Thursday, December 16, 2010

Planning and Packing

All week I have been working hard to plan my first trip for Five Ponds Press. Tomorrow I begin packing, and Saturday I'll finalize my itinerary. I'm waiting to hear from my seventh grade co-planners as to what places I should visit in each city--New Orleans, Miami, and Atlanta. I have many ideas myself, and it will be interesting to see how many places we have in common.

Sunday is "shove off" day. My first destination is New Orleans; it will take me two days to drive there. I plan to stay overnight in Alabama and then complete the second leg of the drive on Monday. My initial thinking was to stop in Birmingham because it is about halfway, but I'm now considering Huntsville. It might be a better choice because the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is there, a place I've long wanted to visit. As I finish the itinerary for the first leg of my trip, I'll make the decision as to which city in Alabama should be my first stopping point. It will depend on when the museum in Huntsville opens, how long it would take to visit the museum, and how many hours it will require to drive from Huntsville to New Orleans. A lot of careful planning is required for a venture such as this one.

As I think about New Orleans, I can't keep my mind off the beignets at Cafe Du Monde, a creation I've tried to replicate at home with little success. Some things are better left as they are, so I'll enjoy the beignets while in New Orleans and then will think about them fondly ever after. I have learned that anticipation has its own rewards and also that special things and events lose their charm if they become everyday occurrences. So, it is probably best that my efforts at making beignets failed. If I could have them every day, I would not be looking forward to them with great anticipation. Having had them in the past--at the Cafe Dumonde--I know what a rare treat they are, one I will savor. In case you aren't familiar with them, a beignet is a square of fried dough sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and eaten while hot. The plate of them below makes my mouth water.

The difficult part of this trip will be fitting what I want to see and do into the small amount of time--three days--I will have in each city. From previous travels I have learned that less is often more. What I mean is that it can be better to see fewer things in depth than to have a cursory overview of many things. Memory can be tricky and the overview approach can result in poor reminiscences later. It is better, I think, to have in-depth experiences that result in fond and vivid recollections after the fact that last for many years to come. I will keep my eyes peeled for the odd and amusing as those experiences often evoke strong memories. Besides, I love to take pictures that bring a smile to one's face.

Once I am on the road, I will update this blog daily. I'll take lots of pictures and will describe them in detail. I've kept a travel blog in the past, so I have a good idea of how I'll proceed with this one. To say I am excited is an understatement. As today brought four-five inches of snow now piled in my driveway, I am eager to be off to warmer climes.


joy said...

Take tons of pictures! I'll be traveling vicariously with you!

susanj said...

This is so exciting!!! I'll be following your blog and keeping up with your travels. Hope you are well and I really miss seeing you!
Susan Jarvis

Rach said...

Enjoy a beignet for me. :o)