We're here! We landed in New Orleans & collected our mass quantities of luggage, including a taped-shut cooler loaded with various cooking implements. I don't think I've ever piled up one of those smarte cartes so high. I pushed it while Donna walked alongside with one hand steadying the topmost piece of luggage, her other hand carrying her bass. People actually laughed out loud at us as we precariously wheeled toward the rental car counter. That's ok though, because I was laughing out loud too. We stepped out of the terminal into a moderate level of humidity, just enough to add a tropical ambiance. Temperature in the lower 80s. Not too different from, say, Hawaii. Nice! Then I thought I caught a whiff of BBQ. Hey, we must be in the South! Donna thought I was imagining it, but you know, whatif someone was picking up someone at the airport & brought them some BBQ? It's entirely possible. We barely managed to cram all our stuff into the rental car, even though it's an "Intermediate" size Taurus, several steps up from my usual "Economy" rental. Thank you Creative Work Fund!

We found our way to the B&B, schlepped our stuff upstairs into our room, & then it was nap time. I'm way too old for these pre-trip, last-minute-packing all-nighters anymore. Plus I can't sleep on planes. Doesn't matter how tired I am or how long the flight is, I can only get a maximum of about an hour sleep on a plane, & that's if I'm lucky. After a long nap we managed to stumble out to dinner. There was crawfish etouffee & catfish, but in the end my main feeling was: oh, we're still in America. After a very promising veggie soup (in the "just like mom used to make" vein), the salad arrived with Ranch dressing glopped on top, & then the etouffee was just kind of, I dunno, really ordinary, regular food. I probably shouldn't get into it too much, not being a food critic or anything. (Except perhaps in my own mind... some people are rockstars in their own minds, some people are porn stars... but wait, I'm not really a food writer in my imagination, that's not exactly it... oh, I think my sleepiness is catching up with me... zzz....) Well anyway, that's what we get for picking a restaurant based almost completely on its immediate accessibility: two short blocks away, a mere break from the all-important mission of paying down the sleep debt.