Quick Getaway To New Orleans

I had a business trip to one of my favorite places on earth…New Orleans aka The Big Easy. With a little coaxing I was able to get my lovely bride to tag along for the back half of the trip and we even tacked on a day for ourselves. Business meetings only left Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon through Friday morning for ourselves, we soaked it up like a sponge.

Jac arrived Wednesday afternoon and bumped into a pal of mine on the plane and they shared a cab from the airport to the hotel, this saved about $40 (we got the hotel & flight for free with frequent flyer miles & Hilton Honor points, so this trip was a bargain). Jac promptly went to Cafe Du Monde and enjoyed a Cafe Au Lait and Beignets. Once my meetings wrapped up, we made our way to the French Quarter and hit up Bourbon Street with our first stop at Pat O’ Brien’s to enjoy a Hurricane and music at the Piano Bar.

Afterwards we wandered around until we found Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest bar in New Orleans and it is primarily lit by candle. There was a lady that vaguely sounded like Stevie Nicks playing on the piano, we were now officially in the thick of things.

Behind me in the picture below is the outside of Lafitte’s. In my hand I’m holding a CrawGator 151 concoction. It is a frozen slushy drink with lots of odd flavors and Rum 151. It is perfectly legal to walk the streets of New Orleans with a drink in your hand and many establishments have windows on the street so you can pick up a cold beverage as you walk the streets. Things are getting blurry now!

Bourbon Street is mainly patrolled by police on horseback, fortunately, Jac and I didn’t receive any disciplinary action on our trip.

On day 2, we headed out to the French Quarter, specifically into the French Market so we could get lunch at a restaurant that was on a distinct angle, the floor was sloped so a lemon would have rolled across the dining room in about 30 seconds. It was about 160 years old and the food was spectacular, Tujagues (pronounced Two Jacks). It is the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans.

Right next to the French Market is Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, I suspect Disney Land was inspired by it.

We checked into our Hilton Hotel, which was the historic Roosevelt. It was grandeur!

Here’s the rooftop pool area of the Roosevelt and Jac looks stunning as usual! That’s a church behind her across the street.

Our valet recommended we visit Frenchmen Street as he said it focuses more on music and tiny bit less on the booze, that’s a tradeoff I can live with and we loved it! As we walked down the street we heard the most amazing thumping, lively, hip, boisterous, brass band jazz music imaginable and as we approached, we found this crazed group of ragamuffins just hammering away with their instruments. People were dancing in the street and the night was ALIVE!

We passed what looked like a small Japanese sushi restaurant from the outside, but heard more incredible brass band jazz blasting out the tiny doorway, we stepped inside and couldn’t believe our eyes and ears, it is liked they stuffed a marching band into a phone booth, these guys were singing and blasting away at their instruments, things were hot on Frenchmen (image below of the Japanese Restaurant, Yuki).

Frenchmen Street also had a little artsy market that went through the night:

Jac found an antique market earlier in the day she loved:

Our best meal came at the venerable Commanders Palace about 15 minutes outside downtown New Orleans in the Garden District. The Garden District is filled with palatial mansions inhabited by Archie Manning, John Goodman, and many people cooler than me. They say you have to try the snapper soup at Commanders, I did and was not disappointed.

Across the street from Commanders Palace is an old cemetery with lizards running everywhere.

On Friday morning we grabbed some beignets one last time, it is like funnel cake with immense amounts of powdered sugar.

What an amazing trip with a beautiful woman, the way New Orleans was meant to be!

Garage Sale

I am sitting on a metal black folding chair in my driveway as CEO of Deem Family Holdings launching our initial public offering. The business has been brisk with old DVDs and margarita glasses being the biggest sellers so far. 

The garage sale was advertised to begin at 9AM, but shady middle aged men driving 1994 Ford Escorts or Honda Civics from the 1980s rolled up around 7:30AM. I was in the midst of setting up and dragging out old furniture when these creepy characters approached me and whispered, “Hey man, got any old toys for sale?” Let’s think about this for a second, is there anything creepier than a grown man slinking around people’s properties asking for old toys, it is really depressing or right out of a horror movie.
These turds then proceed to find the most valuable thing you have for sale, like a hand woven rug from Persia that costs thousands of dollars new and asks you how much you’re selling it for and you say $20, they tell you that they’ll give you a nickel. I just want to whack them over the head with a broom. By the way, the rug is just an example, we do not own a thousand dollar rug. 
Jaclyn and I are putting the proceeds to our upcoming trip to New Orleans next week, so far we have cab fare from the airport plus a couple rounds of drinks, which I deem a success.

He’s No Meathead

Winston has signed up for football this year. Unfortunately, he’s just like me and has very little intensity when it comes to the game. When I was playing in high school, I remember kids throwing up before games, teammates standing on chairs and screaming at the team in the locker room, and people getting all kinds of agitated because of some dumb quote in the newspaper. I on the other hand would just be chilling in the corner playing Gameboy and telling the team to calm down, the quote was probably taken out of context.

Anyways, Winston doesn’t seem very interested in the game of football, but he likes being on the field and hanging with the guys. I have to log a couple funny stories about his experience thus far:

Story 1:
Winston’s team was stretching before a Thursday practice, on Friday the team was expected to be at a Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. As the team was stretching, Winston announced, “Hey guys, sorry I cannot make the competition tomorrow, but I am going to be at a My Little Pony pizza party tomorrow and can’t make the competition.” The rest of the boys looked at him and weren’t sure he was serious or not, but he was.

Story 2:
The team was stretching and Dalia was on the sidelines talking to other girl siblings in attendance. Winston shouts from the middle of the field, “Hey, Dalia!!!”

Dalia responds “What!?”

Winston yells back “I love you!”

Dalia says “I love you too!”

Story 3:
I was driving Winston to his football game this Saturday and somehow got on the topic of how I met Jaclyn. I said that one day she came into the fish market where I was working and I said, “WHOA, hold on everyone, this is the most beautiful woman in the world and I need to talk to her.” I walked over to Jaclyn and told her she was beautiful and that I wanted to take her to dinner. She said that as long as I treated her like a princess and used my best manners, I could take her out.

Winston seemed to be paying attention, but made little comment about the story. After Winston’s football game, I was buckling his seat belt and he says, “Dad, guess what I did today?” I said, “I don’t know”. He looked at me with a goofy smile and said “I walked right up to a cheerleader and said that she was the most beautiful girl I ever saw!”

I asked him if she slapped him and he said no. Well done son, you’re my boy!