Friday, January 24, 2014


So we were finally heading home, but it was going to take a couple days. The road conditions throughout Texas had vastly improved and we were enjoying a pretty smooth ride. I must say, it wasn’t the most picturesque drive, but at the time I enjoyed being somewhere that was slightly similar to my home. During the beginning of the drive everything was still quite snow covered and it looked really pretty. The further east we went though, the less there was. Most of the drive was fairly uneventful. We stopped a couple places for gas or just a rest stop to take a break and use the bathroom, but nothing crazy. The most notable thing we saw was all the oil well cranks scattered across the landscape moving in succession. Gutting the earth of it’s blood, it’s vitals. I felt like I was in the Terminator. Machine after machine and no men. It was the eeriest sight I saw the whole trip. Made me weary of humanity. 

It was cold out throughout the whole drive, but we stayed nice and toasty in the car. We weren’t sure where we would be stopping, but I at least wanted to make it to Louisiana. It was dark before we made it there and at one point the weather got pretty nasty and Finnley was having a hard time seeing through the rain. We made it to Bossier City, Louisiana just around dinner time and once again found a cheap motel for the night. It was right next to an Outback Steakhouse so we went there for dinner after we checked in. I liked being in Louisiana, it kind of reminded me of Florida, so I felt comfortable there. 

After dinner we went back to the room and watched some shows about Louisiana and Cajun food. It was pretty interesting stuff and made me hungry all over again. I fell asleep eventually, but Finnley was having trouble sleeping all night. In the morning we woke up and had our regular complimentary breakfast and headed out. The night before we had decided we wanted to see New Orleans. It would be a slight detour, but we figured it’d be worth it. So we set our GPS accordingly and were off once again. The drive through Louisiana was a bit rainy and gloomy at times, but it was still interesting to see. I’ve always had a thing for the swampland being from Florida. I loved seeing the trees coming up out of water. It was really beautiful. 

We stopped at a subway for lunch and met some nice people there. About 2 hours later we reached Nawlins’. I really liked it there, more than I thought I would. You could just feel the history. If we weren’t behind schedule, I definitely would have stayed the night there. It was just so rich with energy. It slightly reminded me of Key West, but even more because the party starts in Key West at night, in Nawlins’ they are blasting and playing music and partying all day. I didn’t know whether to be glowing in ecstasy or terrified of getting jumped, but the combination was invigorating. It was just what we needed before we headed home, one last little adventure. 

We ended up eating a second lunch there at a Cajun restaurant. Finnley got this Cajun combo that had gumbo and a bunch of other traditionally Cajun foods. I got this Cajun shrimp thing that was effing amazing! The shrimp were huge and spicy and swimming in this perfect sauce. It was cheap too because when we walked by a guy gave us a coupon. 

After we ate we walked around a little longer and headed back to the car. Finnley was really interested in seeing the tattered houses from the hurricane years ago. We did see some, but I wasn’t much interested in that. I rather focus on the positive. Leaving there we got to see a really pretty water way and it made me feel good to head home because boy was I missing the hot water beaches of Florida!

From there we drove through the rest of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Some trucker tried to kill us on the way there. He exited the highway and they decided he better get back on not seeing us right there about to be smashed into him and another truck. Luckily, Finnley was able to maneuver out of that. We got to see a little part of the Mississippi river as we finally left Louisiana. I got some chicklets somewhere between there and Florida which was awesome because I never see those anywhere anymore.

When we got into Mobile, Alabama I was surprised. I didn’t think it would be that pretty! I was definitely impressed, however I did not like the underwater tunnel we had to go through. It’s bad enough going through a mountain tunnel, let alone one with tons and tons of water on top of you! Scary! and so we finally reached Florida that night. It was bittersweet. We stopped at the welcome center and we both felt kind of funny. I was pretty happy, but Finnley seemed upset. I pointed out how a bunch of other states have these statues of colorful bison and we had one of a dolphin LOL. 

