Friday, November 02, 2007

First week in U.S.

I've been in the American South for almost a week now. It has been very busy, and since I didn't have a computer with me, it's just been to hard to process photos and write text for my blog. My friends in Alabama have a high-speed Internet connection, but they use Macintosh computers. I struggled some with the Mac interface, being a Windows user, and I finally decided I just didn't have time to work on photos and write blog topics.

We ran around a lot and had a great time. My friend Marie from Normandy and I were just slightly jet-lagged. On Monday Marie and I went along on Meals on Wheels rounds with our friends Evelyn and Charlotte. Marie went into the recipients' houses with Charlotte, and the first meal they delivered went to a 90-year-old widower who can no longer cook for himself. He had been in France during the war, and he was thrilled to meet a Frenchwoman. He kissed her on both cheeks and reminisced about his wartime experiences, she told me.

Evelyn served "field peas" as part of her Thanksgiving meal.
They are a kind of black-eyed peas.

Monday afternoon we visited a violin "factory" in Anniston, Alabama. Maybe I'll be able to post about that visit later, with pictures. Then Monday night Evelyn and Lewis served us an American Thanksgiving dinner -- nearly a month early, but because they wanted Marie to have that experience. Everything was delicious.

A museum photo... how things have changed.

On Tuesday we went to Birmingham and visited the civil rights museum and memorial park. More about that later, but they didn't allow photos inside the museum. Tuesday night, we went out for dinner in a typical Southern barbecue restaurant.

An Atlanta institution, The Varsity

On Wednesday we drove to Atlanta and went to the Carter Center, which includes a museum dedicated to Jimmy Carter's presidency and Mr. Carter's presidential library. We ate lunch at The Varsity restaurant, which is one of the oldest fast-food restaurants in the U.S., again for the experience. Marie had her first glass of "sweet tea" -- that's the sweetened iced tea that people in the South often drink with their meals.

My mother lives on the edge of Calico Creek,
which flows through a salt marsh near her house.

At that point, my friends drove me to the Atlanta airport for my flight to North Carolina. Yesterday, I spent the day with an old high-school friend I hadn't seen in about 15 years. Today, I'm resting and trying to post this blog topic. To be continued...


Evelyn said...

I'm glad you're back blogging, Ken. We were quite busy weren't we, now we can just put our feet up for a while...

Our weather just keeps getting nicer and nicer and the trees are showing more color now.

Emm said...

What beautiful marshland that is in your picture of Calico Creek. Glad you're having what sounds like a good, if perhaps tiring, time.

Cheryl said...

I'm sure there are amazing birds at Calico Creek. So good to see your post.... how wonderful of Evelyn and Lewis to treat y'all to a nice Southern-American Thanksgiving. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Claude said...

Great photos as usual!
I am a little backwards in my blogs reading. Trying to catch up...
Looks like you're having a great holiday. Say hello to your mum!

Anonymous said...

Yep, we had a gorgeous Thanksgiving dinner, thanks again, Evelyn and Lewis :-) !!! Now, I know the taste of black-eyed peas after seeing what they were like when I was at your home, Ken, 2 years ago, after having my students study the song The Black-Eyed Peas' song "Where is the love ?" :-) !!! C'est du concret, tout ├ža !!!

I've brought home some new documents related to the Civil Rights Movement to have my students study this period at high school. And I was very proud to have one picture of Evelyn and me taken with Reverend Graham Williams who told us he was also a leader at that time and had marched with Martin Luther King... We were then at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change in Altanta.

Visiting the violin "factory" was really interesting, my father who is a cellist will enjoy seeing the pics I took there.

Having lunch at Varsity was quite different experience, all the waiters and waitresses were really nice ! But the food was really greasy ! Yet, I loved my sweet tea !

By the way, Ken, I was the one who chose to "faire la bise"/kiss the nice veteran while delivering the meals with Charlotte and Evelyn and, eventually, I kissed... 3 veterans on that day :-) Bises to you ! Marie

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I've made some typos, sorry ! Better go to bed now !!! Marie