This may read like a love story, and in some ways it is just that. Lauren and I met years ago in our real early twenties (pretty sure we celebrated me turning 21 together) built a friendship on our mutual desire to help the world become a better place in some way. There's heartbreak and pure joy, found true love, traveled to at least a ten countries between the two of us. Yet besides feeling supported and encouraged by the other via Skype, phone calls and occasional hangs we haven't spent a dedicated chunk of time with one another since that sweet summer in our early twenties when the days were long and our list of cares were short. That ended this year, my 28th birthday and a girls trip to New Orleans!
I'll say it was a bit of a shocker when you've mostly lived in places where the drinking laws are fairly strict and then you find a place where they offer you rum in your morning smoothie. Ha! We sweat most whatever drinks we partook in out in our urban hiking and exploring.
The weekend before our New Orleans trip was the awful alt-right, white nationalist march in Charlottesville, VA. I wept on and off most of that Saturday as hateful white males marched chanting hate speech ending in the killing of a counter-protester. I wanted to DO something but it seemed besides offering my solidarity to those affected and echoing the disgust felt there wasn't much I had to offer here, miles and miles away.
I had heard there were more alt-right rallies planned for the weekend we were in New Orleans so when we heard a police woman say "Oh no, I'm not ready for this" I thought that might be where she was headed. To our surprise it was a peaceful counter-protest and it was so healing to be a part. Here's a few images I captured as we marched alongside the people of New Orleans.
We had so. much. fun. and so many good conversations. If you're thinking about it, I highly recommend a mini-vacay to explore and see the culture in New Orleans, it's truly, truly beautiful.