Mardi Gras, Part One 8:18 p.m. 2003-02-25

Okay, I am still recovering from my weekend away (no, I did NOT drink, really...), and REALLY want to call in "sick" sometime this week - maybe Friday? I guess that I need to just take it easy, and not go out of town for a short weekend for a while!

Friday was annoying, and then hellish. Our flight was delayed because of the storms coming toward Atlanta at that time. Then there was turbulence. Then I had to drive for about 90 minutes from Gulfport to New Orleans in our rental car.

Did we really save money by flying to Gulfport instead of to New Orleans? I will never know, because I choose to not do the figures...and remain ignorant. As it was, we left home for the airport at about 5:15, and arrived at the hotel at just before midnight. I think it took about 6 1/2 hours. It takes 8 hours to drive there from Atlanta...

Then we parked the rental car and didn't see it again until Sunday.

My sister reserved two hotel rooms, and my husband and I shared a room with my mother. When we arrived at the hotel - thanks to my superb navigational skills - the ball was still going on. My sister looked gorgeous in her black and white ballgown and sequined sandals (purchased last minute as the first pair was left at home). My niece and nephew (serving as maid and page on the court of the Mardi Gras krewe) were just dressing down, and we lost the nephew to the Gameboy.

Saturday morning began with a little drama, as I walked into my sister's room to the news that my mother's dog was missing. This was bad news, especially because the dog was in the care of my father (divorced from my mother for years). Word was spread around the neighborhood, and all hands were on deck to search for the missing lap dog.

Over a year ago, my sister's terrier was killed on the highway behind her house. Her home is on a lot that looks like it is in the middle of nowhere, but that is deceptive. Within critter running distance is a divided highway.

So, plots were made (we wouldn't tell the mother about her missing dog, we would cover for our father if the worse happened), tears were shed (some remarks were made to lighten the mood, and they were not funny), lies were told (Mom asked, "what was the yelling about?" Answer: "nothing...")and plans were made to meet in the Quarter for breakfast.

Dad was on his way in, having scoured the neighborhood for two hours for the missing pooch. I prayed like mad, and made mental plans to call in sick to drive back with Mom on Monday.

As my husband and I were leaving the hotel room to meet the rest of our group at the Cafe du Monde, my cell phone rang. The dog had been in the house all along... A neighbor called and asked, "Is it a white dog with brown ears? Well, it's looking out the window at me right now."

Big sigh of relief. Mother was told about the near crisis. Poor, traumatized Father arrived in the city in time to celebrate his birthday with gifts and second-hand King's Cake.

More later!

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