Last weekend we went to New Orleans (Covington, really) for Fish and Jen's wedding. It was the first time I'd been back since The Storm, and I'm 1) glad I waited to go until after a lot of the cleanup was done 2) glad I went at all. It's unreal how much has changed, and yet, the stuff that's the same is, well, exactly the same.
First thing we did was pick up some po-boys from Deanie's and go to the lakefront to eat them. We sat on the seawall to watch pelicans, ducks and seagulls as we ate and although it is still not really cleaned up, or even entirely reopened yet, some things were no different than ever. The green slime below water line on the seawall, the bird begging for food, the guy waxing his Camaro in the afternoon sunshine playing Def Leppard.
Next we drove all over lakeview, my old neighborhood and area of some of the worst Katrina flooding. My old high school looks terrific. My old elementary school doesn't exist anymore. For that matter, neither does my old house. But houses across the street (several feet higher than my side of the street and backing up to Bayou St John, ergo desirable property) were, for the most part, being renovated and made habitable. It has to be strange to live on a street where people live on one side of the road in modern, luxurious and architecturally designed homes of widely varying styles, and the other side consists entirely of abandoned, destroyed, stripped, or completely eliminated houses.
Since I knew to expect this, though, it wasn't quite as painful to see in person. There's no way to walk around a concrete pad was once your childhood home without a little bit of melancholy, but it didn't last. We cheered ourselves up by wandering around City Park awhile, and then we took e-baby to dinner at Camellia Grill. And then to Angelo Brocato's for cannolis. Pecan waffles and cannolis can cure almost anything.
Friday was Halloween, so we got e-baby dressed up in her costume for the post-rehersal reception. She was so proud of herself, I could have just eaten her up.
I won't give a play-by-play of the entire weekend, because if you read this blog, you were either there yourself, or wouldn't care much about the details. But I will say that e-baby was SO impressed with the fact that K is an animal doctor and immediately fell in love with her. She learned that Fish and Jen are both animal doctors, too, and so of course, she's decided to be an animal doctor herself one day.
More than anything, it was just really great to see old friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in a very long time, some of whom I could easily live next door to and be happy as a clam. We need to have an annual reunion or something, y'all. I'm so happy for Fish and Jen, and for this new stage of life together. Jen was a stunning bride and Fish is quite a catch himself (pun INTENDED!).
I posted the New Orleans trip pictures this morning. And J & K, I definitely want a copy of your pictures from the weekend. Please!
So this week we're back at work, feeling hopeful for the future, waiting for our house to be finished (a week and a half to move home again WOOOO!) and enjoying that these are the last few nights of late-night car engine exaust noises and car stereos.