20130420 – The Mighty Mississippi

Saturday – crisp sunny morning. Makes you wonder why we go away :7)

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Manchester airport – joy. Long queue to be screened. Now there’s a surprise. It would loose its official designation as an airport if there wasnt a queue. Only 2 out of 8 lanes manned. And surprise, surprise the multi million pound terra hertz scanners are not being used. Perhaps they can’t find any perverts to man them.

Bacon butties for breakfast. Wendy hits the brandy to help her tablets go down. Then has the empty glass nerve to criticise a family who are “drinking like mad”, probably jealous or apprehensive that there’ll be no brandy left. When we set off to board the plane she feels woozy, now there’s a surprise, I wonder what caused that.

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Delta flight to Atlanta. No seat back tv system; half way through the flight there’s an emergency situation – they’ve run out of red wine; glad to report that Delta seem to have managed to train their staff to smile, although by the end of the flight some are turning to grimaces.

Interesting navigation solution they seem to be following the vapour trail in the sky.

Business class seems such a rip off, but possibly makes it more comfortable on a 9 hour flight, but sleeping tablets would seem to be a much cheaper solution – perhaps that’s the answer in future.

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Landed in Atlanta on time to a typical American welcome.

35 minute queue for passport control. Yellow standdee line; finger prints; smile for the camera, yes I’m really in the mood for the 6th smile this year; stamp; stamp; questions galore, but at least he had a personality. On the positive side the queue for US citizens was longer, now there’s a first, and our luggage had arrived.
Usual question “why the hell do we come to this country when they treat visitors like this?”. Perhaps their economy is so strong they don’t really need tourists.

All made up for by the concierge in the Delta lounge who let us in, even though our card wasn’t valid. He was a real Anglophile and good to see that Delta really empower their staff.

4 hour stop over then we have a 90 minute flight to New Orleans. It’s 03:00 in the morning by the time we hit bed in our hotel.

Another hotel where our rooms next to a noise plant. Vibrating walls. Joy. Fortunately we’re that tired it doesn’t make a happeth of difference. Change rooms tomorrow.

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Sunday – warm and sunny.

Up early for a waffle breakfast. Back to airport to pick car up. Nice top of the range Ford Focus. Hang on there’s a tyre pressure warning light on – come on Mr Hertz get it right. Here we go again. “No problem sir just go and choose any of those mid size cars over there”. Boring I know but pick a brand new top of the range Chevy Cruze. Great to drive, all the gadgets and gizmos and pretty good MPG for American gas guzzlers – yes they’ve still not learnt.

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Interesting listening to a rotund customer at the Hertz desk ‘How do I get to the airport?”. Clerk “just down that walkway”. Rotund “What no bus?”. Bloody hell it’s only 200 yards and she certainly needed the exercise.

Drive down to the French quarter of New Orleans. Lovely relaxing place with with plenty of street entertainment and music going on. But of course you always get one scrot.  Guy sat on the pavement with a bucket in front of him. DSCF9546Jackson square has so much entertainment. Try some famous beignets at the famous Cafe du Monde. They’re tasty but the coffee with chicory leaves a bit to be desired.

Seafood Pistolettes for lunch – a creamy shrimp and crawfish on golden French role.

A really enjoyable day.

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Walmart on the way home for wine and other essentials. Complete free health check for me, all done sat at computer screen. Good to see Walmart  respect their customers with someone on the door inspect receipts and goods in the trolley. Wendy gave her a very pleasant mouthful about respect for customers.

Monday – warm and sunny.

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Breakfast nearly turns into world war III, when some stroppy gobby wench argues with her husband and me about how the waffle machine works – her husband needs to get a grip, but she definitely wears the trousers in that household. Does she not realise I’m the Egon Ronay of the waffle machine. We win, she waffles on.

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Back down to the French quarter again. Stroll around one of their ancient cemeteries with there above ground burial houses, some are even 3 stories high. Lunch is a picnic in Jackson Square.

Then we go for a 2 hour trip down the Mississippi in a genuine Mississippi Paddle steamer, complete with Jazz band – no Mark Twain though. Pleasant afternoon. 

Dinner is on Bourbon Street in the French quarter. I have Jambalaya, crawfish pie, filet gumbo – name that song. Great food apart form the Jambalaya. Wendy’s not so keen on the Jambalaya.

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Another great day. It’s all go though.

Really like New Orleans and especially the food. Even giving Taco Bell the elbow for now.

The famous Bourbon Streets a bit on the seedy side compared to the other streets, Royal is much nicer, but it has its compensations – see picture of the wench with the backside, enough to put you off sex for life. Alas it’s no pole dancing or Gentlemens clubs tonight! 

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