Sunday, December 7, 2008

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! Day 4 - final day

Day 4 - November 16, 2008

Our last day in the Big Easy! We had already decided that we would do breakfast out, but we had to get up, pack our things, and get checked out first.  Got our bags loaded into our vehicle, then we were off! We strolled through the French Market again, looking at more souvenirs, even though we had decided to wait until we were on the way back to purchase anything. On our carriage tour, we had passed a restaurant called the Old Coffeepot, which our guide had given rave reviews, so we were planning to try that for breakfast/brunch. Made our way to it, but found that it was a long wait, with no place inside to get in from the cold. I am sure the food was great, but the dining area was very small, and the patio was not being used – again, too cold – and we were on a time schedule. Had a long drive ahead of us! So, we split up in search of more timely options. M and C went off to look while I waited for a while with D and S. After a bit, I went off in search of M and C, and met C heading back our way. We had passed a café on our way to the Old Coffeepot, and they were open and available to seat immediately, so that was where we decided to go – Café Pontalbo. M and C had already gotten us a table, so we were able to order before too long, and soon (at least sooner than if we had stayed at the Old Coffeepot) we were partaking of a great breakfast! Good thing, too, because I think we were all starving at this point!

After eating our fill, we headed back to the French Market to purchase some souvenirs. I don’t know what everyone got, but I bought some crazy jester hats and a small alligator skull for the boys. S got a mondo-sized alligator head for her house! It was so big it was kinda scary….ha ha! I think M got some bracelets for her girls. Someone else bought T-shirts, I think. Anyway, we each got our respective souvenirs, and headed back for a last look and picture of our wonderful Hotel de la Monnaie (thanks again to M’s parents!). I highly recommend it if you are looking for a place in New Orleans that is removed from the chaos, but still close to the heart of the French Quarter. Perfectly lovely! 

Back to the vehicle, and away we go! It was close to 1:00 which was, truthfully, earlier than I thought we would leave. But we still had a long day of driving ahead of us, so I was sort of glad to get underway. S took the wheel, and we said goodbye to New Orleans. A lovely ending to a lovely trip! Or so you might think…but the story isn’t over! 

A few hours of uneventful driving – we were noticeably more quiet on this return trip than at the beginning of our weekend. D was in the far back seat, working on a paper she had due. C and I were in the middle, and M was up front with S, helping navigate. We had the GPS on, and that might have been a mistake. Not sure. I just know we ended up on what seemed like a lot of minor roads. There has to be major interstate between New Orleans and Little Rock, but it didn’t seem that we ended up on much of it! I guess that isn’t entirely accurate, we did drive on interstate…I guess. Ha ha! All I know is that when we decided we needed to find somewhere to eat dinner, it seemed we were in the middle of nothing but little towns, with hardly any restaurant options, at least none that kept us close to our chosen route. We were trying to avoid getting too far away from the highway we needed. Finally found a little Mexican restaurant that was actually really good. Reminded me of Las Palmas in North Little Rock, but I digress. Finished eating, and got underway again. I think, at that point, M took over the wheel for a little while. 

We needed to stop for gas in short order, which we did, and everyone took a bathroom break. M wasn’t feeling well, so I took over the wheel at this point. M had been driving a little slowly for our tastes (sorry, M!!) so I sped things up a little. I still didn’t drive as fast I normally would have, but it wasn’t my vehicle, and I wasn’t familiar with the area. Didn’t want to chance a speeding ticket! And, it was starting to get dark, and I wasn’t familiar with the roads. Speaking of which…at one point we ended up on a road that I was sure was leading us to nowhere, and that was going to become a dirt road at any second! Have you seen the movie “Vacancy?” I felt like we were in some dead zone, caught between “Deliverance” and “Vacancy.” Nothing around for what seemed like miles, nothing but our paltry excuse for a road and the night. No way in h*ll I was going to stop that vehicle for anything! It was a little scary. As it turned out, I guess the GPS was taking us on some sort of cut-across to a major interstate, but I didn’t care for it! 

Whew, back on a major thoroughfare, finally! All was fine then, until we got close to our destination. I think I was on autopilot by that time and just took the direction I would normally take to go home…which, of course, wasn’t the way we needed to go! I realized it immediately and got back on going the right way. No problem. Got to the church parking lot around 10:00 that night, I think. But wait, the story doesn’t end there! We all got out and got our luggage into our respective vehicles, and M was off like a shot. Guess she was tired of us! I hung around for a bit to say goodbye, then C and I both got into our vehicles. I was just about to leave when I saw C get back out and say something to S and D. I got out to see what was wrong…her battery was dead! Thank goodness I had jumper cables, because no one else did! S pulled up in front of C’s truck, and we prepared to hook up the cables. S’s battery was weird-looking to me, and we were uncertain where to connect the leads. We were discussing it, when a young man pulled up and got out to help. We could have managed, but I was happy to let him do it! We got everything taken care of, thanked the nice young man, and each headed home. 

I had a great time, as I think did everyone else. Things didn’t go perfectly, but who wants that?? It makes the story much better to tell if there is some excitement along the way! Laissez les bon temps roulez!


CrunchyCon said...

Thank you again for blogging this! You should post a link on yahoo for the other ladies to see!

Kelley said...

I did, at least I did on facebook. I will add one to the yahoo site, too! Thanks for the reminder.