Back from New Orleans 3:41 p.m. 2006-02-21

Today is a Teacher Work Day - and, boy, are we working. We had our last session on Love and Logic this morning, and are having some sort of workshop on teaching vocabulary this afternoon. Or is that "Teaching Vocabulary" - as in learning just what NCLB, GPS, AYP, and MYP are... and, no, GPS is NOT the Global Positioning System. Nice try, though!

I just returned from a weekend in the New Orleans area. My sister lives in Covington, LA, which is on the North shore of Lake Ponchartrain. Since my husband was away at a convention in San Antonio, I enlisted the son of my Brazilian friends to travel down with me. Yes, he did drive me crazy - but at least, I stayed awake!!! He got along famously with my nephews, and they took care of taking him around at the parades. They also discovered a common interest in the Family Guy. How sweet!

This week is my father's 70th birthday, and since I could not stay for that, my sister and I - along with the rest of her family and stragglers - took Dad to lunch at Middendorf's, the best catfish restaurant in the world! Here is another review. If you are ever in the New Orleans area, you must go and have their thin-fried catfish. It is sooo out of the way, that my sister had to go down to a boat gas pump on the lake to get gas so that her Ford Expedition could make it back to the main highway!!! But it is definitely worth the trip.

We went to a Parade in Covington on Saturday night - it was wet and a little rainy. My father caught a lovely feather boa for me. I was so excited, until I realized that feather boas 1.)shed and 2.)itch. Ouch. Don't worry, I did not try on the panties I caught. My niece and her friend made quite an impression on our guest from Brazil when they showed up on Friday night wearing Mardi Gras undies on over their jeans... If I did that, they would probably have to cut them off of me to avoid amputating a leg.

We went into New Orleans on Sunday, and caught two more parades, then headed to the French Quarter. Things seemed okay, but some places were still closed. We ate at a little restaurant near the Old Mint, on Dad's suggestion. The food was good, but I wondered how my Dad stood to eat in a restaurant populated by tattooed and pierced people! I had an oyster po boy.

We did a bit of shopping, and I bought a silver fleur de lis charm at a place called Sterling Sylvia's. There were a lot of choices, but the one that caught my eye was a stylized fleur de lis, with the top being a cobra's head, and the side petals being backed by wings. Oh, and there's a crown encircling the the center. I will make a sketch of it later. After shopping, we went to a very crowded Cafe du Monde, where my family members abused me with powdered sugar.

On our way home via the Causeway bridge, we went through some of the devastated neighborhoods, and even passed over one of the canals that flooded. It looked pretty sad, and my nephew explained to me what the spray-painted legends on the houses meant. There were a few boats in yards, and lots of trees down, and lots of piles of trash. My poor New Orleans. I absolutely hate all of those magnetic car ribbons, but I may have to get one of these.

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