Adventure Awaits!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 2

I just maybe Bayou Bonkers! I have discovered many things since my last post---the most important being drive-thru daiquiris. I would recommend the "Hurricane" or "Wild Screw" if you want a party in your mouth, but for something tamer, the "Bahama Mama" will do. This is a land of good food, good drinks, good music, and good people. I have spent the days chasing gators and the nights chasing tunes.

Speaking of tunes, I have found some locals to start playing music with. After a little Googling, I found a group of musicians that meet once a month in Baton Rouge. All I have to do is show up with my banjo in hand. I have decided to try my damnest to learn Cajun French while on this adventure. Been asking as many questions about it as I physically can.

As for work, I had orientation on Monday. It is going to be great. Lots of really fun people with great outlooks. We are also being trained out in the woods and I am SO excited about it. I hope not only to see gators, but take in the wild bayou in all its glory. I have been looking into going to UL for grad school. I have an invitation to come sit in on one of the classes. Also, I have met some alumni that have been very helpful.

The apartment crisis has been resolved. I am now the proud renter of a one bedroom right spankin' next to LSU's campus (which is very pretty----lots of Spanish Moss.) It's in a complex which is not something for me, but it has a pool. I have refused to get cable or internet. So I will be relying on my banjo, books, and new quilting habit to entertain me. My folks are coming in to bring some more of my stuff after my great exhibition in the woods ends.

Excited because one of my favorite bands the Pine Leaf Boys will be playing at the GREAT Blue Moon Saloon soon. I have told my new friends to get ready to head westward on September 11 for some great Cajun tunes. Wish all my friends from the Ole Kaintuck could come and have a beer and a two step with me. Using the lyrics of a Hackensaw Boys' song, Friends I hope "you have the sun on your face and the wind on your back." Love you all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Introduction & Day One

Hello Ladies and Gents,

I have packed up my cowboy boots and banjo and have headed South! My new destination is Baton Rouge, La, or the "Red Stick." Being appropriately obsessed with Cajun tunes and authentic cultures, I have been drawn to the area for the last two years. My move has been postponed because of that silly thang called "education." However, the Day of Reckoning has come and I find myself employed and living in Baton Rouge.

Prefacing the adventure, I spent four days in the area to apartment hunt. I looked high and low. I saw places that looked like rat holes and others that were beauties I could never afford on my Americorps paycheck. Finally, I agreed upon a place and mailed my application. Apparently, this alleged document was lost in the mail because it never arrived to its destined location. Thus, the adventure begins and I am staying with my manpiece until my new "home" is finalized.
Note on the mail mystery. While driving the mild 13 hours to Lake Charles, La, I heard on NPR that in my home state of Kaintuck, a woman ran her car into a post office an hour from where I mailed the letter and destroyed a good bit of mail. Maybe, just maybe that is where my letter met its death.

While driving through the American South, I witnessed a plethora of strip clubs, casinos, and roadkill. The trip was narrated by the tunes of Hank Williams, Those Darlins, Otis Redding, and the Hackensaw Boys. Yet, what I thought would be a normal car ride was made an adventure. My GPS, which I have named affectionately Suzie, has gotten me through many states unharmed and directed. I can count on her stability more than some family members. Yet, Suzie made a devious move that took me another way to my Louisiana destination.  Taking another two hours, Suzie led me through an array of sights, including a little town called Tensas. I suppose Tensas means it's a lot like Texas, but not really. However, it is a pretty place---open fields, mysterious crops, lots of farm animals and wildlife, and an orchard that looks like something from Middle Earth. It also has one of the largest mailboxes I have ever seen. Overall kids, don't trust technology.

After my scenic, yet long drive ended, I rolled out of my car with jelly legs that my friend repaired by supplying me with a strong bourbon drink. We Kentuckians are made up of about 25 percent bourbon. After attending a small gathering and getting some sleep, the next day we lit out to Hayes, La. At a local restaurant, we listened to Cajun tunes in Cajun French while gobbling up some of the best food I have had in my life, accompanied by a ten dollar bucket of beer I split with my friend. People, young and old, were dancing around, speaking  in French, and drinking beer out of buckets.  This place is wonderful.