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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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Back to land again
I think I can finish up our fall vacation story in a couple more posts... bear with me...

I think we actually arrived in New Orleans some time around 6:00 AM; at least, I remember waking up around then to a lot of engine noise and vibration. We actually got up around 7:30, and were out of the room by 8... kind of sad leaving it, it had been an awfully cozy and comfy place to stay. Then it was up to the Lido deck for breakfast; I tried and rejected a couple of things before settling on a toasted bagel with cold cuts... if I'd know that was available, I might have had it more often on the trip.

We met up with mohnkern and ravenrose at breakfast, and moved to the Serenity deck to wait for our disembarkation numbers to be called. It was a fine, though brisk morning, and I was glad to have my jacket on. We watched an Army Corps of Engineers ship pump its bilges (ick) then sort of hover in the current, creeping ever so slowly upstream and then falling back. There were huge pallets of food on the dock, ready to be loaded for the next cruise, and we watched a sniffer dog checking them. Then mohnkern and ravenrose's number was called, and monsteralice and I decided to go back to the Lido deck to hang out there. We sat and chatted with Liz and Jan (two more of the folks from the LARP group) until our numbers were called, then made our way to the atrium and the exit.

There was a bit of tedium of the wait-shuffle forward-wait variety in the Customs line, but we got through with no problems at all... satyr69 got pulled out for a spot check, poor guy. Eventually we got out front, and then Kim, Lori, ambug666, satyr69, monsteralice and I piled into a minivan cab (with all of our luggage... talk about a clown car!) for the hotel. We were way early, so they let us stash our bags in the office and we trooped out to the streetcar and down to the Quarter. Our first stop was Café Du Monde, for café au lait and beignets- second breakfast for monsteralice and I, in good hobbit fashion.

Then it was time to bid farewell to satyr69- he had a flight out later that day. The rest of us decided to roam the Quarter in twos and threes. monsteralice and I went to Esoterica (a pretty good occult shop, plus the owner has a dog named Christ Almighty... ;-) and Voodoo Authentica, which is a real vodoun shop run by knowledgeable people, at least some of whom are practitioners. Highly recommended. I was wearing the Papa Legba shirt I got at Rev. Zombie's (one of the tourist kitsch "voodoo shops"), and the lady at the counter and I shared our amazement that I'd been able to find something that cool and authentic there.

After a bit more shopping and wandering, we met up with ambug666, mohnkern and ravenrose at < a href="http://johnnyspoboy.com/">Johnny's Po Boys</a>, where monsteralice and I split one of their excellent muffalettas. Then it was time to head back to the hotel to check in.

Our room this time was better in some ways- much larger, no bombed-out room next door... but the A/C was barely functional, and there was some kind of machinery thrumming at all times- it sounded like being on the ship... But the beds were comfy enough, and we all collapsed for a while- naps, or at least relaxation, were the order of the afternoon. After a while, we roused ourselves to get ready for the big event of the evening- dinner at Emeril's New Orleans. monsteralice and I had been to Emeril's other two restaurants in town, so we were looking forward to completing the trifecta. ambug666 joined us in the lobby, and the five of us piled into a cab and headed over.

The restaurant was nice, although a bit noisy, and the service was impeccable- they time everything exactly, so all the dishes arrive at once, with a separate server for each diner. I had the smoked exotic mushrooms with tasso cream sauce on fresh angel hair pasta as an appetizer, the andouille crusted Texas redfish with grilled vegetables, shoestring potatoes, glazed pecans and Creole meuniére sauce as my entrée, and pecan pie with bourbon chocolate ice cream, caramel sauce, and pecan brittle for dessert. Exquisite. We were mightily glad to find a taxi stand right around the corner after that... Upon reaching the hotel, we staved off our food comas long enough to say "safe travels" to ambug666 (he was flying home fairly early the next day) before we headed to the room to collapse. It was way too hot in there, so we left the door open until I noticed a mosquito on my leg. Then, it was time to button up and go to sleep.