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Slade's Elucidation

a travel blog by Slade's Elucidation

Our journey out of American society and into the world
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Getting Close

Austin, United States

Getting close to take off so I'm starting to get our ducks in a row, starting with this blog.

T-minus 3 weeks...omg 4 realz?!?!

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on May 29, 2008 from Austin, United States
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The Back Story

Austin, United States

As our departure date approaches, a little back-story is appropriate. About two months ago James and I found ourselves at a crossroads, in our personal lives and our relationship with each other. These are the things that have spured us into taking this trip now.

Our relationship had deteriorated to the point where we felt more like roommates then lovers; this was due to many reasons but primarily by allowing present actions to be guided by past hurt, anger, and worst of all fear. Doing this fostered an air of negativity and resentment which has no place in a loving relationship. We each know our roles in allowing this to become the norm in our relationship, and I think I can safely say we have kicked said mentalities arse. Where we chose to go from here is beautifully wide open.

The other force driving us to sell our house and get the hell outa dodge is the current state of American culture and society; sickeningly narcissistic, deluded, duped, our government routinely making a joke of democracy. Stuck in the Matrix, most Americans bump along content with their apathy so long as they feel safe. They like to think they are safe from physical harm, really they’re safe from ever waking up to the true reality that they have the capacity within them to become god and transcend this worldly bs to something much much better. People who do realize this have power, something those in ruling positions don’t care to share.

Crazy new-age left-wingest tirade over, James and I want to completely detach from this society and wash the sludge out of our brains that’s been put there by this joke of a society. That’s rather hard to do when confronted with it daily, so we’re removing ourselves from it. We hope to visit the small hamlets, ancient places of spiritual significance, and find ourselves along the way.

When we come home, the intent is to carve a niche for ourselves here, separate from but functioning in this society. To wrap ourselves up in the love of each other and the love of our friends and find away to live fulfilling lives that somehow make a difference in what comes next.

To this point, I’m calling this little blog and our trip Slade’s Elucidation.
e-lu-ci-dat: to make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain; an interpretation that removes obstacles to understanding

~ Amanda

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 5, 2008 from Austin, United States
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tagged Austin and Begining

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7 days left

Austin, United States

In 7 days James and I will board an airplane bound for New York and officially start what’s bound to be one of the most momentous events in our lives...and all I can think about is wanting to take a nap and pretend my reality doesn’t include packing up a house.

Many things here are coming to a close; my last day of work was last Friday and was much harder than I thought it would be. If I didn’t see you in person to say goodbye, or if communication seemed to escape me when I did see you, I was just trying not to turn into an emotional basket case ;)


permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 11, 2008 from Austin, United States
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Almost sorta on our way

Houston, United States

Well we’re officially out of Austin. The past week was crazy getting the house packed and sold, all our arrangements squared away, and farewells outa the way. *note to self…don’t plan to pack and sell a house in Texas in June ><*

Friday night we had a going away shindig at Neal and Summer’s which was everything I could of asked for. That evening totally reinforced my belief that love is one of the most important and powerful forces we’ll ever have the pleasure to experience. Seriously…if all our world leaders just spent a night cuddling on a big squishy couch we could totally make this peace thing work.

I’m currently writing from my MIL’s in Houston, and tonight we will be holed up in a hotel by the airport so we won’t have to fight traffic to make our flight to NY in the morning.

Tomorrow we visit COSM, Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors, the gallery/community gathering space created by the artist Alex Grey and his wife. If you aren’t familiar with his work go bonk yourself on the head for missing out on something wonderful for so long and then visit this web page www.cosm.org

Tomorrow I might actually have some pictures to share…OMG!

Love yall!

P.S. TY TY TY TY to all our friends, family, and neighbors who helped out the past week...ya'll rawk ;)

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 17, 2008 from Houston, United States
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Springboard Houston

Houston, United States

Made our 1st stop here in Houston to drop off my kiddo and see the Slade side of the family. Had yummy food at Hollywood resteraunt and now enjoying the wonderful Marquis Hotel. Giggle this place is awful... just like the review said it would be. 1st room wasn't made up and there were huge dead crushed roaches on the floor... Next room reaked of smoke but we can deal with that!!! Tomorrow.. off to NY!

