Discover your own backyard
As if you haven’t realized yet, the pandemic is a mixed blessing. One of the consequences of a wanderluster not being allowed to travel to where she really would want, Patagonia and Nepal, is that she is forced to explore her own back yard. This could only have happened thanks to the pandemic. Yes, I cussed and hollered when the six month Far East itinerary I had saved and planned for got derailed, but I changed course and started exploring these great United States. The pandemic helped to change my outlook on travel as well not just my itinerary.
You see, when the world is so wide and exciting, far-off destinations beckon you so that you are oblivious to the places right under your feet. I have talked with many a seasoned traveler who poo poos wasting money and time to travel to places in the US. Of course it’s more exotic to plan trips to Bora Bora than Biloxi. But when you get off your snob soapbox and turn your attention to exploring your own back yard, you might find delightful surprises. Boy, do we have one big back yard to explore.
I have always had a hoodoo hunch that I would be attracted to New Orleans. My draw started with the New Orleans chicory flavored coffee I get from OK Cafe in my neighborhood. My second draw came from the chats I had with the owner himself who got married in the French Quarter in the summer. My third draw was the ridiculously addictive drawl of John Forgerty on “Born on the Bayou,” a song that I kept putting on repeat while painting in my studio. My last and final draw what cinched my decisión to take a short vacay to NoLA was the hot and crusty crawfish I ate smothered in a broth of Cajun seasoning served in a plastic bag without utensils or plates just gloves on a disposal tablecloth and a huge bib with drawers to catch the drippings.
My trip to New Orleans has been the highlight of my year, yes, even more enjoyable than my trip to Sifnos and Serifos this year.
New Orleans gyrates with jazz, merry-making, a kaleidoscope of history both good and bad. It’s exotic mix of cultures—African, French, English, Native, and Cajun—make it a wonder for the eyes, the ears and the tastebuds!
Surprisingly, there is a rich Greek American history in this part of the world that I will reveal—blog post by blog post. Here’s a reel of some of my shots to pique your chops.