Citizens Report American Irish Culture

DOTL: Mo’ pics from trip to St. Louis, New Orleans and Nashville

If you were left wanting more of our virtual slide show – and who wouldn’t be after the cliffhanger ending of Part One at The Court of Two Sisters – here goes:


Tom found these mirrored sunglasses at the French Market. He could be in yet another version of CSI in them, a furrier, beefier, balder, nicer David Caruso. He thought they made his butt look big – or someone thought he was looking at butts with them. It was hard to hear over The Who’s “Who Are You” playing in my head.



Central Grocery & Deli is home to the world famous muffuletta. It was worth the 20-minute wait in line to buy the layer cake of a sandwich. I purchased souvenirs, too, as I am that kind of a traveler. Full disclosure: I needed to do some post-Christmas Christmas shopping. But back to the sandwich. We kept it until the next day to eat on our way north to Nashville. That allowed the juices from the olive spread to soak into the bread, adding even more flavor.


On the Sunday drive to Tennessee we stopped in Hammond, where Tom’s brother Mark went to college at Southeastern Louisiana University. This was back in the day when there was no internet and you had to pay people to type your term papers. Lee’s Diner, a restaurant Mark frequented, was still there. Our waiter looked like Chris Griffin, the son on “Family Guy.” Tom had an oyster po’ boy and was mistaken for a large bee in the shirt he was wearing.


Rolling along once more through Mississippi, I spotted these festive party plates at a gas station. I can only imagine such a gathering. They also had a rebel flag comforter for sale. Who wouldn’t be comforted by that? Who (besides a kidnapper or smuggler) would buy a comforter at a gas station? Sigh.


The same gas station also sold Rap Snacks. I wonder if anyone here has bought these then served them with the Confederate picnic supplies? Such are the questions you ponder past the Mason-Dixon line.


Did I mention we had an SUV full of booze? We brought along a case of Polish vodka purchased in the Chicago suburbs, as requested by our hosts in Nashville. As we know they like the stuff, we bought Gingeroo at Celebration Distillation in New Orleans, too. Gingeroo would be a good name for redheaded stripper from Australia. Instead, it’s a pre-mixed cocktail made with rum, ginger and sugar cane. It’s mule-ish. Fun fact: Passengers can drink in the car in Tennessee and Louisiana.


On New Year’s Eve, we were rained out at the Nashville Zoo, then headed downtown to Mockingbird for lunch. They had the prettiest toilet encountered on the entire journey. It seemed a shame doing what I had to do with this piece of art.


Tom dressed like Father Time for the New Year’s Eve gathering at the Lawrence estate. He also looks like Bacchus. Either way, sexy. Or saintly, at least in this shot as he gazes up toward Heaven.


Inspired by Rap Snacks, I dressed as Big Baby New Year for the party. I was going to wear an adult diaper, until I tried one on and found out how the generic version makes you look very, very geriatric. I temporarily blinded Tom when he saw me in it. Anyway, New Year’s Day I donned my sash, big hat and a swimsuit that matches my eyes to wave good riddance to 2018. My back is my best side. It shows off how I am built like a swimmer, much like any beluga is.


New Year’s afternoon, we took a bus tour that drove us past the homes of the Nashville famous. The photo is what Dolly Parton’s place looks like at 30 mph.  I am not too familiar with the work of Crook & Chase, but the driver/guide had us take a 20-minute break near a home that belongs to one of them, the one with the mustache. As far as I know, neither Crook nor Chase was spotted while we were at this Shell.


My kindly sister and her family sent me a gift card for Nashville eats, so we picked up barbecue from Martin’s on the way back to Chez Lawrence. Martin’s does a delicious brisket that melts in your mouth, not in your hands. Because you don’t eat brisket with your hands, you use a knife and fork.


On Jan. 2, we visited the Gaylord Opryland Resort Sound Waves Water Experience. Tom decided to try the boogie board attraction. When he did this quite a few years ago at a water park in The Dells, his swimsuit fell off. That didn’t happen here, though he might have cracked a rib.


Come Jan. 3, it was time to go home. Yes, I pack like a princess. Most of this stuff was mine. It’s hard to look this beautiful. Or to decide which t-shirts and underwear to bring, much less shorts and jeans. And socks. You can never pack too many socks.


Turkey vultures crossed our path on the way out of Mt. Juliet. They are more intimidating but just as annoying and stupid as Canada geese.


Tom and his brother have a thing for Goodwill stores, and we hit quite a few on this trip. Being divorced and having kids does that to a fella. In Greenwood, Ind., there’s a Goodwill Outlet, which sells all the misfit stuff not good enough for a regular Goodwill – by the pound. Yes, a local police officer was shopping there. It would be really sad if he caught anyone shoplifting from here.

Greenwood also holds a Primanti Bros. Legend has it that the small chain began in Pittsburgh as a cart during the Great Depression. Carts weren’t even considered hipster-trendy then! Primanti’s became known for putting french fries and coleslaw on their sandwiches, because you can never have too much starch in one bite. Unless you’re me, which is why I asked for the fries on the side. I opted for turkey, not pastrami. I stupidly scheduled blood work for my annual physical the next day, so I had to eat healthy.

This was our last meal on our road trip. A longing look at a big sandwich on Italian bread is as a good a spot as any to end this post.

One Response to DOTL: Mo’ pics from trip to St. Louis, New Orleans and Nashville

  1. Great stuff Mike, call me when Gingeroo is playing the Admiral Theatre, I’ll join you guys for her Chicago debut!

Leave a reply