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.

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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.

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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!

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