This morning Ted made us his special Swedish pancakes – he even used gluten-free flour so I could eat them too! Vanilla flavor with maple syrup … yum! Janice drove us to the airport with Little Jack in tow and we arrived in plenty of time to catch our flight. Today we were headed to New Orleans to visit Janice’s mother Nobi, her husband Big Jack, Janice’s older sister Shirley and her husband Danny. There wasn’t a direct flight from Detroit, so we had to touch down in Charlotte, North Carolina on the way. After a couple of bumps due to the bad weather, we arrived safely at new orleans International Airport and were greeted by Nobi and Big Jack … in a very big truck!! There seem to be a lot of huge trucks and pick-ups in the US despite the price of petrol!! It’s definitely a car-oriented society here and the bigger trucks are so much more comfortable. We all headed off to Shirley and Danny’s house on the North side of Lake Pontchartrain. Lake Pontchartrain is huge and the bridge from the South to the North is itself 24 miles long!! The bridge formed the main part of the journey to Shirley’s house in fact. Looking out of the window of the truck we watched the pelicans hovering and diving down to catch fish – I didn’t realize how big Pelicans can be!! Shirley and Danny’s house is located on a private estate called Beau Chene or beautiful Oak. It really is a nice location, surrounded by trees, a private golf course and numerous little lakes. Shirley and Danny even have a lake in their back yard – you can sit on their deck and watch the golfers play on by … although they aren’t the 19th hole, Danny said that a lot of his golfing friends stop by on their way around the course for a spot of refreshment!! Shirley and Danny also have a cute miniature Schnauzer called ‘Noche’ (No-chay). Noche is great – he is a very calm dog, doesn’t bark at all and enjoys watching Animal Planet on TV!! Now, football seems to be a big thing in this family – everyone loves to watch and cheer on their teams both in the Collegiate and the Pro leagues. In fact Collegiate football is just as popular as the NFL, with games being televised and sponsors on parade. Louisiana State University is fairly close by to Shirley and Danny’s home, and so there were quite a few LSU fans around. LSU fans can easily be spotted by the purple and yellow colored jerseys with the Tiger or Eye of the tiger logos. When we arrived at Shirley and Danny’s house, we unpacked a little and caught up on introductions and news about our trip. We also tucked into some Sushi, green tea and some mexican snacks. Later in the evening we all went out to a local Sports Bar/Restaurant called the Times Grille to watch the LSU match against the Florida Gators. Apparently the Gators are number one in the league right now, so nobody was very optimistic about LSU winning – they were right, although LSU did put up a very good fight. In the end the gators won 13 – 3. We had even more to eat at the sports restaurant – Buffalo wings, burgers, salad, cheese fries, sundaes and banana bread pudding etc. They told me the Buffalo Wings were ‘mild’ but they forgot to tell me they were mild for the people of New Orleans (^^)v They were very nice nonetheless!! In fact it was all very nice … and very naughty!
When we got home we were all quite full up and feeling a little sleepy, so after a glass of water to cool the Buffalo throat we all went off to our respective beds….