Page Two of our daily Tour Journal   

8th May 2004
Our short sojourn in Los Angeles is over and today we fly to New Orleans in Louisiana. We decide to head off for LAX Airport very early, just in case of traffic jams on the freeway. It's well that we did because even though the freeway was particularly clear, the amount of time required to negotiate the obstacles at LAX was way beyond anything we had imagined.

In spite of the security rigmarole, there's no way it affords the type of protection we need in today's climate. What's the solution? Well I doubt that there is one. It's a chilling and sobering thought.

We encountered a pig of a flight attendant up our end of this United flight. I couldn't believe how this guy treated us and others in our compartment. I can only assume he'd just been sacked and was taking it out on anyone in sight.

We sat beside a pilot who flys for the giant FedEx courier and airfreight company. He was also in the US Marine Reserves and was just coming off stints in Iraq and Okinawa. He kept Brian thoroughly engaged with stories of what it was like serving in Iraq.

After about 3.5 hours we flew over miles and miles of swamps and bayous, crossed the Missisippi River several times and landed in New Orleans.

We took a shuttle van to our Lodgings in the famous (or should we say infamous) "French Quarter". We are staying in a very small boutique hotel called Soniat House and here is a photo of our actual room. The photo looks better than the room but we're reasonably satisfied. The main  disappointment was to discover that we have no fridge. The other surprise was the shower recess which is a long skinny job. Brian reckons that he only has 3 millimetres clearance and that he was obliged to fold back his external rear-vision mirrors before he could enter the stall.

More photos of the hotel can be found at www.soniathouse.com 

It was already past dinner time so we took to the streets in search of a restaurant. Many had queues waiting for a free seat. We found one joint which didn't and knowing in our hearts it was a bad sign we went in.

We had our first experience of eating gumbo (a Creole style of seafood soup) our first jambalaya (seafood, chicken and smoked sausage with copious amounts of sauce with pasta or rice) and our first encounter with crawdad fritters (crawdads are an American version of yabbies). The first two were ok but there wasn't much flavour left in the crawdads.

We will pay for this restaurant encounter tomorrow!

The next few hours are spent walking down the famous Bourbon Street and nearby areas. Big unruly crowds of young folks, lots of music and lots of alcohol. We figure it would be wise for oldies like us to be off the street by 1.00 am.

We couldn't capture the scene adequately on film but a few photos appear below.

Lynn is induced to play a tune on wine glass rims

 

A biker warns Brian to stop photographing.
He adds "I'm wanted in five States buddy"

 

Not only are the streets chock full of people.
All the balconies are full to overflowing as well.

 

Weighing in at 475 lbs and with a width of 10,000
pixels, how can I fit Big Al on your screen? The
biggest man I've ever seen but boy, could he sing!

 

A touch overdressed in the jewellery department?

9th May 2004
After a late night we have trouble starting our motors next day. And thanks no doubt to jambalaya and gumbo, the family plumbing is getting a real workout every hour or so.

Nevertheless, Lynn braves a breakfast of biscuits (scones), juice and coffee in the charming courtyard. Brian is obliged to be somewhat more circumspect. Besides, he's got to finish these web pages.

Lynn received a pleasant surprise when a beautiful flower arrangement arrived accompanied by a bottle of wine in an ice bucket. It was a Mother's Day gift arranged by our children back in Australia. On opening our emails Lynn was delighted to discover Mother's Day messages accompanied by a new photo of youngest grandson Rowan and a photo of Michael and Ren'ee taken that same day.

During the day Lynn also received several phone calls from our children so all in all it made a pretty nice Mother's Day. 

Lynn had researched a self guided walking tour of the French Quarter so she now led the way. Some of what we saw now follows.

Street musicians singing the blues

 

Scores of horse and buggy outfits transport
tourists on tours of the old French Quarter

 

 

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