When I received this award back in December, I don't think my colleagues really knew it would portend in me actually going on a trip on the Mississippi. It's their fault really. But there we were heading down "Old Man River" on the Carnival Fantasy.
You see, we've been together for six years and had yet to have a real vacation. Trips home to visit family or time off when family visit doesn't count as a "real" vacation in my mind. We're a bit over due. Long overdue and a milestone is approaching for me so all I really wanted was some sand between my toes, a cold and frosty girl drink and a good book to amuse myself. We weren't sure if we could swing it and in fact toyed with the thought of just me going somewhere and well, that just wouldn't do.
So we took the plunge and put faith that everything wouldn't fall apart in our absence and the chaos WOULD remain quite. And it did - many thanks to Karen and Sean 'cos it wouldn't have happened otherwise. New Orleans, Chichen Itza (or as the four year old on the tour bus called it, "Chicken Pizza"), Cozumel and back home again and all before the landlord took off on his annual vacation. When I booked the cruise, I hadn't realized it was on the eve of Mardi Gras either. I was warned that it was a bit of a gong show and, well, it was. BOO-BOO-ZIG-ZAG CRAZY.
I have to say we really enjoyed walking around the French Quarter on the Monday morning BEFORE Fat Tuesday. All the garbage from the night before was cleaned up and it was very quiet and peaceful. I loved Royal Street with all the antique shops and boutiques though all I did was window shop. I found it odd that all the bead chuckers on the float wore colourful KKK-like costumes and shrouds. We also never knew that in the south, Democrat really means "black" and Republican means "white" and the civil war is still very much going on down there. The food really is rich and it is no wonder there is so much obesity. I also wish I had a chance to try some mud-bugs. We missed that.
Here are some pics of NOLA at least. I'm still sorting and re-sizing the cruise, Chicken Pizza and Cozumel bunch.