Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Less than a 4 hour drive...yeah right!

Kelly and I pulled out from my driveway at 2:50 PM. Only 5 minutes past our desired departure time. Yay, us! Child free and excited, I was glad to hear that one of her co-workers who frequents Natchitoches assured her that contrary to Mapquest, our drive there would be a slim 3 hours and 45 minutes...NOT 4 and a half hours. Awesome.

We already knew which restaurant we wanted to try first, and slowly enjoying some tasty seafood and a glass of wine by 6:45 sounded wonderful. Plus, since we were both newbies to the whole Natchitoches experience, we wanted to get into town during daylight and start planning where to spend our money and fill our bellies!

We also had 3 floors of a bed and breakfast to investigate before we laid our locks down for a long uninterrupted night's rest.

We aren't generally detectives, but that night we would be. There are 31 B & B's in town, but with the local college's graduation falling that same weekend, most were booked. After hours of surfing, I came across one that looked awesome and I couldn't believe it had a room available...even more interesting was the fact that ALL of its rooms were available. There must be a catch, right? Oh definitely.

We'd be inhabiting all three levels of the ginormous place by ourselves. All three levels of the house built in 1838. All three levels of old creaky floors. All three levels of multiple staircases and entrances. I rationalized that last part in my mind as...well, we'll have lots of ways to escape if something goes wrong!

Plus, since the innkeepers would be away on vacation and the housekeeper (who doesn't stay there anyway) doesn't make breakfast, they were going to give us a hefty discount. We'd be getting in early enough to retrieve the key from the porch and tour the place during daylight before we locked it down for the night. SOLD...to the two mommies desperate for a night away!

So, we were cruising along quite nicely, anxious to use the HOV lane to get us there even faster, when all of a sudden we came to a stop. There were signs on the HOV lane wall that stated "NO PARKING" and we were really scared that we might just get a ticket. There are 3 East/West highways that could have taken us out of this place, and we managed to choose the 1 that had a fuel spill and was narrowing from 5 lanes to 1 during Friday afternoon traffic. With that kind of luck I was really glad we had decided against going gambling for the weekend.

That little fuel spill set us back well over an hour, but we were still optimistic. We decided on candy bars to hold us over til our much awaited seafood dinner, and decided to call the restaurant and find out how late they were open. 10 PM...no problem!

But once again Kelly's speedometer slowed from 75+ to less than a crawl. During the hour and 15 minutes it took us to go the next 7 miles, we had to call again. "What time does your kitchen actually close? And what is the attire?" Knowing we'd be barely making it in time to eat much less dress up...and then I called yet one more time to get detailed instructions on how to get there. We WANTED our seafood! They stopped taking orders at 9:45, so it was our mission to make it by then.

Then the ambulance raced by on the other side and the traffic eased. We decided after passing the wreckage that we were really thankful to have been waiting rather than involved in the roll over accident. Must have been a family travelling...you could see their pillows and what appeared to be a cooler of juice boxes scattered along the road. Our lives can be forever changed in one instant.

Nearly 7 hours after leaving my driveway, we made it to Mariner's. I don't know if it was just because we were tired or we reeked from being in the car that long...but our waitress was less than thrilled when we showed up a few minutes before the kitchen closed. The food was good, but we didn't dare drink...we still had an old house to find and investigate...and we needed to have our best detective game on!

The roads going into downtown were dark, and the quaint little historic district street signs weren't exactly helpful to out-of-towners. It was 11:30 PM, and quite dark, when we pulled up at the Levy-East House. It was beautiful...and spooky. Once we checked every stairwell, bathroom, bedroom, hallway and even the closets, we felt safe. What would we have done if we had found someone? I especially liked it when I opened what I assumed to be a closet door, but it opened to expose part of the attic......yikes!

So, we looked over some of the Steel Magnolia filming memorabilia, and closed our eyes at 12:30. 6:23 AM both wide awake. Sleeping in is just a thing of the past for these two mommas I guess. Although there wasn't any dog barking during the night, the trains and sirens reminded me of the last B & B experience Jerry and I had around Valentine's Day. I also was having dreams of little froggies hopping all over my own house...Jerry ended up going out of town after all and I forgot to tell him to cover the tadpole cage where 20 of our newest little friends were quickly sprouting limbs and losing tails.

At least it was light at 6:23 AM and we could finally see our surroundings. I loved this beautiful tree outside our window,

and really enjoyed having coffee with my sis in these great rockers on the other 2nd floor porch.

After that it was eating, shopping, eating and shopping. We filled our bellies here and here. And left more money than we should have here and here.
That's not all we did. We also:
rode that carriage on this street,

and admired this river.
We could have also toured plantations, forts, and museums. And even taken a riverboat ride. But instead we toured the shops and ate enough to make us as big as a riverboat instead. And you'll notice there are no pics of Kelly and me...my finger was too greasy from the fried shrimp at Mama's Oyster House to push the button!
And then we had a very UNeventful trip home which was very welcomed by us.


Mommy, Esquire said...

What fun! As I was reading I was afraid you were going to have ended up at some place like Dwight Schrute's Beet Farm for the night, with Mose chasing you around.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, I'm jealous! How wonderful to get away and have some time to yourself. Sounds like too much fun!

Priscilla C. said...

Oh, how awesome!! Twice in one month? That's it! I'm going out to find a hubby and friends! Should that do the trick? :D

Michelle said...

Did you notice how much easier a 7 hour trip is when it's just adults? Glad to hear you girls had fun, after the interesting trip there.
Oh and thanks for sending Bear a present - he loves them!

Rachelle said...

Glad you had a fun trip!

Heidi Day said...

I loved reading your narration. You are most funny, Kerri.

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