With the end of 2016 approaching, I decided to take a good look at my life and at my Delta Skymiles account. I probably should have done both much sooner.
Not having enough time to change my life, I opted to focus on meeting my MQDs minimum and finding a nice city where I could enjoy lunch for less than $900 and no more than $1000 – airfare included. This situation I found myself in is commonly referred to as ‘first world problems.’ Regardless, I needed to resolve the problem.
I reached out to my Facebook friends for recommendations and, within minutes, the destination was determined: New Orleans, Louisiana and lunch at Pascal’s Manale.
As I contemplated whether or not I should travel solo, I realized it had been a while since Sleepless and I had just flown somewhere for a meal (the last time we did this was when we went to Paris – which quickly turned into Switzerland – for dinner several years ago). It was late, but I knew she wouldn’t be sleeping, so I sent her a text.
Within minutes we were booked and, a few days later, we were in New Orleans for lunch. Beginning our adventure just after midnight on 12/30, and returning just after midnight on 12/31, we managed to spend nearly as much time in the air and airports as we did in New Orleans and we loved every minute of our 24-hour adventure. We had no baggage – physical or emotional – just a desire to enjoy good food.
Within an hour of arriving in New Orleans we were dusted in beignet powder, I had spilled coffee on my one and only pair of pants and we were headed to purchase an alcoholic beverage. A perfect beginning to what turned out to be a perfect day.
We settled in at a nice pub on Bourbon street and did as most would do with only a few hours in an amazing city – penned a few postcards. Once our postcards were written we, drinks in hand, made our way to the local post office. After that pitstop, we found a great LGBTQ shop and stocked up on hats, t-shirts and the like. “Do you think they think we’re gay?” Sleepless asked as we left the shop. “I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t. Two lipstick lesbians buying every pride item we could find…” I quipped.
After this stop we decided to try a Hurricane – a NOLA tradition. We gave it the old college try and, one to two sips later we did as any practical middle-aged adult would do: threw it away at the very next bar. Not ready to give up on the NOLA traditions, we ordered two Hand Grenades. After our experience with the Hurricane, we asked about the ingredients prior to ordering. “What’s in the Hand Grenade?” “We don’t know – they ship it to us pre-made, but it is all clear liquids.” Clear liquids. What could go wrong?
In true hand grenade fashion, it delivered an explosive punch. By the time we arrived at our final and original destination, dinner, we were ready to eat. To stick with the clear liquids, we ordered a bottle of white wine to complement our meal, tied our bibs, and enjoyed a little Creole food. Then, like a hurricane, we blew out of town, back to the airport, where we waited to return home and I contemplated whether or not I had a shellfish allergy.
Sleepless knows me well, and knew I was contemplating something. “You okay?” she asked. “Oh, yes, I’m fine,” I replied as I rummaged thought the seat pocket for the barf bag. “I’ll be right back,” I politely told her then, as quickly and calmly as I could, I made my way for the airplane loo.
After “painting” the loo a Creole hue, and then providing it a thorough cleaning, I returned to my seat to find Sleepless waiting for me with a glass of water and a toast, “Sip, sip, hooray!” Indeed.