Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Live Preview of the Big Easy

presented by petey.

so last week marked the last spring break that i will have as a student. sorta a milestone. sorta not a big deal.

anyway, emily and i figured it would be our only chance to get down south to check mississippi out before we move down there in a couple of months.

(for those that are just catching up, i'm going to be doing a 1 year residency program (AEGD) at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.)

first impressions:
i can't believe that the confederate flag still gets as much air time as it does... this picture was taken off the jefferson davis memorial highway, where the last home of jefferson davis still stands as a museum and a reminder that the rebel spirit of the south is still alive and well.

i can't believe that the first question you are asked when entering one of the seven restaurants is: smoking or non-smoking? are you serious? there are still smoking sections in public restaurants in 2009? it turns out there are lots of them, in the south. NYC clubs and bars have even been smoke-free for years... so crazy. emily and i were confused at first and almost didn't know how to answer.

i can't believe how desolate this place is. biloxi (along with new orleans) was devastated by katrina a couple years back. the beach boulevard highway is brand new and nice, but there is a lot of open space (presumably once occupied), skeleton houses, regular homes with boards, and other rebuilt stuff as well.

we got in on friday morning. by friday afternoon, we had visited the AF base clinic and seen several apartment complexes and felt like we had basically gotten a good feel for the city/town.

so with nothing left to do in all of biloxi, first thing saturday morning, we took off for the big easy. one nice thing about Biloxi is that it is only an hour or so away from New Orleans. it's like driving from SLC to visit my cousins in Spanish Fork. it's also only 20 mins longer than my daily commute to northern manhattan from brooklyn. (it feels longer because driving is different than being driven) it's also only an hour to mobile, alabama and about 2 hours to pensacola, florida. i bet we'll be taking off most weekends to get out...

we had just missed mardi gras in NO which ended about a week ago. there were celebration beads on the streets everywhere. you can even see some beads hanging on the wire in the middle of the streets behind emily if you look closely enough.

we putzed around the city for a little awhile and had lunch at this sweet little cuban restaurant. sidenote: i really hope the cuba embargo is lifted soon. it needs to be and i can't wait to go to cuba. anyway, only on our way out of the city did we discover the french quarter. that will definitely be on top of the list when we go back. which, i think we'll be often, given the dearth of activities in biloxi.

we also found these delicious new orleans treats. basically a square type donut smothered in powdered sugar called a beignet. sooo good. almost worth the trip itself.

there isn't a whole lot else to report from our little scouting trip. it was only an extended weekend and there wasn't much going on in those parts. we did manage to find some good little nuggets of entertainment.

photo round-up:

monster truck rally. (we def need to find a nearby NASCAR event to attend while we live in the south.)

the beach in biloxi is pretty nice. it's not hawaii. but it's nice enough. and since it's the gulf and there are no waves, it's perfect for relaxing and floating on those rad inflatable one-man mattress type thingies. we almost got an apartment just across the way from the beach, but didn't want to live in a dive...

so. when i was little i used to collect hard rock cafe glasses, aspen, LA, orlando are just a few of my awesome collection. seeing that hard rock cafe is one the nicest dining establishments around in Biloxi, i resumed my collecting this weekend adding Biloxi to the exclusive list. emily and i both got smoothies that included getting our own hurricane glasses.

here is a picture of emily being the hardest rocker she knows how to be:

and lastly. i can't wait to get my hair cut here.

all in all it was a pretty decent weekend. i think this year in mississippi is going to, um..., well i'm not actually sure. it could be very long. it could be very dull. it could be awesome. it could be packed with fun weekend get-aways. it could be a lot of things. it will definitely not be new york city. and i guess emily and i have to come to terms with that sooner or later...


ron said...

Peter, your description of your trip was fascinating. Our conversation on the telephone seem to describe A much more slow pace and boring life. Considering all the activities you describe it looks like your next three months after you move their will be planned. Let me know what the dental clinic looked like. And also, let me know if you find some jumbo shrimp. Love,dad

Jill said...

Oh, what will you do when you are no longer "New Yorkers?"

What did you think of the monster truck rally?

What did you think of the ward?

Tell us more about your apt...

mom/shauna said...

Love the Barber Shop! You will have so many 'new' experiences that you be sharing the rest of your lives. I predict the year will go faster than you think...given the new adventures, culture, people etc.
Yes, I want to hear about the ward etc. Welcome back to NYC.

embily said...

jill, in answer to your questions:
1) we will become connoisseurs of fast food restaurants
2) long haired men, tatoos, beers, and fist pumps. need i say more?
3) the ward was very friendly. we felt very welcome there, and i think we will definitely meet some nice, sincere people. and hopefully some good friends too! it's a pretty big ward with a lot of young families and little kids, so i think it will be lots of fun.
4) we found a nice, new, 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in a big gated complex. i especially like the kitchen because it has an island :) but there will definitely be tons of space for all of our visitors!!! (hint, hint)

biloxi is an interesting place, and i think it may take some getting used to, but i'm sure we'll have a good time down there. it's crazy how much the military is a part of daily life there. at least 10 people thanked peter for his service and mentioned they have family in the armed services. oh, and they're all super friendly. at hard rock the host guessed that peter is in (or will be)the military, that we're newly weds and non-smokers. i just thought that was kind of funny . . . :)

paul said...

Southern states are definitely a world of their own. I know you'll let go and enjoy the people and a slower pace. Maybe a time to take up some new hobbies? Like collecting more glasses.

The beach sounds nice...

So you did settle on an apartment? It is fun when you have a place to picture.

paul said...

Oh, that was me... amy...

Nick said...

Fist pumps are cool everywhere.

I'm going to try and make it down sometime next fall.

Isn't there a NASCAR track in pensicola?

Jill said...

This morning at breakfast we were talking about the different holidays that we celebrate each month. I mentioned April Fools Day for April and Jane replied, "remember last year Peter played a joke on you and said he was getting married?" Good little memory eh? Hmmm, what jokes will be pulled this year?

petey said...

i can't believe jane remembered that.

are you and steven gonna teach the little ones to pull pranks on each other this year?

Jill said...

The kids are already practicing. Today their pranks sounded something like, "My name is Martha Banana! Ha ha, I fooled you!" We'll work on it. :)