Saturday, October 16, 2010

smoky mountains continued

here are some more pictures of the inn where i stayed on the north carolina side of the park.  (bryson city.)  there will not be any photos of my last night's stay - pigeon forge, tennessee - b/c it was a crazy miles and miles of neon and stores and hotels and chain restaurants and country music pavilions and magic palaces and laser tag and bounce houses...guess you should look at something other than a map when figuring out where to stay!  i wanted to spend as much time in the park as possible and pigeon forge is just outside of the park on the tennessee side.  i still had perfect weather right up until about 5:30 of my last day when i was on my way out of the park anyway and it started to rain!!!!!  i do love fall, but the summer weather i got for the entire trip up until the smoky mts. was fabulous.

bryson city was a cute little town

in the park i hiked on some intersecting trails and passed three waterfalls!
 and a fly fisherman

 had a picnic at this table.  well, until the bugs started landing on my crackers.

i went on a fantastic horse ride through the woods.  we even crossed a stream!  which was a little scary b/c my horse, cocoa, tripped on the rocks a few times.  

the appalachian trail goes through the park.  i didn't hike it.

but stepped on it!

and that is it!!!!!!!!!!  my technical last day of the trip was driving from pigeon forge, tennessee home.  it took 11 hours and 15 minutes.  even w/4 stops.  the colors were really nice along the way.
now back to reality.  and work on monday.

and i might do a few more entries - one i have in mind is dos and don'ts of road trips.  and maybe i will even keep it up after i am done talking about my trip.

Friday, October 15, 2010

new orleans!! finally.

i met my geneseo freshman year roommate, kim in new orleans!!  it was great.  my drive there was the longest i did the whole trip so it was sort of rough.  but i got off the interstate towards the end and drove along the gulf coast.  which was gorgeous.  but i don't have any photos of it.  i actually have some video that i was taking out the window, but it isn't loaded yet.  so just picture lots and lots of pretty blue water with no traces of bp oil.  at least that i could see.

here was the view from our hotel:

the first night we went to hear music at maison bourbon.  it was great.  it wasn't crowded, so one of the guys was asking where people were from.  kim and i told him, and he made this motion w/his hands out in front of him which i immediately understood to mean "wow, you guys came from opposite sides of the country."  since kim lives in san diego.  she understood it to mean "have you had your boobs done?" b/c she goes "is he talking about my boobs?  i haven't had them done."  that was the funniest line of the trip UNTIL the clove cigarette night.  all in due time...

i had the brilliant (NOT) idea to go to this place called central grocery the next day for on of the famous new orleans sandwiches.  which i think is called a muffaletta.  anyway, it was very charming and historic looking.  and had a very long line.

there is kim at the beginning of the line.  as we got closer, we realized that the entire menu consisted of that one sandwich.  and it had some kind of olive salad thing on it.  and we realized that neither one of us even likes olives.  furthermore, that if we asked them to leave off the olive mixture thing it would really just be a salami sandwich.  so we got out of line and went to a cafe.

here are some new orleans sites:

 the walk along the river was neat

this was an interesting public art piece

i had super good new orleans shrimp w/a bbq type sauce.   no pictures of that.  it was not pretty b/c it was the huge shrimp w/the heads on that i had to peel.  that place had the BEST dessert ever - bread pudding w/chocolate.  shoot, kim, we were going to go back there and eat it again!  i have to find a recipe.  maybe on epicurious.

we heard music at preservation hall - an old music venue - and it was absolutely unbelievable.  especially talented was the trombone player.  who also had a lot of personality.

and didn't mind having his picture taken w/me.

during the show, this guy from the first row got up and started singing w/the band.  he was good but seemed really nervous.  had a camera bag on him so i realized he was going to propose to his girlfriend!  he was singing "i can't give you anything but love baby" which totally wasn't true b/c he whipped out a ring!  it was adorable.  i didn't see the girl but saw she had really nice red hair.  and then the next night we were sitting at our fancy restaurant....

and suddenly they walked by and i yelled "hey!!!  congratulations!  it's the preservation hall newly engaged couple!"  they were so cute.

