Sunday, 18 August 2013

'Walk With Me' Project - A Guest Post from musician, James Oldrini

I'm inviting you to take part in a project called 'Walk With Me' for the video of my next release 'Footsteps'.

There is a simple concept behind this idea. Music is a universal language and no matter who you are or where you're from, we all understand it! Music has the emotive power to bring people together and to represent who we are and the way we feel.

Using a smart phone or digital camera, I'd like you to film a 10-15 second clip following a simple set of instructions. Using those seconds, I want you to show the viewer what part of the world/culture you are from and film your own footsteps. The final edit will include many clips from around the world showing each other's footsteps. Every time the camera looks up, you will be taken to a different place/culture but we are all walking to the same piece of music - we are all taking 'Footsteps' together!

You could be walking on a sandy/pebbly beach, down a cobbled street, through a meadow, through your local town, in your major city, enjoying the local night life, walking down a pier, walking towards Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, at a theme park, in your local park, outta space....! Anything, as long as it gives us a flavour of where you're from.

OK, here's what to do...

1. Go to a location that represents where you are in the world, for example, a local land mark or somewhere that means a lot to you.

2. Point your camera at that landmark/view and shoot while walking. Then, while continuing to film, bring the camera down towards your feet and film your footsteps. Then, bring the camera back up to your starting position - the original shot. It should be a smooth action filmed within one shot. I have done an example for you. This is my part of the world, and these are my footsteps. I'm sure you guys can do a much better job at filming than me!

3. Email your clip to me In the 'Subject' bar Type WWM then your first name location and country. Mine would look like this: Subject: WWM James, Belper, England That way we can include your first name and location to the footage. Obviously don't forget to attach your video to the email! You can send it as any format but don't delete it off your phone or camera as I may have to ask for it again if we hit problems. If for some reason it wont send, let me know and we'll work on a way to get it here :)

By emailing me, you agree that the footage is your own and that you consent non exclusive royalty free usage, free from any fees and are happy for it to be used as part of a music video viewable worldwide on any media. GO GET CREATIVE....

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Our Big Arizona Road Trip Part Five

So the next stop was Tucson... I was looking forward to seeing lots of Cacti. It was Lala's turn to drive - it was yet another 4 hour drive. 

We stopped en route for a bite to eat. Again we arrived out our hotel earlier than check-in and our room wasn't ready.... But they upgraded us to a fireplace room :) what a difference to how the staff treated us at the hotel in Sedona. The room was amazing....and huge. We stayed at Lodge On The Desert.

 It was very Hacienda like and reminded us a lot of the hotel we stayed in when we went to Tulum, Mexico. As we arrived fairly early, we had most the afternoon left and so we went to the Sonora Desert Museum . We definitely saw lots of cacti there. 

and this strange looking creature hahahaha

In the evening, we decided we wanted pizza.... So we looked on my Satnav!! BIG MISTAKE... It took us to a bowling alley with a rather dodgy pizza cafe!! So we decided to look elsewhere. We found the trendy part of Tucson .... It had such a buzzing vibe and we found a wonderful Pizza Restaurant called Magpies Gourmet Pizza. It was soooooo yummy.... We thought Arturo's in NYC was the best pizza ever.... But think this was better :)

The next day we drove to Tombstone. Lala has been to Tombstone before and loved it last time. She knew I would too. It's an hour and half drive to Tombstone. We first stopped at Boothill Graveyard when there are over 250 graves. Many of those buried there were cowboys. Many of the stones were engraved with the name and how the person died.

this made us laugh.... not laughable for George Johnson though!

Next stop was to the main road in Tombstone. It was just like in the Western Movies. Lots of people were dressed in fancy dress.

We ate Big Nose Kate's Saloon which was lots of good fun - lots of Country and Western music and singing... A lot like it would have been in the 1800s. The downside was the only thing we could eat on the menu was pizza and we had pizza the previous night... But the lively fun atmosphere was worth it

We also visited the Courthouse too.

