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The ending.

Over the last six years, many people have told me that my book Katrina and the Frenchman: A Journal from the Street (KATF) had no real ending. I would answer, "Because it didn't end." The pain continued and our New Orleans experience didn't have closure. It's almost six years later, and we are now home from our March Break trip to New Orleans. I'm happy to say we left the city unharmed.

I will be making references to the KATF book, so if you don't have one I suggest you buy one first. But now, just as I took you through the pain, I will share our healing with you over the following several pages...

March 14, 2011 - Travel day

We were seated in the last row, (lucky?) row 13 on the flight from Buffalo to Washington, which was absolutely nauseating. Thankfully the stopover was long enough to allow us to recover before the much nicer flight into Louisiana. We were anxious, nervous, and excited. Would it be like our first, touristy trip in 2003? How much has changed? Will we be able to get over the pain enough to still have a good trip? Tommy’d had the flu the week before and we dropped off a flu-sick Kaden at Grandma’s. It was horrible leaving him like that, and we just hoped he would feel better quickly. It was our first time away from the kids for more than a night. We travelled light, one personal item (including my massive purse) and one carry-on each. Not having to wait for luggage when you land, or worrying where it'll end up is much easier.

I took a picture for the kids. I wanted them to see what it looked like above the clouds.

We took a cab to the hotel. (Note: If you have more than two people the shuttle is cheaper, for two people it's the same price and it's a direct route.) We didn’t know who we’d see at the front desk. Part of us did, and part didn’t want to see Chester.

He wasn’t there. We got checked in by a very nice lady and went to our poolside room.

That's the pool on page 51 in KATF.

Double bed and "Chat Noir" over our heads.

We didn't remember the rooms or bathroom being so small. The shower drain was broken and the water took ten minutes to heat up. Our knees hit the wall when we sat on the toilet. The hot tub wasn't working. There was no remote for the TV and the air conditioner was very loud.

We went to Montrel’s for dinner. They were short staffed and food was very slow coming out. Some people were even leaving, but we were in no rush and sat with a glass of wine. Our food was okay and we went back to crash at the hotel.

Being the trusting Canadians that we are, we failed/forgot to lock our door. At 2:30am a girl walked into our room. G sat up with the C-PAP mask still on and scared the shit out of her. He locked the door and tried to go back to sleep. He could hear the nearest bar’s karaoke until 3am. He had to turn the AC off as well. We both found the mattress too soft, and it just wasn’t a relaxing night. Such a shame.

The next day...





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