Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 2, or the day I found a friend

Our second day in New Orleans was dramatically better than our first. We decided that, since Nola likes to sleep in, we would stay in our hotel room until after Sweet One had her first nap and this made such a huge difference. She slept for 1h20 and awoke in much better spirits than most of the previous day. (I think this helped her nap better later on in the day as well.)

We decided to hop aboard the St. Charles street car and go to the Garden District. Standing in line, Big Love was a little concerned that we might not get onto the first car as it looked packed but it wasn't as bad as it looked. I ended up with Sweet One in my lap sitting next to a young woman. (I thought she was a college student.) Sweet One reached out to her and she smiled. "Wow! She never reaches out to people she doesn't know." Sweet One continued to entertain the gaggle of tourists we were sitting among with her smiles and silly sounds. Usually I get nervous initiating any degree of conversation with a stranger beside me but since Sweet One had made the first move, I asked the young woman if she was 'from here'. She said no and that she was in fact from LA.

When we got off the street car, we crossed the street as the rest of the tourists were (we had completely forgotten to take our guidebook on this entire trip). The young woman I had been sitting beside was on the other side of the street but then she quickly came across since that's where the rest of us had gone. "I guess I went the wrong way!" she said. (She was wearing very nice books with a pointy toe and a moderate heel - just like I hope to have one day.) Then she asked if Big Love and I would mind if she joined us, "so I don't get kidnapped since I'm all alone."

We spent a couple of hours walking around the Garden District and I was amazed at how easy it was for me and this young woman to chat the entire time. Usually I have moments of awkwardness where I don't really know what to say around someone I don't know. I learned that her husband has the same name as mine, she has a degree in criminology and now works in pest control, loves going to estate sales and is 10 weeks pregnant. Her mouth dropped when she found out I was just about 32 years old and I was equally surprised to learn that she was 27. It felt so nice to have a young woman to talk to, especially one who I seemed to have a lot in common with. Even Big Love said we seemed to have a bit of a connection.

When we returned to the French Quarter, Big Love, Sweet One and I went to a restaurant this young woman had recommended and had our first good meal since we arrived. Even Sweet One ate a surprising amount of fries considering she hadn't eat much at all since we left two days ago. When we left our hotel room that morning I anticipated the amazing houses in the Garden District to be the highlight of my day, but in the end it ended up being a conversation with a complete stranger!

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