Pharmacy Museum: So Glad I Missed the 1800s

Kathy P., one of my roommates on the trip, and I were up bright and early on our last day in New Orleans, because the pharmacy museum she really wanted to see would finally be open (she’s a lactation consultant and wanted to see the birth-related stuff). It was mighty cold but off we went through the freezing streets of a city just waking up (many food delivery trucks for all those restaurants). Brr, it was cold and windy.

Many of the French Quarter houses have beautiful hidden courtyards. I’m glad to have seen this one.

We then discovered the museum opened at 10, not 9, so we found a coffee shop and warmed up. It was a PJ’s. Their theme is that they invented the locally roasted beans and pastries idea long before Starbucks. It was good coffee, anyway.

This is the “sick bed” display. To the right are ancient urinals, shown in detail below.

I made a quick stop at the yarn shop to get a printed copy of the complicated pattern I bought (PDF on phone was not cutting it). The lady was great about it, and we had a nice chat. Then I joined Kathy at the cool 1825 house where the pharmacy museum was.

There was display after display of some awful things they used to do to people, like amputation saws and HUGE things they stuck in your nose for reasons I don’t know. And a lot of poisons in jars, which you can see below.

Even if you aren’t interested in drugs and potions, this place is cool. The display cabinets were gorgeous, and there were amazing windows in the stairway going to the second floor.

Beautiful stairs and huge windows.

The windows looked out on one of those typical New Orleans courtyards, which is apparently maintained by some courtyard maintenance group.

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I Found The Tacky Stuff. Still Fun.

Yes, yes, I’m still in New Orleans with the Friends of La Leche League on their bonding trip. Today was the day of less history and more typical tourist stuff. However, I managed to have fun.

Me having fun and trying to not get sunburned. Failed.

In the morning, people mingled and bonded until time to walk (if you were fit) to the Steamboat Natchez, which is the only steam-powered paddle-wheeler in use in New Orleans.

There, we were treated/blasted to an actual steam calliope concert. It was fun to watch the steam coming out for each note.

Calliope at work.

On the boat, we had a brunch, which was adequate, and good jazz music (though one DOES weary of “When the Saints Go Marching In” around here). Since you couldn’t see a dang thing during the meal, I got out of the dining room as fast as I could to see the river.

Jazz band.
Continue reading “I Found The Tacky Stuff. Still Fun.”

It’s Okay to Be a Tourist

When I was a teenager in a tourist destination (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area), I sure didn’t like tourists. They showed up and drove strangely, got horrible sunburns, and asked ignorant questions. Grr. They filled “our” restaurants.

Get off our stairs! Tourists (our group) milling around).

I currently spent half my time in another tourist destination, where natives carefully avoid downtown or our beautiful parks during certain times of the year, since so many people show up to party and have fun at festivals. We grumble, but know the economy needs it.

Right now I’m the tourist in New Orleans. I have done tourist activities like bus tours that crowd the streets, and walking tours that crowd the sidewalks. I sure wouldn’t want to live where my house is photographed by people like Suna all day long. Certainly living in the French Quarter would require a special patience.

With all this good food, the economy can’t help but do well.

I see tourists wandering around getting blitzed and screeching about things, and they are contributing to the economy, I guess.

Then I see our group asking question after question to learn more about the area. I see us making connections in local shops (I bought yarn!). This is good tourism, as far as I’m concerned.

Local yarn to celebrate the yarn shop’s 50th anniversary. Also there was needlepoint. Ah.
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New Orleans. Old. Less Tacky Than I Feared.

Not a lot of time to write today. I’ll share that I am more charmed by New Orleans than I anticipated. And it’s not just noise and drunk people. Whew.

Random parades were fun. Someone is making a lot of money doing these.

We went on a walking tour of the French Quarter today. Our guide was great and we learned a lot from her.

Stacy the tour guide entertaining our group.

But, no time to go into details. Just enjoy all these buildings. More later. Hope you’re having an okay weekend!

Continue reading “New Orleans. Old. Less Tacky Than I Feared.”

This Is a Call for Super Introvert!

I’m sitting in the Austin airport again. This time I’m also going somewhere fun, but not for relaxation. I’m traveling to New Orleans to participate in semi-annual Friends of La Leche League trip. Since I’m on the Board, my role will be to help make the trip fun for the participants.

It’s an airport!

I have to go back to my Super Introvert mode that I used to get in at the large conferences, where I had to be on and available 24/7. Usually I handle conferences by getting a room to myself. But, this is a nonprofit, so we share!

It’s fun sharing rooms with old friends. You catch up, tell funny stories, etc. I just hope note that we are all older, we will sleep some.

This is a group of wonderful people, and I am hoping everyone’s issues and infirmities don’t prevent everyone from having fun. And I hope I don’t collapse from being my busy LLL persona for 5 days. I’m not the same person I used to be.

Luckily I’m in a great mood and looking forward to some fun and good. Yes, I will eat a beignet! Moderation in everything.

When You HAVE to Go Somewhere Fun

For the past few years, I’ve missed business trips. I’m glad I joined Master Naturalists, so at least I have one conference to attend each year, but I always get so much out of seeing old friends and meeting new people that I miss the old days when I traveled more.

Here’s Edna Kelly, pre-exploring for us!

Thus, I was pretty stoked when I found out that a requirement of being a member of the Friends of La Leche League Board is to attend their organization’s trip to a fun place every other year (the other year, they meet at a conference for one of La Leche League’s local affiliates, usually Texas).

This year, we are going to New Orleans in November. This, of course, assumes the city will still be there after so much bad weather, but at least it’s after hurricane season. I’ve been rather amazed at exactly how much planning these trips take. There is so much to consider! They have to come up with fun things to do and good places to eat, without making the registration too costly. That is not easy. I am very impressed with the hard work and patience the trip planners, Carroll and Evy, have exhibited.

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