After our Florida vacation, we headed to Mobile, Alabama. Our host was this wonderful enthusiastic man named Kenneth, who had been renovating his house and working on becoming sustainable with rain harvesting, composting, chickens and gardening. Kenneth took us downtown, where we had drinks with some of his friends and even met an alumni of Tressa's alma mater (UCSC), who had started a non-profit bike workshop that gave people the opportunity to fix up bikes and buy them by working hours at the shop helping others to do bike repairs. The next day we visited the workshop, where the others' rescue dogs trotted about amongst the industrious people and up-turned bikes. We strolled around downtown Mobile, observed a park full of incredibly fat nearly tame squirrels, and chatted with Kenneth about home over homemade pizza. Our last day in Alabama, we dropped Finn off at the vet to get fixed and then headed to Blakely State Park, which came highly recommended to us by Kenneth's friends, and while poor Finn was under the knife, so to speak, we enjoyed a leisurely hike. We're happy to report he is a much mellower kitten because of it.
From Mobile, we through the bottom of Mississippi to get to New Orleans. On Wednesday we surfed with a wonderful working traveler named Jessica, who inspired us with her successful and nomadic ways and treated us to tacos. Thursday, she was headed to Mexico, to meet her boyfriend who was on a long term bicycle trip, and she was even kind enough to give us access to her house until her Air BnB guest arrived on Friday. On Friday afternoon, we couldn't help but go explore the haunting site of a Six Flags theme park that was abandoned before Katrina and never reopened. On Friday night, we were treated to an uncharacteristically classy experience by our sponsor, Camlow Cellars; you can read more about that night here.
Our last night in New Orleans, we visited Frenchman's Street, which we were told was somewhat less of a shitshow than Bourbon Street. We perused a cute but crowded little artisan alleyway full of handmade jewelry, clothing, art, and even voodoo talisman, complete with preserved chicken feet. A fun little band played on a street corner and we rummaged through old books and chatted with artists.
From NOLA we headed to Jackson, Mississippi, where our hosts informed us matter-of-factly that was simply nothing to do. Luckily, they had some pretty great dogs, so we were happy snuggling puppies and working on some crafting projects in their living room. In Jackson, we endured our coldest night yet, reaching a low of 21 degrees. We slept in lots and lots of layers and burrowed deep into our bed lasagne, where Finn joined us. We managed to sleep surprisingly comfortably, although getting out of bed was another story. Our last night in Mississippi was spent at a Mexican restaurant where our hosts' friends were gathered in a party for their neighbor, who was scheduled to begin six months of house arrest the subsequent day — complete with a "Happy House Arrest" cake. Needless to say, things got a little weird.
We have just entered our 45th state, Oklahoma. Only 10 short days until we will be back in California, and we can hardly believe our journey is coming to a close...