KEEP YOUR PROMISE - That was the “header” on today’s paper. the article was written as a plea to President Bush and other government leaders because of the current state of the city. We understand why. After driving out of yesterday’s thunderstorm and making our way into New Orleans, we couldn’t believe our eyes. So much devastation remains - abandoned buildings, occupied properties that remain in disrepair, homeless people everywhere etc. We couldn’t believe we were in the USA; those people deserve better. PUT SOME SOUTH IN YO’ MOUTH - That’s from a bumper sticker, and it’s exactly what we did in the city known for fantastic food. Unfortunately we got off to a late start, so we made a uninformed, quick and stupid decision for dinner. We made up for it, though, when we went to a recommended place, called Mother’s, for dessert. We ordered the popular bread pudding. Holy smokes - it was fantastic; the highlight was a sort of buttery, praline sauce. Sorry to say that we have no picture of it.
A MORE DISTURBING BUMBER STICKER - “McCain and Rice in 2008.” We nearly drove our little Ford Focus into the ditch.
SEEING IS BELIEVING - We were bothered all night by what we had seen yesterday on our way into town. We decided that we needed to check out as much as possible in order to get a broader picture. We visited a few areas, including the Lower 9th. What a mess; some of the properties we saw make it appear as though Katrina occurred a month ago. Most of the homes are still tagged with the spray-painted information left by inspectors shortly after the storm. Just how much money and how many resources are going towards the war? And for what, when these people suffer in our own country.
STEPPING DOWN FROM THE SOAP BOX - After that major downer it was off to our next destination - Jackson, Mississippi. Like you’re starting to hear over and over, what a cool little place. We gravitated towards Jackson for a couple of reasons 1) the song by Cash/Carter and 2) road food. We researched a place called the Elite Restaurant and headed straight that way the second we got into town. We had the enchilada plate (pictured above) and chicken fried veal w/ brown gravy (recommended by the friendly patrons across from us). mmm-mmm. We DO have pictures of this.
WE”RE THE HOSPITALITY STATE - Our waitress (who said that) was an effective spokesperson on behalf of not only Jackson but also MS at large. We’re trying to take the time to connect with locals, so we asked her to tell us about life in her part of the world. She spoke proudly of the development that is occurring in MS. She also wanted to emphasize just how friendly all of the locals are. She gave us directions to Oprah’s hometown. Now that’s service. We want to put these folks in touch with some of those we met in DC where we had some interesting “service” interactions. Good stories.
HERE WE ARE IN TENNESSEE - We’ve made it to Memphis, where it is significantly cooler than it has been on the rest of the trip - a welcome treat. We are racing off to a must-eat-at BBQ place. Details tomorrow.