Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Livin' large in the big easy!

Oh man, I've been in N.O. an hour and am in love. This may change should I be mugged but for the time being, we LOVE it! The hostel is, in fact, commune-esque. Quite a stretch for the US of A. I haven't felt this sense of community very often in hostels so cheers to the India House! $20 for a bed, free wifi, parking, and a whole fridge for storing beer. Who needs more? Ok, let's back up.
After peeling out of the Valdosta RV park with a soaking wet rain fly but freshly showered, I headed the few miles south to Kaleidoscope gallery, my actual destination. I spent the afternoon there and left feeling like I represented my mom well and dead-headed to Pass Christian where another one of her friends was awaiting my arrival so I didn't have to drive and hour extra to New Orleans that night and back track. Once again, I win!!!! Joanne has a fabulous house full of art that I perused for hours. She was great about me rolling in late...I misread my directions and suddenly 35.5 miles turned into 355 miles...awesome. Also - Florida has some crazy rest areas. Pulled into one looking for a quick pit stop and area to devour a can of sardines and ended up driving a half mile into the woods to some spectacular bathroom complex. Creepy. Some guy in a hawaiian shirt was skulking about with a toy chihuahua...never a good sign.
Made it to Pass Christian and after the intros, promptly passed out. I awoke to fabulous sunshine, brewed chicory coffee and a few hours to myself. Joanne and I talked pottery and headed to grab a bite to eta on the gulf, right off scenic drive. Her stories about Katrina are amazing. The empty plots of land, some with concrete front steps still standing speak volumes to the devastation that hit the area. "You don't really understand the meaning of 'gone' until you see something like Katrina come through." There is no way I could wrap my head around the loss that occurred but seeing its effects years later is a window. We had a great lunch, can't really go wrong with parmesan broiled oysters...
The drive over was full of moss covered oak trees and cow patches. Oh the south. Beautiful in its own right and people say things like "I'm fixin' to do this".
I'm in NO for the next few days checking out a school and just seeing the city. Sounds like there are some good bands playing tonight so I'm sure I'll have something to say about it tomorrow. Funny people here! Among them, floridian girl who just traveled to...wisconsin and proudly sports the shirt; and a kiwi named kairen (a guy) who accompanied me to get beer. Should be an interesting couple of days.

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