Day 2 The Young & Stupid? YES. Have Fun! Road Trip!:
Good grief, I can’t believe the camp gave us checks that are impossible to cash. The camp uses some small podunk middle-of-nowhere bank that check cashing places don’t trust and thus Sam and Francesco haven’t been able to cash their paychecks. We spent our morning in Houston driving around for several hours, not always in the best sides of Houston, trying to cash their checks. My bank wouldn’t let me deposit them into my account and then give them cash because I didn’t have that amount of money in my account. Basically my bank said they would cash the checks after my pay check cleared. Long story short the boys didn’t have any money until early next week and neither did I. We were now Amy’s bitches.
Thankfully our morning was splendid before all this because Amy’s dad made us breakfast, migas. YUM! It was such a thrill having real food again. We had made rough plans to meet up with one of our friends from camp, Drew, while we were in Houston. Before we saw Drew we gathered supplies for our trip which meant going to one of the worst places on earth, Walmart.It made sense to start our ‘merican road trip there but it’s usually best to avoid the whole place. Despite my personal politics I did shop at Walmart this summer while I was at camp. Because our off hours were at late hours and because HEB closes early in Kerrville, Walmart was really the only choice I had. I ended buying a digital camera since I had forgotten mine while the boys spent what felt like all day shopping for god knows what, sandals? a cell phone? Amy and I really wanted to get the hell out there since it was Walmart (see Amy’s Walmart face) and we were excited to actually leave Houston before dark.
We met up with Drew at Hermann Park where we ate “the world’s best” sliders at Little Bigs. Hermann Park is a cute area where I imagine schools come for field trips. The Houston Zoo, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Garden are all there in the medical district of southwest-central Houston, inside loop 610. We walked around for a bit. Stuck our feet in the water and watched the ducks. I wanted to feed the ducks but didn’t have any bread so I gave them what I had, Wintergreen Altoids. I’m sure the ducts are fine despite Amy’s worries that they are dead now; I’m sure they just have nicer breath now because of me. Our other friend from camp, Ryan Fountain, was apparently have a bbq at his house so we went over there just to say hi. Amy and I were both getting antsy at this point because we wanted to leave town and get to New Orleans so that we could go out that night. Amy’s friend, Amanda, was having people at her house that night and we were looking forward to going. Ryan had just bought a house in the Heights of Houston, which is in the Northwest-central corner of the 610 loop. No offense to Ryan but I did not expect his house to be so nice. I figured it would be a post-college bachelor pad which would include a crappy posters and beer cans. However his house was great, organized and well thought out. Ryan said he bought it from a gay couple who were both artists with a big social life which apparently explains why they have two urinals on the outside of the house in the backyard. We hung out for a bit and reluctantly left around 5, despite Ryan enticing us with food and beer to stay the night.
We took I10 out of Houston towards New Orleans. Our energy levels waxed and waned with the landscapes and the setting sun. Once we hit the Louisiana border we got out at the Welcome Center. It really did feel like a completely different place than Texas, swampy. We stretched our legs, ran from the giant bugs, met some real ‘Merican bikers and were on our way. Once it got dark, I began to get antsy. I ended up playing a game on my phone, Diner Dash 2 which helped pass the time, until I introduced it to Sam who then played it for awhile.
We got to New Orleans at 10 or 11. We were too late for Amanda’s party so we went straight to our hotel. Through AAA guides and the minimal internet Amy can get on her phone, we found a great place near Tulane, just minutes from Bourbon Street. It looked a little rough at first but the friendly staff, clean atmosphere and roomy rooms made up for the stretchy pre judgements we all had. We quickly got in our party clothes and went out to the notorious Bourbon Street. The rest of the night is a little of a blur. What I never realized was that in New Orleans you can drink on the street, out in the open, which really does make for a fun time. We walked around drinking, piña coladas I think, just taking it all in. We went into a few places checked out the music and dancing. At some point we got these grenade things that were tall and really after that, if this were a movie, there would be a scene missing, then more dancing and I dunno, I think we made it safely back to the hotel around 5am.