Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Orleans Once Again

It's been two years since my father and I took the train down to New Orleans for a bit of golf and oysters. This year we did it again with my mother along for the ride. Photos from the trip:
We stayed at Le Richelieu Hotel on Chartres in the French Quarter after we arrived in New Orleans. It's my aunt and uncle's favorite place to stay and it's hard to beat the location. We both had rooms on the second floor with a balcony overlooking Barracks Street. This is the view the following morning.
We went out to dinner at Cafe Amelie and then walked over to Frenchmen Street to the Spotted Cat to catch some music. After about an hour my father grew tired of the jostling crowd and we returned to the hotel. Before turning in we got a nightcap in the hotel bar, where my father spotted this old photo of John Prine.
We drove over to Ocean Springs the next day, staying at the Gulf Hills Hotel as before. The weather was very nice when we arrived and had we gotten an early start Dad and I might have gotten a round in.
We then made our way over to my aunt and uncle's place. The view of the bayou from their deck is lovely year round.
Following golf on Saturday Dad and I made our way across the street to Mikey's on the Bayou, where a dozen oysters on the half shell would run you $7. We ended up taking them up on this deal three straight days.
Sunday started off with rain and stayed foggy most of the day. Instead of golf we had breakfast with Steve & Lois and then made our way over to Beauvoir, the historic last home of Jefferson Davis.
Monday Dad and I got in one last round of golf. The day started a bit overcast and chilly but ended up sunny and warm. I shot an 87, albeit more than a few mulligans were taken.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nightmares for a Week - The Destroyers (Music Video) (+playlist)

RVIVR - wrong way/one way

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

I recently got back from a vacation to New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast with my father. We took the City of New Orleans down and brought our golf clubs along. In an odd stroke of luck the week I had picked back in December happened to coincide with the lead up to Fat Tuesday in the Crescent City. This wasn't intentional on my part - I was simply looking for a free week with no conflicts with home hockey games or shows. We were even more fortunate to get a hotel room in NOLA on Monday night, and we were smart enough to get out of town first thing on Tuesday morning. Here are a few photos from the trip.

This is one of my favorites. My father and I passed most of the time on the train playing cribbage. The trip ended with me leading 26 games to 18. This shot is from around Yazoo City where the train was stopped waiting for the line to clear ahead of us. There was a huge chemical plant nearby and the hopper cars all had a wonderful patina. I took this shot out the window of our sleeper car while my father was dealing cards.

Once we managed to pick up our rental car and make our way to our hotel room in the Central Business District, an experience that took more than an hour with the crazy traffic and our slight confusion as to the myriad one-way streets, we walked up Baronne Street to Canal and the parade route. We walked up and down Canal for a while and followed the route down St. Charles where we found a nice corner (and a shop selling cans of Abita Amber) and waited for the parade to come by. The floats were spectacular and the high school marching bands were in good form. We both caught some beads and at one point I impressively snagged a doubloon on the fly.

The floats in New Orleans are the most extravagant on the Coast and the parades are the most famous, though there are hundreds of parades and celebrations in the weeks before Fat Tuesday up and down the Coast.

After an hour or so we made our way back to Baronne and decided to look for someplace to grab a late dinner. We found Cajun Mike's Pub & Grub up the road from us, where we had a few delicious beers (Bayou Teche LA 31 Bière Pâle & NOLA Blonde) and excellent food. Afterwards we caught the back end of the parade on Canal.

The next morning we were up early to beat the congestion and made our way over to Ocean Springs. We spent the rest of the week (Tuesday - Friday) at Gulf Hills Hotel where we'd gotten the golf package and played 18 every day. The weather started off a bit cloudy on Tuesday but the sun came out later and I ended up with a bit of a sunburn. The following days were more cloudy, culminating in a bit of rain on Friday but nothing too serious.

The course was in good shape for the season though the region had received a lot of rain prior to our arrival and there were more than a few soggy spots on the course. I hit my fair share of poor shots, having just gotten a new driver over the holidays and experiencing a few accuracy issues with my swing. There were a few houses right off the course that received a shelling that week.

We may have spent our days golfing but at night we visited with our relatives and friends in Ocean Springs. This is from the deck of my aunt & uncle's place on the bayou. The gnats chewed me up a bit as I sat outside drinking Dixie beer listening to my father and his brother bullshit each other over 40 year old stories.

Saturday morning my father and I awoke early and made our way back over to New Orleans to catch the train home. We had a few hours to spend in the French Quarter and bought more souvenirs than expected, as we had to stuff a few cans of Cafe Du Monde coffee in our golf bags as the suitcases were stuffed. Luckily we'd both lost enough golf balls in the course of the week that space was not an issue.

We also had time to get lunch in the Quarter. After a few of the options I'd mapped out proved to be too busy or not yet open we took a flyer and stopped by the Chartres House Cafe. This proved to be a good choice, as I had one of the better roast beef po-boy sandwiches I've ever had. It was messy but worth it.

And then it was time to bid farewell to New Orleans and board the train. As we made our way northward we played a few more games of cribbage and enjoyed a bit of Bushmills, as all too soon the next morning frosty roofs and iced-over water could be seen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tiltwheel "Do They Make Tin Foil Beer Helmets? Cuz I Want One"

Last night I came home to a package from ADD Records in the mail and I listened to the new LP from Tiltwheel for the first time. Had I been paying attention I would have gotten this a year ago when it came out (Dec 2010) but there's no use in worrying about lost time. Tiltwheel has been one of my favorite bands ever since Kevin introduced Eric to them. They don't tour and this is their first release in 10 years but whatever, shit's tight. Here's a video for one of the songs.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Land Of Vandals "Roar Shark"

I've been following the Madison band Land Of Vandals for a while now, through several name changes and shifts in personnel. Their album Flying Days was my second favorite of 2009. Tonight I believe I'll trek out to the Union Terrace to see them play in the latest installment of AV Club's excellent Local Band Series.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Maritime "Paraphernalia"

Maritime is coming out with a new album next month and I'm quite happy to hear it. I'm hoping they make the trip west on I-94 sometime soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

TL/RX "Bottled In Cork"

In making my year end list of Top 25 albums of 2010 I've tried to find a link to YouTube videos of each stand-out track. This video for Ted Leo & the Pharmacists' "Bottled In Cork" from the excellent The Brutalist Bricks is simply too good to just leave as a link. The message is an important one: if you stop believing in the power of punk, you will die. Words to live by.