Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts


Spring Break with Jambalaya and Friends and Why I Love Faces (and Portraits!)

What’s the best feature of the photograph? Portraits! Photos capture faces. And I’ve appreciated faces lately — especially during this recent Spring Break-cum-Easter time and so on.
Cesar Caraval eats a bowl of Louisiana style Jambalaya with Andouille sausage
I made jambalaya and fed it to a few friends to
celebrate that we're all vaccinated and can now
officially hang out together (and of course, that does
not mean we are lax with social distancing and mask-wearing). 

As vaccinations against Covid-19 are more widely distributed, people are congregating with each other to celebrate. While mask-wearing and general social
Greig Roselli and his friend Michelle Ruderham Davis and her son hang out in Diversity Plaza in Queens on a Spring day.
In Diversity Plaza in Queens
on a Spring Day

Lauren after eating a spicy bowl of Louisiana-style Jambalaya

distancing guidelines are still in place, being vaccinated means I can hang out with folks I haven’t been with since March of last year. I saw my friend Michelle and her family, and I made jambalaya for a group of teacher-friends. By the way — the jambalaya was lit 🔥.

Miguel after eating a bowl of spicy Louisiana-style JambalayaKarina after eating a bowl of spicy Louisiana-style Jambalaya


Ten Things to Do in New Orleans for First-Time Visitors (From a Former New Orleanian)

What to do if you find yourself in New Orleans? Here are my top-ten fun things to do in the city that care forgot.
Iconic view of Saint Louis Cathedral with Jackson Square in the foreground (exterior)
Photo by Stephen Walker on Unsplash
Since I am from the New Orleans metropolitan area, friends, co-workers, and other such folks (who have never visited the Crescent City) often ask me for my advice on things to do and places to see. Last Summer, I hosted teacher friends from China who were in town to visit and it made me think about formalizing a list for first-time visitors. So here it is!

Replica of Colonial-era signage at the entrance to Jackson Square in New Orleans
New Orleans has been governed by the Spanish,
 the French, and the Americans in its long history.
FYI: New Orleans’s number one export other than oil is tourism. Except maybe for mid-August when even the locals complain it’s too dang hot - the city is abuzz with activity. My list just touches the tip of the NOLA iceberg. I do not even mention the numerous festivals and events that converge on the city each calendar year  Jazz Fest in May, Mardi Gras in February or March, and Southern Decadence for Labor Day  just to name a couple of popular events that pop into my head.
      Additionally, my list does not go beyond the traditional - so I don't mention trending spots or places that I have never visited. I lived in New Orleans as an adult for several years, and growing up I lived in the suburbs west and north of Lake Pontchartrain (in Saint John the Baptist and Saint Tammany Parishes, respectively). So I hope you enjoy the list and maybe you have your own contributions - which you should add in the comment section below.
Here's my unofficial list of things to do in New Orleans for first-time visitors:


Family Photograph of Mom Skipping Rope in Chicago

Pamela Roselli skips rope in Chicago, Illinois (circa 1997)
Throwback to a family vacation in 1997 where we walked the streets of Chicago - and my mom decided to jump rope with some kids.

We were walking the streets of Chicago back in 1997 or something like that and Mom decided to play jump rope with the neighborhood kids. Great memory.

We had driven a car to Chicago from New Orleans. We wanted to go to a Cubs game and to see the Chicago Art Institute.

We walked a lot in Chicago which is why I like this photograph. I wonder who those kids are? Do they remember this moment? Mom looks young and energetic, waiting for her time to jump rope. The boy with the hoodie is trained on his game and the girl in the sky blue dress is counting time.


A Public Service Announcement from Stones of Erasmus: A Library in Your Hometown

A public service announcement from Stones of Erasmus 
encourages you to support your local public library.
I was traveling by car with my buddy Airplane to Grand Isle, Louisiana one summer weekend. We saw this abandoned bookmobile on the side of the road. It looked apocalyptic and out-of-place. We made this video to bemoan a future where libraries don't exist and are abandoned, lost, or forgotten. Don't let reading die! Read a book. Share a book. Tell a story. Cite a page. Turn a page. Go forward. Do it in a novel. A play. A poem. Read!

Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Not Grade Specific -


Travel Diary: Fort Collins, Colorado

Well, I made it Eve's house, finally. I am hogging her internet so I can post this blog tonight before I go to bed. We had dinner tonight with her lab partner; Seth cooked. Isn't he nice?

I saw the Rocky Mountains from a distance for the first time. I had pulled off the interstate to drive down a gravel road so I could get out and stretch my legs. A deer, or what I thought was a deer, was sauntering along, not paying me much mind. I looked up into the orangcicle sky and could see the shadows of the Rockys in the distance. Wow, that was breathtaking, even from such a great distance the range dominates the sky as if someone had colored the mountains into the blue with a dark grey marker.

I now know why I took this trip. I was looking for something peaceful akin to what I saw today. My life has been so hectic internally and externally I needed an excuse to see beauty.

The elevation up here makes the air thin so it is harder to breathe until you get acclimated.

Tonight we went to the drive-in. It was great. The tickets were only six dollars and the screen is tiny against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

Here are some pics:


Travel Diary: Ellis, Kansas Monday July 20, 2008

Dear Travel Diary:
I started out on this journey on Saturday. I am just now settling down for a few minutes to write about it so far. Things only got interesting till I got to Cloutierville, La. 
     There, the ancient gas tanks are only programmed to charge you at the least two dollars for gas so you have to double your cost which proves to be an interesting conversation at the check out counter. "Honey, can you believe it when it gonna be ten dollars. The machines ain't gonna handle that." A rather large woman with short-cropped hair laughed at her own joke and showed me how to get from Cloutierville back to the interstate. She said they were going to get new gas machines soon, "but, hahaha," she said, "I don't wanna be around when my boss gotta buy a new machine."
Exit to Cloutierville, Louisiana
     I was happy to get out of Louisiana and didn't even stop in Shreveport at the local sex show but apparently, this woman from Alabama loved it. 
Nor did I go to any of the casinos in Texas that were promising big money and big fun, What is it with the Texans and their notion of "large"? Everything is bigger in Texas, apparently.
       I drove past Dallas and did not even stop. I had already been to the grassy knoll. I drove all the way through Oklahoma and stopped in a little town right before Kansas called Blackwell. Here is a picture:
Gin at the Hotel
      I must have gotten there really late because the Hindi-speaking owner was sleeping and when I woke him up he came to the door with a shotgun, but all in all, he was nice because he gave me some tea and told me that his hotel was the best. Also, his dog kept on sniffing my leg and the man did not like that because he kept on looking at me as if his dog were telling him something he didn't know. But I made him happy by buying a forty dollar jar of gin and I went to bed. I told him I was so happy to be almost in Kansas and he said, "why? are you going to casino in Kansas?" I said, "No, I was going to Oregon." He said, "you must be a smart guy because you only answer in half-truths." Yes, he knows me well, even better than my lover. Oh well.
Really Cool Lake in Kansas
       I slept in a hotel room that faintly smelled of curry; drank some of my gin and woke up at around 10:30 to get back on the road.
About noontime I sped into the direction of a really cool lake in Kansas that I swam in and had lots of fun: here is a picture:

       Being from Louisiana, any sense of elevation is a thrill because down in New Orleans, the only time you get to go up a "hill" is when you take a risk and go over the Huey Long Bridge.
Ellis, Kansas
     Now, I am in Ellis, KS. It is a small little town and they have a train museum that I may go see after I post this blog. I am sitting in a Travel lounge with a Subway and a Play Land Zone attached to it. There is a door built for children. It is funny to watch adults and children try to go through it.
     My camera ran out of juice so I cannot get a picture of it.
I am supposed to be in Fort Collins, Colorado by tonight. I still have to get my Dorothy-ass out of Kansas and get on to Colorado. I am on Interstate 70 going West. Then I pass Denver. Eve, here I come.