How’re y’all doin’?

That’s the general greeting around here when you pass someone on the street or on their porch.

So, to wrap up our stay in Breaux Bridge and Sunday at Festival…

Today we awoke to gorgeous sunshine and a comforting breeze. Arrived at festival in time for Turvengen Band from Mongolia and the US. Again, the stringed instruments have a different twang and timbre, one guy sang in that guttural multi-tone that Mongolians do, and the drum set was not your usual. Plus the drummer also played a horn that had a sound akin to a dgiereedo (sp). We stayed for several songs, but then wanted to get over to another stage to hear Karma and the Killjoys. They rather killed my joy. We didn’t stay long. We heard them on youtube doing a Tiny Desk Concert and they sounded interesting. Live, however, their singing and playing didn’t stand up. So off we went to hear Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole. Their playing was solid and Cedric plays a sharp little accordion.

We didn’t stay too long though because by now Sora Jobarteh from Gambia was about to commence. Off to that stage! She and her band were another highlight of this festival. Wow. We stayed for the entire show, including encore, which featured each of the players, providing the their moments to shine for a longer period than previously. Aside from Sora on the kora, a 21 stringed calabash instrument, there was the bass player, drummer, electric guitar player, and the guy on calabash (no strings, just an overturned squash – a big one) and congas, and a guy on acoustic guitar. What an ensemble! Another captivating band that you really wanted to listen to closely. Sora spoke of how the kora is an instrument used throughout West Africa, but typically only played by men. She is the first professional female to play. She is exquisite.

We stayed a bit for a band from Haiti, RAM, that was also quite good, but by now I had to eat! Many of the food court places were out of lots of their offerings, or the lines were way long. We’d hoped initially to eat at Spoonbill, which we’d enjoyed last year, but it was closed. We did find a pizza place with good salad also. Those were some hard-working waiters! I bet they went non-stop from opening to close. And they were attentive and pleasant! We finished lunch just in time to make it to the final act of the festival – Dub Inc – a French reggae band from Saint-√Čtienne, active since 1997. They combine a range of styles, including dancehall, dub, ska and rap. Their music is also influenced by African music with their songs being sung in a mixture of French, English and Kabyle. They were a lot of fun. Equally enjoyable was observing the young people all around us – and the size of the spliffs. This was a vibrant and energizing way to complete the festival experience!

Lead singers and instigators of ginning up the crowd

Tomorrow we leave early for Tulsa to visit a friend for a few days. Then we are homeward bound! What a fantastic journey so far… We are indeed fortunate. Bonsoir!

Acadian Village and Friday Festival

We met some people briefly at the Bayou Teche brewery and ran into them Thursday night at Festival. They told us about a historic Acadian Village they’d visited and enjoyed. That was our Friday afternoon event before heading to downtown Lafayette. It’s a beautiful property and they’ve done a good job of creating what a small village would have been like. The buildings were all moved from other locations. There are several homes, a blacksmith shop, doctor’s office, church, general store.

The photo below was part of the historic documentation included in the buildings.
We saw these notices often when we were hiking the Caminho through smaller villages in Portugal – so still in vogue there.

Perhaps the unique band of this festival, that we heard, is San Salvador from a ery small hamlet, Sainte-Salvadour, outside of Avignon, France. Six friends (2 pair of siblings) who grew up together. Using just their voices, 2 drums, clapping, and a tambourine they create riveting harmonies that had me rapt and actually brought tears of emotion. Here is how Mark Sampson, who interviewed them and attended a workshop, describes: “Working in a call-and-response fashion, together they embellish the phrase with vibrato and variations of pitch, and build it by repetition into something hypnotic and trance-like.” Although completely different, both Ed and I were reminded of Dakha Brakha in terms of harmonizing and pitch. We would have gone to her them a second time the following day but for the cold rain and breeze which blew in just as we arrived downtown.

I could have moved for a better photo, but I was rooted; mesmerized.

