And so we continue to eat our way trough New Orleans. This morning the make your own waffle complimentary continental breakfast at the hotel proved tasty but overwhelming. A poor timing plan on my part, coupled with plummeting blood sugars led to a culinary crisis. The wait time outside Mother’s proved cronut cringe worthy (Mom and I waited four hours in the cold for a cronut in NYC only to see the last one sold three people in front of us).
After a minor meltdown by me we wound up at Palace Cafe. Thank goodness we did – the crabmeat cheesecake appetizer and fresh French bread truly hit the spot! The real issue was pacing ourselves for our mondo dinner at Bayona tonight as our reservations are for 5:30. Good thing marathons are all about pacing; bad thing is my pace is always inconsistent and all over the map! Nonetheless, I’m sure I’ll muddle through to food heaven.
Our morning fun was a tour of Mardi Gras World, a place where floats are sculpted in the form of papier-mâché, fiberglass, and styrofoam and dreams are made real for New Orleans Krewes. For some reason I find the Mardi Gras Krewes and festivities far more palatable than the Mummers of Philadelphia. Maybe because I feel like it’s more than a bunch of showgirl feathers plumaged to an edge of drunken stupors. Unfair no doubt but let the good times roll, no?
I found a livingsocial.com special that got us two tickets for $20. It was absolutely worth $10 a person. From our costumed photo ops to a slice of King Cake, to a tour of the float graveyard/warehouse, it was definitely a Mardi Gras World.
As an added bonus, we ran into fellow Mainly Marathoners Clyde and Kelly who snapped this great selfie portrait of us all. You never know who you’ll meet up with when traveling for a race!
Quick side note: our shuttle driver taking us back from Mardi Gras World to Canal Street was named Tim. The other driver shuttling people around was named Ken. Over the CB radio dispatch airwaves, Ken and Tim sounded similar so Tim said he would call in to confirm if the call was for him or Kenneth. And if they needed him, he supposed to be fair they should call him Timothy. The flirty dispatcher said she could just call him Tiny Tim. Tim laughed and said that’d work and then asked is on the bus if we remembered Tiny Tim. When we said we did, he asked if he was still alive. I was pretty sure he’d long since tiptoed through his last tulip but I googled it to be sure. Tiny Tim died in 1996. Our driver Tim whistled and said, “Wow, ten years ago?! That long?!” When somebody in the back of the bus pointed out it’s been 20 years, we all felt punched in the face by 1.21 jigawatts. So on that cheery note…
As we killed time post lunch, we rode the local trolley up and down Canal Street, out to the cemeteries district. I think the first time I learned about the exclusively above ground tombs in New Orleans due to its below sea level attributes was when my brother wrote “Old Friends,” an ALIAS novel that opened with Sydney Bristow teaching Francie how to drive stick in a NOLA graveyard.
I think Steve had originally typed the ensuing action scene was set amidst bullets flying in the graveyard. This had to be changed to gunfire splattering crypts and tombs because there are no graves with plots of buried coffins in the Big Easy.
In any case, after a short, creepy stroll through the cemetery (I’m not a fan of cemeteries, above or below burials), we rode back and hopped a waterfront trolley out to the French Market.
And what a dinner it was! Bayona bills itself as a pioneer in the slow food movement which I gather encourages leisurely paced eating, good times, good conversation, good vibes. It’s no wonder my brother, a Dinner Club founder, would love this place. My biggest complaint would be that Steve wasn’t here with us. He is a good time, a good conversation, and a good vibe unto himself.
As far as carbo loading before a marathon goes, it was a decadent indulgence in quality and richness. Not sure if it’ll properly fuel a marathon tomorrow but it definitely fueled the soul. And lord knows it was enough calories! Whether it was the right calories the best thing to say may be, as they say in the bayou, laissez le bon temps rouler, no?