We had a long weekend last weekend. As in, my husband got off work on Thursday and didn’t have to be back to work until Tuesday. YAY!! We so needed four days off.
On Friday, we dorked around and didn’t really do anything. I mean, we did, but nothing out of the ordinary enough to really remember. Oh, except we went to Applebee’s for supper, it being a mini-vacation and all. The Applebee’s we went to is a fairly new restaurant and it’s not run very well. Our server was a menopausal, hot flashing, somewhat spacey woman of, um, elder years, shall we say. She was pleasant enough, just not a very good waitress. Anyway, as this isn’t the interesting part of our vacation, I’ll cut to the chase…my chicken sandwich was only half cooked…isn’t that gross?! I cut into it in order to give some of it to our daughter and realized, hey, this only got cooked on one side…YUCK! So we sent it back and they replaced it (due to the fact that I had put the sandwich on a smaller plate to cut it, I ended up with two orders of fries…yummy). But no one got sick or anything so that’s really as much to that story as there is.
So on Saturday, we decided to go to New Orleans and see the World War II museum, or the D-Day museum as I think it’s called. We went and it was interesting. I wouldn’t say it was cool because it was a testimony to the pointlessness of the whole thing. I mean, it wasn’t pointless for us to get involved. It was so bloody pointless of Hitler to have started the whole stupid thing. I mean, so many people died and died so horribly. Why?
As we walked through, I found myself wanting to cover our daughter’s eyes, wanting to guard her against the realities of war and yet, if she is to become a responsible citizen and a reasonable adult, she must know what war means to the people in it. It is so easy to sit back here in America, sip a soda and watch the news and support the war. It’s something different to be in the trenches and smell the blood and touch the dying and still support a war because it’s the right thing to do. Somethings are worth war. Somethings are not. Unless you understand the cost, you cannot know if what you are seeking is worth it.
Oh, and to
quote paraphrase a good friend of mine, “Who, when building a tower, does not first consider the cost, least when it is only half completed, runs out of money and is revealed to be a fool. The half tower will stand as a testament of his foolishness.” Hitler couldn’t have won. Maybe if he’d only taken the first two conquests and left the rest of Europe for a later generation. But once he started in on France and Britain had to take notice of him, it was all over but the dying. It might have even been a good thing Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because otherwise, we might have just sit back and let all of Europe self destruct instead of stepping in and helping to end it sooner.
So it was an interesting museum and I’m glad we went but we didn’t go to any of the other museums on our list. One ghastly memorial to man’s ability to destroy was enough for one vacation.
Instead we wandered around New Orleans for a bit. We were near the General Lee Memorial so we walked that way. It’s a statue on a big tall pedestal. But it got us interested in General Lee so we looked him up on the way home (we’d brought the “L” and “N” encyclopedias so we could read about Louisiana and New Orleans on the way down) and it turns out he was an incredible man.
As we were walking around the Lee Memorial, it started to drizzle. We were a couple of blocks from the car and we weren’t sure where we were headed next so we decided to go back to the car and check the map, etc. It began to sprinkle, then to rain. We walked faster. It began to rain harder. We sheltered under a tree as it began to pour and we waited for a light to change. The light changed and we dashed across the street. The rain continued to pour from the sky as my husband ran ahead to unlock the car (one of the two times we’ve locked it) and I carried the daughter. It was so wonderful. We had water running down our laughing faces. It soaked our clothes and made our shoes squishy. But we didn’t care. It was so alive. To feel the rain upon you face. To run through the city, splashing puddles and dodging gutters. It was exhilarating. We fell into the car, laughing and breathless. I had a handkerchief I keep in the car to cover my hair on windy days so we used that to mop our faces off and dry our arms and such.
Then, as it was raining to hard to walk around, we decided to burn up some non-renewable recourses and drive around the city. We drove to the French Quarter. What a cool place. The streets are all one way, one lane. There is a lane of parking (which switches sides randomly) and then the driving lane. The buildings are about 3 to 4 stories tall, but appear much taller because they are so close together and so close to the road. The buildings’ rain gutters were designed to empty onto the road, sparing pedestrians the onslaught, I am sure. So it was like driving through an intermittent car wash. But it was beautiful as well. There were people out and about. We saw lots of bikes, leaning against shop fronts as their riders shopped or perhaps sought refuge from the storm. Groups huddled under awnings (which there were a lot of them, it being a pedestrian area accustomed to such deluges). We saw a guy who had taken off his clothes, bundled them against the ran and was dashing down the street in his underwear…his black leather, fringed bikini-style underwear. I wish we could have snapped a picture. It was just so bizarre. But I guess that’s pretty normal in the French Quarter.
We drove around a bit more, our daughter fell asleep and we decided to head for home. We stopped for lunch at a Burger King and got back on the Interstate. We were tired and wet. Our heads hurt from museum-ing and driving and rubbernecking and dehydration.
But in spite of our headachey woes, our hearts were content for the first time in months. We felt as though a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. We realized that we loved the city. I remember when, as a young girl, I bemoaned the fates which had placed me in the city when in my heart, I knew I was a country girl. Now, as an adult, I’ve come to realize that, while I think I could enjoy living in the country, I am, in fact, a big city girl. Biloxi just doesn’t cut it. There is no down town. There is no old architecture. There is no soul.
We drove away from New Orleans, knowing a little better where we are headed post Air Force. To a city. Which city remains to be decided but we are most definitely going to live in a big city.
*sigh * Soon.