Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Leaving New Orleans

If it sounds like I'm waffling, I'm not. I'm ready to go.

Sister #4 insisted on breakfast at Cafe du Monde but honestly, the beignets Nate used to make on Wednesdays at Louisiana Flair were better.

They were lighter, not as greasy and that blueberry sauce he served  them with was swoon-worthy. Oh, yes, and he smiled a lot more.

Strolling Royal Street, an overly-enthusiastic man all but ambushed us, asking, "Massage?"

All indications were to keep walking, but glancing into the building of a charming house, we saw enormous reclining chairs, heard the tinkling of a fountain and saw a trio of sweet-looking Asian women beckoning us in as if dancing.

We bit.

Sprawled out in the butter-soft enveloping chairs, we had our feet massaged for half an hour while we tried not to fall asleep or drool in the process.

By the time they completed the final slapping of the soles, I felt like I no longer had bones in my feet.

It might be the best $12 you can spend in New Orleans, especially considering the state of the sidewalks (deplorable) and the pitted streets just waiting for the heel of a cute shoe to be caught in.

Over mufalettas in the garden at Napoleon's, our waiter asked what our connection was and insisted on the back story of our sisterhood.

I shared a few personal anecdotes about the strict way I (Sister #1) was raised versus the indulgent way Sister #6 was raised and he finally pulled up a chair.

By the end of the meal, he knew to bring the check directly to her.

"The least you can do is buy her lunch after how easy you had it and how rough your parents were on her," he told her, pointing at me and laughing. "Hey, I know. I was the youngest, too. We got away with murder, didn't we?"

Bartenders who interact with their customers in a friendly, charming way are an asset to the establishment.

Not so much at Broussard's, where Sister # 4 and I stopped for a drink while #6 went to the hotel to change.

After pouring our wine and informing us that he wasn't the official bartender, merely the owner's friend, the pretend bartender leaned toward me and said sotto voice. "I got a little stiffy here since you walked in."

His glaring girlfriend was two stools over from me and I have no doubt she could beat me in a fight.

Fortunately, at the moment she's 39,000 feet below me and I'll never see her again.

I'll be back in five years, NOLA, and not a minute sooner.

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