New Orleans, Lousiana. A city of history, magic, and creativity and one of my most anticipated stops of the trip. “In New Orleans, our service is hospitality. If we don’t host you well, you don’t return and we don’t eat,” a New Orleans Native & Tour Guide tells a group of tourists on a cemetery tour. Join me as I retell two of the most liberating and exciting days of my life where I explore The French Quarter and more in New Orleans!
A Pirate Life For Me
As I step into the tepid evening air in front of the New Orleans Sheraton Hotel, I feel so much moisture. Wall sconces entrancing my brain, making me think of pirate life, taverns, and history. The French Quarter, or “Old Square”, is located on the banks Mississippi River. Welcome to New Orleans, established by the French in 1718. Check out my first reactions in the video below!
Who dared paint a piano? A baby grand, at that? Judgment pierced through my inner musician as I walked through the swirling doors of the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Mesmerized, I walked straight to the Steinway masterpiece, luggage still in hand. This piano “BLUE” me away! The closer I got, the more curious I became. To learn more on the history of the piano or how the Blue Dog art was inspired, check Wendy Rodrigue’s article Blue Dog: In The Beginning!
The French Quarter
Both Spanish and French influence is found on every corner in The French Quarter! Some of the Spanish Calle tiles (see photos below), are over a century old! According to history, a special font was used to create the street tiles found in New Orleans. Much of the French influence was lost in the Great Fires of 1788 and 1794 and Spanish-Collonial style took over in it’s place.
One of the most beautiful buildings I saw during my short stay in Lousiana was the historical landmark, the Hotel Monteleone. Steeped in family tradition, this hotel passed through five generations of Monteleone’s to become what it is today! So many distinguished authors stayed at this hotel, it was named “official literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association. [Two other hotels in] New York are the only other hotels in the United States that share this honor,” (HotelMonteleone.com, 2021).
Need to know more about New Orleans? There is no way I absorbed enough at first glance, either! Check out History of New Orleans as soon as you have a chance for a concise and heartfelt story of The Crescent City and how, against so many odds, the city is thriving today! Join me in my next article as I visit a cemetery at midnight, walk Bourbon street and try Alligator wings! Adventure with me at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!
Join me as I share my first steps of “16 States in 16 Days”!
My heart raced, I was about to begin a trek of thousands of miles away from my home state in just twenty-four hours. Up to that point, there had been zero fear in that journey, except the goal was to stay with family in Illinois at the end of it. My life would be forever changed in a few weeks and I wanted to do it right so, I asked friends for help on my journey. It is a long drive back home from Illinois to California driving solo, so it was decided I would return to California after dropping off my belongings in Illinois. It is an easy train ride to Illinois when I was ready. The plans were made, the destinations set. It was time to step out in the world.
One thing I would like to mention, travel changes you. Your perspective about the way the world works and where you fit in it begins to shift. These moments of growth are incredibly scary and sometimes painful. There are moments you look back at your past self, thoughts, comments made to others, and realize how uninformed you were at the time. You may even feel dumb, disappointed, or upset at how you handled past instances. When that moment happens, stop and applaud your current self. “Hindsight is always 20/20”, I’ve been told when stewing over a past moment and wondering at the post-event clarity. Once a government employee where privacy meant safety and growing up in a cult that didn’t allow social media, I am now allowed to share my life online in a way I never have. Every time I hit, “Publish” on any platform, it is nerve-wracking. However, in a year from now, I want to look back at this moment and catalog the growth, as if marking my height as a child on the inside of a doorway at home. As my post and journey become more personal, and I share these moments, feel free to do the same! It is all about progress, not perfection!
And We’re Off!
Friday, June 12th, 2021, 7 PM PST arrived and we were on the road. With the plan to be at the Grand Canyon on Saturday, we decided to spend the first night sleeping in the car at a halfway point. The map was set, leading us to a rest stop in Arizona with an anticipated arrival time of 12:54 PM. One fast food stop later and odd conversations, such as deciding to be a Drunk Unicorn for the next Halloween party, carried us through the 410 miles to the Haviland Rest Area. A huge thank you to my co-pilot and friend, @MadHatterMikie, who took the first driving shift of the trip after a full 8-hour work day so I could record the first stage of the trip! With the sounds of semi-truck engines on all night (with sleeping drivers inside or not, I am not sure), I drifted off to a dreamless sleep for the first night of my road trip, happy to be in another state and not worried about the odd seat angle at all. Check out clips of the night-drive and sunrise @ThereGoesSaraRose online!
Haviland Rest Area, Arizona
Sleeping in a car when the backseat is full of personal belongings getting moved, means you get very little sleep. I suddenly cared a lot about my sleeping position through the night, LOL! I enjoyed the attempt at roughing it, but get me a tent instead any day! When on a road trip, most are probably not moving things across the country, “It isn’t normally this much of a problem, you brought a guitar,” I remind myself. Getting to see the sunrise against a clear, blue sky was a GREAT way to start the trip! As a recommendation, get as many sun shades as you can if staying at a rest area. I was surprised how bright everything was at night (see photo below)! Plan to wake up early as well, it was 109°F / 43°C by 7:40 AM!