We braved it for the walk in and to a stage, but it was just too uncomfortable. Home we went to return later, which while still cold and blowy was at least dry. I warmed up real fast dancing to Corey Ledet and then Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. – both zydeco masters. Dopsie, in fact has lots of credits to his name, music used in films and recording with Paul Simon on his Graceland album. I don’t know how old he is, but man can he move, including dropping to a split and bouncing back up. He’s a real entertainer! So glad we saw him here as we missed him at French Quarter Festival.

Dopsie, Jr. (pronounced Doopsie)
His band – lots of cousins

Closing out our night was Lisa LeBlanc who we also heard the night before. She’s from New Brunswick. Again, an energetic entertainer, full of life and laughter and humor. She describes the cuisine of her area as grey. No spices, just salt. Everything is boiled. Even has a song about it. Her band was tight. They all just semed like they have a helluva good time together. Another thing we really appreciated: before their encore, Lisa left the stage. The bass player then introduced the crew, starting with support. He really took his time introducing band members all the while playing background riffs. Then Lisa came out for the finale. It was raucous fun!

Lisa and band – sorry I cut the bass guitar guy off.

And that was a rap for us!

Loop Walk and a Rainy Morning

Yesterday, Wednesday, we walked around Lake Martin. Initially the walk is on a road which ends at the beginning of a trail. We walked the length of the road and entered a quiet, leafy, trail that ran between Lake Martin on our left and a desultory canal that didn’t look like it had much life in it to our right. I can imagine that in the height of summer this walk would be neigh unendurable due to heat, humidity, and mosquitos. On this day though it was quite pleasant.

Louisiana State Wildflower – the Louisiana Iris, growing in the bayou.

The loop around the lake was 6-7 miles. About two-thirds of the way around was a Visitor Center which in the past had been a Creole house. It had a beautiful mural of the trees and birds of Lake Martin. A photo would not have done it justice. There were also a couple of alligator skins to touch along with other items. One of my favorite was a binder with feathers collected from the variety of birds making their home here. We did see lots more birds on the walk – tons of small blue heron, white egrets, snowy egrets, and flying overhead, one roseate spoonbill!

Post hike, we went to Bayou Teche Brewery outside of the town of Arnaudville. They have a very creative pizza menu; we selected the muffuletta pizza, a take on the famous New Orleans muffuletta sandwich. What might that be, you ask. Basically a round bread – sort of a cross between a focaccia and ciabatta with lots of sesame seeds, loaded with olive salad and Italian deli meats, and provolone cheese. So, the pizza had the olive salad, andouille sausage, and the usual mozzarella cheese and red sauce.

The muffuletta – warning, order a half sandwich for 2. It will still be too much.

Wondering about olive salad? It’s delicious for one thing – and so good soaking into the bread. Recipes vary, but pretty much all of them contain chopped olives; chopped pickled celery, cauliflower, and carrots (giardiniera); garlic; olive oil; and vinegar and maybe capers.

Wednesday evening and the first night of Festival Internional Louisiana! Only one stage and just two bands. Band one, was local, traditional: Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. Lots of fun to dance to. Band two, Chris Ardoin and Nustep Zydeco, was also local, but he infuses his zydeco with soul, reggae and hip hop. The place was packed with mostly young folk who knew the lyrics. We thought it was boring and left.

Thursday morning was gloriously rainy with a wind chill factor of cold. I put on several layers (including a sweater, t-shirt, and leggings I bought at Costco on Monday, that cold-ass day) and still needed a blanket wrapped around my legs. Having the appropriate “gear” for the weather makes all the difference! I was able to sit on the hanging bench under the car port with my coffee and a good book, thoroughly enjoying it all. After lunch the sun came out, and we walked into town for rolled ice cream. It was delicious and too rich. Upon reaching home we fell into a mini coma and took naps. And then it was time to head into the Festival.

Soul Express Brass Band, Louisiana – look at the dog!
ADG7, South Korea – okay music, a little shrill, but loved the stringed instruments and percussion.

