Hi Everyone —
Today Sue and I are in the same class which doesn’t happen very often. She has already told you the wonderful story of how “Sisters” got its name. I did hear one woman in the class mention that she was renaming it the “Coven”. In case you didn’t know, that is how many of our husbands refer to our stitching groups. In my house, they’re my “Peeps!”
Tomorrow we will add aquas and grays to the larger piece.
The hotel here in NOLA is right next to the Superdome. So we dealt with the Saints playing the Steelers on Friday night, a Little Wayne concert on Saturday night, and the Saints playing the Ravens tonight. One side effect of this is the earplugs that were placed on our pillows. Another is total gridlock in front of the hotel. So, when six of us needed a taxi for dinner tonight, we got in a very long line. After about five minutes and no movement, I decided to use a skill that Meg taught me and I hailed an Uber cab! Our driver arrived in about three minutes — but the bottom line is that we paid less than half of what our friends did! So easy!
I forgot to mention that Meg had been in NOLA with her high school friends a few years ago and she sent me a list of recommended restaurants. So tonight we followed her advice and ate at Muriels in the French Quarter.
The food was terrific and I know that I ate too much. I did my usual two appetizers instead of an entree: 1. zucchini rolled with sun dried tomatoes and ricotta cheese, then deep fried and served with mint sauce and 2. pan-fried crab cake with capers. I also ordered wood grilled asparagus and Gruyere mashed potatoes. Dessert was a carrot cake ice cream sandwich — the ice cream was cream cheese flavored! OMG! We had six very happy campers!
Here’s a random sample of some other lovely meals:
Many thanks to Meg for the excellent recommendation. My other daughter texted me a picture of their dinner at my favorite Madison restaurant. B***h, slapped!
I’m a day late in writing this post, but yesterday was a bad computer day when two of my three accounts stopped working. By some miracle of cyberspace, they are all happy today!
So yesterday was my second day in “At the Beach” with Gail Stafford. Despite missing two hours of class for conference calls, I think I made pretty good progress. Gail was very understanding and walked me through what I missed. If I hadn’t had the calls, at least part of the beach towel thrown over the left chair would have been stitched!
So this post gets its name from the restaurant where Carol made reservations for our whole NJNA contingent. Cathryn had told Carol that this was one of the best restaurants in NOLA.
Carol heard that the shrimp remoulade was awesome, but it was only available on the tasting menu. So, Carol asked and the chef agreed to make an exception; so three of our group ordered that. I had a heirloom tomato salad with local ricotta and a basil sauce — it was so good that I used my bread to sop up every last drop! For dinner I had the pecan crusted local gulf fish (sheepshead) in a saffron sauce with champagne-poached crab on top!
Is your mouth watering yet?
As we were getting into our taxi, a parade of lighted bicycles went by! It was highly reminiscent of our first seminar in Philadelphia when we had the naked bicycle parade! Apparently this is an every Tuesday and Thursday night occurrence in NOLA. The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea!
Tomorrow is tour day — always my favorite day at seminar! Sue and I have signed up for a tour of two plantations. Stay tuned!
Jill and I did not have class on Monday so we started the day stitching on our Saturday/Sunday projects, cleaning up some “spaghetti”. Then we started our city tour by picking up the Hop on/Hop off bus outside our hotel.
After traveling through the Arts District and past the WW II Museum, our first hop off was in the Garden District. There we had a wonderful walking tour of the beautiful mansions with their extensive gardens . Some of them are owned by celebrities like John Goodman and Sandra Bullock. Others have been in the same family for generations. All exterior renovations are strictly regulated to maintain the character of the District.
We then toured a cemetery . Because of the high water table, burials are in crypts above ground. Some are very elaborate and landscaped. It felt like a city!
After getting back on the bus, we traveled past the warehouses that store the Mardi Gras floats. Some door were open so we could peek in. Wow!
Then on to the French Quarter where I had my first Hurricane in the French Market. Lunch was a shared half muffaletta – similar to a Stromboli but with an olive spread inside. We walked a few blocks to the Quarter Point, a needlepoint and knitting shop. Lovely painted canvases were offered as well as yarns like I have never seen. They said that the French Quarter location allows them to offer more unusual yarns!
After a walk through the Quarter, we came back hot and tired but happy to have gotten a taste of the city.
Below is my progress on Florida Palm. Who knows what today will bring!
Today I started a new piece called “At the Beach!” with Gail Stafford. Wouldn’t you know that I had to paint again? This time it was with acrylic paint and brushes. Luckily, I tom-sawyered the teacher into using my canvas as an example. It looked gorgeous until I took over to finish it.
You will see that tonight I have many loose threads on my canvas — also known as spaghetti. I think I’ll try to tackle some of that before morning.
Sue, Heidi, and I had a delicious lunch at Cafe Allegro — directly across the street from the hotel. Tonight, most of my peeps will be attending the Cyberpointer Chapter meeting and I’ll be on my own.
I don’t think anyone wrote about last night’s opening banquet. It definitely had a New Orleans flavor to it. During happy hour, we were serenaded by a jazz band who then led the “Parade of Stitches” into the banquet hall. Dinner was Chicken Gumbo with Louisiana Rice, Smoked Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Squash, and King Cake Ice Cream.
I got separated from the NJNA group and ended up sitting with Tina, Melita, and Brenda. Both Brenda and Melita won awards in the judged exhibit pieces. Melita won a first prize in the Original, Non-Professional category for “Festive Fireworks”. Brenda received second place in the Independent, Non-Professional category for her “Rose Swirls”! Pamela Harding, designer of Serengeti, was also at our table — so I am convinced that I stumbled onto the Rock Star table!
Next year’s Stitch of the Month project is on display in the exhibit and I’d say that it is another winner!
Seminar is in full swing in New Orleans. I arrived yesterday after a long night and three flights — from Anchorage!
I managed a power nap yesterday and joined three other members of NJNA for a fabulous dinner at Compere Lapin.
See our beautiful meals? I had an heirloom tomato salad and steak tartare — what could be better than that?
Today was the first day of classes. I am enrolled in “African Images” by Terry Dryden. We have a fabulous kit with many interesting threads. We started today by coloring and painting our canvasses. After lunch, we started stitching!
Tonight, Sue helped me recuperate from my travels with a simple dinner at the hotel. I hope that others will also post about their experiences. Meanwhile, to quote my daughter Meg — it’s been an awfully long day! Good night!