Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Land of "Union, Justice, and Confidence" (Louisiana)

This past weekend I finally made it out to visit my friend and former roomie, Aubreya, who lives in Louisiana. The timing worked out great, we had a full four days to see the sites, shop, and eat delicious food. It was a drastic change of scenery from New Mexico, it was hot an humid, which is something I'd nearly forgotten about since moving to the southwest.

For the sake of comprehensiveness and brevity, I'm going to stretch my recollections of the trip over multiple blog posts.

It's surprising for me when I think about how much I've changed in the past 5 years when it comes to traveling. I used to dread traveling and flying alone, and I vividly recall freak out moments when things wouldn't go as planned. This time around I was delayed 3 hours (on top of my 2 hour layover), so I spent a very boring 5 hours in the Dallas Airport on my way to New Orleans, only this time I just kicked back, read a bunch of papers, and wandered around. The disappointing thing was that I ended up getting into LA late, and I ate airport food instead of something worthwhile. BUT, I eventually made it, my plane got in around 9:30pm, and I was comfortable at Aubreya's house by 11pm. We stayed up late, had a glass of wine, and caught up. Bea and I started having really interesting conversations right before she moved out last year, it was too bad we didn't get to do more of that. That always seems to happen with me and friends, I start getting close to people and then one or both of us move on to the next thing in our life and we end up in different places.

On my first morning of my visit I was awoken by Lani and Luna (the cats) pretty early, but I lazed around for a while. Lani serenaded me from the bathroom, and I finally relented after she started climbing all over me. Our plan was to get brunch before heading out across the lake, and we went to this really fabulous place in Old Mandeville called the Broken Egg Cafe. Mandeville is the super cute old town that has a lot of really interesting buildings, and the cafe was one of those places that were a local chain that didn't look or feel at all like a chain. The one in Mandeville is the original (all the others are called "Another Broken Egg"). Bea got the redfish Benedict (which I didn't try but it looked amazing), and I got the Mardi Gras omelette, which had smoked andouille sausage, peppers, crawfish, and a tomato-hollandaise sauce. I also had an enormous glass of peach sweet tea.

After breakfast (lunch?) we headed out across Lake Pontchartrain via the causeway that has the longest continuous water span in the US (but see comments for clarification). I never actually timed it, but I estimate it took us about 30 minutes to cross this thing. We had crossed it the previous night coming back from the airport, but it was dark and I couldn't see anything. It turns out you can't see much of anything even during the day because you lose sight of land pretty quickly. Bea lives on the North shore of the lake, New Orleans is on the South shore.

On the South shore we checked out an area called River Walk, which Bea hadn't been to yet. It's a mall area that also has transient shops on the upper level. One of the stalls had clothing from Greece, but they were rather expensive, and there was nowhere to try things on. We also checked out a store that was selling fruit wines, and we had a rather tasty blackberry wine. We also had a very weird tasting orange coffee wine, that smelled like coffee and tasted like orange. It was a little too freaky for either of us.

We wrapped up the day with a big delicious bowl of gumbo and some more tea at a place called Mulate's.


  1. It's the longest continuous bridge over water in the world.

  2. You're right, the title of longest bridge in the world was controversial, but as of July of this year the Lake Pontchartrain causeway is "officially" the longest continuous bridge according to Guinness. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China is the longest aggregate bridge.