A Travellerspoint blog

June 2015

Lone Star State

I don't believe anything is actually bigger in Texas, rather, it is proportionately scaled to the size of the state

sunny 94 °F

We leave Lafayette around 11 and stop by a local produce store for bananas and coffee. The sun beats down hot and strong, and boils the water from the bayous into the air. My hair is contained, a last ditch effort against the frizz. To no avail.
We head west towards Texas, passing hitchhikers I the entrance ramp to the I-10. A man and a woman, traveling together, it seems. Shari and I debate if we would ever pick up a 'hiker, and the possible consequences there of. We're out of Louisiana in about an hour, the land and sky unfolding before us in flat green fields and mountainous clouds. We pass many cattle farms. Near the border, there is a ranch directly connected to a Texas Longhorn Steakhouse. I don't suppose meat gets much fresher than that.
We cross into Texas over the Sabine River, which my phone soon alerts me in running at 23.4 feet and the levees only on go up to 23 feet, so there is minor flooding in some places. But there is little standing water aside from in the swamps, though there is the threat of later in the day thunder storms.
Our host for the weekend recommended the first rest stop after the river. There is a boardwalk behind the information center, going through the Blue Elbow Swamp. The swamp resounds with peepers, bull frog , and song birds. A man says he spotted a gator hanging out under the walk, but we don't see it. They are pretty well camouflaged. It begins to rain intermittently and we walk to the "welcome to Texas" sign to take dorky pictures with the sign.
Back on the road towards Houston, we set up to meet with my friend from home who recently relocated, Kyla. We find each other and take off towards Green's Vegetarian Cuisine, which is delicious. And reasonably priced. And Kosher. They make their own chips and just wow. Everything we tried was wonderful and super filling, which is important, especially with so much traveling.
Shari and I hang out with Kyla and her beau, Jacob, for the rest of the evening, master planning for tomorrow. Part of the master plan is being out of the house by 10ish, so an integral part of the plan would be my heading to bed fairly soon. Like, now-ish.

Posted by MiriG 21:38 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip lone state star texas lower_48 long_day Comments (0)

1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi...

sunny 92 °F
View Road Trip!!!!!!!! on shari36's travel map.

We left Alabama early today and headed west towards Mississippi. While passing Mississippi we took a detour on some local roads and stopped at a beach on the Coast to play in the water, it was quite nice. We then continued on towards Louisiana and spent most of the day in New Orleans. It's a really cool city, very artsy, hip, and colorful. The architecture there is really quaint and beautiful, lots of French bistro's, art studios, antique shops, chotchky shops, etc. We went to Café Du Monde and had their famous beignet which was good but nothing to write home about (Remember that Star Trek episode where Data learns how to use that term? Lol. I'm a nerd.) the coffee on the other hand was to die for but I did promise you guys not to make this blog about coffee so I won't elaborate.

After New Orleans we continued on to Sketchville, Louisiana where we are spending the night. It's not actually called Sketchville, but it's been a long day and I'm having my evening with an extra dose of sassiness. Louisiana overall is a more happening place than Alabama, and decibels more sketchy. Tomorrow we continue on to Texas, we'll see where that falls on the sketchy meter.

Miriam's computer is being its usual perky self and is refusing to perform the functions it has been created to do, so all the pretty pictures we took of the ocean melting into the horizon, the magnificent New Orleans architecture, the usual dorky poses of us, won't be up tonight. Hopefully we'll have them up by tomorrow when Miriam's computer decides to take its Viagra and performs properly.

Here's a pretty google image I found of New Orleans

Here's a pretty google image I found of New Orleans

Posted by shari36 18:35 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Sweet Home Alabama

Where the skies weren't so blue

sunny 86 °F

Alabama is also somewhat boring. It's lovely, in the way that many of the other states we've been through thus far have been lovely: Lush, green. But there's less variation. There's no thrill of rising mountains or the illusion seeing forever across flat farm lands. Maybe we've been spoiled. It isn't Alabama's fault that we've already experienced 11 states before it. But there's something very sad and sleepy that permeates the air around here and I don't mean the humidity.
In Montgomery, we head to the First White House of the Confederacy, where Jefferson Davis lived before the Confederate capital removed to Richmond, Virginia. We pay for 36 minutes of parking and successfully tour the entire house in that time span. The tour is self guided with little copy paper printed booklets. The lighting is dim, reminiscent of gas lamps, and the air smells old. The interior of the house is gorgeous, filled with artifacts and relics from Jefferson Davis and family, as well as the Confederacy as a whole. I'm really glad that we went. I think it's important to learn all aspects of history, especially those parts that people are uncomfortable with. I recommend going if you're near Montgomery (which you probably aren't, but if you're in Atlanta, you're close enough). Admission is free and the Civil War was kind of a big defining point of the character of the US.


After the FWHC, we head to downtown Montgomery. It's almost like a ghost city. Shops are open from 11-2, and are closed for the day. Workers park in the middle of the wide boulevards. A lot of properties are for sale, and look like they have been for sometime. We're near Court Square, where slaves, goods, and land were auctioned off and where Rosa Parks boarded her bus home from work and refused to sit in the back. The march on Selma went through this square. Sit-ins happened at the now defunct cafes and department stores. The Square, devoid of people, is peppered with historical markers. Near the bus stop where Rosa Parks boarded her bus, there is a small park and a bible is a glass case, opened to Psalms.


