Saturday, January 7, 2012

BCS Weekend in New Orleans/LSU/Bama

Here we are, back in New Orleans. The first thing and the best thing about this trip is the temperatures and the lack of humidity. Perfect weather for a trip to the usually steamy port city of New Orleans. 

We got off I-10 at the newly renamed Mercedes Benz Super Dome and though some of the roads around it were cordoned off, we were able to circle around and get back to the French Quarters. Police officers are every where and judging by the age of some of them, this is a temporary gig.

This is a billion dollar revenue weekend for this city. The Saints are playing a home game today (Saturday) and the Superbowl of college games is on Monday. The city's big event is that college game on Monday. Hotels are booked, the crowds immense and hopefully it will be a peaceful event.

We are staying on the Causeway in Metairie but only about 6 miles from the heart of the French Quarter. Parking is free at the hotel which is a plus as we usually have to pay parking even at a hotel had we stayed right in the Quarters. From our tenth floor room, we have an unobstructed view of the city. To the right is the skyline of New Orleans with the Super Dome looking superimposed over the tall buildings that surround it. The huge bright blue blimp floats, it appears, within a few feet of those buildings. The side of the Direct TV blimp broadcast sports games as it quietly moves about.

Our usual place to park on Decatur is now converted to a stage for the All State Fan thing that will be going on this afternoon. Aaron Neville will be providing free music this afternoon and tomorrow another music event.

We had dinner at Crazy Johnnie's last night. One of the finest steakhouses in this town and the prices are modest, we always try to have a meal there when we are in town.

Towards the later part of our evening we walked down Decatur to Cafe Du Monde and had beignets and coffee and watched the tourists brush that powdered sugar that is liberally dusted on them, off their clothing. Hint: never wear a dark colored shirt if you plan on going for beignets.

A Renassiance fair was in full swing, men playing guitars, Joan of Arch wandering around with a fire engulfing her, men wearing long rough brown cloth priest's garb and Maid Marion's ever where. They had their horses tethered in on the walkway that separates the flood wall from the Mississippi and the backs of the buildings that front Decatur. A crowd was gathered to listen to the musicians and soon they mounted their steeds and rode down Decatur to the first street leading them deeper into the Quarters.

A street car passed filled with people dressed in full Mardi Gra costumes, huge headpieces, face masks and beads around their necks. Reveling and laughter swept by us as they passed on into the night.

We quietly walked by the man passed out on the park bench but I stood to the side for a bit to make sure he was breathing. As he flailed his arms in his sleep to ward off some unseen attacker, we moved on assured that he hadn't expired.

Mimes and panhandlers were sidestepped as we made our way back to the parking lot and found our ride back to the hotel. In a city with the highest murder rate in the nation, we count ourselves as having a good evening if we arrive safely back to where we started. We know to use care in this city. We've been here before and left intact.

I'm ready for some breakfast and more coffee. I should receive a phone call from the husband who was still asleep when I sneaked out of the room to avoid waking him with my noisy self moving about the room.

Have a great weekend everybody..and a safe one!

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