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 17, 2008 from Houston, United States
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New York, New York

New York, United States

Our trip to New York was classical travel comedy gold, as everything that could go wrong did. Our flight was delayed by an hour and a half, we were told our baggage was at terminal D, then terminal E (which is outside through the construction area at jfk) , and then back at terminal D. We finally got our bags and boarded the subway, and then exited at the wrong spot twice. All we could do was laugh.

When we got to our hotel, the Hotel Chelsea which has an awesome history of fostering artistic expression, we we’re told our standard room had been upgraded to a suite…SCORE. Up to the tenth floor we went with the assistance of the doorman Pete(?) who was just awesome. But not as awesome as the views of New York City from our room…sorry Pete. We quick dumped our packs, changed, and headed out so we could make the full moon ceremony at COSM. It rained on our way there…and then to make amends Mr Universe treated us with a gorgeous rainbow.

The ceremony wavered from very intense and spiritually engaging to annoying, depending on the speaker. Alex was awesome, the folks from the Biosphere who talked were awesome, and the musicians superb. Mrs. Grey unfortunately fell into the annoying category, something about rattling on asking for charity for the chapel they plan to build during what’s supposed to be a spiritual ceremony that just didn’t sit well with James and I. After the ceremony was over there was a drum and dance event, but we didn’t stay very long for that. I was feeling outa sorts, unconnected, wishing our friends were there with us to make it special so we headed back to the hotel to relax and catch some z’s.

The next day, Thursday, we took our time getting up and then caught the subway down to Ground Zero. When we got there we were greeted with a high fence surrounding the hole, and armed soldiers just hanging out. Someone please clue me in to why we need armed guards protecting a hole that’s already been bombed. We walked around the perimeter and found a few good spots that I could get some photos off from. Visiting Ground Zero was a pretty heavy event, when your that close you can just feel the weight of what happened there settling over you…the lives lost...the lies told. And let me tell you, visiting it in person only increased the desire to grab a big microphone find the nearest government official and start yelling BULLSHIT, but then there are those armed guards standing around the corner…hmm 2+2= ‘ You’re government is in control America, go back to sleep’.

We found a cool art exhibit though while wandering around that lifted my sprits. All these garments were made using renewable resources from the Brazilian Amazon, or recycled materials from Brazil. After this we grabbed some good ole’ NY street grubbed and wandered a bit more around the WTC before heading back to the Hotel and onto JFK to fly out to Ireland.

Pics to come shortly..working out this need for massive storage space and no laptop.

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 20, 2008 from New York, United States
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tagged NewYork, WorldTradeCenter and HotelChelsea

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Dublin, Ireland

Woot we hit Dublin yesterday morning around 8 AM. I couldn't stop giggling and Amanda thought something was wrong with me. Iono but this place makes me happy. Hell I don't care if I got stuck here forever. That's subject to change but we're really loving it so far. Met some really cool people right off here at our hostel. Cleonie and Alfie are our roomies, another traveling couple. We toured the local part of town for a bit yesterday, had fish and chips, bought some groceries, found the hardware store (to get a room key made) and just enjoyed the local life here in Dun Laoghaire (pronounced done Leary). It's the ferry town south east of Dublin. The hostel is great, really cozy and friendly. People from all over are here and I can actually understand most of them. We sat up late last night talking with a group of them about the world, movies and politics. Now I really felt out of sorts when it came to the movies because most of the big movies here are not anything we ever hear of over in the US. We're like our own little island of isolation... So learning there's lots of really great stuff we're missing out there. Duh I guess... BTW it starts getting dark here around 10 PM. and not totally dark until midnight or so. Got quite cold last night, so had to bundle up a bit. This morning got up and met a few more of the hostel patrons. Had a group breakfast, did the dishes and watched Myth Busters with an Irish speaking announcer. How odd... Amanda and I then took the train into Dublin and went to the Trinity College and saw the Book of "Kell". Really cool seeing such ancient stuff. There was a whole library containing 200,000+ books from 500 AD and newer. Lots of middle ages etc type books. Learned old japanese people in a group can be very rude and forceful. I swear I had a group of ancient japanese women 1/3 my size move me out of the way so they could see an exhibit 1st. I almost went godzilla on them :) . Well after that adventrure we went and had a local sandwich and coffee/tea and then caught the train back to our hostel to do some relaxing and well, get on the internet. So here we are and that's about all I have for now. Til next time!!! We love y'all, take care!

