Whether it was the late night the 10mile walk in the heat or a combination of them both I awoke feeling awful on the Monday.
Emily and Stefan had been out for breakfast and got there day started right while I slept in till around 11:00. I jumped in the pool in an attempt to re-energise myself. Even that and a coffee and a shower didn't help. I tentatively set off for my Birthday lunch at the slowest walking pace I could. The Commodore lounge required reservations and us to wear our nicest clothes. Jeans are discouraged but not having any other options I was allowed in. They have seven separate dining rooms and have been open since 1880. Part of the reason for coming here as well as the setting and the food was the 75cents margaritas on a Monday. Despite wanting to try the turtle soup which Stefan opted for. I thought it best to stick to bread and water which occasional sips of my vodka martini. The martini didn't get finished, but in more positive news I had some lovely BBQ shrimp for my main. Starting to feel marginally better I opted for a dessert cocktail of an espresso martini. This allowed Stefan bad Emily to grab dessert too. Stefan had informed the restaurant that it was my birthday. So my martini came with a chefs hat and a candle on their dessert plate. This was a very special birthday treat and I was glad I didn't have to do a runner halfway through the sitting. So far this weekend we had avoided all rain and seemed destined to do so again until Stefan tempted Mother Nature into giving us a good old fashioned soaking. Had we been in different attire on a hot day this could have been fun. Dressed as we were however the southern rain lashed upon us until we were wet through.
There was only one thing for it when home. Clothes off, swimsuits on, grab a beer and head to the pool. Our hosts were outback and Stefan chatted to them about New York where the lady has studied. We chatted about what to do with the rest of the day. Not sure I was up to heading back in to be party seen in town. We decided there would be a certain sense of competition of walking the rest of Magazine street. We stopped off in a couple of bars en route to take a break from the heat. Stefan managed a snowball along the way. He did sadly loose 3-0 at table hockey & then on a quick game of pool. He kindly got me a birthday Jäger once the witching hour had been reached in the UK. Another reason I like having my birthday in the US is it almost lasts for a day and a half.
Then the moment came Stefan had waited for all weekend. We arrived at the major tourist destination 'everyone' goes to in New Orleans. THE TREE OF LIFE. I mean, it was a canny big tree like. As you can see in the photo. I am unsure why it got its name or reputation from. I think that's a question for mr Google. I would have red the sign there more if I wasn't having my legs chewed on by mosquitos.
With Stefan happy it was time to eat once again. New Orleans is famous for Willie May's fried chicken. We directed our Uber driver Yolanda, to there Uptown diner. Yolanda bless her want originally from New Orleans and resisted all Stefan's effort at conversation. I did chuckle before our pick up, when Stefan used THE TREE OF LIFE as our pick up point three times. Yolanda was having none of it. She needed an intersection.
Anyway back to Willie May's. We have all eaten fried chicken before. This however is something very different. I am not claiming it to be the best fried chicken you will ever taste. Perhaps though the most unique and still be tasty. The difference it seemed was in the batter made from buttermilk. To me it tasted almost like the beer battered cod batter at home. I would recommend it to everyone. The uptown location easily accessible by the St Charles street car that we took home. For a buck 25 you can go one way and have an experience on a traditional form of transportation to match. Stefan the ultimate host asked me if I wanted to go into the French Quarter and listen to some music. As much as I wanted too. I just cudn't. I could feel my body shutting down on me. In fairness I had managed a lot more today than I thought I would have when the day began.
I attempted to watch some TV with Emily and Stefan but to no avail. I had to turn in at 20:30. I must be getting old!