Road Trippin’ With RaeBean

RaeBean (Rachael) and myself had planned on leaving Gainesville, FL around 3pm Thursday. We are both go with the flow to the max, we left at 2am Friday morning. Right when we started driving we decided that we would stop whenever either of us felt like it, and we would get to DC when we got there. We were on the road maybe an hour before we made our first detour. RaeBean saw a sign for Jackle Island and gave me a quick back drop. Apparently sometime back a hurrican ripped through uprooting lots of palm trees and placing them on a beach down the way. The trees are supposed to be huge and now petrified. She explained it was a awesome scene and asked if I wanted to check it. Hell ya I do! We detoured, and got some what lost. Not really though because it is a giant loop and you can’t really get lost, we just never found the beach. This place is straight out of a scary movie. Two lane road, not street lights so it’s pitch black, and really ominous trees that hang over the road forming a natural tunnel. We saw multiple vermin running across the road, dying to be splattered under RaeBean’s speeding tires. We laughed off the 45 minute detour and got back on track. We drank coffee, traded stories, and rocked out as I played youtube DJ. Around 5:30am neither of us could keep our eyes open for another moment. We pulled into a truck stop and found the darkest spot, dropped the seats back as far as they could go and had a snooze fest.
I woke up around 9:30am and started poking Rae, to make myself laugh as well as get things moving. We got some gas and got back to it. At this point we are, according to google maps 6 hours away. Side note, another awesome part to the south, there are firework stands everywhere! Glad I didn’t have any cash because I would have probably lit the sky and the forest on fire with a flurry of explosions reminiscent of a combat zone. After driving through beautiful South Carolina for sometime we began to see signs for Pedro’s restaurant. Dude! Pedro is a marketing fool!!!! Every ten miles for literally 100 miles there was a sign for Pedro’s. by the time you reach the exit for Pedro’s there is NO POSSIBLE WAY YOU CAN NOT STOP! I was not prepared for what I saw when we pulled off. Pedro’s was not only a a restaurant but a entire mile strip of random shops. It was like a twilight zone interpretation of Tijuana, Mexico. It was sensory over load with rainbow stripped Zebras, green spotted giraffes, and two story gorillas. I made up a story in my mind of a pour immigrant coming to South Carolina opening a small restaurant and turning into a tourism mogul. Google shattered that dream. It was created by a dude named Allan Schafer. We walked around a bit and decided since it was hot, and we were on limited sleep; that we were going to break into “Pedro’s” cabana style hotel and have a swim. The pool was epic! It was in a huge geometric glass dome. The pool felt great, and even more awesome due to the fact that we weren’t supposed to be there. We swam a bit and got back on the road. Entering the on ramp we crossed into North Carolina.
The rest of the drive was filled with beautiful open fields with amazing farm houses. I am a city boy I have only seen this type of scenery in movies. I could easily see myself spending a portion of my life in one of those farm homes out in the middle of no where. Spending my days working my land producing food for my family and friends, and hunting with my dog. I will keep dreaming until I make it a reality.
That six hours at 9:30 am turned into 11 hours landing in DC close to 9pm. Rae an I did not have a care in the world and were fully enjoying taking in the moment, moment by moment. Hands down one of the best road trips of my life! I am so thankful for that opportunity! I am so thankful for you RaeBean!!!!!! Till the next adventure…
I will be posting the DC adventure tomorrow evening. I LOVE YOU ALL WITH ALL MY HEART, AND I AM EXTREMELY GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SHARED THIS ADVENTURE/SOUL JOURNEY WITH ME!!!!!!
I AM ON THE CHINATOWN BUS ABOUT TWO HOURS OUTSIDE NYC!!!!!! STOKED!!!! LOVE!!!!

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The Delivery of My First Speech

Last night at main circle I have shattered another fear and moved one step closer to achieving my dreams. I wrote and delivered my first speech in font of a large group. Today marks me being on the road for 100 days! I have been living in the woods now for 14 straight days. The perspective that this experience has brought to my life has changed me forever and further propelled me towards fulfilling a portion of my life’s purpose. I have never felt more in tune with who I am, my abilities/gifts to share with the world, and how blessed I have been and continue to receive. In the first portion I speak about a feather. When there are issues that need to be brought to the table, council is called. During council every single person has the opportunity to voice their opinion. A feather gets passed around the council fire. Who ever has that feather is the only one who should be talking and everyone else should be listening and analyzing. It is such a beautiful concept that brings about great discussion, an eventually a resolution. What follows this sentence is the first speech I have delivered. Enjoy and please feel free to comment and add your ideas. I love you all. Thank you for reading!

