Christmas Trees, Tony Bennett, and New Orleans

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So today was a full day.  A whole lot of good things happened.

The long and the short of it is that I am attending a course for work in New Orleans and I am hoping to scoop out a little bit of adventure in between two very full days of classes.  Today was my travel day.

I had a delightfully uneventful time navigating airports and customs.  No random pat downs or searches, no delays, issues, or turbulence.  I even got extra cookies and an empty seat next to me.

I did have one sad moment and it was this:

This restaurant is located at Pearson airport in Toronto and it serves Melinda’s gourmet ketchups, an assortment of them.  I ate there with a friend once, not realizing that most of the time it’s walled off by frosted glass doors and inaccessible to domestic travellers.  Since that single time when all the starts were in alignment, I have passed the place about a half dozen more times and it’s always closed.  Until today.  Today it was open and taunting me because I had to go through security and couldn’t stop.   I sent this photo to my friend, he understood my pain.  The ketchup struggle is real.

I did spontaneously decide that I will be doing a side project on Christmas trees this trip.  How pretty are these guys?

Finally, when I found out I was travelling here I took a peek at the local entertainment calendar because you can’t visit NOLA without music.  Well none other than Tony Bennett was scheduled to perform.  The gentleman is 90 and probably the last great, original crooner.  I treated myself to an early Christmas gift and seized this once in a lifetime opportunity. Yes I was younger than the typical patron there tonight, but by no means was I the only non senior citizen.

I’ve got to admit, the guy is a professional, and he can sing.  He came out and sang for a solid hour and a half from an endless catalogue of song selections.  There was a surprising amount of power in his 90 year old voice.  He did slip once and repeated his schtick about loving to perform in this great city-without mentioning the actual city-word for word.  He redeemed himself though by honoring hometown favourite Louis Armstrong and then singing Smile.  The show stopper was when he sang Fly Me To The Moon without his microphone.  He had enough power to project to the entire room while enunciating the words perfectly.  In tune.

The theatre was also completely worth the visit.  So beautifully restored after Hurricane Katrina, right down to twinkle lights in the ceiling that actually flicker like stars.

That’s it friends, it was a busy day and I don’t even have a dinner to report.  There was no time. Tomorrow.

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