Have you heard of Lauren Daigle? I hadn’t, but if you’re Christian, you may have and if you’re Christian and live in Louisiana you most certainly have heard of this singer/songwriter. She was the closing act on the large stage at 9 p.m. and a local favorite. Born in Lake Charles and grew up in Lafayette. People were there saving space by sitting on the hard top and just packed in. No chairs allowed for this act. We were at the stage for the 7:45 show Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba from Mali. Most of the crowd clearly wasn’t there for them as they were paying no attention. We were leaving because it was too hard to hear, but as we got further away from the stage and the crowd the sound was better. To finish the Lauren story – that area was at max capacity for her. We didn’t return to check her out as we knew it would be impossible. I did check her out of youtube and she has a husky voice. I can see why she’s popular.

It was an early night for us as ADG7 was meh and not much else happening. Might be that next year we come for Friday-Sunday. The thing is, I really love Louisiana in April, so hanging out here and exploring surroundings is a plus.

St. Martinville, Monday April 24

Monday was a cold-ass day! Especially in the morning. My feet and my legs were like ice! Had to sit on the couch for a bit with my legs wrapped in a blanket. By 11 or so we decided to head on out. Having heard about St. Martinville from a few of St. Bernard’s parishioners we headed in that direction. I layered up as best I could to keep the cold at bay. I just can’t get over the difference in temperatures this year compared to the previous two times I’ve been here.

Are you familiar with the poem by William Wordsworth Longfellow, Evangeline? I wasn’t until visiting this part of the country. Longfellow heard of a legend about a displaced Acadian woman spending her life searching for her love after they were separated. The tale is based upon actual historical events: the expulsion of the French speaking Acadians by the British in 1755-1758. The Brits entered towns in the region demanding that Acadians swear allegiance to the British crown. Those who wouldn’t were forced to leave, put on ships and sent to other parts of North America, some returned to France, others escaped to New France (Quebec), and still others to the French colonies in the Caribbean. Many settled in southern Louisiana and came to be known as Cajuns.

There’s a link here to St Matinville! Eventually, Evangeline was reunited with her love Gabriel under a live oak tree in St. Martinville alongside the Bayou Teche.

Along the road by the side of the church and then continuing up to the church and around the other side are markers chronicling the history of the Acadians. As an example:

I’m going to see about finding the Dolores del Rio film.

The French came to south Louisiana territory and settled here as early as 1604 – before the pilgrims of 1620 in Massachusetts, before the English of 1619 in Jamestown. DeSoto and his company are said to be the first Europeans to explore the southern US around 1530. After being relentlessly pursued and attacked by Indians, De Soto died of fever and was given a burial in the Mississippi. The remnants of his party escaped via raft and reached Mexico in 1543.

Leaving St. Martinville we stopped at the Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site. Here we enncountered an enthusiastic guide and received a bit of history, as well as a short film which was really forgettable. It’s coming along as a historic site and it seems they’re planting native plants and plan to put in identifying markers. The site includes the Maison Olivier house which you visit on a self guided tour. Maison Olivier was a Creole Plantation, but Monsieur Olivier did not have the good fortune that the family did at Laura Plantation which we visited last year. Still, it’s a good example of a Creole home in a beautiful setting.

Maison Olivier and guest house to the right.
This guest house looks comfortable enough to stay in today!
A more typical Creole cabin for the regular folk.
Interior of Creole cabin

I don’t get tired of visiting historic homes and getting a glimpse into life back then. And comparing it to now. If you were a domestic back before electric and piped in gas, you were pretty much a slave (whether you were an enslaved person or a hired Irish immigrant woman – also a common occurrence) to the stove. Water would have been needed all day every day for cooking, cleaning, baths, laundry. It would have been sooooo hot and humid on top of the natural heat and humidity.

It was an enjoyable and informative visit. There’s also a small museum in the visitor center, worth a look around.

And now, to bed. Beaux reves. (I wish I knew how to make the little hat above the first e in reves… I know it did it earlier.)

