As I look ahead to the new year, I am very excited. I have a lot of projects and activities in store, but mostly I’m excited that for the next month I don’t have any plane tickets booked. I am going to sit on my couch, probably in my pajamas and write my book. Oh how I will relish it.

But this isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed every single second of my travels. In fact, I have come across some strange and wonderful things in the past five months.

Here are three of them:

This smoking donkey cigarette dispenser. Now, I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. But when I saw this in Arkansas it cracked me up for some reason. Especially because neither the person giving it nor the person receiving it smoked cigarettes. It is one of life’s amusements, and I think that is all it was really meant to be.

I drove for many hours in west Texas in October, at the edges of the United States. I may have even wandered into Mexico for all I know. As I drove, there were only vast planes and beautiful arid mountains.

Then I saw this. A Prada store in the middle of nowhere.

Do cowboys like stilettos when no one is looking? Really expensive ones?

It turns out that no, they don’t. This store is sealed off. It is, in fact, an art installation!

Just in case you get bored while driving in this empty desert, there is a shining beacon of Prada that comes to your rescue.

And this. In New Orleans in December, a barber shop with my very name. I was tempted to have them trim my hair but I had a po boy to eat and didn’t want to be late.

So this is a taste of the strange and wonderful things that I stumbled upon in 2010. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store, aren’t you? What do you have planned for 2011? Any resolutions?

Happy New Year!

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