New Orleans

Day 9-April 17th


Sherman and David Jeffersen (Jeff) @ FQF


@ House of Blues


Glorious weather today.

Pat picked us up at 11:30 for lunch. We drove over to Gentilly to the original Fiorellas. There is still a Fiorellas on Decatur, but it is no longer operated by this famous New Orleans family. Fiorellas is recognised for some of the best-fried chicken in New Orleans. So that is what the three of us ordered. Three pieces of delectable fried chicken with a side of mashed potato and gravy and smothered green beans. It is not yet noon when we get our meal and already a line is gathering to order. A true neighbour diner that is popular, and rightly so for the food is finger-lickin’ good. Pat and Bob lived not far from the diner pre-Hurricane Katrina. We took a short drive to there old home (now a vacant block). Pat said it is hard to recognise the old neighbourhood as so many homes and business are not the same. We drove over a small bridge and Pat told us this was the spot she and Bob swam to after their home was flooded with nine feet of water. The bridge was their home for two days. Sobering recollections indeed. I can’t imagine what they and so many other thousands of New Orleanians went through.

Back home by 1:30 and time to blog and chat with the neighbours. Scott is heading home later today and so he is soaking in the New Orleans sun while he can. He and Cherie come from Delaware where the temperature is a chilly 2 degrees Celsius today.

Another neighbour from across the street just delivered a big old slice of King Cake share.

Another afternoon nap for me before we head out to have dinner with Stew and Carol at Mona’s. Mona’s is on Frenchman Street and close on by is the Louisiana Music Factory. I picked up two C. D’s: Old Crow Medicine Shows. 50 Years of Blond on Blonde, a live recording of Bob Dylan’s 1966 iconic album and Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Tell the Devil..I’m Getting There as Fast as I Can

After dinner, we strolled through the artists market. So much good stuff to buy but so hard to get it home.

Around 9:15 we headed back to the apartment to await the arrival of Paul Murphy who is coming in on the train for an overnight stay before leaving again on the train tomorrow at 9 AM. Paul arrived around 9:45 and dumped his bag. He will spend the night with us on the couch. To be In New Orleans for such a short time is not ideal. We decided to go back over to Frenchman so he could experience a little this city has to offer. John Lisi and Delta Funk are setting up at Café Negril. Paul and I both have on the same Howlin’ Wolf t-shirt. John Lisi was pretty taken with that and took a photo of us. The crowd is still thin, so he pointed around to the crowd who were mostly locals and then to Paul and I and said we were Aussies and would probably make more noise than everyone else in the room. I told him that he had several fans back home and he was very chuffed indeed. He sang a Howlin’ Wolf song just for us.

We stayed for an hour and Paul was impressed with the quality of the band.



New Orleans

Day 8 – April 16th


Up early(ish) and down to Canal Street for breakfast at IHOP.

I got a message from Johnny Sansone inviting us to dinner/movie tonight at his home. Wow, that is so nice.

Paul Murphy made contact to say that he will now be in New Orleans tomorrow night. He is coming in on Amtrak and will leave again on Wednesday morning. We are making plans to catch up.

Pat has also messaged us with our Texas travel plans and we will meet up tomorrow for lunch. Man, it is all go and so very good to have so many lovely New Orleans friends. Gary Jones was briefly in town yesterday and was at FQF watching Cyril Neville. Today he and his partner are catching a Paddle Wheeler up to Memphis. He will be back in town for Jazz Fest and we have plans to catch up as well.

Seems I am meeting more people I know here in New Orleans than I do back in Melbourne!

Now I am doing the Riverwalk Shuffle (shopping mall) with Wendy. I decided it is best to sit down and have a lemonade while Wendy browses. I sat next to a food concession advertising 500 flavours of popcorn. Including of course some New Orleans favourites – Crawfish, Gumbo, Cajun, King Cake and for my mate Mr Terry Smith Jalapeno Cheddar. I was half listening in on a guy getting angry on a telephone call. He is an Aussie. I made the mistake of striking up a conversation when he hung up. What a mistake, he is a pain in the arse and just wants to talk about himself. Said he was from Adelaide, that figures.

