Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 09

Today was a day dedicated to Fannie Mae having a good time. The Old Buzzards and Fannie Mae slept in until 7:30 a.m. Whoopee! Nice sleeping weather and a sort of clunkety noise in the air conditioner fan provides a soothing effect almost like white noise. John showered and we went for our Bright Side breakfast. John skipped his usual 1/2 bagel with cream cheese and opted for raisin bran, a banana, strawberry yogurt and coffee. No juice either. Saving calories for lunch at Pancho's.

The old buzzards decided to forego a visit to the French Quarter today and after our breakfast we loaded up (including Fannie Mae) and headed for a special place in Metairie that John found on the internet – Bonnabell Boat Ramp Dog Park. This is a really nice off-leash fenced park with water (one fountain at dog level), poop bags, benches, trees and even three agility features. It is right on the shore of Lake (remember, really an estuary!) Ponchartrain. Hence, the boat ramp part. When we arrived we saw  four big dogs but Fannie Mae did fine with her new friends. They sniffed-butt “Howdys” and no one made a meal out of her. She is used to being with just other small dogs at the park we go to in Morgan Hill. The green doggy bags provided are called Poopy Pouches and featured a dog named Crown who was wearing a crown. The two dogs Fannie Mae is with in the photos are Sadie and Kai Ann (as in cayenne pepper).

We returned to our humble abode and left Fannie to guard the room while we went in search of   Pancho's “Super” Mexican Buffet. It had Super in the name so we were expecting it to be a little different than other Pancho's. It was really different. At this one you serve yourself from a huge selection. The staff was friendly and helpful. On the way out Linda purchased some souvenir cups and when the manager found out how far away we live from a Pancho's she had us wait until she fetched a maraca from the back. We learned that the owner of this Pancho's wanted to try the self-serve buffet style. That's because this facility he purchased had been a Chiness Buffet restaurant and already had the buffet self-serve line up and running. The results are not that great and Pancho's aficionados don't care for it. That's because they can't serve on hot steel plates like they do in the regular Pancho's Mexican Buffets where you have staff serving your plate. The food isn't as hot and no one likes lukewarm Mexican food. They will be converting back to the “regular” Pancho's format when their lease runs out and they move to a better location. Their original location was wiped out in Katrina. John spent 1,604 calories on lunch (but it was real good!), leaving him only 804 calories for dinner. Oh, dear!

Before returning to our guard dog we stopped at our local Cafe du Monde and each got a cup of chicory coffee to go. John filled up the gas tank next door to our motel for $3.13.9 per gallon. About the best we've seen so far in Louisiana.

Linda took a walk this afternoon while John and Fannie Mae took a nap. After Linda returned from her walk we loaded up to go to the dog park again. Remember this day is for Fannie Mae! Afternoon seemed to be much more popular and there were lots of new friends for Fannie Mae to meet. And, they were friends of all sizes this time. First was Jack Daniels (#7) who showed her how to jump the agility bars. Then came Cici, a kind of mutant schnauzer who was just Fannie's size and they had a great time. A sheep herding dog named Griffin almost knocked Linda off her feet while playing with Cici. All was going well until a young mother arrived with her golden retriever and her little boy (about two years old).  Fannie Mae loves to bark at small children and she ran over to him and gave him a scare so we went ahead and departed shortly after that. What's a two-year old doing on the ground in a dog park anyway?

Dinner tonight was at Deanie's Seafood in Bucktown. Remember, poor old John only had 804 calories left to go. Linda had a cup of seafood and okra gumbo and the house salad with sweet fig and balsamic vinaigrette. She also had a glass of red wine. John had the same thing only a bowl instead of a cup of gumbo. John got his rice “on the side” and only used half of it). He also only used half of the salad dressing. He drank water, while Linda had the wine. Linda rated the delicious gumbo as a 9. The funniest thing happened before our meal arrived, The waiter (Trey, Tray?) brought out a bowl of about 6 boiled potatoes with packages of butter stacked on top of 3 plates. Not one word was said about them.  John actually thought they were rolls until Linda pointed them out to him. After our meal was served and eaten John asked about the potatoes. “Oh, we use them when we boil the shrimp and crab, so we just give them to everybody” explained Trey. John wouldn't let Linda ask Trey about what his real name was so we may never know. Her guess was Billy Bob Budreaux the 3rd. John's guess is that he is the youngest of three siblings. An older brother named Ace. An older sister named Duece. And then, there's Trey. Linda ordered a cup of gumbo instead of a bowl, hoping to save room for an interesting sounding desert – bread pudding, a rich custard-like bread pudding with a light touch of coconut, topped with Deanie's special cream anglaise and toasted almonds. Sad to report, she did not end up having room at the Linda Inn so she will have to wait until another trip to Deanies.

After we got back to our room, Linda shared 1/2 of an Uncle Rudy's Gourmet Pecan Praline with John. Oh, boy, another hundred calories, finishing the day 278 calories under budget. John never thought he'd make it today, what with the Pancho's visit.

Linda's funniest sign of the day was in neon at Johnny Jim's Gourmet Sandwiches.  It said “Free Smells” which conjures up a myriad of possibilities for other places THAT sign could be placed (like the dog park). Funny business names seen today were the Ahdunno Bar and Grill and the Chatta Box Boutique and Salon.

John's favorite sign was on the side of a huge, bright pink dump truck sitting beside a huge pink construction bin in what was clearly a construction site. The black letters on the side of the pink truck read, “Demo Diva”.

No video today but there are some fun images in the photo gallery which you can view by clicking here.

May all your problems be the kind that soon evaporate into the ethernet.

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