One reason I was so jazzed about going to New Orleans was the prospect of seeing ALLIGATORS! I’d already done a Swamp Tour there and an Everglades kayak tour a couple years ago, so my focus this time was the gators in town.
Here’s one at the Tourist Information place in the French Quarter. He’s the Master of Brochures.
One might think this is a terrible thing to do to a living creature, however I got over that by reasoning that there are a zillion gators and if the locals couldn’t make money off of them, they would exterminate them as dangerous reptilian menaces. Hence Swamp Tours, purses, boots, barbecues and storefront greeters. The fame of gators helps conserve them and their habitat, and the habitat is continually at risk.
This Praline Guardian is certainly an eye catcher.
Check this out:
I’ve had a gator-fixation for quite a while. It started with a really hectic day at work; I felt I had gators on my butt all day. One thing led to another. I painted this 6 ft wide floor cloth. In this one, the gators get revenge by luring tourists with beach umbrellas. There’s a row of cars parked to the left, but where did the people go? I assure you it looks better in person.
And as a constant reminder of the perils I face here at work, this poster hangs directly in front of me, forever in mid-slurp.
Ma and I got back from New Orleans Saturday, nigh onto midnight. It was a quick trip, but lots of fun. Wednesday night, we were treated to a fancy dinner in the French Quarter, at Muriel’s. The Grilled Puppy Drum (fish, not canine) with toasted pecan and cracked caper dressing in a gruyere sauce was delectable. And ooh-la-la, Crème Brulee afterwards.
The next day we worked the vision clinic all day. I helped folks fill out the complicated forms most if the time, then switched to helping them pick out their frames. In the end, we gave 353 people free eye exams and on-the-spot glasses courtesy of the VSP lab in the van out back. Tiring but wonderful!
Friday, the only full day we had on our own, started at Café du Monde for beignets followed by a Natchez steamboat trip down the Mississippi and back, with a jazz band serenade. Shop, shop, souvenir, French Market, walk, walk, look, look, pralines, t-shirts, gator hats.
I had intended to end the evening at a Cajun club for dinner and zydeco but on the way, we stumbled upon a stage sitting right smack in the middle of Decatur Street. Turns out we’d happened on the Frank’s Italian Ristorante 50th anniversary celebration; soon the quirky Rock ‘n Roll oldies and funnies band captured Mama’s heart. I backed her roller against the curb and soon Frank himself brought us two plates of free food – muffeletas. Ma said yick to that, so I went in and bought a mess of fried oysters for her. You’d though I’d been starving her! I had to treat her right since the story I won the trip with was about her getting glasses…not that I wouldn’t have anyway.
Alas, Saturday’s flight home came far too quickly. Still, we had a blast and loved every minute of it. Now if I could only find some more of that Abita Springs Turbodog ale, hmmm.
Hey, I won a trip to New Orleans! Where I work, we have VSP vision insurance. I deal they do is go to different cities with a mobile clinic and provide free eye exams and glasses. They posted an essay contest on how access to vision care has affected me or someone I love. I wrote about Ma because Medicare doesn’t pay for glasses, just diseases. I wrote about the comical way she went about choosing her glasses and apparently the VSP judges thought was entertaining, too. Cash, a posh hotel, airfare, wow!
One whole day I get to be part of the vision care outreach, right at the scene. That is going to be so cool and I will absolutely take pictures to share. Since I haven’t been there yet, here are some miscellaneous cabin shots…why not? Especially needed is the shot of Ma, with her glasses on!
One more thing, my newest sci-fi book is officially out! Yippee! It’s only $2.99 for the eBook, and if you have an Amazon deal it could be free. Give it a try – and leave a review if you can. Thanks!
It’s my first time in Sweden and it’s not so scary as I’d imagined. Being on my own when done with work and not knowing a smidgen of Swedish had me worried, but the folks here in Gothenburg are friendly and helpful even if they don’t know much English. Thing is, most of them get English in school and do a great job. What is it with the adoration of fresh sliced cucumbers? Goodness they can eat them by the stack. Better for you than orange dusted corn triangles, though.
Oh, the coffee! Wonder in a cup with a little milk. Lingonberries, yes! I had a cloudberry almond parfait tonight – yum. Dinner was a Mariestadt beer with grilled wild boar and a dozen sides to choose from. The Falcon Ale with the steak and fries at the Irish pub last night was tasty as well.
April is still cool and the sun is making a reasonable appearance except for a couple days of rain. The rain doesn’t phaze the populous, they walk a great deal and lots of stuff is convenient to walk to. The public tram and bus service is great too. Gothenburg is very south but they still have mooses. Yes, real mooses.
The oddest thing was the habit of a few of the citizen I’ve met to speak with an element of surprise. What I mean is, he or she will say something like, “I told her (sharp intake of breath) she shouldn’t, but…”. It’s like Hah! except it’s breathed inward; I hadn’t heard such before.
Great place, another week to go! Some of this will have to go into my next book. Maybe pictures next time. Later!
How about a sci-fi tale set in the next century featuring tyrannts, underdogs, illegal aliens, outerspace aliens and great gobs of erudite adventure? Maybe The Distant Trees is for you! This blog will talk about my science fiction books, world travel, nature and the joys of drinking homebrewed ale and wine. Welcome and keep in touch!