Day 26: Home

Antebellum: before Civil War: belonging or relating to the time before the Civil War

A little bit of trivia about our new home town, Milledgeville is the antebellum capital of Georgia. Briefly stopping for a day on the Biloxi Beach, zooming through Alabama (after eating at the Oyster House), and pushing through to the long awaited Peach State was a little like what I imagine summit fever feels like. We were so close…and now we are here. After almost a month we are finally here. Now all we have to do is figure out where here is. So far we have discovered a couple of places to get on the internet, an arboretum, the visitor’s center (of course), and enough brick buildings to make you dizzy. 

To meet Debbie we are about a week early. That gives us quite a bit of time to study up, walk around, search for jobs, and most importantly to dig a little deeper into this old, pre-war capital.

Rule of the Road #6: Never go on a long journey without nail polish (hides the dirt under your nails).

Day 25: Movie Stars

New Orleans is like the bad boy in the leather jacket that all the girls crush on. We pretend we don’t know why we like him, but we know. Ladies know that that risk of danger mingled with a little dark mystery holds the promise of Oh so much excitement!

There was so much to see and so little time. The visitor’s center is always the first place to go in a strange city, because sometimes the little boss man offers to give you two for the price of one tickets on the tour trolley. Two places in N’awlins e’rybody gotta go…Bourbon Street (for the vampires) and Cafe du Monde (for the beignets). Don’t forget the French Market! Take advantage of the free ferry ride over the muddy Mississippi, we felt like Huck Finn (no we didn’t).

Now that I have seen Louisiana’s biggest city I know in what context I will go back. A couple of things were missing…a standard issue nine millimeter in  my purse, one of those sick batons with a knife hidden inside, a swamp tour, Bourbon Street lights at night, and a hurricane (not the natural disaster).

Rule of the Road #5: Never go to the city in an outfit you wouldn’t be proud to die in. 

norleans*

New Orleans. New Orleans. New Orleans. New Orleans. New Orleans. New Orleans. Nooorrrleeannnsssss…..

Need I say more.

Honestly though…. what can I say to fully represent the excitement of this city.

The culture, the history, the FOOD, the colours, the buildings, the MUSIC, the ART…. We definitely did not have enough time to fully experience it all, and will just have to go back with more preparation. Maybe with an easel and a bit more cash 😉

So from this great city we moved onto Biloxi, Mississippi and I am pretty sure this is the kindest, sweetest place ever. Every person who talked to us seemed angelic. We spent the day at a beach (one of the ones effected by Catrina, so it was interesting), ate some seafood and about 2 pitchers of sweet tea, then drove to sweet (not)home Alabama.

From Alabama we could practically see our new home, and like a horse sensing the smell of it’s stable after a long ride, we sped off into the Georgia night (after loading up on coffee and snacks).

Driving into Milledgeville was practically driving through Cottonwood. There were farms with beautiful pastures, huge trees, and lots of little stops to get fresh fruits and veg. It isn’t too hot here like I expected, but I am still waiting for bugs the size of my face to try to crawl into my nose. We have a week-ish until we head over to our farm, so we are going to explore the town and see what it has to offer us (thus far it has shown some great potential).

So, I am filled with many emotions and everything is still a bit surreal, but we are at our destination!

Andddd.. keep praying for us. For us to be led into the right opportunities, for us to find what we need (like jobs), and for us to pursue Jesus and find strength and wisdom in Him.

“Travel is…about learning, about crossing boundaries and mastering the fear of strangers, about making the effort to understand other cultures and thereby empowering yourself.”

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Day 22: Oil Field Girls

In Redding, we call them “spoken words”, but in the city they are called slam poetry. While visiting the overwhelming Blanton museum, on the University of Texas campus, a friendly security guard let us in on an event at a place called the Spider House.

Stuffed into a tiny room with a dj, stage, and red velvet curtains the frustrations of our generation were expressed through the intensity of the spoken word. Such a powerful showcase of raw emotion!

After a fabulous week being blessed by the Knuth family, we are now in sticky Louisiana. We stayed at the Coushatta Casino (parking lot) last night and while Lexie slept this morning I drove us the rest of the way to Lafayette. Somehow we ended up at the Church of the Holy Trinity, twenty minutes late to the service. The service itself was fascinating (Anglo-Catholic), but the people waited till afterwards to swarm us with love and generosity. The church is small and they are all very close. Each Sunday they go out to eat together and sweetly offered to treat us. Our first Creole style meal! (Shout out to all of you in Lafayette that made our first day in Louisiana so welcoming!)

