Part Four in the everlasting NOLA story…
So we all meet up at Bella Luna, which is a nice restaurant right on the water in the French Quarter. Our waiter, Zack, was young but fun. JHP commented that if we were to see him on the street he’d be calling everyone “dude” while on his skateboard and pants hanging to his knees. Probably true. For a second time I struck out on the Malibu Rum – neither Emeril’s nor Bella Luna carried it. I made do with Parrot Bay (yuck) and pineapple instead.
LP is allergic to shellfish, so it was difficult finding something she could have on the menu, but she finally settled on the duck, one of the few choices that DIDN’T have some sort of crawfish or shrimp in the dish. Much like at Emeril’s, we all ordered something different so that we could sample things. During the meal we began comparing the two restaurants, and by dessert’s end I believe that JHP, LP and I liked Emeril’s better than Bella Luna, despite the nasty maitre d’ at Emeril’s. But the desserts were infinitely better at Bella Luna (avoid the chocolate cake at Emeril’s – it’s from a box and tasteless).
After dinner I made my way over to the Fiesta Auction, which was supposedly the main reason for me to go to NOLA in the heat of summer. I got registered for the event and got my paddle number (42) and sifted through the auction items to see what I might bid on. Denis and the P’s went out to a bar to hang out for a bit until I was done at the auction. I ended up doing quite well. I successfully bid on four items, including a #5 Ivory mixing bowl, a maroon Harlequin ashtray, a dual-colored juice pitcher (the dual coloring makes it more valuable), and a beautiful HLC blue and white chamberpot and pitcher set. They were bargains since the prices at the auction were relatively low. I bid on a couple other items but they went out of my range and I stuck to my guns about not paying more than I felt a piece was worth.
When I was done spending money at the auction I dropped everything off in the hotel room and the four of us went on to (yet another) bar to hang out for a bit more. This particular bar was near our hotel and had a jukebox. LP put in some money and played a few tunes. About halfway through “Freebird” the bartender skipped through to the next song. Apparently that’s an oft-played song and the folks that are regulars hate it. Then Denis put in some money and informed us that he chose songs for each of us. Mine ended up being a Blondie cover of “Ring of Fire”, originally done by Johnny Cash. Now, I’m not a huge Blondie fan, and I prefer the Johnny Cash version. The songs he picked for JHP and LP were perfect for them. I announced, “Apparently my husband knows my friends better than me.” They laughed.
We hung out for quite a while at the hotel and had many a drink. That seemed to be the theme of the weekend, which was fine with me. Isn’t that the main object of going to New Orleans? The alcohol? Anyway, I got really tired at one point and we all agreed it was time to go to sleep. LP had made reservations at a cafe for the morning, so we agreed to meet there the next day.