New Orleans Post #1
We made it! We are in New Orleans for the RT Booklovers Convention! So far, this has been an amazing adventure.
We chose to drive down because none of us is fond of flying. Although only (!!) a 12 hour drive from Butt-thump Nowhere, Kansas (it’s an actual place, look it up—yeah, all right, I’m full of it), we decided to make it a leisurely two-day drive so we could stop if we wanted and see all the sights on the way. You know, the world’s biggest lint ball or the largest cement gopher, or something. Sadly, there weren’t many of those, but we did see the motel that time forgot.
Let me tell you about this motel. We chose to stay there last night because: a.) We got off the beaten track trying to locate a Wal-mart and then were too tired to continue driving, and b.) It was the ONLY place of lodging in town, and c.) It was right across the street from this Cajun crawfish restaurant with a GIANT, massive, car-sized crawfish on the roof with a sign boasting that this was the home of the ‘Best Tail in Town’. Since that tickled my sister’s love of the odd, we decided that’s where we would have dinner. Now, our first hint that we should have pressed on in search of another place to sleep was when we noticed the best incentive this motel could use to tempt in the occasion weary traveler was “We have telephones”. I’m not even kidding.
“Do you have WiFi?” I asked.
“No, but we will after the renovations are finished.” Notice the word ‘renovations’. This will come back to play later on in the story.
“How much?” I asked.
“I need three rooms, and I’ll take it.”
Room number one had a mini fridge and microwave (the very first model of each ever created, I swear to God), airport style carpeting that was both wet and sticky, a totally damp interior, black mold growing on the pillows, one window broken in and boarded up, a closet that sported a secret door on the inside that led to another closet with a broken sewer pipe in a hole in the floor through which you could see everything that had not yet flushed, BUT the A/C window unit worked, so, score. My sisters took this room.
Room number two had 70s style shag carpet, water damage on the ceiling and walls, a mini fridge that didn’t work, the signs of repeated and serious flooding on every wall, a broken bed that thought it was a see-saw, chairs held together with duct tape, and a bathtub with two shower spigots (one broken and one not-quite broken) and you had to dig out the latch that switched the water from tub to shower with a pair of tweezers and an act of God, BUT the A/C worked great, so, score. That was my room.
Room number three had no carpet, just a cement floor, broken blinds that kept out neither the light nor the curious gazes of passersby, a door that had been kicked in so many times it no longer shut completely, a hole in the floor of the tub that was plugged with a wadded up washcloth, black mold all over the wall around the A/C, which tracked down in rivulets attesting to how often this place flooded and on what route it generally liked to take when it entered the room, BUT, the A/C kinda worked, so, score. My Dad took this room.
Remember when I said the motel had admitted it was undergoing some minor renovations. Yeah, may I suggest napalm?
No, no. That’s okay. We’re on an adventure, just like the Goonies! And any hotel you walk away from in the morning without cockroaches or bedbugs is one damn fine hotel. Even if they did come without remote controls for the TVs, forcing us to get up and WALK OVER THERE and PRESS THE BUTTON with our FINGERS every time we wanted to change the channel, just like our primitive, animalistic ancestors did way back when! But, again, we survived it, so, score.
‘Nuff said about that.
Today, we actually made it to New Orleans. We stopped just once on the way at a little tourist trap called Cajun Village. Now, if you ever come down this way, seriously, you have to stop there. They have live gators, an antique shop, a wine and candle shop, a little jewelry store for moms and daughters, a firehouse museum, and a Cajun shop where I loaded up on odd jams and jellies, which are a weakness of mine. I love to collect stuff like this. In addition to the spicy hot jellies (habanero, serrano and 5-pepper jelly), I also got Sugar Cane Syrup, Mayhaw jelly, Muscadine jelly, and Crawfish jelly. If I can find Moonshine jelly or Scuppernong (I’m not making that name up) jelly, I am so going to bring home some of that too.
Once we actually got to New Orleans, we stopped at the French Market down here, which is New Orleans’s answer to Pennsylvania’s Reading Terminal Market. We had a blast! We shared a hunk of Gater sausage on a stick (absolutely delicious—seriously, you’ve got to try it!) and an oyster and shrimp Po’Boy, thoroughly enjoyed while listening to a live Jazz band. I bought all sorts of useless things that I’m going to have to take right back home and pack up, but I love mementos of the places I go. I also love listening to the way people talk down here. My Dad speaks French, though he hasn’t had much of a chance since he came back from that country. So he’s enjoying listening to the way they speak the language with heavy Cajun/creole accents.
Here’s some pics of the treasures we’ve bought so far:
Any recipe that starts with “3 sticks of butter”, is my kind of yummy. I could feel my heart clogging just reading the thing. lol
The jellies. 🙂 And yes, the Crawfish jelly really does have crawfish and shrimp chopped up inside it.
So pretty! It’s an off the shoulder dress. Someday, someday…
Candles! I love candles. I collect scents like I collect jellies. The one on the far right is called “Butt Naked”. It’s a little deceptive. It doesn’t smell a thing like naked butts. 🙂
Necklace, earrings and bracelet.
I be cookin’ Cajun once we get moved to our new house. 🙂
And, of course, because this is a working vacation, everybody’s writing. I’m trying to do 1000 words a day on my Corbin’s Bend story: Last Dance for Cadence whether I need to (ha) or not (double ha–trust me, I need to). 19 days left, I’m at 40k, which is 5k over where I was supposed to end the story, and I figure I’m about halfway done. For crying out loud, Maren, learn how to shut up already! Lol I’m going to be late on this deadline again. I just know it. My publisher loves me.
Ah well, hello from New Orleans!