As I mentioned last weekend, Hubby and I just got back from a trip to New Orleans. My sister and her husband had generously offered to share their two bedroom hotel suite with us if we wanted to join them. We definitely wanted to go, and somehow everything fell into place and before we knew it, we were off to the Big Easy…
Getting there involves flying to Calgary, then on to Denver, before finally reaching New Orleans. As much as I love going to new places, I’m starting to hate airports.
Sidebar: When I snapped this lovely picture of Calgary from the plane, little did I know what devastation the Bow River would cause a mere week later. My heart goes out to all the people in southern Alberta whose lives are affected by that horrendous flood.
We had been told at the Kelowna airport that we didn’t need to collect our luggage in Calgary and I was a little sceptical about this because my sister, who had flown out before us, warned me that our connection time was tight and we’d have to hurry to collect our luggage before we cleared US customs. Hubby decided to follow the Air Canada employee’s information and so we entered the long customs line without our suitcase. To say I was a little nervous would be a gross understatement.
As I watched everyone else around us with their luggage in tow, I began to feel more and more sick to my stomach. It was a very long line and customs personnel are not known for their patience or sense of humour. As the line crept forward, I frantically began formulating plans of what to do if we needed to go back and get our luggage. We wouldn’t have time to go through the long line again and Hubby had a bad knee that would prevent him from hurrying. When we got to the custom wicket, I breathlessly explained our situation and the agent confirmed my fears.
We needed to collect our luggage.
I’m so very thankful that he was a compassionate man with a sense of humour. After asking Hubby if he’d packed his Pepto Bismol (you should have seen Hubby’s face—he didn’t get that the guy was joking about the spicy food in New Orleans), the agent allowed him to wait there while he closed his wicket and accompanied me back to the luggage carousel where our lonely suitcase was waiting all by itself. A little embarrassing to be escorted through the customs area by a US custom’s agent, but by that point I was just so relieved, I didn’t much care.
Combine that undue stress with the “pat down” I once again had to endure at the Kelowna airport, and the trip was not off to the most relaxing start.
The Denver airport is immensely long and, of course, we arrived at one end and had to depart from the other end. But they had lots of marvellous moving walkways that we could take to save the wear on Hubby’s knee. According to my youngest son, there’s all kinds of conspiracy theories regarding the Denver airport and he showed me photos of some pretty freaky artwork hanging in it, but I thought it was nicely laid-out and attractive. We breezed through the length of the terminal without any problems and arrived at our gate with enough time to grab something to eat.
We don’t live in an area where you have to be prepared for tornadoes or hurricanes, so I found it interesting (and disconcerting) to see this sign posted around the airport.
Our first glimpse at the mighty (or is it the muddy) Mississippi River.
We arrived at the Hotel de la Monnaie in time for a quick walk around the French Quarter before choosing a place to eat dinner. The horse-drawn carriages looked elegant in the dusk.
No visit to the French Quarter is complete without joining the throngs of humanity for a stroll down Bourbon Street after dark. You might see anything…or everything. Much to Hubby’s appreciation, some of the beautiful young ladies trying to entice us into their clubs left little to the imagination. But it was all good fun and an experience not to be missed.
We ate a late dinner at a place called Oceana, just off Bourbon Street. Hubby had the most incredible seafood platter and I had an equally incredible slice of pecan pie (that’s pronounced peecon, y’all know).
After a stressful day of travel, I didn’t have much of an appetite, so I just mooched off Hubby’s plate, tasting catfish for the very first time. Once I managed to banish from my mind the image of the little corries in our aquarium back home, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A tender white fish, it was surprisingly delicious. I also pilfered a little alligator sausage from my brother-in-law’s plate, which wasn’t so bad either. Food doesn’t hold a lot of charm for me and I’m not an adventurous eater, but I decided on this trip to experience at least a taste of the famous local cuisine.
I’m sorry to have written so many words and posted so few pictures, but I promise I have plenty of beauty shots and good times to share. Come back for another taste of the Big Easy next weekend.