Vans Warped Tour and the “Outrageous Noise”

Vans Warped Tour is the largest traveling music festival in the United States. The skateboard shoe brand Vans, has sponsored the event every year since 1995 and now it’s the longest running touring music festival in North America.

For all of you long-time followers, you may recall two years ago in which I was on a different side of this event. Touring with my favorite band Heritage brought a completely different angle. Check it out by clicking this fancy link! 

Today, it is my workplace.

        
My position is to simply intrigue attendees to register to win a new Ford F150. By filling out a form, they get a free t-shirt or sunglasses (and a few spare moments in the shade, which I think was the main reason people walked over to us).

   
My partners in crime for the day included these fine gentlemen, Sean and Derick.    

 
This new friend and fellow gypsy made my day even better than it already was. Meet Kary Parks, a kind hearted musician with a passion for helping others. If you’d love to check out her new tunes (I highly suggest it) please enjoy her website at www.karajack.com

 

Handstand shot?  But of course! This time it’s with Kary (who happens to be an ex-gymnast!)

 The genre of the music ranges slightly between punk, heavy metal, rock and hip-hop. A few of the more popular bands were listed as Wonder Years, Pierce the Veil, Family Force Five, Autumn burns Red and Black Veil Brides.

      

  

  

Lets turn the focus now and soak up the platform for a people watching event. This type of music draws in all types of styles. Instead of describing it, I’ll just let you take a look. 

      

 

I should of sent out a memo for hair color specials. I would of been in business! 

 Along with a variety of appearances, it clearly attracts all ages as well!  


They called it the “Reverse Daycare”.  An air-conditioned tent for all of the chaperons to relax, cool down and wait for their children to finish enjoying the outrageous noise (as one parent described it). 

  

I feel like this neon paint will provide some pretty unique tan lines come morning. 
Tan lines? Yeh, to say at the least. It was a scorching afternoon and many were walking around like burnt zombies. Dangerously hot, if you want to take it that far. Medics were constantly wheeling people to the first aid tent. Then there was our little nurse (Kary) concerning for anyone that walked by who appeared to be in need of a cool down.  
 I thought this was a brilliant idea.  A small water slide with a man on hand to control of the water hose. Ahhh… 

 
 
Lunch time brought options for everyone. Corn dogs, fried potatoes and snow cones were just a few of what I saw people walking with.
    

   Our breaks were conveniently located in the air conditioned truck for a foot resting and cool down.

 My lunch? You’re probably not shocked to find me huddled in the truck-o-air with my tasty sack-lunch!   

 

Here are just a few more random shots taken throughout the day. The first line up is a series of photos I took after watching a mob of fans anxiously wait for for their favorite band to sign posters and “acually shake hands”!

       

Thank you Kary, Sean and Derick for making it a smile filled day on the job! Cheers till next time! 

 

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1,000 pieces of penny cent candies

The Dollar General: “A convenient-sized store that delivers everyday low prices on products that customers use every day”. 

Upon arrival to Oklahoma, I was informed that they were having a huge grand opening. The first 50 customers would receive a tote bag and a $10 gift card. Challenge accepted! 


Just ten little dollars you say? Here’s a small list of things you can get for around $10:

A new wardrobe from a thrift store in Thailand, coloring books and crayons, 1,000 piecieceses of individual penny cent candies, a couple of fancy coffee’s, gallons of gas, frozen yogurt for the whole family, a beach chair, pet toys, art supplies and enough trail mix to weigh down a backpack.  You know the list is never-ending, so for the sake of getting this post up… lets move on.

I left the house around 7:30am for my usual run with the intentions of heading towards the Dollar General by 8:00. Here’s a few sights along the way. 
     Just to give you an idea of how “new” and exciting this place is, check out the panoramic below. Nothing but haystack fields and dirt surrounding the freshly poured cement parking lot.

  
I was expecting to be one of the first in line, but as you can see, others had the same idea.

