Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cat and Matt in the Big Easy

Another check-mark on my Blogger Meet-up Bucket List!  Cheers from New Orleans!
An unexpected and very welcome note from fellow blogger Cat Urbigkit, who was on her way to Louisiana:

"I'm about to head to New Orleans for a long weekend (attending the American Library Association convention) - I can't believe how hot it is there. . . .I can handle cold temps (add more layers), but as one brilliant teenager said about heat, 'there's only so naked you can get.'"
Well put! And true... We've been off the historical charts here, with real temps recently over 100 degrees and for days at a time.  Add that to our 85% humidity, and the heat indexes have been astounding.

At least Baton Rouge has a breeze.  Cramped old New Orleans in this kind of heat?  Forgetaboutit.

But I couldn't miss a chance to meet Cat in person. I've greatly enjoyed her posts and photos here at Querencia, and she has been wonderfully generous in sending her books for my kids.  Reading of her visit to Mongolia and her adventures with falconers on her own home range, she's almost a hawking buddy at this point.

Parking in the French Quarter, Step One: Find an open space, but be suspicious of open spaces.

Step Two:  Take photo of car beneath ambiguous "no parking" sign, since no one else seems to have risked the tow, and I might need to have evidence of the car tag and date.

Step Three: Email photo to myself in case over-zealous parking officer confiscates my phone, or it gets stolen.

Step Four: Then and only then, feed meter.

Cat and I met near the Cafe Du Monde, the Quarter's famous old dive where at least 80 tourists stood in line for bengniets and cafe au lait---in the heat.  We passed.

We walked instead through the covered French Market and found a shady bench beneath the live oaks in a park off Frenchmen Street.  A Cooper's hawk and a family of angry crows hopped around the branches above us as we talked of bad sheep and good lambs.

At lunchtime we left to eat at one of my favorite local spots, the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, home of the world's only pie topped with shrimp and andoullie sausage etouffee.  There we talked at satisfying length about Steve (all good things), eagle falconry, our kids, writing, ranching, reading and local beers.  It was a pleasure.

Thank you, Cat, and come again!


Steve Bodio said...

I would have braved the heat for THAT meeting!

Though our planned August one should have better weather...

Matt Mullenix said...

You were missed but your ears should have been ringing!

Cat Urbigkit said...

Sweet post Matt - thanks. I greatly enjoyed our visit, and hope it's the first of many (although you need to come to my cool/cold Wyoming). New Orleans was fabulous, but I certainly melted there.

Reid Farmer said...

I'm jealous!

Not the best time of year to visit New Orleans, but anytime is a good time for etouffee and blogger meet-ups!

Matt Mullenix said...

Come on down Reid!