Resturant of the Month

This is a new feature that will appear in the blog. I love to eat out in this fair city so, I may as well take the time to tell yall about where we’re dining and what’s happening there. Plus, it gives me an excuse to hit up some really great places to eat!

NavySeal was hankering for some “erysters” and since they are really in short supply these days, we went to a place where we knew they’d have some oysters and other fabulous food on the menu.

Which brings me to my restaurant of the month,

Acme Oyster House! We went to the one on Veterans Blvd but, for anyone visiting the city, there’s also one a block behind Canal Street on Iberville.

NavySeal had the oyster po-boy (excuse the fussy pic)and, I had the “swimp” p0-boy dressed(excuse the pepper and Tabasco sauce…I was ready to throw down)

The place is really casual, the service was great and as you can see, the oyster bar is up and running for all you folks who like ’em raw.

We got there before the lunch crowd so, folks were  just arriving.

I love this place.  The only problem I had was, the price of the oyster sandwich….20 bucks!!

Can you believe that?!

$20 for an oyster po-boy…here, in New Orleans!

That’s just crazy.

It had better been great because at $20, I don’t know when he’ll be getting another oyster sandwich.LOL

$20…good googly moo.

Just another effect from the oil-spill *sigh*

Day 9-My Beliefs.

Since SOMEONE, I won’t say who…*cough* THE ORACLE *cough*is rushing me through these posts, I’m gonna get to the next one which is…my beliefs.

Well, how am I gonna write about what I believe?  It would take the an eternity to try to cover all that stuff.  So once again, I’m gonna fly off the cuff and just give ya’ll a taste of what’s inside of ole’ Ali;

I believe that when my daughter comes up to me and says, “oh, mommyyy” in her sweet voice…she wants something.

…that my mom is never too far away from me,

…that as you get older, life gets better,

…that turning 50 will be fabulous!

…that my mind has finally been set free,

…that good or bad, if you can survive childhood, life is what you make it,

…that there is more love in the world than hate

…that  hate is louder than love.

…that at the end of the day, we are all in this thing together and if more people realized that,

we’d be one kick-ass nation.

I Howled In The Wires

Thursday night, NavySeal and I went to a wonderful event! It was a book launch for a book titled, A Howling in the Wires.  The book is a compilation of a few of New Orleans bloggers who were writing about their Katrina experience in real time (I’d never heard of blogging back then.)  Some of the contributing writers were there to read their excerpts which, was an added bonus for me cuz, quiet a few of them are on my blog roll and I got the chance to meet those fabulously, beautiful people.

*bayoucreole takes out her magic mirror and begins in her Romper Room voice*

I met Mark,Cliff, Maitri, Ray and G-Bitch.

The energy that comes from being around those folks is so positive, they just make ya wanna hang out with them…ya know?

So yeah, it’s safe to assume that, anytime they have an event going on…I’ll probably be heading there.

I wouldn’t have wanted to acknowledge the 5th year anniversary of the storm any other way.

As they each went to the mic to read …we laughed with them, we cried, we cheered…we drank

…and we drank

and we drank

did I mention we drank?

And while there, I even learned a little something about myself.

I learned that, I don’t have enough pics of me on this here blog…everyone recognized NavySeal…lol

I like being behind the camera…what can I say.

This book is great y’all and  for anyone  interested in purchasing a copy, go here and receive all the  info.

Part 2.-Driving In The Wilderness

We were heading for Baton Rouge.  I was studying for my BSN at Southern in Baton Rouge at the time and I didn’t want to miss class. We got on  interstate but, got on the wrong side of the contraflow(that’s the weirdest thing to see, traffic heading the same way on both sides of the interstate)…the contraflow for Baton Rouge was on the other side so, we decided to go to Shreveport. A little passed the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway, we hit gridlock. We were sitting there for so long that people starting getting outta their cars and walking around. Here in NOLA (and I mean all surrounding parishes) there’s no such thing as strangers so naturally, we all started talking to one another.  Everyone asking everyone else, “where ya headin’?”  While in gridlock,it started to rain. We saw the feeder bands rolling in.  The hurricane would hit sooner than Monday night.

Instead of heading to Shreveport, contraflow once again flowed us in another direction and we aimed for the closest hotel we could find.

There was none. We stopped for gas, looked for hotels…none.

While driving through different parishes, every time we passed a bridge, they had people on it with signs that said,

“God Bless You,”  “Be Safe”…they were standing in the rain with them.  I began to cry looking at those signs.

We decided to go to Memphis, Tennessee.

By now, we’d already been driving for 12 hours.

It’s 11:30 p.m. and a lot of people were still with us…I guess we were all heading for Tennessee.

