I had previously written that I was moving out of Philadelphia and traveling across the US to ultimately end up in California for a couple of months. Well, I left last Thursday before the east coast got hammered with that huge snowstorm. I knew it was coming and Thursday was my window of opportunity to leave so I took it. As I was leaving York County, Pennsylvania, I passed graffiti that read “It can get better”. Perhaps it was a sentimental goodbye from Pennsylvania to start my new work/travel life.
I drove as far as I could until I hit rain in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. I think I was on the road for about 11 hours. I was exhausted and ready to find a hotel. I chose a hotel that was part of the Wyndham chain hotels, thinking that it would be good. I did an inspection of the room before agreeing that I would take it and everything looked good. But then I pulled down the sheets and there were hairs and a mysterious brown stain. (Not to mention that there really were mirrors on the wall). I probably should have taken photos, but I was so disgusted and tired. I ended up finding another hotel a couple of exits further that was much better except that it smelled like fragrance plug-ins. It’s come to my knowledge in the last year that I’ve become super sensitive to smells and I hate fragrance plug-ins.
I woke the next morning and drove to Atlanta, Georgia in pouring rain. As I was leaving North Carolina, I stopped at a random exit to get gas. There were two weird abandoned buildings amongst the fireworks stops that seem to be overwhelming in the southern states. Every exit that I stopped at in the south seems to have some kind of interesting abandoned place.
I knew a few photographers from istockphoto and an old friend from California who live in Atlanta. We went out for dinner and it was great to see them. I stayed at my friend’s house in East Atlanta, which was quite eclectic and filled with many craftsman homes from the 1920s. I probably would have liked the area, but I was eager to get off of the east coast and away from crappy weather so I left Atlanta the next day.
I drove through Alabama. In my opinion, Alabama is possibly one of the strangest places in the country. And if you know me, I LOVE strange. The Salton Sea in California is one of the weirdest places I have ever been to. Alabama is like the Salton Sea except that it’s a WHOLE STATE. A whole state of weird amazing subjects. I was so tired when I left Atlanta, but I became all giddy as I drove through the back roads of Atlanta on my way to the coast. I passed some awesome places. I’m kind of kicking myself for not stopping to photograph some of them (such as the abandoned “Hurricane Drive-in”). But the reality of it was that I was a bit more scared about being shot in the back woods of Alabama than in Northeast Philly.
So yes, I arrived in New Orleans on the day of the Superbowl. I wasn’t even planning to go to New Orleans, let alone be there during the Superbowl. I am in New Orleans now. I have family that live here whom I haven’t seen for a while. I went to my first-ever Superbowl party last night. We had a fun time and since the Saints won, the city went crazy. And being that Mardi Gras is a week away, it’s party week in New Orleans!