Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Return to the Fort

We spent the past week in New Orleans, with (most) of my family, celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah combined. My oldest brother and SIL were only in town briefly, since she had to work Christmas; but we did see them the first night we were in town.

Now we are back in the Fort, and all of us are sick -- fever, sore throat, fierce headache. Since we always get sick for the holidays (being academics) this is NBD.

Highlights of our journey south:

  • Riding the St. Charles street car with my nieces (ages 6 and 8) on December 23, to see the Christmas lights and have pastry and coffee and Sucre, a fancy pastry shop. I think this might have been the highlight of everyone's Christmas. It was just chilly enough, and the air was crisp (for New Orleans, I mean), plus riding the street car is always fun. And hanging out with my brother and his wife and kids was great.

  • Going to The Kosher Cajun, where we had lunch and bought Jewish food / supplies you cannot get in the Fort. I had a tongue sandwich; Dr. Skull had corned beef on rye.

  • The first night of Hanukkah, which we celebrated at my mother's house. I made latkes, we lit the candles, there were presents for the children. Afterwards, when everyone else had gone home, my mother, Dr. Skull, and I taught the kid to play Back-Alley Bridge. It was a good evening.

  • Christmas Day itself, which we spent at my brother's house. He and his wife have rebuilt a wonderful little house in the Uptown area of New Orleans, and done just an amazing job. It's such a cool house, as well as being beautiful. We spent the day hanging out and cooking -- not me, mind you, I just hung out. Beef Wellington for dinner, because my brother is a show-off. (It was delicious.) 

  • Dr. Skull liked the Stylophone I got for him very much indeed. (Usually we don't do Christmas presents, because usually we don't celebrate Christmas, but since we were going to be having Christmas with my family this year, I got him a present.)

  • A morning at the Audubon Zoo. New Orleans, I might mention, was hot and muggy for Christmas. We meant to spend the day at the zoo, but it was just too hot, and also we were too exhausted. (This was December 24.) Still, the part we saw, we enjoyed. The Audubon Zoo is much improved, even over the last ten years, and certainly from the abysmal pit it was in my childhood.

  • On the 26th, we left to come home, stopping in Jackson for the night, at a horrible Motel 6. Our room had mice. I hope they were mice. Something that skittered around the room at night, and which I caught a glimpse of the next morning. For future reference, we will never stay at a Motel 6 again.

  • Reaching home on the 27th, on a beautiful crisp cold day. We picked Heywood up from the vet's, and he almost went into a seizure, he was so pleased to see us.

Here's a picture of the streetcar on St. Charles, but we rode it at night, so it was cooler.

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