Monday, August 3, 2009

A good day for a festival

Yesterday, the little woman and I took a little bit of a road trip n hour down the road to New Orleans to enjoy Satchmo Summerfest, a festival that honors the memory of Louis Armstrong (my idol).

I didn't get to go last year because of something or other...can't exactly remember why it was, though.

Yesterday was quite interesting, though. First of all, as we were leaving, it started pouring down rain. Now, before I go any further, I should let you know that when last I went to this festival it was over 100 degrees, then out of nowhere it started raining (with no clouds in the sky, mind you). New Orleans is humid enough as it is, but extreme temperatures and rain make it unbearably humid. so much, so that I nearly had a heatstroke. Thank goodness for training I'd received in the past from marching band and ROTC, or I may very well have passed out.

So, as you can imagine, we're thinking this may be a repeat of that experience. However, as soon as we get past this giant redneck haven store (Cabala's, I believe) it stopped and appeared to clear up. That's when I thought, if it could drip here and there during the festival, it could keep the temps down.

No more rain the rest of the trip, but we did notice this strange fence of sorts in the median. It looks to be basic steel cables, but it could also be some sort of power or phone cables. Not quite sure, though. It does seem a bit weird to have that random fence out there. Are they really that hell-bent on keeping people from crossing it? What about the cops that go over chasing speeders? I guess I can't really raise a ruckus about that thing without knowing what it is exactly for.

Finally we get to New Orleans, after crossing that never-ending Lake Pontchartrain bridge. I have issues with bridges, but I'll save that for another time. After parking in a safe parking lot. First time we went, parked somewhere and got towed. Since then, we figured it'd be better to pay the $20 or so rather than having to pay the $170 or so for towing and impound fees.

As were walking to the festival, this giant bus comes barreling down the road. If you watch ESPN,then you know who Chris Mortensen "Mort" is. Just so happened that he was in New Orleans for his tour around the country to each of the various NFL training camps. He stopped to get some directions, shake hands, show off the inside of the bus (it's quite impressive, if I must say so, myself), take pictures, and sign some autographs. The one time I have my camera and it decides to not work (dead batteries). Ugh! Still, I got n autograph, got to see the inside of the bus, and got to meet the guy that pretty much keeps my fantasy football teams

Finally made it to the festival and guess what happens. BOOM! CRASH! CRACKLE! BOOM! Here comes the thunder and lightning. The lady that was on the stage said they had to cancel the music. Now, I'm thinking that they were going to call the whole thing off on account of rain, but it dawns on me that the crown just goes inside the U.S. Mint to wait it out, so we just follow. Got to see a couple of exhibits an bought a shirt while we were waiting, so it all worked out.

After a little more than an hour, the music resumes. I don't know how many of you are jazz fans, so I won't bother you with all the technical details, just know that they rocked. My favorites were this Japanese guy that learned from Louis himself and the final act with all the trumpet players at festival, including some kid from the Louis Armstrong jazz camp jamming.

Speaking of the Japanese guy, I believe his name is Yoshio Yakamura or something like that. If I didn't know it was him, I'd have though it really was Louis up there, I kid you not.

One thing I noticed as I was enjoying the music, was the enormous amount of cleavage that was passing by. If you've ever seen a woman from the Renaissance era, than you know that with the corset they have on, let's just say that their cups runneth over. It wasn't that bad yesterday, but there was a lot of cleave to see. I didn't mind, hey I'm a guy, but after awhile it did get distracting.

After it was all over, it was time to go. As were leaving, we nearly got run off the road by some cops. Turns out they were making a drug bust. Strange thing is, they were sitting right next to us in the Hard Rock Cafe not 5 min ago.

Tat wasn't the only time cops nearly caused us off the road. It seemed like they were trying to fill their ticket quotas last night, especially on the bridge. They were giving any and everyone a ticket, it seemed like. No ticket for us, though. --whew--

So, that was my day. It was quite enjoyable this year. My thought about the rain keeping the temps down turned out to be true! Made for a much more enjoyable experience, that's for sure! Not to mention it was FREE!!!!

Hope you all had a good weekend!