My first couple of days here in Maine. It’s been a surreal experience to see this many mountains.
Took a detour and landed somewhere in Canada. Ending up spending the night in Quebec City.
My first day in Maine was me sleeping. The drive was brutal and if it weren’t for Binge Mode: Harry Potter, I probably would have crashed at hour 17. Instead, I made the trip in 26 hours and slept away on Friday.
A cool thing that happened to me on my trip was stopping at a Bojangles in Tennessee. Nothing special about that restaurant. I wanted to see a Tennessee classic in action. It was the manager who changed the restaurant chain.
We went through the normal polite banter while he was helping me and I told him a little about what I was doing. Next thing I know, I was about to start eating and he joins me.
He begins to tell me about his life. 72 years old, in and around Air Force bases throughout America. He then told me to visit with an artist in Knoxville. Tell Rochelle that you know Paul, she will know what to do.
Five minutes later into the conversation, he tells me that she is his wife. He waits and explains. Her art is currently in the Vatican, she was the first solo female artist for the Olympics in the 80’s, and has done multiple sets of Olympics both winter and summer.
My jaw slowly dropped as he continued giving me her past art history.
“Well, heck, when you go see her, give her a call. I will let her know to set something aside for you. You just remind me of her and she would go bonkers just meeting you. A young lady traveling like you, it’s something she would do.”
The drive after that, was pretty standard. Drove through mountains then cities then mountains again.
On Friday, getting closer to the Rangeley Inn, the streets turned to 35 mph and winded in around each other. It took a couple hours in the foothills and mountains of Northern Maine before I arrived. But not before seeing a “Moose Crossing” sign. An icon to me now.
Welcome to Rangeley, a town of 2 stop lights and known for the the landscape. Later I would find out that Stephen King has a house somewhere near here (*insert hyperventilation*).
The second I arrived, my head hit the pillow and took a nap. Woke up to talk to Travis, the owner of Rangeley Inn.
I have never met an owner of an inn but I did not expect someone who looks like he just stepped off a trail somewhere in California. Complete with the easy going nature, my temporary boss gave me my schedule. A quick tour and I ran back to bed.
Today, we woke up late and went to The Pharmacy Museum in downtown New Orleans. High key, this is the best bang for your buck when talking about New Orleans museum.
After finishing up my work and getting ready to leave on Saturday, I decided to go to the French Quarter to photograph Southern Decadence.
I was out taking photos and this dude started talking to me (check out photos here).
He was not visibly drunk or hitting on me. He told me he was a tour guide with a Cajun accent and his beard did not wrap around his chin. In other words, he looked completely harmless.
This complete stranger asked if he could show me around, with him being a tour guide, I figured I would learn something. He settled in for following me while I took my pictures and pointing at things. Once again, my red flag of supposed womanly intuition did not raise. We were in extreme public and he had yet to even try to touch me.
An hour into our exploration of drunken bodies and alcohol, he had to leave. I thought that was it, but instead he asked for a hug.
It seemed like an acceptable motion between two strangers.
He pulled me in and when I tried to back away, his hand gripped my back. Next thing I know, his head is angling and his eyes close. Again, I try to back away but his grip tightens and he kisses me. My face froze and I just took it.
I’m not sure if it was the shock factor that I did not automatically knee him in his groin but all I did was push him away with force. I turned and walked away as fast as I could while trying to keep what little dignity I felt I didn’t have.
The kiss happened without warning, without me giving any inclination that I wanted him to feel me up. It just happened.
So I had my most uncomfortable and unnecessary kiss of my life in New Orleans.
I ran to Cafe Du Monde after that. I hate men.
At Cafe Du Monde, I ended up hanging out with a local man. He was singing on the side of the street and told me about his life.
He was a choir singer at a local New Orleans church but lost his house (I think from Katrina but he was talking so fast, I may not have got it right).
But he sang me church songs, while I sat there getting fat with my beignets.
The beginning of the French Quarter was awkward and filled with stupid horniness and ended with me meeting an interesting man who could sing with all his heart.
I am of firm belief that New Orleans is one crazy, weird city.