Hey, yall, it's Jordan! Here's our story from Louisiana. Let the good times roll.
We just happened to roll into our home state of Louisiana during its signature holiday, Mardi Gras. Perfect timing right? Correct! Not only did we have perfect timing with the holiday but also this was the same time Logan's sister got a crazy idea to fly her down for a week. No way! We hadn't seen her in months and we were so excited! We all missed the festivities last year because we were in Colorado and as it turned out we had a few friends from around the continent that would also be in town, which gave us all the reasons to celebrate. We looked into some holiday music events and chose our favorites. Then we dropped the pets off with Aunt Liz and Uncle Ross (love you guys), scooped up some good friends, and headed down to New Orleans for the best Party Gras we could ask for! The best part was that it had never been in our plan to be in that situation, but it was just another gift from the Universe. We had a whirlwind weekend in NOLA. We saw so many magnificent people, ate such great food, and got to see some pretty killer musical performances. Thanks to everyone that came out and had fun with us. Also, thanks to Uncle Sam for putting up with us like a champ. We love you, man!
(I just noticed the number of !s in this post. Sorry, everyone, I'm not yelling - just enthusiastic. Haha!)
After Mardi Gras and all it's glory. We got down to the business of visiting. If any of you have ever visited family or people you haven't seen in forever you know that there is a lot to catch up on. Okay, so now imagine that you haven't seen all of your closest friends + family in forever and that you've been traveling ALL over the country. Turns out doing it that way is a lot harder. Plus you never know who you want to hang out with more or how many more times you'll be able to squeeze in a visit. Luckily while we were there I think we got to see almost everyone we intended to. Brittany and I both got special time with our grandmothers, who we love so much and owe a lot of our good qualities to. Not that they'll get on the web to read this, but love you, ladies! ;) With the timing being as perfect as it could be, we also got to be there for the celebrating of many birthdays, mine included. :) For those of you we missed, WE ARE SO SORRY - WE OWE YOU! We want to give a special thanks so much to Liz, Ross, Amanda, and Zach for putting us up and loving us. You guys are the bomb. Also, while in the area I got to hang out and help out at Taco Sisters, my favorite place in Lafayette. Thanks to Lynn and Jon for having me, I love you guys! Even the day we ran out of forks was a fabulous day. What did I tell that lady? Every day is an adventure! Haha, totally true at Taco Sisters. :)
**EVERYONE SHOULD EAT TACO SISTERS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE - TOTALLY GOOD FOR YOU!**
(and freaking delicious!!!!)
So much love was shared in Louisiana, but as things do, this time also came to an end. We set sail on Easter after making arrangements for our furbabies to stay with loved ones because our intentions were to Fly to Thailand in May. We conveniently left for Florida at the same time as our friend, Kite who was going to Fort Myers, so with all of our extra room without the pets, we threw her in the van and hit the road. While heading East for FL, we weren't in a rush so we meandered our way down to Gulf Shores to see our incredible friend Melissa! Even though I hadn't met Mel before this, I now feel like we've been friends forever. While in Gulf Shores we of course scored some beach time (long enough for me to sunburn) and got the treat of seeing Kristine and Adrienne too. However the coolest thing we did was go behind the scenes at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Melissa and her housemate, Lindsay, both work as zookeepers with all of their friends! Of our adventures I think this is close behind Pfieffer Beach (purple sand!), which says quite a bit. While at the zoo Melissa introduced us to some really cool animals - we met sloths named Sid and Sylvia, Norman the owl, Terry the kookaburra, Nova the lynx, Petunia the opossum, Mystic the adorable little baby African serval, and a wild little primate named Kunda who was seized from a drug boat and subsequently is a nut. We also got to meet lemurs and kangaroos and bottle feed some Bengal tigers as a treat and through the chain-link because they were grown tigers. Safety first!
After hanging out there for a few days we headed toward Tampa, which is where Brittany's brother and father live. When we arrived we were greeted with warmth and love. Oh, and lots of delicious food! Poppa Bear cooks the best, y'all. I think we were only here for a couple of weeks when we got word that our passports had been delayed. The passport agency sent us both letters requesting more proof that we've always been who we say we are. So we had to pack back up and go back to Louisiana to get proof. Since we planned to go to Thailand we had left all of our personal things there. That put us back just in time for Festival International in Lafayette, which meant I got to work for Tacos again and we were able to see one of my best friends, Dustin Gaspard, perform as part of the festival! That was real magic, y'all. All year I had been bummed that we wouldn't be in town to see him perform and then there we were cheering and singing along. He sings like an angel and if you haven't heard him you should. He also has CDs and shirts available for purchase! ;) (kind of not sorry for that plug, he's my boy. :)) After festival we high tailed it back to Florida to regroup and figure out what's next.
We arrived back just in time to take the opportunity to attend a wonderful music festival, the Purple Hatters Ball, at the Spirit of the Suwannee in Live Oak. That was a great festival! Definitely recommend it to everyone. The venue was beautiful and we got the chance to see some really great Florida music and meet more great people, farmers and travelers alike. One thing Florida has going for it is it's ability to grow anything all year long and that shows in the number of organic farms and it's plentiful produce. A couple of weeks ago we attended a March Against Monsanto in downtown Tampa. It was a worldwide march, happening on every continent in most major cities. We gathered along with a lot of other conscious people to stand up for what we believe in. I'm not going to give you a lesson on Monsanto or Agent Orange or Roundup or GMOs at all, but I will suggest that you do some research and learn some things. It's amazing what's out there once you take a second to open your eyes and your mind. Especially since all of those things affect your health.
**make conscious decisions, people.**
When we originally left Colorado to WWOOF we had 2 flexible goals, Cali by October and Tampa by May. And boy did we do them both! Our hope was to take our volunteering overseas after this year, but due to complications with passports and whatnot we decided to take these upcoming months to learn more of what this country has to offer and to make it overseas later. Which again happened like that for a reason. While we were in Tampa we got to be present for Brittany's dad's wedding! Oh you know we love a reason to celebrate! Haha. But seriously, since being here we've gotten to spend really great time with B's family. They really opened up their home and hearts to me and I've loved every second. We can't thank you guys enough for your continued support and understanding. We are going to miss you all a lot.
That wraps it up, guys. That's everything all the way up until today. Today is the day we leave Tampa and head eastward. Stay tuned though, the next blog will be pictures to go with this one.
*~*~*Love to you all! See you around!!