Our last full day in New Orleans

(As scribbled down in the hotel room while actually there)

Today’s not over, but I thought I ought to get everything written down now.  I didn’t sleep well last night, so may conk out early.

Don’t know the reason, but I lay here for two hours before finally getting to sleep.  We were up at 7am again, and it took several hours more before I could be classified as human.  (shut up.)

Went to PJ’s Café (I wished I was still in my pj’s) for breakfast.  I didn’t have much–some fruit and milk and about a gallon of water; all that salt in the restaurant food is causing no little water retention.

Then it was off to check in for our next tourist thing, a narrated bus tour around New Orleans.  To kill time afterwards, we did some more wandering around.  This time we went further south, to the French Market area for a quick perusal.  Then back to the bus.

Paul kept asking me what was wrong; he does worry about me, the dear man.  It took me a bit to convince him that I was merely tired.  It was my lack of conversation and kind of just staring into space a lot that concerned him.  Lack of sleep will do that to me.  Just all-around tired.

The bus driver/tour guide had a terrific story-telling style.  He drove us out of the downtown area; the route took us to Lake Pontchartrain in the north.  We had a short stop at a cemetery, so we obligingly looked around a little.

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Ten minutes, and we were off again.

Lake P. is HUGE!  I had no idea.  You can’t see the other side.  (Friday, up in the plane, I could see just how big it is.  Wow…)

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We maneuvered around its banks for a bit, then drove through the park there (which is actually bigger than New York’s Central Park).  There are museums, golf ranges, about sixty tennis courts, two regulation-sized football fields, and a zoo, to name a few attractions.  I’d like to come back some day and spend several days there.

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Not much hurricane damage could be seen from our vantage point, but our guide assured us that there were 8-10 feet of water where we were driving around today.  I sure hope flooding like that never happens again.

We got back to the tourist center just in time to board the steamship Natchez again.

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Took the same direction as the dinner cruise, except this time we didn’t have anything to eat.  And it was daylight, so we could see more.

Once we got back to the starting point, we had lunch nearby, then walked around and did more tourist goggling.

Ummm…where did we go…

Oh yeah–I wanted to have a more in-depth look at the French Market and the Flea Market.  Lots of interesting stuff, much voodoo things, mostly tourist stuff.  I was hoping for a flea market where folks were selling their castoffs, like a large rummage sale.  But it was great fun to browse.

I did buy a ring for my index finger–it’s a fancy filigreed silver with a purplish black stone in the center.  My Barnabas Collins ring, I am calling it.

I also bought a really cute dress.  Purple, handmade and hand-dyed (or so I’m told).

The highlight of the day, however, was when we stopped off at Pirates Alley and had…

…ABSINTHE!!

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I’d been wanting to try the stuff, and while I’m not a big fan of black licorice, I had to try it anyway–just to say I had.  My mom loved licorice, and we had it around the house a lot as I was growing up.  The taste made me think of her, so there was a homey, nostalgic connection to it.  In other words, I kinda liked it.  Paul didn’t like his, so I finished it off for him.  Absinthe used to be made with wormwood, and of course it isn’t anymore.  So no hallucinations–well, no more than usual for me (hee hee).

I wanted to visit the state historical museum next, but they were closing soon.  Phoo–another “next time” thing, I guess.

The garden area in Jackson Square was FINALLY open so we wandered through there for a few minutes.

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We found an art shop with some really cool hand-drawn pics that reminded us a lot of the art in the McMenamins pubs around home.  W didn’t buy any, but we did take a card, and might see to getting some prints online.

And, with nothing much left to do, we came back to our room.  Paul zonked out, I read, then shut my eyes for a few minutes.

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This is where my journal ends.  We left the next day, after having an outdoor breakfast accompanied by about seven or eight sparrows.  The cheeky little beggars came so close, I was able to stroke the feathers of one of them.

The weather was cold and drizzly, which was exactly the kind of weather we are used to.

It was nice to get home.  This trip was great, but it was just about the right length of time.

Next big trip:  Brasil!  Guess we’d better get the Rosetta Stone software up and running, so we can have at least some comprehension of Portuguese before we go down there.

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