DAY 4, JUNE 2, 1993
(CHRIS) 6:18 am. We are in wonderful Pearl River, LA. The Millers have treated us like kings. We have the whole upstairs apartment because their sons grew up and left home. Today, Jeanette will go with us into New Orleans to see the sights; Then we will probably stay one more night. Is it possible to get through the day with no owl jokes? Will Matt mention Amy in the rosary intentions again and break everyone's concentration? Tune in tomorrow, same bat channel, same bat time!
(MATT) Well I really did mention Amy in our intentions last two days. But last night we all got so tickled that I laughed through the first two decades. We didn't settle down until Sam left -- what a pagan. Oh well, I guess I'll pray for her silently since her soul is such a source of humor.
Well we've been on the move all day. Jeanette has been our tour guide throughout New Orleans. It's been a long but great day. We rose at the crack of dawn to a huge waffle and egg (spiced and tasty) breakfast. The blueberry syrup was homemade and wonderful. After breakfast we did the outside tour. Saw the swamp and private junkyard. (35 acres)
Went to the French Market. Jon and Matt bought cool bracelets for our women. Sam similarly purchased charms for his "sisters" charm bracelets.
(JEANETTE) Although the day started out cool, the day eventually turned out to be a unusual hot, humid day. Our clothes stuck to our bodies which showed the guys the true southern weather here. The guys were great. They didn't complain once about all the walking and traveling we had to do. It's always interesting to look at New Orleans through another person's eyes. They remained a calm group throughout the day, even after getting a parking ticket, hot weather, and being slowed down by an accident on the high rise. I hope they keep their good humor for the rest of the trip. Despite their not being true Southerners, they definitely know how to kick back and take it easy,, Good luck and God bless.
(CHRIS) 6/2, 5:59 pm. Thanks Jeanette for being our tour guide today and for inscribing your words in our immortal log. The day has been great. We saw the battlefield first, where Matt and Jon hung precariously from a barge in order to get first touch of the Mississippi, but almost
fell in. We parked illegally (without paying the meter, actually; Matt did it!) in New Orleans next and proceeded through the French Market, an interesting collection of wares including voodoo dolls, masks, jewelry, etc. The other three bought some jewelry. Then we saw the cathedral where we filmed a movie scene (Jeanette played a camera thief and caused the first meeting of Shane and Sam with the hitchhiker). Then we saw the river front and the French Quarter (which is only worth 10 cents in U.S. dollars - Ha - just kidding) and of course Bourbon Street, which was tamer than we expected, though certainly bad in some places. We went to the Riverside Mall and got a massage in the special chair in the Sharper I7mge. We ate in the mall and Jeanette treated us to Bin-yay's which are pastries - very good. Then we rode the trolley, then drove down St. Charles and through the rich garden district. (Matt did get the parking ticket but says he won't pay!) Then we chilled out in a park - I called my parents there. Then we saw a City of Death. A Louisiana graveyard, all above ground stone mausoleums. Spooky, but necessary, because there's water under everything.
(MATT) Hello Boys. I wanted to add a little about the New Orleans cemeteries. Since the area is so wet and has such a low altitude, they have trouble keeping the dead from "popping up." So they use small houses above ground - kind of like mini-mausoleums. Each family has their own house. Most look as if they would hold one or maybe two caskets. However, what they do is allow nature to take its course on both the body and the casket then push another in. Some times this crumbles the remains or else they have already been reduced to dust. Thus, many folks fit in one small area. Unfortunately, the City of the Dead was locked, so I climbed up on the wall and gazed upon the ruinous decaying structures. Quite and eerie place. Most houses of the dead were crumbling but standing. They were packed in closely in a confusing manner. They were mostly taller than six foot. So the more thought of walking through that maze of the dead brought shudders to my sweating body. Many things I would do for love, honor, or money but to wander through that lost city is not such a thing.
(CHRIS) Back at the Millers, we had another home-cooked meal. Now the rest of the boys are at the local parish for Mass. Alone for the first time in days, it gives me time to reflect on the Tumbleweeds Trip so far. Everything has gone perfectly - it's almost scary - perhaps dark clouds are in our future. What if the left-over chili in the "cooler" comes alive and attacks us? Oh no, I hear it creeping into the house - OH MY GOSH - save the kids - AHHHH! (oh, one other thing: my cold combined with today's sunburn has given me a very red nose. OK tan boys, let's keep the rudolph jokes to a minimum!)
That night, we said rosary with the Millers, had a photo session, and Jon and Sam got Mr. Miller haircuts, but both of them wimped out and didn't get a brush cut. Then the girls introduced us to an aggravating card game called Piffle. They crushed us even when we teamed up. Sam did moderately well, but that was only because he cheated using two hands and violating his Piffle Pak. ("What's a Piffle Pak?" was all he could say in his own defense.) Then we crushed them in "Spoons." Vie ail did laundry before hitting the hay at 11:30.