Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dream Destination - New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans. A city where "mysteries abound, some real, many imagined." That is how the book that first captured my imagination about this city described it. Anne Rice's The Witching Hour. I read it back when I was around ten or so (I was precocious) shortly after it came out. And while I had liked her vampire books, this one reached into my soul and made me YEARN to see the city it took place in.

Her voice, describing the great houses, the old oak trees, the gardens, the wrought iron fences and sounds and smells of the city... New Orleans came to life for me. And it remained a place I wanted to visit. Even my dream house is strongly based on many of the pictures and descriptions of the plantation manors I have read about in New Orleans (it's actually a combination of New Orleans plantation and New England Victorian).

After Katrina hit in 2005, I was devastated that I'd never had a chance to see New Orleans as it had been. I knew the city would recover, long and hard as that may be. But I knew it would be different. And I am more determined that I will go there some day... soon, hopefully.

If I hadn't broken my leg back in April I would be in the midst of planning a trip there right now. I had "planned" to take a long weekend in the fall and just explore and sit and sketch and eat and drink and talk to total strangers. I wanted to drink an oyster shooter (raw oyster covered in tabasco sauce, followed by a shot of bourbon) just to say I have. I don't actually know anything about what to "do" or "see" in New Orleans. And I don't want to know. I want it to sweep me off my feet and take me where it wants me to go. I think that's the best way to do it.

And while I do really enjoy traveling solo, on this trip I wanted to be accompanied by a particular friend I dated briefly last year and who has settled in to becoming one of my best friends. We figured we could have an awful lot of fun together in a city like New Orleans. So once my leg (and now also my ankle) is all healed and I've got the rest of the shit in my life put together, we'll still go. It's top of my list. And it'll be magical.

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