Archive for May, 2008

Biloxi, Miss’ippi

Hey everyone! Hope you are enjoying our recent onslaught of posts after our long absence. We spent Memorial Day weekend in a campground just outside of Biloxi, Mississippi. This has been – by far – the most intimate camping experience so far as the campground was packed and the sites were right on top of each other. We met some cool people who offered us lights, tips, directions, and even some leftover Kentucky Fried Chicken. Needless to say, Elly wasn’t able to indulge herself so Kenny got the whole bucket (and a slight stomachache too – funny that!)  We also didn’t do the best job of selecting our spot as the neighbors across from us sat outside their RV all day spying on us… it was kind of weird to say the least. We couldn’t tell if they despised us or were just jealous. We also got attacked by a whole bunch of biting ants, but I guess that’s what we get for camping in a Bayou. After a full day of driving on Friday, we decided to spend a nice relaxing day on the beach on Saturday. Our attempts to play Frisbee in the Gulf were pretty pathetic, as we lost the Frisbee on only our third throw (thanks to an terrible throw by Kenny). Other than that, it was a great day that we capped off with some darts at a local bar that we would return to later.  On Sunday, we made our way to a small town outside Gulfport, MS to check out there church-led Catfish festival. It was quite a sight to see, as everyone in the town seemed to know and cheer each other on in the annual Softball tournaments. We enjoyed hanging out in the shade, enjoying the fried catfish and gumbo, and just chatting it up with the locals.  On Memorial Day, we made our way to the Wolf River and canoed down a 4-mile stretch while constantly being passed by speedboats and fishing boats. As we rode out their wakes, Kenny definitely missed his wakeboarding days at good ol’ Camp Cody. It was a relaxing day in the sun and surprisingly, we weren’t ready to kill each other afterward. That night we headed back to the same local bar to try to catch the Red Wings game. Kenny got laughed at when asking the bartender if they got Versus. He must’ve forgot that hockey isn’t one of the biggest sports in Mississippi. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, for instead of watching the game we struck up a great conversation with a local resident named Carl. He had an amazing life story, a refreshing outlook on life, and a lot in common with both of us (especially Elly). We could tell right off the bat that Carl was a history nut as he told us of the great importance of both battles of New Orleans and then just went off from there. We talked about many things, but one thing we especially admired about Carl was that he worked in the Armed Forces his entire life and was still strongly against war – including the one we are in right now. Also, he is not afraid to share this viewpoint with others as he has had several of his works published that openly criticize the Bush administration, especially with the situation in Iraq. Carl was an inspiration to both of us and we were sorry not to interview him on camera as he was swamped the next day at work. But all in all, Biloxi was a great town to see even as we were constantly reminded of the long road of recovery they have had to make since the devastating impacts of Katrina. On Tuesday, we hit the road again and were off to see Jackson, where we knew a lot of eye-opening history awaited us.

 

The heavy rain on the road made driving a bit more difficult, but provided us with a beautiful skyline in the distance.

 

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Not trying to be tooooooo political.

So I am not able to put into words the amount of prejudice we have seen down here, but these two clips helped remind me that discrimination is not a southern thing, nor is it a northern thing.  It is a deeply embedded cultural idea that thankfully many people are fighting to change. 

 

 

 

[redlasso id=”84fce36d-c7e6-4242-987f-7011fcdacf1a”]

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Biloxi, Mississippi

The deep South has really hit us hard, we feel like we are in a different sort of world. Our thoughts are still running around here, but we promise that we will put them down soon enough. Until then we want everyone to know that we have been in Biloxi for memorial day  weekend (the town that was hit worst by Katrina) and are about to mosey on up to northern Mississippi to meet some of Elly’s long lost relatives. Many a’ stories are soon to come. 

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Floreeda!

Ahh, Sunny Florida. Here we at last had the opportunity to sleep with a roof over our heads and make meals in a kitchen. It would be hard to put into words just how great it was to be with family and how much fun we had with my Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Linda. It has been our favorite part of the trip so far. 