   

 Favorite couple of the day goes to the matching denim overalls! 

 

And the nominees for best Okie (in a good way) vehicle...

 Yes folks, there was even a yellow ribbon cutting.  It’s official, they mean business.

 
A friendly smile greeted me with a tote bag and… the gift card!  

 
No, I didn’t pose this photo appropriately in front of the spam and Velveeta. Maybe. 

  
Funny how a small event with a bit of success can start your day on the bright side. Not to mention the giggles it brought to my family when I came bouncing through the door with my fancy new presents. 

 Success!

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Time to work hard…ish

Thanks to my cousin Reggie, I was able to glove up and work a bit on a side job.   
 This little dandy tool is a bundle of curved wires that spin aggressivly to brush off a surface, today I was eliminating rust. Not so fun fact, those little brisles randomly exit their home and stab the first object they come in contact with. On this day, it was my gut.  

 Spray paint? Sure! 

   This is Dane, another spicy cousin that knows how to work summers for extra cash. 

Two things I learned about this guy: 

1. If he knows the song on the radio, you’ll hear him. 

2. He will beat you in any runnng race (his records prove it). Below I started to run after the paper bag and before I got to a solid sprint, he was already gone! 

   A few more random shots of our day in the humid Oklahoma heat.  

        


  

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Dear highway, will you ever end?!

All righty my friends, time to catch you up. I’ve left Arkansas to head west towards my dear family in good ol’ Oklahoma! The best part of this 6 hour roadtrip was the quality conversations with some of my favorite people.  The first half included my sweet cousin Lana Lane and her two sleepy kids.  

  Here are a few pics from that scenic (ha. ha. ha.) drive.   

   

  

 Recently, this area has been hit with storms creating flash floods.  Check out these examples of the water levels that have put many farmers out of business and residents looking for higher ground. 

  

In the state of Oklahoma, any beverage containing more than 3.2% alcohol by weight or 4% alcohol by volume, (most liquors, wines, and typical beer) may only be sold in licensed liquor stores at room temperature.   

 I thought I’d post these prices for comparison in years to come and also to give you non Oklahomians an idea of what they’re paying around here.

We met my dad half way so I got to continue the trip with two of my siblings Hannah Joe and Benjamin Dalton… related much? 

  

“OKLAHOMA, Discover the Excellence”

Hmmm …the excellence of? 

 

Finally arrived to my new home of Agra, Oklahoma (population 400 including pets).  I may or may not be related to at least 50% of the wonderful people in this modern village.  For more silly details of tornados, family time and Okie fun facts, see any of the posts here!

Next up… Work hard before you play harder! 

  

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“Look Keka, I got a bullfrog!”

I’ve gotten the opportunity to volunteer on several farms all over the world.  Ahh, such grand memories! They differed in many ways, but a common quality was the concept of recycling. Trash can? Only if the animals won’t eat it! Food scraps, egg shells, fruit skin and anything else parishable is collected as the day goes on. I love the idea of using all parts of any edibles as seen in the post I eat my left overs first, so this just makes me happy!

  
Take it around the back and toss it to the furry feathered kids. Snack time! 

    With all of those amazing nutrients going back into their system, they produce fresh eggs daily for the family to enjoy.   

 Fun Fact: By placing fresh eggs pointy side down, it allows the air pocket to settle at the rounder top end. This keeps the yolk centered and further away from possible bacteria. I found this website that goes into much more detail!  

Another trick: Boil your eggs for only one minute then remove from the heat and cover for 15 minutes. Your yolks will be creamy and soft, uh yum.

 

“Look Keka! I got a bullfrog!”

For some reason I pictured a huge green frog with monster like eyes and slimy brown spots. To my surprise, here’s what he was showing off.  

Tornado warnings and thunder storms just meant that the fun stayed on the porch and continued inside.  

 

Random things to do on a rainy day…

Play with the little kids (and wonder how the others can distroy a clean room in under 2 minutes).

  

Workout with the children (or use them as convenient weights). 