We sat out on the balcony and had a couple of beers with the neighbours. Scott told me such a funny story. A couple of years back while on a cab drive on Magazine Street his Non-English-speaking cab-driver ran into another car. It wasn’t a major accident but still nasty none the less. The driver panicked a bit and Scott said he should call 911. He wound down the window stuck his head out and yelled ‘911, 911’.

I rang an Uber around 6:30 for our dinner date. Just a short ride over to Johnny’s house on Bayou St. John. Johnny was waiting out front a yelled out, ‘come in mate, are you ready to get pissed!’! Another four couples arrived, some musos, some friends and a couple from France who run a Blues Festival that travels through Europe. Johnny has been on the tour. The food was sensational. Wild Duck Boudin and Catfish all shot/caught by one of the guests. Two sensational main dishes and sweets. Restaurant class. The guests went out of their way to talk to us and make us feel welcome. Johnny had set up a white sheet out back and we settled into a home movie night. Popcorn included. The movie called the Buccaneer. Made in 1958 and starring a very young Yul Brynner the movie was a depiction of Jean Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans (English invaders) So very apt and it made for a perfect night.

New Orleans

Day Seven – April 15th

We are up early today (8 AM) there is a lot of making up to do what with yesterday’s bad weather. Not a cloud in the sky. What a difference a day makes. However, the temperature is forecast to be very un-New Orleans with a maximum of 17 Degree Celsius. We are out at 9:30 for breakfast, too many people waiting at Envies so back to Belle’s diner for pancakes.

Then headed to the Jack Danial’s stage so that Wendy could catch up with Stew and Carol. They had a long chat and we have made plans for dinner Tuesday. We listened to a little of Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road.

Back over to the Abita Stage for Wendy to meet up again with Jeff and Sherman and we were kindly given an artist’s pass once again. Cullen Landry and the Midnight Street Band are bashing out some traditional New Orleans old school R ‘n’ B. I was standing up on stage when I recognised the legendary singer Al ‘Carnival Time’ Johnson putting on a cape and headdress. He soon joined the band for his classic hits including of course ‘Carnival Time.’ I was so fortunate to be introduced to him when he had finished and of course got a photo taken.

The locals sure are feeling the cold. Must are rugged up as if it was a Melbourne winter. I think I am the only one in a t-shirt. Coats, blankets and the occasional gloves. The breeze coming off the river is cold I must admit.

We headed to the Tropical Island Hand Grenade Stage where Johnny Sansone is due on stage with his band. We got close to the front of the stage and I yelled out to Johnny. He saw me and yelled back, ‘Hey, mate.’ Johnny rocked with his band featuring on guitar John Fohl (toured with Dr John for 10 years). I liked a line in one of the songs, ‘You don’t have to walk the plank on a sinking ship!’

I had been feeling a bit wobbly on my legs, so we decided to sit somewhere for a bite to eat. Sushi in New Orleans, let’s give it a try. I went the fried oyster, spicy crab, avocado with spicy mayo and eel sauce! It was delicious.

Back to the Abita Stage for the final few songs by the Dixie Cups. Next on was Cyril Neville’s Swamp Funk. Any band with a Neville Brother has gotta be good.

At 6 o’clock we headed to the House of Blues Voodoo Lounge for Jonathon ‘Boogie’ Long. I had recommended ‘Boogie’ Long to my Virginian friends and I was glad to see that they came. Wendy seemed to hit it off with Marsha. Marsha is now retired but she had been employed as a teacher for special needs kids the same as Wendy, so they immediately had something in common. We had a good laugh and a few drinks. An older guy from L.A. started talking to me about the Blues. He is a big fan and regularly takes a Blues Cruise out of Florida. He said that he had seen one of ‘our’ bluesmen, Dave Hole and he gave him a good review.

All in all, another great day in New Orleans.


New Orleans

Day Six – April 14th.