That night, we ate at the hotel restaurant. The chef at the hotel was 2011-2012 Iron Chef Tucson Champion. The food was good.

We loved Tucson and both wished we'd spent more than 2 nights there. We decided we should have spent 3 nights in Sedona and 3 in Tucson. It's a fun place and we would definitely recommend The Lodge on the Desert Hotel.

Next stop .... Las Vegas :)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Our Big Arizona Road Trip Part Four

Hey Y'all... it seems to be taking me forever to update about our trip..... I have been crazy busy doing assignments etc for my Yoga Teacher Training course... Taking today off anything Yoga related.... erm... I bet that doesn't happen though....hahahaha..... ( I wrote this on Monday... and yes I did end up do something Yoga related!! )

Sooooooo we left Monument Valley bright and early.  It was my turn to drive.... was about a 4 hour drive to Sedona which wasn't bad.  If it had been a 4 hour drive in the UK... it would feel like a very long time.... but in the USA, it is so much easier to drive than here.

When we arrived.. our room wasn't ready we had to wait.  Granted we were a little early.... but official check-in time arrived and our room still wasn't ready and we ended up waiting and waiting and waiting.  We also must have been given the worst room in the hotel.  The inside was nice enough but just the location of the room wasn't to good. Oh well... it is not like we spend a great deal of time in the room.

Some of the views from the hotel were spectacular though.

Loved the 'X' in the sky, we both said that it must be a sign :)

Sedona is very pretty.... though we did both think the town centre is very commercialized.  Though we did love this store.

 Lala has been to Sedona before but like 20 years ago... She says it has changed sooooooo sooooo much.

So what did we do whilst we were there? We stayed 4 nights and so did lots of things.  One evening we went on the Sunset Vortex Tour with Red Rock Jeep Tours.

Our tour guide, Mark was fantastic.  He took us to 3 different places where the Earth's energy was the strongest.  The first was up by the airport where he explained  Vortexes  and Chakras and asked us if we were working anything.  We had to find a spot there and meditate. It actually made me feel very sick.  In fact, since arriving in Sedona, I was feeling nauseous.  Mark explained that is was the energy overload.  It actually made sense as I have been working on my heart chakra for a while and if my chakra is not open... a lot of energy is gonna make me feel sick.  Mark did some grounding with me and I felt so much better.

We then went onto Red Rock Crossing.  We loved it here.  So so beautiful.  We meditated by the stream.  I kept getting the urge to get in the water.  I didn't of course.  Lala loved it.... so much so we went back again the next day.

The final place was up at what is called Rachel's Knoll.  You can read the sad story of Rachel's Knoll here .  It is so sad that her children sold the land and it was made into a Golf Club.  Luckily though, the public are allowed access to the Knoll. It is from here we saw the sun setting

One day we drove to the ghost town of Jerome.  What a cute lovely town.  Lots of independent arty shops.  I was happy cos when we went in one shop, the was the most beautiful copy of The Bhagavad Gita.  It wa the only copy in the shop and kind of felt like it was there waiting for me :)  Here are some photos.

One of our favourite places was the Amitabha Stupa.  So beautiful and so peaceful.

We visisted a wonderful Arts & Crafts Village called Tlaquepaque

We also took a trip to Montezuma's Castle  - which are old cliff-dwellings and also went and visited Camp Verde

Sedona was lovely... but we decided 4 nights was probably too much....

And we can't end this post without something on food.  We loved Simon's Hotdogs. All his hotdogs can be served Vegetarian and Vegan

Next stop... Tucson.....

