Bon jour, mon ami! Greetings from “The Big Easy,” which happens to be one of the nicknames for the city of New Orleans, as well as the nickname of my high school girlfriend. (Don’t ask!) We have actually had a marvelous time traveling back in time (New Orleans is one of the oldest cities in America) and enjoyed our stay at the Windsor Court Hotel, situated on the edge of the French Quarter. The other 3/4 of the city was also a treat, especially our gourmet feast at Mr. B’s Bistro on Bourbon Street. Due to my worldwide fame (and a modest bribe) we were treated like royalty and given a copious amount of gumbo and oysters, along with some magnificent Sazerac cocktails. I’ve always enjoyed this city, even though Bourbon Street can get a little rowdy at times. We only made one mistake. When some folks on a balcony tossed a strand of beads at us, Patty threw her Rolex watch at them. Oh well, c’est la vie!
While gouging ourselves on gumbo and oysters (deep fried) we found time to wander over to Cafe Du Monde for some chicory coffee and beignets. A messy treat, but well worth the effort! Beignets are very low-calorie (yeah, right) so we only consumed four of them. (Each!) Oddly enough, you really get your money’s worth when you eat those scrumptious balls of fried dough. How so? Well, according to my watch (the one we didn’t lose) it takes about eight hours to digest each beignet, so you get plenty of time to savor the experience.
One of the most fun things to do in New Orleans is taking cruise on the Mississippi River via steamboat. We managed to wrangle an invitation aboard the Delta Queen a/k/a “The Lusitania of Louisiana” for a charming trip up and down the river. The luncheon was actually pretty good (more gumbo, of course) and the Dixieland band sensational. I’ve never traveled via water south of the city, so I found the cruise quite interesting. Did you guys know that the Mississippi River is one of the longest rivers in the state? (I’m just being silly. The dang river is actually 2,350 miles long!) That’s longer than the Comal River in Texas!
After stuffing ourselves in New Orleans we drove east, via I-10, to one of my favorite spots in America, Rosemary Beach, Florida. We usually park ourselves at the Pearl Hotel, which remains one of my favorite hotels. Lovely rooms, overlooking the gulf, great staff, great food, and the cleanest water in the entire country. The beaches in this section of Florida are magnificent, and I was happy to see that folks were out and about enjoying the sand and surf. (I, of course, also enjoyed the surf & turf!) Yep, the food in Rosemary Beach is superb. We ate like kings (and queens) and had some truly memorable meals. If you don’t plan to return to the area, you don’t need to tip. Just saying.
The purpose of the trip (other than going bankrupt on seafood) was to spread the news that my next book, GONE BEFORE GLORY, is at the final stage of publication and should be available to the reading public sometime next week! As I mentioned in an earlier post, the pre-publication reviews have all been great, so I think my fans will really enjoy this book. As you might remember, this book is about the life and death of President William McKinley, one of the most intriguing figures in American history. His crazy assassin (Leon Czolgosz) is described in lurid detail and will be someone you will never forget, so get ready for another great read!
For those of you following my sordid life, please note that our next adventure (also a book tour event) will be a lengthy visit to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado, followed by a week at Emerald Ranch, the cowboy venue up in the mountains. The last time I was at the ranch, a weathered cowboy taught me how to tell the temperature by listening to a cricket! (To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, just count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, then add 40 to get the temperature.) OR…. you can glance at your cell phone, whichever is easier!
By the way, I will NOT be riding bareback on this outing. The last time I did that, I got a terrible sunburn.
Well, my friends, that’s about it for now. Enjoy the upcoming week, keep those masks on, and be safe. If you have nothing else to do, please scroll down and enjoy the photographs I took in New Orleans and Rosemary Beach. Love to all,