Before those, I went to Garyville, Louisiana for work. That turned out to be a great experience for me. I got to meet people in person that I've talked to on the phone every week for the last 5 years. I got to see a plantation house, which was totally awesome. The refinery has a small graveyard within its boundaries and it made me sad. The graves are like two hundred plus years old and what's really neat down there, people are buried above ground, and the little concrete buildings (vaults? crypts? whatever you call them) are elaborate - statues of angels, birds, fancy crosses, etc. Maybe they are even marble and not concrete...I'm not sure. And all around this little cemetary is an old iron fence...but then around the iron fence is a huge chain link fence, and gigantic 500,000 tanks, a giant cracking tower, and an isom unit and noise so loud you can barely hear yourself think. If my loved one was buried there, I'd have to move them. Nobody is resting in peace there. It makes me think that I'd as soon be cremated and have my ashes dumped in the river. Then nobody could build such an abomination on my grave.
I had an unforgetable trip to the French Quarter. Our host, aka "the controller", which was quite an appropriate label in more ways than one, made sure nobody left there without a hangover the next day. He generously bought drinks at every bar we entered, selecting the drink and ordering in huge quantity. I would have never ordered or drank any of the drinks he ordered for us - exotic, fruity, mixes of God knows what. After the first two, I didn't care...they all tasted the same. We took 3 cars down there and I left with the "sane" group, although 3 of us in that group paid hell the next day. I was sick the next morning, in the airport, on the plane of the first hop, in the next airport, and finally in the last airport before I got home. It took me nearly 48 hours to recover. USAir lost my luggage and I didn't get it until 2 days later. I'm happy they lost it coming home rather than going down. Dan sent me some of his photos from the evening - mementos.
Soon I must get on line and look for my ticket to Ireland. The hardest part is committing to a time. It's so hard to get away without missing anything. I have tickets to Evita and I hate to miss it, but I might have to just miss and let the girls or Jerry invite somebody to use my ticket. Also, I don't want to miss Erin's test (for 2nd degree UFAF black belt). I'm pretty sure I'll be missing the spring orchestra recital..but I will survive it. My favorite part of that is seeing the kids all spiffied up in suits and dresses, more so than the music they produce. I miss Sarah though, and I'll be happy to see her even if it's only for a few days. We will spend a night in an enchanted (or perhaps haunted) castle, look for mermaids, ride bikes, sip tea in the afternoon, explore, and I hope I'll hear my sweet songbird sing. I suppose I'll take my crappy little camera and trust Sarah to take the good pictures and send them to me. Maybe I'll buy a memory card for her camera as a bribe.
That's all I can think of for now.