Swamp Tour

Today, Tuesday the 25th April started out with the coolness this year has brought. We went for a walk and within the hour, sun appeared and the temps went from cool to warm immediately. Which made it a great day to tour a cypress swamp on Lake Martin, about a 10 minute drive away. The “lake” is generally 3 feet deep and aobut 7 feet at it’s deepest and is loaded with alligators. Also snapping turtles on the muddy lake bed, so no swimming or paddle boarding. Lots of kayaks out and quite a few fishermen in aluminum boats.

We were 19, including our guide Brett, a couple from Holland (who had shipped their motor home to Baltimore and were on a 6 month tour), 2 young women and a young man (late 20s?) from France, and a local family (men, women, children).

Brett, our informative and entertaining guide
Bald Cypress trees

These trees, when not growing in water, grow to be 200 years old and about 120-160 feet high. Growing in water, they will always be this size as they were planted here prior to the area being flooded. It’s green in Louisiana that even the water is green!

Duck Blind

There are quite a few of these dotting the lake. At some point it was determined that no more could be built. So even though they are privately owned, the first person to arrive at any duck blind has the use of it for the day. Hunting season is November through January.

Fortunaely for the gators, lots of logs float in the lake. Gators need to sun themselves until their body temperature reaches 76 F in order to be able to digest food. Another intersting fact: measure snout to eyes; the number of inches equals their length which in turn tells you the age. Oh, only the males get longer than 8 feet.

We also saw ahingas also known as snake birds ( and one of the few birds with solid bones), great blue herons, a bald eagle, osprey and at one point went by a cloud of baby dragonflies. I did not get photos of any of them. Oh, we were also accompanied by a slew of butterflies that kept landing on us.

It was peaceful. If I lived here, I would certainly be on this body of water tooling around. But not on my paddle board!

Au revoir N’Orleans, bonjour a Baton Rouge et Breaux Bridge, Sunday, April 23

On to the next adventures…

We left the New Orleans area via the Lake Pontchatrain Causeway, which is the longest continuous bridge over a body of water in the world! It’s 24 miles of huggingly close to the water bridge. I read that some people freeze due to the expanse of water and must be escorted off the bridge by the police. At one point, looking left or right, you cannot see land, just an expanse of water to the horizon. I was surprised to see nary a boat – neither motor nor sail.

Hard to capture from the car. There are a number of emergency pull-outs from which we could have taken better photos, but once flying over this expanse of water, I just wanted to keep flying.

We enjoyed the Louisiana State Capitol building so much last year we returned. It was equally enjoyable. Here are a few photos from the 27th floor observation deck. The building itself is 34 stories high. Huey P. Long had a vision and brought it to fruition. Unfortunately, he was assassinated here while serving as US Senator. It seems Huey was gerrymandering some area to preclude a rival from being able to be elected. Said rival’s son-in-law took issue with this and shot Huey. That probably didn’t help him get elected. And then he’s got a jailbird SIL; I’m sure neither killer’s wife nor FIL were happy about this. He was a very mild-mannered looking ENT doctor. Go figure. You really can’t.

The Capitol from Memorial Park below it
Memorial Park from the 27th floor, Armory in back
Armory, saved by the citizens of Baton Rouge when it was threatened with demolition. Now a museum, it’s open only on Thursdays. BTW, both the capitol building and this museum are free to enter.
Memorial to Veterans and their families. I appreciate how the cut-out depicts a soldier saluting.

If you ever find yourself in Baton Rouge, I highly recommend visiting the caitol building and the grounds. In addition we found a restaurant with interesting food, a great atmosphere, and cocktails: Cochairs. Check it out, too!

