We booked out of San Angelo after the closing show Wed night to get a jump start on the 600+ mile drive back to Lafayette, LA. It had been a while since we last crashed in a Wal-Mart parking lot with the truckers.
An early start the next morning put us in Lafayette late-afternoon Thursday. Not a bad town to finish up our Split Week Marathon and we were treated to a rare Friday off with only one show Saturday evening. I wasn't feeling all that hot after our arrival so called it an early night after a quick trip to the coffeeshop.
The next day Steve, Elizabeth, and I found what was by far the most ginormous gym I have ever been in. Two sizable floors of separate weights and cardio equipment, indoor AND outdoor pool, basketball, racquetball, and tennis courts, full restaurant, smoothie bar, etc etc. A bit intimidating.
I was hoping for another trip into New Orleans but was holding out in hopes that Steve and Elizabeth were going so I could snag a ride. Lucky for me, that WAS part of their plan so we left around 4:30 on Friday and headed out, not really thinking about the whole rush hour thing. Baton Rouge was freakin' brutal but we finally made it into NOLA a bit before 7.
I had know Nathan was taking a trip in as well and had assumed he just cruised in on his bike. But after a quick phone call I discovered he had snagged a coveted spot at the RV Park right next to the Quarter and was cool with me crashing at his place. Score.
The Jazz Fest was all that weekend so the Quarter was swarming with people. Our initial attempt to score the best Jambalaya in the universe at Coop's was initially thwarted by throngs of people all waiting to pounce on the next open table. After waiting in vain for a while Steve and Elizabeth gave up and I was going to try to score a barstool. Literally seconds after they had walked out the door, the waitress yelled over at me and motioned to a table in the back. Success! It may seem like no big deal but if you have eaten at Coop's, you can empathize with our plight. Good stuff.
I've never been a fan of Bourbon Street, its huge souvenir plastic beer cups held by its parading, equally plastic tourists, but having never been in NOLA on a Friday night around that many people, it was worth a stroll. I met up with Nathan on one of the corners after witnessing a couple unflattering "Flesh for Plastic" exchanges between Balcony squatters and street Bead Hunters.
We hit up a few bars on Bourbon and were treated to a band performing a moving rendition of their anthem "Fix My Nuts":
And now with crowd participation:
A few bars and many drinks later, we were ready to make the jump over to Frenchman Street.
Frenchman is always a welcome reprieve from the over saturated, tourist soaked Bourbon St. It was no surprise to turn a corner and find ourselves in the midst of a huge crowd scattered all over the street rocking out to a strolling brass band who was just killing. I honestly cant remember which bars we stopped in but ended up at the same bad-ass Sushi place I had checked out on my previous trip, Yuki. Check it out if you're in town.
I was already about done for the night before we reached Yuki, but once Nathan started ordering Sake left and right without my knowing and I found shot after shot magically appear in front of me, it was truly over. On the walk back to the RV Park we walked past an 'Alligator on a Stick' vendor which always seems like a great idea at 4:00 in the morning (in case you're wondering......it's not).
We made it back to the RV sans incident and we're up and on the road back to Lafayette mere hours later to make it to sound check on time.
Nothing else to report really.