Dateline: New Orleans
I couldn’t get comfortable.
Something was wrong. We crossed Lake Pochatrain and my wife pointed out how bad the railraod bridge looked. I was dealing with spitting rain, bad traffic, and a bad case of tension. The city felt sterile and too new. I wanted to turn around.
Ten minutes later, we drove underground at the Royal Sonesta and found a parking spot that beat me like no other. I tried five times before giving up and moving somewhere else. This wasn’t the laid back New Orleans I knew.
Finally, we walked for half an hour and reacalimated ourselves to the city we once knew as our own. When the Tropical Isle was on the wrong side of the street, I nearly suggested we go home. We learned later that it moved, complete with a New Orleans-style jazz funeral, in 2004. That made me happier than I’ll be able to express right now.
I thought the city had given me up after my nine-year absence.
It only took three hours before I walked down the street with the feeling like I’d lived here for years. I’ve only been in town for five hours, but I’m 100% at home. As for why, that’s a story for another time.
Tonight, we dine on nostalgia at NOLA. It was the place we ate when I got my first TV job. Tonight, we’ll eat with the knowledge that television is long behind us. Better yet, our life is ahead uf us.
With lots to say and still lots to do, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the wax tonight. Suffice it to say, we’re in New Orleans and we’re home.