After settling into our digs (same place we stayed last year) in Breaux Bridge, we took a walk into town, about 3/4 mile. This time I picked up a few brochures at the visitor center. One was a walking tour of the town so we proceded to follow it. Truly worthwhile! We didn’t even finish it before heading back home to continue tomorrow (whcih is now today as i write this). Well, before getting the brochure, we visited St Bernard’s church as mass had just let out. Therein, we got to talking with a local Cajun/Acadian. Got a little history about the area, about the loss of French for some due to government policies (similar to what happened to Spanish speakers and Indians in the southwest). Talked with another woman waiting for her daughter who was making her First Confession. She remarked how nervous her daughter had been and now it seemed she didn’t want to leave the confessional! Must have been an interesting conversation in there.

We’ve been in three churches in these parts. In all three, the Stations of the Cross are in French. So, while the government tried to eradicate the language and the culture, it remains strong here.

This woman drew up the plans for the town of Breaux Bridge.
Bayou Teche on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.
Bayou Teche on a sunny Monday afternoon.

Teche is the Chitimacha tribe word for snake. Bayou Teche was once part of the Mississippi which snakes ever so much through the territory. In fact there is a sculpture depicting the Bayou as a snake with towns listed along the snake. There’s a wonderful legend that goes along with it, but would take too long to go into here. It’s right by the Bayou Teche. There’s so much history in these small towns!

Continuing yesterday (Friday, the 20th)

I gave you the downtown rainy part, but not the midtown sunny part! We left the French Quarter for midtown knowing we wanted a return to 1000 Figs for lunch. Mediterranean – think falafel, tsatziki, zhoug, buttermilk marinated chicken (why haven’t I been preparing chicken that way?!) Tasty focaccia. Oh, the fried brussel sprouts! It’s all good and so fresh! We also like that neighborhood. It’s on the way to the racetrack where the Jazz Fest is held. The houses are varied and interesting, it’s tree lined, and flowery. By now, the sun was out in full force; the umbrella I’d been using for rain, transformed into a shelter from the sun. I’d burned by shoulders on Friday at the festival and so have been taking extra care. When’s the last time I burned my shoulders and had peeling skin?! Who knows…that’s how long.

1000 Figs on Ponce de Leon Street

From here we’d hoped to visit the miniature train garden in the Botanic Garden, but it was too late. A cemetary was next on the list. Also too late. But never too late, is a brewery and as we found ourselves in the neighborhood of the Second Line Brewing, off we went. The reward was the best beer we’ve found in New Orleans! Clear, hoppy West Coast style IPA and a flavorful Pilsner. And almost more children than adults – at first.

Then home for a movie – The Boondock Saints – which was dark, outlandish, and thoroughly entertaining. Willem Dafoe plays an FBI agent with a twist – or two. The Boondock Saints, fraternal twin vigilante brothers, take on some evil doers in Boston and gain a few supporters along the way. It’s violent, reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino movie, and so I don’t recommend it for everyone. Looking up the title to make sure I had it correct, I saw that Bookdock Saints II was made and III was in production last year.

Saturday – last day in New Orleans

We did go back to City Park for the Train Garden in the Botanic Garden. Another perfect day.

Typical Live Oak with Spanish Moss
Several miniature trains running on the tracks that maneuver around miniature New Orleans neighborhoods.
What is this?!

Apologies for this being out of order – had an issue and so I worked on something different. Ni modo.

Rain to Sun and Downtown to MidCity

The day dawned grey with forcasts of rain, but not much. By the time we got to the streetcar stop, a drop here, a drop there was felt. B the time we got to the French Quarter a soft steady rain sweetly falling. I love walking in a light rain with umbrella overhead, hearing the gently patter. We made our way to river’s edge. New Orleans is a city that loves water! I read that somewhere and It felt apropos. There are two paddle boats plying the river, selling day tours and evening dinner/jazz tours. Lines stretched five deep and quite long on sunny days. No one out today. It is a very smart looking boat.

Further along is a modern mall on the inside, but on the outside it looks like this.

I wanted to tour the Pitot House today, but it turns out that it’s a very popular place; nothing available until next Thursday. I was interested in this house as it was owned by some of Edgar Degas’ family. He is the only impressionist to come to the US. Probably the only one to have family here!

