Thankfully, the day is lacking in the storm that greeted me last night. There are still a few showers in places but for the most part, it’s nice and dry. I slept like a log and I’m all fired up for the last day here.
First stop of course, was Cemetery No. 1, for some history and photo opportunities. I’ve seen much older graveyards of course, but this was at least something with sufficient history in the US that I can look at, touch and immerse myself in. Ambling into the enclosure, a weather worn old homeless guy walked up to me, asking if I’d seen any ghosts. Replying that I hadn’t yet, he went on to inform me that Marie Laveau was buried in the cemetery and promptly slouched off nodding and saying ‘Voodoo queen, yep’. After covering the whole of the site, I did stumble across her somewhat defaced, purported place of rest. It’s funny what some people’s idea of paying respects means.
Wandering back into the streets of the French Quarter, I was totally surprised at how quiet the place was, in the day. I figured on more people here at 9am on a Monday although it makes sense, seeing as this place is open, well into the early hours of the morning.
There was much more opportunity for pictures in the dry and I quite enjoyed strolling around the now very quiet streets, checking out the architecture. Stopping in a local coffee house (Community Coffee), I grabbed a quick and delightful mini black forest cheesecake to munch on, and a cup of the black stuff. I must say, I really do prefer the quiet over the noise of last night; this is so much more pleasant and appealing. As most of the stores in this area don’t open until noon, I started to head back to the car for an earlier than planned exit out of town. I figured that any excess time, could be used sightseeing in Houston.
Back on the freeway, and the driving couldn’t have been better or more pleasant. Just as I approached La Fayette, I saw what I’d been looking to experience the last few days – some proper Southern/Cajun style food. After seeing the sign for Crawfish USA, I immediately exited the freeway and pulled up for a hearty lunch. A serving of Crawfish pie, Gumbo, Jambalaya and potato salad later, I was sufficiently stuffed and back on the road to Houston. The Crawfish pie is certainly an acquired taste but once it is acquired, it sure hits the spot.
Next up, was a confusion of wrong turns, poor navigation and bad decisions. Yes, I decided to take a looping arterial to the airport, only to find it had intersection stop-lights every mile and a ton of traffic. I would have been better, had I just stuck to the freeway, payed a presumed toll and not had to keep working out where I was in the failing light and missing signs. The final straw almost came, when I followed the signs to the car return, which promptly dumped me on the road back to the freeway. Taking a handy filter lane, I double-backed and was happy (if not confused) to find the appropriate road, heading in the opposite direction to the postings earlier. Rushing the car in and managing to quickly verbally navigate, a bypass of rental return documentation (seeing as the car had been damaged), I got to the check-in. The retard at the counter was shaking his head, telling me ‘no, no, no you’re too late’. Well, I wasn’t having any of that, seeing as there was still twenty mins to go before they closed the gate. Attempting to avoid prolonging arguments, I just nodded, didn’t point out he was the reason I would possibly not make it, got checked in and ran to the security checkpoint. Things brightened up considerably, when there was no line through the checkpoint and, upon exiting, located my gate within two minutes around another corner. That’s either a lot of luck, or bad luck that didn’t turn in to terrible luck.
With the car accident, seeing the bad crash and then almost missing the flight, it’s again been a memorable trip for mostly the wrong reasons. Still, here we are again, on the way back to Seattle and catching my breath, while plotting my next adventures on the road.