So, I’m back from my trip to MS to visit E before he leaves for Kuwait. In summary: Hattiesburg sucks, visiting E was fun, and the Gulf Coast is still a mess.
It was nice to see E. We hung out and watched movies a lot (see Hattiesburg sucks, above). I arrived on Wednesday night. Then Thursday, we didn’t do much. Friday, we drove down to Biloxi and gambled in one of the casinos. I was surprised by how terrible everything looked. I mean, you see the damage on TV but you don’t fully grasp until you’re there, staring it in the face. The whole beach strip was completely gone. Many of the buildings had no first floor. It was very depressing. But gambling was fun (let’s ignore tragedy by wasting money. Yay!). We won some bucks, which we spent at the Churascaria (Brazilian barbecue). For about $40 a plate, you get all you can eat. Sounds like an expensive buffet, but it’s not. You get a card at your table that says Stop on one side and Go on the other. When it’s on Go, all these people with different cuts of meat on spits come by and offer you some. Then when you’re done, you turn it to Stop. There were filets, pork chops, bacon wrapped turkey, bacon wrapped scallops, lamb, fish….everything you could want. It was very good.
Saturday E had to do duty, so we watched a bunch of movies. Then Sunday we went down to New Orleans to visit my friend and her new baby. New Orleans was pretty fun, although the devastation was bad there as well. We drove by a house that had HELP still written on the roof. It was terrible. But the French Quarter and the Garden District and such were okay. We went on a cemetery tour through one of the oldest cemetaries. We got to see the tomb of a voodoo queen, Marie Leveaux. Then when we got back our car had been towed. We spent the rest of the afternoon dealing with that. Not fun.
Tuesday we came back to Hattiesburg early because the Army made E come back. Wednesday we went for a fun bike ride. We saw a swamp with some turtles and a deer. It was really hot though. That night we went out to dinner to a nice restaurant, and I got to wear my fancy dress I had bought for the occasion. On Thursday we went kayaking through Class 1 whitewater (very small waterfalls). The river was pretty dirty, so that wasn’t cool, but it was neat to go along and see the turtles and such. Then Thursday night, I left.
Anyway, it was good to see my friend and E and I had a good time (although I would never go back to Hattiesburg for fun). But now I’m home, and it’s going to be 8 months or so until I see E again. So it’s a long wait, through the dark and cold. I’m not looking forward to it. I’ve made a vow though, that I will not keep counting down the days – I will look at each day positively, for the good parts; I will enjoy myself and develop new interests and hobbies, and most importantly, I will be positive and try to not get depressed. Every day will hold something I can enjoy; I don’t want to spend my life waiting for things to happen.