Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lovin’ NOLA and new friends!

Bourbon StreetI’ve got a bit of time here before Ken gets back from his meetings, so I thought I’d get a quick entry in.

We’re having an absolute blast, and it’s not even the weekend yet! I joked on Facebook that my liver deserves hazardous duty pay for this week.

We got to the hotel Sunday evening, checked in with no problems, and while Ken went foraging for beer (liquor stores everywhere, so no problem), I checked the channel lineup and was delighted to discover that they get AMC! So I didn’t miss my Dead, and I won’t miss them this coming Sunday, either. Yay! We went out for a bite to eat, and after the Dead, we headed out to Bourbon Street. We finished watching the Colts game in a bar there, then just started walking around.

We saw a couple on the street, and I don’t recall how we started talking, but we found out they were originally from Indiana, a small town where our friend Sam is from. We kind of hit it off and went to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for drinks and talk. The guy and Ken exchanged cards, and they actually invited us out to their condo in Idaho to go skiing at Sun Valley. Very nice!

That ended up being kind of a late night, but we still got up at a decent time the next morning and got our workouts in. I’ve been doing really well with that and have done an hour on the bike every morning! Probably a good thing to sweat out the previous night’s toxins, you know! Ha! Then it was back to Bourbon for some food (a muffaletta at Napoleon House...we realized we’d never been to that place before) and music. One of the places we often go is called Krazy Korner, and that’s where we used to see Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers. As we got close, we could hear someone playing the washboard vest, and sure enough, it was Alex from the Hellraisers! Turns out that Alex is no longer with Dwayne and formed his own band called the Daywalkers.

Quarter CatI might even like this band more (although Dwayne can play the hell out of the accordion). They do some zydeco, but also blues and southern rock. We had a blast dancing, and were there until the band stopped playing at 7:30. (There is more to this story, too.) Then it was a place for Cajun music, and this band included a fiddle player! We had more fun there, and the band was chatting us up, asking where we were from, that sort of thing, as well as the nice couple sitting next to us.

The next day we went back to the Krazy Korner, where the Daywalkers were playing again. Jason recognized us right away, and we chatted a bit during one of their breaks. He told me, “Hey, I wanted to invite you and Ken out to hear me play tonight.” He explained where it was, that he was doing an acoustic set, and hoped we’d be there. How nice of him to invite us as well as remember our names! After they finished, we headed back to the hotel for a change of clothes, then on over to his other gig at Kerry’s Irish Pub. It was an open mic night, and he didn’t play the entire time, but that worked out okay because then he came over to chat me up while Ken played pool with some guy he met. Jason is just super nice, and seemed happy that we came out. He was onstage when we got there and said, “Beth and Ken!”

Then I got roped into playing pool with Ken and the guy and his girlfriend, who were also super nice. I kind of held my own, and we ended up winning. Miracles DO happen...I’m a sucky pool player!

There is still more to the Krazy Korner saga! The following day, Ken was golfing with some of his fellow conference goers, so after my workout, I headed on over to Bourbon all by my lonesome to see what kind of trouble I could get into...and you know where I went! Jason raised his eyebrows and grinned, and when they took a break, he came over and gave me a hug and we chatted a bit. He said, “Hey, I can rub on you all I want ‘cause your husband’s not here!” (No worries...he was just being nice and making a joke.) When Alex came around with the tip jar, he said, “Hey sweet baby, welcome back.” When they were getting ready to play again, I motioned Jason over to where I was sitting, and he said, “Hey Boo!” I’m telling you, people, if you show the band some love, they’ll give it right back to you. I asked if they were here the rest of the week, and he said no, they were off Thursday, thank God, but they were at another bar on Bourbon on you know where I’ll be!

DaywalkersSince this was the middle of the afternoon, the crowd was somewhat spotty. There would be quite a few people in there, then it would clear out. At one point, I was the only one in there, and I looked around and raised my hands in a “what the hell?” gesture. Jason just shrugged, like “Yeah, it happens sometimes.” So when the song ended, I applauded and gave a “Woooo!” They laughed and the keyboard player said, “Yell louder!” Jason said, “That’s Beth. She’s the only one we need.” Awww!

Anyway, it’s been fun to make friends with people, and Jason has been especially sweet. I look forward to hearing him play again tomorrow! I won’t have to go by myself this time, because our friend George will be with me. He gets in tonight!

Oh, I had to leave before the band was done, because we had a dinner we had to go to for Ken’s conference. When they took a break, I went out to say goodbye, and Jason said, “Where you goin’?” I said, “Ahh, we got a stupid dinner we have to go to.” He said, “Oh, tell Ken to blow it off.” Haha! I said I couldn’t, but I’d see them again on Friday. He seemed okay with that. :) I said, “I just love you guys. You’re a blast and you make me smile.” I don’t recall if it was Jason or Alex who said, “Well, that’s what we’re here for.” See? Show ‘em some love! I am obviously enthusiastic about the music, and I think any musician appreciates that.

The dinner turned out to be quite a bit of fun, and there were some really nice people there that I was meeting for the first time. Usually I’m a somewhat shy person when around people I don’t know, but there’s just something about this city that brings out my social butterfly. Or maybe it’s the good side of the Inner Lizard...I don’t know. But I had no problem talking with people last night. I think this city just has so much fun energy that it rubs off on you. Social situations sometimes exhaust me, but New Orleans gives me so much energy that I don’t feel the usual exhaustion.

So let’s see what kind of trouble I can get into the rest of the time here…!