Leaving Montgomery, we opt to get off the interstate and onto local highways. The drive is immediately more visually interesting. I-64 has almost no views of anything around in thanks to tree banks flanking the sides. On the local highways, we are routed through towns, can see logging operations, and cattle farms. And several dozen churches. And the occasional Confederate flag. We are well and truly in the Bible Belt and Deep South, and now we can at least catch a glimpse of how people here live. Part of the off-the-interstate operation is to pick up Florida. We stop in the town of Century, at a supermarket just past the Welcome to Florida sign. We have no choice, Shari says. We need a picture with the sign. So we walk through long grass and red clover and take dumb photos with the sign. And then we walk across the highway to the Alabama state line sign, and take pictures with that sign, too. Truckers and other drivers honk as they pass. We get back en route to Mobile, Alabama.


Mobile is larger than I anticipated and driving over wide waterways is surreal. We stop in the downtown area. Mardigras bead tangle in the tree branches. There's a community garden and a cathedral from 1835. While admiring the architecture, a man stops us and shows us his stab wounds. "Gnarly," I say because I don't know what else to say. Shari and I look at each other and move quickly around the rest of the block to the car.
We are now safe in our hotel room, a good half hour from downtown Mobile. We'll be up early tomorrow to take on New Orleans. Thanks to Central Time, we gained an hour, and I'm tired from this 25 hour day.


Posted by MiriG 19:48 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip history alabama florida highways civil_war montgomery lower_48 long_day first_white_house_of_the_confed civil_rights Comments (0)

Atlanta, take two

Because it's just that damn wonderful

sunny 85 °F
View Road Trip!!!!!!!! on shari36's travel map.

Today started out as every good day should, with coffee. We then joined our fantastic friend Avrumi for more coffee at the Cafe Intermezzo that offers so many coffee choices, I may have ignored my wonderful friends and instead spent some quality time with a beautiful cup of coffee that had Dutch chocolate and other stuff and it was just so amazing. Anyway I digress. This blog is not about my love for coffee and chocolate. Perhaps I will start a blog of that nature after my travels are over.


We then headed over to the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum which was quite the experience. It really makes you think about stuff. They offer a very informative and interactive history of the civil rights movement and about human rights. Check it out here it's really cool. (http://www.civilandhumanrights.org/)


We then got back home and pried Aviva away from the game she was watching (I think it was soccer, Sweden against Nigeria. I'm learning so much about sports from my short stay in Atlanta) and we headed to the farmers market where I spent way too much money and bought fancy rose petal jam that I'm very excited to try.

The day ended with a wonderful dinner at Fuego Mundo where we met up with the Pearls and spent some really nice time together. Good food, good company. It was really wonderful. Lani Pearl made us chocolate chip cookies to take along on our travels, she is amazing, I know. They tried to convince us to cancel the rest of our trip and just stay here in Atlanta which is tempting because everyone here is so freaking nice but we promised y'all that we will do 48 states in 48 days so alas, we must continue on to Alabama tomorrow. Aviva is in the living room yelling at the TV screen and sounding really excited about the game she's watching so I'm going to go join her and see what all the excitement is about (I'm actually a little intrigued about sports. This trip is doing weird things to me. It must be the lack of sleep.)

Check back with us tomorrow for our Florida and Alabama adventures!

Posted by shari36 19:28 Archived in USA Tagged chocolate road_trip coffee atlanta lower_48 center_for_civil_and_human_righ rose_jam Comments (2)


The gateway to the South

sunny 80 °F

I'm sitting at the Summers' kitchen table, hoping my laptop doesn't decide that wifi is an unacceptable form of internet. Shari's in the back yard, relaxing in the grass. There's a constant stream of birds fluttering to the feeders and the air is cooling as the sun sets westward. I'm loving Atlanta. We've met so many warm, genial people. A huge thanks to the Pearl family, who hosted us for Shabbat.
Today introduced us to MARTA, the Atlanta area public transit. Using MARTA really was a breeze. I sketched people on the train in a little pad of post-it notes. Post-its make for a very efficient travel sketch book.
Aviva is a wonderful, thorough tour guide. We went to the Georgia Aquarium. We got in at 1:00pm and immediately set out into the different tanks. So much aquatic life. Fish, sharks, coral, whales, seals. Jelleh fish! They have a giant viewing tank, over 63' long.


Mesmerizing. We saw whale sharks and manta rays. Shari and Aviva get very excited about bright pink tropical fish. We all get very excited about everything.


Penguins, otters (different sizes for different bodies of water), beluga whales. Beluga whales are these huge creatures, a white bullet of muscle, blubber, and humor. I have a small stuffed one from when I was a kid, so seeing real live "Whale-Tails" (<-- I know, very creative name for a toy. I was two.) was awesome. Three Belugas share a tank. A baby had been born this May, but passed away this past Friday, which cast a somber feeling over seeing the Belugas for me.


After, we walk through downtown Atlanta, past the 1996 Olympic Park. Aviva takes one for the team and explains what the Olympics are to Shari. And then tries to explain the difference between soccer in the Olympics and the World Cup. The air is hot, humid. We take MARTA back to the Doraville station and head back to Aviva's.
All in all, a wonderful day. The weather was pleasant, which isn't anything to snub, given that last week around this time we were experiencing heavy rainfall and about 15 flash flood warnings per day. We have one more day in Atlanta and then we're going to pass through this gateway and into the South.


Posted by MiriG 17:28 Archived in USA Tagged fish road_trip whales sharks georgia aquarium atlanta rays lower_48 atl Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 19) Previous « Page 1 2 [3] 4 » Next