June 1, 2018

Bayona Restaurant – New Orleans

Dateline: Birmingham, Alabama

And so home again, home again jiggity jig. The house is still in one piece. Anastasia the cat is letting me know she missed me while her brothers, Archie and Oliver are pointedly ignoring me. 6700 miles in not quite three weeks through 18 states. Did it help? I don’t know. It allowed me to turn my brain off while I got into the zen of distance driving so that was helpful. The memories, reminiscences, and connections helped remind me of who I am so, in general I would count it a success.

Not a very exciting drive today but traffic through Baton Rouge and over the Mississippi was pretty horrible. It kept threatening to storm and I was willing to stop early to stay out of it, but it never did. There was, however, evidence of some serious thundershowers around the house when I got home. Once around Lake Pontchartrain, it was pretty straight shot up 59 with no traffic to speak of until Bessemer. Pulled into the driveway, parked the car, and decided that I’m not doing a thing about unpacking until tomorrow.

Now that this first journey is over, not sure if I am going to write a nightly update. I’ll be here in Birmingham through at least the 13th when another journey (this one to New England) begins. In the meantime, I have a memorial service to get off the ground. (It’s on Monday evening, the 11th and you’re all invited). There’s also a bunch of other business of death to take care of. The death certificate has arrived so I have to make another round to the bank and the lawyer and the like.

Tonight’s story is a short one and has to do with NOLA. When Tommy and I wanted an urban weekend away from Birmingham, New Orleans was our favored destination and we had many long weekends there together over the years. Sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. The one I am thinking of was at New Years in 2005, I think. Might have been a year later. We went down for New Years Eve and Tommy made reservations for us at his favorite restaurant in town, Bayona on Dauphine. He had a thing for the chef, Susan Spicer. (Her food, not her). It was a special meal, with six courses, each with a wine pairing that took about three and a half hours to eat. It was very Victorian. Needless to say, after six glasses of wine each, by the time we had finished and left the restaurant to look at the fireworks, we were both slightly sloshed. Neither one of us quite remembered how we ended up in the square in front of St Charles Cathedral or why Tommy only had one shoe on, which made for an interesting trip back to the hotel. The next day is the only time I remember him being hung over. He slept most of the day, which was fine with me as I wasn’t in much better condition. I spent the day watching all three Lord of the Rings movies (extended editions) on DVD. We ventured out again on the 2nd as we were finally ready for more food.

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