I had such a wonderful trip to Louisiana. I can't even begin to describe all of the emotions. I made a vow that I'm going back at least once a year, hopefully twice, from now on. I didn't think it would be long enough but it was. Don and I spent every moment together.
I made it to Ginger's Needleworks in Lafayette. It's a tin building on a road with mostly houses. Nice nice people there. She said most of her business is online; not a lot of quilters in that area. In fact, there were only three women in the shop when I was there and we were all from out of state! Picked up some black and whites and a novelty piece that Jane wanted. And one pattern to make a Louisiana wallhanging. It was fun.
Susan, we had this muffaletta at Mabile's in Laplace! Wish I had known we would be there; we could have arranged a meet! We also went to Berwick to a little place that had the best fresh boiled crabs! OMG, I ate my weight in those crabs! They were fabulous, seasoned to perfection! And I was totally covered in crab juice when I left there! LOL
Don's birthday party on Saturday was wonderful. A friend of theirs offered to let us have the party at their home on the Teche. I can't tell you how beautiful it is. They have a huge party room out by the pool, and you can see the bayou from this huge veranda. Huge green rocking chairs out there and ceiling fans. It was like I was on a movie set. Just gorgeous.
We didn't tell my two nieces I was there. When we saw them drive up, I went in the bathroom. When they were there a few minutes, I heard Don tell them where the bathroom was in case they needed to powder their nose. When Kyra opened the door and I stepped out, she just froze. Lisa just stood there staring. I don't think it was registering with them who I was for a minute. They haven't seen me with short hair. All of a sudden Kyra let out the loudest scream, and they both about knocked me down! It was priceless! Diane, the lady whose home it was, was taking pictures of the whole scene. I can't wait to see them! Lisa's birthday was Friday and Don's is today, so we had a double party with two cakes. Yep, we were all on a sugar high! We barbecued hamburgers and hotdogs, made potato salad and baked beans, and had lots of munchies. It was probably the most perfect party I've ever had! It was hard saying goodbye to the girls at the end of the day, but I'll see them again in the spring.
Didn't get any boiled crawfish because they're out of season. Sheesh, you'd have thunk I'd have known that! I did have some etoufee over broiled catfish one night. It was okay, but I really wanted boiled crawfish. I'm going back in the spring! The crabs were a pretty awesome consolation prize, though!
Don's house is really going up fast. The outside is almost done. They started building the "barn" as he calls it, which will house the motor home and his workshop - although he'll have to start from scratch buying tools; he lost all of his in the fire. And there'll be a bathroom out there with a door near the pool area so the grandkids won't go in the house with wet bathing suits. In probably another couple of weeks they'll be starting on the inside of the house. Don had back surgery a few months back and although he's doing well, he's still not able to do a lot of stuff. So I helped him clean up the pool. It was pretty nasty from all the fire debris that had fallen in it. We shocked it a couple of times and it was looking pretty good by the time I left. He has a saltwater pool. I had never dealt with one of those before, but it's pretty nice.
The house they're living in is a wonderful old home and is just filled with antiques. I slept in a tester bed that was purchased from a plantation auction. Gorgeous bed. There were tons of curio cabinets and china hutches, all mahogany with curved glass. Beautiful stuff. I wish I had taken a picture of the dining room table. It was gigantic, and very old, sort of a mission style. Don said this house might be going on the market. I'm hoping to get a shot at buying it. It was really lovely. Not fancy, but big rooms and lots of potential. We'll see.
When they took me back to the airport, we left early so we could drive around New Orleans. The French Quarter looks virtually untouched, although there weren't very many people milling about except at Cafe du Monde. Other areas were just abandoned. It's so sad. I don't think New Orleans will ever be the same. I don't see how it can be.
All in all, the visit with Don and Gail was perfect. There was a discussion not long ago with my online group about where home is. I haven't lived in Sulphur since I was 17 and went to college, so that really didn't feel like home any more. I lived in Baton Rouge for 25 years but never really liked it there. After visiting Don and Gail in Franklin, that's my home. It's the most beautiful little town, lovely people there, and is a place I could put down roots. Something to think about.