Friday, March 21, 2014

Pictures from Millie's Visit

This is mostly pics from Millie's visit. They were here from Wednesday March 13 to Tuesday March 18. Tori took them down to tour a bayou nature preserve, where they saw many gators, lizards, snakes, the whole slew of swampy things. Like this big guy lazing on the far bank of the bayou.

From left, Tori, Millie, Alan and Kate.
Millie's boyfriend, Kevin, has a lot of energy. He decided he wanted to dig a fire pit. Not sure why, but he did. Took a day and a half. Good sized pit, lined with bricks and paving stones that lined the backyard. We weren't doing anything with them. Now, we rarely use our backyard, it gets much too hot back there in the summer, with no shade. But on those occasions when we do, we can have a fire.

They went into New Orleans to check out the night life Sunday night. You might think Sunday night is a strange time to go bar hopping, but this is Nawlins, baby. By the time we picked them up a little after two down in the French Quarter, they had had a memorable time. I'm not sure how much of it they actually remembered, but a time was had.

And then, right before they left late Tuesday, we went back to the Quarter so they could see it by day. Had a lo9t of fun - and a few drinks. Here are some pix of that.

Kevin and Millie on St. Ann Street, next to Jackson Square.
Millie in a mask shop – Maskarade on St. Ann Street in the French Quarter

And with a perky little hat in the same shop.

Kevin found a nice pirate mask
Millie also found a butterfly mask, which suits her.
Waiting for the absenthe to be ready. There's a whole ritual to the venomous green drink.

And the Pirate Cafe also features a house drink, the Toxic Baby. Read the label.

Friday, March 14, 2014

And Another Surprise

Now Alan is here.

Alan is a friend from St. Croix, a former classmate of Millie's whose family moved to San Antonio in the great Hovensa Diaspora. Back on the island he just started hanging out more and more at our house until he was sort of semi-adopted.

This one Kate worked out. She communicates with him online all the time. He was here during Hurricane Issaac, but we hadn't seen him since. Kate (who knew about Millie's surprise visit) had suggested wouldn't it be great if Alan came out too.

Three or four nights ago she asked me, "If you got a phone call from Alan asking you to come pick him up from the airport or whatever, would that be OK?" Sure, I said, as long as I don't have to drive to Texas.

That was the extent of the conversation – I swear it.

This morning about 7:30 the phone rang. Alan was at the bus station and wondered if we could pick him up. Sure, Tori and I said. But first we had to figure out where the bus station IS.

That accomplished, we drove out and there he was. We were back in 40 minutes. Alan was exhausted, but at that age, it's not a real problem. We were sitting in the living room when at about 9 a.m. Millie came4 up the hall. She saw him, gasped, backed up several feet, then ran up and hugged him.

Turnabout is fair play.

So it's a full house at the Baurs for the St. Patrick's Day weekend. Talk about serendipity.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Surprise

Millie is here!

Millie and her boyfriend Kevin came to visit. The hard part was, she told me they were coming, but it was supposed to be a surprise for Tori, so don't tell her. You think that wasn't hard to keep from her for a month? I picked them up at the airport yesterday, drove home. Walked in, then a couple of minutes later Kevin walked in and casually stood in the living room. Tori saw him and screamed. Millie came running in saying "What's wrong?"

Much tears and hugging.

Right now Tori and the kids are out finding out what they can about fishing. It's something Kevin would like to do. Apparently he's an outdoorsy boy from the wilds of Michigan, now trapped in the concrete jungle of Manhattan. But Tori and I don't know about regulations here, or seasons or anything. They'll also be going to a gun range (Millie loves shooting) and we'll be going out to dinner. The most exciting thing in the plans is the downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade. Don't want to miss that.

Especially since I missed Mardi Gras this year. I'd been feeling generally run down anyway and then shortly before the day I tweaked my knee badly enough that marching with the Krewe of Pirates through the bead-strewn streets of the French Quarter was not really possible, and it seemed a little much to ask someone to carry me.

There are some pirate activities coming up this spring that will require little more than sitting on a bar stool drinking. I think I can handle that.

Meanwhile, though I wasn't able to celebrate Mardi Gras, Tori and Max sure did, if walking something like 20 miles counts as celebrating. Max is in the band at East Jefferson High and they took part in four parades this year. Each parade was about five miles long, usually a little more. And the band needed parent volunteers to chaperone, make sure the kids got hydrated and generally keep an eye out. Tori did three of them, including the big parade – the Krewe of Bacchus Parade. When you see news coverage of a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, this is the one. Actor Hugh Laurie was the grand marshal. Apparently it was a wonderfully insane time.

And Tori got a foot run from me when she got home after each parade.