Well. I’m back from New Orleans. I’m not quite sure why I’m home again — apparently everything ran quite well in my absence. Kurt even had a dinner party on Saturday night with his buddies from work and their families, and the only dark spot in the evening was that I wasn’t around to make my now-famous roasted potato salad.
That’s not a complaint, mind. I love that Kurt can handle the house all on his own. It makes my getting away so much nicer because I don’t have to worry about whether he can do this or that. He cooks well, he entertains the kids, and he doesn’t make a huge mess. What more can I ask for?
Just in retrospect, I wish I had stayed a day or two longer, though I don’t know if my friend’s schedule could have supported that. Oh, and I would have flown into an airport nearer to her house, if I had been thinking straight. But I got so excited about how cheap I found tickets that I clicked the buy button without putting a whole lot of thought into it.
Although now that I do a wee bit of research, it’s a good $100 more to fly into her local airport. Poopy.
I have to say, Elle and I had entirely too much fun. I knew we would; we have entirely too much in common. But we hadn’t yet met in person, so there was always that niggling fear in the back of my mind that maybe it wouldn’t go as well as I thought it would. I’m pleased to report that I had nothing to worry about.
Yes, I flew all the way out to Louisiana to visit a woman I’d never before met in real life. And last October, I flew to San Diego to meet five lovely women (Poolie, Beanie, Rosie, Terri, and Yankee Chick) I’d never met before. Add in my trip to San Jose in 2008 to meet a dozen women I’d not yet met in real life, plus a reunion trip a year later, not to mention hosting a lady from that same group at my house last April who’d I’d not yet met in real life… Yeah. I know there are those who still are concerned that meeting people from the internet is akin to putting yourself at the mercy of an axe murderer, but I think that’s an outdated view. I have yet to have problems with people I’ve met from the internet, and I’ve met loads. Besides, most of us put out there the way we are in real life. We might not share all of our issues, but we’re essentially the same person. Personally, I couldn’t come up with an alternate personality if my life depended on it. I just don’t have that level of creativity — or the memory to remember what I had said before. It’d be impossible for me to keep track of.
Even Kurt met one of his ex-girlfriends on the internet and flew out to see her when he was still stationed in Hawaii. Of course, it didn’t work out — but that was for other reasons. Besides, if they hadn’t broken up, where would I be??
Not here in Rhode Island, that’s for sure.
So what did we do for four days? I don’t think either of us shut up the entire time. Well, no, that’s not true. We spent Saturday night staring at the television in horror, as I had found some episodes of “Toddlers & Tiaras.” Did you know they spray-tan those kids in order to make them look better? And give them false teeth (for when the front teeth fall out just before a pageant) and put false eyelashes on them?! It’s, in a word, creepy. I spend so much time trying to keep Gracie a little girl because that’s what she is! And yet here are these kids, the same age as her, being painted up and spray-tanned within a inch of their lives. It’s… scary. I let Grace wear makeup, yes — but that’s because my friend M gave her makeup for Christmas. It’s a little compact of sheer eyeshadow with matching lipgloss, and you can’t even tell Grace is wearing it when she puts it on. That, I think, is quite appropriate for a girl Grace’s age.
But after we finally tore our eyes from the horror that is “Toddlers & Tiaras,” we put on NBC. Yes, folks, I voluntarily watched an episode of Saturday Night Live. This hasn’t happened since… well…. actually… ever. I do like it when Justin Timberlake is the host because he’s freakin’ hilarious, but if Betty White hadn’t been on, I would not have even thought to suggest watching it. Oh, my God, was it funny, though. 88 (and a half!) years old, and that lady still has it. And she’s not your sweet little grandma either. I think I want to be Betty White when I get to be 88½!
So there were lapses in the conversation, but they were few and far between. I got to see Louisiana, which is one of the few states I’ve never been to before. When we drove across country the first time (we’ve done it twice already), we elected to go through Arkansas to the north, instead of Louisiana. Man, is that state flat! Mile after mile after mile of sugar cane fields… and houses up on stilts! The houses on stilts weren’t even all on the water, which I’m more used to, after visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
And I got Cajun food! The second night I was there, Elle made me crawfish etouffee, which is onion and green pepper sauteed in butter, with crawfish added in with some wine and some water (I think), with cornstarch to thicken. Ohhh yum.
See?? Doesn’t that make your mouth water?? I thought so.
The next night, Elle showed me how to make a proper Cajun roux, and then she made gumbo. From scratch!! Yummmm. I tell you what, folks, this lady can cook! I knew this already, since she’d already taught me how to make a baked roast chicken that is to die for, as well as chocolate chip cookie bars that are a hit everywhere I take them. I probably weight 20 pounds more than I did when I left Rhode Island. But it’s a sacrifice I am more than willing to make.
Of course, my family missed me while I was gone, and they were so glad to have me home once again. It is nice to be home, but a mini vacation away every so often keeps me sane. Hopefully I can find my way back to Louisiana soon — maybe even before Kurt leaves on his next deployment.
Hey, it could happen! Not likely, but we all have to have our dreams…