Every time I come here, I'm reminded anew of how much I love this city. We treated my folks to lunch, then did some laundry (we packed light) and packed up the car and toodled off. On the trip up, it only took us 4 hours. The trip back... well. I didn't time it exactly, but Baton Rouge took us an hour to get through due to traffic. Oog, that sucked.
We checked in to our favorite hotel and called my brother Tony to see if he could slip away from work for a coffee or something. I haven't seen him in something like 9-10 years, and I was really hoping he'd be available... and he was. We had an absolutely awesome visit, and caught up a lot. I was scolded for not giving him more advance notice so he could actually take the night off...which was totally my fault. Many long-term readers will remember that this brother is the one that was in a serious auto-accident several years ago (he was on a motorcycle, struck by a drunk driver in a dump truck), and was also one of the police officers keeping the peace in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Now, he's one of 4 officers that is responsible for traffic control and escort duty when there's a VIP in town. What does this mean? It means my brother has partied with James Gandolfini, Mike Rowe, Captain Sig (of Deadliest Catch fame) and had been accidentally goosed during a photo op with Laura Bush. I am totally getting him to invite me over next time Dirty Jobs is in town, srsly!
I'm honestly incredibly proud of him. We talked a lot, he and roho hit it off really well, and I couldn't be happier. After he left back to work, we wandered the three blocks to the French Quarter and grabbed some dinner at Oceana Grill for some crab-stuffed ahi tuna with crawfish sauce and cajun blackened chicken. It was amazingly good; the place was just off Bourbon Street, and we probably would have passed it by if one of the waiters hadn't been standing in the street and stopped us. Once we rolled out, we went to Cafe Beignet's Bourbon Street location and had beignets and hurricanes while a live jazz band played Christmas carols. It was a wonderful way to end the evening.
We're back at the hotel now, curled up in bed and surfing the web for a little bit before we sleep (laughing because we apparently stumbled on a documentary on phone sex workers on the television. Good money, I guess?) Tomorrow, we're up early for the 10 hour drive to Tampa.
This vacation has been... just perfect. We're already discussing our options for coming back to see my family again. Anyway.. more tomorrow evening. :)