Somber Day

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20 years ago today (April 19) in Oklahoma City. IMG_3310

Saimi and I visited the memorial in October and the site is still as somber today as it was when we visited with our kids before the memorial was built. At that time, the remains of the building had been removed and there was only a fence. Our son, Erik attached his WWJD bracelet to the fence.

(Photos from October 2014.)

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Boiled peanuts. Weirdly delicious.

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By Saimi

After 10,000 miles through 20 states in 8 months, my strongest memories center on food. Each region had its own staples, seasonings and  flavor palette. And in each region, I discovered a treat I had never before tried.

In Georgia it was boiled peanuts.

I can hear my friends with Southern roots howling in disbelief. “You’ve never had boiled peanuts?”

Well, I have now. And they are as different from the roasted version as they can be. They are boiled IN THE SHELL in salted or seasoned water. You can buy them in grocery stores from the same type of tureen in which northern stores sell soup.image

The shells have softened and are easily peeled open. The nuts inside have also softened, and have the feel of a cooked navy bean. They maintain much of the peanutty taste, but without the roasting, it is much milder.

To my Georgia friends, Len and Susanne, who insisted I try this local favorite, I say “Thanks!”  Best of all, it is a treat that is easily transported and easily shared.

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Every community has a story

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Everywhere you travel, there is always something eye-catching.IMG_4834
For instance, in Willcox, AZ There is the Rex Allen Cowboy museum.  You can see a Southern Pacific railroad depot. According to a plaque, the railroad station is the “only remaining original redwood frame station in Arizona.IMG_4856

“If you are deep into wild west history, you can visit the saloon where Wyatt Earp’s youngest brother, Warren, was shot and killed.IMG_4850
Often, you can stumble onto something different, like this diesel VW BBQ delivery car.IMG_4858

Beignets and alleyways.

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By Saimi Bergmann

Best way to get around New Orleans — Bicycle.

Worst Way — RV.

I speak from experience, because we did both.

The French Quarter of New Orleans is a tangle of narrow, one-way streets and alleys. Pedestrians, buskers, delivery trucks and piles of trash spill into the streets, competing with cars for road space. This is NOT where you want to drive an RV. Lesson learned.

In general, RV parks near New Orleans are expensive, as high as $90 per night.  Fortunately, we found the peaceful St. Bernard State Park with electric/water sites for $24 for the first night, and just $18 for subsequent nights. The park is on the opposite side of the Mississippi so even though it’s only five miles as the crow flies (or as the ferry slides) from the Quarter, it’s actually about a fifteen mile drive.IMG_5768

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