Oh my goodness… I have had the best possible 30 hours ever. First… the train got to New Orleans late and the fireworks started while I was still at the train station. Resigned to missing them, I got in a cab and hoped the crazy man would get me to my hotel in 1 piece. Seriously, the cab drivers are INSANE! So I got to my lovely hotel and since the hostess saw my attention straying to the windows, she offered me the balcony so I could see the end of the fireworks while she was checking me in. So I got to see the last 5 seconds of the finale. It was short, and I would have liked to have seen the whole show, but for what it was, it was great.
So we get to Sunday. What a day! I met my first goal for the single day I had to play tourist: cafe au lait and beignets from Cafe du Monde in Jackson Square.It is impossible to eat those things and stay clean because of the metric ton of powered sugar they put on those suckers. Did I really care? Not particularly.
I did some serious souvenir shopping and had to get a bike taxi back to my hotel twice because 1) I was too freaking tired to walk the 8-15 blocks again and 2) I was sight-seeing … in New Orleans… in July. I had to take a cold shower to bring my body temp down (TWICE) and take a break to drink a gallon of water to replace what I’d lost in sweat. Would I want to change my destination to somewhere cooler or less humid? Not a chance. I got to not only see the Mississippi River up close and personal, but get my toes wet from a staircase that led from the sidewalk directly into the river. The incredible Cajun restaurant I went to last time I was in the city no longer exists… but that was also before Katrina, so maybe I should have expected it. I did find a substitute and had a soft-shell crab BLT with Tabasco mayo and a spicy Bloody Mary. Amazingly good and I couldn’t stop raving to my waiter. It fueled me for the rest of my day.
After my second cold shower, I decided to go on one of the tours seemingly designed to my inner history geek fangirl like a bitch. The Scandalous Cocktail Hour tour? Drinks AND history? Naughty history? I showed up early so I could be assured a spot. And I was the only person to show up! The guide, an awesome native from Treme named Milton, gave me the tour anyway and it was as awesome as I’d hoped it would be. In a city as old as New Orleans, the history is amazing. And on that note, I saw a sign that made me laugh out loud. Even more so when I started seeing it regularly. I guess it’s a real concern for some renters.
SO, now that I’m on the train back to Virginia, I plan to honor my promises. I’m exhausted and have a headache from the minor hangover I have (3 Bloody Marys, a Pirate’s Punch, and some kind of champagne cocktail before, during, and after the tour), so thank you for letting me document my trip before posting the long awaited chapter. To date, this is my FAVORITE chapter. Also, one of the reasons I love fan-fiction is that I can distort certain relationships. Not the big ones that are the center of the story. But Alan Ball didn’t bring a lot of Sookie’s fairy relations into True Blood from SVM. So I’m taking a couple from the books and changing their dynamic just a little. You’ll know it when you see ’em and I’ll remind you that this is 97% TB canon. And I can do what I wanna.
Ugh. I forgot how much hangovers suck. I’m gonna curl up and sleep before I even attempt to type more. Maybe I should head to the dining car and see if they have something that’ll help. Enjoy this chapter!