We were both up at 3 AM eating toast and peanut butter, being in a different time zone sure mucks up the body clock. Then when we did get to sleep we didn’t wake up until 11 AM. I am blaming the weather as it was so dark outside it looked like early dawn.

The rain has set in. Thunder and lightning and warnings on our phones about flood alerts. I chatted to Scott out on our veranda for a while but as the rain got heavier we both had to head inside.

Well, it is 2 PM and still no sign of the rain easing. I ordered an Uber, our destination is Juan’s Flying Burrito on Magazine Street, a 15-minute drive. We nearly got wiped out when a car runs a red light, lucky our driver was driving slowly due to the storm. I read about his hip Mexican restaurant in my travel guide. ‘Where punk rock meets Tex-Mex, making this place a lot of fun. Pierced and tattooed staff sling burritos in a funky setting serenaded by rock music’. Spot on description. For such a miserable day the place was full of under 30 hipsters. The food was very good and not expensive. My choice was – the Flying Enchiladas $11.95 – strips of Roga, Chile Verde & Juan’s Red Chile. Sour cream, guacamole and pickled jalapenos – 3 enchiladas each filled with our “flying” combo of steak, chicken & shrimp with sides of rice and black beans. Very filling.

It was still raining heavily and so we were only able to explore the shops on Magazine Street for a block.

‘For shopping, dining or just a casual stroll, no place in New Orleans is quite like Magazine Street. This six-mile-long stretch from the Garden District to Uptown features some of the best antique stores, art galleries, craft shops and boutiques to be found anywhere in the city.

For generations, Magazine Street has attracted business and visitors for many different purposes. It was originally named for a “magazin,” a warehouse that was built in the late 1700s to house products awaiting export. Today Magazine Street features a range of historic architecture – from the large columned Greek Revival style of the mid-19th century to the colorful Victorian cottages trimmed in quirky gingerbread millwork. Its variation of architectural styles, in addition to the endless amount of shops and dining venues, has made Magazine Street is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike’. DK Eyewitness Travel

We got back to the apartment after 3 and had a little nap. It rained for 12 hours straight. The good news is the weather will be fine tomorrow but a little chilly.

New Orleans

Day Five – April 13th (Wedding Anniversary)

Poor old New Orleans (it is 300 years old in 2018). Just reading the news about a major oil spill in the Mississippi.

I thought I could smell oil the other day.

I finally caught up on my blog. Just got an email from my new Virginian buddies. One of their favourite bands is playing at the House of Blues Voodoo Garden from noon. Gypsy Elise and the Royal Blues, they have asked me to join them for a quiet drink.

Got me a fried pork chop sandwich for breakfast down at FQF. Must say it was very disappointing. Very dry.  Maybe the worst thing I have ever eaten in N.O.

Went over to the Abita Stage and had a listen to Mia Borders. I forgot to tell you yesterday that I bought a cool western style shirt. Guns, card, and skeletons adorn it. Just my style. I kid you not I was attended to by a stunning young girl who was dressed all in black and when she smiled she had vampire teeth!

Today is overcast but the bad news is tomorrow (Saturday) is looking bad weather wise. Severe storms predicted.

I did go over to the House of Blues and had a really good time with my new friends. They sure like to laugh, and they take the piss out of themselves just like we do. Decided to have a Margarita. I was given the option of the standard mix or a special blackberry mix in a souvenir tin mug. Went for the blackberry and it was awesome. A bit like drinking a lethal Ribena.

One of the group has a t-shirt that I find amusing. ‘My girlfriend said I need to be more affectionate. Now I have two girlfriends’.

Got a message from Cara, she has landed in Chicago for her Orlando connections. She is worried about missing the flight as she only has a short turn around. Wendy’s flight is coming in from Detroit.

Back over to the Abita stage for Louisiana LeRoux. An eight-piece band formed in 1977. They could easily have played any of our pub rock venues back in the 70’s. They brought back lots of memories

Had a feed of Blackened Shrimp with Pickled Coleslaw and a Honey Mustard dressing. Real good.

