Clockwise from the left there is a shot in the French Quarter of New Orleans, a picture of Cindy, and the front of Preservation Hall.
On the third day of our trip, Wednesday, we went to New Orleans. It wasn’t completely a smooth trip there. We had to turn around and go back to Abbeville. No, we didn’t forget Barbara. It was for a different reason.
When we got to the city we parked in a lot in the French Quarter and set out on foot. Jenna and Cindy traded off pushing Barbara in a wheelchair. That wasn’t an easy task in the crowded streets. Shame on me for not offering to push her.
There were two objectives we wanted to meet during this visit, one for me and one for Cindy. I wanted to see Preservation Hall, where the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs. We saw it from the outside, but couldn’t go in because there was a private event going on inside. Maybe on our next trip we will get inside.
Cindy wanted to go on a Voodoo/graveyard tour, Unfortunately, if we had stayed in the city for the tour we wouldn’t have able been to leave New Orleans until around 11 p.m. or midnight. Then we would have had about a two-hour drive ahead of us. We didn’t want that. Oh, and pushing Barbara through graveyards didn’t really appeal to us. Perhaps on our next trip we will spend a day or two and nights in New Orleans.
What we did do was some window shopping. In one case I went beyond the window and bought a nifty T-shirt to memorialize the trip. We also had a delicious lunch at the Napoleon House. And finally we were ably to watch a scene for N.C.I.S. New Orleans being prepared for shooting. We saw Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, and Vanessa Ferlito. Ms. Ferlito scowled as much out of character she does when in character. Cindy only drooled a bit when she saw Mr. Bakula.
Ah. Memories. I took this short sequence of photos during our first stop while on our second day on the road. I hoped that it wasn’t a foreshadowing of the rest of the trip.
I had originally planned on titling this series of posts A short trip to New Orleans and return but that seemed in retrospect to be misleading…like the first sign in the above album page. You see, based on things Cindy had told me about her previous trips to Louisiana when she visited friends, she had left the impression that they lived in a suburb of New Orleans. They didn’t. In fact they live in Abbeville which according to Google Maps is about a 150 mile drive from New Orleans.
My first clue about the location came when I woke from a nap while Cindy was driving. I had driven all morning and traded off with Cindy after lunch. I woke up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when we were approaching the bridge that crossed over the Mississippi River heading west. I know enough rudimentary geography to realize that we were heading in the wrong direction if we were going to New Orleans. I pulled out my smart phone and Googled Baton Rouge to Abbeville and found that we were driving in the right direction but still had about 80 miles to travel. That is when I realized that we wouldn’t be spending a lot of time in New Orleans.
We arrived in Abbeville and drove to Barbara’s apartment where we would be staying. After we unpacked the car we drove over to Michael, Jenna and Hudson’s house. Michael had been cooking all day, preparing for our arrival. He was barbecuing ribs, chicken wings, and sausage. In addition there was home-made potato salad and a tossed salad. If there was more, I forgot about it in a cloud of subsequent satiation. It was quite the welcoming dinner.
We ate a lot, and talked a lot. And when we were done, we climbed back into the car and drove back to Barbara’s where we collapsed in exhaustion. Thus ended day 2.
Cindy decided that we had to take a week out of our lives so that we could drive to Louisiana to visit some of her friends. They are special friends. One, Barb, is the sister of Cindy’s best friend, Marilyn, who recently died. The others are Barb’s son Michael and his family. On any other occasion I would love to go to Louisiana, but let’s face it, this trip was going to involve a lot of crying.
I didn’t want this to be a totally lachrymose occasion, so I planned on taking at least one photo each day that had no wet tissues or hankies in sight. I also wanted to document anything that caught my fancy or curiosity.
Day 1 4/10/2017
There were few opportunities to take pictures on the drive down. We were booking it. Do people still say booking it? I took this when we stopped to eat dinner in Southaven, Mississippi. We covered a little over 500 miles on the road that day.
Two things of interest happened on the drive. The first was when we pulled in to the Trail of Tears Rest Stop in Illinois. I knew that the Trail of Tears refers to the forced move of American Indians from their land so that it could be taken by immigrants and children of immigrants. But I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that the Trail of Tears might also refer to parents taking very young children on their first long car trip.