Instead we went to the 1850 House. It was financed and construction was supervised by the Baroness de Pontalba. Remarkable woman. A bit of her history: her father made tons of money buying and selling real estate in New Orleans. He was also a noted philanthropist, donating money to fiance the St. Louis Cathedral, a public school, Charity House, and Urusiline Chapel. At the age of 16 Micaela married Celestin de Pontalba, a French Creole. They went to live with her husband’s family in France. Her FIL was intent upon seizing her sizable inheritance and attempted to murder her! Despite being shot four times, she survived. FIL commited suicide. Good! She was granted legal separation from her husband and returned to New Orleans and went about the business of the 1850 Houses. There’s one on one side of Jackson Square and the other is across the square on the other side. St. Louis Cathedral sits between them with the river across the square from it. Most of the 1850 House now houses business on the street level, just as was intended when the Baroness had them constructed. I don’t know what’s above now, but back in the day there were apartments. The tour was a little taste into what an apartment would be like – generally three floors. Kitchen below, parlor and dining above, and lastly bedrooms. I only took the photo below, because in all the historic homes I’ve toured, never have I heard of this before – a Hair Wreath! The information stated that in mid to late nineteenth century women often made wresths, pictures, and jewelry out of hair to memorialize a loved one or as a keepsake. Sometimes many members of the family contributed locks of hair. A small memorial would be made solely from the hair of the departed. Auburn and red hair were most prized. Below you’ll see the wreath and a close up.

St. Louis Cathdral was our next stop.

This photo was taken during French Quarter Festival.
I just love that massive shell over the lectern. It’s like a big benevolent protection. I wonder if the shape helped send the Word of God forth into the church interior prior to mics. It’s a beautiful church; churches are just too difficult to capture in their entirety. One thing learned here – Louis IX, born in 1226 became king when he was just 12 years old! The stained glass windows in the church depict scenes from his life: ordination, marriage…

I’ll end tonight with this one last photo from a shoe store on Chartres Street.

Good night!

Today at NOMA

This Wednesday at the New Orleans Museum of Art

What a glorious day! Sun and clouds and breeze, warmth and coolness. We walked the mile and a half to the museum via neighborhood streets. There were some extraordinary pieces, only a few of which I think will be able to be appreciated here versus in person. So here goes…

I selected the following to share because a few of the elements reminded me of children’s books and their authors. Some of you will relate. This piece is by Twins Seven-Seven, a Nigerian painter, sculptor, and musician. What a great name! It is ink, paint, and chalk on plywood, titled The Lazy Hunters, and the Poisonous Wrestlers, Lizard and the Cobra. What struck me about it is that the lizard, particularly his clawed patas, remind me of a Maurice Sendak creature from Where the Wild Things Are. Secondly, the Lazy Hunters in the bottom right remind reminded me of a a book, No David!, due to the triangular nose. Just fun connections.

from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

No, David! by David Shannon

Now, being In New Orleans, the following piece, Lower Ninth Ward by Thornton Dial, I found to be evocative of a deluge and the damage caused, exactly the desired outcome of the artist. How artists manage to to be able to bring their vision to fruition is a marvel. Dial was 83 when he completed this piece.

All of the items in this sculptural piece were found in the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. You must expand it to see all of the elements – dolls, clothing, planks and netting…

This piece is tender and could be fleeting were it not for the velvet panel laid atop to protect it from light. I’ll just add the museum description that explains it.

Just because I’m studying French!

After relaxing chez nous for the afternoon, we ventured into the neighborhood for dinner at Liuzza’s, the second of their locales, the other being near the race track which houses the Jazz Festival and which mixes up a spicy and kicking Bloody Mary, which they sell by the hundreds (thousands?) as people flock by by on their way to the festival. This one may have an equally delicious Bloody Mary, but I opted for the French 75 – not because I’m studying French – but because I like them! And at half off Happy Hour, why not? The red beans and rice, and the garlic spinach were mouthy good. Walking home we came upon Vessel.

