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* visiting four US states for the first time:

* finding a great out-of-the-way local restaurant known to its locals as the place to go for the catfish, grilled or fried. just south of rayville, La. sitting in this restaurant surrounded by people who speak with strong Louisianan accents, makes me feel like i'm in a picture show. the restaurant is Sanders Country Kitchen in Mangham, La.

* petting a turkey on its back and its head. it's a domesticated turkey named, gus, who lives at the Oakley House plantation, aka Audubon State Historic Site, st. francisville, La.. that turkey had a warm head even in the shade.

* accidentally dropping the litter box back into the cat carrier while Miss P was in it. the soiled litter box sand consumed Miss P. she was traumatized for the next few days. she wasn't physically hurt. thank god. humiliated. p.o.'ed. disgusted. oh, yeah. i'm still apologizing. 

* discovering the oxbow restaurant in st. francisville, La. fun, flashy, flamboyant.
bright blue walls, white feather adornments, male waiters who care more about aesthetics than the typical woman.
a wonderful conversation with a native Alabaman man who writes travel articles for The New York Times. At least, he says he does. The conversation was what we needed, especially hearing that he adores living in Manhattan. 

* meeting so many friendly people down South. i feel like i'm finding my peeps ... those who start up conversations with strangers and enjoy asking them a million questions. and they love their sugar ... ie., sweet tea (which i know has become trendy, at least in the Grand Rapids area) ... and they like to take their time. ;-)

* in baton rouge: staying at a motel 6, which had a huge fence around it with barbed wire at the top and a security guard on duty at night. though i felt safer inside these gated confines than outside, the police did arrive with siren sounding and arrested a man staying there.

* heading straight to the french quarter of new orleans, parking the car and eating at the first restaurant we find. One hundred dollars later, we're still hungry. :D just kidding. we were more than stuffed.

* first impression of new orleans: it's a lot like las vegas, my hometown, a shallow tourist trap.

* mr. f and i being spontaneous about where we go, how long we stay and what we do.

here's to more motel 6 stays! yikes. :/ it was cheap. what can we say?