Yahoooooo! New Orleans!!!! 8:50 p.m. 2003-02-20

Oh yes! Tomorrow, we are off to New Orleans (Call it "The Big Easy" and I will slap your face!) I love New Orleans. Can I repeat that? I love New Orleans!

My lovely niece and nephew are going to be on a float in a Mardi Gras parade this weekend! They are pages, or princesses (the niece) or something. Luckily for me, and for them, the weather is going to be AWESOME! High 60's and partly cloudy during the day.

Because I am such a pathetic attention beggar, I have ordered my banner to run again. It will probably run tonight and tomorrow. I have also signed up for Diarist.net. I am going ALL THE WAY, baby! I will probably write another entry tomorrow (maybe) - after all, I am only teaching.

So, back to New Orleans. I hail mainly from Louisiana (born in Texas), and have been visiting New Orleans since I was a child. Nothing (knock wood) bad has ever happened to me in New Orleans, no matter how trashed (yes, trashed) I have been.

Ah, the memories....crouching down at the bottom of our balcony window to see into the transvestite strip club across from the Royal Sonesta (unsuccessful). Later, "of age," forcing my boyfriend at the time to endure the watery "two drink minimum" to actually enter the transvestite strip club. I still don't believe they were really men.

Going to the French Quarter with my eighth grade class (let's see a teacher try THAT nowadays...) and visiting the French Market and Cafe du Monde, as well as the Audobon Zoo. I had a major crush on my Social Studies teacher, and was just happy to hang out with her for a whole day.

Walking down Bourbon Street with my parents and Texas cousins - my mother admonishing me to "keep your eyes forward" - thinking that was going to keep me from seeing nudie pictures. Drinking my first Hurricane from Pat O'Brien's. Yes, of course I was underage.

Eating at Tony's Pizza, formerly on Decatur St. Dreaming of living in the apartment above Tony's (probably very scary in real life) and being a street artist.

Walking in the Quarter with my family, fearing for my father's life as he wise-cracked about the gay attendees of a convention. Later - much later - visiting N.O. with him during another Gay Pride festival (Southern Decadence?)and having him ask about the rainbow Louisiana map bumper stickers. Ah! The naivete!

(Sidebar: Speaking of Gay - of course I am also listening to/watching Will & Grace as I type - I am now realizing that Barry, the newly out of the closet character that Will and Jack are making over, is the same guy who played gay Robin Williams' straight son in The Birdcage. He then played a straight man that everyone thought was gay on Sex & the City. Is he or isn't he? I love him - think he's adorable!)

Okay, back to New Orleans. I have thousands of anecdotes! I love the place.

We will be rushing to the airport (after dropping the dog off to be dogsat) tomorrow evening, flying to Biloxi (cheaper fare), renting a car, and then driving 90 minutes more to downtown New Orleans, where we will be staying at the lovely Canal St. Marriott. I don't think that we will attend the ball - I am notwearing appropriate dress for a ball (and will not be drinking heavily so as to not be conscious of being in sweats while others are in sequins and beads).

But look out Saturday! So much to do! So much to eat! I have to make the rounds! The lovely Farmer's Market, to seek out my favorite Tie Dye artist, and various spices and sauces. And pralines...

Oh, what is the right time to drop by Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop for an all natural juice Hurricane (it's on Bourbon St.). I love them, but cannot be sleepy too early!

Then there's the art! Off to the Bourbon St. Gallery for a peek at the new Norberto Martini (lovely tableau with cardinals and choir boys - no, it is NOT what you think!) paintings. Off to Hanson Galleries to gaze at the Peter Max's. Or to George Rodrigue (Blue Dog) and cannot MISS Michalopoulos (I attended the BEST gallery party there last year with Dad and hubby!). Maybe I will buy some of his rum!

More later. Scrubs is finally on!! I have missed it sooooo much! But, because of this "special programming" on NBC, the Miami show is not on. I usually break to take my bath between Scrubs and E.R. and NOW - no break!!! What to do? I also need to pack.

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Tiedyefor 2003