On the tenth day of our journey we traveled 385 miles.
And crossed three state lines.
But our day started with a visit from the Easter Bunny, who left some goodies for Allison in the hotel room AND the car.
Unlike most days, we needed to arrive at a particular place by a particular time. The place was Rivista, a cafe/bakery owned by a friend of mine from high school and her husband (Lisa and Chris Barbato), and they close at three p.m. on Sundays. So, we packed as much as we could on Saturday night and managed to get on the road by 7:45 Easter morning.
What we failed to take into account was that we left the Eastern Time Zone somewhere along the way and entered the Central Time Zone. This caught us off guard but it wasn’t a problem. The weather was rainy through Florida, but as soon as we hit Alabama the skies were deep blue with a scattering of puffy little clouds, and we had good weather for the rest of the trip.
We stopped for a few minutes each probably four times: bathroom breaks, fuel stops, and one eventful break at a rest stop in Mississippi where Allison was so adamant that she would NOT have another auto-flush encounter that she actually took off at a sprint to evade capture. After that she lost all of her device privileges and had to listen to Mommy and Daddy singing eighties hits. She actually covered her ears during “Roxanne.”
After an hour she earned back her headphones and iPod Shuffle and sat happily in the back belting out songs from Frozen to drown us out.
We arrived at Rivista, on the very charming Magazine Street at about 1:30 and I hugged my friend Lisa for the first time in over 20 years. It was so great to see her and she and Chris and their entire staff were the epitome of southern hospitality. Allison got to make her own pancakes.
And then we sat down and Lisa just brought plate after plate of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten. Check this out:
Lisa also had put together an Easter Basket for our little monster, with Mardi Gras beads, toys, and the most glorious baked goods in the known universe. Did I mention that Lisa is a pastry chef? As you can see from the picture we’ve all been nibbling at Allison’s goodies. Hang on, I need to wipe the drool…
We reluctantly left Rivista and got back in the car to go to the hotel. And as we got closer it began to dawn on me that perhaps a hotel on Bourbon Street was not my brightest idea. Because boobs. Because strip clubs.
Because you can barely drive through the streets even during the day. I’ve been in New Orleans once before, for a video game tournament that coincided with the Final Four, and we stayed at the W. As Dana dodged drunks and tourists I was wishing I’d booked the W. But by the time we got checked into our lovely room at the Four Points Sheraton French Quarter I was okay with it.
Monday we will explore the Big Easy before heading off to our next destination.