I want to be in that number…
Happy 2012, and what a happy one it has been so far. The global warming trend is continuing, with unseasonably warm weather here in Nashville and other parts of the South. In an effort to do my part, I plan on driving my SUV as much as possible to ensure that Nashville becomes the new Miami of the Mid-South, sans the beach, the money, and Gloria Estefan. My plan is actually a good one. Think of the number of older people people that come in for CMA fest every year. If the climate changes, then they will move here, making the roads safer for everyone. This will also cut down on assisted air travel, thus saving countless minutes at the airport. Maybe I will go outside and run my cars while I write this to get this ball rolling. Through increased gasoline usage, I will help the economy (because Kroger gas NEEDS more business), I will be able to grow palm trees year round (and who doesn’t like palm trees?), and get rid of all these jackets. Pretty solid plan, me thinks.
Before you all start crying ‘foul’, I am just kidding. I recycle, and pickup trash when I am out walking or hiking, so relax. Besides, for my plan to work, I am going to have to run my car for like 100 years, and well, I just won’t live that long. Plus, we really don’t have a beach here, so it’s just not going to fly. And I do appreciate the older folks, as I am one of them, so relax and enjoy your Sanka. I’ll be there in a minute.
The warm weather has eased the winter blues a little, at least for me. I have been keeping busy, and in addition to work, I have been able to squeeze in a little free time fun as well. My friend Jay called me and asked if I was a football fan. Hmm, let me think about this… yes. So he then asks if we would like to join him and his fiance in New Orleans for the game courtesy of Coach Payton. Well, OK, if we must. So we left Nashville before dawn on game day, drove very quickly down to the Crescent City (with a short interaction with one of Alabama’s finer state troopers), and were checked in to our Garden District hotel and eating one of the world’s best pizzas (no joke), at the St. Charles Tavern, and toasting our journey. After a walk to the dome, which was a scene of thousands cheering on my boy Fred LeBlanc and Cowboy Mouth through the iconic ‘Jenny Says’, we made our way to Will Call, where Coach happened to put field passes in the envelope as well. It was a fine day, indeed.
We strolled through security and into the empty Superdome, which was already electric from the playoff environment. As people started filing in, we just sort of ended up on the ‘red carpet’ of sorts, where the celebs and local dignitaries were congregating. A few of the folks we met or saw were Spike Lee, Chris Collinsworth, Al Michaels, and Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife, sporting a 15-carat ring that was, for lack of a better term, blinding.
After team warm-ups and one last look around, we headed to our seats that were part of the Bunker Club, an ingenious little hideaway of a bar/eatery with nice bathrooms and seared Tuna. It didn’t suck. Fast forward to the end of the game, and we hit Bourbon and beyond in fine fashion. The next morning we ate at Huck Finn’s (NEVER eat at Huck Finn’s), and then pulled out of town, with memories abound, smiles on our faces, and a 36 hour trip we will never forget. Or remember.
In keeping with my ‘live life to the fullest’ campaign, I was happy to make the walk to the end of Bourbon St. to hit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar, which doesn’t have power, only candlelight filling the tiny, exposed brick and beam structure. The open doors were an invitation to a police horse, who stuck his head and neck inside as we were standing there. So we drank with a horse. Big deal. I have wanted to visit this spot for the longest time, and in the 100 times I have been to New Orleans, I finally went. And it won’t be the last time. We even talked of the possibility of moving to town. I think my old soul would appreciate that.
As I look back at this little trip, and get all insightful (like I tend to do), I realized a few things – first – I am lucky to have great friends, a wonderful travel companion, and to have the window to be able to travel at a moment’s notice. I am also happy that for once I took a trip for personal reasons, without a schedule, sound check, or bus call. That is wonderfully refreshing. I just don’t treat myself to trips like this, but rather find my happiness closer to home. That comes from the travel, obviously, but I really do love travel. So I hope I have a lot more of it soon. Work and play.
And speaking of work and play, it is off to the races for me. It’s Monday, I think, and the hibernating bear known as the music industry is awakening, which means it is time for me to get moving as well. There are songs to be written and sung, and videos to edit. I hope you find this Monday to be warm where ever you are, but if not, that’s OK. This is winter, you know.
Some parting shots from the game (the ones from Bourbon are being housed in a vault)
See you on the road!