Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turned Around. Not Lost.

My mum would tell you that I have never been good with directions, and at one point in time I would have argued with that statement. I know! Me arguing? Never! Yet now, I would completely agree with her and fully blame my directional incompetence on the heat. I yearn for the letters of M, K, and U Streets, the numerics of 18th, 16th, and 6th streets, and the familiarity of Columbia, Park, and Pennsylvania. Instead, I'm becoming frenemies with Chestnut, Oak, Valance, Magazine, Napoleon, and Carrollton.

I am having a terrible time figuring out how to navigate New Orleans. And of course I don't want to be "that" driver, the out of state fool with the Seahawks sticker and embarrassing license plate, so I just drive. Having no idea if I turned in the correct direction onto St. Charles. Once I realize that indeed I am going the wrong way, I make a left turn (which involves crossing the streetcar median) and retrace my steps hoping that no one notices my blue Jetta driving down the street. Again.

Maybe my city befuddlement demonstrates how I'm feeling at the moment. I lack a routine, a sense of stability, and feel completely out of my element. I'm nostalgic for the days of walking into a bar where everyone knows my name (literally), the nights of Diner dinners, and afternoons of Bar Pilar bloodys n' brunch. Hell, I even miss the customer who called our Montepulciano "spritzy" every single time he ordered it. Okay, maybe I don't miss him.

In time I'll figure out the streets, the bars, and add to my awesome group of friends (or, just convince everyone to move here), but for now I guess I'll just get comfortable with being a little uncomfortable.

And maybe I'll have Jay explain the layout of the city to me one more time. Please?

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Happy one week anniversary to me! I've lived here for 7 whole days. During that time I've unpacked (my current closet is 4x the size of my Elm St. closet. Woo hoo!), built a seating bench (women at work- yah!), visited Ms. Mae's, Cafe du Monde, and Port of Call, sat poolside, and spent a lot of time with my "niece", Lola. I have also successfully navigated the streets of New Orleans without incident. Things are going well thus far...

Here are a few comparisons between my old home and my new home:
All scenarios have occurred unless otherwise noted.

Scenario #1
"Pardon me, um, Girl? Where could I find the toothpaste?"
"Furst, it's Gurle. And second, I don't know."
NOLA Home Depot
"Could you please point us in the direction of the light bulbs and wood stain?"
"Sure, what size bulbs do y'all need? They are right over here. The wood stain is on aisle 4."
5 minutes later.
"Have y'all found everything that you needed? Ok, great. Have a nice one!"

Scenario #2
WDC: A beer and a shot - $10.
NOLA: A beer and a call liquor drink - $4.50.

Scenario #3
WDC: Drivers speed up to hit you while crossing 18th Street, NW. Then yell at you for being in the crosswalk.
NOLA: Drivers slow down, let you jaywalk across Magazine, but don't use turn signals when turning onto Napoleon.

Scenario #4
WDC: "Hola, mamacita. Ay ay."
NOLA: "Hey skirt!"

Scenario #5
WDC: Drive around for 30 minutes trying to find parking. Fight with some MD'er/VA'er. Then get a ticket because you were double parked while attempting to move into your apartment on Columbia Road.
NOLA: Parking space and garage come with the apartment. And it's still cheaper then Adams Morgan.

Scenario #6
WDC: Live in the same building as Joy's Spa (aka Happy Ending Brothel - nope, not kidding). Encounter her customers when exiting our apartment (now that I don't deal with you sitting at my bar, I can call both you, Keith, and you, Matt, out for visiting said brothel. Assholes.)
NOLA: Live in a cute neighborhood where the neighbors don't want us to leave and find a bigger place with a yard.

Oh, and truthfully I still haven't been to Frenchmen...maybe this weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Honey, I'm home.

It's now Monday. I've been in New Orleans for 5 days, and still have neglected to write about the last leg of my journey. Honestly, it's because there isn't that much to report. I got up at the break of dawn last Wednesday, hopped into Ms. Jetta and navigated my way out of Kansas thru Oklahoma, into Texas, and finally reached New Orleans, Louisiana around 8pm. I saw enough big pick-up trucks to last me a lifetime. I learned that no one in Texas knows how to drive, that my disdain for OKC hasn't disipated two years later, and that I really need to stop playing the song Black & Gold while driving otherwise people are going to think I'm a Saints fan.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I made it to New Orleans last night. I am utterly exhausted. I'll write something on the last leg in a while but while it's fresh on my mind, I want to make an observation:

People in Texas fall into two categories, those that drive pick-up trucks, and those that don't understand what "keep right except to pass" means. The Texans that fall into both categories hold a special place in my heart. All groups made my drive yesterday stellar.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mile 1839.0.