I have my wrist pass from Jeff so can sit up on the stage. Another of the security guards (Sherman) look after me as well. He guards the artist’s entrance and woe behold anyone that tries to sneak past him. He can look really mean but is really nice. I said to Jeff, ‘I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Sherman’. Jeff said jokingly, ‘I am the bad ass one here and proceeded to show me his license to carry a concealed weapon’. Jeff told me that he spent 5 years in the military in the mid 70’s.

Grabbed an Abita to have a listen to Bonearama. The weather is turning a little as the clouds roll in and the temperature drops. The band sings a song about Mr. Okra who sadly passed away a few weeks back. He was the last of the old-time produce sellers that drove around in his truck using a sing/song voice to advertise his wares over a speaker. He was a regular attraction at Jazz Fest. There was a huge second line a short time ago to celebrate his life.

I headed back to the apartment around 4:30 as I am not sure what time Wendy will arrive. Before I left Jeff gave me a fantastic poster of Dr. John. He also told me that there will be no FQF tomorrow as the storm is going to hit around Noon.

Along Royal Street, I have seen over the years many young dudes sitting at a little table with an old-fashioned typewriter banging out poems for the tourists. I decided to commission one for our anniversary. The guy asked me a few questions and then asked what we mostly do together. I said listening to music. Took him about five minutes to create a unique poem. I have also sussed out from Mickey were a local florist was. So, I now have my poem and some flowers. Hope you are reading this RSL crew.

Glad I did leave the festival early as Wendy’s taxi pulled up around 5:30.

I went down to the Quarter Master for a six pack of Purple Haze and a bottle of Chardonnay. We had a few drinks sitting out on the porch with Mickey and Scott.

I am always amazed (maybe I shouldn’t be as this is New Orleans) how many passers-by either stop for a chat or say hello. There are also several passers-by who are walking in a very crooked line. FQF can do that to you. Sun and booze can have a detrimental effect on one’s walking ability.

Went out around 8:30 for a Middle Eastern takeout. A young guy who was served after me asked if there was any pork. Hmm, guess he does not know much about Muslims. The people behind the jump were in no way upset. The food was not as good as that from Mona’s on Frenchman.

Did the flowers and poem work, I hear you asking?


New Orleans

Day 4 – April 12th

Awake at 11 (barely). I went straight down for the start of the 35th French Quarter Festival (FQF) First thing is to get some food and I could not go passed the Crawfish Pasta. Gunna be a long day so I need to carbo load. I ran into Joey our policeman friend and he asked how Kate was. Kate met Joey a few years back and they hit it off.

I headed straight to the Abita Stage (the largest at the festival). I immediately caught sight of David Jeffersen (Jeff) who is the main Stage Manager. Jeff always looks after me by giving me an artists-pass which allows me to sit on stage if I want. He is very keen to get to Australia one day with his wife. I gave him a Lonely Planet book on Australian culture and slang and he was very appreciative.

Irene Sage is playing and even though I have seen her several times she is so good that I stayed for her set. Jeff introduced us after her set. She took my email address as she is keen to do an Australian tour one day. She even gave me three C.D.’s which was nice.

I listened to half the set of the New Breed Brass Band (again very good) and then headed off to the Jack Daniels stage to say hello to our friends Stew and Carol Sadowsky. We will meet up with them on Monday for dinner at the Middle Eastern Restaurant Mona’s on Frenchman.

Then I wandered over to the Jackson Square stage for some traditional New Orleans Jazz with Banu Gibson. Found a food concession selling my favourite Yaka Mein

I have made this soup at home, it is not too hard to make and is super delicious. I washed it down with a French Market Cold Brew (iced coffee). I think I may have put too much hot Crystal Sauce in my Yaka Mein!

I headed back to the Abita Stage for the young band Sweet Crude. I took advantage of being able to sit up on the side of the stage. I really like this band and they are getting better and better over the years I have seen them. Ah, life is good in New Orleans. You may have noticed while reading that I have not mentioned Abita Amber today? I am having an alcohol-free day which is very hard to do in this city.

