August 4, 2010

from NOLA to the A-T-L

it looks like I'm saluting, but really I'm fixing my glasses (don't worry grandparents) - on the steps of the Montgomery Capitol Building
This is the food we ordered at the Smokehouse - oh man.

the band at dbs getting crazy - the man on the right is rapping about tomorrow being a brighter day
me and krista on bourbon street with our hurricanes

New Orleans is HOT, SWEATY, and crazy, even on a Monday night.
We arrived from Houston in the evening and met our WONDERFUL hosts, David and Michael (I'll try to link to their B&B soon bc it's lovely; thanks, Em!), who told us to walk down the French Quarter, but mostly hit up Frenchmen street, which is slightly past it. We did exactly that - stopping only to get a Hurricane to go (yup, because you can carry your drinks in the street in NOLA) so that we would be hydrated, or something, for our walk.

We ate jumbalaya and fried goodness at a place called the COOP, had some more drinks, and then headed to DSB's, a night club on Frenchmen Street that apparently always has amazing music. Thought we had our doubts because it was a Monday night, they were put at ease even as we walked up to the place - music leaked out onto the street from every direction, and coming from DSB's was a sweet mix of jazz, funk, and hip-hop. Perfect. We ended up staying until close talking to some people our age involved in local politics about the challenging and exciting problems NOLA is tackling post-Katrina.

The next morning, we ate beinets and drank cafe o lait's at Cafe Du Monde, a NOLA staple. Beinets are pretty much exactly the same as the fried dough you get at a country fair, except even more delicious and more sugary. Then we walked through Jackson square, saw a Tulane football team photo shoot, and had our tarot cards read by the lovely Janessa. Krista's reading was a bit more profound than mine, but both were entertaining and made us think about some of the things in our lives.

We decided to skip Mississippi so that we could make it back to Atlanta before Krista's sister, Marisa, left for a year in Zambia, but our route from NOLA took us to some pretty fabulous places.

Must Stop #1: Greenville, AL
at The Smokehouse, which appears to be a country store connected to a gas station right off the exit for Greenville on Rt. 10, but our wonderful hosts in NOLA told us it was the best food they had ever had. The Smokehouse did not disappoint - it was the best food I have ever had too. Stay tuned for photos of: BBQ chicken that comes right off the bone, fried sweet potatoes with sugar, fried okra, cornballs (which Krista says is like creamed corn, but fried), and collard greens. Yum.

Must Stop #2: Montgomery, AL
as we're driving past the exit for downtown, I turned to Krista and said, maybe we could just go check out the capitol? She gamely agreed and we drove into Montgomery. The Alabama capitol is the end site of THE MARCH during the Civil Rights Movement from Selma --> Montgomery (54 miles!!!). It was also the capitol city of the confederacy, based on the huge statue of Jefferson Davis out front.

however, there were two other statues accompanying Jefferson - two physicians. One of whom is James Marion Sims, considered to be the "father of obstetrics and gynecology". Is the universe sending me signs or am I just choosing to see them? I'm not sure what, but oddly, my mother gave me a book earlier this summer called Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese that I have taken with me on this entire trip and hope to finish here in Atlanta. Verghese is a physician and a novelist, so many of his books have to do with medicine. In this one, the main character's name is Marion, because he is named after James Marion Sims. Coincidence? Choosing what to see? I've been in New Orleans so I'm feeling slightly more swayed to the intuitive side for now...

We got into Atlanta just after dinner and surprised the whole Buckley family with our arrival! Everyone, especially Marissa, was so delighted to see Krista come back and so kindly welcomed me. I'm hanging in the ATL for a few days and then heading back home - so this is probably the last post for a while (though I'll try to get some photos up). I need some total rejuvenation time before kicking back into gear for school. But this trip has just been the best. I feel so grateful for the experience and so thankful to everyone who let us stay with them, entertained us, gave us tips of things to do and places to go, and checked in along the way to tell us they were thinking about us! We had people we met all over tell us that when you have the time, you never have they means, and when you have the means, you never have the time. Since this is our last time for a while, we're so happy that you all helped us figure out the means!


an amazing quote from a friend about writing, but I think could also apply to so many other things, like traveling:

"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water."

-Annie Dillard (a Pittsburgh native!)

1 comment:

  1. Have you read Verghese's other book about the advent of the AIDS epidemic in the south? Pretty interesting.