Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just Me And My Baby

We went to New Orleans, and now we are back.

We decided the easiest thing to do would be to take the weekend to get ready, go on Monday morning, come back on Friday afternoon, and then have another weekend to recover.  I kind of admire people who just come to work with their suitcase in the trunk, go directly from the office to the airport, then come back from the airport to the office.  That's commitment to maximizing their travel time.  I once had a co-worker who did that, seemingly thoughtlessly, as though to do it any other way would waste time and be wrong.  Although she came back with a cold or a sinus infection or the flu almost every single time.

I'm feeling kind of low right now, which is probably a combination of post-vacation letdown, allergies making me tired, and the ugly gray weather. 

We had a great time in New Orleans, despite the rain there.  I agonized over whether to take my Nikon DSLR, trying to balance my desire to take photos with my desire not to carry around a heavy camera, but in the end I took it.  The rain kept me from using it much, I was only able to take it out for a half of one day.  I did also take a few hundred pics with my iPhone.  I'm still sorting through them all and will post some soon.

Our main goals for experiencing New Orleans were to eat great local food, go to bookstores and art galleries, and hear live music.  We definitely accomplished that.  We also wanted to get away, which we rarely do; away from work and responsibilities and normal everyday life.  Staycations are nice, but it's kind of a gyp when I am on "vacation" and yet still need to wash dishes and do laundry.

Culinary highlights were crawfish beignets and an alligator sausage po boy on Leidenheimer bread at the Market Café with a live band playing, a half muffaletta from Central Grocery which we shared at a table in a courtyard near the French Market area, jambalaya at Napoleon House, gumbo and boudin balls at a French Quarter restaurant called New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Co. (our dinner was highlighted by a parade, we were eating upstairs when we heard the drums and we ran outside onto the balcony to watch it go by and they threw candy up to us).

We also had non-Creole or Cajun food twice: once we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the Quarter, it was delicious but the best part was taking the leftover margarita in a Go cup and walking around drinking.  Oh, New Orleans.  And once we had perfectly cooked medium rare hamburgers at the Wow Café on Canal Street; the hamburgers were the best part, but we did enjoy our dinner entertainment provided by the loud, laughing drunky people at the table next to us.

On the way there I made one rule: there are so many wonderful restaurants, we were absolutely not allowed to go back to the same place more than once, no matter how much we loved it.  We broke that rule immediately by having our first breakfast at The Ruby Slipper, which was both right by our hotel and completely delicious.  We ended up eating breakfast there every day but once (we had café au lait and beignets at the Café Du Monde for breakfast one day), enjoying barbecue shrimp and grits, poached eggs with pork debris, their own local coffee blend, two musicians playing on the street right outside, and the really nice waitress who wrote out a list of things for us to be sure to see and do.

My blog title is from the theme song to Treme, which we starting watching a few weeks ago.  It's so good, filmed on location in New Orleans, and now we are especially loving watching it and spotting places we've been.  The theme song is really catchy, and was playing in my head while I was there.

"Down in the Treme
Just me and my baby
We're all going crazy
Buck jumping and having fun"
~John Boutte

Hey look, the sun is out!  I can't seeeee!