NOLA Parts 3 & 4 [ 2011-06-27, 2:31 a.m. ]

And now for the finale....

Saturday: I woke up probably at about 11am. Maybe earlier. My stomach wasn't in a good mood from the junk food in the middle of the night. But I eventually got myself dressed and out the door. It was hot as usual outside. All this time I'd made sure to wear sunscreen. I'm no dummy. Thankfully,that helped a lot. Next time I'm using parasol,too.

I took more pics on the walk into the Quarter. I was trying to just soak it all in. I walked around Royal and found a place to eat. It was a really casual sandwich/coffee place with a dark wood interior and a counter. I settled myself in and ordered a fried shrimp po'boy with sweet potato salad and sangria. Everything was delicious. I made small talk with the girls behind the counter. Had the guy next to me comment on liking the Ramones pins on my bag. I looked thru my travel guide and read some articles in it.

After that I walked down to Decatur Street (whenever I hear this street name I think of the Twilight Singers since that's the name of one of their songs). Lots of tourist shops there. I bought a few keychains. One for me and a couple for my sisters. I went into the Cafe du Monde gift shop and bought myself a mug and a magnet that says NOLA. Then I went into the other gift shop and bought a mug for my mom. I walked around the French Market where there are small shops. I went into a store with handcrafted jewelry. I fell in love with a copper wire ring with a fleur de lis and a little blue stone. I bought it even though it was $26. I loved it too much to pass it up. Then a couple shops later I fell in love with a big hobo style cloth bag that was black with red pockets on the outside. (strangely enough yesterday at work I complimented a woman on her bag and she told me that she'd bought it in New Orleans around the French Market. Pretty sure it was the same place!). I went ahead and bought it. Couldn't resist.

By that time I was starting to wilt so I headed back to the hotel room for some a/c and a nap. I did stop first at a corner store and bought a couple bottled waters, a root beer and a Hubigs pie (a local favorite but I never got around to eating it). So I settled into the room for the rest of the afternoon. But went out again at 7pm once the sun started settling down. I felt like a vampire. Appropriate since I was in New Orleans. (Of course,I'm like that at home anyway)
I thought about going to one place that I'd found in my travel book but it was too packed. So I kept going and found a place on Decatur. Had a small bowl of jambalya then blackened fish with vegetables. And a pina colada. The place wasn't packed and I knew it was probably a bit touristy but I just wanted some food.

After that I walked along Decatur and found this cool shop that made me go in because of the awesome stuff in it's window. They had cool shoes,jewelry and knickknacks. Very cool stuff. I bought 3 pairs of earrings for $10. One of the men in the shop was asking how I was and we discussed the heat. He admitted that the record heat was a bit unusual. I told him the humidity was even a bit much for me even though I'm from Charlotte where we have it in spades.

I walked over to Cafe du Monde and got beignets to go plus a cafe au lait. I walked slowly back to the hotel, it was about 10pm by then. Being a female and by myself and this being Saturday I really didn't want to stay out any later. I remember walking past an alleyway and glancing over to see a HUGE rat dart from one side to the other. I made a little "eep" sound and just kept walking. That was one well-fed rodent.

I had to be up by 6am the next day so I settled myself into the hotel, gorged on beignets and fiddled around on the internet. Probably nodded off by midnight.

Sunday: Got my cab to the airport at 7:15am. Had plenty of time for my 8:45 flight time. This time my seat really blew monkey balls. All the way to the back and where there should be a window was just a wall. Fuck. Talk about claustrophobia. Then I had a connecting flight in Atlanta. I'd never been to that airport and when you see a train to take you to the next concourse, you realize that the place is huge. I was in concourse A and needed to be in concourse B. I jumped on the train and still had to walk a bit to my gate. Wacky. My next flight sucked even more because somehow I'd gained weight between flights because I couldn't completely buckle my belt. I'm still thinking the gal next to me had the wrong belt and that's why. But anyway...screw you,plane designers. People are bigger now. Buy a clue,fuckers! I just didn't even bother. I acted like it was buckled and stewed.

My sis,Mandy,was there to pick me up at the airport and told me I looked good in my jeans,black t-shirt and black boots. That made me feel better. She said she almost didn't recognize me. Ha!

The rest of the day was me completely decompressing. I love traveling but that first day back home is always nice. But then I want to take off again the next day.

I had such a good time on this trip. Of course, I'd love to have had a friend along but it didn't work out that way. So I dealt with it and realized how much I can do by myself. That I can talk to strangers and not feel alone. I can be, quite frequently, be awesome.

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