When I wake up the next morning I find my friend asleep in the other bed. He tends to rise late, I am generally up early. I quietly shower, dress and head downstairs for coffee. Sitting in the gracious courtyard of the guesthouse, drinking my morning coffee from a delicate porcelain cup and saucer makes me feel most genteel. The courtyard is like many in New Orleans, lushly landscaped with the half house, originally servant quarters, running along the back of the property. I sit under the eaves of a veranda, a romantic space of lattice trellises and white wicker.
A British couple joins me on the veranda and we have a pleasant conversation covering travel, current events and English royalty past and present. Eventually I return to the room and find my travel buddy beginning to stir. He pulls himself together and we depart the room to eat. I no longer am aware of what I am eating as all food in this culinary heaven leaves me numb with pleasure.
We walk to the French Market and begin to shop our way through. It is a maze of, among other things, mardi gras beads, voodoo dolls, jewelry and kitchy souvenirs. I am captivated by the Polish amber pieces on view. I had never owned amber, amazing considering the jewelry I've amassed over the years. By the time we leave the market I have two Art Nouveau inspired rings.
Lunch and dinner are both had at restaurants that have balcony seating. We are only there a short time and I want to experience all the color and street life possible.
There is a pub crawl associated with the party the previous evening. A line of boys, including the massively muscled couple, travel from bar to bar resembling a gay tour group. Bands perform and straight tourists stagger though the streets, fanciful drinks in hand, all played out against the Quarter's backdrop of French doors, wrought iron and lush Boston Ferns.
Although we also have drinks that evening we stay in control and return to the guesthouse walking in straight lines with a sure step.