Adventures, Travel

My NOLA Trip

Jackson SquareA few weeks ago I took a super quick trip down to New Orleans. By super quick, I mean that I was basically there for 2.5 days. My stay was by no means long enough but it’s all I could afford both time and money-wise. Nevertheless, I tried to cram in as much as humanly possible and I think I did a bang-up job. Several trips to Bourbon Street, a visit to the rum distillery and a haunted history tour (probably my fifth one but I still enjoy them) were all in order. Hours were spent looking in the shops on Royal Street, listening & watching street performers, breezing through the French Market, a night stroll by the Mississippi River, walking though Lafayette Cemetery #1, napping and watching the turtles swim in Audubon Park, thrift shopping at Buffalo Exchange, stuffing my face at Deanie’s and Slim Goodies, burning my insides with cherry bombs at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, visiting my favorite French Quarter bars (The Dungeon & The Golden Lantern) and rump shaking to Bourbon Street bands playing the likes of Bobby Brown and Montel Jordan. Oh yeah! A little My Prerogative and This is How We Do It, is good for the soul!

Overall, I was amazed to see how budget friendly New Orleans is. It cost me $2.00 to catch the E-12 bus from the airport to the French Quarter. That’s a $33 cab ride. An unlimited day pass to travel around New Orleans on their public streetcar and bus system is $3.00. The rum distillery tour including transportation to and from the French Quarter (with lots of tasty rum sampling!) was $10.00 per person. We scored the haunted history tour for half price so it was about $13.00 each. Eating can be expensive but the portion sizes will easily take you through lunch and dinner. Slim Goodies is always my favorite breakfast spot and that’s very reasonably priced (remember to bring some champagne for mimosas with no corkage fee). Audubon Park and the cemeteries are free to enjoy and just walking around the French Quarter is entertainment enough. So although I spent more than I’d have liked to, it was still more affordable than vacationing elsewhere. Plus, it’s my most favorite place in the whole-wide-world so there’s no putting a price on that.

Audubon Park, New OrleansAudubon Park, New OrleansLafayette Cemetery #1, New Olreans, LA2014-04-16 13.32.092014-04-16 13.31.422014-04-16 13.31.35Lafayette Cemetery, New OrleansCommander's Palace, New OrleansRoyal Street, New OrleansCornstalk Fence, New OrleansRoyal Street entertainment

Health, Wellness & Enjoyment

Building more than I burn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh October, I’m not even through my first day of you and already you have me grabbing my ankles! I’m already at an emotional disadvantage because I told my better half that I needed October off to get my head on straight and now I find myself laid up with a sinus infection from hell AND my job has been further downsized to only one day a week. What the heck is happening here? How am I supposed to get through this seemingly never-ending downward spiral? Well, like the cockroach I am, I know deep down inside that I’ll be the last one standing. I’m stubbornly tenacious like that. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARight now–instead of completely panicking–I’m trying to take the zen approach to these recent setbacks. The reality is that I need to build more bridges and burn less of them. I need to expand Sweet Pea’s Groceries, sew more Hazardous Materials, create more jewelry, and really put my shit out there. I think there’s been this internal assumption that no one wants what I offer. Crazy but true. I didn’t even realize it until last week when I meekly contacted a store owner to ask if she was interested in carrying my products and she was like of course I want your stuff, duh! This was a revelation for me. People want my stuff. Who would have thought?! Why aren’t I giving the people what they want? What’s my problem? This could be my full-time job if I only built the proper bridges. Uh Duh! (Is this what Oprah calls a lightbulb moment?) So October, that’s what you’re going to be about. I’m reaching out, not shrinking back. I’m silencing my mother’s voice which is on an ingrained continuous loop in my subconscious mind. Thirty-seven years of teaching me that failure is something to be feared. Thirty-seven years of teaching me that it’s better to never have tried than to have tried and failed. I can’t do it anymore. (And no, this is nothing against my mother in any way. I’m grateful that I have her. We all have fears and she’s certainly not the only person to have projected them onto his/her kids as a means of protecting them.) Oh October, you’re either going to be good for me or the death of me and I’m not giving up until I know for sure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also want to take the chance to express my gratitude for the bridges that are continuously being built by others that lead directly to me. I’m so lucky to meet people through this blog, my websites, through Etsy, and at tabling events who completely take my breath away. A perfect example is Lisa. She contacted me a few weeks ago through my Etsy shop because she wanted to learn more about my natural laundry soap. Come to find out, Lisa’s a single mother with end stage liver disease. I was completely blown away by her honesty, humor, and determination. Well, we’ve been trading information on insomnia cures, health insurance and soap making ever since. Let me tell you, she has the most amazing sense of humor. Her emails leave me rolling! She recently published her own website–www.checkinguout.wordpress.com–where she writes product reviews. Hopefully, she will write more about herself in the future because she’s such an inspiration. Knowing her, even briefly, has definitely helped put my life in perspective. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe above photos were taken of and from the Wurts bridge which extends over the Roundout Creek in Kingston. I absolutely love this bridge. Petunia and I try to walk it several times a week. Ironically, I read a passage from Anne Rice’s The Tale of the Body Thief last night that captures my sentiment (and it’s about New Orleans so it’s doubly apt):

It was an empty field close to the wharves, stretching beneath the giant pylons of the freeways which led to the high twin river bridges which I have always called, since the first moment I beheld them, the Dixie Gates. I must confess these bridges have been given some other, less charming name by the official world. But I pay very little attention to the official world. To me these bridges will alway be the Dixie Gates, and I never wait too long after returning home before I go to walk near them and admire them, with all their thousands of tiny twinkling lights. Understand they are not fine aesthetic creations such as the Brooklyn Bridge….They do not have the solemn grandeur of San Francisco’s Golden Gate. But they are bridges, nevertheless, and all bridges are beautiful and thought-provoking; and when they are fully illuminated as these bridges are, their many ribs and girders take on a grand mystique.