Rule of the Road #4: Set aside a full week for any museum that has more than one room.

July 21.- Sunday

It has been a while since the last post, and there seems to be so much to tell about. 

We spent about a week in Austin TX with my family, and it was wonderful being with them. Besides all the family time and bonding we had, we also were able to see some great stuff. We went to a late night slam poetry event (had a ball), the Blanton (to throw out a FEW of the big names we saw: Rauschenberg, Chuck Close (from his earlier years!), Jasper Johns, Ai Weiwei, Gerhard Richter, Franz Kline, Loise Nevelson, Gorky, Rothko!!!!!!!!!! I could barely stand), we also saw a Dr. Suess show (minds blown), and went to a baseball game in Round Rock (our team won). Austin was so great, for many reasons, and it was hard (for me) to leave. But alas, we said our goodbyes and are now in Loooeesiana. We had a great night sleep, woke up to some beautiful rain, and started on the road. 

I always knew southern folks were especially hospitable and kind, but I never expected the blessings this town has already given us. We drove by a random church, thought we would stop see what time the service was, and were delighted to find a small, close knit church that treated us like their own. <shout out to them: Church of the Holy Trinity, in Lafayette, LA> They not only treated us to coffee and cake, but to an awesome Creole/cajun lunch. We then saw a cool site in town, and are now heading off! 

So please pray for us, for our safety, joy, peace etc etc… Pray that God leads us today, and we find Him in new ways in LA. 

 

half way… ish… maybe, I don’t really know.

Well welcome to our blog’s fifth entry- or maybe technically it”s the tenth… Depends on how you look at it. But regardless of your preference in counting, welcome.  

As I said in the last post we are now in Texas; the largest continental US state, and it definately feels big. If you read my past entry from AZ you will remember I whined and griped about big cities,  but now I feel a little guilty. Austin TX has done me justice. It’s probably the visiting with family that is making it so great; meeting my hilarious, sweet blue-eyed baby cousins, talking with and getting to know my new Aunt and hearing stories and learning more about my Uncle.. But it also could be the art museum that I was able to drown in (and enjoy wonderful food and sexy, honey-voiced jazz singers), or the hospitality shown to us by a very friendly chef/manager at a corner bar/restaraunt. It could also be that I was finally able to wear my black dress and pink lipstick and go downtown. Maybe it was the Austin-made black stout icecream with pecans. Or it could be the game of volleyball I played that got my endorphins coursing through my body again. It could have been the farmers market too (the biggest I have ever seen, featuring some awesome Kumabacha, juicy honey dew, sweet figs, fresh herbs, and Elton John). Possibly it was meeting “Hot Sauce the Rapper”. It could also be that the weather is a little cooler here. 

But in reality, TX has had its hold-ups too. Our tire was eaten, there were tarantulas crossing the road, I woke up with a bite on my arm that swelled to the size of the moon, there was little to no music on the radio for most of the drive…. But this just proves that although we are having the time of our lives, and are getting great opportunities, we are still just living life. Shit still happens, but now we are seeing new things, meeting cool people, and doing things that make the shit worth it. Now, the good stuff is so good that it overshadows the bad. 

Every so often I have moments when I am embarressingly happy about being alive, and I have had a few of those here in Texas. I am free to be who I want to be, I am heading to a place where I will be doing something I not only am morally passionate about, but also makes me once again: embarressingly happy. I have my whole life ahead of me, and I get to choose whether it is a life I will die content with, or one that was filled with aimless wandering.  I still don’t know a lot, I am still naive and ignorant, but I have a guy on my side that promises to have my back, and He doesn’t break promises. He loves what I love, and I am learning to love what He loves too. 

 

Day Fifteen: Knuths

Deep in the heart of Texas…

After two weeks on the road there are a couple of things I have gotten used to. The first is having dirt on my feet from four different states. Don’t get the wrong idea, I wash them. Until I find a scrub brush though, this dirt just is not going to budge. The second thing is semi trucks passing us on the highways. My car, Ghetto Brightly, is pretty beat up and she just cannot handle going eighty (which is the speed limit on most of the highways we have been on). 

So far the Lone Star state has been a fickle host. From a shredded tire on empty highway 54, to the flash flood that kept us from Guadalupe Peak and three nights of free camping  Texas seemed to be working against us. Next came the extreme heat, no parking signs, and tarantillas, all mere nuisances when it comes to epic adventures. 