Since I arrived on the First of March, I have remained in most part a silent observer. I have learned that when you are actually listening you are able to pick up on the messages that are being fed to you. When you try and speak like you know everything it is no longer a conversation; because while the other person is trying to talk to you, you are thinking of what response to fire off next. I think that the feather concept of council is incredible. And if people valued and respected it everyone would learn a lot more. The Rainbow family as well as the rest of the world could benefit from the great change from speaker to active listener. I truly hope and desire for all people to challenge themselves to be a listener and a student hungry for knowledge.
On the flip side of that, I want to practice and express my gift with you. And that gift is my words. With my words I am fulfilling a portion of my life’s purpose. Around the age of 13 I began to develop a desire to change the world around me. I have met incredible people along my life journey. People who have opened my eyes and exposed me to the reality I know see. We all know about the negativity that surrounds us. We all know about that there is corruption and horrible things occurring daily around the world. For a good portion of my life I thought, “I am only one person. The government an the world is so huge. What can little ol’ me possibly do to change the negative to positive? How can little ol’ me stand against the corruption an horrible things going on around the world?” Through my journey on my life’s path I have picked up many lessons that have led me to my answer. It has culminated with one powerful quote! ” Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Ghandi To me that is a loud and clear call to lead by example. To aspire to be the greatest me I can be. To aspire towards always remaining in a state of positivity. To show every being I encounter the love and respect that I desire. I by no means have this mastered ; but I am actively trying to grow and NEVER stop learning. I have made a commitment to MYSELF to shine the light that burns eternally within my soul. And I promise to share that with the entire world. It is my opinion that we are all KINGS and QUEENS of the Universe; so long as you are willing to accept that. We are all equal and we all have the ability to achieve higher consciousness if you actively pursue it. We all have our own gifts and light to this life, please do not mask yours. It is there within you, I promise! All of us are here in Rainbow land because we desire change in the world and within ourselves. We all desire love, acceptance from our peers, and respect. I think that is why we call everyone our family. That is why we exchange long heart pressed hugs, an tell each other,”I love you.” I have never felt more at peace with myself. I find myself in a state of pure bliss filled with smiles. I am actively trying to live in the moment without want or need for anything else. I am learning so much through this beautiful experience with each and everyone one of you. I love you and I am in love with this gift we acknowledge as life!