I kept my spot on the stage for Irma Thomas (the Soul Queen of New Orleans). What a privilege to be up this close and personal to Irma, a Grammy Award winner and Blues Hall of Fame inductee. Marcia Ball (another mighty fine singer/pianist) came on to the side of stage to listen to Irma. When Irma spotted her, she asked her to come on stage and sing a song with her. Pretty special indeed. I got talking to one of the crew who asked what we Australians thought of their their ‘dumb ass President’. I told him to rest assured as he is hated all over the world.

Jeff asked me to come down and meet a guy he was talking too. The well-dressed gentleman he is talking with gave me his card. Albert J Moten Jnr. is a Producer/Director for Film and Television. He told me that he is doing a couple of documentaries. One with Irma Thomas and one on the upcoming New Orleans Jazz Fest. Jeff must have told him that this was my 8th visit. Albert wants to film an interview with me next week! That is cool.

I left before the festival closed for the night (7 PM) and went home to catch up with the blog writing. Please forward your congratulations via Word Press for achieving a no booze day.

New Orleans

Day Three – April 11th.

This is crazy, here I am up at 7 AM to meet up with Paul Murphy. I ain’t ever been up this early whilst staying in New Orleans. I stuck my head outside to see if there is anyone about. I am pretty sure that the only people I see are those COMING home from a big night out.

You will not believe this. Paul just called me at 8 AM, his bus was diverted to Mobile, Alabama and so he will not make our breakfast date. He was in a bit of a panic as he has been told that Greyhound Bus Services will not be able to get him to New Orleans in time for his Amtrak train connection. He said that they were very understanding and have promised that they will be able to get him to Jackson where he will hook up with his train.

So, what am I to do so early in the morning, being a little tired and emotional still from last night. I headed down to my favourite breakfast place (Envies) for a croissant and a coffee. The Times-Picayune had a little article on a new craft beer being released here in Louisiana. The Hemperor IPA made with hops and hemp. Now that is a craft beer I may take up. It solves the age-old problem of getting too drunk to roll a joint.

Back at the apartment by 9:30 and I promptly had a little (morning) Nanna nap.

Noon arrives as I open the front door. William, my landlord is back from Costa Rica and Scott my neighbour is with him. Scott and his wife Cherie are here at the same time every year and we have become good friends. They are off for a cocktail and have invited me along.

I managed to get myself to Lafayette Square for some free Wednesday music (5 PM to 8 PM). I purchased some tickets for both food and beer. Found a place to lean and then spotted a guy next to me with a baseball cap with the name Ray Wylie. I said, ‘Is that the Ray Wylie Hubbard’? He seemed very surprised that a guy with such a funny accent knew who Ray Wylie Hubbard was. I told him I was a big fan. He is from Virginia and is with his wife and a buddy. Real nice people and we spent the whole time chatting and buying each other a beer. He is a cattle rancher and both of us have to repeat ourselves to understand each other. I rattle off a couple of American artists in the same vein as Ray Wylie and he was stunned a little. Anyway, his wife has given me her phone number as they want to meet up with me and Wendy next week for breakfast.

Guess what? I got home at midnight again. At this rate, I will not make the weekend.


New Orleans – 2018

Day Two – April 10th.

I had a great sleep and didn’t wake up until Noon.

It’s a nice day in New Orleans, not hot at all. I went down to Belle’s Diner for a Seafood Omelette (Shrimp & Crawfish).

Saw my friend Dinah who owns my local laundry (Suds ‘dem Duds) and she welcomed me back to New Orleans as did the workers at the Quarter Master.

I then wandered down to get a SIM card for my phone. Jackson Square is closed as the stage in being prepared for the French Quarter Festival. I did see one of the security guys (Fess Security) I know (Sherman) and he also said, ‘welcome back man’.

Paul Murphy a friend of Way Out West phoned me. He was in Florida for a Blues Festival and is coming by Greyhound Bus tomorrow to link up with an Amtrak train to Chicago. His bus is due in at 8 AM and his train leaves at 1 PM. We have planned to meet up for breakfast.

