Spy Rock

spyrockMiss Rav and Ann Marie and I had gotten a recommendation for a new hike: “it’s kind of a slog, but I swear it’s totally worth it when you get to the top. You’ll just have to see for yourselves” our sort-of-out-of-shape friend said, and that’s the ideal reference point for hiking advice for me. I don’t want trail-running triathletes to tell me something’s a walk in the park, especially if I’m of the mindset that the airbrushed alter-ego trucker hat that Rav gave me and a tribal necklace will be sufficient for “hiking equipment”. franOur friend was right, the hike itself was a relatively short (5 miles round trip) but insistently steep trek ending with a sheer-rock-face scramble up to a bald point of granite, Spy Rock itself… we were pretty sweaty, but when we reached the summit, took in the stunning 360 degree views of the Shenandoah valley on all sides, and felt the breeze through our hair, well, it was totally worth it. AMRSpyROckspyrockvistaRavSpyRockAnd here’s a video Ann Marie took because it’s awesome. “Do you think we can hike to that rock outcropping?” “Maybe we can fly there”.

Never Hungry, Never Lonely

NewOrleansJacksonSquare That’s what the ancient woman in the white dress said: “In New Orleans, you’re never hungry and you’re never lonely”. A motto for the luscious crescent city where I’ve spent the last woozy week, certainly, but crystallized there could be my own personal motto. Never Hungry, Never Lonely. My heart vibrates on that powdered-sugar dusted string. On that resonating note, our incredible hosts told us that if you love New Orleans she’ll love you back, and I think that’s absolutely true. The wet-hot afternoons and perfect spring-chill evenings, the orange blossoms, azaleas, and bougainvillea, the endless strains of music, the big dusky river wind in your hair, the endless flavor and constant cocktail, the ease of it all, never hungry, never lonely. I have a lot to share, so I’ll just start now with some greatest hits:

ewOrleansCafeDumondewOrleansBeignetNewOrleansPreservationHall

NewOrleansOyster NewOrleansBalconyFrom top: The incredible beignet choux rolling machine hiding secretly around the back corner at Cafe du Monde, the actually-better-than-Cafe-du-Monde beignet at Cafe Beignet (don’t be fooled into thinking that I had a single morning without a chicory-coffee-and-beignet breakfast at several different locales), Preservation Hall, a tray of 50 cent oysters that we devoured with Sazeracs like good tourists/brilliant geniuses, One of infinite glorious balconies in the French Quarter. That’s some hits, tomorrow, the adventures.

Que Suerte

MexicoBorderAnd then we drove down to Mexico. Heading through the border gates, past the towering, glittering white granite and steel monolithic wall on our side and the ten feet of corrugated rust just south, looping down along the coast, on a road that makes the highway up near Big Sur look like a dowdy dowager aunt. And then, we ended up here. BajaEnsanadaA deserted stretch of beach, lined with abandoned “Weekend at Bernies” style bungalows and dotted with black-gold sand and mysterious mother of pearl and bone jewels. In short, total paradise. More on adventures and treasures tomorrow…BajaHouseEnsanada

infinite thanks and lasers to Mr. Egon Brainparts for the last two stunning photos. Like what you see? Listen too: E. Brainparts noise to be found here.

Manifest Destiny aka I love LA

HollywoodIn this year of 30th birthdays, it seems as if all bets are off. I mean, sure, for 28 you should schlep yourself to the local bar and toast a few, and for 29 you should meet up for the big dinner, but for THIRTY, well, that’s a whole new ballgame. We’re talking major celebrations, we’re talking islands, we’re talking oysters, we’re talking serious left-coast roadstripping down into Mexico hoping to pick up a beater accordion for >$25 on the way making sure to eat strange meats and lush fruits and, of course, the old head-scarves-and-jewels-and-jean-shorts-song-and-dance. So. I remain faithfully yours, off the grid in California, please follow our adventures over on Instagram (@featherbyfeather) to return next week very sunburnt and full of beans.

ps. I wish you were here.

Dog Day Afternoon

Let me hip you to an astounding bit of information: once a year you can bring your dog, for free, on the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island. That’s right: dogs on ferris wheels. What could be better than that? Here, Luigi the Dog shows us that pretty much nothing is better than that.

Thanks to dear Meags for a) being our epic compatriot in adventure on this day and b) taking the above picture of Luigi.

1974 please.

The best thing in the whole world is when you look around and it may or may not be 1974. The second best thing in the world is when it is also summertime when that happens. It’s here. It’s fabulous. It’s time for adventures.

ps. (1974- put on your earmuffs) what is the best photo processor for Android? I used to tape a piece of napkin over the lens of my nokia, but now we’re grownups.