I buried my head under the fluffy white hotel pillow to drown out the noise of the alarm. Joey got up saying something about breakfast closing - I pulled the covers up to my chin and fell back asleep. The next time I woke up Joey and Tom each had their arms full of plates of breakfast food - eggs, fried potatoes, sausage. I decided it would be OK to get up now and slowly pulled myself off the sheets. Joey called to see about a late check out and we were able to stay at the hotel until 2:00 p.m. so we ate a little and napped a little and after all that felt a little bit more prepared for another day in New Orleans.
We packed up and drove into town to get some lunch. We saw the Crescent City Brewing Co.
and headed over for some samplers. Joey and I went in to order and Tom scampered off down the street to get his camera cleaned. Joey ordered samplers for him and Tom while I sipped on a Coke.
We got a bowl of gumbo and fried catfish to share between the three of us, for another taste of the local fare, and really enjoyed all of it. Our bartender told us about a free ferry that was right down the street so we headed off to see New Orleans during the day.
We wandered down the street past the Spanish Plaza and past a giant statue of a jester on our way towards the Rivewalk. The ferry was just past the Riverwalk and it was really hot out, so when we saw that the Riverwalk is actually an indoor mall we were all kind of excited. The blast of cool air hit our faces invitingly and we enjoyed our brief walk past colorful clothing and shoes inside the mall.
Back outside in the sweltering heat we found the dock and made our way through a building with Marti Gras murals painted inside it. We waited a few minutes on a bench to board the boat but we didn’t have to wait too long.
After we boarded and all the cars drove onto the lower deck the ferry shuttered to life and slowly dragged us across the river. From there we just stayed on the lower deck and waited to be shuttled back across, so it was kind of a silly lazy little attraction to ease us into the day.
Photo by Henrik courtesy Flickr.com
We wandered around a little bit more enjoying the colorful cheeriness of the city, but we had made plans to stay in Mississippi with my Uncle Ricky and Aunt Wendy who live about an hour outside New Orleans. I don’t know if we’ve mentioned this yet in any of our posts but we have had something of Ricky’s since we were in Athens, Maine visiting my Uncle Bob. Bob wrote a play and was able to perform it at a local theater, but it required a cowboy hat as a prop. And wouldn’t you know it, Ricky had just the thing - a real ten gallon Stetson cowboy hat. So he sent it on up to Bob, and Bob thought it might be fun to get it back to him by having us drive it all around the East Coast and having our little trio hand-deliver it.
So we did just that; there was only one setback though, it’s a real ten gallon Stetson cowboy hat and we have a very full car which is not fragile-item-friendly. That is a one full month commitment to not squish a really nice hat that belongs to someone who is willing to let us sleep in a soft bed and shower in a clean bathroom. At one point one of the boys joked that we were like the Fellowship of the Stetson only without throwing anything into molten lava at the end of the journey. Regardless we got the hat back to Ricky in one un-squished piece and ate some of Wendy’s delicious homemade gumbo and rice.
We were all pretty content to stay in Mississippi that night rather than driving the hour and a quarter to the city and then back to Mississippi to sleep. Ricky gladly loaded us up in his van with his youngest son Thomas and drove us around the town to see some leftover Katrina destruction, the sunset over the beach and a cool bar on the water called Shaggy’s
. Thomas’s brother Steven met up with us at the bar and stayed for half a glass of Ricky’s beer.
Tom and Thomas got a kick out of each other and Joey got an even bigger kick out of the two of them. Joey and I walked back to the car behind the group and Joey-giggling the whole time - kept pointing out how Thomas was exactly the same as Tom - how, theoretically, they were the same entity. Check out the picture for yourself - pretty striking, isn’t it?
When we got back to the house we were all pretty beat though we had, had a pretty tame day compared to the day before. We hit the hay after briefly talking about what our last day in New Orleans would entail and each fell asleep as quickly as our heads could hit the pillow.
Thanks Ricky, Wendy, Thomas and Steven - we really enjoyed staying with you all!
Until next time America.