Days 3, 4, 5 & 6…..

20 May

… I think. I’m not sure what day we’re on seeing as I was stranded in “the big easy” with no internet access. The horror! I shall get to that. In all likelihood.

We got to Alabama safe and sound. And on schedule. Bloody schedules. We had to stop 4 times on the way. Isn’t it always the way that when you are trying to get somewhere to meet someone your child plays up and you have to stop and stop and stop. Not that I’m adverse to stopping, my bum gets numb too, it’s just that when people are waiting on you and calling (what seems like) every five minutes to see where you are, you can get a bit stressed. Still, we got there in one piece. That’s the main thing, surely.

And the turtle got to meet his great-granny for the first time. They took to each other pretty well. Apparently, his great-granny doesn’t usually “take to” children, but she took to our fella. She even got up off the chair to go out and play with him.

He had a great time being the centre of attention and everyone else had a great time admiring him. Not only that we were out of the car for at least 36 hours (ahem, except for small journeys).

We went from there to New Orleans. Stopping once on the way. We did think we would have to spend the night somewhere on the way, but there was a technological glitch with the GPS, which didn’t change time when we got to Alabama. So the journey was an hour shorter than we originally thought. (Hurrrah for journeys  being shorter than you thought! Hurrah!) That did mean though that we didn’t have any reservations and there was a mad scramble to the nearest Holiday Inn, to see if they had a room. They didn’t, but they (helpfully or not) dirested us to the Intercontinental. Which did have rooms. $7,000,000 for a room with no Wi-Fi!(I should say no free Wi-Fi, there was a $7 an hour charge for it). And no breakfast. And another $100 (or thereabouts) to park the car. What did we get for the extra $6,999,900 we paid for the room? A turn down service. Two 75 cent newspapers. A malfunctioning toilet and a remote that didn’t work. And what felt like an obligation to tip everyone who looked at you!  Aaah, expensive hotels. Got to love them. At least we were in the middle of the down town area.

We all loved New Orleans. The turtle was overawed. There were streetcars, buses, and trucks all over the place. He didn’t know what to look at. And when we rode on the streetcar? Well that was the bee’s knees. We did a lot of rambling all over the Quarter. And no stroller. IT was on holidays in the luggage yoke on top of the car. We managed pretty well without it. The turtle loves to walk and even if we had gotten it down he probably wouldn’t have sat in it. The contrary article. We went to the French Market, had beignets at Cafe du Monde, visited the aquarium, had a nap while the hubby went to the World War II museum, then got up and went for a ride on a horse and buggy. Unfortunately, the driver of the buggy mentioned that one of the museums housed Napoleon’s death mask so a visit there had to be penciled in for the next day. The most important thing on the following day’s itinerary though, was a visit to the Childrens Museum, where we all had a great time (but now is not the right time of year to be visiting these places as every school in the country is doing field trips). Crowded, but fun. The place with Napoleon’s death mask on the other hand, had three or four people in it and plenty of room for a small boy to run around (shouting). There were other things in there, detailing Louisiana’s history but I didn’t really get a chance to look at them as I was on wrangling duty. To be honest though, I wasn’t that bothered. I find museums over here to be more verbose than informative. Honestly, if I wanted to read that much about anything I would buy a book or a pamphlet and sit down in comfort to read it, not stand there reading things off of a wall that have very little to do with the actual displays.

That was it for us and New Orleans. We were sad to leave. Even if it was madly expensive. Everyone was friendly. It was easy to get around. And the food was delicious. Not only that, it was a real city. Not just a carbon copy of all of the other “cities” I’ve visited. It felt like there were more choices. It wasn’t just all MacDonalds or Applebees or Bed Bath& Beyond or Walmart or Target. It felt like there was a real choice there. We didn’t eat in one chain restaurant.

It was worth every cent. (Nearly).

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