As a tourist, I have spent some time in New Orleans. Not nearly enough time. I hope to go back someday. In the meantime, I’ve asked Pauline Baird Jones to tell us about her time in New Orleans. If you follow this blog, you may know that she is one of my favorite authors, so I am very happy to welcome Pauline Baird Jones!
Going Back to New Orleans
by Pauline Baird Jones
I’d like to thank Riley for inviting me here to talk about my love affair with New Orleans, a city we lived in for eighteen years.
The hubs and I arrived in New Orleans in what I would call a state of disarray. The hubs had just had a hip replaced, and I’d just had a baby. Our first “meal,” in the city famous for its food, was at the Taco Bell.
Yes, it is embarrassing.
As a gal raised in Wyoming, I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that where I came from and where I found myself were polar opposites (particularly in the winter lol). I was so struck by the opposite-ness, that for a while, I wrote a column for my hometown paper called Letters Home.
Things I struggled with in New Orleans:
1. Bugs and critters – there were a lot of both in a lot of varieties, but the two worst for me were the water bugs (basically, these were big, FLYING cockroaches) and the stinging caterpillars that infested the trees in the spring. I love trees so much, it was a shock the first time one of those things dropped on my head. Once they’ve made contact, they curl into a circle of stinging ouch.
2. Heat, humidity, and oh yes, hurricanes. Need I say more? And yet, there is more. Once Christmas, when we were supposed to fly home, they shut down the WHOLE city because it might snow. I wish I was kidding about this. lol
3. Navigating a city that has parallel streets that cross each other. Oh yes, you read that right. Having the Mississippi River bend around the city the way it does causes some…peculiarities in the traffic flow. An example would be: driving due EAST over the bridge to get to the WEST bank. (I once had this entirely real, not exaggerated phone call with my hubs: Me: I found the Children’s Museum. Hubs: Really? How? Me: I got off at the wrong exit from the bridge, realized it and took a right, then went straight for two blocks and there it was. Hubs: It scares me that I understood that.)
Things I still miss about living in New Orleans:
1. Bread pudding and pastries. I used to navigate my way by where the best of these were. Lol
2. New Orleans. Yes, the whole Big Easy of amazing architecture, flowers, trees, music, food, street cars, Mardi Gras, and the people. It was the lovely, warm-hearted, joyous people of the city that care forgot that helped us adapt to life in what an almost foreign assignment for someone from Wyoming.
I loved being called “baby” by the gal selling me pralines. I loved sitting overlooking the river and watching the river traffic while behind me jazz or zydeco or rock or country music played in the background.
I can close my eyes and feel the silken stroke of cool, but humid air against my skin. I can smell the intense mix of spice scents from walking through the French Quarter. And I will never forget the taste of pastries and bread puddings that sometimes haunt my dreams. I might be a touch obsessive about my desserts. Lol
So many famous people passed through, or lived and worked and wrote in New Orleans. I will always believe it was the intense creative environment of this fantastic city that launched my writing career. I wrote my first book there, and when life took us away, and it was a joy to “go back” there with my Big Uneasy series.
The series is about the Baker family, patriarch Zach, and his Baker’s dozen, who have “protect and serve” imprinted on their genes. In the latest installment, EMT Laura Baker’s act of kindness to a hit and run victim puts her heart and her life at risk.
Available at Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and GooglePlay December 1, 2018!
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About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. Loves chocolate, bacon, flamingoes, and mid-century modern anything.
Find Pauline here:
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