Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Orleans, Day 1

Day one in the Big Easy started off with a sense of adventure and only got better as time went by. There wasn't a cloud in the sky the entire week we were there, and the temperature stayed in the upper 80s every day. Not bad for the beginning of October, when the rain and wind usually hits full force here in Vancouver.

Hubby had us staying at the Laneaux Mansion on the edge of the French Quarter, where some of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was filmed. We had our own private cottage to stay in, complete with kitchenette (which we never used because of all the amazing restaurants to choose from) and our own little bricked courtyard filled with thriving plants. Pretty romantic.

After breakfast we wandered up Chartres Street to the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the US. Hubby lit a candle in honor of his late mother, and then we started touring the Quarter and all its pretty little shops. I was in my glory :) I even tried on a beautiful corset at The Trashy Diva. It was pretty, but not very comfortable and hubby would have had to lace me in and out of the thing. Considering how expensive it was, those factors made it a definite no.

Now, you might be thinking that this was the greatest surprise ever concocted by a husband for their wife. But you'd be wrong, because something even better happened just after lunch time.

We'd wandered back to Jackson Square, presumably to take more photos, and then I sat on the grass in the shade to read The Cajun Night Before Christmas, which I'd bought for the weasels. I'm about three pages in when all of a sudden I hear a woman call my name.

My head snaps up. No way, someone knows me down here?

I turn my head, and who should I see standing before me but my very own critique partner, Katie Reus. My jaw fell open. We've been working together for almost two years now, but I've never actually met her in person. She lives about 90 minutes from New Orleans and was planning to try and come up here to Vancouver in the New Year, so meeting her in the middle of Jackson Square was a complete shock. I was verra happy to see her, as you can see below. I think I might have left bruises on her from my bear hug ;) Hubby had once again taken me completely by surprise and set this whole thing up--and didn't breathe a word about it despite giving me grief for wanting to see her while we were down there. What a guy.

Katie told me not only was she there for the day, but she'd actually made reservations in a guest house a few blocks from our hotel for the next two nights so we'd have even more time together. Squee! I was a very happy camper.

Once I got over my squealing and hugging episode, we headed over to the famous Cafe du Monde (open since the 1860s) and got some beignets and cafe au lait to snack on while we caught up and watched the Mississippi roll by from the Moonwalk. We even got serenaded by a man named Leonard, who's been busking along the Moonwalk for over 40 years singing tunes from legends such as James Brown and Otis Redding.

Afterward we decided to do some more sight seeing so Katie and I chatted away and did some window shopping while hubby led the way. He never once complained that I was ignoring him too much, even though it was supposed to be a romantic holiday for us. He knew exactly how excited I was to meet Katie :)

It's kind of ironic, because I remember him saying to me once, "What if you guys meet and you don't really like each other?"

I gasped at the blasphemous suggestion. "That won't happen." And it didn't. She's every bit as sweet and wonderful as I thought she'd be. And talk about talented! Her awesome agent is about to open some big doors for her in New York, and when it happens you'd better believe I'll tell you all about it.

We walked for miles before heading back to our hotels to freshen up, then had a lovely dinner at a place called Maurice's. Once our tummies were full, we promptly headed into the heart of the Quarter on St. Peter street to sign up for a French Quarter ghost tour. Katie writes paranormal, and erotic paranormal (the latter under under the name Savannah Stuart), so she was super excited at the prospect of seeing some ghosts. I was just hoping it wouldn't be too scary, because I'm kind of a wimp.

So here we are, waiting for the tour to start. We learned a lot of historical detail about the city that I didn't know prior to the tour, so that satisfied the history junkie in me. But one of the stories was so gruesome my skin got up and crawled away while our guide told it. I'm going to post about it closer to Halloween, but suffice it to say the LaLaurie Mansion on Royal Avenue gave me the heebie jeebies. I couldn't even walk past it after that without getting a shiver up my backbone. Hardly slept all that night thinking about the atrocities that happened in the place, so if I look a little tired in the shots of the next post, you'll know why.
That's it for day one, but stay tuned for more of my deep south adventure! And yep, hubby sure racked up some extra bonus points with me that day :)


Wynter Daniels said...

That's so cool - thanks for sharing your vacation memories. Katie is awesome! I'm so glad you got to hang out. What an awesome guy your hubby must be.

Katie Reus said...

I had an amazing time with you guys :) And I don't know about 'big doors' but thanks for the vote of confidence, lol. Seeing these pics is totally making me smile! I'm glad you know the name of the first place we ate at. I couldn't remember anything except the fantastic food.

Kaylea Cross said...

Hey Wynter! She is awesome, and I'm glad I finally got to meet her in person. Too bad we live so damn far apart!

Katie, I've got a mind like a steel trap, so no worries there ;)
And the doors I'm talking about for you? Yeah, they're big. Verra big. You're knocking on them right now, and soon one will be thrown wide open. I can't wait!

Nissie said...

Kaylea, I'm sure I've mentioned before that you have the best hubby ever, but I have to say it again....You have the best hubby ever! I'm so glad you had such a good time!

Kaylea Cross said...

Nissie, he went to an awful lot of effort planning the trip and then keeping all those secrets. Have to remember that the next time I get cranky with him ;)

Nissie said...

I have a hard time believing you get cranky all that much. ;) But keep telling us these stories. It gives me hope that maybe there are some good guys out there :D

Kaylea Cross said...

Nissie, you're sweet! But you're right, I don't get cranky TOO often. Once in a while, though...

That's when I write my best action sequences ;)