Strikes and gutters.

One of the great things about New Orleans is how nicely the city has promoted tourism interests to remain neatly tucked away from the rest of the city.  Bourbon Street, as I’ve been told, was created to keep tourists out of the rest of the city and as far as my experience has shown, it’s done a fantastic job.  In general, the frat boys, the wanna-be-frat-boys, the remembering-the-days-of-being-a-frat-boy, and the associated hangers-on stay in a few blocks within the French Quarter and leave the rest of us alone.

But occasionally we get a visitor who wants to get New Orleans.  And man, oh man.  Showing someone from another part of our lives just why we live here?  This is one of our favorite things in the world.  The only thing better than that Reconcile Bananas Foster Bread Pudding is having someone new to share it with.

We were thrilled to share these past five days with a good friend of mine from college — a guy who gave me my most lasting nickname (Hosh), studied with me in Switzerland and Italy, and who I hadn’t seen in more than a decade.  We went out, hung out at the pool, hung out in the park, played with the kids, ate good food, explored random parts of the city, and just generally enjoyed the awesomeness of having someone so open and positive about all the things we love about our home.

On Saturday afternoon, Jeb and I, along with a friend of his who had recently moved to the area, went to Commander’s Palace for the Jazz BrunchCommander’s Palace is the long-standing launching pad of culinary royalty; Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse are among its dignitaries.  While there, enjoying the music and company and food and all that comes with it, I mentioned the odd fact that every time Paul has eaten at Commander’s, he’s been ill within 24 hours.  No, it is never because of the food… just really bad timing.  Paul enjoys a completely fantastic meal and four hours later it’s floating down the Mississippi.  Bad timing.

Of course I had to tempt the fates by telling Jeb all about it.

The next morning, we didn’t hear from Jeb.  We thought maybe he’d gone jogging in Audubon Park, or perhaps needed some extra sleep to compensate for late night music at Les Bon Temps.  So we went blueberry picking in Mississippi in the morning.  On the way back, we spoke to him for the first time that day: it had been a rough night.

No, it wasn’t the food.  It was just bad timing.

And completely my fault.

Thankfully, he bounced back in the afternoon and enjoyed the rest of the blissful weekend.  Then Sunday night, last night, the fates rolled over to Kate.

She had eaten her body weight in blueberries at the farm so we expected a certain amount of tummy disturbance.  But it wasn’t until 3 am that the disturbances truly made their intentions clear.

Yikes.

The weekend then was like any other time in New Orleans — incredible highs and miserable lows.  We accept both and appreciate the need of each.  It is just that sometimes, we’re surprised at just how they materialize.  And in Kate’s case, the incredible monochromatic palate that results.

In honor of Jeb, quoting NOLA’s beloved John Goodman… Strikes and gutters.  Strikes and gutters.