This last post will be a joint effort, but Val will start us off.
Our day technically started in the wee morning hours as we finished up at the Rebirth Brass Band concert.
It was ... wow. Not just the band — which was epic — but the atmosphere just made you smile. I’m actually not sure a smile left my face the entire time. There were some free spirits dancing (as best they could in a shoulder-to-shoulder packed bar) and some singing along with the band.
One of my favorite parts though was about halfway through the concert. The bar’s heat and humidity level could rival what we felt on the worst day in New Orleans, and a group next to us noticed the fan above wasn’t running.
They convinced the tallest person in the group that he could reach up and pull the very short chain to get the fan running.
I should note that due to the ceiling height in this place, I was doubting him.
After about five or six times of him failing, he finally reached it. The cheering of about half the crowd was what got me. Mind you that the band we all came to see was playing their best stuff at the time and we’re all cheering for a guy in the middle of a huge crowd.
Some things you’ll just never expect to see again, and that kind of silent prayer from a crowd of more than 100 people for a guy to just pull a chain still makes me smile.
There’s a video and more photos on our PhotoStream.
French Truck Coffee has a few locations around New Orleans, but making our last stop in that specific area of the city just seemed to fit.The coffee was excellent and I’m pretty sure Matthew will be dreaming about the “cruffin” (croissant/muffin hybrid?) he got for quite awhile.
Now that I’m finished writing about the fun parts of our last day, I’ll let Matthew fill you in on the 11-hour car ride home.
Matthew here, tagging in for Valeri.
Most of the rest of the day was spent behind the windshield, but we did make one interesting stop: Memphis.
If you had to hazard a guess as to what the most interesting part of our Memphis stop was, what would it be?
I'm sure your first thought was music — specifically the good ol' blues.
Well, you're wrong. The correct answer was "scooters."
"Scooters?" I can hear you ask yourself, quizzically.
Yes, reader — scooters. Electric Scooters to be precise.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat at Blues City Cafe, we decided to wander around Beale Street, perusing the over-priced offerings of the various gift shops. After getting our fill of that, we took off on a trek across town toward Sun Studios — the start of many famed musicians, including the likes of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. ... It was a couple of miles — nothing major, but enough to cause me to notice the number of Bird Rental Scooters.
We couldn't resist, and we are glad we didn't. They were an absolute blast. If you get a chance, hop on one and go for a spin.
If you want to see how
... then it was back to tearing up the asphalt. Nothing much to report on this side of Memphis other than to say we made it safely back home. The Pearons are healthy, happy, and glad to be home.
Vacation is a simple word with one largely accepted meaning: A break from whatever thing it is you normally do. For most, that thing is a job, and that break is nice. As much as I enjoy what I do (and I think I can speak for Valeri here as well), I find that I really look forward to our escapes.
From what I gather, Valeri and I handle vacation a bit differently than most, forgoing the relaxed schedules for something a bit more structured, but that's the cool thing about vacation — it's yours to do with what you want.
As long as you take the time to relish in those moments you spend hanging around the house with family, enjoying the nightlife with friends, sitting alone by the poolside, running off to the beach with your significant other ...it doesn't matter what it is — just enjoy it.
"How did you fall in love with New Orleans?"
"At once, madly. Looking back, sometimes I think it was predestined."
- Andrei Codrescu