Saturday, September 01, 2018

road trip :: brobergs take the south 2018 :: part 3 :: the road

on our summer holiday, we drove 2,875 miles in our rented toyota sienna. that's 4,627 kilometers if those are what you relate to. no matter how you think of it, that's a lot of asphalt. luckily, the sienna was roomy, so it accommodated our suitcases and our snacks and a cooler of drinks and everyone was comfortable, so there wasn't any fighting or complaining about who was sitting where. we took turns driving, but husband did do the bulk of it.

i have found myself reflecting on the many roads we traveled and how that's true of life as well. and despite us all being in the same vehicle, traveling down the same roads, we undoubtedly each had our own experience of them. for my part, i told myself stories of the places we drove through and past.

in northeast alabama, i looked out the window at the countryside flying by. it was dotted with shabby, flimsy trailer houses with broken down vehicles and too many dogs in the yard. houses where it looked like people didn't have the energy to care about the junk on the falling-down, tacked-on porch. you could feel that life wasn't easy there, just driving past it. then there was a road in mississippi where the houses along the way were small, but built with care. they looked much more charming and kept up - with inviting porches that had chairs and plants, you could feel a sense of community and that people lived there, rooted in the place. then there was the gulf coast near mobile, alabama and on towards pensacola. the sandy beaches were beautiful, but ugly high rise buildings gave it an uninviting soulless quality.

the roads in the bywater neighborhood where we stayed in new orleans were in a very bad state of repair. but yet, i'm not sure i've ever seen a more charming place. colorful houses, long and narrow, but adorable - with shutters in contrasting colors and loads of gingerbread. each one unique, but somehow also harmonious - sort of like you would like to be as a person - your own individual style, but also playing a melodic chord - signifying belonging, yet room for individuality. what more could you ask in your road.

in savannah, we arrived in the evening at our airbnb and got turned around and started following the roads into a less prosperous neighborhood, where the main businesses seemed to be the liquor stores and greasy takeout joints on every corner. just a few blocks in the other direction was savannah's utterly charming downtown - filled with shops and cafés and restaurants. we managed to find our way to a most amazing chocolate café, where we ended our long day on the road with chocolate fondue, cheesecake and chocolate cocktails. such contrasts just a few blocks apart. the same road able to take you two very opposite directions, both literally (obviously) and metaphorically, all in the space of a just a few blocks.

all these roads represent so many stories, it was a veritable cacophony, i want to go back and listen to each one. and make more of my own.

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