Today is my 25th birthday, and I'm pretty busy up here in Maine going on kayak expeditions, navigating 6-foot swells in the motorboat, eating seafood and lying around luxuriously with two of my best friends, Georgia and Julia. So this post will be photo-heavy. I just wanted to get caught up on the second half of my trip down to New Orleans.
As I came across the interstate bridge into New Orleans, I noticed an abandoned theme park - an old Six Flags, it turns out - stark against the sky.
From there I drove straight to Meredith's school to meet her, and spent some time there over the next couple days helping out in the classroom. I even got assigned the making of the "Reading Marathon" bulletin board. Here are some shots from around the school.
And this is the outside of the school they'll eventually be moving into, with the Superdome in the background.
The foliage in New Orleans has a peculiar kind of fruit hanging from the branches...
Here's my compassionate, intelligent, driven friend Meredith, in front of her house.
For better or worse, I don't have much else to show you from New Orleans - a handful of film shots, but I didn't take any shots in my driving around the lower 9th or the rest of the city. It felt obvious not to. We can talk about that later...
I headed back north on Saturday afternoon, and stopped for dinner at my favorite road restaurant.
On the trip back, I spent the night in Atlanta where my friend Fred, who's an excellent photographer and whom I've known since I was 14, lives with his sister Besha, her husband Ryan, and their little boy, Felix. We had a great night catching up, and played with Felix in the back yard in the morning before I left.
(For some reason when turned upside down, Felix felt it necessary to sing his ABC's. I don't know why he made this connection to being upside-down, but he did it every time.)
Next came one of my favorite parts of the whole trip: a Georgia flea market that kept me entertained for an hour and a half.
(Click on the picture below to fully appreciate the t-shirt on the left.)
Then it was back to North Carolina, where I spent several wonderful days with my family and with Matt, who flew down in time to see a break in the horrible drought. When the rain hit we'd just raced by car to the middle of a huge field near my farm, and ran around shrieking in the fat rain like little kids. We got completely drenched. It was one of the happiest moments I've had in years.
(No, he's not naked.)
And now here I am, on my 25th birthday with two of my favorite people in the world.
I am a wildly lucky person.
I am aware of this.