This is the last post chronicling our New Orleans trip.
Since these posts began with a Mark Twain theme, I decided to end that way as well.
We picked up one excellent word — a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice limber, expressive, handy word — “lagniappe.” They pronounce it lanny-yap. It is Spanish — so they said. We discovered it at the head of a column of odds and ends in the Picayune, the first day; heard twenty people use it the second; inquired what it meant the third; adopted it and got facility in swinging it the fourth. It has a restricted meaning, but I think the people spread it out a little when they choose. It is the equivalent of the thirteenth roll in a “baker’s dozen.” It is something thrown in, gratis, for good measure. The custom originated in the Spanish quarter of the city. When a child or a servant buys something in a shop — or even the mayor or the governor, for aught I know — he finishes the operation by saying — “Give me something for lagniappe.”
—-from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
Lagniappe has been a favorite word of mine for a while, so here is something a little bit extra for today. Actually, this post is more of a hodgepodge.
We watched Treme so some of the things I wanted to experience were the street performers.
I have always been fascinated with the ghostly haunts and cemeteries.
We didn’t do a ghost tour, but I did get The Hubs to walk through Lafayette cemetery with me.
I just can’t really fathom the history of this place. Strangely enough, as I went to take a would-be lovely (and eerie) picture of a tiny fern growing on the outer wall of the cemetery, my camera locked up and died. Were the spirits restless?
We knew that one night of The Hubs’ conference that the vendors would be taking everyone for a dinner cruise on the Mississippi. I was pretty excited about that. After his day of meetings, we met up and he was excited to tell me that there would be a “second line” from the hotel to the river and the boat dock. (Again, we watched Treme so I knew what a Second Line was.)
“How are we going to march that way? On the side walks?” I asked. Our hotel, you see was right on Canal Street. The Hubs was a bit perplexed by this too.
We all (about 100 of us) met in the lobby and soon a brass New Orleans jazz band showed up. They were the best in New Orleans, according to the event coordinator. They were good. After about three songs, they started leading they way. They stomped out the front doors, turned right on Canal St. and had the right-of-way.
A New Orleans police officer blocked traffic and we were escorted by a motorcycle officer. Yes, readers, they blocked off Canal St. for us. We were amazed. We all strutted down the street to the river boat dock.
The most fun part of this experience was seeing the looks on the faces of the people standing on the sidewalks. They obviously thought we were all “somebody” as they took pictures and videos of our parade. This had to be the highlight of our trip.
We ended up at the RiverWalk (which is apparently going to reopen soon) and the band played some more.
Then it was time to board our river boat for our dinner cruise.
We had really a delicious dinner on board. I was expecting the typical banquet type food but the red beans and rice I had was even better than what I had found earlier in the day at the French Market.
We had a fabulous time. The walk back to the hotel (although sans a band) was just as exciting as many of the revelers were just getting started and heading out to Bourbon St.
I lied….this is not the last NOLA post. I have a brief wrap up planned…just a little more lagniappe for ya’.