Some things are different on the road, and some things are the same.
Our travels have taken us through Greensboro, NC for fried green tomatoes and pulled pork; into Atlanta, to see old friends, make a new, very fluffy friend, and pay a visit to a café with biscuits painted on the ceiling. We’ve traveled through Evergreen, AL for the best pork smoked sausage you’ve ever tasted, served by a man with a red face and a white beard and a perfectly Alabama accent; and finally, into that great bend in the river, New Orleans. You can’t get much of that at home.
New Orleans welcomed us in the person of our very knowledgeable innkeeper, who talked up the local joints and chastised us for staying so briefly. We made a beeline for some hot coffee and beignets, thinking ourselves crazy for doing so in this heat, right up until we took that first bite. Then it was perfection.
You can walk around New Orleans just like you can walk around DC. You can talk and laugh and hold hands and comment on the interesting looking buildings. But here, there seems to be music playing most of the time. There might a man outside the bar where you stop making a painting of that very bar, and you can watch him like looking in a mirror. And then, if you feel like it, you can walk right outside with your drink in your hand. “Very civilized,” our innkeeper called it, and at the first bar, it feels like it.
Around the next corner, it’s clear that it’s not only the very civilized who walk around with drinks in their hands, but if you let yourself, a little bit of their brand of fun can be fun too. We ended the night with plastic drinks with laughing faces on them, and fell into bed making the same face right back at our drinks that they were making at us.
Of course, in the morning you can drink coffee like you do every morning. Or if the coffee isn’t ready yet, you can sit on a porch swing and sip some cool water out of a green plastic cup with a laughing face on it. If you want. Which I did.
We’re back on the road today, but not before we pick up Muffalettas to eat for lunch. See you next week, Big Easy.