Bartender: I’ll Take Cultural Enrichment, with a Shot of Reality

By Zerline Hughes

Enjoy part one of my NOLA travelogue series …

We arrived in NOLA Friday afternoon. It was an 18-hour drive from Washington, D.C. in our totally decked out rental mini-van. Yes – I did say 18-hour drive; I was trying to save a few dollars. No one was looking forward to the drive, but it went smoothly, quickly and was almost even fun thanks to the DVD player and Sirius XM radio upgrades that accompanied the rental (I’m telling you, for any long road trip, you MUST have XM radio. The comedy channels keep you awake and entertained).

???????????????????????????????We were welcomed with red carpet treatment by the boy’s Big Brother program brother, Michael and his NOLA W Hotel colleagues. Actually, it was more like a black carpet … three to be exact, strategically placed in the elevators. Each time we entered or exited, we were welcomed with “GOOD MORNING,” “GOOD AFTERNOON,” and yep, you guessed it: “GOOD EVENING.” The trendy hotel, undergoing a $29 million renovation just opened its new rooms on the 22nd floor and we were the first people to stay in the suite. Pretty cool. And a great experience for the boy to be a part of.
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After napping and catching up on sleep from the long drive, our family (my mother joined us from L.A. in New Orleans) and Michael went on Bourbon Street for dinner at the amazing Redfish. One word: Mmmmmm!

After returning to the hotel, my guy and I returned to Bourbon Street to be grown ups and enjoy the party atmosphere! We returned to the hotel safely.

Less than 24 hours later, though: trouble. Luckily, we were too pooped to go out again to Bourbon Street after an evening  paranormal walking tour, but someone definitely ruined the fun for the others who braved that warm, humid Saturday night. Late Sunday morning, my guy showed me his cell phone which displayed a news story about a shooting that happened around 2 a.m. Sunday — right on Bourbon Street. Ten were injured.???????????????????????????????

Though my kids would most likely have not been out on Bourbon Street at the late time of the shooting, they were there just the night before having a late dinner. Just goes to show: there’s nowhere to hide. As much positivity and enrichment and cultural experiences I try to expose them to, I can’t protect these two from everything.

How disappointing. Happy vacationing to us!

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