I was determined to have a jam packed summer, full of road trips and lots of sun. I made it happen, and it was glorious. First up on the list was New Orleans. Because you can’t ever go wrong with NOLA. I spent a great deal away from Bourbon Street. I know thats usually the go to spot for out of towners, but seriously, there are SO many unique and cool things about New Orleans outside of Bourbon Street. However, making at least one appearance for a hand grenade is ok.
This trip, I visited Frenchman Street as well as the Garden District. I was blown away. In all my years of visiting this wonderful city, I never witnessed the beauty of these places. The Frenchman Street Art Market was definitely on my list. So many cool things to see and buy from the local artists.
I know you’re wondering about it. And yes, the food was delicious! But I mean, its New Orleans, what did you expect?
One of the best things about driving through Louisiana on the way to New Orleans are the pit stops in between. Cracklins are a must!
My mom’s side of the family resides in the Greater New Orleans area, so naturally, I spent a lot of time there growing up. But somehow, this trip was different. This trip stirred up a fire in me that I thought had died out. Life gets hard sometimes and trying to maintain your sense of imagination and creative spirit can be taxing on the mind in the midst of it all. This trip, I did a lot of self reflection. The long walk through beautiful Audubon Park leading up to the riverfront was freeing in its own right. As some of you may know, my mom died when I was eight. I couldn’t help but take in all the beauty around me while thinking “Man, my mom grew up here? In such a cool place?”. I feel like I was supposed to experience this New Orleans. I don’t really know much about her, but I feel like my sense of adventure comes from her. And in a way, I feel like I connected and shared this moment with her spiritually. This was the start of something good.
As someone who considers themselves a country mouse, I admit that being in close proximity to the city is pretty convenient (without traffic, of course). I would definitely say that I’m more of an outskirts dweller. City life just ain’t for me.
But, then there’s those times where you enjoy venturing off into the big city and exploring. The adventurer in me likes that aspect. There are so many places to explore, depending on your interests. I’ve been in the Houston area for about a year now and last year was officially my first time ever going to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show. It’s kind of a big deal.
This time of year is especially my favorite. Its the time of Spring festivals and crawfish boils (not just a Louisiana thing, mind you). The weather tends to cooperate more as well making for a nice day out on the town.
You ever drive through your hometown and set out to discover the yet to be discovered? Or maybe set out to capture the beauty of the unappreciated? That’s always been a goal of mine, even from a little girl. I was always determined to find my town’s best kept secret or at least pretend that it was.
Beaumont,TX (my hometown) is full of treasures. Although buried deep or often gone unnoticed, there are many points of interest I’ve always been drawn to. I’ve been going to Collier’s Ferry Park (or as the locals call it “The River”) since I was a little girl. My uncle would pull out the boat and we would go tubing during the summer. Every trip I would feel a rush of excitement, as if I didn’t only live ten minutes away. Even as an adult, I still sort of get a little excited. Often times as I got older, I would go just to be able to think. The silence is so calming. You could literally hear a pin drop. Its been said that pure silence is the best time to hear God speak. Either way, my little moments at the River have helped me think through many life decisions.
In recent years, my hometown has been the center of much controversy and scandal. It has seen many changes, some for the good but a lot of bad. Crime rates have rapidly increased alongside a failing school district. But somehow, I can’t seem to find it in my heart to completely forget where I’ve come from. I visit often, mainly because of family. But also because there is no place else like it. And because of places like the River, in all of its simplicity, still manages to exude a whimsical blanket of serenity whenever I’m near. To me, it feels like the calmest, quietest place in the entire town. Many of my friends who left vowing never to return may think I’m stuck in a fairyland for writing this. But I understand that no place is perfect, and there will always be trouble anywhere you go. I just choose not to let the bad completely overshadow all of the good that I’ve grown to appreciate. We all have our own things we find beautiful; our own aesthetic truths. Doesn’t always require a trip to a completely foreign place to realize either.
Love songs. We need them. They describe the words we can’t express or the emotions we’re afraid to show. You ever listen to a song and go “Yes, that’s exactly it!”? Welp, this song does it for me. Enjoy….
In case you didn’t know already, I initially went to undergrad for Fashion Design. How I ended up in Accounting, I’m still trying to figure out, but I like it. I eventually changed over to Merchandising after the last straw with the teaching assistant in my drawing class. Art is such a subjective area, there really is no right or wrong. Either you hate it or you love it. And the type of person I am, I worked my ass off to get the best grades possible, only to be met repeatedly with mediocre grades. Mind you, I had been drawing my entire life just about. It got to a point where something I loved so much instantly became a pain in the ass. So I switched majors. Some may say I was a quitter. I’d like to think I was more of a misguided freshman that didn’t really know exactly what was worth fighting for at the time. But I think I left my creativity at the switch.
I love art museums, shows, exhibits. I could spend all day roaming through them. That Iove I never lost. But I’ve found that over the years, its become increasingly harder for me to visualize things, as I have always been a visual learner. Picking out clothes, coordinating decorations, etc requires much more effort than it used to. And all the while I’ve been thinking “I miss my creativity, how do I get it back?”. It’s true what they say. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
Welp, after sitting on the thought long enough, I went out and bought a sketch book and some pencils. I haven’t sketched in about 6 years. So you can imagine that the first sketch was rusty. But with the help of YouTube for some refreshers, I’m slowly easing my way back in. I try to carry my sketch book with me everywhere. Eventually, I want to get into figure drawing. I have always sucked at it and I switched majors before we really got to studying it. I miss my artsy, fartsy self. Late nights in the art lab, analyzing works for hours at a time, scaling still lifes with my pencil, re-upping on acrylic paint… all of it. I’m slowly getting back to it. The beauty in this life is the fact that you don’t have to be confined to just one thing and versatility goes a long way. Artsy Analyst has a nice ring to it.
My final day in Tulum. It was bittersweet. Such a chill place. So I made the most of it and did some more exploring. I caught a taxi to the Mayan ruins. The level of creativity and intelligence to build something so intricate before its time definitely demonstrates the ability of the human mind.
I even made a new friend.
After a walk through the entire site, it was beach time. The day was perfect. Just enough breeze to keep you comfortable.
I decided to walk the beach side a little more for lunch. I found this really cool spot, El Prez. I had the best beer battered fish tacos ever. Like, EVER. And they take credit cards, one of the few places that did without charging an outrageous fee.
And the drinks… A Hint and a Whisper… Gin and real lavender.
I am definitely coming back to Tulum, especially now that I know what to expect. Its charm has truly captivated me. And there were so many more places I wanted to go, and in due time, I shall. Tulum was very international. I met French, Canadian, Argentinian and Australian travelers. Lots of back packers. If you are truly looking for a unique beach experience with a little bit of jungle thrown in the mix, I highly recommend Tulum. Keep in mind that its off the grid, with no connection to power lines ( hence the wind turbines you see along the beaches). It is definitely eco- chic.
This song pretty much describes my love affair with life, with travel, just everything. It reminds me just how much purpose we all have on this earth. We all have our stories to tell. Dear KING, can I hire you to soundtrack my life? Please?
On that note, coming down from one of life’s many highs, I got my first tattoo. Small chat (and drinks) over tacos led to a firm decision. I’ve been wanting the tattoo for ages, I was just too chicken shit to go through with it. Fairly simple but a subtly powerful testament. I am here and I’ve weathered many storms. And I’m still in the business of living. 28 years and counting.