Monday 18th was supposed to be with the priest. 

Gilbert met him on the plane and he kindly offered that if we could get over to where he lived, he would take us for dinner and show us around over there. Only it was more than an hour away and every which way we looked, it was going to cost around $200 plus NZ and then being the generous soul Gilbert is, he would have insisted on paying for dinner so we decided it wasn’t going to work. Gilbert texted him. ‘Dear Angel…’, that was his name, promise. Shame as it was a nice offer. 


Today ended up being a little more mundane as I lost my glasses and we decided to go find an optometrist. The concierge found one whom she rang and they said as long as I picked ones from their display, they could have them ready in 24 hours. It’s about 5kms and a great street of cafes, art galleries and boutique clothing….so we decide to walk it. I hesitated as we headed out into the Louisiana heat which always give you a surprise, and we were a few blocks away when I realised I was wearing my beach sandals I had slipped on to go down for breakfast, instead of my good walking shoes. It was hot, it felt like you could fry an egg on the pavement, and I got slower and slower. “I feel like you’re fading Mum”, Ren called back. “You bet I am, I said. I’m leaving a part of me in New Orleans….see that puddle behind me I point.” We trudge on and on. 

Good eyes and sure feet needed for these pathways 😳

Finally we got there and went in, explained what had happened and she says, “Ummm we can fit you in Wednesday for an eye exam” and because I want transitional lenses it’s five to ten working days. Whaaaat! God, if only we’d thought to ask when we phoned. Stopped at the first Cafe we found with wifi as I fanned myself wildly, Ren ordered Margaritas and hot chips for Gilbert and I said “you know what. I can manage. I can make the kindle letters bigger and I’m not driving or watching movies so I might just wait till I get home.” 

Feeling a bit blind without my glasses which are for long sighted, short sighted and sunglasses. Got my seeing-eye dog with me so should be fine!

We wandered back losing Gilbert along the way as we stepped in and out of the little boutiques but my feet were getting more and more sore. I think I’m going to blister I said to Ren as I took my shoes off thinking it’s better to be barefoot. We slipped into the art gallery that had the Mardi Gras beads so I could show Ren some earrings, when the heavens opened up bucketing down and didn’t look like it was going to ease. We were so hot and not far we thought, so decided to just throw our cares away and dance home in the rain. 

Several blocks later we approached our hotel laughing, we were absolutely drenched. My thin light coloured cotton trousers were completely see through by now. “You’ve got skin coloured panties on Mum and it looks like you’re not wearing any”. Oh thanks for telling me that! Ren’s dress was clinging and we were both carrying our shoes. The door valet laughed and handed us each a towel as we got to the door looking like drowned rats. “Looks like you’ve been having some fun he smiled shooing us upstairs. “Go on up and get yourselves dry so you don’t catch a cold.


We had been nice and warm outside despite the rain, but now in aircon it was chilly. I welcomed a hot shower and a siesta before heading out for dinner. But first we heard about a little bar around the corner that sold double size shots so we had yagermeisters while chatting to the barman about nothing in particular. The dinner place was recommended to us as having a good selection of food, reasonably priced and a live band. However it was a bit like Valentines used to be. The food was okay and the musicians were about a hundred years old but the children up dancing kept us entertained. We were just about to leave when a guy from the band came up to Gilbert and asked his permission to dance with one of the lovely ladies, which is about when Ren all but pushed me off my seat and so it was me! 

Ummm, I can’t really dance I’m sorry I said, as he took my hand, to which he replied, “that’s absolutely fine, as you know the woman is never wrong as they are lead by the man”, at which point he whirled and twirled me around the empty floor. I graciously thanked him and we left. We wandered around the busy streets for a bit before going back to our new local where we ordered straight Baileys for a nightcap and then another round while we talked about almost nothing to anybody who would listen. We talk about the streets being dangerous and they say just act local man. Don’t walk around the streets all tourist like, looking atcha map and lookin scarit, No. Just walk around like ya own the place, and he mimics a confident swagger. We practise the swagger which is pretty funny. 


Another funny thing that happened here was a Kiwi guy, who’d lived in Aussie for ever came in, and realising we were kiwis came over. He introduced himself shaking Ren’s hand and then Gilbert’s but when he came over to me, came in as if lunging for a kiss so I side stepped him and he kind’ve lurched the other way to get me but I slipped back again which made everyone in the bar scream with laughter. I sat back down on my bar stool smiling. “I’ve been around too long for that nonsense”, I said smiling. I dunno what the hell he was going to do but it seemed like he was coming in for a bloody full on kiss. When we laughed about it later Gilbert said he thought he was going to hongi me. What the hell. Nah. Not getting that close to some stranger in a pub. He got a hug as we left as I was pretty full by then but it was hilarious. 

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