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 21, 2008 from Dublin, Ireland
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Done with Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

Our last full day in Dublin was spent walking, walking, and then walking some more. Oh, and there was some sightseeing in there too. We went to the older part of town to start and got to see a lot of the old architecture, mostly in the form of churches. We visited the Christ Church of Ireland, and went on a tour of St Audeon Church. The main part of this church (which is still in use today) was constructed in 1190. That makes it 818 years old folks, that's about what twice the age of our country?

We tooled around that area a bit longer and then walked to the Phoenix Park. The park is one of the if not the largest parks within a city proper in Europe. We found this awesome old tree that we played around on for awhile, I gave it a hug and a kiss because it was just that cool. I really wanted to kick my boots off and go for a climb but i didn't figure that would go over to well the the locals.There were some baby ducks in the pond below the tree bitching for mommy, it made me laugh to see her swim back from the other side when they started calling her. We spent some time laying on one of the lawns then went in search of the Military magazine that's also located in the park. On the way to it we were treated with some spectacular views of Irish flora. The magazine was pretty awesome, classical location on top of a hill with a 360 degree view. I made James run up it shouting AARRRRG just for the hell of it, I giggled...a lot. While we were there some clouds started rolling in, crazy dark clouds and then next to them clear sunny blue patches...weather in Ireland is almost as fickle as Austins aparently.


(edit) - James on to CORK!!!

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 24, 2008 from Dublin, Ireland
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tagged Dublin, Ireland and Cork

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On the way to Cork

Cork, Ireland

Today we boarded a train for Cork, stop 2 on our tour of Ireland. The train ride was awesome, got to see a lot of the country side from the comfort of dry cushy seats. It's crazy how many ruins there are here. Just random centuries old walls sticking up out of the pasture land, cemeteries that have the remains of old abbeys crumbling in the midst of them. Makes me sad to see such cool places in such disrepair, but to the Irish most of these sites are the norm...nothing spectacular. Cork looks pretty cool so far but as it's rather late we're saving most of the exploring for another day. We'll be here for three days before heading to Galway. Tomorrow's itinerary includes Blarney Castle, woot. Yall keep track, see if i sound more eloquent in the next blog.

Oh something fun to note, the lap top we acquired is very much a European version. Which means the keyboard is all sorts of funky. It's like playing Russian roulette trying to figure out which weird symbol will give you a comma or @ symbol ^_^.

More pics up too, a not so cool thing about this blog site is I cant post them in the actual blog and as far as I can tell organizing them into sub folders etc isn't possible.

Oh well, I'll try to make the titles as clear as possible and use the city to track which leg of the journey they are from.


(edit) james figured something out.

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 24, 2008 from Cork, Ireland
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tagged Cork and IrishCountrySide

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Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher

Galway, Ireland

On our way to the pub so guna keep this short.

Blarney castle rocked. Somehow they’ve managed to keep it from getting too touristy. We tromped around the castle for a while, kissed the Stone, and went exploring the grounds.

The pictures do it way more justice than I could with words.

We’re currently in Galway, and went on a tour yesterday to the Cliffs of Moher and on a walking tour through The Burrens. The walk in the Burrens was on our guide’s family farm, the farm that’s been in his family for 200+ years. The Burrens is geographical part of Ireland that is characterized by large rolling hills made entirely out of limeStone. At first glance it kind of reminded me of enchanted rock back home…on closed inspection though there is a lot of vegetation growing in between cracks in the limeStone, which our guide explained was really fertile due to the calcium carbonate leaking out. Anyway, we got to learn about some of the flowers, history of the immediate area, and got in some good exercise to boot.

When we got to the Cliffs of Moher we we’re greeted by the cheery news that part of it was closed because someone had just jumped off the cliff…committing suicide. Setting that aside we enjoyed the amazing view even if it was a bit obscured due to the mist.

There’s a lot more to say but yeah, food and pubs a calling.

Oh by the way, James and I have been married 4 whole whopping years today. Happy Anniversary baby!


p.s. I'll edit this with pics soon as I get a chance. probably after we head to Scotland tomorrow.

permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on June 29, 2008 from Galway, Ireland
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tagged Ireland, Cork, Galway, CliffsOfMoher and BlarneyCastle

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James & Amanda...Amanda & James.

If anyone feels the urge to donate to our cause or would like us to pick something up for them along the way you can send funds via pay-pal to jameswslade at gmail.com. Just shoot us a message of what you´d like and we´ll do our best to make it happen. Any...

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