Somewhere over western Louisiana…

the view over east Texas - west Louisiana

the view over east Texas – or western Louisiana

…actually, we could have been over eastern Texas.

Anyway, I hadn’t expected to be 35,000 feet over Texas, but every once in awhile life throws you a curve ball. Just one day before my departure, the entire Eastern Seaboard decided to conspire against me. There was some kind of storm and Newark airport (as of Tuesday morning) was grounded, putting my anticipated connecting flight in jeopardy!

Oh no, you don’t! No way is some winter storm going to mess with my plans to escape!

Yesterday, I got on the phone…well, I got on to hold music for long while first…and switched my flight to connect through a nice, warm city outside the storm zone. Houston, it is.

I’m pleased to report that I did get to New Orleans – and this is what it looked like as I was arriving (I love aerial views – it’s just too bad I have to take them from inside a blurry airplane cabin window):

I landed in the mid-afternoon sunshine, and my lovely driver Floyd was there to pick me up. As he drove me to my Valmont Street abode-for-the-week, he recited some history and Hurricane Katrina facts. We chatted about the economy (low price of oil, fall in the Canadian dollar, socialized medicine – the usual). And when I couldn’t make the code work on my friend’s front door, he kept me company to make sure I got in okay. Above and beyond, Floyd. Thanks.

And the best thing? It got so warm in the sunshine, Floyd turned on the air conditioning. Imagine needing AC in a car in late January. Awesome!

When I finally got into the house, I oriented myself, unpacked, and changed into something cooler. I took a glance at a map of the area and went exploring for a couple of hours. I’m staying just off of St Charles Street, so I wandered along, taking in all the houses. Love that architecture. Many already have Mardi Gras decorations up – on their doors and on balconies. I’m sure I’ll see more of it.

New Orleans Garden District

New Orleans Garden District

I met a very chatty and helpful woman on St. Charles, who told me all the best places to eat and best times to visit the WWII Museum. And that I shouldn’t miss the Sculpture Gardens. After gathering a few provisions, I made my way back to enjoy a glass of wine on the veranda. So civilized. Fingers crossed that the weather will stay fine!

St Charles oak

St Charles oak

P.S. A mosquito just landed on me, ready to suck some blood. Despite my general dislike of the creatures, I’m rather enjoying the novelty of being bitten in January. (I don’t think it’ll last very long.)

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