We planned on staying the night near Tallahassee, but got a little sketched when I read the crime rate data on the city. When we reached there we got some gas and Finnley and I felt a strange feeling we hadn’t felt in a long time, urban fear. It is something we were all too familiar with when we were in Florida, but we weren’t used to it and it brought back a lot of negative energy and old habits in us that we were very upset about. The mood went dry and more bitter than sweet. Where were my small towns nestled in a canyon or mountain, where the only concern is maybe a wild animal, but not even. We stopped at a Burger King for dinner before we headed to the outskirts of Tallahassee to stay the night. 

The motel staff was nice, but the motel was pretty gross. We found a couple disconcerting things. Finnley even started to get all red while laying in the bed a one point, which of course freaked me out. It was a temperature outside that we were not used too. I felt like I was melting from the humidity. My! how a body adjusts so quickly and yet not quick enough sometimes. We both felt nasty and for once in a long time had to change into cooler clothes before bed. Which was actually something I had been looking forward too. I was so desperately sick of wearing a million layers of clothes. 

In the morning we woke up bright and earlier. Today was the day we were going home and I was going to see my Lola and my parents and Florida and wear shorts! I was really excited, but it all felt bittersweet. Finnley felt more upset that it was all over, but was excited to surprise his family. Basically we came home a couple weeks earlier and it was supposed to be a surprise for everyone, but of course my mama doesn’t allow for those things because well she tracks me, so my family knew, but Finnley’s didnt. 

The drive back was nice and the weather was beautiful! The traffic wasn’t so bad either, so we hopped on the Turnpike and it was smooth as can be. Finnley and I were cracking up because Florida’s Smokey the Bear sign looks like a gangster bear. He has muscles and is pointing at you like he’s 50 cent or something. That’s why I love Florida, I missed that fire, that heat that radiates from the people. We really are in paradise. We stopped in a little spring town to go to the bank. I find it weird that rural Florida always freaks me out more than anywhere else, but It was really cute and I plan on going back there to camp one day.

Everything became increasingly beautiful. The sky was sooooo blue! Everything was so lush and green and bright and the sun felt amazing! I had never appreciated my home like this before. Even Finnley couldn’t deny the beauty. I was in heaven, I felt high. The closer we got to home the more my head was in the clouds and spinning with the mixed adrenaline of the eye pleasuring sights and the anticipation of seeing everyone. When we got off the turnpike it was all the familiar sights, but they looked GLOWING! Everything looked glowing and new. 

Finnley and I were laughing so hard because we knew we sounded crazy, but our perception had changed. We still felt like tourists seeing everything for the first time. When we finally reached my neighborhood we were buzzing with excitement. I felt like my pupils were so dilated and had stars floating out of them. I almost felt like I was tripping. When we past the park Finnley and I both is a gasp yelled out in amazement how green the grass was! It was a neon glowing sea of blades! We were really high on life. We reached my house and of course my stalker mom is waiting for us outside and I’m overcome with emotion. I can barely speak. I’m in a turbulence of confusion and excitement. I was home. What a crazy concept. I never ever thought that home would feel so unfamiliar to me. 

I hugged my family and ran inside to find my Lola and of course she was scared of me and to be honest I was a little scared of her too. I saw her face and it freaked me out and her out and she ran. I said hi to her, and she licked me. I knew she was scared and mad at me so it took her some time to get used to me again. She wanted love and I kept roughhousing her until I figured that out. It felt so strange to be home. I didn’t know what to do with myself. We just talked for a while until I had to take Finnley home to surprise his parents. 

On the drive there we started getting that adrenaline feeling again. I felt like I was tripping so bad I was a little scared to drive. It was definitely distracting and disorienting. We both started to get really nervous. We knew something was up when we reached 441 and both thought, “It doesn’t look so bad!”. What the hell was wrong with us?? Everything was still glowing! We reached his parents house and snuck up on his dad who was outside. He was so surprised and happy and his mom heard me laughing and came out and she was too. Bittersweet. 

We unpacked Finnley’s stuff before I headed back home. Oh the drain and weight I felt as we unpacked. Bittersweet is the only word for it. I said goodbye to Finnley for the first time in a very long time which was also bittersweet. As I drove home alone, back in my home state, the adventure done, I looked up at the GPS and saw the whole state of Florida and only the state of Florida. That’s when it really hit me. It was over. 

Back to reality...

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