Loving You

Today I was overcome with utter joy for life. My current surroundings, the giving and receiving of smiles/hugs, and sounds are magic fuel that ignite my soul. Taking time to stop and listen as the breeze flows through the trees from the north and sweeps beautiful sounds south. At night it is pitch black until the moon comes into view. And when it does, it lights up the white sand path I am traveling on. The trees reach to the sky trying to block it out; but ever now and again there is a clearing, and you can see endless brightly shining stars. Every camp has a fire raging and great great people laughing and talking. The fires are incredible spectacles to stare at and lose track of your thoughts…
Bear Necessities camp if fully set up! We have finished digging our giant fire pit, built our stove, and organized the over all operations. There are two kinds of people here at Rainbow Gathering. Those who are here by choice and those who see it as a easy option to get free food and take advantage. The positivity by far trumps the negative. I have taken a lead by example way of thinking. I am going to bust my ass, every task that needs a volunteer, I hop on it. We always need a ton of wood for the kitchen and evening fires. It is actually pretty therapeutic for me. I venture deep into the woods off the beaten path and search for old dry logs, and then try and find my way back. I make it a challenging game. Each time I will try and find a bigger log and then challenge myself not to stop or switch arms until I make it back to camp. I am trying to motivate people to help out and get involved in what this is truly meant to be about, family and love. It is based on the concept that you always want to do your best to help your family in any way you can. Everyone has their own skill set, and if they bring that to the table then we make shit happen . And then we all have time to hang out, relax with new friends, and make music. Tonight I am calling my first council with everyone at the camp. I want to speak to them and move their hearts in such away that we all come together to accomplish and enjoy. I am really excited about that.
Main circle has started and it is a magical place of energy and love. It is two mile walk on long winding paths deep into the woods. When you arrive, you walk into a HUGE clearing where we dug a 250′ in diameter (rough guesstimate) trench with a giant volcano looking mound in the middle to place the fire atop. A large portion of the people in the woods from various camps all migrate to main circle around sunset. When all of the kitchen camps have arrived everyone yells, “Circle up!” We all hold hands and do a mantra chant. It is so electric! You can feel so much energy surrounding us. Someone will usual speak and give a positive message, and then everyone sits in the circle and the kitchens go around feeding everyone; so beautiful and inspiring. Tonight is my biggest challenge yet as a cook. I am in charge of tonights main circle meal, representing Bear Necessities. I have never coked for more then 8 people before, I am stoked!!!! After everyone has finished there food, the drums kick in. I have been blessed to hear some insanely talented musicians. Everyone hangs out for a few hours making new friends and talking about whatever moves you at the moment. The emotion and connection I have experienced over the last few days is like nothing I have ever felt before. I take time to sit with myself just so I can be with my thoughts and fully acknowledge everything I am feeling and learning. My love for this life continues to grow exponentially. And countless blessings continue to flow my way. I highly recommend everyone attend and truly be a part of the Rainbow Gathering. They are held all over the world. I am going to make my way to every single countries Gathering throughout my life time. More follow within the next few days. I am heading to Miami to meet some friends I have not seen in a few years, going to be an amazing reunion. I am trying to get a ticket to Ultra Music Festival for the weekend of the 22nd. They are sold out, which doesn’t mean anything because I have nit cash to my name. Anyways, if anyone knows anyone who might be able to get me a ticket please let me know. I am willing to work for them. I have a large spectrum of skill set. I would be willing to volunteer helping out in anyway I can. Everyone, I encourage you to check me out on Face book. I post a lot of pictures there an it is a great way for us to connect and become involved. please pass on to your friends and family.Click the link and send me a friend request! http://m.facebook.com/login.php?refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F&refid=8#!/matthew.hernandez.376043?__user=1278487002 world is my family and I love you all. Everyone desires love, understanding, and someone to make you feel special. I am that person and I want to spread that to as many people possible world wide. I love you all, thank you for taking time out of you day to read my thoughts and emotions. All together we are complete, food for thought! LOVE!

Sporadic Food for Your Thoughts

Sitting here vexed and utterly perplexed by the current state of the world.
Every corner has it’s own religion and beliefs.
If you look closely they all speak of the same thing.
The source for all living and that is Love!
All of the Gods above looking down wondering, why?
Why do they not get it? We have integrated this emotion into each and everyone.
That is how you and I begun.
Mommy and Daddy whether divorced or together created us in that.
That, is LOVE which connected them together, even if just for a moment in time. And when their genes melded, you and I came to be.
Why? I ask WHY is it so hard to make this no longer a belief rather, for us, make it the only way to be.
Another man claims land for his own, he is willing to invade to stake that claim.
This earth belongs to no one. It is a gift that we were meant to share.
People stare across a fence, a imaginary line to keep them out.
I say imaginary because some other man imagined that idea.
I purpose a new idea. An idea that makes us truly free.
Erase those lines which you can not see.
Allow people just to be FREE!
Go where your heart desires whenever you choose.
By allowing a small group of men and women to make decisions on our behalf, we lose half our freedom.
How many people are actually for war?
How many know the true reasons behind these wars and sit back silent as the world crumbles around us.
Allowing small groups of men and women to tell us who and who isn’t dangerous.
Are you basing your ideas on theirs?
Are you basing your ideas off emotion or fact?
By not questioning or standing up for ourselves we remain sheep in their pastures.
A herd is a lot easier to manage and control; but a group of wild animals is free to roam!
Are you truly free? or is that something you force yourself to believe so that when you lay your head at night you are able to sleep.
When you are living just to work and you are working just to survive, who are you working for?
Food for thought. LOVE!

