Day 7: Pigsh@t Hitting the Proverbial Fan

On a day when the pigsh@t hit the proverbial fan, we had remarkable highs and lows in New Orleans. This city is arguably the most beautiful in America, with architectural gems galore. Even the parts that aren’t gorgeous are worth looking at. It’s funky, fun, and exciting. But not all was well in NOLA.

We spent the morning walking the French Quarter. Our plan, though, had a flaw the size of a pot-bellied pig. We left Rosie in our hotel room, figuring not much could go wrong. And, in our rush to get out the door, we forgot to take her for her morning walk, giving her a chance to relieve herself. Well, when we returned to the hotel, a perfect stranger was standing on our floor, pointing to the door and saying, “There’s some very strange things happening in this room.” Apparently, the sounds of a squealing pig (one desperate to poop, since to her credit she held it in!) can be confused with all sorts of horrid activities behind a locked hotel door.

We couldn’t get into our room, since the locks to our room had been changed. Our return to the front desk did not go well. After investigating the room, the manager decided that eviction is the only just reward for humans leaving an unattended pig in a hotel that doesn’t allow pets. OUCH!!! In all our travels, we’ve never sunk so low.

We then spent the afternoon, pig in tow, exploring the city, while calling hotels to find one with available rooms and a pig-tolerant attitude. We did squeeze in a visit to the New Orleans Museum of Art, and saw an interesting Disney exhibit. And we switched hotels to the pet-friendly La Quinta, our new hotel favorite.

Despite the challenges with our pet pig, the day had plenty to savor. There are so many stunning houses here. A few years ago, we were fortunate to live in Charleston, South Carolina, a beautiful city. But New Orleans outdoes Charleston when it comes to the number of striking antique houses.

It’s a hoot to walk around the French Quarter, with surprising and bizarre encounters coming fast and furious. Had we been walking with our pet pig, we would have fit right in, but regrettably we were out looking very ordinary while the pig was back in the hotel room breaking the sound barrier. Not our best decision, to be sure.

We ended the day by taking in some of the season opener for Tulane’s baseball team, and somehow managed to win a promotion contest. It was great to see baseball live. We then had dinner at a restaurant here called Luke’s, owned by one of New Orlean’s top chefs, John Besh. Got back to the hotel, Gibson did some physical therapy for his leg, watched some Olympics (curling between Denmark and Canada?!?!), and called it a bizarre day.

Tomorrow, we tour the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, then we plan on visiting a nearby wildlife refuge. After that, we’re heading east. Next stop, Alabama.

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