Though both of us are English teachers, sometimes numbers are the best way to distill an experience. So, we present our trip, by the numbers:
We headed out of Baltimore with the goal of heading to Miriam’s parents’ house for promised BBQ from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a local fave. We arrived there in time for late lunch, and Mariel enjoyed a bagel from La Bagel Delight, another classic Brooklyn joint.
After some excitement (it turns out that there are TWO CVS pharmacies in Fredericksburg, VA and the other one won’t give you meds if you sent it to the other other one), we excitedly had Wawa breakfast sandwiches for breakfast. If you’ve ever seen either of us in the morning in NJ, you will know that these are near and dear to our hearts.
We luxuriated in not have an 11:00 deadline to leave our lodgings, thanks to staying at Sophia’s house. We mixed last nights left over BBQ pork into scrambled eggs for breakfast and became confused about why eggs have ever been consumed any other way.
Miriam’s favorite movie is Mary Poppins. But, raised Jewish as she was, she thought the line in “Feed the Birds” was “saints and opossums” (not “saints and apostles”). This sign from our breakfast adventure to Malaprop’s Cafe and Bookstore in Asheville spoke to her deeply:
Our Airbnb host in Chattanooga left the menus of a couple of local restaurants by the door to the apartment and one of them sported a handwritten annotations that the bagels were excellent and it was right across the street. The Douglas Heights Bakery did not disappoint.
Day 10 began at a cafe Miriam insisted on purely because it is called Ugly Mugs. The wordplay continued when we ordered bagel sandwiches called “The King” (which was Elvis’s nickname and includes his classic combo of peanut butter, honey, and banana). We ate and caffeinated and blogged and knit and read and relaxed.
After departing Memphis, our drive to Nashville was uneventful. Miriam took a nap: Mariel even played Les Mis without hearing any protest (or, as Miriam would have it, she chose to protest by aggressively sleeping through it.).
As teachers, both of us are passionate about using literature as both mirrors and windows. Literature can reflect and clarify one’s own experiences and it can also serve as a vehicle to places and experiences wholly different than ones own. Last year, both of us taught in affluent and predominantly white school communities and we both felt the necessity of teaching literature in order to advocate for greater racial and economic justice. A stop at the National Civil Rights Museum was requisite.