What A Open Heart Can Bring to Your Life

  At this portion of my journey my legs are getting pretty strong, and my 70 lb bag doesn’t feel like 70 lbs anymore. When I got out of Ms. Williams car I put it in my mind that I was going to clear 20 miles before I even thought about looking for a place to set up camp. I also put it in my mind that when I got across the bay I was going to start looking for a fishing boat to work on. I have never been deep sea fishing before and I want to learn more about the ocean. Some day when I settle down and have a family I want to be able to provide for them using my hands and cunning whether that be hunting, or if we are by water I want to be able to bring them a meal from that. I told myself that I was going to make it happen and I smiled because I knew it was going to happen. I walked for a bit on the Eastern Shore Trail and then hopped back on Interstate 10 to walk on the Bay Way bridge. Probably one of the sketchiest portions of the 10 I have been on. The shoulder is pretty narrow and on the other side of that wall is a 20 ft drop to the bay, I believe it is about ten miles long. I got maybe seven miles across and Woody Walker pulls over for me. I hop in the car and he says, “Hey man, I can take you to the other side of the bridge.” I reply, “That would be awesome, I really appreciate it.” We get to talking and I tell him about my idea to get on a fishing boat. No sooner can I ask if he knows anyone, he has his phone out and tells me he is about to call the best captain in all of the gulf. I am shocked! I just put this in my mind an hour ago and now someone is calling to see if he can get me on a boat. That is just how this trip is going, I am meeting all the right people and my minds ability to attract the things I desire is beyond me.

  Well, Woody taking me to the other side of the bridge turns into him telling me that he was on his way to his house for a moment and if I wanted I can go there freshen up and he will take me back to the highway when he leaves in a bit. He had to head out to Mississippi to pick up a new oven for his restaurant  We get back to his house and we are talking about travels he has been on and telling him about my adventure. He tells me that if I want I can mow his lawn and he can shoot me some cash to help me out. I tell him I don’t need any money, but that I have been craving pizza and beer. He replies,”Consider it done.” He tells me that he has to take off but I can mow the lawn and then take a shower and he will be back in a few hours. Someone was borrowing Woody’s lawn mower so we had to go to his neighbor Willie to borrow his. Woody gives him a quick explanation of who I am and Willie asks if I can mow his front yard as well. Of course I can sir. 

    Throughout the time I am mowing the yards Willie comes out to check on me and at one point he hands me a $20 bill. I tell him that I am doing it out of the kindness of my heart and that I can not take his money. He looks me in the eye and says,”If I didn’t want to give it to you I would not have offered it.” After I finish I come in Woody’s place take a quick shower and then hop on his computer so I can catch up on the blog. During the time I am writing Willie comes in and offers me a beer. When he brings it back and I tell him after I am done if he wants some company I will come over and tell him all about my journey. Willie is 81 years young and I can tell off the bat he has a huge heart and a lot of life wisdom.

   Later that evening I headed over to Willies and I am greeted with another beer and a big smile. At one point Willie says he is gonna give Woody a call and see where he is at. Woody got caught up and was still a few hours out. Willie tells me he wants to take me out for a drive to check out some places that most tourist don’t get to see. Who in their right mind is going to pass that up? We head out and get to a beautiful town called Fair Hope. The streets are lined with lighted trees and beautiful flower beds. The neighborhood is very similar to Carmel, Ca, and every house has it’s own uniqueness. You can feel that a lot of creative people live there. At the end of the town out on the bay is the Grand Hotel, Willie tells me we are gonna stop off and have a beer. This is one of the most interesting gentlemen I have ever met in my life. The stories he has and the places he has been are incredible. At one point we both agree that it feels like we have known each other all of our lives. Here we are with a pretty good size gap in age, complete strangers a few hours ago and now we are at a nice bar talking about life and brand new friends. I will never forget that night.

  Like I mentioned earlier Woody owns a few restaurants in downtown Mobile, the Bicycle Shop which is a awesome bar serving great Mexican food and next door to that is his steak house Union. Over the next few days Woody opened his home to me, fed me super good food, and got me shit faced drunk. The adventures we had together were freakin’ awesome. This gentleman doesn’t know me; but opens his home, trust me alone while he goes out and handles his business. I did’t tell him but he reminds me a lot of my uncle Bud, and it goes a lot further than them being white and southern boys. One of the best men I have ever met in my life, always has a smile on his face and will talk your ear off. The way that Woody goes about this life is second to none. He is beyond honorable, always truthful, and not afraid to tell you he has done some fucked up shit and probably might do some more before it is all said and done. That is what makes someone down to earth, not perfect and not trying or worried about it, just livin’. Woody is a entrepreneur and a man about town who has done a lot with his life, but remains humble. Every place we go someone is yelling out his name and offering to buy him a shot or a beer. I have learned a lot just from being in his presence over the last few days. He and Willie will be life long friends and I know our paths will cross multiple times before it is all said and done.

