Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Golden Age: My 27th Birthday

Yesterday I turned 27 on the 27th. I think this means good luck despite the fact that I had a fleeting moment where I felt like an ancient relic.

We celebrated with a low-key celebration and of course, a slice of some southern chocolate pie from the very famous Strawn’s Eat Shop (in 2009 it was featured in Southern Living as one of the top diners in the South).

P.S. Strawn’s is famous for their Strawberry Pie but I am a firm believer that if a dessert is filled with fruit, then it is not a dessert.


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Mudbug Madness Festival

While everyone back home celebrated the start of Memorial Day weekend by lounging on the beach, we embraced the balmy, 95° Saturday by attending Mudbug Madness, a street festival that is basically a 4-day crawfish boil. We were laughing reminiscing on the fact that a year ago I thought “mudbug” meant “roach.”

One of several vendors at the festival boiling large quantities of mudbugs.

Crawfish close up.

Leave it to me to attend a crawfish boil and seek out the standard chicken dish. Note that this is fried chicken, thus proving that after a year in the Deep South, even the healthiest of food snobs will adjust their eating habits.

 (But I really just ordered this for the sweet potato chips).

Souvenir cup!


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Last day of school!

Hello, summer vacation.

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Bales of Hay

Never in a million years did I ever think anything like this would be a stone’s throw from my backyard. Never in a billion years did I ever think I would appreciate it.

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A year of blogging

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while and I still haven’t decided how I want to write it. A year ago on May 19, 2011, I started this blog (read my very first post here). It began with my good-byes in D.C., followed by the cross-country trip to Louisiana, and has since chronicled my adjustment to life in Shreveport.

The short story is that this has been the most challenging year of my life.

The long story is that it has been a year of tremendous growth and I don’t think I can sum it up concisely in a witty blog post. Therefore, I am just going to put this post into a list, with just a few of the gems that detail what I’ve learned, what I never wrote about, what surprised me, and what blog posts still make me laugh out loud.

What I’ve learned – 

  • I now know how to light a hot water heater, empty the clean-out when the house floods, and reset a circuit breaker. Thank you, homeownership.
  • There is no need to call the exterminator every time a nest of fire ants emerges in your backyard. A pot of boiling water poured over their mound takes them out in seconds.
  • I don’t have a fear of spiders. It took a tarantula sighting, some black widows, and several brown recluses to cure me of this.
  • Cows don’t need to be fenced in if your yard has something called a “cattle stop” which is basically a ditch with bars over it.
  • A sign that reads “Trespassers will be shot” is not a joke when posted on a home in the South.
  • The Civil War is taught very differently in the North than it is in the South.
  • There is a difference between a “Bubba” and a “Redneck.” Email me and I’ll explain it to you as it was explained to me.

What I never wrote about – 

  • I cried in the beginning. A lot.
  • Gidget also had a rough adjustment. Because of the different allergens in the grass down here she is on a constant diet of benadryl and steroids. It took her breaking out in hives and a vet visit for me to realize this.
  • It took awhile to adjust to the Southern accents. Ask me about the hilarious “pill” versus “peel” story.
  • I have nightmares about tornadoes and swamp snakes ALL THE TIME.
  • I really miss certain foods such as bagels, falafels, and cannolis. I sometimes just crave a good bagel. Really.

What surprised me – 

  • There is no deodorant that is capable of handling the summer heat. This is an unfortunate reality I had to accept. Nor is there any such hair product for battling the humidity.
  • I now think that the entire cast of Jersey Shore has very thick accents. Prior to being surrounded to Southern drawls, I had never heard an accent on any of them before.
  • Very few people understand what I mean when I use any of the following terms: schlep, schvitz, schmuck, putz, or scutch (sp?). Bonus points to anyone who comments below with their correct meanings 🙂
  • I have actually grown to enjoy the country scenery. Really. In many ways, it’s very soothing.

The posts that still make me laugh out loud:

  • My formal complaint about the heat last summer: here.
  • The signage seen around Shreveport: here.

Thank you for reading all of my meanderings the last year! Six years left to go 🙂

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Road trip: Lake Conroe, TX

Sometimes you just need to get away. Or in our case, take advantage of Rich’s weekend off (this never happens) and relax on Lake Conroe.

It was no Jersey Shore, but it felt far enough away from Shreveport that it was a true mini-vacation.

Bird’s eye view of La Torretta Lake Resort.

Sunset over Lake Conroe. Lovely.

While we were there, an antique car show was occurring. It was called “Cowboys & Cars.”

The “Super Moon” over the marina.

Aside from the poolside lounging and piano bar, the second best part about the trip was the unintentional sightseeing that occurred during the 4.5 hour drive.

Somewhere near the Louisiana and Texas border.

And then there was this place (below). I’m not sure if it’s open for regular business, but if it had been taking customers, I guarantee we would have stopped for dinner.

This was a true gem to drive by and I loved it mainly because of the yellow sign.

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The Big Easy, Jazz Fest, and Bruce Springsteen

Last weekend we drove to New Orleans for Jazz Fest, a week-long music and heritage festival. It was my first time visiting the Big Easy.

Driving over Lake Pontchatrain, about an hour from New Orleans.

Before visiting New Orleans, I had this image in my head that it would be full of beautiful victorian architecture and lots of loud jazz bands in the streets. I was surprised to discover that I was right. This never happens.

Street car on Canal Street.

One of the many groups of jazz street performers on the corner of Bourbon Street.

And of course, there’s Bourbon Street, a very touristy section but something you have to experience. I think locals probably view it the way New Yorkers view Times Square: necessary for out-of-towners to visit, but best in small doses.

Bourbon Street crowd.

The next day we went to Jazz Fest.

Trombone Shorty on the Acura Stage.

We arrived just in time to see Trombone Shorty finish his set. Then we killed some time eating and sightseeing until Bruce took the stage.

Some of the many food offerings. Everything was a traditional Louisiana dish. No hot dogs or hamburgers here.

I was almost brave enough to try the Alligator Pie but then I chickened out and ordered a grilled veggie pita.

This was still an exotic choice because the sauce and the veggies were largely unfamiliar. It was delicious.

Some of the tents had historic items and were setup like mini museums. This is a photo of Mardi Gras Indian costumes.

One tent offered an arts and crafts project to make your own Mardi Gras shoes.

Traditional Cajun accordions.

Waiting for The Boss.

A mini Jazz parade offered an impromptu performance (click play to watch):


Finally, it was time for Bruce!

Friends of ours had special access passes that allowed us to be up close. I am forever grateful for their generosity. This was a Jersey Girl’s dream come true.

I may not have been in Jersey, but for those 2 1/2 hours, I was home.

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