I spent more money in 5 minutes after hitting the street in New Orleans than I did in my whole 5 days at Disneyworld a couple of weeks ago. A twenty ounce Margarita and pulled pork sandwich purchased from a sidewalk take-out stand set me back $15. With food and drink in hand, I slid across the beer-sloshed sidewalk on Canal St. to join the crowd of hundreds of thousands of sloshed revelers to greet the arrival of the Bacchus Mardi Gras parade, one of the biggest, with some 28 giant floats, 36 marching bands, and another 1,000 riders of horses and flame throwing marching groups. I even got to see Hulk Hogan throwing handfuls of beads to the pleading masses. He looked exhausted, and after all, he’s been parading for about 4 hours by the time he rolled past this spot. Add the roar of the hordes of humans to the sounds of sirens screaming from police escorts, and mega decibel horns and you have it. Almost. Things definitely get schizophrenic as hell with the projected image of my New England Patriots football team in their losing battle with the Super Bowl victorious New York Giants, high above it all plastered on the side of the Sheraton across the street. Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday night, two days before the real Mardi Gras blowout , New Orleans style.
I don’t know if me coming down here for a week is such a good idea. How is my body going to be able to adapt back to the subfreezing Maine climate, especially with me heading out on my annual winter camping week just two weeks from now? I put an hour and a half of hard work this morning at the Health Club here at the Canal St. Marriott , where I was sweating like a pig after just a half hour of the treadmill. The local television report confirmed 95 % humidity with a possible record-breaking 81 degree temperature for today, Monday, 2/4. I don’t do that well in humidity and heat, especially when it just leaps out at me from nowhere.
Where is this all going? I’m not sure. I need a book to get me through the week. I read “ Last Night at the Lobster” , a short novel about on the airplane on the way down here yesterday, and also have read everything in my new issue of The Sun. I really don’t want to shell out $15.95 ( for one day) to connect to the Wi-Fi and access the Internet here from my hotel room . If I had that going, I wouldn’t need a book. A trip down to question the Concierge wasn’t useful to help me seek out a decent bookstore. The staff member there told me that there weren’t any large bookstores anymore near here ( New Orleans!), and that the Borders that was ruined by Hurricane Katrina hasn’t reopened .
I am missing the woods already, and it has just been a day that I have been away from Maine. I can’t wait to get back.