You would think that with only one day left in New Orleans, I would have gone and gotten myself into a lot of trouble. It wouldn’t have been some mundane day spent on a couch, doing laundry.

But look, sometimes the mundane is needed! I mean, my clothes were dirty. And I have a lot more driving to do. I need a day to just veg every once in a while.

My stay in NO was lovely though. I did most everything I wanted to do, I spent quality time with friends. It was good.

And now I’m in Lake Charles, LA about to start my drive to Austin, TX. Austin is my last big stop before I book it back to Cali. It feels weird to be so close to the end. By Monday I may just be back in California. After three months on the road, that thought is surreal.

Lake Charles has been a randomly really great stop. I’m glad I picked it (my decision process resembled something like throwing darts at a map). It’s another kind of Louisiana. It’s a little more out of the mainstream, a little more what you might expect from a smaller town once removed from tourism, still feeling the effects of things like Katrina and Rita.

My host here has been awesome. We found fried things for dinner, wandered around the lake, looked at Christmas lights. She had a random song stuck in her head that we eventually found on YouTube. Yes, it was Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven is a Place on Earth. That one is definitely going on my Road Trip playlist.

We chatted politics, culture (translation: bitched about hipsters), and culture shock; Racism & homophobia; our feelings about food; the quarter life crisis and how I may or may not be having one. We covered a lot of ground.

She gave me a brochure and map for some scenic coastal driving and that’s what I’m about to go do as part of my drive to Austin. I will say goodbye to the Gulf Coast before I disappear back into the desert.

This, my friends, is the beginning of the end.