Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Vacation Part II

We drove on Christmas day from Galveston, TX to New Orleans, LA, where we would spend the night with the Steakleys... friends from BYC.  They left Corpus Christi around Thanksgiving to set off to fulfill Steve's Cruising Dreams on their 42 ft. Endeavour, Wand'rin Star.  They will be spending about a month at the Seabrook Marina (term used lightly).  Lynn and Steve have been enjoying the Cruiser Life.  They have found a shuttle service from the RV park next door that runs three times a day to the French Quarter among other places.

We took the car today, but plan on using the Shuttle when we come back on New Year's Eve.  Lynn and Steve have found a route around the different parts of the city using the Trolley as well.  We'll have to put that on our list...

We strolled around checking out the attractions, including the Mighty Mississip'.  I've seen it before, when staying in NOLA a few years back.  I found it to be a frightening, muddy, roiling mess... today it was quite benign.

I had enjoyed Steve's blog entry when they took Wand'rin Star up the Mississippi for a distance when they arrived here in NOLA a couple of weeks ago.  His description of it then was somewhat different from what we found today.

We continued on our way checking out the sights.  Jackson Square never fails to strike me with it's beauty.  Today, it was nearly deserted without the usual musicians and performers.  Christmas Day finds the majority of people at home with their families.    

Take a look... you won't find this place empty very often...

I can't get used to the fact that it is OK to buy liquor and take it out onto the streets, and into businesses.  It just seems wrong... but we adjusted.  I found these jello shots to be quite an improvement on the old kind that you have to dig out with your tongue. (Settle down Hiler...)

We had dinner-on-the-brain by this time and ducked into a Pub, following the crowd to the restaurant but were turned away at the door when they found out we had no reservation.  On our way out, we were accosted by a "local" asking us in a confidential voice... "are you looking for a place to eat?".  Why YES... we ARE!  "Try Oceana.  I'm a Local and it's my favorite". 

I turned the iPad in that direction with faint objections from Lynn that it seems just a little weird.  What's the worst that can happen?  We get there and change our minds and find somewhere else to eat.  So we stroll a few blocks to the Oceana Grill where we found a short line, (looking good) and a friendly hostess, (told us she would have let us right in if we had brought her a jello shot) and after a short wait, we were taken upstairs where we stepped into old New Orleans with all her charm.  The place was white table cloth and crumbling brick walls.  Chock-full of ambiance with a menu to match.  We ordered Alligator Bites to start... yes, blackened bits of alligator tail!  We ATE it!  It was actually good, kind of like pork loin that was a bit overcooked.  I would do it again...  The main course was a luscious stuffed tuna.  Everything was so good, we were glad we split a plate or we wouldn't have been able to walk out of here on our own.

We continued on our stroll through the streets of NOLA, where the night "people" were beginning to gather.  WHAT is THAT?!  Well at least it was friendly.  You give it a couple of bucks and it speaks very nice English to you...

I wonder how that reads on a resume...  Previous employment:  Street Crawler  Equipment used:  Very cool Feet Thingies  Duties Performed:  Standing motionless for long periods, Wringing cash out of tourists and Scaring the crap out of small children.  Other:  Fine with working nights and weekends      

After another stroll down Bourbon Street, we headed for the boat where we spent a very quiet night rocking gently on the fenders with the sound of water slapping on the hull.  Thanks Steakleys for giving us weary travelers a place to crash!