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.
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.