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Category: Traveling South

When we go on vacation, we just go farther south

Seaside, Florida

I realize the picture is a wee bit weird, but I admire the symmetry. Here’s the thing about the ocean: It’s weird. There’s slime, and seaweed, and sticks, and fish that nibble at your toes. Not to mention all manner of man-made trash that washes up. The difference is, in the Gulf you can actually SEE what’s touching you, rubbing against your leg. Whereas in the Atlantic, you just visualise the worst & hope that if it is death coming for you, he’ll make it snappy. I had seaweed & God-knows-what-else tangled in my hair every day this week, but I just pretended I was a mermaid & went on. The waves knocked me down, flipped me upside down, drove me to my knees and skidded my elbows across the gritty sand. I got back up for more, pushing my seaweed infested hair out of my eyes, snorting and snotting from the salt in my eyes and up my nose, making them water and burn. It was a constant struggle against the current, fighting the waves crashing into me. They fizzle out but there’s more behind it. Sure, you can stay in the shallows where the danger is minimal, but why would you want to? Where’s the fun & adventure in that? It’s a battle I will never win, me against the pull of the moon. Something drives…

New Orleans I Remember

Church bells & sirens. Jackson Cathedral startlingly white against a cloudless sky. Artists dragging out their easels, hanging their wares on wrought iron railings. Business owners pressure washing the remnants from the night before into the sewers. Locals hustling to work nod, smile, & offer “Good mornin’.” It’s seven a.m. in the Quarter, & everyone is headed to Café Du Monde for café au laits & beignets. Newspapers snap & the light becomes a little brighter as the sun shines down proudly on New Orleans. Streetcars clatter their way down the cobblestone streets, & steamboats rest along shore. The smell, not unpleasant, wafts in from Lake Pontchartrain & the great Mississippi River. The city is waking up, & with it comes the street performers. The saxophone players, the moody bluesmen, the break dancers. Just as soon as the music begins to fade behind you, another tune picks up just ahead. Tourists are carted by in wagons pulled by mules who have red glittery hooves. Happy to be alive, guides call to each other & provoke laughter at every comeback. Beads hang everywhere, like a manufactured Spanish moss. They are in tree limbs, electric lines, rooftops, across fences, lying in the street. They are draped around doorframes as decoration, looped over mailboxes & front yard fences for passerby to take if so desired. The food alone is worth the trip. A fantastic mix of creole-Cajun, French, Italian, & American, you can find anything you…