We left for New Orleans, a city I had no real desire to visit, right after church a few Sundays ago. As is so often the case about so many things (remember camping?), I was WRONG about New Orleans. Maybe not about ALL of New Orleans ALL the time, but certainly about the French Quarter when it is largely populated by Razorback fans for the Sugar Bowl.
On the way down, however, we spent the night in Jackson, Mississippi, where our vehicle was broken into. The brain trust took our house payment check, a bag with crayons, stickers, a point and shoot camera which had gone to China with us and my computer charger. Also missing in action was Lydia's pink, child-sized backpack containing her candy, a pair of gloves, and really, not much else. This pillar of the community and clearly all around great guy left our on the dash GPS so we could find our way out of Jackson.
Now, contrary to what you might think of New Orleans, we were largely unaccosted while there. Gene did get stopped by a man wearing a dark jacket with yellow letters and a cap looking a bit like an FBI agent. He claimed that Gene wasn't having enough fun, and that he'd have to give him a ticket from the Party Patrol. Not sure which Party, but Gene declined to join by refusing to purchase a ball cap.
High points from the trip: For ME? The very best part of our trip was the Audubon Aquarium. There are no words to do it justice so I will just encourage you to go for yourself and allow PLENTY of time. Maybe leave your small child at home if they aren't the sort to allow you to stare in awe or read what's written next to the exhibits. Oh, and be sure to stick your hand into the tank with the stingrays. They feel unlike anything you'll ever touch that's not a stingray. Don't worry, though, their stingers have been removed.
For the whole family: Ride in a mule drawn carriage. I hope you get the same gentleman we had as a cab driver. Oh, my goodness! He was so entertaining. Our mule was named Sugar Daddy. It makes me wish I was still naming dogs because I think the next one would have that name. Did you know that the "r" is silent in Burgundy if you're in the French Quarter? It's Buh GUN dee Street.
Not for the whole family: St. Louis Cathedral. Lydia could NOT stop wiggling, and the thief may have gotten away with her quiet, indoor/church voice, too. It was an all too brief visit to what should have been a very beautiful and peaceful house of God. Maybe she was too hyped up after dancing to the music in the street?
Food: We ate it. I'm picky, and I have weird allergies so I had very tame dining experiences. Beignets were as adventurous as I got. Still, at the Superdome, you could, if you were so inclined, get crayfish pie. Or, for the low price of $9, you could have a baked potato. Oh,yes. You could. I took a picture of mine because I want to remember it:
Finally, the Superdome seats 72968. More than half of those were Razorback fans. But out of all those seats & people, what do you think are the chances that the man sitting in front of me would be a doctor I worked with a 3 years ago? Crazy, I tell you, just crazy. It's sort of like when I went to see George W. speak and sat next to a girl from China whose name was Lydia.