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Our Big Arizona Road Trip - Part Three

Two Nights in Monument Valley

We ate our last breakfast in The Grand Canyon at El Tovar.  It was yummie :)
We hit the road straight after.  It was Lala's turn to drive so I could sit back and chill out and enjoy the views.  It was just over a 4 hour drive.  We got confused as we forgot there is an hours time difference between The Grand Canyon and Monument we were expecting it to take us 5 hours.  It was a lovely drive especially once we were approaching Monument Valley.  The scenery was stunning

Monument Valley in the distance (excuse the dirty windscreen)

Monument Valley is on The Navajo Indian Reservation.  We stayed at The View Hotel.  It is the only hotel within Monument Valley.  As the name suggests... the hotel had views and OMG.... the views were just amazing.  All rooms had this view

and in the morning the sunrise was just so so beautiful

We stayed 2 nights there and so we had one full day.  We went on a tour of Monument Valley.  We booked it through Navajo Spirit Tours.  They run a few different tours - we chose their Monument Valley one which was a whole day tour with a guide around Monument Valley including the restricted parts. 
We thought The Grand Canyon had the Wow factor....but Monument Valley had the WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW factor :) It is just so so beautiful.... so stunning.
Here are some photos.... and they still do not capture its total beauty.

Can you see the Indian's head?

drawings in the stone

Our guide Harry was excellent.  He told us lots of little stories and played the flute for us. 

A lot of movies are filmed in Monument Valley 

some of which :
Stage Coach staring John Wayne
Thelma & Louise
Back to The Future III
Mission Impossible II
Forrest Gump
and many more 

Here is a photo of a traditional Indian house - a Hogan. 

and of course I can't finish this post without posting some food :)

Navajo Blue Corn Taco

Monday, 15 April 2013

Our Big Arizona Road Trip - Part Two

Three Nights at The Grand Canyon

After a long journey and thankfully no more car trouble,  we entered The Grand Canyon National Park. You have to pay an entrance fee of €25. The first thing we saw were some Elk

We arrived at our accommodation up in The Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. We stayed at Thunderbird Lodge. Originally we wanted to stay at El Tovar but it was fully booked and on trip advisor Thunderbird scored higher than Bright Angel. So Thunderbird Lodge it was.  It turned out they were all next door to one another anyways. To look at on the outside it reminded me of a university hall of residence hahahaha... 

 BUT the rooms on the inside were wonderful and we loved their toiletries :) The best bit though.....we were right on the South Rim and so when we came out the lodge this was our view :

On the first evening we had a few drinks in the bar at Bright Angel Lodge and then ate dinner in the restaurant there. The food was good.... But very filling :) We also ate breakfast there the following morning. It was ok... Nothing spectacular.
We had 3 nights at the Grand Canyon and so 2 full days. The first day was spent walking the South Rim.

 The views of The Grand Canyon were spectacular. We walked so far and then took the free shuttle up to the Visitors Center.

Later in the afternoon, we went down to the IMAX Theater which is just outside the Park and watched a fabulous movie all about The Grand Canyon - its history, geology etc We also ate at a lovely Mexican called Sophie's Mexican Kitchen - it was very bright and colourful inside.

On the second day we ate breakfast at El Tovar.... it was delish..... so many yummie choices... these are only a small part of them

Also their dining room is gorgeous.... very Olde Worlde. 

In fact the whole Lodge looks gorgeous. If we ever went to The Grand Canyon again, we would book months and months and months in advance to make sure we got a room there. We tended to eat and have drinks there a lot. 

After breakfast, we took the free shuttle bus in the opposite direction towards Hermit's Rest, stopping at various points and walking. We both agreed that the views were even more stunning than the ones from the previous day

There was a cute building at Hermits Rest which was a shop/cafe with an amazing fireplace

There were always many places to fill up your water bottle enroute
On the way back we popped to have a look at the mules. You can take Mule Rides down the canyon  but with Lala's asthma and how badly it set it off the time we took a mule ride down the steps in Santorini, we decided against that. 

We walked back to the hotel via the railway

We had a wonderful 3 nights at the Grand Canyon and both decided that it is definitely a place to see in your life time. It's totally stunning. 

Will leave you with a quote which was on one of the walls of the IMAX Theater.

"For each man sees himself in the Grand Canyon - each one makes his own Canyon before he comes, each brings and carries away his own Canyon" - Carl Sandburg

If you missed Part One you can read it  here....
Stay tuned for Part Three ....