There were the usual amenities at the rest stop, plus a couple of picnic tables. We had packed the fixings for sandwiches and took this opportunity to have some lunch. Cindy and I alternated using the facilities and insuring that nobody stole our sandwiches. When I was returning from the clean restrooms I noticed a pickup truck in the parking area, and beside it was a girl lying face down on the asphalt. I guessed that she was alright since there were two adults walking around her and the truck. After a bit she popped up onto her feet and walked around smiling. Very curious.
Later during the trip, while Cindy was driving through a part of Arkansas, she determined that we were getting very low on gasoline. It was so low that she decided that she needed to get off of the Interstate at the next exit to fill up the tank. Unfortunately when we got off the Interstate there were no gas stations at the intersection. So we turned east and headed for the nearest town a few miles away. We arrived at the hamlet and found that there were no gas stations there, so we turned around and headed back towards a town west of the intersection.
Before we got to that town Cindy spied a young man walking, so she pulled over to ask him where the nearest gas station was located. He thought for a moment and told us to turn onto a dirt road. He said that we should follow it until it came to a T intersection and to turn right. In a couple of miles we would find a gas station in a town that he named. So off we went down the dirt road. In the meantime I Googled the town he had named. Google told me that we should turn left rather than right when we got to the T intersection. Against her better judgement, Cindy followed Google Maps rather than the young man.
Around ten or twelve miles later we arrived at the location Google Maps had led us to only to find an empty field. In fact, at the arrival Google Maps provided a photograph of the empty field.
By this time Cindy was split between panic at having a gas tank that was almost empty, and anger at me for convincing her to believe in technology. The sensor in her gas tank indicated that she only had enough gas for a few more miles. We started searching frantically for another nearby town with hopes of finding gasoline. We came to another small village with no gas station. We saw a gentleman using a weed whip in his front yard and pulled up to ask him the location of the nearest gas station.
He asked us where we had come from. I told him and emphasized that we just wanted the nearest station. He gave us directions for which we thanked him, and set out on our renewed quest. A couple of miles down the road, the electronic gas tank sensor decided that we were out of gas, but we kept purring along. We went on for another ten miles or so before we got to the gas station where we filled the tank and returned to the Interstate highway.
Cindy praised God for keeping the car running. At first I thought that maybe it was similar to the fishes and loaves, but upon reflection realized that it was more akin to the Hanukkah Miracle concerning the oil that fueled the Temple’s menorah. I, on the other hand, decided that the sensor was faulty and that we couldn’t trust it to be accurate. You can decide for yourself.
This another photo that I took last month when I was driving around Linden. I really need to go out and get some new shots. Perhaps I’ll do that this afternoon.
I started this post with one definite idea that I wanted to state. But my mind wandered and my thoughts started drifting. I think that there is something of a logical sequence, but I may be wrong. I leave it to you. Oh, and I hope I don’t offend anyone…too much.
I was reading a short story last night, and in it there was a reference to people out for an evening jog. This story was published in the 1990’s, and it occurred to me that running and jogging was more than a passing fad. I guess that until there is definite scientific proof that taking a nap is better for your health than strenuous activity, I shall forever be clucked at sympathetically by those who bow at the altar of physical fitness.
Save your sympathy. I don’t need it; neither do I want it. Another thing that I don’t want is spending money on special shoes and clothing. I’m old and often grumpy and cheap. I am not going to wear a spandex track suit or sweat pants. Sweat pants are probably the ugliest fashion statement perpetuated upon the public. Not even a supermodel or leading man actor can make them look good.
I don’t feel that I am overly vain, but I refuse to be seen in public or, even in the privacy of my home, wearing them. Plus, I think they are uncomfortable. “What?” you say. “You don’t think looking and being slovenly is comfortable?” Well, maybe slovenly is a bit of a stretch. I’ll narrow that to just looking slovenly. Does that satisfy you?
I suppose I have been a tad too nasty today.I am sorry. I’ll try to end on an upbeat thought. May the unicorn in your garden fertilize your tomato plants.