During my absence from the writing scene the Mrs and I got the opportunity to get away finally for our long-delayed honeymoon and made plans to go on an 8-day cruise around the Gulf of Mexico during Christmas and New Years. Since a honeymoon is no place for a curious 3-yr old with an inquisitive demeanor we were able to leave her with grandma and grandpa for a week of spoiling as only grandparents can do. We decided that since this was probably going to be our only vacation alone ever we would go “all out” and do everything like rock stars, however the Mrs frowned upon my attempt to bring along groupies. With the cruise leaving out of New Orleans we first had a 6 hour flight ahead of us but I got to fly first-class for the first time ever.
All was well with our flight and I’m pretty sure I’ll never fly economy again. The food was surprisingly good and although I didn’t stick to my promise of getting drunk on the plane it’s nice to get waited on. The flight was even equipped with DirecTV so you pretty much had free rein on whatever you wanted to watch. On this note, I’ve decided that there should be an unwritten rule that everyone should adhere to in first class. NO GROSS STUFF ON YOUR TV! The woman in front of me decided that she would spend the next 6 hours watching A Baby Story marathon. Every time I looked up I saw birthing scenes that just weren’t blurred out enough, alien looking babies and a lovely mixture of birth juices.
I assume that this was also her first time in first class and she missed the sounds of screaming babies from the back of the plane. Also, while I’m on the subject of in-flight entertainment, did you know there is a channel devoted just to episodes of Friends. Seriously! I assume this only appeals to people who have been in comas for the last 10 years. Anyway, I got to watch some college football and episodes of 30 Rock and next thing I knew we were in New Orleans.
The only thoughts that I had about New Orleans before visiting were “Hey, didn’t they have some kind of hurricane and oil spill here” and it being the land of southern hospitality. First of all, things are looking pretty good there so….uh….good job rebuilding N’Awlans(which is how everyone says New Orleans which is a time saver and how I imagine they actually made up the time to fix up their city after God smote it). Second of all, southern hospitality is a myth. Getting a taxi to our hotel room was an exchange where we would ask if we could get a taxi to the response of a grunt and point. Neat! We went to a restaurant near our hotel for breakfast the next morning to check out their self-proclaimed Worlds Best Baked Ham and also got a mixture of hate and grunts there. In fact, after waiting for our food for 15 minutes and not really knowing how we were supposed to get our food the wife walked up to the greeter at the front door and asked “How are we supposed to get our food? Do we pick it up? Is it brought to our table?” the answer she received is “Good luck!”.
My final observation of N’Awlans is that it is the land of beautiful black people and fat ugly white people. Every black person we encountered looked like a model and every white person we encountered looked like Danny DeVito as The Penguin only with an accent that sounded like they were speaking with marbles in their mouth.
The next morning it was time to set sail so we went to the cruise terminal to start our long walk through the gauntlet of lines to set foot on the boat. Nothing too strange here to observe except that every third family seemed to be smuggling soda aboard by bring up to 4 12-packs of Coke with each person. I again just assumed this was a southern diabetes thing or an attempt to save $5 per day on soda.
After sitting around for a few minutes it was time to get on the boat. Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me…..next time. Part 2 coming soon.