Pile up old clothes that dont’t fit (or that you’re sick of backpacking with) and bust out the scissors! 

And of course the position I find myself loving to be in, hair time for neighbor friends! (aka kitchen cosmetology). 

I’ll close this post with a small personal fun fact.  There’s been a petite bracelet on my wrist since 2012. I tied it on during my backpacking through Spain and brought a matching one home to my dear cousin Lana.  She put it on her wrist that same day and it lasted through the years of wear and tear… until now.  Upon it falling off, she immediently wrapped it around baby Kasiah’s arm for the next chapter. Little item, big meaning. Love you girls!

 

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Real farmers wear overalls

You know I’m in my happy place when there’s fresh food, unique treats and live music all in one venue. Welcome to the Hot Springs Farmers Market!

 

  

Let’s just dive into the edible items that grow from this precious earth!

Side note: His overalls made my day. 
  
  
 

Prefer baked goodies?  There’s some creative ones around here!

  

 

…and for all the carnivores out there, please help me understand what a “pork berry” is.

   

Thirsty? Tired? Hungover? Sick? Anxious? Just want something scrumptious? Problem solved! Kombucha tea is a groovy beverage with hidden bubbles, a tangy bite and an abundunce of health benefits!

 

Beyond the chatter of eager attendees and locals catching up, there was a magnetic sound coming from this talented 15 year old.  His name is Ben Carey.  With an adorable smile and a natural stance behind the microphone, it’s no surprise he made it through the tryouts on the popular show “The Voice”! 

Best of luck following your passion! 

Happy children, colorful clothing, handbags, jewelry and dog treats were just a few addtional items that we saw while strolling through. 

  

  

  
Would it be “stereo-typing” to claim that only in these parts of the country would there be a knife shaperening stand between the organic herbs and homemade jam?

  

As we departed the market, (just down the way from Doc and his knives and beyond the pork berries) we were granted a sight of this vibrant bouquet.  Doesn’t it look just like a breath of sunshine?  

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving”.  Mother Teresa 

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Flappy candy ninja crush

Remember when playing outdoors until the sun went down was a daily occurrence? Back when 30 minutes of Nintendo was a treat? I can remember the adults having to find us outside to convince us to hydrate, not with gatorade, fruit pouches or pepsi… just good ol’ water. 

With that said, on this glorious afternoon we didn’t watch a movie or play some flappy-candy-ninja-crush game, we headed out to the woods for some tree loving, dirt stomping exploring!

Two kids, all the dogs, the cat and no surprise to us, Peppa the pig snorted along too! 

 

  

 I was so excited to see that someone had built tree forts out in the middle of nowhere! That was until Lana informed me they were actually hunting blinds. In my world… they’re forts.

  
  What hike would be complete without a silly face piggyback ride?!

  
Or just a free lift during nap time.

  
  
I spy a country kid!

 

What’s on his head? That would be his new found pet turtle named Franklin. Titus with his camo pants, a sun kissed snarle, side kick cat and a turtle hat classifies the following photo as my favorite of the day!

  

Handstand shot!  
The post could end here, but as all country kids know… checking for tics is just a part of the walk!  Toe to head and behid the ears, it’s a partner kind-of-thing. 

 

Tired kids, no tics and a workout for us… success!

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Sweet home… Arkansas?

I’ve returned to stay with my cousin Lana and her family for a well needed visit.  Here’s a post from my last jaunt through these neck of the woods, called Arkie to Okie, crossing state lines.

I recently came from the beaches of Florida where Palm trees populated the skyline and the nearest wild anilmal was a burnt spring breaker playing “Dude, where’s my beer?”. You can imagine how this new setting is refreshing and definitley provides a sense of country comfort. Let’s take a walk!

This house in the woods doesn’t classify as a farm, but there are times I feel like it should. Dogs, cats, chickens, roosters, a goat, duck and one curious pig named Peppa (that follows me on my run every morning).

