It was another warm and clear day in New Orleans. It started out cool, but gradually climbed into the 70s. More importantly, traffic on the Mississippi River Bridge was back to normal and we got to St. Raymond’s and our respective worksites earlier than the day before.

new-orleans-2009-176Everyone went back to painting. Unfortunately, our crew seemed to have a case of the dropsies. I began the day with two spills and we had a couple of dropped paint buckets, as well. Happily, we got back on track and got quite a bit done on our last day. In between spills, visits from the neighbors (mostly the canine and juvenile kind), and breaks, we came close to putting two coats of paint on the sides of the house, one coat on the rear, and one coat (including all the trim) on the front. We took pictures and said goodbye to the homeowner, Mr. Brown, and called it a day.

new-orleans-2009-179The girls from Stu’s groups went into town for some shopping, but Jake, Mandie, Laurie and I went with Caitlyn to get a New Orleans delicacy, a snow ball. I had read about them, but never made the leap…until Friday. The ice is shaved, so that it is softer and more absorbent than a snow cone. And many of the stands create their own flavored syrups. It was a nice way to complete a day in the sun, although I did suffer through a wicked case of “brain freeze.”

Other groups had similar days, with the exception of Trevor and Conor’s group. Maurice, their homeowner, who by all appearances thought the crew was there every day to keep him company, had them stop working after a couple of hours. He took them out for muffalettas and then took them to the shrine of Father Francis Xavier Seelos, the “cheerful ascetic,” who was beatified in 2000, but has yet to be canonized. He also gave each of them a relic of Father Seelos. It was certainly a side of New Orleans culture that none of the other groups had.

new-orleans-2009-1811The groups went in several different directions with the return trip to New Hampshire coming into focus. I took Jake, Mandie, Sam and Erica for a brief visit to the Barataria Preserve near Madonna Manor. While we didn’t see any alligators, it gave them an idea of what pre-Colonial Louisiana looked like.

Afterwards, I went into the city and hooked up with Stu’s group. We went over to the Blue Nile to see Kermit Ruffins. The show was good, but the crowd was large and over-served. Some of us were weary from work and mounting sleep deficits, left after the first set. The crowd thinned out after we left and the music became the focus. However, we were long in bed by the time the rest of the group returned.