Anyway. More importantly. New Orleans! Saturday Ive dropped me and Alex and Nova off at the brand new National WWII Museum in the Financial District. There are some awesome planes and tanks and stuff, and bunch of veterans hanging out as volunteers, telling us their stories and answering our questions. The exhibit is detailed and excellent, and includes lots of little documentary shorts and clips of people telling their stories. We got most of the way through the Europe bit, didn't even make it to the Pacific bit. We easily could've spent all day there, but we had other things to do. But first we saw Beyond All Boundaries, the 4-D multimedia WWII experience. It's narrated by Tom Hanks, and as I recently accidentally discovered on IMDB (what would I do without you?), an A-List of celebrities do the other voices, including Kevin Bacon, Corbin Bleu, James Cromwell, Jesse Eisenberg, John Goodman, Neil Patrick Harris, Tobey Maguire, Chris Pine, Brad Pitt, Gary Sinise, and Elijah Wood, among others. The film combines documentary footage with computer animation, props, lights, smoke, and vibrating chairs to put you right in the action. ...It was pretty intense. I got a bit emotional during the Holocaust bit, and the Japan bit, and also at the patriotic ending, because I am a sap. And the simulation of the bomb going off at Hiroshima... Jesus. A blinding bright flash of light, and then pitch dark, and the loud rumbling noise, and everything's shaking, and you can't see but you can feel it getting closer and closer... it got my heart rate up a little.
After the museum we headed into the French Quarter for lunch and other shenanigans. Had me some jambalaya. Mmmmm. We hit our necessary stops... Cafe Du Monde for beignets (holy crap LJ spellcheck recognizes that word?) which we took over to the Moonwalk to eat by Ol' Man River, as is necessary. We hit up some praline shops, then poked around in the French Market. Alex and I split a 'gator sausage on a stick. Hells yeah. As it got dark we wandered around at random for a bit before hopping a streetcar on Canal Street and making our way to home base for leftover Thanksgiving dinner and Bananagrams.
Sunday was sailing. My friends will be disappointed to know we did not go out on Lake Pontchartrain, but I am not. We went to the Rigolets instead, a passageway that connects Lake Pont. to Lake Borgne and from thence to the Gulf of Mexico. We drove aways out, past miles of marsh and fishing camps and houses on stilts, then put in at Fort Pike. It was beautiful out, warm and sunny and blue, and just the right amount of wind for a good sail with a bunch of rookies. Ive's boat, Moleka, is a darling. Ive let us take turns steering for most of the time, which was fun. He would give out directions and teach us how to tell by looking at the telltales or the sails if the trim was right. Once I got the feel for it, steering the boat was pretty easy, and a lot of fun. The boat is just so responsive... you can really feel how she's doing in the pull of the rudder, and when a gust comes up, she tilts over and her centerboard puuuuurrrs and she is a happy boat. I can see why sailors anthropomorphize their boats; she really did seem alive. We had to tack for a bit when the Rigolets took a bend, and that was good fun too. Alex, who was steering, would say, "Ready to come about!" Nova and I, who were manning the jib, would check our lines and say, "Ready!" Then he would say, "Hard alee!" and push the tiller over. As the jib falls slack and then brushes past the mainmast, we'd let the line out on one side and pull it in on the other. Teamwork! When we got hungry we passed around turkey-salad and cheddar on olive bread, pomegranate sodas, and sections of satsuma. Too soon we had to bring her into port. D: We had a short time to poke our noses into Fort Pike. It was pretty neat. There were a bunch of out-of-date regional flags flying, and we checked out the view from on top the ramparts. We picked up some delicious Vietnamese Po-Boys and meat pies on the way home, and then said goodbye to Alex and Nova.
Monday Ive and Jeanette were working, so I was left to my own devices. I slept in, then took a streetcar down Canal, then hopped onto the St. Charles streetcar. I observed the fancy mansions and the Saints-fans' game-day shenanigans and the raucous high school students, and got off for a few moments to poke around a bit of Audubon Park before turning around and heading back. ...It was cold and rainy, so being on a streetcar was where to be. Got back in time to down some more leftovers, a meat pie, and Jeannette's leftover-turkey gumbo, which was AMAZING. ...Then it was time to go. D: A few days in Nawlins has made me a Saints fan, so I was glad to catch some of the game in the Houston airport. Everyone at the gate was a fan, so it was fun to watch them smash the Patriots in good company. They are now 11-0. Geaux Saints geaux!
Richard came in on Tuesday, and we've been hanging out. After his GRE, we decided it was too nice not to be outdoors, so we picked up some Burgerville and went up to Washington Park. We ate our burgers and shakes (milkshakes in December, lol) on a chilly bench in the Rose Garden, then wandered around Hoyt Arboretum until it got too dark to see.
And now it's way past my bedtime. ...I have a bedtime. Sob!