Made it back in one piece from our New Orleans excursion for the family wedding. What a weekend!
On Friday, we made the two-hour trip to The Big Easy and arrived just in time for the first of the wedding festivities — the Rehearsal Dinner at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. We had a great meal with great fellowship between the two families forging this new covenant.
Paul is a graduate of Notre Dame (but in Law School at LSU) and his mentor, Fr. Tim Sculley made the trip from South Bend via The White House earlier in the day to preside over the weekend festivities. He was very gracious and a whole lot of fun. He gave Mini-DD his card and told him to give him a ring when he’s ready to enroll in college….We’ll see.
After our wonderful dinner, we all retired to The Carousel Lounge at The Monteleone, the famous French Quarter Hotel affectionately dubbed “de Clouet Central” for the weekend. Here’s a party pic of the groom (center) with his Uncle Mark and his brother, John’s, wife Jeanne.
We all gave him a hard time regarding that sear-sucker suit, but hey, it worked. And, I actually made it through the “revolving” experience with no injuries.
The next morning brought some extreme humidity, but we weren’t deterred from enjoying the day. We headed out to The French Market to acquire a little jewelry, some sunglasses and wonderful homemade candles.
Now the French Market used to be commonly known as Dryades Market and my husband’s family actually owned the spot about 200 years ago. It’s a very diverse and active place that offers all kinds of possibilities. There is traditional New Orleans fare, like Mardi Gras masks….
…as well as various and a sundry articles for purchase. Mini-DD got some sunglasses and a trade bead bracelet and I secured some decorative flip-flops along with some nice silver jewelry to wear with my new dress for the wedding. All Mr. D wanted to do was get through the market to the Gazebo. Once there, we sat an enjoyed the open air lounge and restaurant by listening to some locals do some a variety of NOLA inspired tunes.
One favorite that was covered —
Don’t You Just Know It, Huey Smith and The Clowns
You might remember some of Huey’s better known hits.
Rockin’ Pnuemonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu
Sea of Love (written by Huey Smith)
After a Banana Daiquiri and a Shrimp Po-Boy lunch, we began our trek down back to the hotel with a couple of stops along the way. Here’s a picture of Mini-DD in front of St. Louis Cathedral where his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather married 247 years ago on May 11th.
Part of the loveliness of New Orleans is it’s history, particularly for those of us with historical Louisiana backgrounds. History is readily apparent in the wonderful architecture that is The French Quarter and the European influences are very self-evident.
The wonderful residents of the area preserve and protect the architecture and make the environs so inviting, but I have rarely ever seen residents actually sitting on the balconies, except for Mardi Gras.
The beautiful courtyards are interwoven with commerce and tourism, inviting walkers to partake of their tranquility.
Of course, New Orleans is never short on dichotomies. An example of just how diverse Nahlin’s can get is this “robot” found just a few hundred feet from the previous picture.
It never ceases to amaze me how creatively some people can make a living.
After a short walk back to our hotel and an afternoon nap to prepare for the nighttime festivities, we gathered with our family at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, where Fr. Sculley presided over a very happy ceremony. Each wedding has it’s own personality and while some are touching and others poignant, this one was joyous. Everyone was smiling from start to finish, just happy to be there and be a part of the joining of two fun-loving, happy people.
It was back to the hotel for the reception, where Paul’s groom’s cake greeted us.
Some of the LSU fans there were foiled in their plan to sabotage the cake, but otherwise it was generally well-received.
The reception was full of visiting, laughter and enjoyment. I was particularly elated to see my God-child, Dana and her boyfriend, Dave, there.
They happen to be good friends of the bride and groom. Dana is a wonderful young woman studying to be a Cardiologist. I am so very proud of her and the wonderfully independent woman she has become.
Also among the crowd were a few Music Maven patrons:
Parents-to-be, Amy and Michael Paul (Mr. D’s nephew and the groom’s brother) a/k/a Neil Diamond connoisseur. If you haven’t already done so, check out Amy’s blog. She has a great wedding re-cap.
Another family blogmeister was also in attendance. Mr. D’s other nephew, Mark, and his wife of one year, Karen, always bring some life to the party.
Mark is a very witty writer and also has a nice wedding overview. There’s even a bonus pick of Michael Paul in “Sweet Caroline” mode.
Part of the reason that I started this blog was to expose readers to music that they may not have known about or explored very deeply. I will continue to talk about artists like Paul Pena, to ensure that others are least exposed to great music that might not otherwise be known. Mark shared with me that my recent Randy Newman post of Louisiana 1927 has now made him an ardent fan of Randy Newman. I have to say that this has given me great satisfaction. If that wasn’t enough, Mark’s brother, Matt shared with me that he and his girlfriend, Paige, read and love the blog.
Exposing these young people to music that they haven’t really been “into” before but like once they give it a chance is very rewarding and I’m so happy that they come by and read my ramblings about music.
So, the wedding was tremendous fun that culminated in a midnight “second line” with the newlyweds happily heading up the train.
If you’re not familiar with the “second line” concept, here you go….
So, the happy couple is off to NYC for their honeymoon and we’re all back to our normal lives, with another great memory and with inspiration from various sources. Hope it’s a great week….for everyone.