This morning we returned to Larry and Ruth’s hotel, parked the little Fiat and went up to their beautiful suite. After spending a little time talking, we walked over to the French Quarter where Brennen’s is located. We were immediately seated and as it turned out, we were sitting at the exact table that Larry, his sister, Terry, Mary Margaret and her sister, were seated at 48 years ago. Furthermore, Larry pointed out that Mary Margaret was sitting in the exact chair that she sat at the last time she was here. Wow! How amazing is that?
The wait staff were all formally dressed and the service was over the top. Their service was only matched by the quality of the food and the drinks we enjoyed. We all ordered a milk punch and they went down sooo easy! In fact, Larry and I ordered two. Yum!
At Brennen’s, their unique style of eggs Benedict were fantastic as was the turtle soup that I enjoyed. By the time we were done, I was stuffed and it was only 11 AM…
Larry and Ruth next guided us down the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. The street was closed to vehicular traffic and at each intersection we were greeted by a jazz ensemble playing their style of Dixieland jazz. It was so much fun just to stand there and take it all in.
As we strolled down the street, Ruth told us a story of how her mother and father, who were married before WWII, would get together at the hotel we had stopped in front of whenever her dad could get a weekend pass from the Navy. He was stationed here before being sent into the South Pacific during WWII. She even pointed out the room they would always book. Ruth also told a funny story of how her mother went over to the A & P grocery store across the street to buy some food to bring back to the room in the middle of the night. She was initially refused service and when told why, she was told that they did not serve her kind. Leaving in confusion, a fellow shopper approached her and said that she must not be from around here. When she agreed, the stranger said that there two types of ladies in New Orleans: respectable ones who always had they hats and white gloves, and those ladies who did not and were for hire. Since she had not brought her hat and white gloves, the proprietor had made the assumption that she was of the latter group. Ruth’s mother immediately ran back to her room to retrieve her hat and gloves and then returned to the store to go shopping. Boy, have times changed!
We meandered throughout the French Quarter, stopping to visit some shops, including a little antique book store that was tucked into a back alley. We loved it, even though we looked and acted like all of the other tourists that surrounded us.
We finally reached an Italian grocery store called the Central Grocery. The heart of this store is a deli, which is famous for making the best muffalettas in New Orleans. Muffuletta is a sesame-crusted wheel of bread stuffed with layers of Italian meats, provolone cheese and chopped olive salad. It is so large, it easily feeds four and, if requested they will cut it into quarters, which we had done.
Armed with this great treat, we retreated back to Larry and Ruth’s suite where we thoroughly enjoyed them. It was one of the most remarkable and tasty sandwiches that we have every had and Mary Margaret and I made a pack that we will return to the Central Grocery soon to rearm ourselves with the wonderful New Orleans delicacy.
By now we were truly stuffed and the need for a nap had crept up on us. Once refreshed, we enjoyed more time talking and Larry showed us his remarkable photos that he took when a forest fire had burned all around the mountain cabin they have up in the Montana Rockies. Their cabin was the headquarters for the firefighters since it sits high on a bluff and the fire fighters could visually monitor the movement of the fire.
Around 7 PM we once again walked back to the French Quarter and went to Irene’s. It is a 5-star Italian restaurant that again, was over the top. After drinks and dinner, that was wonderful, we dragged ourselves back to Larry and Ruth’s suite, all tired and ready for bed.
Mary Margaret and I said our sad goodbyes, since Larry and Ruth will be leaving tomorrow morning, to return to their home in Mariana, Florida that is about 60 miles west of Tallahassee. We hope to visit them there if we get a chance after our stay in Red Bay, Alabama, where Tiffin, the maker of LeuC is located.