Sandy met Gayle around 2005 when she was hired as a travel nurse in the PACU at Lahey Clinic North in Peabody. Usually Gayle’s assignments are only for a three month term but she enjoyed the position and liked living in New England so she kept extending for a full year. Gayle and Sandy have kept in touch via Facebook but have not seen each other for many years.
Gayle was between her travel nurse assignments and was staying with her sister in Mississippi, only about 90 minutes away so it was an easy drive for her. She came for just a couple of days and it was so nice to reconnect in person.
We walked to the French Quarter as Sandy and Jim wanted to see the Casino. It was just a look and see as none of us are into gambling.
We then had a nice long stroll along the Mississippi Boardwalk.
Gayle introduced us to the Southern tradition of a crawfish boil as they are just coming into season. They were prepared boiled then sautéed in garlic and butter, what isn’t delicious with garlic and butter. Gayle showed us how to eat them which is a bit tricky, like eating a miniature lobster. Not sure we got it right but they were so good we will try them again.
Since Gayle is a southern belle and has been to “Nawlins” numerous times we mostly spent time catching up, drinking (of course) and dining; however she had not been to Mardi Gras World and neither had we so we hopped in her truck and headed to the Warehouse where the artists and architects build unique Mardi Gras floats and decorations.
This Queen Kong made of fiberglass is retired and replaced with a lighter model made of styrofoam.
Of course we had to pose next to the Crawfish.
Not a great likeness of Queen Elizabeth.
These floats are amazing, they hold up to 50 passengers and must have wheel walkers to accompany the float and tow vehicle in case of a break down. The maximum height can be no more than 13 feet 5 inches to accommodate the lowest overpass and trees along the route. They have disguised portable toilets and seat belts. We were told the passengers get quite drunk. The Krewes toss what is referred to as “throws’ along the route to the crowds and it is not just beads, it can be cups, shoes, stuffed animals, and even light up objects.
We never got a goodbye photo of her visit so I thought it would be cool to end this blog with a 2007 photo we took together. Thank you Gayle for a wonderful visit. As always we know how to let the good times roll, even after all the years that have past. Love you our Southern Belle friend and one hell of a nurse.