Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Honest to god, my wife was raised amongst wolves.

For reasons still unclear, immediately after finalizing our plans to go to New Orleans, she invited her parents to tag along. They are each near 80, and each within 6 weeks of having had major surgery. Sure they would love to go.

Then her parents invited friends. The friends invited friends. The AARP couldn't have drawn a larger crowd.

Somehow, I was the designated tour director. As designated tour director my duties included making reservations at the better restaurants in town, arranging the car service to transport everyone the 6 blocks to lunch or dinner and best of all to meet their final demand.


In fact, the oldsters made certain that I understood they felt put upon wearing long pants.

A few things worked in my favor. Even major restaurants are feeling the pain. If you call to make reservations for 10 people, outlining their restrictions and are willing to dine at 5pm, in or near the kitchen, all is well. My charges went to bed at 8, so 5 was no problemo.

What was especially funny, was watching the $60/head dinner check getting passed around nightly. Prices have risen in the 40 years since their last visit. I made certain they tipped well.

The next hassle while predicted, arrived as planned.

Ever watch old people competitively eating? 80 year olds, with a straight face, telling the wait staff how they love Cajun spices. Make it hotter, dad gummit. Spices they c(w)ouldn't have eaten 40 years ago were wolfed down ravenously. Most of the codgers made it to their rooms before being overcome by near death experiences. Breakfasts were missed. Brunches were replaced by Tums and ice cream. They never missed dinner though, cocktails began promptly at 5pm, when it all started anew.



Martha said...

Old folks are interesting to watch. Dinner at 5, plastic bags in purses to take food home in (especially from buffets), but I'm surprised that they spent $60/head for a meal -- they usually want a $60 meal for $10!

longwing said...

You should go to NOLA with me. How bout them Saints?

Anonymous said...

There is an international tour group that annually makes the rounds in New Orleans several weekends of the year called Elder Hostel.

My friends in the service industry have fun and refer to them as the Hostile Elders.

M.Lane said...

This is a classic post. Nice trip for you. Oddly, I am sure I was there at the same time. Now I'm glad I didn't see you because I couldn't have handled watching your pain.

Looking at longwing's comment, perhaps a NOLA blogger/dining/drinking event?

Mrs. Blandings said...

I would have appointed you tour guide as well. At least with 8 o'clock bedtimes it left the youngsters free for the evening.

Gail, in northern California said...

Joy in the morning...this post had me laughing out loud. Such a great way to start the day instead of reading all those dismal reports on the financial mess, and other horrors from around the world.

Your wife has a soft spot, doesn't she? No doubt that's the reason you love her so.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've ever made breakfast during a trip to New Orleans... . Unless you go by the strict definition of break fast and ignore the time constraints.

You're a good man Toad...

Patsy said...

We have a rule - never turn down an opportunity to spend time with our parents, we'll never wish we'd spent *less* time with them. We're blessed that they are all four still alive, relatively healthy and a treat to be around.

That said, you must have the patience of a saint - you'll be rewarded :-)

Toad said...

It certainly is good to be home.

Toad said...

A NOLA trip may be fun. Not soon for me though please.

DAM said...

How bout 'dem Saints - was it all theh rage. Did you get swept up in the "Black and Gold Super Bowl" mantra?

Sounds like a good time, albiet stressful.

EatPlayLove said...

Sounds like you deserve a rain check trip to a location of your choosing. Wouldn't you agree?

Toad said...

I'm a home boy for a spell.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the dress code I lament the fact that it is even necessary to post, especially the part about gentlemen removing their hats. What are men that are less than gentlemen do with their hats? DW