Walking in Mississippi

It was really hard to leave New Orleans, real hard. Toma told me when her and Dan picked me up, “People come here and they never leave. Don’t be surprised if it happens to you.” And again the night before I left I had a walk with Grace and she asked, “Matt, are you going to end up getting trapped here in NOLA?” A quarter of my heart was like, yea I might; but the rest said keep it movin’. I was supposed to ride out with Renee’ when she headed for Florida, but she caught a bug and was feeling under the weather. I was starting to get antsy. I think it was Thursday, not sure, lost track of what day it is a long time ago. It has become completely irrelevant to me. Anyways, that morning I woke up early because Tiffany (a friend I made through Renee’) was going to take me to sacred space and do a clearing of the blockages affecting my chakras. I have been looking for a spiritual person to do this for a long time and it was finally happening. I was way more excited then I let on. As soon as I walked into sacred space my body felt light and my head felt tingly. I laid down on the table and opened my heart and mind. I had know idea what I was in for. There was no words exchanged and every place she touched I felt something that was beyond me. There was a point when she touched my stomach and I could feel something being pulled out of me. After she was done I laid there for awhile and just felt completely light as a feather. I tried to sit up at one point and had to lay back down because there was a huge surge of energy to my head, hard to put the experience into words to be honest, really doesn’t do it justice. We drove back to Renee’s and had breakfast and I began to pack. It was a sad time for me. The whole time I was just recapping mental images of the days prior, the conversations, the people, the experiences. I will never forget my first Mardi Gras. 