I’m behind NavySeal and I’m watching him swerve to the left and then to the right.  He’s getting tired. I found myself swerving as well.

We drove for another 5 hours and finally found a hotel in Memphis.  The hotel was full but, a lady said that she didn’t need one of her rooms and that we could have that one.  The hotel clerk says, she couldn’t just give us her room, she had to do something first, can’t remember what.The nice lady who was going to give us the room got into a big argument with the hotel clerk about it (NOLA people sticking together in a crisis) we told her we’d find some place else and left. A man told us to check a little town in Arkansas not too far from Memphis.

We drove about 30 minutes more. We’d  officially been on the road for 17 long hours before we hit Forrest City, Arkansas.

At 5:00 a.m. Monday morning,we finally had a hotel room. It was the last room available at the hotel.

Totally exhausted, we all went to sleep in this little town in Arkansas.

When we woke up, there was over 1000 people from the greater NOLA area  in the town with us.

My car, which had a leak in the radiator NEVER ran hot…I didn’t have to add water the entire 17 hours on the road.

The first of many miracles.

Part 1-The Exodus.

* the link to Nash Roberts is now working*

We left at the 11th hour. My husband and I had every intention of riding this one out, just like every other storm.  Never in my life had I evacuated before.  We did our outside hurricane preparedness stuff…made sure everything was secure, cut off any tree limbs around the house, taped the windows, etc. We kept watching the news… she still didn’t know which way she wanted to go…it was looking like Florida would be graced with her presence at the time. Then, it seemed like all of a sudden, she was heading here.

Still, we planned to ride it out…that’s what hurricane babies do…we “ride it out.”

I kept having this eerie feeling inside of me though that, I just couldn’t shake. Never had this one before..something just kept gnawing at me saying,

*get out and anything you want to keep bring it upstairs*

Crazy voices in my head just kept repeating that…get out and bring the stuff upstairs.

I didn’t pay it any mind at the time because, I told my husband “three things have to occur for me to really know to get out of dodge;

1)They have to open up The Dome as a shelter of last resort.

2. The Mayor has to do a MANDATORY  evacuation.

3)They have to pull Nash Roberts from the mothballs.

You probably have to be from here to really understand the significance of those three things…especially number 3.

To sum it up quickly, Nash Roberts was a meteorologist for Channel 4 way back in the day. This man could  (with pin-point accuracy), tell you where a hurricane was heading. He’d take his black marker and draw cute little hurricanes tracking the storm…he was rarely, if ever, incorrect.

I like to say…before there was Super Doppler and all that other stuff…there was NASH.

Well, I kept watching the telly and….they opened The Dome.  A little while after that, the mayor issued a mandatory evacuation.

Still, no Nash.

I’m still hearing this voice inside of me telling me to get out and bring stuff upstairs.

I called my brother, The Oracle who lives out-of-state, and tell him, I think we may have to leave..and that they’ve issued a mandatory evacuation.  I also mentioned that, I’m surprised with something that’s supposed to be this serious, they didn’t pull Nash out.

He tells me, he’d just heard that Nash’s neighbors saw him evacuating with his wife…and that most of the neighborhood left after the word got out that Nash was leaving the city.

Nash had never evacuated before, and neither had I.

Ok, God…I hear ya now…pack my things and anything I wanna keep bring it upstairs.

I tell NavySeal what my brother told me and we both agree it’s time to go. The three stars have lined up with the message whirling around in my head.

I tell my father, “dad, we’re gonna leave for this one…I’d rather be safe than sorry. It’ll probably do just like all the others but, we gonna head out… ya coming?”

My father says…he’s gonna stay. I remember him telling me in a joking manner that, he’ll  “go down with the ship.”  Our house didn’t receive any water for Betsy or Camille…he wasn’t leaving.

Sunday morning, August 28th,  we had about 2 hours to pack and leave before we literally end up  trapped in the city. If you aren’t out at a certain time, they start clearing off  interstate and you gonna turn back.

I take every photo of my mom,put them in a shoebox and put it at the highest point in the closet upstairs.  We brought some other things upstairs but, we really didn’t have much time to pack and we thought we’d be back in three days anyway.

Sassy, our beloved Cocker Spaniel, was getting anxious as we were packing. I didn’t want my dad to be totally alone though. We left her with him so he’d have some company.  She had plenty food, we had three tubs filled with water, my dad was stocked up on hurricane supplies such as… food,water, batteries,radio and a gun…just in case.

The house was secure. Our three days worth of clothes were in the car along with our food and water to keep us at bay on our road trip. Game Boys, movies and dvd players to keep the kids entertained.

