Last week, Katie and I flew to the city of New Orleans to start our cruise. After a night of flooding rains and hiding out in our hotel, we went to breakfast at Mother’s Restaurant. I was unimpressed by food, but loved the coffee and the staff. Rubbery shrimp omelet? Not so much. Spent the rest of the morning wandering French Quarter, eating beignets, hanging out in art galleries. Finally checked out Bourbon Street and decided I must party there at some point in the near term. To the hard partiers out there: Nate, Stone, Adam, Murdock, Kraemer, Djuricic, Kudritzki, Zlotkowksi, I’m talking to you.
Got on the boat and watched a great eighties cover band. All Asian people, rocking out to Neil Diamond, Madonna, etc. Unnervingly good, as the boat set off into the fog down the Mississippi River. A bucket of Becks in the hot tub and the cruise got underway nicely.
I pounded out four horror novels on this trip: Dan Simmons A Winters Haunting and loved it. Wrapped up Stephen King’s son’s novel, Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box. Worth the read, but not as good. Also, Peter Straub’s Lost Boy Lost Girl, OK… not worth the read in a non-cruise setting. But, the final and best was Dan Simmons’ Carrion Comfort, which Stephen King calls one of the top three horror books of the 20th century and has back cover notes from Guillermo Del Toro, amongst others. Absolutely a must-read.
As for the trip itself, it’s what we expected. Buffet food, as good as any buffet food can be. Cheesy shows at night. $5 beers. We played Scrabble, hung out in the hot tub, worked out, slept as much as possible with Paul at Grandma Central for the week.
The day trips were pretty good, including a trip to the Quirigua Mayan Ruins in Guatemala, snorkeling in Belize and in Cozumel we hijacked a Canadian couple and forced them to drive us around the island. Photos below, w/ my new ruggedized waterproof camera: