Fun, fun, fun!, Out and about!, Shop me silly!

French Quarter 2012, NOLA

4 Nov 12

Ashlee’s last full day here we hit the French Quarter. Ashlee had a limited list of people she wanted to shop for and the desire to taste a bit of NOLA, so we planned that day as a final shopping trip and lunch at Acme Oyster House. Considering it was Sunday and I was worn down by all the activity and the wife being really ill we got off to a late start. Leaving around noon, right as a killer rain storm rolled in. I checked Swackett, my preferred weather app, and it showed the day drying out in an hour or so. Okay, let’ s roll with it!

As we set out the rain simply did not let up, at all. I had thought I would roll around looking for parking, it is – after all – the off season in my city and a gloomy Sunday. The rain flooded the streets to the point of not knowing which were deep water and which were merely a puddle. Pay for parking it was! Once we paid a little lot we were off, covering our heads and ducking from awning to awning, at that point my step changed and my world tilted. I was back. Funny to think of how quickly you can get into the swing of thing, slipping on the mask of an old you. Dodging the people, walking without making eye contact, becoming invisible – all over again, only not.

Seems invisible isn’t something I am good at anymore. I used to weigh TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE POUNDS – 255. I had my hair died any combination of red, blue, black, blond, purple and pink. I wore fishnets and ripped clothes and pinned crosses all over me (all things I still play with, just now it’s a more girlie and pretty approach to my style.) Still, I used to fade away. I never caught anyones eye, I certainly never warranted a comment (save for some dumb person making a size comment they thought I couldn’t hear.) On this day it was as if I was walking around with a damned camera crew calling attention – my hair (which people seemed to like,) my clothing (they loved,) my style (again, a like,) and finally the best compliment was my smile. People found me colorful, happy and eclectic. Hmmm. That’s nice, just a bit odd. I’m used to not existing so I can do and say as I please on the fringe of reality, but on this day as I did and said as I please I noticed people were entertained, laughing along.

I have to say I was filled with a rather sad, empty feeling as we made our way through the flea market, it’s so commercial now. You used to find really cool things and now it’s all the same every few feet. 😦 I did find a few vendors who were cool, old African men with thick accents selling handmade prayer beads and Kalimbas. I left with a list, I want to return and buy my daughters and myself Kalimbas and I want to buy Wife a small drum. Family church is going to give songs to God! Yay!

We headed down Decatur Street and ducked into a few shirt shops and Santa’s Quarters, which is a fantastical Christmas store open all year. Ashlee found a few shirts and picked up a few things in while we were at the market, but she was really interested in the Voodoo shops so I took her through a few of those. Look, magic is in any object YOU want it to be. Anything can be a magical tool, sure some stones and items are more prone and better for certain things, but anything works if it helps you focus your energy and your intent. That being said I don’t think that just because a cross is sold in a church store or a doll is sold in a Voodoo shop that it is suddenly infused with magic. I still like to be respectful of the fact that these things are special for many. Being in the shops was like stepping back into 1996. Wild.

We went to eat at Acme Oyster House on Iberville after Ash had had enough in the Voodoo shops and there was a line. It wasn’t bad and well worth the wait. We split a half dozen raw oysters and a half dozen charbroiled oysters. I had an oyster shooter, which is a raw oyster, cocktail sauce and vodka!!! Talk about knock your socks off!!! Ashlee ordered the medley, a cup of gumbo, bit of red beans and rice, touch of jambalaya and a smoked sausage. I ate her gumbo with my sweet potato fries. It was the perfect amount of food and left just enough room for us to stop and grab beignets at Cafe Du Monde on the way back to the car.

You seat yourself at Cafe Du Monde and it is hectic. You can tell the locals from the tourist because we just grab a table! I grab an awfully dirty table and had to sit all scrunched to avoid getting powdered sugar all over my pants. lol We ordered and when the waiter dropped our order he noticed me taking out my camera and set it all up for me cute like!!! Awesome.

It was a really cool day, the rain and season made for a lovely minimal crowd and a bit of adventure. We left home around noon and got back around six even though it felt like we were gone all day. I got lots of ideas for gift and am uber stoked about Christmas. I also think I am going to take a Sunday now and again, maybe once a month, and spend it with me that way. I came home feeling more like me. 🙂

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