And plenty of water.  My car had a leak in the radiator at the time and we didn’t know how far she’d go without running hot.  My guess was that, we’d be pulling over every second and we’d be lucky to make it to Baton Rouge.

We also took our laptop computer…which would later prove itself to be…our lifeline regarding all things Katrina.

My kids and I gave my father a kiss and told him we’d see him in about 3 days. My husband gave my dad a hug, shook his hand and told him to be careful.

The neighborhood was quiet. Most of my neighbors had already left and those that were staying were already hunkered down.

NavySeal got into his truck with PurpleKnight, I got into my car with YellowJacket.

He took the lead and I followed.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 @11:30a.m….we left our home in Pontchartrain Park.

New Orleans, Louisiana.

*A Station Identification Break*

Whew, I needed to take a break from that challenge! Ya’ll got me talking about all kinds of stuff…all up in my head and errythang!

So, Imma need to take a break and do some random stuff;

I must be really through with the post traumatic stress stuff. It’s the middle of  hurricane season and I’m not feeling stressed. It doesn’t even bother me anymore.

The other day, I wrote an angry letter to The Bravo Channel.  I basically told them to tell the “morons that be” to put the Top Chef episodes back on the internet.

I guess that means, I’m addicted to Top Chef…and the internet.

The movie, Green Lantern is filming in New Orleans.  NavySeal and PurpleKnight got to be extras in the movie!  That’s really cool! We’re hoping that, they end up on the screen and not on the cutting room floor.  They’re in one of the really big scenes so, they have a chance.

NavySeal got a call to be an extra in another film after that one…I guess that’ll makes him an ” extra regular.”

My son is in college *sigh*

Ya’ll remember my post about YellowJacket having a boyfriend? Well, they broke up.  Why do kids break up right when you start liking the person they’re dating?  Now, I gotta break up with him too…and I don’t wanna.

I was looking at my blog…I sure put up a lot of photos. I need to rename it, life in pictures. I’m amazed that I even have that many photos left.  Oh well, the more  put up, the more saved…just in case.

I started drinking carrot juice for this challenge I’m in.  (what’s the deal with me and challenges) and I LOVE THIS STUFF!  Not only that but, my skin is so clear now.

I just have to make sure I don’t drink too much of it.  Don’t want to end up looking like an Opa Lupa.

Deanies Seafood was out of oysters when we went there.

Copeland’s is now selling BBQ because of their shortage of oysters.

This oil-spill really sucks.

The 5th year anniversary is upon us *sigh* we still got a lotta work to do here.

I watched the CNN Special, A New Orleans Rising with Soledad O’Brian and Wendell Pierce.  I  had gone to the pre-screening but, I wanted to see it again. I was sorta holding my breath the first time I saw it.  They showed my house right after the storm…man, was hard to watch.   

It’s airing again tonight at 8pm eastern for anyone who wants to watch it on CNN.

I plan to do my last Katrina post soon and then, I can finally put her to rest.

I’m sitting at work right now writing all of this…how many people ACTUALLY put in 8 hours of work on the job? 

Oops,I lost track of time… time to clock out!

Day 8 – A Moment.

This is a moment that, I’ll never forget because…it was my last big moment before the storm.  My daughter, YellowJacket was 11 years old at the time and there was a concert coming to the city on August 12, 2005…two weeks before Katrina.

The concert was at the Arena and featured; Bow-Wow, Omarion,Bobby Valentino and some other kids.  Because she was only 11, I didn’t really want to take her. I thought 11 was too young to go to a concert…I was practically grown when I started going to concerts.

She begged and pleaded and finally, I gave in and purchased two tickets.

We went to the mall and bought her a cute pair of jeans to wear with a darling little top, her step-mom braided her hair…she looked so precious.

She even got her nails did…(yeah, I know)

When we hit the concert, I realized how wrong I was about being too young because….every kid in there looked like they were 10 to 15 years old!

YellowJacket was beaming! She was looking fly and about to see her heartthrob live and in living color…Bow-Wow.

And she had everything they were selling in the lobby (parents are such suckas.)

The concert started and all you could hear was girls screaming…and yellowjacket was right along with them.

The other parents and I just sat there, looking at one another and laughing at it all because, the energy in there was electrifying.

The kids were so happy!

Yellow Jacket was singing and swaying  to every song that was sung…and then, Bow-Wow told them light up their cell-phones and hold it in the air.

*what the hell happened to the bic lighter?*

Of course, she took my cell-phone and joined in.

I sat there thinking…ya know, this right here is what it’s all about.

Memories man…creating good memories for ya kids.

She had the time of her life.

And so did I.