we went to the bar where hurricanes were invented (a bit too sweet for me) and i couldn't believe it when we were walking in and i heard some guy say "kim??" it was her seatmate from her flight in and he had been talking all about his wonderful girlfriend and she told me how cute it was.
 so here we all are.
they were fun to hang out with.  it turns out they were in love 7 years ago, but it didn't work out b/c he moved away.  then they both got engaged to other people, those engagements fell through and now they are back together!  and he is planning to move to where she is now.  (she is in florida, he is in arizona.)  they were so cute.  i can't believe how many people's life stories i got on this trip!  it was really amazing.

the next photos are from a long walking tour i took to the garden district

and on the way back i ate at the restaurant attached to the world war II museum.  super good lunch.  notice the tin cans.

the museum was really great.  i can't wait to tell my dad i finally know what d-day was!!!

we heard great music at a place called spotted cat.  here is lionel.  he was dancing w/lots of ladies.  including kim!!  but i noticed she conveniently omitted that photo when she emailed me....

we met these awesome people on the way back from music and hung out w/them for a while.  it was hilarious b/c kim became obsessed w/finding clove cigarettes.  even after i told her they make your lungs bleed.  she told me her husband bet her a fine sum that she wouldn't smoke any, so of course she took the dare.

though i should point out that she initially said she just wanted to burn them to smell them, not to actually smoke them.  so i made the mistake of pointing out a tobacco store to her where she finally bought some.  i did try valiantly to tell her that you do not actually light the filter end, but she didn't believe this until the guy directly below came by and said "hey!  you gotta turn that around - you lit the wrong end!"  i thought it was absolutely hilarious so we started talking to the threesome and they were super great and funny.

before you get too excited that there is a cute guy w/his arm clearly around me, i cannot for the life of me remember his name.  needless to say, we didn't exchange info.
it took me about 7 seconds to decide i basically loved him b/c he said the following IN AN ENGLISH ACCENT: "i'm an attorney here to start a job at the louisiana capital defense project - to get people off of death row."!!!!!!!!  can you believe that?!?!?!?!  and he was very cute, funny and charming.  even gave me a bracelet from his swim across some shipping channel to a fancy dress show.  so cutely 8th grade.  i loved it.  and yes, of course i saved the bracelet.

i knew i liked his sense of humor when he said "make yourself useful and hold this ashtray for me - i am having trouble multitasking."  i should clarify that the "multitasking" was smoking a cigarette and drinking absinthe.  which was vile.  and i only know that b/c he held my nose, held the absinthe in front of me, and said he wasn't letting go until i took a sip.

in this crazy absinthe bar the bartender was sort of scary.  very dark dyed hair, lots of piercings, very goth clothing, strange things done to her hair....and kim decided she didn't like her attitude.  and i got very scared.  i whispered "kim, you know you can't take her, right?!"  and kim seemed aware of this but still said LOUDLY "well, why is she being bitchy and rude?" i realized at that point that i had to save myself and said "well, duh, she just wants you to order what TYPE of absinthe you want off of that little blackboard."  and kim was like "well, she doesn't have to be RUDE about it."  and i loudly - trying to show the scary girl that i was on her side - said "she just wants you to tell her your order!" like "duh!"  thankfully we got out of there safely but i had to shut up the cute english guy when he was later pointing out that the girl was eyeing kim again by saying "why is that girl still giving her evils??"  oh, and when kim figured out why the girl was annoyed she goes "karla, i finally CRACKED THE CODE!"

i was relentlessly mocking kim out about her clove cigarettes, and after a little while of this the cute english guy said "have you ever seen ab fab?"  i said "WHAT?!?!?!  are you comparing us to the show w/the 60 some year old friends!?!?!?!?!"  then i told kim and we started going off and the poor guy was mortified and kept saying "i am talking about the DYNAMIC, not the AGES!!"  then he asked whether we purposely travelled there together or whether we just happened upon eachother!!!!  i guess i was being a bit too snarky about the cloves!!