The first rest stops on a major highway or interstate seem to have much more information about the state as shown here! Not every rest stop will have similar amenities (and some will have much more) so plan accordingly! We also took a flat of water and kept it in the trunk and it came in so handy! Drink water often, especially in the desert areas of the United States, you can end up dehydrated faster than you anticipated. A gift for future journeys, we also brought along a large, spiral-bound book of maps of the USA. Although mobile maps run on GPS, there were a handful of times tech failed me and a real map was required. As the trip was marked in the book prior, it made finding the next turn a breeze! I also marked each page with a sticky note and the name of the state, you never know when you need fast information!
Historic Route 66
Pictures taken, rested and refreshed with body wipes, we began the next leg of the trip. As planned, we diverted off the Interstate and planned to stop at towns along Historic Route 66. From my research alone, there would be so may interesting things to see! There was no way I could include everything about our first day on Historic Route 66 in one post so stay tuned for more on my AMAZING trip, “16 States in 16 Days”!
There Goes Sara Rose Podcast mini series is out soon! An audio tale of my journeys and the reason for todays delayed and shorter post. I am very excited to bring this mini series to you, recorded by ME! Stayed tuned for more details and share your favorite podcasts with us for inspiration! I am hoping to have all the current post turned into podcasts by the end of this week, depends on how my voice does! Would love your ideas and feedback on the project, see you all soon!
Can’t get enough of the TGSR Community? Game with us during Family-friendly game night at Twitch.tv/NerdGlassesLLC and interact with the live stream from your mobile device, computer or tablet!
Hello to the amazing reader who is here for adventure, art, and learning! Introduce yourself in the comment section below and where you are in the world! Setting out on a new path in life can feel very difficult, especially in the early stages. However, the excitement of discovery MUST outweigh the apprehension; we must break out of our shells to metamorphosis into what we can become! At current, I’ve only been on the West coast of North America, there is quite a bit that is going to shock me in my travels. In addition, I cannot stop painting if I tried, it will always be a part of how I tell my story. So here I am, sharing the travels and art created, inspired by what I research, learn and see. We each have a different outlet that needs to breathe when a fire is lit within us. I urged you to REACH for your fire and stir it with every bit of energy and passion you can muster. There is a drive within each of us that, when shared with others, seems to inspire them to make a positive change in their own lives. Share your story as well! The path I described as new, difficult, a change, and scary? This is my path. We must see the world as it is, how it was, and return good back into it. Are you ready? Let us escape, learn and create!
“This is a story of learning to navigate the rising tides of life, which cannot be done from the shore; We must become the captain of our own seas.”
One thing I must share, do not mistake me for a tumbleweed, blowing in the wind without direction. This is a story of learning to navigate the rising tides of life, which cannot be done from the shore; We must become the captain of our own seas. I quit my job in August 2019 to focus on switching careers after working 10-years in what felt to be a dead-end government job, I just walked out. I petitioned to take extra classes at school and graduated Manga Cum Laude, a baccalaureate in Multimedia Development and Design in April 2020. What is a degree in multimedia you ask? A program that teaches you just enough in the field of game, VR & web design & development, photography, and videography to make you understand how little you know about content creation. I began my Master’s Degree in May 2020 and started creating online content. I did not expect how much it would change me and the school-project-turned-business becomes my focus most of 2020 to early 2021, to the point that I forgot to have fun with my passions. I was just making the best of the situation, not the best for me. Life-altering events made me realize how short life can really be. The world is not going to find me, I must go see the world; I must make this happen for myself, now!
Why are YOU here?
Share your thoughts as we search for COLOR, FOOD, NATURE, HISTORY, ARCHITECTURE, NEW TECHNOLOGY, and FREEDOMOF EXPRESSION! Let us shock our senses, bask in the beauty of an early sunrise, breathe in mountain-top air after miles of hiking and then create what our heart and mind have gleaned from the experience. Please feel free to share your adventures and creations as this site and community grows! On this exploration, we will meet friends, old and new. We will learn things that will forever change how we think and speak. We will laugh at my mistakes (I am a HOT MESS!) and learn to laugh at ourselves, all while traveling and painting. I am a helper, but I need to help myself first…truly learn before I can really help others. If you are ready for this, become a part of the journey by participating in any of my media outlets to get the most of each expedition, whether about travel, art, or the tools we are using to bring you the content!
Artists may express through their creation, however, YOU get to be a part of the very moments of idea-inception to finished product, from wonder to enlightenment! Get ready to join the voyage to expand our brains here at, There Goes Sara Rose!
P.S. I connected with readers before ThereGoesSaraRose.com went live, here: “Dear Adventurers”, (Part 1).