Thought I would head over to Frenchman Street around 7.30 for a bite to eat and a couple of beers. The Spotted Cat was packed to overflowing so I tried Café Negril. Got me a bar seat. The band playing is called ‘The Four Sidemen of the Apocalypse’, and they are very good. Old/New styles of Jazz. Drums, guitar, bass and sax/vocals. I got myself and Abita Amber, telling myself that I would stay for just an hour. A woman came up and ordered a stubby of Guinness and then proceeded to pour it into a plastic cup. I could hear a groan all the way from Erin.

There is a young guy sitting next to me who introduced himself as Lew. He was down from Jersey for Wrestle mania which was at the Super Dome over the weekend.

A trombone player walked in and just joined in with the band. He was introduced as Dr Dave. He sat in for a couple of songs and then packed up to go off to his gig. He and the Sax player had some very good banter with each of them having a shot at the respective worth of Sax Players and Trombone players. I think the Sax Player won as he asked the audience what the difference was between a Trombone player and a dead snake in the road. The answer he said was that the snake had been on his way to a gig. Boom, boom.

There is an old Hippie dude up dancing by himself. He sure has got some cool moves. As they say, you gotta dance like no one is watching. Our own Jack the Hat would be hard pressed to match this guy’s moves.

Lew is a nice guy and he has lots of questions about Australia. He has plans one day to come down under but when I told him that it takes thirteen and a half hours flying from L.A. to Melbourne he said, ‘man I can’t even sleep that long’. I just heard an Aussie accent in the bar. A family from Sydney.

I am enjoying the front man of the band immensely. He reminds me a little of Jimi Hocking in looks and for his humour. They play here every Tuesday night so I will bring Wendy along next week. Here is a YouTube of the band at Café Negril.

Lew left as he has a plane to catch home tomorrow morning. I have just noticed that the band on at 10 PM is John Lisi and Delta Funk. I have a couple of C. D’s of theirs. There goes the planned early night.

Two older couples have taken up residence at the bar with me. The engaged in conversation once they heard my accent. They are all from New York. The guy is a retired N.Y. fireman and the other was a Special Investigator with the F.B.I. They all had visited Sydney but had not been to Melbourne.

John Lisi is as good live as he is on C.D. The drummer is incredible not the least being because he has at some stage been horrifically burnt to his face and he has no fingers just little stumps. How the hell he manages to hold drumsticks has me buggered.

I finally got myself home at midnight, a little puffed I must say.


New Orleans – 2018

New Orleans – 2018

Monday, April 9th. – Day One


I had a bit of a panic yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. I realised that I had not had an email from ESTA regarding my online USA Vis application. I logged on to their website to check the processing and had to pay another $38 for confirmation which (unfortunately) make take 24-48 hours. Hmm, not good as I fly out tomorrow. Then I had an even worse realisation. I am pretty sure I did not complete Wendy’s application at all. As many of you may know, Wendy and Cara are currently in China. No Facebook there and emails are sporadic. I can see her going to the Chinese airport for her flight to New Orleans next week and being turned away. I quickly got a message to Kate who as some apps thing with Cara to ask her to send Wendy’s passport details to me. Turns out I had no need to worry as Cara had arranged her own and Wendy’s USA Visa in early February. Whew! Then another Whew. I got an email a few hours later confirming that my Visa had already been authorised.

Got the suitcase packed (last minute job as always) whilst the Doggies were beating up on Essendon.

Up at 6:15 AM Monday morning for my trip to the airport. My flight leaves at Noon and Kate is going to give me a lift. The Ring Road is shit as always. Will there ever be a day when there are no roadworks on this monstrosity? As bad as the traffic is on the way to the airport it is three times worse inward bound. Kate may be late getting to work for a 9 AM start time.

I had no hassles checking in and getting through Border Security. My flight is with Delta, however, I am flying with their affiliate Virgin. Thirteen and a half hours to L.A. not a pleasant thought.