EAT. DRINK. CONGREGATE.

What would you say was the denomination by looking at the building?

By the way, notice the sidewalk work – so much of that here. In areas tree roots have absolutely wreaked havoc with sidewalks! But those sidewalks are left buckled and broken.

Darn good martini here; Botanical Islay Gin – so smooth.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll go back in time to fill in previous days. Today was a good day. Expecting rain tomorrow; we hear the WWII Museum is not to be missed. Then we may hit Frenchman Street for music. A demain.

Amarillo, TX April 10, 2023

Howdy! Why start with Amarillo? Cuz that’s where we hit a snafu. Imagine cruising along sweetly on I40 west, when all on a sudden, the engine starts getting rough; you give it gas and it slows down! Darn thing has a cough worse than the one I got due to bronchitis. So we pull over and stop. Nothing to do, but call the Ford dealer which I noticed we passed just a few miles west. Call the towing company they recommend – an hour to an hour and a half wait. Call another who says 30 minutes to an hour, which sounds better, until they start asking for everything but your first dog’s name. Whne you tell the woman in India or Korea or whereever she is that you are done and do not want to deal with all that, she still asks, “But sir what are your coordinates?” By then, the first towing company is calling and ready to come get you, sooner than expected, and in addition he now has room in the cab to also take us to the dealership and we don’t have to call an Uber! After lunch and another hour or two later we’re back on the road. The problem? Something from the highway got sucked up into the engine and had to be cleaned out. That’s it. So – could’ve been worse and we made our destination, Gainesville, TX albeit about 4 hours later than expected. The rest of the journey was smooth! We found a great little joint for lunch outside of Shreveport, LA called Herbie K’s. Charlie had the Special – Shrimp Remouldae Salad – which was an excellent choice! I had the Shrimp Buster which locals crave after going without for too long. Or so I was told. Heres\’s what a shrimp buster is: take a big ol’ gulf shrimp and split it in half horizontall; bread it lightly. lay it on buttered french bread; add hot sauce and cole slaw. Yummy! I also had fried oysters, which were delicious.

If we were heading home that way, we’d stop here again!

APRIL 11, 2023

I can not believe we are a week into this trip and I’m just getting started. That’ll happen when BIL and SIL are joining you and time gets taken up with visiting, in addition to sight seeing and the French Quarter Festival. On top of which, I was still recuperating from the damnable bronchitis. It did not stop me from dancing though! Or having a Bloody Mary or a beer in the course of the festival. It did result in some early nights, though.

Here are BIL, Larry and SIL, Carmen. We’re on Bourbon Street for their first and last time. Yep, that’s how much they liked it. We prefer Frenchman Street, but newcomers gotta go to Bourbon!

Before hitting Bourbon Street, we did a little tour of the Garden District. But I didn’t get any good photos. Carmen probapbly got a lot. She took lots of photos anyway. That was Wednesday the 12th April.

Thursday April 13 and the Party commences with a parade! Starts on Bourbon Street, heads to St. Ann and on up to Jackson Square. We arrived early for a good spot on St. Ann’s. Below is a photo of the quintessential local parade participant.

Then the music started in Jackson Square on the GE Stage with the Preservation Brass Band. I could not stop moving! Then Tuba Skinny came on and Carmen and I grooved and sang and had a good time! The day passed swiftly with traversing between stages and dancing and taking breaks. I know we saw Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band and later on Bag of Donuts, a local cover band with a guy looking like Gene Simmons from Kiss, one dressed like a mime, 2 guys in marching band suits, and the the lead singer’s skinny son in red spandex pants who Larry thought looked like a meth head cuz he was so slender ( they did an excellent rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, with the whole crowd singing along), and ended the night with Irma Thomas, Soul Queen of New Orleans! Do I have photos? No. Too busy dancing.

And that ends my post for tonight, cuz this dang cough is hangin’ on and I need to get some sleep! Beaux reves ma cheres.