar group for the past 3 nights, and I’m thoroughly enjoyingWe were very blessed to have lent to us the wide variety of personalities, talents and knowledge base of these various new & old friends. It’s been such an amazing day of weather, warm sunshine, a cool breeze and endless blue skies. We topped off our day with sunset kite dances. Spectacular! Life is pretty incredible and amazing.

Hippie Dippy

Another cool yogaFLIGHT experience in the middle of our day, driving through Indiana en route to Jackson Center Ohio for Alumapalooza 4. After an amazing unexpected skydiving pitstop in Fort Wayne Indiana, slaDE and I decided to stop for a quick toilet break and food stop. In western Ohio on Route 20 (Woodville), we stumbled upon the coolest diner I’ve ever had the pleasure of discovering and eating at. The Speed Trap Diner had the neatest hippiest dippiest signage and decorations EVER! The ladies bathroom was über cool as well, with a Marilyn Monroe iconic theme. The pictures will speak for themselves!

I also love the fact that slaDE dared the local waitress to experience a yogaFLIGHT, even though she had never heard of acro yoga and was completely reluctant and skeptical. I can’t blame her really, after seeing and photographing us geeking the camera yogaFLIGHT style.

Everything is AWESOME about this pitstop. Oh how I love being a photographer / journalist / yogi nomad (a yomadic hippie ?? :))!

Things You Do Not See From Driving The Interstate – Indiana

Precious timesLeaving our amazing and dear friend Barbie June in Illinois (after a few days of hanging just west of Chicago with her), we made our way eastward towards Jackson Center Ohio, home of the Airstream birthplace. Of course, deciding to take the road less travelled offered up many cool opportunities to reflect, sightsee and enjoy the slower pace.

We chose to start a list of the unique things one does not see on the Interstae. I am hoping that this is a trend which we can establish on this blog for each and every state and province that we drive through. Sound like a plan?

Things you don’t see from driving the Interstate in Indiana

  • Amish ladies dressed in red dresses, riding palomino horses
  • blondes mares, manes glistening in the sun faithfully drawing black buggies
  • beady eyed buzzards collecting carrion from the roadside
  • playful ponies dancing with their foals
  • simple farm houses sustaining the moral soul of america
  • towering oaks shading the road
  • family cookouts on memorial day
  • small little white steeple churches
  • placid ponds with swans upon

Dropzone in Indiana

  • cool little airports (without fences and such)
    • Whoa! There’s a dropzone in Fort Wayne Indiana, right along Route 20 (Angola Airport West of US 69)! Skydive Fort Wayne. So we decided to stop and say hello. With perfect weather conditions (no wind), clear skies and a plane just having landed, we were persuaded to make an unplanned 4-way skydive. Well I’ll be …. Prettiest little random mid-west DZ I’ve ever jumped at! We introduced the previous DZ owner, Audrey, to some yogaFLIGHT. Made for a remarkable roadtrip distraction!
  • people gathered around a 100 foot tall bonfire

Across the Rockies

utah red rock vistas yogaFLIGHT with Jill's kids Driving across country is always an amazing journey, with each crossing bearing a different picture of a country’s grandeur, whether that be through Canada, the US or beyond. I’m thinking that this will be my 6th traverse (or thereabouts) by vehicle across North America? I’ve lost track to date :).

The drive to here from Vegas was spectacular. We had hoped to visit Zion National Park  upon first leaving, but with the late timing in our departure from the city, it would have given us a few hours to set up a tent and check out the area. Best left for another time where we could spend a whole week exploring all the gorgeous red rock canyons and vista views. Glorious hiking is surely to be had throughout Utah!

The trek through Utah and Colorado was truly breathtaking! The Rocky Mountains have such character, especially with the passing of each season. Winter vs Spring … a whole new animal! We had a spectacular stay with my dear South African girlfriend Jill, who lives in beautiful Boulder Colorado. Her two children are a joy to be around, and whenever we stop by (it’s usually a quick overnight visit), there is sure to be much healthy eating, giggling, play and yogaFLIGHT! If I could live anywhere in the US, Boulder would be one of the top choices for a home. I love their clean healthy living outdoor lifestyle, nestled just at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. But alas, as Canadians, we are travelling the world just as visitors and are happy to make Canada our permanent home and country of choice.yogaFLIGHT PlayJilly Bean and I

I Dream of Cirque

The culmination of our tour in Las Vegas was the gift to each other for tickets to see the world-reknowned Cirque du Soleil show “O“, in permanent residence at the Bellagio Hotel since October 1998 (grossing over a billion dollars since it began!). I concur with the Los Angeles Times synopsis: “‘O’ is liquid magic …”. The mind-boggling contortionist display of pure fantastical imagination defies any sort of classification or categorization that I could give it. It’s even challenging to find words to describe the soul and beauty of the etherial quality behind the artists display of their incredible talents. The colourful, creative costumes and aerial aquatic displays … oh my! Flying silks whisked across the theatre and stage, creating a magical feel that seemed perfectly natural and unpretentious. I was completely gobsmacked and poised on the edge of my seat throughout the dazzling 2 hour performance. I felt utterly seduced and sucked in to this theatrical world of romanticism and fluidity. The display of sheer imagination felt so serenely real and other-worldly, all centered around a 1.5 million gallon pool / stage that fluxed from zero to 25 feet in depth. It was mind boggling to see the actual stage be a character, just as dynamic and fascinating as the other 11 acts. I’d be supremely privileged to attend another performance of this show …. in a heartbeat, if it weren’t so expensive! But to be honest, it was worth every penny to share in this with slaDE. A MUST see for anyone visiting Vegas!

Wikipedia provides a great outline of those enthralling acts:

O has eleven acts in total, which are performed both in, out, and above of the water.

  • Synchronized swimming: A group of synchronized swimmers perform in the pool.
  • Duo trapeze: Two aerialists perform on a single trapeze above the water.
  • Barge: A unique combination of banquine and adagio is performed on a floating raft on top of the water.
  • Bateau: A group of acrobats perform a combination of aerial cradle and parallel bars on a swinging boat-shaped apparatus high above the water.
  • Fire: A group of artists perform fire dancing.
  • Russian swing: Acrobats propel themselves high into the air with three sets of Russian swings and dive down into the water.
  • Cadre: A group of acrobats perform on a suspended frame high above the water in an artificial rain storm.
  • High dive: A group of four world-class divers leap from 60 feet above the stage into a 20-foot-deep (6.1 m) triangular section of the pool.
  • Washington trapeze: An artist performs on a fixed trapeze that swings in a long pendulum motion and is raised and lowered.
  • Contortion: Four young women with extreme balance and flexibility create graceful and lithe figures and movements.
  • Aerial hoops: A group of performers perform on hoops attached to the ceiling to perform various tricks both in and above the water.

Acts in rotation

  • Solo trapeze: An aerialist performs on a single trapeze high above the water.

Here’s the official O trailer: http://youtu.be/Vm11jzx7Ka0

 

slaDE and I have seen 3 other Cirque Du Soleil shows, all memorable and amazing experiences. But for me, I think that “O” will be the highlight of my Cirque Du Soleil viewing experiences, thus far! Do you have a favourite Vegas show? Have you ever seen any shows from Cirque Du Soleil? If so, what was your experience like? I’d love for you to share!