  Trent, Macy Claire(Trent’s pooch), and myself hop in the truck and get ready to head for the Mississippi border. On our way we made a detour and drove through the portion of the 9th ward where Brad Pitt had built some awesome solar homes. The designs kept the feel of a New Orleans neighborhood but were a bit futuristic at the same time. The different shapes and angles that the houses protruded where really cool. Why he called it the Brad Pit “Project” is beyond me. It seems like that specific word would be left out. Trent and I got back on interstate 10 and headed east. Once we got to the border of Mississippi Trent pulled over we both got out exchanged bear hugs and said good bye. I hopped on the highway and started walking. It is much like the highway in Louisiana, lots of lush dense woods on both sides of the highway and because it has been a exceptionally wet winter the woods look almost like a swamp with water surrounding the woods floor. I knew I had a long walk ahead of me so I cleared my mind and tried to settle into the trip. The surge of energy during the clearing with Tiffany had taken a lot out of me. By the time I started walking it was already about 3pm. I knew I wanted to clear at least five miles before I started looking for a place to set up camp. As i felt myself getting more and more tired i began to look to the side of the highway to look for a clearing in the woods where I could set up. After awhile I came up on a bush that almost reached out to the road and when i walked beyond it there was a clearing. Perfect, it concealed me from cops view and was enough clearing to pitch my tent. I took my pack off and sat in the grass glad to be resting. There was still about 45 minutes left until it was dark so I pulled out the note book out and started jotting  I didn’t want to set up the tent to early and have a copper come and tell me to kick rocks. As night fell I set up crawled in the tent and munched on a few almonds and cranberries for dinner. I read a bit and decided to crawl in my bag and put on my favorite podcast Snap Judgement. If you  have not heard this yet I highly recommend it. It is story telling to a beat. People from around the world submit stories of triumph, love, defeat, ghost stories etc . Amazing and they from time to time have spoken word pieces which is a forte of mine. Anyways check it out snapjudgement.org and if you have a smart phone download the podcast “Snap Judgement”. I slept like a baby! Woke up took my time packing up and got back on the road. I cleared about ten miles and came across a bridge and to the right of that bridge was a big clearing right besides a beautiful lake. Done and Done, that feels like home. I set up my tent, dug a fire pit, gathered wood and threw my line in the lake trying to catch some dinner. I felt so peaceful and comfortable. The setting was magical. There was big trees hanging over my tent, the view from my front door was a long stretch of lack with willows on both sides and tall grass swaying in the wind. A better picture could not be imagined. As it got dark I still had not caught any fish; but I did have canned mackerel that Rudy had given me back in Jennings, La and I had some rice. This was going to be the first time I had cooked rice over a open fire. Needless to say I burnt it and the rice was mad crunchy. I was hungry as hell and I needed to replenish what I used earlier in the day. The oily mackerel made that rice bomb.com and hit the spot. I washed out my dishes with baby wipes and crawled in the tent. As soon as I laid in my bag I felt the sickness hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that the bug had jumped from Renee’ to me and there was nothing i could do about it. My body began to feel weak and and a coughing attack hit like no bodies business. When I was close to falling asleep the wind picked up. I had forgot about those trees that were above my tent and it sounded like someone or something was scratching at my tent, momentary freak out, grabbed my knife tight and got my e-trenching tool(collapsible shovel) tight and ready to knock a mother F-er out! After awhile I calmed and passed out. When I woke up in the morning I was hacking like someone who has been smoking for 50 years spewing out green gunk and feeling like I had zero energy/strength. Guess I am camping out in paradise one more day. I was in and out of naps all day. At one point I wake up and the sky is a nasty grey looking like the sky is about to dump buckets. I remember a lesson learned in the Army and I muster up the strength, pull my ass out of the tent and dig a trench around my tent so that when it dumps it will flow around me rather than through me. I figure I am good to go. No sooner am I done with the trench and it begins to rain. I crawl back in the tent and begin to read/sleep. Later in the evening it stops raining just long enough to start a fire. i had stashed some wood under the bridge earlier just in case I had the chance to make a fire and cook some rice. This time I tried a different technique with the rice cookery and was successful. It came out moist and fluffy, dumped my last can of oily tuna over that bad boy and I was feasting. I was really hungry but I know my body was fighting and I needed to fuel up. Plus the fire light made me feel good inside. After I ate I went back in the tent and started to write a bit. I quickly feel asleep to the sound of light rain on my “roof top”. That awesomeness lasted till what I am assuming to be about 3-4am. I was awakened to the sound of crashing thunder and heavy rain. I put on my head lamp and looked around the tent, it was starting to leak in certain places and the lake was actually starting to rise. My body is saying,’ awe screw it go back to bed deal with it in the morning.’ My brain is screaming, ‘Get your ass up and make some shit happen quick before you are in a world of hurt.’ I knew for a fact that the next day I would be back on the road and wet gear makes for heavy gear. I put on pants, boots and a coat and get to work. The bridge was about 25 yards from where I was camped out. I started packing quick and moving my pack under the bridge and had to go back for the tent. There is no way I am taking this tent apart to set back up again, I’m beat! I drag the tent to the bridge. Underneath this bridge is all large jagged rocks. I set the tent and empty my pack. i take all of the clothing I have which isn’t much, and I lay it where I will set my sleeping bag. I get as comfortable as I can with rocks digging everywhere and to my surprise before I know it I am asleep. There is a saying in the Army, “A good soldier will sleep anywhere and any chance he gets.” That is what I did. More to come real soon… LOVE!!!!! 

Mardi Gras, You Sweet Dirty Woman!