   

  
 
   

    

  
With an enthusiastic 4 year old boy and a one year old little girl that I nick-named “Spider Monkey”, you’ve got to make time to burn through some energy.  I feel like this front yard is a great start!

   
Yep, that’s a trampoline you see in the distance.  This spring loaded circle-o-fun provides hours of endless games and the appropriate amount of nap inducing entertainment!

Meet Lana and her spirited little boy named Titus (or “Spider Man” depending on the day).

I don’t think anyone can get on a trampoline and not smile… Love. to. Jump!

   

This is my favorite trampoline photo.  A super-mom shining in the moment! 
  Moving on to the next option for kid-fuel ditribution, yard toys!

 

  
  

   

Hopefully tomorrow will bring a long walk and more playtime.  This is all of course dependant on the unpredictable weather of Arkansas.  Rain, sunshine, flash floods, tornado? All possible. We’ll see!

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Grass-bottom dance floor

Have you ever been in a yard and thought, “I could throw some epic parties back here” or “We should put a stage over there… and a bar on that side. Shoots, let’s bring in some portable bathrooms and a sink for the guests!” Well this family thought of it, did it and have been sharing their space for years now.  

If you recall, last time I was at this venue, I had come to surprise my mom for her birthday and the universe placed the band Heritage right in my lap. See that episode by clicking here.

What a wonderful return to the Williams Backyard Boogie!

  
   

  

  

 
    

 

Within moments of arriving, you begin to hear the unfolding of lawn chairs and the bottles of wine opening. By the time sound-check is over, there’s the smell of home cooked bbq and the energy of playful kids taking advantage of the wide open spaces.

This time, joining the grass bottom dance floor is some of the families and companions of the band, local artist that we’ve grown to know personally and a few new buddies (future travel partners). What a spectacular bunch!

    

 
   

  Let the tunes begin!
 

  
  
  
  

The smiling eyes next to me in the collage below has got to be one of their biggest fans.  With a heart of gold and a contagious laugh, I always enjoy sharing the dance floor with Miss Jodi. Here we are at a few shows from Tallahassee to Panama City… and now tonight!

  
Hey ladies, you know when you’ve been dancing all night in those uncomfortable shoes on the hard floors of a club? You should try barefoot, front stage on fresh grass and soft dirt. Glorious!

 

There’s really no need to set up the following picture… It’s just one fantastic photo bomb.

 Well done Lane… well done.

 
Say what?! It’s Dannica! This wonderful vocalist is the leading woman in Schatzi and The String Boffin that I introduced to you last year. Remember this post?

Tonight she joins me in a duo handstand photo. It makes me giggle that although we were several feet away from each other, she still managed to appear with her foot on my head. Figures since she’s a yogi.

   

“Got to visualize a better day… to materialize a better way”. The band Heritage

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White sand in the Gulf of Mexico

Scenes from a postcard. Clear water next to white powdery sand, complimenting a blue sky and perky palm trees. I began to wonder if you could do one too many posts of this ambiance before they all start looking the same. I think not.  In my book, there’s never too much of the good stuff!

Lucky enough to live walking distance to the beach, I often found myself with sandy toes (amongst other areas) and salty wind in my hair. These are a random photos I took throughout the days either while on a run or just meditating my way through the afternoon in Panama City Beach, Florida.

  

  
  

Like most things in life, the more the merrier! We’re all getting to know Shanda (from previous posts) and on this day, we snagged a few chairs and headed for the water. Girl talk, wet feet and sunshine kissed shoulders. Yes please!

  
 
  

  
 ..and my favorite time spent with my sun loving mum.  

  

  
  
  

If you care to see more of this specific area, feel free to check out Beaches, boats and balladsHappy and healthy with sandy toes or Panama City Beach

See the tall buidings waaaayy down there? The second photo following was taken near there, the East end of PCB. (Plus I needed to squeeze in this handstand pic!)

  

  
Good night from Panama City Beach!

  

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