Thursday, February 9

Westward, Ho!

The Flagship is scheduled to leave Florida on Thursday, February 9 for Laredo with an overnight stop in the New Orleans area. Judy and Tony DeSantis organized a "Fly Away" party on Wednesday evening at a Mexican restaurant and invited our local members, new and old. There were about 30 members there, including Bob Gross and his son, Riley. Jake Jacobson also attended. The Chadwicks brought a laptop and showed a video they had put together. They made copies of it for a number of people. George Dennis was to attend, as he was working in Miami, but he was under the weather. Jim Skelly and his wife, Evelyn were there in preparation for him joining us on the trip to Laredo. Dennis Pugsley will also go with us.
On Thursday, the weather had improved some and we had sun with broken clouds. We had a little send off group consisting of Peggy's houseguests, the Brooks and the DeSantis. One new member, Kathy Wright, had decided to fly with us as far as New Orleans and so we were seven. Peggy and Jake had attended to catering and there was a nice lunch and snacks on board. It was a pleasant flight. After we got across Florida we flew just off the coast with a great view of the beaches. We could follow our progress on the GPS on Jake's ipad. We flew fairly low and it did not get too cold on board.
At Lakeside Airport we were met by two taxis which whisked us to our hotels. Kathy had made her own reservations and was staying two blocks from the rest of us. We stayed at the Drury Inn which was right downtown. The lobby was decorated in dark wood with stunning crystal chandeliers. For dinner, we walked into the French Quarter to a seafood place called Deenies. Although Madi Gras has not officially started, there were already costumes, masks, beads and revelry in the streets.
At the restaurant, they started us with a platter of steaming hot red potatoes which had been cooked in a spicy boil and came with copious amounts of butter. Some folks ordered charbroiled oysters for appetizers and pronounced them to be wonderful. For dinner people had either crawfish etoufee or a large seafood salad. However, I got what the waiter said I should get and I think he hit a homerun. My dish was shrimp stuffed with(more like buried in) crabmeat dressing, topped with crawfish and drizzled with a light cheese sauce. It was beyond description.

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