At the point I get that text from Renee’ I am really stoked and a bit burnt from lugging 72 lbs on my back. I am two miles out from paradise in the French Quarter! I lean forward and start putting left in front of right. I focus on amazing possibilities that lie before me. Guess what, on the very next block I look at the ground at the perfect moment… There lying on the floor just for me, is a weathered, stomped upon 20$ bill! Canal is a busy street, I am assuming even more during this time of year; but it held it’s ground waiting for me to come and scoop it up, giving it a warm home in my pocket. Needless to say that put a little pep in my step. I started moving faster towards a woman I have never met before. There is a feeling of excitement because I feel like she has something to teach me. A week prior, I had a chance encounter with Tim Savant which is Renee’s cousin. He told me to make sure to go and see her when I get to New Orleans. Tim told me she was a free spirit and a very wise woman. I contacted her on Facebook and told her a bit about myself and sent the link to my blog. It is a beautiful thing when the universe lines things up just the way they should be.
I call Renee’ to let her know I am a mile out and she tells me to grab a cab, she’s got it. I lock down a cab and I’m on my way. When I got out of the cab my eyes were smacked two times with Mardi Gras joy. Trent and Renee’ definitely have the most festive house in the French Quarter. I am sweating like I am in a sauna with trash bags on and Renee’ gives me a huge welcome hug. I shake hands with Trent and head in to set my bag down. No sooner do I drop my bag and Trent is asking me what kind of cocktail do I want. Yes! He suggest a tasty lemonade vodka drink, sold. I go back on the stoop and Renee’ and I get to talking. She has such a calming yet potent presence, I instantly feel comfortable. Trent comes back with the drink, and within four swigs I am buzzed! Hadn’t had a drink in quite some time and only had a tuna sandwich all day. I am in awe, my head is spinning from all of the beautiful sights around me. Everyone has their stoops and balconies decorated and all of the buildings take you back in time. They are all different colors, some made of brick, and some haven’t had a touch up in 50 years but are just as beautiful. Before I get too settled they tell me we are taking one tourist trip down Bourbon and heading for dinner. They live two blocks from Bourbon street but you can’t hear a peep. As soon as we walk on it is madness! Music of all kinds blasting from every which way. Everyone has a drink in their hand and being loud, as they should. We walk maybe 50 feet before I have a group of painted tits in my face. I have arrived! We cut down a side street and end up at the Erin Rose, a locals joint. They make awesome Vietnamese style Po Boys. We have a few beers and call it a night. They inform me Mardi Gras is a marathon not a sprint, and there is a long joyous road ahead.
The next morning Trent and I had chores to knock out before we could play. We worked as a team, and before we knew we were done, it was 4pm and time to crack open a beer. The stoop is a time honored tradition that I quickly took a liking to. It was as if Trent and Renee’ knew everyone in town, and the people that they didn’t they quickly drew in with their loving demeanor. Everyone that passed, old and young was greeted with a “how you doing darlin’ (beautiful southern twang)?” Or if they had a big smile or awesome costume Trent would drop, “Yea you right baby.” Quick back drop on Trent. For those of you who are familiar with the movie “The Big Lebowski” Trent is the real life “The Dude”. He will definitely be a life long brother and I look forward to our next adventure.
When evening came about everyone got ready on their own time and we headed out for Frenchman street. I highly recommend it to everyone when you make your way to New Orleans. This street is lined with great live music venues and you will get to party with real deal locals. As we make our way in I am taking everything in soaking up the moment. Out of left field Mark Green comes up to me and asks if I would like to be in his short film. I wasn’t planning on making my film debut; but what the heck. He explains the premise and five minutes later its lights camera action! I have never even thought of being in a film, but when you are open to the universe you never know what it will bring you. Mark found me on facebook and as soon as the finished product is out I will post the link. Mark thanks for helping me knock out a #bucketlist item I didn’t even know was on my list. The rest of the night cocktails and beers galore were being tossed in my direction and we danced the night away to some amazing, funky ass music. One of the best nights of my life!
I met some of the most amazing people over the course of the next few days; but there are two gentleman who stand out in particular. Lance Walker and his father Mr. Walker. These two gentleman are true blue Cajun men from the bayou. I could listen to them talk all night, and thats exactly what we did. Trent and I were back from the bar around 3a.m. and hangin’ on the stoop drunk people watching. Within a matter of moments Lance and his father walked into our life. We had heart to heart talks about the father son relationship. Their relationship reminded me a lot of me and my fathers. I hope I helped Lance realize somethings because he definitely helped me. At one point I say out loud,” damn I wish I could try some moonshine right now.” Guess what, someone walking by yells out, “I got some in the hotel room. I will be right back.” Mr. Walker, Lance, Trent and myself sat on that stoop drinking moonshine until the sun came up, laughing and carrying on like it was nobodies business. That was until Mama Walker came out, and in a beautiful cajun accent yells, ” bring your ass’ inside, now!” I am laughing right now thinking about that scene.
Over the next few days I ended up at crawfish boils thrown by strippers, private roof top parties, and running a muck in the streets of NOLA! You are gonna have to buy the book to hear about those stories… LOVE!