San Antonio Museum of Art started an excellent string of luck. First, the museum clerk let me in for free. Second, the museum had a massive party with free food and live music after six. Thirdly, the place we stopped to use the bathroom the next day ended up being a rec center. We played volleyball and basketball and soaked up some free air conditioning. Next, the Austin Ale House had live music, a friendly owner who looks like Johnny Depp, and some free Bailey’s. Last and best of all, we have been hanging with Lexie’s uncle and his family, the Knuths. Now, Texas is working with us. 

Road Rule #3: Never forget the power of a little lipstick.

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Here we are in Texas- the Lone Star State. We have traveled many miles, through fiery deserts, lightening storms and border patrols galore…. to arrive in the largest continental US state. New Mexico didn’t show us a good enough time- except the lightening storm was pretty stupendous- so we tried to give old Mexico a chance before planting our butts in Texas.

We wanted to just swoop into Mexico real quick, but I for one did not think through exactly what going to Mexico would entail. It was quite an hour.  Immediately after crossing the border I realized we indeed were in another country. We made it about 100 yards into the country and stopped at a little grocery store to get some.. groceries. Then after failing to communicate with the clerk we left and made it safely back to the border crossing, waited in line for at least a half hour while getting our windows cleaned, and getting rid of all the change we had in the car. We then had the great joy of cleaning out our car, and going through every thing to make sure we had everything we needed while some nice men asked us a lot of questions- just to get to know us- and we got to meet a nice little dog.  It was truly a great adventure.

So we are now in a Texas library planning where we will head off to next, before visiting my Uncle in Austin.

The plans ahead look promising, and hopefully more adventures like Mexico will come our way….

 

Day Twelve: No tequila

Let us look back on childhood dares for a moment:

“Truth or dare?”

“Dare.”

“I dare you to run up and touch the old haunted house on Sesame Lane.”

Gasps…the dare of all dares, according to our juvenile minds. In reality, the old haunted house is merely an abandoned house that has been overdramatisized through ghost stories and powerful imaginations. These childhood schinnanigans have changed some what over the years, but maybe not as much as they should have by age twenty. The haunted house in our story was a convenience store in Mexico.

Not last night but the night before, Lexie and I swung through the southwestern corner of New Mexico. During the hours we were in the car a massive lightning storm was going on around us, it was beautiful but I have seen lightning before. The coolest part was how the air smelt when we got out of the car at the travel center where we slept that night, like burning asphalt. Instead of sightseeing and heading north to climb Wheeler Peak, we chose to head towards Texas in order to conserve our money for the old southern states.

Road Rule #2: Never cross the Mexican border unless you are prepared to: take your entire life out of the trunk and put it on display while a German shepherd gets inside your car to sniff every nook and cranny for drugs…while half of Mexico watches.

 

Alexandria’sbrain

“Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow- till you find your dreammm!!!”

I climbed my first mountain! It was Mnt. Humphreys (tallest peak in AZ, at ~14,000 ft). It was definitely exhausting, I got nauseous at the top too- but it was beautiful, and the accomplishment I felt once reaching the peak was great. The expanse around me looked like a giant ridiculous wallpaper that was spread out over the earth. It was gorgeous (none of my pictures could do it justice). It even rained/slushed at the top (to Elyse’s dismay, but i thought it made everything even more beautiful). There were also beautiful wild flowers sprinkled all over the earth on the hike up. They were dark and light purples, deep oranges to light yellows, and a few orangish red ones and a very small, gentle blue and pink. It was wonderful! 

We have spent most of our time in the “backwoods” up to the point, and now that we have entered Phoenix, I realize just how much better it is outside the big city limits. Everything is not only easier, but more natural. When we bathe in the river it is like we are Egyptian goddesses cleansing ourselves in the Nile- but when we enter the city, bathing in the sink is just bathing in the sink. Waking up at dawn in the woods is a beautiful, spiritual experience- in the city instead of dawn waking you up it is the scream of a roaring train at 4:30 a.m. But we must see it all- cities included- so we carry on. 

I am learning alot about myself, how far I will stretch and what is really important. I am realizing that all I need to feel like a queen is some fruits and veg-and maybe a little lipstick-every now and then. I can picture myself in Georgia bathing in the garden, sleeping in a tree, shitting in a composting toilet- and that sounds to me like the kind of kingdom God made for His little princess to live in.

Prayers I would like to ask for are: 1. for me to have vision for myself that is anointed and 2. that I would hunger and thirst for God daily, more than I hunger for a chimichanga.

*note. We have been trying to make our beans (from raw) for about 3 days now. As annoying as it is that they are taking so long, it is just hilarious that the little legumes taunt us by filling our car with their delicious scent.