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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 8
New Orleans

 

Carol and David on the job  
12.17.06
Sunday
Day 5
 
 

I drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was gone...

 

We had gotten to bed well past midnight and slept until 7AM.

 

Woke, showered, dressed and met in the dining room with Marc, Muriel, Larry and Angela for another incredible breakfast of fresh fruit with whipped cream, crawfish/cheese/egg casserole, biscuits, sweet cinnamon rolls and strong coffee. Said goodbye to Brad, who was taking in the Saints game prior to driving up to their lake house in Mississippi, taking Cody with him. Larry will take the train on Monday morning.

 

After breakfast Carol and I drive to Musician's Village to say goodbye to Henry Swanson and to wish him well in the reconstruction of his shotgun house. Henry spent three days on his kitchen counter during Katrina and although he has made progress rebuilding over the past sixteen months, there is still much to be done.

 

We then drove to the River Walk where we reunited with Marc and Muriel and were introduced to Roland, owner of Roland Through New Orleans, who proceeded to spend the next two and a half hours giving us a very enlightening and entertaining tour of New Orleans the Garden District, the cemeteries, the French Quarter and several areas badly damaged by Katrina.

 

New Orleans damage, 16 months post-Katrina

 

Statue at one of the New Orleans cemeteries

 

House in the Garden District

 

At 2:30PM we found ourselves back at the River Walk and thanked Roland for his very informative tour

 
Marc, Muriel, Roland, Carol and David
 

We enjoyed seafood gumbo at Napoleon's in the French Quarter then walked over to Desire Oyster Bar for some delicious fresh oysters. Anne Marie, the waitress we had met in October, remembered us.

 

Marc and Muriel at Napolean's

 

Carol and David at Napoleon's

 

Then we walked to the Aquarium along the bank of the Mississippi where we met up with Rebecca and Marybeth, and the six of us watched the incredible IMAX Hurricane on the Bayou which was enlightening, entertaining and sad - a must-see.

 

At 5PM we all walked back through the French Quarter, window shopped at Madame Marie Laveau's Voodoo shop, and then met up with Larry and his friend Prudence. The eight of us then walked to Jackson Square , where along with Mayor Nagin, the Archbishop of New Orleans and 10,000 other folks, spent an enjoyable hour in the candle-lit misty evening singing Christmas carols. It was much fun and was very touching and emotional.

 

Larry singing Christmas carols at Jackson Square

 
Prudence and Larry at Jackson Square
 

Mayor Ray Nagin at Jackson Square

Photo by Marybeth
 

The gang singing Christmas carols at Jackson Square

 

Then we walked to a restaurant in the Quarter appropriately called Muriel's, where we all enjoyed a delicious dinner and each other's company.

 
The gang at dinner
  
Marybeth and Rebecca at Muriel's
 

At 10:30 it was time to say goodbye to our dear friends Rebecca and Marybeth, who were staying at Camp Hope and had an 11PM curfew. They were planning on working gutting more houses in St. Bernard Parish in the morning prior to driving to the airport where Rebecca would fly home to San Diego and Marybeth to her home in Toronto . We will miss these dear, wonderful, warm, hard-working, dedicated, selfless friends. We promised to stay in touch.

 

Then it was time to say goodbye to Larry, who was leaving very early in the morning for the lake house. Larry is one of the most personable, generous, hospitable and downright hilarious people we have ever met.

 
Larry and Prudence
 

Carol, Marc, Muriel and I then drove Prudence through pea-soup fog across the Mississippi to her home in Algiers before heading north to the B&B, where we fell into bed after another memorable, full day in the Crescent City.

 
New Orleans fog
 
New Orleans fog
 

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