I am sitting in my AmericInn in Wichita, Kansas thankful that they provide free wi-fi (for the first 12 hours then fees will apply - shocking), but happy nonetheless, since the I-forget-the-name hotel that I stayed in last night (in Salt Lake City) did not. Hence the absence of a "post" or an "update", although had I been able to, it would have probably consisted of "yawn. made it. bye." My brain was practically mush upon arrival.

Today was better.

I have made it to Wichita. I've gone from Washington thru Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and now Kansas. I've seen mountains, desert, and wind turbines. I've said hello to Dick Cheney's home state, seen Mormon country, and stepped foot on Dorothy's yellow brick road. All in all, that is 1839.0 miles according to my AAA app and not including any detours, you know, to the drive thru Starbucks.

I have happily sang-screamed my heart out to the Backstreet Boys (Backstreet's Back AND Millennium), Bob Dylan, and the Brazilian Girls while also getting every 15th word correct when any Outkast, Lupe, or the Roots song comes on. I have utilized the wonders of cruise control to the fullest (which also has allowed me to dance while singing to along with the aforementioned artists). I have no doubt that that paired with up with my Seahawks decal, fake flower on the dash, and my purple sunglasses makes me look like I escaped from somewhere.

And if I had a dollar for every time my dress flew in all the wrong directions while getting gas yesterday, I'd be...well, I'd at least have a few Abitas bought once I got to New Orleans.

My mum and dad sent me on my way with heaps of healthy snacks which Em supplemented with sweets. Perfect. So last night, I, being too terrified of and confused about Salt Lake, sat in my hotel room avoiding Fox News and eating these snacks (Cheez-Its, raspberries, and cake. That was just to make you jealous, Diggy). Tonight however, I was more adventurous and went to Applebees. It was either that or the Golden Corral, and since I haven't a clue what that is, Applebees won. It was awful for all the right reasons - you can't go wrong with Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors all on tap, can you? Tomorrow I may venture to some place I keep seeing signs for - Taco John's. Oh la la.

Needless to say this trip so far has been an absolute success. And I haven't even started talking to myself!

My eyes are fighting with me and demanding to be shut. Tomorrow promises to be another long one including a drive through the Sonic Stealer Capital (aka OKC) and a stop in Dallas (yes, Ms. C, I plan to seek out Kim Kardashian's bf).

I'll leave you with today's deep thought: Jesus Trusts in Me (You). The big highway sign cut out of him told me so.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Only 2731 miles to go.

It's early Sunday morning (12.11 am to be precise), and I can't sleep because it's hot and I'm rather nervous for the 5-7 day drive that begins tomorrow. I know, I know. You probably can't sleep either because you're a) in Rwanda and the cat is chasing the Geico gecko around your bedroom, b) in WDC, and it's a hundred degrees and humid (but you have AC, so I don't want to hear it), or c) in New Orleans, anxiously awaiting my arrival (who am I kidding - there is only one person in NOLA waiting for me, and she BETTER be excited because I'm bringing the vacuum).
Oh right, did I mention that I'm moving? Again? For the second time in five months? In February I traded in rowdy Redskins fans (no, I never did hail to the Redskins), epic snowstorms, and the Nation's Capital for the San Juan Islands, drizzly days (and days, and days), and Seahawk's of Seattle. But of course, I couldn't stop there. No, I just had to move one more time (sorry Seattle, it's not you, it's me. Really.). On Monday, I will trade cities again (just like Cliff and LeBron!) and hop in my brand-new-not-yet-named Jetta and hit the road headed for the music, the beignets, and H (my sister), in New Orleans.

The Big Move (version 2.0) is proving to be slightly easier this time around - no Snowpocalyse complicating goodbye gatherings and no packing tape or bubble wrap - plus my little black pup isn't tripping me up at every turn (she's enjoying my mum & dad's big back yard, and will be staying in Seattle for the next few months).

This little 2700+ mile jaunt between the Emerald City and the Big (Too) Easy will undoubetdly provide me with some hilarious tales (and I hope, photos), though this time around I'm laying down the road tripping law: no hitchikers, no trail mix, and (unfortunately?) no Cracker Barrel.

Armed with the best Justin Bieber, Outkast, and Bye Bye Gooser music mixes, I'm off! Let's hope I don't get lost.