This last week was really busy with travel. It all began last Saturday with a plane trip to San Francisco via Salt Lake City. I know, I know, kind of a round of about way to get there but it was cheap. I got in to SFO at about 10pm and was up by 5:30am to get ready to walk in the Nike Women's Marathon. As a team we went to the starting line together then separated to our various time zones. My friend Lisa and I were in the 12-14 min mile zone.
There were bodies everywhere you looked with a buzz in the air that was reminiscent of NYC on New Years Eve. It was cool to see so many people out running/walking to help raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. Since neither Lisa or I were going for time we took a moment to enjoy our surroundings. In fact, we took several moments to take pictures a long the way. (I would be showing them here but they are on my brother's computer at the moment and are not accessible).
After walking for about 10 miles I happened to see my brother Eric and his family drive by. They pulled over to see if we wanted a ride back to our hotel. I told him that it was tempting, but we were still in the middle of the race. Lisa almost went for it (she is 5 months pregnant)but figured she'd gone this far, what was a few more miles. Our true motivation for finishing however, were the Tiffany's boxes that we knew were waiting for us at the end. It's sad I know, but HELLO, when will I ever get a Tiffany necklace again?
Okay, so the race was great, I was exhausted, sore and walked away with 4 blisters on my feet. I was in bed that evening by 9pm trying to get some sleep before my 4am shuttle pick up back to the airport.
I headed to Baton Rouge via Georgia (are you noticing a trend here)to meet up with Jeff so that we could go ghost hunting with another brother of mine and his wife. Myrtles Plantation was the scary haunt of choice. Supposedly this is one of the most haunted homes in the south. The rooms we stayed in had a couple of children that had died of yellow fever as well as a voodoo priestess who was hung by the chandelier. There were nine of us in all including three teenagers. I admit, I was the only one to scream, but it was for good reason. That stump really looked like a giant lizard! Alright, alright, I'm a wimp!
The ghost hunt began as soon as it got dark and we wandered around the grounds and the house looking for evidence of ghostly behavior. The jury is still out as to whether we actually came in contact with a note of not. There was an instance when we were asking a ghost questions and we thought we got some responses. I just don't completely trust that it wasn't someone in our group doing the responding.
After a fun filled evening with very little sleep, we parted ways and Jeff and I headed to New Orleans to check out the city. We both determined that it would be a great place for people who are big into partying. We wandered the streets finding some that were nice and seemed safe as well as others where we determined the police presence meant that we should not be hanging out there. (smart huh?)
We were on a quest to find beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Beignets are these yummy doughnut like pastries that are served warm and covered in powdered sugar. It is VERY difficult to walk away from that cafe not covered in white powder. Hmm...note to self, police+powdery white substance=bad times in New Orleans. :)
The next day we decided to take a road trip out to Biloxi so that Jeff could visit the Hard Rock Cafe. He is on a quest to visit each HRC and collect a pin. We decided after we drove around the city for a while to take a detour out to Alabama since it was only about 20 miles away from where we are. (My quest is to go to every state in the US) Alabama was short and sweet. We stopped long enough to use the facilities then headed back to Biloxi for lunch.
Jeff and I found a cool cemetery after lunch and spent some time checking out some of the damage that still remains from Hurricane Katrina. Most of both states have rebuilt themselves but we were still able to see evidence of the devastation around the cities. There were driveways that led to grass without a home and we also saw foundations that were still in tact but had difficulty figuring out what was once there.
We finished our trip back in New Orleans with another trip to Cafe Du Monde. I made the mistake of booking my flight out of Baton Rouge not realizing how far it was from New Orleans so we had a 2:30am wake up call which was painful. I headed back to Seattle through Baton Rouge via Memphis and slept most of the way.
Though it was a whirlwind of a trip, I had a lot of fun. I will probably never go back to New Orleans or Biloxi but am glad to have had the opportunity to check it out. It doesn't really matter where I go it is the people that I am with that I care about. We laughed a lot despite our exhaustion and have memories that will last a lifetime.