It’s clear to basically everyone in my life that I NEED a hobby. One that doesn’t involve books, wine or cigarettes, as those things are pretty sedentary/not good for me. Not that I’m this huge drinking chain-smoker, but maybe a little. So, recently I became obsessed, and I mean OBSESSED with the idea of attaining a stand-up paddle board and seeking water wherever we go to use it. Even here in Louisiana, there is a lake about 40 minutes away that I think would work. So, tax return in hand, after doing extensive research, I bought a fairly inexpensive inflatable paddle board on amazon, along with paddle and leash for $602. It had 11 great reviews and 1 negative review, so I figure the negative was likely user error. Hopefully I’m not a user who errs because, to me and most people, $600 is a huge chunk of change. The paddle and leash came in today and the board should be here wednesday. I can’t wait to test it out and have an active, outdoor hobby to occupy some of this free time that I now have so much of.
In other news, my bestie trip is officially booked- B. and I will be going to San Juan, Puerto Rico and spending 4 nights in this adorable little boutique hotel on the beach. It was MUCH less expensive than the resorts, and we both see it’s only having 17 rooms as a huge bonus because we like each other way more than other random people. The hotel has a restaurant on the beach, which has great reviews and fresh grilled seafood, as well as a DJ at night! I cannot wait to dance on the beach at night after eating fresh seafood and playing in the water. It’s also a great motivation for me to finally start getting my butt to the gym on the regular, which I did this morning. We are going April 11-15, so I’m thrilled at the thought of beating the boredom with a tropical beach in 6 weeks. I got a spanish language app for my ipad (another one, since it’s already full of French and Spanish apps) because I’m a huge dork.
C. may be going to Nebraska next, though still nothing is even close to set in stone. Norfolk, Nebraska, which looks to be about an hour Northwest of Omaha.. I hope we go somewhere, anywhere, soon, but regardless, I now have my vacation to look forward to. So, yeah my life has been pretty unremarkable as of late, but there should soon be an uptick in activity and adventure.
During my final semester as an undergraduate Psychology major, while planning my June wedding, I somehow still found some spare time in need of filling. My wallet needed some filling as well, so I jumped upon the opportunity to work as an extra. It barely paid, especially considering the gas money I spent to get to the location, but I figured it was worth it for the experience and the small amount I made after gas. To put it in perspective, I worked on The Search Party (see the yellow skirt picture) and the Bonnie and Clyde biopic, and according to my w-2’s made something like $200. It’s no way to get rich quick, and I worked 12 hours each day, but it was a good enough experience that I decided to apply again. I have nothing but free time until C. and I go to his next work site, so why not? I applied for 5 different roles today, updated my headshot and my weight, since it is 15 lbs more than when I registered with the casting site. I don’t think that matters much since I was usually the smallest non-bikini-clad extra anyway. Besides, I’m a 4/6, it’s not that hard to dress me. A funny thing about working on Bonnie and Clyde: I was supposed to be a diner waitress, but due to how long shooting was taking and the overtime paid to actors who work past midnight, I ended up being William Hurt’s stand-in. Basically, I watched him act the scene while I was waiting to do my part, and when the time came, they cut the waitress part and asked me to try to replicate his movements while they filmed over and over again. It was definitely unexpected, but apparently in a giant warmer coat, my body can pass for a middle-aged actor’s? Uh. Yeah.
Anyway, I’ll have to wait and see if I booked any of the roles I just applied for. It doesn’t usually take long to hear if yes, a few days or less unless they call last-minute.
Laurel Valley Plantation is described as “the largest surviving 19th and 20th century sugar plantation complex left in the United States”. It happens to be right here in Thibodaux, where I have lived for the last 3.5 years. It’s difficult to capture it in photographs… you can’t help but imagine all the lives lived there and the nature of those lives… it’s quite haunting.
I found a few gems at Cajun Village aside from the usual tourist trap shops, which there’s nothing wrong with, per se, but these bits were actually genuine and old and I thought they were cool. Some very old houses, a sugar cane harvester (I think), a 1900s era tractor and a 1930’s era tractor. I was happy to find the authentic antique cajun bits, I must not have looked closely enough previously. I believe Cajun Village is in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, at the intersection of LA 70 and LA 22.
This map includes only states that I’ve visited or lived in. I didn’t color in all the states I’ve driven through or had layovers in. Harsh new standards in place for the right to color in a state! I can’t wait to see what’s next, though it may be Canada, which is clearly not pictured. Anyway, this is my “before” map.
So, everything is now in order as far as going on the road with Curtis. Or, almost everything.
I resigned from my position as a Graduate Assistant, dropped my classes (both of these things were so hard, but will be worth it because I will get to actually see my husband regularly for the first time in over 3 years and also will get to travel and have loads of new experiences.) Luckily there is almost nothing I love more than exploring a new place. I also got my wisdom teeth removed (2 days ago, it is annoying, but I’ve been surviving just fine without any pain killers, so that’s a relief). I have an eye appointment that I need to reschedule since a random Louisiana freeze led to the office being closed during my appointment. Etc. Etc., rather dull little errands which need to be dealt with before I up and leave my life and home!
My uncle just got into town, so before I begin my great on-the-road adventure with C, I’ll be heading to the Tam Bao Temple to see a fireworks show for Tet and then bringing him back to humble Thibodaux. Tuesday I’m showing him around New Orleans, including some attractions even I haven’t experienced- the aquarium with ferry to the zoo, for example. I’ll try to get us on a carriage tour of the French Quarter, Cafe du Monde and the WW2 museum, in addition to some places suggested by his friends. All in a day and night!
Hopefully I’ll be on the road with C soon, with new places to photograph and document, but until then, I’ll revisit my favorite local city and enjoy a quick visit to the temple (I’ve never been to a Buddhist temple, so that’s exciting).