Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mississippi Mud

     It was my first time among veterans to step foot in the city they call N'awlins, also known as the Big Easy. I will forever know it as possibly the most humid place on earth. Live there and your skin will stay young forever. Although I may not have ceased sweating from the time we arrived to the city until the time we left it, I had a blast.

Strolling down Bourbon, hand in hand

Crawfish time!

Genuine snow cone bliss

My crazy bullriding battle wound

     Our first quick stop in Louisiana was Baton Rouge, where we drove along the river to view the quite beautiful Frat Houses of LSU and meet Mike the Tiger Mascot.  We then proceeded to drive over more miles of water hovering bridges than I have ever seen in my life. Lakes, swamps, rivers, you name it. While making our way over a certain 20mile bridge, we encountered a burning van that had traffic stopped for 8 miles the opposing direction! We thanked our lucky stars and continued on, to later almost be clobbered by a refrigerator flying out of a truck on the highway! What a disaster!

     I'd describe our destination place as a gungy, vintage city full of life, history, music, performers and hearty food.......and that's just the French Quarter! Patrick and I attempted to cover as much ground as possible, but what can I say? Time sure does fly when you're drunk having fun! Allow me to re-tell what I can recall........
     On the first night, my curious husband tasted his very first bite of oyster....."I don't hate it" was his response. Good for you hunny.

A wedding!

Family Breakfast

     The next morning, we rolled out of bed for Bloody Mary's and crawfish on an outdoor patio while listening to some live blues, then made our way down to a street market. The day had already grown so hot that I had to relieve my suffering body with a snow cone.....Agh, what a life saver! I didn't even share. Our guardian angles then sent us an ATM machine and a Taxi in perfect timing to arrive at the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery in sync with their tour times, and we learned about the making of their rum from the cascading mullet apprentice himself, simultaneously appreciating it in a delightful drink. This place has been awarded "best spiced rum in the world" for 4 years in a row, and after trying a straight shot of every rum they make, I agree. It was very tasty. Cajun Spiced Rum. Our guardian angle then sent us a free taxi ride back to the French Quarter...and just in time to stroll the streets to look at the art and shops, and watch as a scruffy man, wearing a hospital gown and a Foley Cather, stepped out on his balcony to smoke while his unclothed derriere entertained the city. After a bit of walking we came across a bar that had girls with painted shirts, instead of real ones, 3 for 1 beers, and a mechanical bull.........which I couldn't resist riding! Let me just say, it's way harder than it looks, and although I showed-up every person that attempted during our stay, I have the battle bruise and the groin soreness to show for it! To follow up a show like that, called for a romantic dinner under a vine covered patio hidden off Bourbon street where we ate the best crab cakes in town at the Oceana (and the best I have seriously ever even thought about eating). We topped the night off with some dancing and karaoke singing with the in-laws, and details aside, got a little wild and crazy.

     On day two, we were moving a bit slower and started the morning off with some light live music, and a beautiful buffet breakfast at the Court of Two Sisters on their outdoor patio shaded with immaculately grown vines, accompanied by the family. I kept with my "when in Rome" theory and had seafood eggs benedict....yummy......and also enjoyed a couple of mimosas. After stuffing our faces, Patrick and I caught a cab to City Park and admired the ancient moss covered live oaks and sculptured outdoor art. We were feeling very tired so after resting by the little river, regretting that we didn't bring a picnic blanket, we roamed until finding a large cement bench under a ginormous tree and closed our eyes for a nap. After realizing time had slipped away from us, we headed back to the hotel, and sat on the balcony, with those other tired people we came with, and watched the street performers from above. Talented acrobatic and charismatic people. After resting our feet, we hit the ground running again to catch a glimpse of the closet cemetery. To our dismay, the gates were locked, since noon; guess we missed that curfew by a long shot!. We peeped over retaining walls and through steal bars the best we could and after feeling satisfied, walked to down town to admire the Canal Street streetcars where I payed at a fancy McDonald's to use their bathrooms (But we got 2 for 1, because Patrick slipped into the ladies room after me while I stood guard!) That night after dinner, we stopped by Cafe Du Monde for some famous beneigh's and iced coffee. Out of all the fuss I've heard about them, I don't know why no one described them to me as what they really are: sopapilla shaped funnel cakes. It was the perfect tasty treat to end the evening. Everyone was practically covered with powdered sugar by the time we finished.
     If you remember back to the refrigerator mishap in the beginning, get this: Upon leaving Louisiana, we swerved around a mattress and box spring that had flown out of a vehicle!.......I guess people in some states don't take the power of highway wind as seriously as they should.
     P.S. Happy Anniversaries to Amy and Cliff, and Vickie and James!!!!!

Our napping bench


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