Mardi Gras, Part Two 7:18 p.m. 2003-02-27

/So I had my last website design class last night. Now I just have to arrange to get credit for it. I have had extremely low energy this past week, and am dying to call in sick (I know, I know - I've mentioned it before - just DO it already!), so I have not worked more on my website, but I plan to. Maybe on that day off...

So, back to New Orleans. We had a great time in the French Quarter. We ate at the Cafe du Monde, after being accosted by an expert come-on artist. My husband swears that we actually had met her last time we were in that area.

So, she approaches us, and says in an official voice, "Excuse me, but you are about to walk onto a movie set, and I need to ask you some questions before you can proceed." What are we supposed to do? Blast past her?

If she had started with the next part, I would have recognized her.

She says, writing on a notepad, "I am going to have to give you a citation, sir. You are not partying hard enough..."

She is collecting for a food bank - or so she says. For all I know, she's just collecting for her food bank. She's way too smooth. Why doesn't she just sit down with a little donation sign? I think she'd get more money that way... I kept her little I heart New Orleans sticker, though.

We had our quota of beignets, and Wheat, Mom, and I headed for the Farmer's Market. Mom was feeling guilty about putting Dad through so much, so she was looking for a gift for his birthday. She bought him some exotic hot sauce in a hip flask bottle.

I picked up some of my Papaya Curry Sauce (haven't found it anywhere else!), and then we headed for the flea market area to buy a wooden pen for one of my husband's colleagues.

I was in luck!!!! My tie dye guy was there! He is the best. His name is Zahdan, and I first encountered him in a little doorway shop on Conti Street, years ago. I have purchased at least 3 t-shirts from him, one of which I was wearing that day. I "flashed" him, and we talked for a while. Then we signed his mailing list, and I bought a new t-shirt. My husband bought one, too.

Last stop for buying in the Quarter was the Central Grocery. I wanted to buy some olive salad mix for Wheat's step-father's birthday present. I also passed by what I thought would be the perfect t-shirt for my dad. He used to deal in fishing lures, and there was a t-shirt with a lovely young lady in vintage cheesecake clothing,straddling a lure. It was for the "Hooker" brand. ;-)

I forgot to mention earlier, because of the Mother/Dog trauma, that I had actually gotten up bright and early (okay, 9AM) and gone strolling around the Quarter on my own. I love doing that. I passed by the House of Blues (Cheap Trick's tour bus was parked out front, getting ready for their performance that night), Hanson Galleries (there were a couple of Peter Max's out), and Michalopoulos' gallery (I will provide links, because he is great!), then strolled through the Walgreen's in search of Diet Coke.

When we got back to the hotel room, we threw an impromptu and very casual birthday party for Dad. Then, my husband and I got into Dad's van with him. We were off, in search of a restaurant that serves awesome catfish,called Joey K's.

Not as easy as it sounds. This restaurant is on Magazine Street. In order to get there, we had to try and circumvent the afternoon parades. We tried our best. We got around the Quarter, and got up on the highway, and creeped up and down Magazine Street (I have now found out where I want to live in my other life...). We finally had to give in, park, get out of the car, and catch beads and doubloons.

My husband mentioned several times that we could have eaten at Krystal - which is within walking distance of the hotel.

We finally got there. The catfish was awesome. Our waitress was great (I think her name was Sheree). When she brought the second portion of our "all you can eat" catfish, we told her that that had been all that we could eat. She just said, "I'll just leave it here, and you can nibble if you want while I go and get a 'to go' box." She even comped our blackberry cobbler when she learned that it was Dad's birthday.

We hung out on Magazine Street, looking into antique shops. The most interesting "new" items (or was it that I just haven't seen them for sale before?) were glass beaded necklaces made in Czechoslovakia that were used as throws before 1955. They were running from $9 to $25. I actually have a strand that I caught in a modern parade way back when.

We had more luck getting back to the hotel that in getting to the restaurant.

I will conclude later with the story of my half-hearted search for a hurricane, and the debut of my niece and nephew in the Krewe of Pegasus parade.

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Tiedyefor 2003