Bummer, my iPod only allowed three albums to be played before the battery died. Before you go, ‘why didn’t I fully charge it’? I did, I did. My iPod is an old model but the advantage is it has over 300 gig of storage which is great but not when the battery is cooked.

I have decided to not watch movies on the flight as my eyes just get to red and sore. Instead, I listened to an Audio Book via the airline’s entertainment selection. I nearly purchased this book last week as the title was very interesting. ‘The French Art of Not Giving A F**k’ by Fabrice Midal. Three hours and Forty-Five minutes of fascinating insight into the way we think and how we should maybe make some changes. I will buy a copy when I get a chance.

I must be getting used to the long haul as I was relaxed throughout the mostly smooth flight.

We landed in L.A. right on time (9AM) and the ordeal of getting through Border Security is now so much easier. Everything is automated for us Australians as we are part of the Visa Waiver program. You scan your own passport and take your own fingerprints. Print out a receipt and present it to a live person. Border Security (as they always do) asked where I was heading and for what reason. “New Orleans, Sir, and the reason is the French Quarter Music Festival and Jazz Fest. Must be my new ‘long hairstyle’ as I was asked if I was a musician. Oh, how chuffed that made me feel. “No, sir’ I replied to which he added, “an aficionado then”? Yep, that will do.

L.A. airport as with the Western Ring road is always undergoing some sort of construction. After I had dumped my bags I then had to find out what terminal my connecting Delta flight was leaving from. Signage at L.A. is at a minimum and it is one big damn mother fuckin’ airport. It was an ordeal, but I finally got through the internal security check and caught a shuttle bus to the right terminal. Then had another 15-minute walk to terminal 133. Kate warned me to take my walking cane! Should have taken her advice.

The local flight takes off at Noon for the 3plus hour trip down to New Orleans with arrival at 5:45 PM. I know, you say, that is a five-hour trip. Yes, but New Orleans is 2 hours ahead of L.A. time. One thing I do notice about the passengers waiting to board is that several of them are carrying musical instruments and are left of centre looking. I feel right at home with my fellow travellers.

Out very good friend (Pat) has kindly taken time off work to pick me up. She told me via email that her boss is away on a business trip. So, her leaving work early will be fine. We landed right on time and Pat was waiting with a big smile on her face. “Guess what just happened”, she said laughing. My boss called me (she was in Houston) and said she got an early flight home. Imagine Pat’s horror when she looked up whilst waiting for me and saw her boss walking toward her. Pat had to duck her head and luckily her boss did not see her playing truant from work.

Mickey was waiting for me on the porch as we pulled up to the Apartment with a key. William (my friend and landlord) is currently vacationing in Costa Rica.

It is now 7 PM and I am showered and wide awake. I headed down to Frenchman Street for a bite to eat (Gulf Coast Fish Tacos) at the ‘Three Muses’ plus a fruity IPA. I have plans to have an early night. Yeah’ right an early night in New Orleans’. A quick visit to the Casino and (with no luck) I headed home about 9PM. I had to stop for a pee at a bar on St. Peters called St. Lawrence. Never been in here before so I did the right thing and ordered a beer and a snack of ‘Glazed Crystal Hot Sauce chicken wings’). The bar lady was cool and up for a chat. A friend of hers came in from knocking off at a shift at some other bar. She introduced me to her (Tiffany) and we chatted for a while. It is always good to meet locals. I got four recommendations for restaurants that I have not been to before, mostly out of the Quarter. Tiffany does some shift work at the high-end Muriel’s restaurant, so she should know what she is talking about. She also wants to catch up with Wendy and Cara when they make it into town. Next thing you know it is after midnight. As is the custom in New Orleans you very often finish with a shot of something to end the night. Seeing as Tiffany is a local and knows the barmaid she orders two shots of (some sort) of whiskey. Well, the shot turned out to be four shots in one as that is how they are poured in these here parts if you are known. I got home after 1 PM a little the worse for wear!