We explored the Garden District on Tuesday and grave yard near Commander's Palace for photos of wonderful old homes. It is a lovely area of the city that shows no Katrina damage. We made a visit to the Madi Gras warehouse where all the floats are stored for the parade. Here we took lots of pictures, The photo opportunities here are such we are going back today, Wednesday. After that we came back to the hotel before noon and walked down to the Jackson Square area. We ate at an overpriced tourist trap that deep fried all of the seafood so you didn't know what you were eating. Not a good choice for us.
I was disappointed that the usual vendors and card readers were not at Jackson Square. In fact, things were very quiet. Not even good people watching. We took few photos there. We walked back to the hotel and took our usual nap. Afterwords I spent some time on the computer and we walked back to Irene's down the street from our hotel. Gerry and I aren't much on enjoying the fine dining opportunities in the city. There is an older woman at the door when you walk in this restaurant who says nothing, but smiles. I assumed it was Irene who had a mental failing of some kind. We found out that this woman suffered a stroke and can't speak. Irene the owner, gave her the job because she needed to support herself even though she can't speak. Irene must be a nice person.
After dinner we walked to Bourbon street to take night photos. This wasn't my idea and when we asked a police officer for directions he told us to stay on lighted streets. That did not reassure me, but Gerry is brave and off we went. There were not many people and while the bars were blaring loud music not much was going on. It struck me as a bunch of young drunks in a seedy setting. I wasn't impressed. We took a cab home so I didn't have to be concerned about safety.
Today we plan to take a trip out of the city since the storm has lost it's threat. After that we will go back to the Madi Gras floats for more photos. Our driver picked us up at 9:00 to take us to a place about a half hour out of town where he assures us there are shrimp boats to photo. The sun is out and the sky is blue. It is a long half an hour through an area along a water way Dan says was under 15 feet of water during Katrina. Since the area is totally flat it's hard to conceive of what that must have looked like. However, we notice that almost all of the houses are on supports anywhere from 15 feet to twenty or more feet off the ground. The ones that aren't are located on fill which is at least 15 feet above the ground level. It is a strange sight to see houses on "stilts" above the ground which is flat and long stairs running up to the upper level. Cars parked under the houses I assume are left to the flood waters. When we arrive we find a couple of abandoned derelict small boats along with a few old shrimp boats. No one is around except a couple of men fishing and there is little chance of getting a photo here. So we load up and with a couple of photo stops along the way head back into the city.
We headed right back to the Mardi Gras float storage area where we were yesterday. We spent well over an hour wandering around in this huge building taking more photos of the figures made of fiberglass and painted so colorfully. We took a lot photographs and enjoyed the experience. After that we drove back into the French Quarter and had lunch near Jackson Square. We sat at the open door to the sidewalk outside and watched the people go by. Every so often a carriage pulled by a mule with tourists would go by and we would try to take a photo before it passed. From there we walked back to our hotel for the ritual nap, followed by my catching up on email and work at home.
We will go to dinner tonight. I've convinced Gerry that we can't go back to the same restaurant again tonight. I've pointed out that three nights in a row labels us as senile old men who can't find another restaurant. I'm still waiting for a great seafood meal.
I leave for the airport at 7:30 am. Gerry doesn't leave until much later as he is heading back to Jackson. This trip has been a lot of fun and very relaxing. We have spent a considerable amount of time laughing at each other's humor and enjoying just leisure conversation. We have given each other advice and talked about trial skills. We have compared cameras and photographs arguing which is superior. The best part of this trip has been our ability to spend time just talking without a lot of problems as well as to take photos just for the fun of it. I've also enjoyed Gerry's ability to charm people. While stopped for a light he yells out the window at a man with a big red beard "Say, I collect photos of beards, can I t ake your photo?" Our driver Dan doesn't know what to do when the man walks over to our car smiling and posing for his photo. While we are walking down the street a young man with a serious limp and cane approaches. Gerry stops him and says he is from Wyoming and really likes the city. He asks the young man if he lives here and when he says he does, he asks why he likes the city. They carry on a short exchange and Gerry says good by. The young man is smiling as he leaves. On Bourbon street he spots a gay bar and goes in to take photos talking and smiling all the time. At lunch people around us are enjoying hear him tease the servers and no meal is a quiet one. He is fearless in striking up conversations with people that make me clutch my wallet.
And so it goes, It's all been an adventure with a friend I treasure. As always, I am looking forward to home and Lita.