New Orleans holds a great deal of significance for me. The first time I visited, in June 1978, I discovered I was pregnant with my first child.
When Edgar and I cruised the Mississippi on an authentic steamboat, in the early 90s, New Orleans was the final stop and I was hysterical because he was going back to Florida and I to New York.
I took Colby and his best friend, Prince, to New Orleans in 1997, as a high school graduation present. It was almost 20 years after Colby first visited, as an embryo. I liked being with him better the second time.
David graduated from Loyola Law School in New Orleans in 1969. We traveled there for his 35th Reunion, in 2004, and I met a group of his special New Orleans pals, who welcomed the New York boy into their hearts decades ago.
That was a year before Katrina’s devastation.
After being away for seven years, I returned to New Orleans this weekend, for the fifth time, to attend the annual convention of the Red Hat Society, a fascinating women’s organization (which I’ll talk about in another blog.)
This trip to The Big Easy was significant because I went with FOF sister, Shelley, the first time the two of us have traveled alone. Besides being my sister, Shelley is FOF’s unbelievably buttoned-up member liaison. We made some pretty good connections during the visit, but spending time with my sister made it especially worthwhile. We ate in two fabulous restaurants, Iris and Bayona; we watched Bridesmaids on the hotel’s movie channel, we walked all over The French Quarter and, of course, we squeezed in a little shopping, something Shelley and I excel at.
New Orleans has, blessedly, survived a disaster of unspeakable proportions. It’s as warm (literally and figuratively) and inviting as it’s always been. It’s a symbol of reinvention and rebirth. Maybe that’s why I seem to wind up there at such interesting times in my life.