I have not abandoned my blog. I just made the usual mistake of booking travel time a couple of months in advance when my future schedule looked really quiet. Eventually I will get to my semi-retirement phase and that will be true. But working does pay for the travel so happy to NOT be unemployed 🙂
Last year I threw a splashy, almost year-long birthday celebration. As I learned at 41, not many people are interested in non-milestone birthdays (unless you are under 21). So I decided to take myself to New Orleans to celebrate.
It’s been on my list for a long time. The image in my head comes from a few divergent sources.
The first – my mother’s obsession with everything Disney, which led to an early visit to New Orleans the way Walt visualized and imagineered it. Part of me is expecting to see the entrance to a Pirates of the Caribbean ride down an alley off Bourbon Street 🙂 And a French quarter as pretty and fake as the one in Disneyland.
The second voice in my head creating images of New Orleans belongs to Richard, a boyfriend from my twenties. The man who introduced me to jazz. He felt it peaked with bebop and that the tenor saxophone is the most perfect instrument. Not only do I still have his pictorial “history of jazz” in my memory box, I also have strong feelings about jazz, including a love of bebop and a weakness for great improvisation on a saxophone 😉
The final image I bring to the city is Dennis Quaid in “The Big Easy”, an early crush. Not really on Dennis Quaid, but on the cop he played in the film. The good guy with a gigantic slice of Cajun charm capable of seducing uptight northern girls…
I am writing this in the Denver airport en route… so we shall see what kind of stew – or jambalaya – the city of New Orleans really is.
Will there be some cute Disneyesque architecture? Will I hear some great jazz? Will a Cajun gentleman with a southern accent sweep me off my feet?
That is the wonder of travel. The anticipation of the unknown. The discovery of other cultures. The personal voyage as you mix with the new place and learn new things about yourself.
This is my first visit to the south. Granted this is not really “the south” of the Confederates. But they ain’t no Yankees! Or laidback west coast Liberals. I will be in a country I have travelled extensively but yet be in a foreign land.
Louisiana represents a fascinating piece of North American history. Had the French played their cards better in this part of the world, we might all be learning French as our lingua de commerce instead of English.
Stay tuned for the full report on the REAL “Big Easy” circa 2013. Post Katrina. Post Saints Super Bowl victory. Sans Dennis Quaid 😉