Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Monday
We got up earlier than we thought - well, I was just excited. Every morning it was obligatory to look out the window down on to the quarter to see what was going on. Like last year, we had arrived around the time of a festival known as Southern Decadence, which means that gay boys from all over were coming to party, dress up, and hook up. It wasn't going to start until wednesday, so we still had some time before I would be the only girl in the pool. We checked out the weather channel, and noticed that while the weather was still predicting rain, it was only a 40% chance. There wasn't much weather to be seen outside, and that was just fine with me. However, it looked like Florida was going to get another hurricane. I was hoping that our firends Romell and Sara would also be visiting with us, but since I hadn't heard if they found a ride or not, and now with the possible hurricane threat, I was even less sure of that possibility.
I taught Mike some basic yoga and then we headed to the gym to play with all the equipment. After about an hour, we headed back, took showers (I dyed the top portion of my hair red with highlights) and we got ready to wander the quarter. It was still pretty dead. The only people walking around who weren't working were tourists like us, and it was apparent that there weren't too many yet. We were in search of food, and in the mood for the classic New Orleans fare, so we stopped at Coop's Place on Decatur, a small seedy little place that has lots of drinks and amazingly good food at a decent price.
Mike had the jumbalaya I believe, and I had the Chicken Tchoupitoulas (damn those native americans and their phonics). It was yum. They also serve things like rabbit - which I almost got, but then I remembered I got the same thing last year and I really wanted to try something new. You can also order various forms of alligator. We didn't get brave enough to try gator until later in the week.
So after lunch, we took a leisurely walk back to the hotel, taking in the sites and then rested for a bit, figuring out what kind of activities we might want to take part in. There were definitely more cemeteries I wanted to hit, having only been to St Louis #1 and 2 last year. We pondered plantation tours, and were interested in seeing the zoo this time around, having seen the aquarium on the previous visit.
We wandered out of our room again later to take a walk down bourbon so we could remember what it doesn't smell like before all the people got there. Bars and restaurants and strip clubs, half of which seem to be named Mango Mango and serve daiquiris. I did get a mango daiquiri the year before, but the thing was HUGE and it was harder to get toasty off the thing than you'd think. Bourbon has it's glitz, with beads still hanging from wires and poles and trees, and middle aged people who don't realize that wearing sandals is a truly bad idea. But overall, I can only take so much of it. I like to explore the other parts of the quarter.
We wound up not having a real dinner, per se, as we had eaten so much at Coop's, so we grabbed appetizers and dessert at the Gumbo Shop. It was a great place that we should have had a whole meal at, but somehow never got a chance. This was the home of our first alligator experience, being gator sausage with some kind of drool inspiring sauce. I had myself a glass of port and some fantastic bread pudding. Mike had some chocolate cheesecake that was making me rather jealous of his indecent enjoyment.
I love going to New Orleans because it's like living on the food channel for a week (food porn). You get to eat all this ridiculously good stuff and spend as long as you want talking about it.
There was more walking to try and keep our metabolisms going. We wandered down the streets, peeping in shop windows, but avoiding the ones with the overly loud zydeco music and dried gator heads. We remembered where the Whirling Dervish was, a club that had changed names but still kept its goth/industrial/punk format. We peeked at the Dungeon which only opens at midnight. (We never made it there, unfortunately). We spotted Roadkill, the shop with the metal skull sign out front. We wandered past Cafe DuMonde where we would later in the week be getting some beignet.
It was really nice to be able to wander the city with it being as quiet as it was and peer in art gallery windows without getting trampled by tourists.
After our walk led us back to the hotel, we plopped ourselves on the bed in front of the tv and swung into lazy mode. We weren't much for making plans until the next day - or even the next moment, as there was so much to do and so much time. I had some ideas of what might be fun, and it seemed the zoo was a distinct possibility for the next day.

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