New Orleans – 2017

Mar 3rd. – Day 30

I am excited as Kate comes in this morning. Pat is picking her up at the airport and she should be here around 9:30. I waited out on the balcony and Pat pulled up with not only Kate but also a surprise as Cara is with her. Great to see them both, especially Cara as she has been away from home since last August.

Once they were settled in we walked down to the Clover Grill for breakfast. Skye, Georgia and Junior joined us. They are predicting heavy storms today. Everyone has decided to go to the World War II museum which is a good idea. Best way to do something and stay dry. I will go back to the apartment and chill out.

The storm cleared around 4 although another heavy storm front is due later this evening. Better today than tomorrow, being the start of the second week of Jazz Fest.

Craig Horne phoned to say the Aussie group he is with will be going to the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen for dinner around 7:30. He asked if I knew where it was? Of course I do, been there a number of times over the last few years.

The girls got back around 6ish. The weather has become remarkably cold. Heavy clouds are threatening one again.

We meet up with Craig’s group and Jennie and Owen joined us. All in all there are 20 Aussies in the house. We had only been seated a short while when the heavens opened up once again. Kate and Cara shared a meal. Guess what? Yep, lasagne and fries. I was in charge of collecting the money for the bill payment. I thought I had counted it correctly but the waiter brought our money back and said it was $20 short. I had already spruiked to Junior that old Bankers don’t make mistakes counting money. I counted it gain, I was correct, the waiter is wrong. The waiter apologised and I sighed in relief. 

I walked Kate and Cara back to the apartment. They are very tired as they had to be up at 4 this morning to catch their flight from Orlando to New Orleans. I made sure they were safely home and headed back to Frenchman St. too catch up with Skye, Georgia, Junior, Jennie and Owen for a nightcap. As I walked back there was some very intense lightning and thunder. I just managed to get to Cafe Negril before the heavy rain started once again. The band at Cafe Negril were just so-so so, we madly dashed across the road to the Apple Barrel and enjoyed a couple of nightcaps. I called it a night just after 10, the rain is persistent but not to heavy. Well it wasn’t that heavy. Couple of minutes into the 10 minute walk back home and the rain is torrential and the lightning scarily close. Got back absolutely drenched.

New Orleans – 2017

May 2nd. – Day 29

Looks like it is going to be another fine day although the forecast for the next two days is not flash.

William knocked on my door around 10. We are going uptown to  Rousse’s Fresh Food Market. I am going to ‘make groceries’ for Kate’s arrival tomorrow morning.

Groceries ‘made’ and in the trunk of the car. Then a funny thing happened. I went and got in the driver’s side and William at the same time got in the passenger’s side. Once we established that this would not work we made the correct adjustment. William couldn’t stop laughing. 

Noon and I went down to Saint Cecilia for lunch. I ordered the Poutine Po’ Boy – Debris Roast Beef, gravy, fried cheese cubes, dressed on the side with fries. I tried my best but could not eat it all. I wanted a good lunch in preparation for the Crawfish Festival  at Crescent City Brew House starting at 3. I scanned a free magazine while eating. Seems like there is a festival of some sort every weekend in New Orleans and surrounds. The Greek Festival May 12. The mid-city Bayou Boogaloo May 19 -21. Kate would love to be here, June 2nd. For National Doughnut day. The Creole Tomato Festival, June 10-11 are just but a few of the different celebrations around town.

Today’s newspaper has reports of one of the Confederate Monuments (General P.G.T. Beauregard) being vandalized over night.

I got an Uber over to Crescent City Brewhouse at 3. Got my V.I.P pass and I am drinking an IPA Rebirth beer. Last year was the first time this 3 day festival had been run. This year it is in a different location. Two stages are set up. A smaller indoor stage and a much larger outdoor stage. The first band kicked off at 3:30 – Boukou Groove. A real funky band with Big D on guitar. Big D will also be with Jon Cleary’s band later this evening. By the way, for those that do not know the origin of the word funky. It was an African American word from the middle of last century, meaning a smell more directly linked to the smell of sex!

Jennie and Owen are in the house and we hooked up for the rest of the day. The 2nd band up was Alvin Youngblood Hart with Luther Dickinson. We had our first feed of crawfish and settled in to listen to Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentleman. Great set of ‘funky’ music. Owen is smashing the crawfish and had at least 3 pound of the tasty morsels. I then had the honor of meeting the legendary bass player George Porter Jnr.

There are a couple of stalls selling jewelry. I purchased a Crawfish Festival T Shirt and then saw another stall with lots of different spice and gumbo mixes. I asked how much? Free the guy said. I told him of my love of cooking New Orleans style. I thought he would give me one sample. He loaded up two plastic bags of stuff and just said. ‘enjoy.’

We have been drinking a beer that is made with lemon and basil. Sounds weird but tastes great. Lighter that the more hoppy IPA’s and very refreshing  on a warm day. All in all a great day of music, food, brews and good company. We shared an Uber back to town and went our separate ways.

New Orleans – 2017

May 1st. – Day 28

Well, I mentioned yesterday that a storm hit New Orleans. I knew the rain had been heavy but I am sure I had seen worse over here. Maybe not according to the report in the local paper. A record rainfall in just a few hours.

Up early at 8:15 and down to Belle’s Diner for breakfast. My first choice EnVie’s had a long line of people. 

Got my laundry up to date. Time to check what time I need to leave to got over to the first day of the three day Crawfish Festival at NOLA Brewhouse on Sth. Rampart. So glad I checked my ticket as I have a ticket for tomorrow! Sort of worked out O.K. as to be honest I am still very tired and another day of rest will do me good.

Went out for lunch at Mona’s Middle Eastern Restaurant on Frenchman. Had the Lamb Shish Kebab. Speaking of lamb I have sort of promised William that I will cook them a traditional Lamb Roast. William has never eaten roasted lamb.

Just chilled out watching T.V. I have Direct T.V. on cable. Sort of Foxtel on steroids. Still a lot of crap but also a lot better choice that Foxtel. Especially if you are old like me. Anyone remember the Twilight Zone? I also, finally, got to watch the last Harry Potter film.

Back to the Verti Marte for take-out. Chicken tenders, mashed potato and corn. I can only eat half of it. Left the other half on the kitchen bench to cool down before putting it in the fridge. Before bed I went to put my leftover food away. I was attacked by a giant cockroach. Left over food now in the bin. May have to leave the light on tonight!

New Orleans – 2017

April 30th. Day 27

No sleep again until after 3:30A.M. and then I didn’t awake until 11:15

The skies are looking threatening. I checked the online Picayune, luckily, and read that the festival will not open the gates until the afternoon. A huge storm is on it’s way with a tornado warning as well. I hope that Skye, Georgia and Jnr. got away all right this morning for their flight to Cuba.

The storm hit around 11:30 and there is nothing to do now but wait it out. Truth be known I am sort of glad as I am overwhelmingly tired. Maybe just watch some T.V. for a while. Good idea foiled as the storm has knocked out the satellite. Always the radio I guess. I was just enjoying WWOZ when there was a huge clap of thunder overhead and now the radio is knocked out.

The storm finally settled down after 1 P.M. and I went down to the Quartermaster for lunch. Got the Chicken Fried Steak. Bad choice it was horrible. It is still raining but nowhere near as heavy.

For the first time ever I did not go over to the Festival because of the weather. The rain has stopped but from experience I know that there will be a lot of mud around. Still dog tired and I spent most of the day dozing in front of the T.V.

I will be having a big day tomorrow as I have pre-booked a day ticket for the three day crawfish festival. I have not heard from the young’uns so I am assuming they got away o.k.