Sure enough, Grandma is quite the fighter. Her surgery went great and she was back home rocking out with everyone the very next day. We originally planned to leave that Wednesday, and ended up leaving Friday knowing that if we didn’t leave Florida soon, we would be trying to get the 55+ park into letting us rent a home for the summer. So we at last put down our shuffle board sticks and left for the great state of M. I. double S. I. double S. I. double P. I. ~MISSISSIPPI~

 

pic is of Elly holding Jesus’s hand in the main lobby of Grandmas hospital. 

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Advertising ourselves.

We made these small flyers and have been leaving them around at different local coffee shops and handing them out whenever people we meet ask if they can get in touch with us. It’s our way of letting people know about this site without feeling chotchy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How we spent our time in Savannah. Short-short-short story style.

 

“Are you sure you wont choke,” I ask as I toss a tutti-frutti jelly bean high up into the air. It passes the neighboring lamppost and then guuuulp, falls down into my best friends throat.

“Yup, just work on your throw,” he replies “we may be able to make some cash from this.”  I position the jellybean in my hand so that it sits between my first two fingers and whomph… I toss the candy as hard as I can, kicking out my right foot, (which is hesitantly wearing a cowboy boot that I bought off e-bay some three years ago, hoping they will always be fashionable in the South).

“Crack,” is the onomatopoeia that’s made when my friend dodges oncoming traffic and knocks back the jellybean. Success.

The shock and awe of passing pedestrians is what we are hoping for. For someone to stop and talk with us, just to ask us where we are from, where we are going. “Michigan,” we would reply, or sometimes we’d say, “Ann Arbor, Michigan” (those fancy days when we’d whip out “Ann Arbor” were reserved for conversations with older people or when we were feeling haughty tauty). We’d tell them we were on a roadtrip, we’d joke and let them know just how badly we are avoiding the real world. Some would approve, some would have suggestions, some sweep into nostalgic memories of trips they took when they were young, “oh, kids these days.” It didn’t really matter what they told us, we’d soak up anyone’s words. Two weeks on the road, two weeks with just one other person-no matter how fun- and you start to humor yourselves into conversing with anyone willing to chat (not that we wouldn’t anyways).

“There are only eight beans left, how many can you catch,” I ask the little boy who is smiling at me.

“6 if you give me a good toss,” and now we smile because we both know he’s right. True to his word, 6 of the 8 were caught, and 2 were bad throws.  We discovered this game on a street corner in Savannah, it began as one of those ‘I can do anything better than you’ challenges, but we quickly learned that Kenny had quite the talent. If Star Search were still on, he could compete against 7-year-old Britney Spears and surely win the title “Upcoming Star.” But ah, that will have to wait for another lifetime, and in this life the only tosser available right now is me, and I’ll have to work on my toss if we are ever going to make enough money back to pay for these touristy expensive jelly beans.

And tourists we are, despite our attempts of chumming up to bartenders and asking them where to go and what to see in their hometown. Local joints quickly become tourist attractions as soon as we walk in. Resident eyes will shift up and down trying to remember if we are someone in towns cousin, but our enthusiastic grins give us away (which surely resemble early anthropologists smirk when discovering “the Natives”) and our exhibits return to their meals of fried chicken, or clam chowder or barbequed something.

“Whoa, that was a bad idea, can you see sweat on my back?” Kenny asks as we begin to walk past Washington Square and head to see the Dueling Pianos (fittingly a hometown hot spot where the piano man who resembles Elton John will later write down the names of places we should see on the back of a bar napkin). “No, it was great,” I say as I dump the now empty bag of jellybeans into the trash.

 

 

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Kenny on a Yacht

 Kenny and Doug check out nearby yachts from the top deck of Adam’s. Thats right the other ones are so small that they need binoculars to see them.

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