Monday, January 23, 2012

Surprise Surprise

I told you last week that I had a secret Road Warrior mission this past weekend. Today, I can tell you that it is 90% complete, and so far, a total victory.

The secret part is over so I can reveal the covert operation. To let you in on what's been going on: I decided to drive my grandmother to see a part of her family in Nashville on Thursday, left her with them, spent the night at my mom's house, picked up a close friend MB after she got off work on Friday evening, drove to my house in the Delta to spend Friday night, got up Saturday morning and drove to New Orleans to surprise our other best friend VA for her birthday, get up and drive back to Nashville yesterday, and tomorrow morning, my grandmother and I will go back to Mississippi.

So basically I have been in my own Ring-Around-The-Rosy (by the way, that is an eerie little nursery rhyme if you know where it really comes from--not really appropriate that I used it here but whatever) road trip that swooped through the Mid to Deep South like a storm.

What is worth it, you ask? Yes. Just straight up, flat out, pinned down, flipped on yes. Which I think is my favorite word in the English language. What? Why something so normal and easy like yes, you ask? Why not something fancier and French that is powerful like entrepreneur (I like that word too) or something cute, warm and delicious like Snickerdoodle? Well, yes is simple, profound, versatile and more powerful than any other word. You may discuss this amongst yourselves.

Ooookkkaaayyy, I'm off the train track again. Anyway, to see my friend VA's face when we surprised her was well worth any of the driving. She was so happy, she had tears in her eyes. Plus, as we speak, my grandmother is probably playing with her great grandchildren, spending time with her daughter, son-in-law, and other grandchildren. This has certainly been a valuable endeavor.

And I had some great copilots. MB kept up good conversation, while splitting the driving with me. She is what you call a tirelessly sweet person. I know her really well and can honestly say that she is a beautiful person on the inside as well as on the outside. Don't even get me started on my grandmother Suey. I could write a whole post about her. Maybe a novel.

Sometimes I question the sensibility of some of my outlandish ideas. But in most cases, I trust my gust. I mean guts. I trust my gut. In this case, I have proven myself victorious and should be knighted by the King of the Road, Roger Miller himself (direct throw-back to a 1964 popular song about a hobo who travels a lot).

So really it was my treat. It's always a treat when I get to spend some time with fabulous people in a fabulous city. And special thanks to the Crescent City Queen, SV. Could not have done it without you girl.

Saturday night: MB, SV and I hustled like crazy to get ready before VA got off work. We were going to surprise her at her apartment. But of course, VA got off work early for the first time in her life probably. So MB and I were escorted to the roof of her building, of course, which I didn't think was the best place to stun the heck out of someone. But it was a nice night--77 degrees (what's going on with the weather here in the end of January, I don't know). VA had the surprise of her life, cried a little, was astonished and red in the face, and then we all calmed down and had some wine on her rooftop patio, overlooking downtown New Orleans. So much freaking fun.

We went to Vizard's, a remarkable restaurant on Magazine Street. I'm blowing SV's identity, but her uncle owns the place. So you probably know who SV is, or at least what the V stands for. It was an amazing time--VA, MB, SV, CF, friend from college and VA's sweet boyfriend and I made a good group. Tuna and avocado, crabmeat nelson--delectable as always. Got in a big debate about boarding schools, talked about some other stuff, and proceeded to the Maple Leaf, where a band called Poppa Molly was playing. Pretty dang good. Got some dancing and shaking in.

One thing led to another, and we were staying up way past my bedtime, talking in the hot tub at SV's building. We called it quits at 5:30 in the morning. Thank goodness somebody said something.

And then up and adam, it's 10:00 am, time to pack up and leave this soulful city. Shower, pack up your things, take them to your car. Wait a minute. Where's my car? Where is it? Where is it?  What's going on here?

Panic!!! Of course. It was stolen. This is my first crazy conclusion. Just because I looked around the night before and said "New Orleans is pretty safe." The first thing I do is suspect that I would get figuratively punched in the face after saying something like that out loud. What do I do, what do I do, what do I do.

I turned around and all of my friends were on the phone, trying to find the closest tow company (great friends). Oh yes, it was probably just towed. I probably parked a little illegally, and they put me in my place. Calm down. No one robbed you.

We got the car that I now call Silver Fox back. It was a joyful reunion. I literally hugged my car when I found in the tower's parking lot.

Off we went to eat lunch before leaving town--Parkway Bakery. Best-shrimp-po'boy-you-will-ever-have. And sweet potato fries that left me breathless.

After we made it back here to Nashville safely, I believe I fell into a coma. I woke up and couldn't remember any of my dreams. Apparently, there was a humungous storm here that woke the whole city up. I had no idea. I said, "Why is the ground wet?" Yes. Yes. I love sleep. Nothing like it.

My camera has died and battery charger at home, I cannot display the magnificent moments of the weekend, but I will tomorrow so stay tuned.

Surprise someone you love with something thoughtful as soon as you get inspired. You will be rewarded.

Liza Jane

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