Friday, January 28, 2011

revisiting america

My last blog was wiped out by a power failure so I've been reluctant to blog again, and I'm so far behind.
Last Friday Janie and I went to the "Musee" Wax Museum and was surprised to see a panoramic history of NO, rather than many famous people in wax.  Very interesting, but required so much reading you almost forgot to look at the scenes.  
Naturally lunch followed and we were able to eat some of the best crab cakes ever, at Oceana-"Old N'Awlings, followed by a platter of fish, oysters, shrimp, slaw, potatoes.  We vowed not to eat again,  until "supper". 
Rode every streetcar line and especially liked the St.Charles line that gave us a look at so many beautiful old homes, tree lined streets and  neighborhoods.  Actually took longer than we had thought so we were late getting to the LaQuinta to meet our girls from home-Bettye Jean Henson, Mary Ann Wilson, Glenda Armstrong and Lee Sheffield.  So good to see all of them and especially to hear about everyone from home.
Our "supper" was a sampling of every thing "Mother's" had to offer, from breakfast to their famous roast beef "de-bris" sandwiches.  We topped it off with good bread pudding.  Stepped out of the restaurant to view a pre-mardi gras parade. They only threw beads, just four floats, and one band. Then we went to the motel, played cards until the wee hours, and planned a trip to cafe du monde for beignets and cafe au lait the next morning  We played cards in the breakfast room, and was amazed at the people that checked in with dogs.  Thinking there must be a dog show in town we asked the desk clerk and her only reply was that they catered to pets, didn't charge extra for them, and they were on a special floor.
After strolling through the french quarter Sat. morning, and eating a not so good lunch the girls left for home and Janie and I came home. 
Sunday a.m. we visited St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, which had been described as "high" Baptist.  A beautiful old building, going through some renovating and refurbishing, very small congregation, mostly older members, very few youth and children, hymnals were used, the music minister didn't lead the singing, the choir did sing an old spiritual, acapella, beautiful organ music, rather formal service, and I wanted the minister to "act like he was there".  All in all we enjoyed being there and met some good folks during the fellowship time after the service.  Later in the week we received e-mails thanking us for being there and inviting us back.
Our Monday and Tuesday were very low-key and really aren't newsworthy, so our next visit was to Gretna, which was just a ride over there and back.  Without any info and plans it was just a ride out of town. 
Some days can be so full and that was yesterday.  Went in to NO to the aquarium, walking much further than Janie likes, but did enjoy it, even the squealing and crying of a hundred four and five year olds on a school outing.  It was a lot of fun watching their reaction to the exhibits.
We have been looking for John Besh since we came to NO, and he has always just left town, HA!, but we did the next best thing;we ate at his restaurant "August".  I've never been treated like a celebrity before but the moment you stepped in the door, you felt like one.  The entire atmosphere was one of elegance;  white table cloths, beautiful old oak floors, high ceilings, chandeliers that sparkled, huge bouquets of flowers, and waiters running over one another,  The meal was absolutely the best I have ever eaten.  Starting with what Janie described as "amuse bouche," a  custard-like concotion in an egg shell, cavier on the top, almost void of taste, but cleansing and  getting you ready for the meal.  The"rainbow trout" was the only thing on the plate, but was covered with mushrooms, crab meat, and a hollandaise sauce that was aerated so it would be lighter, and fluffier.  My,My! The dessert was covered in white chocolate shavings and what was inside was beyond description.  In addition to the food, we asked if we might visit the kitchen to speak to the chef, we were appled when we went to the kitchen, asked many questions about our trip, they wanted our blog address, and when we left the kitchen they clapped again.  The waiters were all dressed in suits, explained every thing they brought to the table, and stood and talked to you like they had nothing else to do.  We will not mention the price of the meal, because it won't happen again, but it was worth every penny.
Then, last night we visited Robert and Bob again, went to the Palm Court Cafe for dinner, and the best NO music that a five piece band can offer, fabulous.  It was such fun to be invited back to their home, so we feel like we have two new friends for life.  They are so interesting, they've traveled everywhere, know everything about NO, and seem so eager to share about the places they've seen.
Tomorrow we leave. We have to after packing all day today, and
knowing we have to be in Key West by the 1st of February.  I would recommend to anyone a month-long stay in NO, even if you're not interested in food.  It's like another country, another way of like, the people we've met, so friendly, helpful, and always ready to talk and visit.  If every month of our journey is like this one, we will be thrilled.
Until Key West!


  1. So glad you liked the first part of your very long journey. We lived there for 3 years, but I was only in middle school. I've visited many times in the intervening years & feel at home there. It is a gritty place, full of everything! And you now know more of her secrets and offerings, too!! Know you'll have a great visit with the kids on the way to Florida. Safe travels!!!!!

  2. It was so good to see yall Saturday. Never have I ever had such a pleasant experience at a McDonald's. I am so thankful that the weather was perfect! It was good to sit and visit with everyone. Yesterday proves the point that it's not where you are, it's who you are with. A month in Key West sounds like a dream, I can't wait to hear all about it. No doubt that it will be extra special hearing it from your point of view. I have been to NO countless times, and could generally take it or leave it. But after reading the blogs, I am ready to go again because I feel like I missed some things. Please be safe and don't freeze Janie. At least in Key West she can go out and warm in the sun. lol Love yall

  3. It's great reading about you two eating through the country. Remember that Key Lime Pie is not green.