Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nola

I've been feeling a little crazy lately, crazier than normal. When the crazy spikes, so does my desire to get the hell out of a dodge, so its never been unusual for me to just jump in the car and drive. Caleb remembers this well from the first time I called him from a Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs, explaining I just needed some air and hey wouldja look at that I'm in the desert. I don't have a desert to escape to anymore, so I chose the next best spot. My dad had bought a van to take down to Florida over Thanksgiving, so I had my getaway car and a destination. New Orleans beckons the crazy, clutches the looney-tunes to its powdered sugar busom, so I coaxed the hubby into a family roadtrip to the happiest place on earth - happy if you are half out of your mind, craving beignets and looking for answers in the tattered deck of a con artist psychic.

We rolled into the French Quarter Sunday night, and baby girl was wild with excitement. She was probably just thrilled to be out of her carseat, but I like to think that she, too, has her mother's gypsy blood in her. She squealed and waved to every passerby and eagerly grabbed at every piece of fried New Orleans grub within striking distance. Monday morning began at Petunia's, a pink gayer-than-gay breakfast spot featuring deafening showtunes, singing waiters, lots of men checking out my husband, and, naturally, homemade sausage. An 80 year old tarot card reader regaled me with tales of her peeping Tom before giving me a bland, general reading - though she kept asking me about the "blonde" I work with. (Andria is your aura burning?) Apparently we knew each other in a former life. I finally got to visit Faulkner Books only to learn that I had just missed the Faulkner writers conference the day before. The owner thanked me for shopping there and for not buying into the bad press. Come to think of it, I didn't see a single looter or war zone anywhere. The rest of the day was spent wandering around cemeteries and shops along Magazine Street in the Garden District. We ogled the giant mansions, coveted the cool boutiques and chowed down on fried chicken at Jacques-Imos to make it all feel better. Oh - that pumpkin pie gelato complete with pie crust at Sucre didn't hurt either.

Monday we got our requisite beignets at Cafe du Monde, watching men in clown makeup smoke cigarettes and a hustling trumpet player hold long-ass notes for applause. Then - a trip 7 years in the making - we drove out to Odd Fellows Rest cemetery. I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering how I managed to get the geography of Crimson House so messed up and if my story was even salvageable. More shopping and eating took the edge off. We had an incredible lunch at Lillette - sizzling,lemon-oregano shrimp in their creepy shells, a buttered brioche parma ham sandwich with buffalo mozzarella and leyer lemon. After such a yummy meal Caleb seemed a little more amenable to the idea of pulling up stakes and moving closer to foodie heaven. Dessert were truffles snagged from Prince Michael chocolate on the way out of town. We said a sad goodbye to New Orleans as we pointed the minivan toward the Redneck Riviera. I have a feeling I and my crazy train will be back soon.



4 comments:

Stephanie said...

That sounds wonderful! We miss New Orleans- we haven't been there since May 2005, a month before I got pregnant with Chloe and four months before Katrina. We need to get back!

Secret Agent Mom said...

We took Miss M to New Orleans when she was almost exactly H's age and all had a great time (mostly thanks to a last-minute decision to bring our backpack carrier - hope you weren't one of those poor suckers trying to roll a stroller over NOLA sidewalks).

Stacey Greenberg said...

i haven't been there since about a month before i got pregnant with satchel!! and i have family and free place to stay there!!

tell me more...

Amanda said...

i am in desperate need of a beignet!!!!!!!!

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