Starting a journey is often times the hardest part of any adventure. When they say that you should plan for everything and anything to go wrong, they truly mean it because inevitably, despite your best efforts, it does. My journey was no different. After falling several days behind schedule, Tams and I finally finished packing the entire three bedroom house down into our SilverStreak, which may have been one of the hardest tasks I have ever taken on. I had spent years collecting wardrobe, books, art, bones, and gems and now I had to critically evaluate their need in my life. Most of it had to be packed away and I had to come to terms with the realization that I didn’t know when I would again see these beautiful objects that held so many memories and love for me. When the day came to leave there was still several things left undone so we scrambled about and finally managed to pull out right after sundown, hours behind when we had originally planned, heading out to New Orleans.
The road to New Orleans proved to be a lot more difficult than we had imagined. The trailer swayed violently in the rough winds and the rain beat down making the roads slick and the air brutally cold. Stopping for gas, I would check on Agent B, my loving house rabbit, to make sure the nomad life wasn’t going to kill him, which was something I was honestly very terrified about. The cold penetrated the metal structure like it was paper and we had to come up with some creative ways to keep my poor creature warm and less miserable. In the end we managed. We had each other and even my loving pooch, Grayson, took comfort in this, crawling all 85lbs of himself into my lap at one point.
We pulled into Louisiana thankful to be out of the menacing cold front only to have our truck’s check engine light explode in warning. We could go no further. Pulling into a Walmart parking lot, we stopped and slept for the evening, planning to take the vehicle in to be looked at in the morning, where we would find out that the radiator would need to be replaced. Luckily we found a mechanic that agreed to come to where we would be staying in New Orleans and, it turns out, we would desperately need this. The storms worsened, pouring rain manically around us as we made it into our park by the skin of our teeth and soon we would find out all that was wrong with our trailer. First, the electrical box that we were stationed at didn’t work. Then I plugged the hose into the correct pipe to our trailer only to find the line had been cut and not re-plumbed, so I flooded our trailer with at least an inch of water. We would have to wait until it dried out to do anything else. Once that was settled, I filled the holding tank and excitedly we tried the water but my brand new water heater failed to do its job, leaving us without a way to shower. With a sense of defeat we sat down in our beds only to find more than one not so small leak dripping onto our covers. We frantically ran to the store, bought a tarp, and rigged our trailer the best we could. The one thing about Tami and I is that no matter the situation, and holy hell have we been in a few, we always manage to make the best of it and find a way to enjoy ourselves. We dolled ourselves up and headed out in hurricane weather to celebrate New Year’s Eve and managed to pull into bar in the French Quarter a little before midnight. Grabbing our drinks to go, we ran down to the square, counted the last seconds of the year down, and watched as New Orleans lit up in a beautiful symphony of fireworks. I would not have wanted to bring in 2017 in any other way. It was truly perfect.
While our trailer was being repaired there wasn’t much we could do but sit around and wait, however I did have the extraordinary luck to have been invited to train with Squeak at her new pole and aerial studio, Awakenings Pole Fitness in New Orleans. The studio itself was still under construction, but after reading my excitement about the possibility to train with her (she’s been a huge inspiration to me through the years in both modeling and circus arts), she kindly offered to show me a thing or two on her Lyra since the poles had not yet been set up. Walking into the building, walls still bare, with drywall and all, I could imagine the beauty that would soon erupt from this place and I saw the lone aerial hoop dangling inviting high. Squeak is everything you could hope for in an online crush. She’s just as gorgeous as her photos, if not more, and her talent is breath-taking. It was a true honor to be mentored by her that day and I greatly look forward to attending one of her classes when the studio opens in the future. She was even kind enough to jump in the lyra with me for a photo!
Our time in New Orleans was quickly coming to an end, though it would seem the rain was not, nor our problems with the trailer. In the end we would have to make due without having hot water, so it meant that we would be on day 7 without showers. The day we were to leave I woke up early and headed out to City Park to shoot with the extremely talented Edward Holub. I chose a floor length lace dress I had picked up in a thrift store earlier in the week in town and went for an over the top fantasy look with my makeup. Tami created a beautiful braid to add to the romantic feeling of the attire. The park was beyond gorgeous and everything that I could have wanted thanks to Leonard Reynolds, a vibrant soul and gifted locations manager. I truly had a sort of angel looking after me! We wrapped up and Tami and I would later pull out of our home-away-from-home heading to Miami and hopefully some better weather and luck!