Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A New Orleans Kind of Christmas

For years now, the holidays have had a little extra special component to add to the excitement.  My daughter Emily's birthday is on Christmas Eve, and I couldn't imagine a better way to start the season! 

New Orleans knows how to celebrate any kind of holiday; it's just one superlative after another. You wonder where they store all of the decorations, given that they don't have any basements! In Emily's neighborhood, you'll find charming shot-guns a block away from jaw-dropping mansions; each and every showcasing the same passion for decoration and delight.

There is the gaudy display of kitsch... 

but the scale of the Santa  and the sense of humor rings the bell!

In New Orleans, elegance and enchantment celebrate the season minus the snow and the cold. Not to say that we didn't have the air conditioning running one day and the heat on the next!  But I  am so grateful that Emily chose Tulane so that I could come to know this great city as my home away from home.  Right now, with a little Sazerac, I'm in that "New Orleans state of mind", so...

Happy Holidaze to one and all!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Dreary Inn

The idea, of spending the holiday season in New Orleans was a new one indeed.  I had never spent it away from St. Louis.  But Emily couldn't come to St. Louis, so the decision was clear:  pack up the car and the dog and head on down to warmer climes, with a stop-off mid-way at a dog-friendly motel.

The landscape from St. Louis to New Orleans changed from hilly to flat.  


A dog's life - who wouldn't like to be conveyed in this style?

The dramatic six story lobby

Ah, the drama of an off-highway ramp hotel!  It was a middle-America adventure to behold, and one that promised not only to pamper your pets, but promised free breakfast and dinner for the patrons.  The mention of three free alcoholic drinks had a certain appeal as well...But true to form, I was late on arrival and the restaurant and bar were closed.  A salad from Appleby's had to suffice. 

Toilet on an angle

I must admit I was a bit taken aback by the luxurious details such as marble and granite baths, and here, a toilet ON AN ANGLE!  I really liked that touch. It was Chewy's first stop for a drink. There was a flat screen TV and a kitchenette; all the accoutrements of home! Though the tub drain required fixing before I could take a bath, the bed was delightfully comfortable, and I was soon drowsy and in dreamland.   

Dreadful food

Only to wake up to a nightmare...Amidst the frills of an indoor pool, jacuzzi, work-out room, fireplace, computer center, friendly and caring staff and so forth...How could the these high standards suddenly plummet when it came to food?  What I thought might be served in a prison was laughable when served in fancy buffet receptacles. Unfortunately, the hungry patron had to wrestle with toy plastic forks and knives on styrofoam plates. Like a barbarian, I was reduced to tearing my rubber waffle apart by hand. The buffet presented one dish after another of tasteless starch, fat, and mystery meat. White and orange were the dominant colors. These were scraps that I wouldn't throw to Chewy!

Well, if you ask me...there needs to be a certain consistency when "luxury" is thrown around. You can't serve slop on granite countertops.  And don't tell me people don't want it or need it. This is the time for standing up and doing what's right - otherwise, you can say it's all gone to the dogs. And I'm sure dogs don't care if their toilet water is served in a granite and marble bathroom!