The first part of my trip is now over and the second is ready to begin. Last week Thursday Al and I left for New Orleans for the vacation part. For five days, we spent time together, rejuvenating ourselves after tax season. After spending more than half of the past four months apart, having time together was wonderful.
This morning Al left for home and I’m staying on for the Romantic Times Convention. I’ll switch hotels later on, and my friend, Beth arrives to join me for the remaining five days.Our stay in New Orleans has included a lot of walking – and I mean a LOT of walking. Our hotel was only three blocks from the beginning of the French Quarter. On our first walk to the Quarter, we stopped for lunch at a street-side café. After the long winter, our bodies sighed in delight as we sat in the warm air, sipping drinks, watching passersby. Then the wind kicked up. Our menus flew across the ground. Once we got them back, I put my glass on them to hold them in place. The wind grew stronger – stronger than my drink could hold the menus. Oops. The edge of the menu flew up, knocking my drink over – right into Al’s lap. We hadn’t been able to check into our hotel room yet, so poor Al had to walk around with very wet, very sticky pants for several hours.
Except for all the people, cars and noise, stepping into the French Quarter is like stepping back in time. In Wisconsin, if a place is 125 years old, we are amazed at its age. Here, in New Orleans, buildings have been standing for nearly twice that long. Many buildings have signs depicting when the building was built and its historical significance. We found a restaurant that became one of our favorites. Pierre Masperos was established in 1788. Part of its history was not one to be proud of as, at one time, it was a place for slave trading. It was also where Andrew Jackson met with the pirate brothers, Pierre and Jean Lafitte, to plan the Battle of New Orleans.We walked up and down the streets of the French Quarter. There is much more to the area than Bourbon Street and its noise, music and crazy people. We only got drenched twice in two days. The third day, we had just stepped into a restaurant for lunch when the skies opened. We lucked out on that one.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was taking a swamp tour. After the noise of the city, the peace and quiet of the swamps and bayous was refreshing. We took a four person boat tour which got us to places where the large tour boats didn’t go. The pictures tell the story of what we saw.
On our last day, we decided to ride one of the historic trolley cars to the “Garden District” where old, large, gorgeous homes of New Orleans are located. What an experience. About ten minutes into trip, the trolley stops and we are told to get on a bus because the trolley tracks are being worked on. So we all transferred over to the bus. This is a city bus – not a tour bus. As with the trolley, no tour guide telling us what we’re seeing, but stopping at each bus stop to pick up passengers.
At one stop, everyone was sitting quietly when BAM! We’re hit from behind by a car. How on earth did the driver not see this big, city bus? We are asked to get off the bus and transfer to another one. A few minutes later, the bus stops. We are told we can now board a trolley again. This one took us through the garden district, LSU campus, and – we thought- back to the start of the trip. About ten minutes later, the trolley stops. We’re at the end of the line. We then had to get on another trolley for the trip back. Even though it was the end of the line, we had to pay again to make the return trip. On the trolley, off the trolley, on the bus, off the bus, etc. etc. etc. It was not the most pleasant part of the trip.
So now on to the next part of my trip. I will have to travel again – two blocks to the next hotel. I hope the food is a delicious as the first part of the trip. I look forward to meeting some of my fellow Soul Mate Authors and other authors from around the country and world.