Hello my blog reading audience. Yes I have slacked off here a little bit. Nothing bad happening. Was just working and gathering up some material for a new entry. As luck would have it, I now have both images and inspiration. Buckle up. This is going to be a long one.
Sometimes I feel like Isak Dinesen writing these blog entries. I had a farm once in Africa…. Well, I had no such farm but I did sorta embark on a journey of self discovery recently. Ok maybe that’s a bit too high falutin. I went to the South. I ate some really fire food. I saw friends I haven’t seen in ages and well, I made sorta a few discoveries about myself.
My best friend and I did a road trip to Florida in 2008 and every summer, we’ve talked about doing it again. This summer, I finally got some time to do it, so off we went. My best friend lives in Falls Church, Virginia. I hadn’t been to Washington DC for many years. I kinda wanted to go up there after what happened at the Capitol building earlier this year, which at this point feels like it happened a thousand years ago. Eventually we travelled to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and finally Florida.
I went two days before the trip to kinda poke around DC for a couple of days, as I hadn’t been there for ages. DC loomed in my mind for many years as a hard, painful time in my life. But something happened when I went to DC. I kinda saw the light about that time in my life and realized it was actually quite a good time in my life. DC was so different than what I remembered, more vibrant, more new and just more beautiful than I had remembered. I was also seeing it through clearer eyes.
I bought a ticket to visit the Hillwood Estate because I saw that they had a great collection of Russia imperial artifacts and the place absolutely did not disappoint. It was funny too when I walked to the museum because I almost forgot I was in DC. There was a random sign for an embassy nearby. I’ve just gotten used to random signs pointing to universities and not embassies.
I did do one thing in DC that I had wanted to do for a long time. I went to see my old house on Capitol Hill. I lived in this legendary pit in DC after college that had bars on the windows and a sizable hole in the ceiling. On the first floor, as the place had two floors. It wasn’t a hole in the roof of the place. See that would have been insane. Anyway, that’s where I lived a few difficult years after college. I remember always sitting on the couch wondering when my life was actually going to start. I remember always thinking that people were off somewhere having the time of their lives and I was there, sulking. Much later I found out that a lot of people do that in their 20s.
There was always the feeling too that if you didn’t do everything by the time you were 25, you fell off a cliff or something and your life was over. Here I am, very far removed from 25, still learning, growing, meeting new people, having new experiences.
As I stood there though across from that house, kind of thinking about everything that had happened since I’d last been there, it struck me that I felt like I had never lived there. I took a quick picture for the ‘gram. It struck me that smartphones didn’t exist the last time I had been there and I didn’t know the vast majority of the people that liked the picture on social media when I posted it. Oh and FB was the twinkle in the eye of a computer nerd in a dorm on the Charles River. After I left though, I felt like I had really accomplished what I had wanted to. I guess it was a kind of closure I had to get.
From there, my best friend and I drove south. I charted this course by the amazing food we ate along the way. I’ll just say it. The North has plenty of wonderful things but OH MY GOD the food in the South was amazing. I had a seafood boil in South Carolina with some kind of magical sauce and garlic butter. Then I ate a magical pulled pork sandwich. Oh and the pulled pork sandwich, I ate in a place called Buccees, which is like a 7-11 on steroids but the food is INCREDIBLY good. Eventually we ended up hitting three big cities — Charleston, Atlanta and Orlando, with a myriad of stops along the way. We ended up at the Sugar Tit distillery in Reidville, South Carolina and the Peachoid in Gaffney, South Carolina. In Atlanta, I went to Coca Cola World and the Civil Rights center. Oh and I ate a mythical chili dog. Mythical. I dream of this chili dog I ate. I’m only half joking.
Along the way though I literally and figuratively saw the light. In the south, the light is somehow brighter, clearer, the colors more beautiful, everything shinier and clearer. I saw the light too about my past and came back invigorated and grateful. Grateful to have the amazing friends I have, grateful that I got to take a trip like that and kinda ready for the next bit here.
Well, you got this far. You deserve some photos and photos you shall have: