Friday, November 11, 2011

Diary of a Vacation: New Orleans - Not with a Bang but a Whimper

When I planned this vacation I never would have thought of it as a high impact or strenuous vacation. We were going to eat a lot, and do some sightseeing, and listen to jazz; nothing to indicate that I would be completely exhausted and ridiculously sore come Thursday morning. I was apparently wildly misinformed about what this vacation would hold. We both were.
Thursday morning when we awoke we were both exhausted. The feel of a well earned tired radiated through us despite having just had a good nights sleep. Our limbs ached, throbbed even. Turns out that while we are in better shape than we have been in a while, we are not really in good enough shape to walk over 300 blocks in three days.
Honestly we were feeling it Wednesday night. As we got ready for our big fancy romantic dinner I realized I wasn’t sure I could walk in my heels because my shins were having spasms of pain. After we ate we wanted to run out to pick up a CD from a local jazz group and I had to change shoes before I could even think about it.
A good nights sleep did nothing but allow the pain to sink in more. We roused ourselves early not wanting to waste any of our last day, but we were moving much slower than we would have liked. We simply didn’t have the energy to go at anything but half speed.
We still managed to make it to Café du Monde by 9:30 and were enjoying our beignets in the rather cold morning in no time. It turns out that 60 degrees in New Orleans is really rather cold thanks to the very cold wind rolling in off of the Mississippi. We were determined to not let the cold or the sore stop us though.
After breakfast we went to Jackson Square to look for a local artist we had seen Tuesday, only there were almost no artists set up yet. We were up before the artists. So we turned our feet toward the open air French Market to do some last minute shopping. They were also empty. We were apparently up before everyone but Café du Monde.
This put a bit of a damper on our plans. We had no choice but to mill about the general area while waiting for shops to start opening. Sitting still was also not an option as it was unpleasantly cold if you stopped moving. Our legs protested greatly but we pushed on.
Eventually the markets all opened and we began our shopping in earnest. We found fun trinkets and tokens for a number of people, and almost none of it was crappy import kitsch. Hooray for supporting local artists. We even found the artist we had been so excited about and bought a painting. The husbeast took me to Central Grocery and had me try a muffolata*. I might despise olives, but this was damn tasty. Well it was great except for the moment when I got a whole olive in my mouth; that sort of sucked.
We took some more pictures and talked to some locals about different things and whiled away the time in a pleasant fashion. Then the sore started to creep in again. We had taken several lengthy rest breaks to allow our legs and feet an opportunity to relax, but after each break the amount of time we could stay on our feet shortened. Soon we found ourselves sitting in the car wondering what to do.
It was 1pm and our flight was not until 7pm. Roughly five hours were left until it was time for us to leave. We had finished all of our shopping, we were full of tasty sandwiches, we were short on cash, and we couldn’t walk one more step if we wanted to.
So it was with exhausted resignation that we headed to the airport stupidly early. I checked for an earlier flight but they were all full, so it was going to be a four hour wait inside the airport. We also discovered that once on the terminal side of security there were almost no food options. Our decadent food adventure was going to end with crappy cardboard tasting pizza.
We sat in a small food court taking advantage of the free wifi and allowing our exhausted bodies an opportunity to rest. The husbeast looked over at me and apologized for our trip ending so anti climactically. I told him that I didn’t mind I had a wonderful time. He agreed.
He pointed out that he couldn’t pick a best moment because there were too many, but he couldn’t pick out a worst moment either, because there really were none.  Well except maybe the crappy airport pizza.

* The husbeast swears that the muffolatas at Central Grocery are the best in the world, and he wouldn't let me sample any others as he was afraid it would taint my view. Now sadly I am afraid I will never find one that I enjoy as much.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that you both enjoyed the trip, and I hope you recover soon :-)