per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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And that's the last of the vacation posts...
nola
evcelt


The next morning was another lovely day, a bit warmer than the last. We were really incredibly fortunate on this trip, weather-wise- no rain to speak of, and only half a day (in the Yucatan) when it was at all cloudy. The four of us headed down to Café Du Monde and met up with Kim and Lori for breakfast. After that, they headed off to pay a visit to Priestess Miriam at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, while the rest of us went to the French Market. After a bit of shopping, we said "safe travels" to mohnkern and ravenrose, and they left to pack and go to the airport.

monsteralice and I felt in need of refreshment, and found it at a gazebo bar near the Market- she had a strawberry daiquiri, while I had my first hurricane (somehow, I'd managed to miss trying one on the other visits) and found it very good indeed. There was a hot blues combo playing, and we had a lovely relaxing drink in a shaded area. After that, we wandered the Quarter for a bit, stopping in at Erzulie's, another real vodoun shop run by practitioners. Then we felt a bit puckish, and had lunch at Maspero's- monsteralice had crabcakes, and I fulfilled my po-boy jones by having one with cochon de lait- excellent Cajun pit-roasted pork.

We followed this with more wandering, which of course resulted in a thirst for more adult beverages (the combination of the cruise and NOLA was fast turning us into lushes). ravenrose had mentioned that Pat O'Brien's had a location on the river, so we went down to check- unfortunately, it was closed except for special functions. So we strolled up the Saint Peter side of Jackson Square (witnessing an altercation at a fortune teller's table that ended when one woman overturned the other's table and stalked off), and ended up at the original Pat O'Brien's, sipping hurricanes in their patio area. We stayed for quite a while, and got to watch as they lit up the flaming fountains, which was too cool for words.

Then it was time to have dinner with Kim and Lori. They were up on Bourbon Street, not too far away from us as it turned out, three sheets to the wind and generally in an entertaining frame of mind. We went to the Gumbo Shop for dinner (the food there is excellent and reasonably priced) and conversation. Then we went back up to Bourbon Street for more drinks, ending up at this beer bar that had dozens of taps- I had an excellent Belgian ale- and talked for a while longer before we wended our way back to the hotel, where we bade Kim and Lori farewell (they were flying out early the next day). The room was once again too hot, so we spritzed ourselves with bug spray and left the door open while we packed before closing up and going to bed.

We got up the next day, checked out, and the hotel very graciously stored our bags while we went to the Quarter one last time. After breakfast at Café Du Monde (of course!), we went and looked at the Big Muddy. On a sandbar close to the shore, there was what looked like the remains of a major All Souls Night offering- a dapper-looking skeleton figure, possibly another one slumped below, and other offerings... the Ghede bidding us farewell, we assumed. We made our way from there to the Lafitte National Park French Quarter Visitor's Center, which has a lovely shaded quiet patio, and a nice little museum dedicated to the Mississippi Delta.

After that, it was time to go. On the sidewalk on Decatur Street, we saw another offering- two burned out candles and some candy... We made it back to the hotel, and they called a cab for us. And we waited, and waited... finally, they tried United Cab, which had a cab for us fairly quickly. We made it to the airport in plenty of time- enough to check in unhurriedly, get something to eat, and not feel rushed at all. The flight to Atlanta was routine, and we flew east over the sunset line, which was pretty cool. We had to go from one concourse to another in Atlanta, using their fast subway system, but still didn't really have to hurry there, either.

We sat on the ground for about an extra half-hour before taking off- annoying, but nothing more. The flight to Dulles was otherwise routine. We had a bit of trouble finding the Super Shuttle counter there, and a bit of a wait for another passenger before they drive us home- monsteralice was flagging by this point, and I convinced her to kip out and not fret. Finally, we were home- all the pets in good health, although they all kind of spazzed out when we showed up. After reassuring Judy that we weren't dead, and a kind of glazed look at the heap of mail, we collapsed.

I had cleverly taken the next day off, which meant all I had to do was sleep in, vote, do a little shopping, catch up on Internet stuff, and ignore the election returns until the race was called. With that last wonderful gift more-or-less obliterating the post-vacation melancholy, I went to bed.

And so it ended. We're definitely going to cruise again, although we may or may not do the LARP Cruise next time- Carnival is going to start running cruised out of Baltimore in 2009, which is mighty tempting... It's a moot point for the next couple of years, though- we're not doing any big vacations next year, and are developing other plans for 2010 (more on that later).

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Thank you for sharing these stories. They have been very enjoyable to read.

I'm glad you like them! I'm glad I took the time to write them... I've been getting rusty recently in the plain-old-prose (as opposed to homework) department... I'm thinking of joining the "Brigit's Flame" competition in February...

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