AUGUST 2014: It has been a whirlwind summer for Riki and me. After years of being all talk, we are now all action. We have been throwing around this crazy idea for 3-4 years. Quitting our jobs and travelling the world actually sounded really simple, until you factored in all the planning.
In the fall of 2013, we finally had a time frame. We signed a lease ending August 1st with no option to extend. We had to just do it, or there would always be an excuse to stay. New Orleans has too many draws and after 10 years we have so many roots there. We would be homeless in August and forced to have a plan.
At that point, we had high hopes. Maybe we would be able to find jobs somewhere awesome and move straight there. We started saving money – we had roommates, stopped going out to eat/drink (as much), and stopped accumulating things (or tried to). The job thing obviously didn’t work out, for a number of reasons. Let’s just blame that on the economy. Come spring, we realized we needed a backup plan. And what better backup plan than backpacking Southeast Asia. It’s cheap and neither Riki or I have been to Asia.
Sometime in June, we decided to get married before we left – to do it in New Orleans and to make it a surprise. My parents had graciously volunteered to come down and help with our yard sale and then drive some things back to their house to store for us. Riki convinced his mom to come down for one last trip to New Orleans and to meet my parents. So we booked the judge at the Algiers Courthouse and made a reservation at Bayona when they would all be in town.
In the meantime, we put things up for sale on craigslist and started organizing the massive amount of “stuff” we had accumulated in 10 years. We found things that had been packed away for years and were of no use anymore. There were things we would have liked to keep, but for the most part we knew they were going to good homes, including the cat.
By the time our parents arrived, the big stuff was pretty much gone. Luckily, our roommates were only moving across town and still had furniture we could use. We had told our parents we were going to a nice brunch (had to tell my dad in advance to make sure he brought some decent clothes) and then would return to get ready for our going away party that night and yard sale the next day.
I thought coming down in a white dress and Riki in a tie would be a dead give away, but we still had to tell them that on the way to lunch we had to stop at the courthouse and sign some papers, some marriage papers. Then they got it. We drove over to the Algiers Courthouse and waited awhile for traffic court to end. Luckily, the rain stopped in time for us to get married outside on the balcony overlooking the Mississippi River and the French Quarter. We paid our fee, signed some papers with the mothers as the witnesses and were on our way to the ferry. After a quick trip across the Mississippi, just long enough to give our wedding a nautical theme perhaps, and after a zillion pictures, we made our way to Bayona where we had a delightful lunch. Riki’s mom even arranged for Susan Spicer to sign a copy of her book and congratulate us as we were leaving.
Having not given them any notice, the mothers tasked themselves with finding a cake in time for the party. They managed very well considering the amount of time we gave them and the cakes from Sucre were definitely the best wedding cakes I’ve ever had. As our guests arrived that evening for our going away party and art auction, we had great fun telling them as they came in the door that we got married. The reactions were priceless. Mostly shock, but accompanied by big smiles.
We wanted to thank everyone who made that day so special, particularly our parents for being such good sports, but also our friends for buying all our junk (and priceless art). It was just perfect.
And that brings us to our last two weeks in New Orleans. We have such wonderful friends who agreed to host us and the cat while we were homeless. My dad enjoyed the joke that his new son-in-law was homeless AND unemployed. I was also homeless, though still employed. We spent the last few weeks selling our cars and getting rid of everything else that wouldn’t fit in two suitcases.
That brings us to the start of this blog. If you have made it this far, please excuse the errors and omissions, we are new bloggers and will be working with questionable internet connectivity.
-Julie & Riki